If you like electric trucks, or motorcycles (or both!), stop what you’re doing and watch Long Way Up

FutureBoy

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From Electrek:

If you like electric trucks, or motorcycles (or both!), stop what you’re doing and watch Long Way Up
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Just in case you haven’t heard, Long Way Up on Apple TV+ is the third installment in Ewan McGregor’s and Charlie Boorman’s trilogy of long-distance motorcycle adventure rides.

What makes this one so special, though, is that the duo set out on a pair of Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycles, attempting to cover 15,000 miles (25,000 km) of incredibly remote terrain from the southern tip of Argentina all the way to Los Angeles.



[Author’s Note: There are no major spoilers here; you’re safe to keep reading.]

If you haven’t binge-watched Long Way Up yet, then don’t worry.

The series was just released this weekend with the first three episodes available on Apple TV+.

A new episode will be released every Friday, so it will be easy for you to catch up. And boy, is it worth it.

The interesting thing about the choice of motorcycle for the trip, at least from the perspective of an electric vehicle nerd like me (and more specifically an electric motorcycle nerd), is that neither McGregor nor Boorman are electric vehicle buffs.

They’re lifelong friends and motorcyclists, but they don’t have any specific electric vehicle agenda, and so they aren’t trying to shove anything down your throat. They were simply looking to find a way to test themselves on this epic 15,000-mile ride, saw that electric motorcycles were gaining in popularity to the point where they appear to be the future of the industry, and wanted to see if they could use the technology in its early days to complete such an arduous journey.

The pair are very much learning along the way.

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As we learned last year, Ewan’s and Charlie’s LiveWire electric motorcycles weren’t the only electric vehicles involved in the adventure. To truly embrace the idea of traveling by EV, the duo wanted to use all-terrain electric vehicles for support roles as well. That’s where Rivian came in, providing the first two production Rivian trucks ever to serve as crew support vehicles.

Without giving anything away (it’s so hard to not give any spoilers), one of the most interesting parts of the Long Way Up series so far has been seeing how the riders on their LiveWires AND the support crew driving the Rivian trucks adapt to operating electric vehicles in the bitter cold and outlet-sparse landscape of Patagonia.


Both teams run into unexpected obstacles, often finding creative solutions that look like a mix of ingenious thinking and dangerous ideas that you joke about but shouldn’t actually try.


We’re only three episodes in so far, and the team has already battled through problems arising from operating prototype vehicles, working with a dearth of charging infrastructure, fighting off frostbite (and frost-bitten charging equipment), and struggling through the language barrier the entire time.

And they’ve only put boots down in two countries so far.

But perhaps one of the most beautiful parts of the show isn’t the trials and tribulations of man versus machine (versus the wilderness of South America), but rather the interactions the team have with the locals.

From border crossings to middle-of-nowhere hotels and random stops in between, the Long Way Up series gives us a beautiful insight into the local culture and landscape.

In true Long Way fashion, the motorcycles are just a part of the show, not the stars. It is the journey that takes center stage. And that journey is made all the more interesting by the unique challenges imposed by navigating 15,000 miles (25,000 km) on electric motorcycles.

Here’s hoping Ewan and Charlie always find a plug when they need one. Because if the first three episodes are any indication, all bets are off!
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FutureBoy

FutureBoy

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I haven't seen the show yet but I'm betting that for anyone with range anxiety about remote offroading with their CT this show is going to give you some really good information. They are running with electric motorcycles and Rivian trucks as support vehicles. Rivian has less range than the tri-motor CT so if this trip can be done in a reasonable way with Rivian, the CT should be able to do it to.

On that note. Anyone up for the same trip with a caravan of CT's say in 2025? That would be a wild ride.
 

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Two minor quibbles with the show: They're incorrect on the capabilities of Zero bikes (they actually have higher Level 2 capability than Livewires, and can have higher range), and you can't actually buy Livewires like were on the show.

Oh, I guess there's a third one: A Zero had already taken a different path down the Pan-American highway before they had come up it.

-Crissa
 

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Rivian has less range than the tri-motor CT so if this trip can be done in a reasonable way with Rivian, the CT should be able to do it to.
Well, it's not really 'reasonable' but they left a series of level 2 EVSEs along the path. No idea if they'll still be functioning in 2025, though, and that's pretty slow charging. About 7.5-15/mph.

-Crissa
 
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I don't have Apple TV+ but maybe I need to get it. I really want to see the show now that I know its got all these electric vehicles. Not sure how much of the Rivians we'll see though as they are only supporting the bikes.

What was the reason they used Harley instead of Zero?
 
