Show Notes for Podcast Episode #8 :: Are Electric Vehicles the Future of Overlanding?

tesla-cybertruck-overland.png

SUMMARY

We explore the innovation and rapid rise of electric SUVs and trucks that are suitable for overland travel. The discussion includes the new Tesla Cybertruck, the Rivian, Bollinger, and others.

There is no question that electric vehicles are here to stay, and despite our love for hydrocarbons the popularity of EVs is exploding, and more quickly than most imagined. Car companies that are slow to respond are already suffering, as demonstrated by the recent ousting of BMW’s CEO. It is also easy to dismiss electric 4WDs for overland travel, but even those limitations have been, or will be overcome (excluding extreme remote distances and polar travel), and the reality is that most vehicle-based travel still allows for charging within existing infrastructures. What is also encouraging is the general excitement from the manufacturers about overlanding, with Rivian attending the Overland Expo and positioning their vehicle in the overland area at the Outdoor Retailer Show. Bollinger has recognized our segment since the beginning, and their latest renderings reinforce that with the Bollinger Overland Concept shown here. And not to be left out, Tesla has launched their Cybertruck, complete with its own camping module.


The Bollinger Overland Concept | Bollingermotors.com

There are a few key features of the Bollinger concepts worth noting, including the attention towards trail protection with metal front and rear bumpers, and full-length rocker panel sliders. The tire diameter has also increased over earlier prototypes to a 35 inch tire (with a taller sidewall allowed by a 17 inch wheel). The SUV concept includes two spare tires, a removable hardtop, a full-length roof rack, rear winch, HD recovery points, and what can only be assumed to be yellow water cans (grin). The sliding rear windows is a nice touch.

The specifications also speak to a real opportunity for hauling necessary equipment with a 5,000 pound payload, which is more that the combined payload of FOUR Toyota Tacomas. Storage is massive at 113 cubic feet, plus an additional 14 cubic feet under the bonnet. On the trail, there is 668 ft-lb of torque available immediately as the tires start to rotate, and 15 inches of ground clearance. That ground clearance can be increased to 20 inches with the available air suspension. This vehicle is clearly designed by enthusiasts. Bollingermotors.com


Rivian | rivan.com

It seems like ages ago that electric vehicles were just some crazy idea only relevant in the far future. They were novelties, toys for the super rich or environmentalists with very small commutes, yet here we are with companies like Tesla bringing them into the mainstream. The once quirky and difficult to use cars are now sleek, sexy, and easy to drive on a daily basis, yet for many of us they still have one major problem: they’re not really designed for adventures. If you want to carry a dirt bike, tackle some forest roads to reach a trail, or cruise through some soft-sand to go beach camping there just isn’t a legitimate electric option out there. Or, at least there wasn’t, until Rivian unveiled their R1 platforms, and quite frankly blew our minds.

R1T

  • 400-mile range
  • Curb weight, 5,886 pounds
  • 750 horsepower
  • 826 pound-feet of torque
  • 0-60 in 3.2 seconds
  • Wading depth of 1 meter
  • Quad-motor AWD with independent motor controls
  • Double wishbone suspension in the front and a multi-link suspension in the rear
  • Dynamic roll control, adaptive dampers, and ride-height adjustable air-suspension
  • 1,763-pound payload
  • 11,000-pound tow capacity

R1S

  • 410-mile range
  • Curb weight, 5,842 pounds
  • 826 horsepower
  • 826 pound-feet of torque
  • 0-60 in 3.2 seconds
  • Wading depth of 1 meter
  • Quad-motor AWD with independent motor controls
  • Double wishbone suspension in the front and a multi-link suspension in the rear
  • Dynamic roll control, adaptive dampers, and ride-height adjustable air-suspension
  • 1,807-pound payload
  • 7,716-pound tow capacity

The truck variant, dubbed the R1T, was the first to be revealed. It is fully electric and can carry five passengers for up to a 400-mile-total range, while the R1S (SUV) will carry seven passengers and has a maximum range of 410 miles! That’s some serious distance for trips, and puts actual off-road travel on the radar for many parts of the country with existing charging stations. But it’s not just about range, these trucks have some real technology behind them for tackling tough terrain as well.

