In this post, I’m sharing a fundraiser that can greatly improve what I’m doing for readers here. By getting out and covering important cleantech news, we can make a much bigger difference in 2024, but I’m going to need some more help to make a better travel setup that better meets my needs.
I love doing freelance writing and photography work. It’s flexible, and when you find the right people to work with, you can make a difference on things that matter. But, there’s not a lot of money in this industry. Unfortunately, despite working to advance things like EVs, George Soros and Klaus Schwab aren’t sending me any checks. Sorry, FUDsters! I really wish I was!
Sadly, CleanTechnica just doesn’t have the money to put us all on airliners, book fancy hotel rooms, and buy meals so that we can cover every story that matters in an in-depth manner. The automotive industry does occasionally throw a big party for journalists and pays their way to get there and cover them, but that doesn’t happen very often. Plus, there are lots of little guys who need coverage but could never afford that. So, important stories like the following just don’t get the coverage they should:
- Small and innovative automotive manufacturers
- New clean energy projects
- Charging infrastructure reviews and testing
- New vehicle reveals and testing prototypes
- Small businesses adapting cleantech to do innovative things
- Using e-bikes to check out epic places (and bring you all some nice photos back)
- Cleantech events and trade shows
We do our best to cover these things, and do make it out to some of them, but not all of them. So, I’ve been working for the last year on solving this problem, mostly by working to eliminate airfare, hotel, and meal costs. Readers have helped with this, and I really appreciate it.
My first swing at this last year was a DIY cargo trailer loaded with “glamping” gear, and readers helped a lot with that (on top of even more money I scraped up). This was useful for some test trips, but looking at other trips I really need to take, there’s usually not a good place to set up camp that’s both safe and protected from theft if I want to leave the camp. There’s abundant public lands in the western US, but anything east of about Texas and it’s almost all private.
I could rent space in a more secure RV park on most trips, but if you’re doing setup and take-down work on a campsite, they often want you there before dinnertime. Plus, it takes a lot of time to take down in the morning, so there’s a delayed departure.
When you’re towing a trailer with an EV, all of this really messes things up. Between charging times (that you do more of pulling a trailer), the fact that I drive a Bolt, and the time limitations (having to arrive before it’s late if I’m using a tent setup), I can’t cover that many miles in a day. On long trips, that would make things very much untenable.
To get around all of these problems, I need to get a small and light hard-sided travel trailer. If I do that, I’ll be able to camp for free in many store parking lots (and not worry about someone shoving a knife into the side of a popup). More importantly, I can get in late, and then leave early with minimal fuss. This would leave EV charging as my only travel expense, because I can sleep in it and cook meals inside just like at home.
To keep fuel and charging costs down as much as possible, I’m planning to get an Aliner camper. Aliners fold down like a cloth-side popup, but have hard side panels (which solves the problem). The goal for my GoFundMe fundraiser is set to buy one of the company’s better options: the Aliner Evolution. It has a shower inside so I can be presentable on business trips. If I can’t hit that goal, there are cheaper options like the Aliner LXE (smaller, but with the all-important shower) or a used Aliner of either kind, or another with a shower.
In other words, I’ll be able to do something even if I don’t hit the top goal. If you all are really cool and we shoot past the goal, I’ll keep whatever’s left and use it for gas or charging on the first few trips (and probably go on more of them that way).
I’m hoping to get this goal met ASAP because the first stories I really want to chase are happening in February and March. Thanks in advance for anything you can do to help! Please donate if you can or share this on social media if you can’t.
Featured image by Jennifer Sensiba and Aliner.
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