Saanich couple takes off on electric adventure across Canada
The husband and wife are driving a Tesla Model X from Victoria to St. John’s, Newfoundland. June 11, 2016 (CTV Vancouver Island)
A married couple from Saanich is driving across Canada in an electric car to promote sustainable energy.
The husband and wife are driving a Tesla Model X from Victoria to St. John’s, Newfoundland. They're bringing their dog Kyle on the trip.
The journey began Saturday morning at Mile Zero on Dallas Rd.
Cross Canada Send-off TODAY at Mile Zero at 10:30am! #yyj #victoriabc #victoriabccanada https://t.co/U4gioOeT36 pic.twitter.com/lpuzOlPbhy— Silke & Rolf (@TeslaXCanada) June 11, 2016
The duo will drive almost 10,000 kilometres to prove electric vehicle travel is possible over long distances.
“We originally thought we would do it in a motor home, but then we switched to a model X, an electric car,” said Silke Sommerfeld. “All of a sudden driving a motor home across Canada with all the gas involved didn’t feel right anymore. So we thought of alternatives.”
According to the couple, a trip this long in an electric vehicle towing a camping trailer has never been attempted before.
Sommerfeld said traveling across Canada is something she and her husband have wanted to do for more than 10 years.
“It’s a good way to combine something that we always wanted to do, with something that we want to do now,” she added.
The couple aims to raise awareness on sustainable energy and transportation.
“It’s not so much about one particular brand, it’s about electric cars in general,” Sommerfeld told CTV News.
Rolf Oetter, a German engineer, modified the trailer for the trek.
“This trailer is designed to be never plugged in because we need the plug for the car. I installed 800 watts of solar panels and just over five kilowatt hours of lithium ion batteries similar to the ones that are actually in the car,” Oetter said.
He noted that if need be, they can get 30 to 40 kilometres out of the batteries into the car.
The couple expects the overall trip will take about three months.
“I’m looking forward to going places I’ve never been before, I’m curious what all of that will be like,” Sommerfeld said. “I think meeting people will be very, very interesting. I just love Canada.”
The couple isn’t affiliated with nor endorsed by Tesla Motors.
"This trip is our idea," says Silke. "All we want is to raise awareness and bring electric cars closer to as many people as possible."
They will blog throughout their trip and will also answer questions through social media.
“"We have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts. You have a question? Send it our way and we will try our best to answer it,” Sommerfeld added.