Take the “AWD” system for example. It uses four independent electric motors to power the wheels, which means that in low traction scenarios it can turn each wheel independently with the precise amount of torque needed to move the truck. Think of it like a better version of lockers, where instead of forcing the wheels to turn at one rate you can take it one step further by putting the power only where it needs to go.

Not that you need to be stingy with it, as the motors produce 750 horsepower and 826 pound feet of torque. That will help either Rivian rip your face off in a 3.2 second 0-60, or 0-100 in less than 7 seconds. For reference, that 0-60 is just shy of the Ferrari 488’s time of 3 seconds flat.

While we don’t know the full details of the suspension, we can tell you it’s a double wishbone setup in the front with a multi-link in the rear. It will also feature adjustable air-ride for control of height and comfort needs on and off road, along with dynamic roll control and adaptive dampers for changing terrains. Total ground clearance on the “off-road” R1T is an impressive 14.7,” with approach, breakover, and departure coming in at 34, 26, and 30 degrees respectively. The SUV will boast just 5 millimeters more ground clearance, but with a 121-inch wheel base instead of the truck’s 135 inches, it improves the breakover by 3 degrees to a total of 29 degrees.

 

Tesla Cybertruck | tesla.com/cybertrucktesla-cybertruck-overland.png

SPECS

  • 0-60 MPH 
  • RANGE 500+ MILES (EPA EST.)
  • DRIVETRAIN TRI MOTOR ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
  • STORAGE 100 CU FT
  • VAULT LENGTH 6.5 FT
  • TOWING CAPACITY 14,000+ LBS
  • AUTOPILOT STANDARD
  • ADAPTIVE AIR SUSPENSION STANDARD
  • GROUND CLEARANCE UP TO 16"
  • APPROACH ANGLE 35 DEGREES
  • DEPARTURE ANGLE 28 DEGREES

Transcript: 

Episode #8 Are electric vehicles the future of overlanding

Host Bios:
Scott Brady
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal, and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar travels include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @globaloverland

Matthew Scott
Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world's most-remote places by 4WD, and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. Matt is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication, and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore


Transcription:

Hello and welcome to the Overland Journal Podcast. I am your host Scott Brady and I am here with my co-host Matt Scott. What are we going to talk about today Matt?

Matt: We’re talking about electricity. We’re talking about the future of overlanding. By default, electric vehicles. I know there's going to be a lot of people that don't want to hear that.

Scott: Well, I don't think anyone really wants to hear that because we want to hear the clatter of diesels off into the future, but the change is happening. Right?

Matt: Ya. And it’s going to happen so much faster than you expect. I remember the first time I drove an electric car, I was actually in, and this sounds relatively exotic and pretentious but I was actually on the Portimão circuit in Portugal with the new Jaguar iPace And they sent us out in the Jaguar F-Type, you know a two door sports car, purpose built vehicle and did some laps. Got some feedback on it and was like, “oh, this Jaguars nice.” Then they throw us in an electric car which is just a Jaguar. it’s a crossover, relatively pedestrian looking. Attractive, but you didn’t expect much. It was a hoot to drive. I mean, instant torque people. Is a huge thing. I want to say it has around a 300 mile range, which people for some reason think they can have a gas vehicle that has a 175 mile range once they put their bumpers and winches and things on it and that's totally acceptable but you know 300 miles in an electric car is a no go. Anyway, where I’m getting at this is electrice car is the future. It dawned on me right there. The things they are able to do with torque vectoring, where they can send the power. The things they are going to be able to do with solid state batteries being structural components in the chassis. So you don't have this big box just sitting somewhere taking up space.

Scott: Even the way torque just works with an electric motor is perfect for offroad. And the infinite control you have over that, there is no turbo lag, you’re not building horsepower in a unique curve, it’s all very linear. Especially on the torque side, that provides a lot better driver control I think. It’s just like any other disruptive technology, it was just this last week that Tesla became the most valuable automotive manufacturer in the United States. So these disruptions are coming whether we want them to or not.

