On 13 July 2021, Rainer Zietlow (Germany) and Derek Collins (US) embarked on an epic road trip across the US.
The road trip took the pair 97 days and saw them travel over 57,566.297 km (35,770.0385 miles) coast to coast in an electric car.
On 18 October 2021, they finished the trip, achieving the record for the longest journey by electric vehicle (non-solar) in a single country.
Rainer Zietlow, a professional long-distance driver and founder of event agency Challenge4, is no stranger to vehicle records and has broken multiple Guinness World Records titles over the years.
The trip started from Volkswagen's US headquarters in Virginia with a goal to visit more than 600 Volkswagen dealerships across the United States.
Over the daring journey, the duo managed to travel to 49 states by recharging the Volkswagen ID.4 battery using the various charging networks available.
With the help of HARTING Technology Group, electric cables were provided throughout the record attempt showcasing user-friendly charging solutions and connectors for e-vehicles.
"We're here to prove that an electric vehicle is a decidedly viable solution, whether you're only driving short distances or off on a road trip across the country. The technology is there. The infrastructure is in place." - Jon DeSouza, Managing Director HARTING Americas
Across the US, the ID.4 travelled through various famous landscapes and sights including the blinding lights of Vegas, Reno (the biggest little city of the world) and rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.
The ID.4 used by the team was unmodified, using the same 77kWh battery pack and dual-motor set-up as a standard car, and with a range of around 250 miles.
Demonstrating the performance of the car and clocking in at over 200 charging stops on the way.
The use of an electric vehicle for the record was to highlight the endurance and durability of e-vehicles and that they can keep up with their fuel counterparts.
"The record not only documents the reliability of the ID.4, but also to the actual readiness status of the charging infrastructure in the US." - Rainer Zeitlow, Challenge4
After stopping at a total of 628 dealers across America and reaching all corners of the United States, Zietlow and Collins arrived back where it all started in Virginia after almost 100 days on the road.
With this marathon distance, the record was secured, and the duo now have a record-breaking story to share.