Actors and motorbike fanatics Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman rode 13,000 miles (20,000 km) from Tierra del Fuego to Los Angeles aboard electric Harley Davidson LiveWires. Enel X was closely involved.
Scottish film star Ewan McGregor, who is known the world over for his portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars movies, and his fellow actor and motorbike enthusiast Charley Boorman are the main characters in the wonderful documentary series Long Way Up. It chronicles their epic journey, aboard electric Harley Davidson LiveWires, from Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost point in South America, all the way to Los Angeles.
The 11-part documentary follows their adventures as they encounter every type of terrain and every type of weather (as luck would have it, when they set off, Tierra del Fuego was experiencing its lowest temperatures since 1974). Their journey, for which Enel X set up the Pan-American Corridor of charging points in just six months, is a splendid showcase for electric mobility.
Ewan and Charley are old hands when it comes to long distance motorbike rides. Their previous exploits include 2004’s Long Way Round (from London to New York, but via Europe, Asia and then North America), and 2007’s “Long Way Down” (from John O’Groats, the northernmost point in mainland Britain, to Cape Town in South Africa). Long Way Up is, however, their first taste of electric transport.
And, as Alberto Piglia, Enel X’s Head of e-Mobility says, they soon got used to it: “At the start of the series you can see their fear and anxiety about charging,” but that changes rapidly. Indeed, they fell in love with electric mobility. The lack of noise meant that they were able to appreciate their surroundings more fully, while the charging process helped them get to know places better. Whereas filling up at a gas or petrol station is usually an anonymous experience, recharging a vehicle takes longer and is naturally more sociable. It helped them get to know people and places better.
In addition to bringing electric mobility to the attention of the world, Long Way Up was also an excellent way to promote it in Latin America, taking it to places that hadn’t previously experienced it. And yet, when it comes to renewable energy, “Latam” has something to teach the rest of the world. Ewan and Charley discovered that Costa Rica uses 90% renewable energy, and “It’s a very peaceful, happy society.” That isn’t a coincidence.