Matt: Exactly.

Scott: I was just recently on the Infinity 30th Anniversary launch, and they were talking about future planning for vehicles. They've got five new vehicles coming out over the next three years and three of the vehicles are electric.

Matt: It has to be. Now, the eternal combustion engine should have hit its peak by now. I mean we are going on what, over a hundred years of the eternal combustion engine in mass production. And they are finally actually getting reliable. I mean if you look ten, fifteen, twenty years ago with marks like Toyota, they were still having failures. I don't know as an overlander one of the things I look at reliability, and simplicity. While I dont have to have a starter, I don't have to have an alternator, there's no fuel pump to fail.

Scott: A lot of these components can be solid state now, certainly with the adoption of any new technology there is going to be a reliability curve. There's going to be an adjustment on the part of the consumer. I remember when fuel injection first started becoming popular in 4-wheel drive vehicles and there was a lot of pushback. People that would say I can fix my carburetor out in the field. Turns out now, with the new Toyota Tacoma, you never even think about the fuel injection system, it always works. Maybe every once in a while you have to change out the fuel pump or an injector goes bad, but again that is very rare. So manufacturers have really learned that reliability is key towards future sales. It's a key towards consumer impression towards their brand. So even when they make electric vehicles they are going to be very mindful of the fact that these things need to be reliable.

Matt: I saw a Tesla model 3, a few weeks ago, in the Bay of LA in Baja. So I’m just going to go ahead and leave it there. It can be done, the future is happening now.

Scott: It is, and did you say that there was a dude in a Volkswagen, that's already gone halfway around the world?

Matt: Ya, I want to say it was a Volkswagen Passat or Jetta, it was definitely something of a European spec vehicle. Ya, from recollection drove all the way from Amsterdam or somewhere in the Netherlands all the way to Sidney. Again if I remember correctly, unfortunately we couldn't pull up the story on him, the guy just kind of traveled around and met people and just charged his vehicle at peoples houses. I don’t know, I think it is a huge part of travel, that connection. You have to stop in cities and you have to charge your car. In the same way that you have to get food, you have to get groceries. You have to get all that stuff while you are traveling.

Scott: I am thinking back, I think it was eight years ago I did a trip with Brian McVickers and Austin Andrews and we went out with the Jeep J8 and we took along a zero dual sport motorcycle and it was certainly one of the long distance electric motorcycle rides. We put baggage on the bike, all the camping gear, everything that you needed to travel. And the only thing that we did was we bought the jeep along to charge it every night. Because at that time the batteries capacity was much less and they hadn't really optimized the range, but I was shocked how we could get 45-50 miles off road with a motorcycle like that and it actually did really well. The only thing that is disconcerting on a motorcycle is you totally loose engine braking. You got to have really good breaks on the thing. So it's important to recognise that driving habits do change. I think that left foot braking becomes even more critical for the driver because of that on demand torque.

Matt: I mean, things are gonna be different. But things are supposed to be different. As Americans were supposed to embrace change. We are supposed to embrace progress. I really hope the overland community doesn't just stonewall the idea of electric cars. There have been a lot of positive mentions of Rivian. I think they've really hit the nail on the head. Do you know how many miles they're claiming…?

Scott: 300 miles out of the vehicle. And if you looked at the Overland Expo last year in Flagstaff, they had the vehicle on display. The response to it was overwhelmingly positive, and it kind of makes sense. Overlanders in general, they like the idea of things that are new, they like the idea of exploration. Many of them tend to come from technology because it facilitates travel and life on the road. So I was really impressed at the size of the crowd that developed around the vehicle and the very positive communications that happened. Obviously there is a fear behind the idea of running out of gas. And the reason we don't tend to run out of gas is because we can bring extra fuel with us and then the gas infrastructure around the country is massive. It's extensive. So when you go across the Canning Stock route in Australia, there's only one place to refuel and that's about 1100km into the trip. That's a very long distance to try and drive a vehicle, so, for the current time frame it's not possible to do every form of overlanding with an electric vehicle. But if you think about northamerican overlanders in general, how long of trip are they really doing between fuel stops.

