Belfast is to be included on the UK & Ireland’s answer to Route 66 in the USA.

The 2,500 mile road trip, which takes in 57 must-see destinations between Plymouth and Galway, will be driven for the first time this April.

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The official ‘Route 57’ electric car will be driving through Belfast on the April 21 as part of its journey to promote local tourism.

Route 57 was designed as the UK and Ireland’s answer to US Route 66, by Jurys Inn Hotels who are supplying accommodation along the way, to the driver and motoring journalist Jess Shanahan. Jess will be doing the road trip in a KIA Soul EV supplied by electric car leasing company DriveElectric, and stopping at charging stations along the route, mapped out by ZapMap.

An estimated 200,000 people travel from across America and the world every year to drive all or part of the iconic Route 66 stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles, providing jobs and revenue from tourists which generates millions of dollars for locations along the route. 

As well as promoting local tourism, the Route 57 campaign’s use of an electric vehicle seeks to challenge common myths around electric cars. A recent survey by the AA shows that the ‘range’ of an EV is one of the top reasons why people are not buying electric cars. The Route 57 campaign will show that these perceptions do not match reality with today’s green car technology, and that an electric car can drive more than 2,580 miles across four countries.

Jess will be posting updates on the Route 57 website route57.org.uk along with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram – and taking driving music suggestions through the Twitter hashtag #route57, or adding them directly Route 57 Spotify playlist.

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