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Coast to Coast, All Electric! Is Canada Ready?

Posted by on May 25, 2019

A recent discussion led to the question “Is it possible to drive an all electric car coast-to-coast across Canada?” It’s an interesting challenge – so let’s see if it’s possible.

The primary route I’ll use, is to follow the number 1 high way starting in Vancouver and ending in Halifax. We’ll go via Calgary, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Toronto and Quebec.

A 3 leg break down with a grand total of 6,306 km and 66 hours of driving time (on-way) looks like this:

A –

from Vancouver, BC
to Winnipeg, Manitoba
total 2,326 km

B –

from Winnipeg, Manitoba
to Niagara Falls, Ontario
total 2,214 km

C –

from Niagara Falls, Ontario
to Saint John, NB
total 1,739 km

Longest distances between known charging stations:

572km – Regina to Winnipeg
700km – Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie

What we’re looking for in an electric vehicle for this drive:

A Tesla Supercharge takes a Telsa to 80% in 40 mins.
For safety, we never go below 10% charge on the road, so that we leave a buffer for getting around the town to the charging station.
Therefore we’re looking for a vehicle capable of doing each stretch in 75-80% of total charge.
The Tesla Model S with Long Range Battery, is capable of ~540km per charge, for safety that’s a maximum leg range of 432km.

Time required at charging stations.

  • 10% to 80% at a 110v “camp site” charge: 4 days
  • Fast Charge: 7 hours
  • Tesla Supercharge: 40 mins to 80%, round up to 1 hour for that extra boost.

Currently, Supercharge stations only exist from Vancouver to Calgary, and from Sudbury on until Fredericton. More are planned.

Vancouver to Calgary

3 stops @ 40mins per stop

Calgary to Winnipeg

2 stops @ 7hrs per stop
1 stop @ 96 hours (Brandon)
Regina to Winnipeg = 572km

Winnipeg to Niagara Falls

2 Stop @ 7hrs per stop (Dryden, Thunder Bay)
1 Stop @ 96hrs (White River)
2 Stops @ 40mins per stop

Niagara Falls to Halifax

6 stops @ 40mins per stop


11 Stops @ 1 hour
3 stops @ 7 hours
2 stops @ 96 hours
= 224 hours charging time

In summary:

A quick search on the internet suggests that not even the “Tesla Model S Long Range at 540km” is capable of this feat without at least two “level 1” charges. These level 1 charges are going to take you 4 days, one of which will be in a little town called White River – Ontario (Population ~600).
So for now, until the Thunder bay to Sudbury leg gets resolved – it may be do-able, but it’s not feasible.

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