Matt: That's the thing, people are always driving to the max. If you're driving, you're on an overland trip, which to me is also a cultural thing. You're supposed to be stopping, you're supposed to be going on hikes, you're supposed to be seeing things. If you're consistently driving 500 miles a day, what are you seeing? It's become popular to hate electric cars in america, and I don’t know why. It's popular to hate Tesla. Why is it popular to hate Tesla? The GM and Ford and Crystler products they have been giving you are so superior? No. They are giving you the minimum for the most they can charge you.

Scott: That's right. All of them are.

Matt: I’m sure to an extent Tesla is doing the same thing.

Scott: Ford is obviously recognising electric vehicles, they've done some big investments in Rivian. So is Amazon. So when you meet up with that kind of capital behind your new venture it's pretty exciting. I think it certainly has its place. I think the biggest challenge for electric vehicles around overland travel is when you like to go shorter distances off road and you like to camp a lot. So, a good example of that would be in southern Utah and you were doing a route through Canyonlands and you're going through Thief Basin and all of that, that takes days to cross all of that. And it is a long enough distance that it would be difficult to charge the vehicle. And obviously solar is not anywhere near sufficient to charge. You like the idea of being able to put out 3000 watts worth of solar..

MAtt: Until you realize what 3000watts of solar encompasses…

Scott: It’s not enough. It’s not not even possible to charge the vehicle properly off of that. The only real solution is you bring along a generator that consumes gasoline and you charge it that way. That may be the way to do it on trips like that, it could be the solution around it. That you have some form of a generator that you bring along. But those are the really the only scenarios, you want to camp for multiple days, you're using your air conditioning. Your charging components off the vehicle, you're running a fridge off the vehicle, which all those things are pulling electricity. Those are the scenarios where an electric vehicle becomes less ideal but the vast majority of overland routes, including the Mojave Road and everything else could be done with an electric vehicle easily today.

Matt: But I’m not worried about today, this is not a purchase that people are making today.


Scott: Unless it's you.. What did you just buy?

Matt: Ya I have a preorder.. Well I put $100.00 dollars down on a Tesla Cybertruck. Now, mainly just to piss people off. Like, if you want to piss off a Baby Boomer, buy a Tesla. If you look at the cost of per kilowatt hour of battery storage. It's a graph line that goes straight down.

Scott: It’s impressive, you showed that to me and there were years where the cost, of just one year to the next, dropped 23%. The last year being one of the smallest amounts of drop, which makes sense. Once you start to distill down to its basic components, and demand goes up for some of the raw materials that will start to level off. But to see the multifold reduction in the cost of a battery, that it takes to power these units, that's very exciting.

Matt: That's how technology works right? I remember my first digital camera. I want to say it was something like $1.00 per megabyte for the little Sony memory stick. Being around filming people and being into photography, everybody told me, “oh digital photography, it's not going anywhere, it's too expensive. It’s a niche thing.” Ok well, how do you feel now? That criticism never comes back. What's 128 gigabytes of solid state cost now?

Scott: Next to nothing. You get it in a thumb drive.

Matt: I mean what's a Terabyte cost? The same thing can and will happen, it may not be as extreme but you can’t tell what the future is going to unfold. The fact that we already have vehicles that were at push rod V8 technology in terms of what electricity can do (12:17) It’s going to get better.

Scott: It is, and rapidly I think.

Matt: They already meet demands. I mean most people drive 40 miles per day or less. So when people tell me, “300 miles doesnt work for me.” People are generally just being obtuse.

Scott: I think it comes back to a point that you have made in a previous podcast which is the difference between want and need. I think people need electric vehicles oftentimes and I think that the current range or the current mileage of the electric vehicle meets all of their current needs. Even their camping and backcountry travel needs. What they want is this idea that they can go travel across the Simpson Desert or they could cross the Sahara in their vehicle. I think it's part of our identity. This idea of being independent and this idea of being able to leave at a moments notice and go on a long adventure, I think that is still very much a part of the Ethos of overlanding. It’s the being prepared idea. This idea of sticking with the current technology because it does afford the ability to do something like cross the Simpson Desert. I think that appeals to a lot of people.

