What does it take to drive around the world in an electric vehicle? Lexie Alford is about to find out. The 25-year-old Californian is on a mission to become the first person to circumnavigate the globe in an electric car. And she's doing it in style, behind the wheel of Ford's new Explorer, the brand's first electric SUV for Europe.
Alford is no ordinary traveler. She holds the Guinness World Record for being the youngest person to travel to all 196 sovereign countries. She achieved this feat in 2019 when she was just 21 years old. She has also visited some of the most remote and dangerous places on Earth, such as North Korea, Somalia, and Afghanistan. She documents her adventures on her YouTube channel, Lexie Limitless, where she has over 300,000 subscribers.
But Alford is not satisfied with just seeing every country. She wants to see more of the world, and she wants to do it in a sustainable way. That's why she partnered with Ford to embark on a global road trip in the new Explorer, an electric SUV that offers a range of up to 310 miles on a single charge, three power outputs, and a spacious and comfortable interior.
The journey, dubbed "Charge Around The Globe," will take Alford to more than 30 countries on six continents, covering at least 18,000 miles. Along the way, she will showcase the capabilities of the Ford Explorer and the availability of charging infrastructure around the world. She will also document her experiences and encounters with different cultures and lifestyles on her YouTube channel and social media platforms.
"I'm thrilled to partner with Ford on this incredible adventure," Alford said in a press release. "I've always been passionate about exploring new places and pushing the boundaries of what's possible. With the Explorer, I hope to inspire people to see that electric vehicles are not only good for the environment but also fun and reliable for long-distance travel."
To claim the record for being the first person to circumnavigate the globe in an electric vehicle, Alford will have to meet strict criteria set by RecordSetter, an organization that verifies world records. She will have to drive at least 28,968 kilometers (18,000 miles), pass through two antipodal points (places that are exactly opposite each other on the globe), and end the journey where she started. She will also have to follow local laws and regulations regarding COVID-19 protocols and border crossings.
Alford started her trip in Nice, France, on September 11, 2023. She plans to drive through Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, and North America before returning to France by June 2024. Some of the highlights of her itinerary include:
- Visiting the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Crossing the Himalayas in Nepal, the highest mountain range in the world and home to Mount Everest.
- Exploring the Outback in Australia, a vast and rugged landscape that covers over 70% of the continent.
- Witnessing the wildlife in Kenya, a country that boasts over 50 national parks and reserves that host diverse animals such as lions, elephants, giraffes, and rhinos.
- Experiencing the carnival in Brazil, a colorful and festive celebration that attracts millions of people every year.
- Driving along Route 66 in the USA, a historic highway that spans over 2,400 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles.
Alford is not alone on this epic journey. She is accompanied by a team of Ford engineers and technicians who provide technical support and monitor the performance of the Explorer. They also help with planning the route and finding suitable charging stations along the way. Alford said she is grateful for their assistance and expertise.
"They are amazing," she said. "They make sure everything runs smoothly and safely. They also taught me a lot about how the Ford Explorer works and how to optimize its efficiency and range. It's like having a personal tutor on board."
The Ford Explorer is one of several electric vehicles that Ford is launching in Europe as part of its plan to go all-electric by 2030. The brand has already introduced the Ford Mustang Mach-E, a sporty crossover inspired by its legendary muscle car, the Mustang, and the Ford E-Transit, a commercial van that offers lower operating costs and zero emissions. Ford also plans to launch an electric version of its best-selling F-150 pickup truck, the Ford F-150 Lightning, in North America next year.
Ford hopes that Alford's adventure will demonstrate the benefits and possibilities of electric mobility to its customers and potential buyers. The brand also wants to support Alford's mission of inspiring people to travel more and learn from different cultures.
"We are proud to partner with Lexie on this amazing project," said Stuart Rowley, president of Ford Europe. "She embodies our spirit of innovation and adventure. With her passion and courage, she shows that nothing is impossible with an electric vehicle. We hope that her story will encourage more people to embrace electric mobility and explore our beautiful planet."