The Road Trip from HELL (Part 1): We ‘Cannonball’ an Electric Car 2,500 Miles from Coast to Coast!

How much of your life do you really spend charging up on a long-distance road trip?

(Image: TFL Studios)

Just how quick can an electric car road trip be these days, anyway? Welcome to the “O-2-O Challenge“!

Ready or not, momentum is building for EVs and automakers are cranking out new models faster than we can blink. More folks are adopting zero-emission options like the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 in greater numbers, and that’s the driving motivation behind TFL Studios’ latest road trip experiment, dubbed the “O-2-O Challenge”: Just how quickly can you ‘cannonball’ an electric car across the United States?

Just what is the O-2-O Challenge? Glad you asked. Roman and Nathan set out from Old Town Orange, California (in Orange County) on a journey to the east coast’s Orange County, Florida. We chose those two points because it works out to around 2,500 miles — a healthy distance for a serious road trip, especially in an EV — and because we are not working with a certain corporation that has certain entertainment destinations in both counties.

We are, on the other hand, collaborating with Electrify America, who are a series sponsor for this trip and worked with us to provide access to their growing network of DC fast chargers. Hyundai provided the Ioniq 5 for this trip (but is not a monetary sponsor in any way for this series), and we reviewed the car extensively on the TFLEV channel prior to the O-2-O Challenge.

Before actually diving into the series, there’s one more crucial point to cover: We’re using the ‘cannonball’ term as a reference here, as Roman and Nathan are sticking to the speed limit between charging sessions. So, the guys are seeing how fast we can legally go from one side of the country to the other.

TFL Studios’ senior editor came up with this groovy branding for our O-2-O Challenge journey, and we geocached some branded swag along the way!

The O-2-O Challenge is a charity run!

Of course, the challenge doesn’t just reflect how the Hyundai Ioniq 5 performs, but also the charging infrastructure along the way. The car’s 266-mile range in all-wheel drive, Limited trim configuration is reasonable to put a dent in your long-distance travels between critical charging points. At least, that’s how things play out on paper.

But the challenge also brings in the Electrify America network’s capability to quickly charge vehicles as they make their way on America’s highways and byways. If it takes a week to complete what a conventional gas-powered car can do in a day or two, that does not bode well moving forward.

For each mile Roman and Nathan cover on the trip — 2,534 miles in total — TFL Studios will donate $1 to the Mountain States Children’s Home in Longmont, Colorado. The MSCH agency is a private, nonprofit organization that’s aimed to serve children in need through five Denver region houses since 1960.

In total, the guys completed the O-2-O Challenge in just under two days. We set the cross-country benchmark in the Ioniq 5 at 46 hours, 46 minutes and 41 seconds — making 21 charging stops and maintaining an average speed of 54.2 mph.

Interestingly, a poll we ran on the TFLEV community page shows the vast majority of you thought we’d take far longer to finish the trip.

The first run of the O-2-O Challenge will air to the public across two episodes. Part 1 widely published on YouTube on Saturday, November 12. That said, you can watch it right now through the link to our TFLcar channel below:

Thanks to Electrify America, Hyundai and all of you guys watching our videos for making this test possible! We hugely appreciate your continued support.