Matt: I know people like that who have crossed the Simpson Desert in an EV? Literally it had a lot of solar panels on it, it was a little Jimny. French I want to say.


Scott: That's awesome. Isn't that exciting though that kind of thing is coming along! I think even more important than that, is as this technology continues to develop and people continue to consume it. Consumer demand will drive even more innovation, it’ll rapidly change the way that we see an electric vehicle. You’re going to have something as capable as a Rivian, as we see today, but imagine something many times more capable that has a fully adjustable suspension, that isn't dependent on CV angles and you can gain 10” of additional ground clearance. It kind of blows the mind to consider what's possible. Once you put the motors at the wheels or you put the motors where they are not dependent upon the CV joints..

Matt: you have one moving component then. It might be more than that really, the point being..

Scott: It’s much more simple for sure.

Matt: I mean the Cybertruck. 35” tires is what they're claiming? And you have a CEO that's actually listening to people. Some people were tweing to Musk, “is the camping thing in the back that you're showing actually going to happen?” He’s like “yea, sure!” But he actually has a track record of following up on that kind of stuff.

Scott: Eventually, yea. If the guy can make flamethrowers he can make camping stuff.

Matt: Ya don't bet against Musk. Because if you're betting against Tesla, what I don’t think people realize is you're betting against American innovation. It is the only car company in the world right now that is pushing boundaries. But for whatever reason, people are believing the lobbyist stuff, the lobbyist opinion that wants you to stick to internal combustion engines. It wants you to stick to buying crossovers .. I don't know..

Scott: That is absolutely happening, Although, we are seeing that shift occurring with the success of the current model Teslas, it drove the CEo from BMW out of his job because he did not respond quickly enough to the demand that consumers have for electric vehicles. If you think about it so much of our life is related to technology. Isn’t it cool now that our vehicle can be an extension of that technology. And certainly some of us want to be luddites or we enjoy escaping from technology, and maybe you’ll always have your diesel Land Cruiser.. *laughs*

Matt: Ya! It doesn't have a computer..*laughs*

Scott: So I think that is a great example of where that older technology will never go away. The horse didn't go away with the internal combustion engine. THere will always be cool old Land Cruisers that you can find diesel for, but I think that for daily duties and for shorter trips, these electric vehicles are really compelling. Maybe let's look at some of the models that are out there now. What do you think about the Rivian? What's your thoughts on that?

Matt: I love the idea of the Rivian. Rivian to me is a technology company. They're a VC backed IP until they start producing vehicles that people can actually buy. Why I got so excited about the Tesla is, Tesla is a car company that is coming out with a new model. They’ve figured out how to make cars. They’ve gone through those growing pains. What happens when Ford makes an electric pickup? I mean, Ford knows how to make a pickup truck. Chevy knows how to make a pickup truck. A lot of these components, the batteries, they come from Panasonic. Tesla likes to claim they have their own battery factory, well when you actually look at who's financing, it’s Panasonic. I want to say it’s American AC and 100%, don’t quote me on that, is the largest electric motor manufacturer. It's the same thing that happens with most car companies is they design a package that accepts components. So, with Rivian, 100% all for it. I think they're really listening to the overland community. I think that is great. They are outfitting their vehicles with the right products. Bill Burke is training most of their staff and their engineers. I used to live in Fruta where Bill lives. Every week they are sending people to get rock crawling or 4-wheel drive training. That's something that Tesla is not doing, that is something that nobody else is doing.

Scott: They understand how the vehicle needs to respond to a certain driver input, I think that is really valuable. And your probably right, wouldn't it be interesting and I think this will probably be the outcome. Rivian develops such a compelling vehicle and they have such compelling technology behind it they can get acquired by a much larger OEM, and they never end up actually making a single vehicle. That would be really interesting. It’s possible and that isn't a bad thing because Rivian is driving innovation right now. Seeing their camping system slide out of that small cubby in the truck was very cool. Seeing the low center of gravity is extremely cool. Seeing them at Overland Expo with roof tents and roof racks, all of that is very, very interesting.

