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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Crossing the Great Canadian Electric Vehicle Desert

I recently returned from a three week trip crossing Canada in a Tesla Model S. The journey began in the heart of Silicon Valley and followed the West Coast of the United States until reaching Vancouver. I then travelled east on the  until reaching the Greater Toronto Area where I was born and raised. After spending some quality time with family and catching up with old friends I returned to California on the Tesla Supercharger Network, crossing through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Green: Charging Stops | Red: Rest Stops | Purple: Trip Start/Finish
It was an incredible trip and certainly takes first place for the longest of my road trips. I faced challenges crossing Canada due to the lack of charging infrastructure. With perseverance, resourcefulness and patience I was able to complete the trip without requiring a tow (though I did have a close call in Northern Ontario).

Tesla Model S in Rocky National Park, Colorado
Along the way I met some incredible people. One fellow performed his own EV conversion on an older model Porsche. Another built his own experimental aircraft. I was graciously invited into the home of a Tesla owner in Thunder Bay, Ontario who was happy to lend a charge and share a meal. The trip was enlightening because it was off the beaten path and allowed an opportunity to meet people who live their life just a little differently than the way I live my own.

Driving through the Rockies in Alberta


This trip encompassed 12000km (7400mi) of driving and consumed more than 2.2MWh of energy spread out over 140+ hours of driving. The trip across from Silicon Valley to Toronto took 8 days, 3 of which were spent navigating Northern Ontario. It was an exercise in patience but the prize of being just one of a few drivers to complete this route in an electric vehicle is unequivocally worth it.

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