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Well, it's not really 'reasonable' but they left a series of level 2 EVSEs along the path. No idea if they'll still be functioning in 2025, though, and that's pretty slow charging. About 7.5-15/mph.

-Crissa
Wait.... Did they deploy their own chargers along the way just for the show? That seems like a cheat. I get that the show probably isn't trying to be a promotion for electric vehicles per se. But if you are going to show us how great your electric vehicles are (Rivian!!) then it seems like you should be using them in the same kind of context as what buyers will be stuck with. If they are not intending to support the remote charges they are using then this whole setup is a facade.
 

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Wait.... Did they deploy their own chargers along the way just for the show? That seems like a cheat.
They partnered with another company that created the charging points for the Rivian trucks.

For the bikes, though, they scrounged for charging from local businesses and residences.

-Crissa
 
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They partnered with another company that created the charging points for the Rivian trucks.

For the bikes, though, they scrounged for charging from local businesses and residences.

-Crissa
Scrounging for charge for a motorcycle should be less of an issue than for a truck. And since the show is about the motorcycle trip I'm guessing that the chargers for Rivian were justified as not being part of the actual show. Sad though. I really wanted to see how the trucks performed. There was an article recently about Rivian planning to deploy chargers into remote locations for use with their trucks. So I was hoping that we could see some of that on this show. But seems like that is not what we get yet. OK. So even 2025 might be a little early for this trip from us meager normal people. Would be an exciting trip though if we could make it.
 

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Not really. Electricity is electricity. A level 1 charger is a level 1 charger.

They also had a fast charger for the bikes on the Rivian, but I don't think they ever used it. I haven't watched all the show and the guys who built it were kinda bummed that they didn't get showcased.

The idea of putting the chargers along the route was so that meager mortals could do the trip ^-^ There could also be solar options, too.

-Crissa
 
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Not really. Electricity is electricity. A level 1 charger is a level 1 charger.

They also had a fast charger for the bikes on the Rivian, but I don't think they ever used it. I haven't watched all the show and the guys who built it were kinda bummed that they didn't get showcased.

The idea of putting the chargers along the route was so that meager mortals could do the trip ^-^ There could also be solar options, too.

-Crissa
Given that Rivian is planning on creating remote charging stations. I'd hope that someone comes up with a standardized setup for remote chargers. Basically have all the parts and components to stand up a charger with full battery backup based on the number of charges per day that might need to be supported. Then have a standardized setup to add solar and/or wind to power to enable it all. If it was done right, someone could look up how much sun/wind they get at a specific site, buy (or if it is just the forest service itself for instance set aside) the requisite amount of land, and then set up the charger(s). One could charge a premium for remote charging I'd think.

It might be too expensive to make into a business of remote chargers. Especially at the beginning as electric trucks are just starting to come out. But one can dream of such and hope beyond hope that it gets built out somehow. It probably wouldn't work in places like Yellowstone though because it would take too much land to support the amount of charging that would probably be requested. In that case, it might just require remote power lines to get upgraded and have power being generated outside park borders.
 

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There's more than one company that makes these:

https://carbuzz.com/news/solar-powered-ev-charger-is-a-brilliant-off-grid-solution

But the EVSEs that were put in on the route were grid-tied, I think.

The amount of charging that's available is entirely based upon how much is given. EVSEs choose how much is available and tell the car that. And thse solar solutions don't take up any footprint, they sit over parking spots.

Even at Yellowstone, you're expecting to park and sit while you do the tour, or camp, or stay at the hotel. If there's solar overhead all the parking spots that would reduce the AC usage and give you a place to add a few miles (whatever rate the stall had available) which would be enough to get to your final destination (which most of their sleeping accommodations are grid-tied).

-Crissa
 

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With the way they edited it, it is not clear always where they got their charge at all times, only when it became a plot/story element.
I am hoping that the book (I assume there will be a book like there was for the other trips) will go into more detail day by day.
The landscape is beautiful and the people and cultures are interesting. I have watched several YouTube series of people trying that trip (up or down) on gas bikes.
My favorite so far is Itchy Boots, but her trip was interrupted by COVID.
 

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Really would like to see this show, but no AppleTV. :(
They don't have a free period I could binge this on? :)
{ Cheap bugger I know, but NEtflix PRime and Disney thats more then plenty }
 

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Just got reminded why I stay away from Apple!
Tried signing up for the 7 free day trail.
Made ID
Entered in CC info and hit Continue!
Then nothing! just nothing. the continue btn comes back but no msg. no nothing!
Fraggers.
 
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