Matt: I frequently hear, “Oh, I hate electric cars. Except for Rivian.” And that’s cool. That’s what so great about Rivian, but Ford has a large stake in them.

Scott: They do. So does Amazon.

Matt: The Amazon thing is the one to watch, you know Jeff Bezos is another guy like Musk. Don’t bet against him. Generally don’t bet against people that have that many squillions. Rivian I think is really cool.

Scott: I think it’s one of the more handsome models. I really, I personally find it attractive. And it also looks rugged, it looks like an offroad vehicle. But it also looks very modern at the same time and I think that was difficult to pull off. A lot of the new electric vehicles, like the new Audi, what’s that one called the AI Trail, it's a concept vehicle, which looks like something that just came off the moon. Which I get it..

Matt: Why are people criticising, that's just what I don't understand with electric cars, why are they criticising visionary design.

Scott: Because you're right, all of the constraints change. You don't need a radiator at the front of it or at the back of it.

Matt: It’s not like a Four Runner or a Tacoma is an inherently beautiful or cool car, it's just a vehicle that suits the purpose and it has to fit the packaging of the internal combustion engine.

Scott: Maybe that’s the thing that changes. Maybe for me I want an electric vehicle that captures this visual representation of adventure which has been set by the past. Whereas if you look at something like this Audi, it's really maybe the future of what adventure looks like.

Matt: Well, Mercedes did just say they were going to make an electric G-Wagon, Scott. So, there you go. *laughs*

Scott *laughs* Perfect. There's a lot of interesting ones. One of the ones that we’ve seen for a long time and I hope that they are able to pull it off is Bollinger. They’ve been around now for five or six years, actively pursuing this project and they do have functional prototypes now. They have a lot of interesting technology. It looks a lot like a Defender, it looks a lot like a Defender 130 and a 110, very squared off.

Matt: It looks like a car that was designed with an angle grinder.

Scott: It does, and I’m just afraid that it took too long to come to market.

Matt: Ya, the idea of a very boxy, bedliner coated electric car is cool. Again, five years, give or take that they've been out, you can still reserve one but you can’t actually buy one.

Scott: I can see their passion in the vehicle, I have talked with some of the principals and met them at the different events and had some email exchanges and you can tell how passionate they are about their product and how much they want this to come to market. But with the release of the Cybertruck it already has better technology. The Rivian conceptually has better technology. I think the advantage of the Bollinger is the ultimate simplicity and the massive payload. Maybe it will end up having some good commercial applications


Matt: If they actually get certified at that right, that's the thing, it's essentially vaporware. No disrespect to Bollinger, but bring your product to market and I will treat it as an actual car. Great specifications we are looking at right now 614 horsepower, 668ft pounds of torque.

Scott: It was the 5,000lb payload that shocked me. That’s an incredible number. That's Dodge Ram 1 Ton territory.

Matt: That's awesome, but then you are looking at a 200 mile range. Again, I support innovation, I support small business, I want to see these guys succeed.

Scott: Ya, their moment in the sun. It's difficult because this is a rapidly evolving space, we're going to see this kind of leapfrogging occur. With our earlier adopters and early innovators, and maybe some of their ideas are reflected in new products but, if you're not up and running now and you're not selling vehicles and you're not gaining marketure like Tesla did, I think you're in a lot of trouble.

Matt: So here is a question for ya, and this is a little off the cuff but what happens to all these companies, and I’m going to exclude Tesla from this because they're established. But what happens when Ford, Chevy, Ram put an electric drive train in their vehicles.

Scott: I suspect what will happen, like what we’ve seen with Rivian, is Ford has a stake in Rivian. Ford is helping to incubate these ideas and bring them to market in a very safe way. So that Rivian for example can fail and they can make mistakes and they can have missteps and delayed deliveries and it doesn't reflect negatively on Ford. Ford has such a significance, and this is purely my opinion; Ford has such a significant stake in them that if they are successful and they do build a product that is viable, and they do get enough orders, then Ford is just going to sweep in and make that full acquisition. Then you will see it reflected in their product lines. THey certainly need an electric Ford F-150, I think. If you want to keep it as being the best selling truck in America, you better start thinking today about what that Ford F-150 looks like.

