Electric Road Trip

Cinema Professor Jon Slade with his wife, Novia Campbell, and their electric car.
March 19, 2014

Is it possible to drive all the way across the state of Maryland using nothing but electrons? That’s what McDaniel College Cinema professor Jonathan Slade, an electric car owner, did for “Electric Road Trip,” an hour-long documentary he made for MPT.

McDaniel College and the Carroll County Public Library are hosting the film premiere at 7:30 p.m. April 9 at the Carroll Arts Center, 91 West Main Street, Westminster, Md. Cost is $5, which includes a question and answer session with Slade. Come early to see the electric car show on West Main Street. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and can be purchased online at library.carr.org/earthday.

Part vacation road trip, part science expedition, “Electric Road Trip” follows Emmy-award winning writer and director Slade and his wife, Novia Campbell, as they become to first to drive a fully electric vehicle 520 miles across the state of Maryland. The couple departs from the historic Oakland Train Station in the mountains of Western Maryland and heads east, across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, driving their fully electric 2012 Nissan Leaf.

Along the way, they charge at both public and private charging stations, meet other EV (electric vehicle) early adopters and chat with locals about transportation history and infrastructure. Interviews with Mountain View Solar’s Mike McKechnie, Linganore Winecellars’ Anthony Aellen and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s William Baker round out the film.

Shot entirely on four tiny, high definition GoPro cameras, this program brings a whole new immediacy, spontaneity, and portability to the traditional public television production. Informative and entertaining, “Electric Road Trip” hopes to jump-start conversations about how transportation infrastructure needs to evolve in the 21st century. It is set to air on MPT at 8 p.m. April 23.