Electric Road Trip

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Meet the drivers of the Electric Road Trip

We thought you'd like to get acquainted with the drivers hosting the Electric Road Trip as it traverses 6,000 miles of America. First thing to know is that we aren't automotive reporters in the regular sense — we're energy reporters whose day-to-day work includes big doses of business journalism and climate reporting.

Energy, for its part, is a tough thing to report on. Everyone experiences it — easy as screwing in a lightbulb, right? — but the power plant is impossibly complicated. And the system that delivers your energy is vast and strange, a choreography of pipes and wires and magnets, of engineers, traders, executives and regulators. We delve into this complex system and emerge with stories that help it all make sense.

These are skills that will come in handy on the Electric Road Trip.

We are excited to relate how it feels to drive an electric car and what it's like to plug instead of pump. As importantly, we want to explain the forces behind it. They include the economics, politics and agendas shaping the electric vehicle, as it makes a transition into the showroom and into your garage.

You'll see that for most of the trip we have two reporters in the car. That's to double our reporting power. Often at least one driver is a resident of that region, so we can give you local expertise.

Here are the bios of the reporters, in their own words:

Peter Behr

I live in: Falls Church, Va.

Where I'm driving: One leg across Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota, and a second through Montana, Idaho and Washington state.

Twitter: @PeteBehrEENews

What I do at E&E: I report on power grid security, technology and policy.

My most memorable car: A 1992 Maserati (borrowed from auto columnist Warren Brown) and my own 1972 yellow VW convertible Beetle.

What I bring to the trip: Having covered the auto industry and the power grid for many years, I'll be looking at how innovation, consumer attitudes and policy will impact EV adoption.

What I look forward to the most: I'm eager to see the EV experience from every angle and track the climate benefits of battery-electric motoring.

David Ferris

I live in: Spokane, Wash.

Where I'm driving: First North Dakota and Montana, then down the entire West Coast.

Twitter: @DavidFerris

What I do at E&E: A longtime energy reporter, I coordinate our EV coverage and am the leader of this motley road trip crew.

My most memorable car: My 2005 Scion xB, basically a purple toaster on wheels, which my passengers either loved or absolutely hated. Thieves finally took it away.

What I bring to the trip: A desire to tell you about the electric vehicle future, warts and all. I also have a habit of saying funny things with a deadpan expression.

What I look forward to the most: Arriving to Los Angeles without a single crash; engaging strangers in fascinating conversations about EVs.

David Iaconangelo

I live in: New York City.

Where I'm driving: All around California.

Twitter: @diaconangelo

What I do at E&E: I cover the rise of clean transportation and renewable energy technologies.

My most memorable car: I've never owned my own car but often found myself behind the wheel of a friend's '84 Dodge 400 with all four doors welded shut.

What I bring to the trip: My head is a bony book of Bruce Springsteen sheet music.

What I look forward to the most: California landscapes, including wind, solar and geothermal power plants that may one day be repeated, ad infinitum, in a new energy economy.

Maxine Joselow

I live in: Washington, D.C.

Where I'm driving: Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina.

Twitter: @maxinejoselow

What I do at E&E: I report on how the transportation sector (cars, trucks, planes and trains) intersects with climate change.

My most memorable car: My sister and I shared a white Volvo station wagon in high school. She eventually totaled it in a fender bender.

What I bring to the trip: A millennial perspective and an active Twitter account where I will post updates about the trip.

What I look forward to the most: Not running out of juice and having to call AAA.

Joel Kirkland

I live in: Silver Spring, Md.

Where I'm driving: Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.

Twitter: @JoelKirkland2

What I do at E&E: Enterprise editor.

My most memorable car: A maroon-colored 1978 Cadillac. This boat of a car has to be one of the largest cars in human history. Bought for a song with a trunk full of eight tracks.

What I bring to the trip: An interest in the evolving business story around electric cars and major automakers.

What I look forward to the most: Meeting with the members of an eco-conscious order of nuns founded in 1812 in western Kentucky.

Edward Klump

I live in: Houston.

Where I'm driving: Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee.

Twitter: @edward_klump

What I do at E&E: I cover electricity trends in Texas and beyond, with a dash of oil and gas.

My most memorable car: A Toyota Corolla that survived a spring break trip from Missouri to California and back.

What I bring to the trip: Energy knowledge gleaned from 13-plus years in Houston, the self-proclaimed energy capital.

What I look forward to the most: Visiting colorful cities and documenting how people, policies and businesses are changing.

Mike Lee

I live in: Fort Worth, Texas.

Where I'm driving: Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee.

Twitter: @mikeleefw

What I do at E&E: I write about oil and gas issues and state governments, which puts me on the road every few months. I've visited 13 states since I started reporting for E&E.

My most memorable car: A 1978 Chevy LUV pickup. It was my first car and gave me my first whiff of freedom.

What I bring to the trip: I've been hooked on road trips — and books about road trips — since I read William Least Heat-Moon's "Blue Highways" in high school.

What I look forward to the most: I'm interested in seeing how people and communities will handle the transition away from gasoline-powered driving. Plus, it's a chance to drive a new car to a new place.

Kristi Swartz

I live in: Atlanta.

Where I'm driving: Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina.

Twitter: @BizWriterKristi

What I do at E&E: I write about energy policy in the Southeast, which is also home to the nation's only nuclear construction project.

My most memorable car: Chevy Lumina, my first car, but I love my Honda Accord.

What I bring to the trip: A desire to learn whether the Southeast's auto industry can use EVs to bridge the gaps between the rural and urban Southeast.

What I look forward to the most: Seeing my co-workers; driving an EV through Atlanta and going to the EV Club of the South meeting.

Jeffrey Tomich

I live in: St. Louis.

Where I'm driving: Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota.

Twitter: @jefftomich

What I do at E&E: Write about all things Midwest electricity.

My most memorable car: For all the wrong reasons, a 2014 VW Passat diesel.

What I bring to the trip: An adventurous spirit, an open mind and a healthy dose of skepticism.

What I look forward to the most: The unexpected: things I'll do, places I'll see, people I'll meet along the way.

Sign up for updates from our Electric Road Trip and follow @EENewsUpdates #ElectricRoadTrip on Twitter and Instagram.

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Electric Road Trip

E&E News reporters take a 6,000-mile road trip in an electric vehicle to explore how the switch from gas to electric transportation will change the economy, environment and daily life of America.
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