Matt: Exactly, exactly.

Scott: Here's the contrary to it though, you see GM doubling down on diesel which is kind of interesting. You can see that their new Suburbans and Tahoes, they've got this AT4 high clearance off road capable SUVs that have small displacement turbo diesels in them and they are getting really good gas mileage out of them, that's really interesting. They're almost bridging the gap successfully between the two but what you gotta hope is that GM is also innovating electric at the same time.

Matt: They have to, right? Let's change the topic. I guess more to traveling with these things. I don't know how publicly known this is, I know there have been a lot of websites but Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor of Long Way Up, this is called Long Way Up. They have done Long Way Down and they have done Long Way Around. I want to say they were on Harley Davidson-Live Wires.

Scott: Live Wires, that is correct. And I believe they had a Rivian with them.

Matt: I believe that had one or two RIvians with them, which is cool and I saw some of the interviews with them where they did say they had a F-150 or some kind of vehicle abilities, for emergencies that had the ability to charge these bikes. I think it's cool that people like this are pushing the boundaries. Think of the way they changed the adventure motorcycling landscape.

Scott: Big time.

Matt: We need people like this to put the idea in peoples heads that you can do this. You are way more experienced in terrain on a motorcycle than I am. How many miles do you actually ride a day?

Scott: Not that much. You think you are going to ride a lot more than you will because the body, especially when you are riding dynamically off road in particular, it's very physical, It's much different than driving a 4-wheel drive. So since I’m not a Baja racer, I don’t have the conditioning level of a Baja racer, off road in a day I am looking at about 150-200 miles. When I’m riding in developing countries because traffic and the roads are slower and less developed, and you're being far more cautious as a rider. I’m still barely getting 150-200 miles a day on the pavement. So the distances are really not that far when you are on a motorcycle, your butt can only take so much in that saddle and that's the truth of it. *laughs* And also whoever said that travel is a race, its’ not. There are people that do race overland, which I think is fine. It can be an inspiration, you can learn a lot from it and people do that as a sport. And I think when it comes to motorcycle travel, you really aren't traveling more than about 150-200 miles per day.

Matt: I certainly wouldn't want to, but…

Scott: And not on a motorcycle with the ergonomics of a Live Wire, it's not a touring bike. So that would be even more brutal to ride for really long distances. An upright BMW with a lot of wind protection is a very different ride from what the Live Wire is. But I think it's extremely cool that they did it. I give huge props to them, and to your point, they did redefine the adventure motorcycling space and made it more popular. I think telling the story to a huge audience on a network television or high distribution cable is going to get people more excited about this.

Matt: I think that electric motorcycles are incredibly exciting. I was really into the Ulta. The enduros and motocross bikes before they had financial problems, however that went down. You're starting to see electric motorcycles in competition now. KTM off kind of with the youth models, what would normally be a 50cc or a 65cc bike are now going electric. And you think there's no motor to burn the kid, there's no hot exhaust or something. You're starting at that young generation and these guys are going to work their way up. Where people my age probably would have started on two strokes and went to four stroke and that was a big progression and you still see that two stroke, four stroke rivalry. Are we going to see four strokes and electric rivalry?

Scott: For sure, the new Cake motorcycles are beautiful. We got a couple of the UBCO two wheel drives here at the office, and they were super fun to ride. And they have plenty of capacity to be loaded up because they were designed to be used on farms. The rear wheel has a motor and the front wheel has a motor. They are surprisingly capable particularly in snow and in mud and in wet conditions where you really benefit from a front wheel drive motorcycle configuration. And I know that they've got some new developments coming out that are going to increase power of the rear motor which I think will make a huge difference but they were really fun. And they were easy for people to ride. I put my dad on one and within minutes, he was grinning from ear to ear. He'd never ridden a motorcycle in his life. *laughs* Within minutes he was grinning from ear to ear, it was great.

