Two Victoria residents are aiming to start off the new decade by setting a record for the fastest – and greenest – road trip across Canada.
At 5 a.m. on Dec. 28, Victoria residents Kevin Belanger and Don Goodeve set off on a cross-country drive in a Tesla. They’ll be stopping to charge rather than filling up gas using Tesla’s new Trans-Canada Highway Supercharger network, which went live before Christmas. The network connects the west and east coasts with chargers about every 200 kilometers. The travellers anticipate spending less than $200 for power on the trip.
Belanger and Goodeve – friends for 20 years – planned their Supercharging Trans-Canada 2020 road trip spontaneously on Boxing Day. They started at the Mile Zero Monument in Victoria two days later and, weather permitting, expect to end the trip at Kings Wharf Place in downtown Halifax, N.S. on Jan. 1.
They’re planning to contact the Guinness World Records as they hope to set a record for the fastest trip across Canada in an electric vehicle using only the Tesla network.
The two climate advocates chose to make the journey at the beginning of the decade because they believe the 2020s will be a time for change in response to the climate crisis.
Goodeve, an executive coach and engineering consultant based in Victoria, acknowledged that this is most challenging time of year for travel in Canada as the weather can be harsh, but they hope to show that the current electric vehicle technology is capable of handling a cross-country journey during the winter with less than two days of planning.
The technology and infrastructure are already here, he said.
Belanger’s 2018 Model 3 Tesla – which he uses at his company, Tesla Tours – is being used for the trip. He started his company three years ago and provides transportation for hire all over the Island using only electric vehicles. Belanger also owns two other Teslas – an original 2012 Model S and a 2016 Model X – and charges them at home using solar technology and at public charging stations.
Goodeve feels it’s society, not technology that’s holding back climate action.
“The 2020s is the decade when we need to make dramatic and deep changes happen. We want to start this new decade with a story of possibility,” he said.
The pair took the 6 a.m. ferry to Tsawwassen on Saturday, stopped for a charge in Hope and had their sights set on Kamloops around 11 a.m. The charging in Hope was so fast, they barely had time to pick up coffees. The duo will post updates on their Facebook page and share videos along the way.