Matt: Thats cool!! Electric can be fun. I feel like people get caught up in the minushia of being so serious, electric is fun, man!

Scott: It is actually really fun..

Matt: I guess it does shame me a little bit, you know Scott, we both travel internationally, we’re behind in America. I know this is a global podcast, this is Overland Journal, but a lot of our listeners are in North America, but not only in terms of opinion but in terms of execution we are way behind on this. This new wave of technology. You know I was in China about a year or so ago and they have electric garbage trucks. They have electric busses. Everybody is running around on electric bicycles and scooters.

Scott: And I wonder how much of that is the car culture that we have. I suspect that some of that is because we have driven so much technology and innovation in other areas. I think that because it is a car culture, if you just think about us too and the number of cars that we've owned, and the obscurity of them were attracted to that. Either that idea of, like you had a Corvette, a very fast car. You've owned sports cars..

Matt: I guess that's public now.. Thanks, Scott. *laughs* I’ve had a bunch of stuff..

Scott: *laughs* Right! And those kinds of vehicles are exciting, and I think that is a part of the American culture, it's part of the American innovation culture, it's part of the American pop culture is cars. And until they start to make electric vehicles exciting, which is what Tesla has done, make them super, super fast.

Matt: So think about that, I had a Corvette Z06 for a hot minute. supercharged, 650 horsepower, 650ft pounds of torque, tires on the back as wide as.. Oh, I don't know a desk. But guess what's faster than that with four doors, air conditioning, autonomous driving capability. A Tesla model S is already faster. Electric. The Tesla Cybertruck is faster 0-60mph. The internal combustion engine is outdated. There is a reason why Porsche is doing the 918 Hybrid. It has electric motors, that's the only way they can actually get the vehicle to go faster.

Scott: We're also not saying, I guess to kind of wrap this whole concept up, we're not saying that electric vehicles are the only wave of the future..

Matt: NO…

Scott: We're not saying that someone who drives a internal combustion diesel Land Cruiser 20 years from now is somehow a luddite. I think that they will still have their place. I think it's about adopting the excitement around new technology. Because what that allows us to do then is hopefully go explore more. It allows us to use the same vehicle that we use everyday for the backcountry because it has such a breadth of capability. Which is what a lot of this new innovation and technology will do. I just recently got an iPhone Pro 11 Max. It has three cameras on it, it has far more computing power than even a computer a decade ago, a lot more solid state memory and it's amazing the amount of work that I can do on the device. It's amazing the amount of imagery and content that I can capture on that device which didn't even exist 10 years ago.

Matt: That phone is a game changer. That wide angle lens, the ability to change perspective

Scott: I used to always bring a wide angle lens with me. I dont bring a wide angle lens anymore because it was only for very specific applications. Like the inside of a vehicle, inside of a car or inside of a tent. I can now take all of those photos with the phone. So I think that electric vehicles are exciting and I can not wait to see Rivian come out with next.

Matt: I’m all for it. And again you are totally right. This doesn't have to be for everybody. Nobody is trying to shove this down your throat. Nobody is saying you have to have an electric car. I just think it’s important to keep an open mind. One of the few places America is excelling at right now is electric cars. We need that..

Scott: We need that innovation.

Matt: We need it because the car companies that you are defending are sending the jobs overseas. SO the same people that seem to be hating electric cars, waving American flags and supporting companies that.. I mean do they really care? You have Tesla that is making cars in America.

Scott: Making cars in California, that's pretty shocking. *laughs*

Matt: It’s an interesting world.

Scott: Ya, it's an exciting time. There's been a lot of innovation in the overland space and this is just one of them. And we want to touch on these topics in the future so look for more technology discussion from the Overland Journal Podcast as we continue down the trail. Thanks for listening.

Matt: See ya guys.



Host Bios:  

Scott Brady
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal, and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar travels include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @globaloverland

Matthew Scott
Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world's most-remote places by 4WD, and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. Matt is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication, and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore