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We crossed Canada with our Tesla - this is what happened.

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We crossed Canada with our Tesla and this is what happened.

 

When we left BC in November 2021, we put one car on the train and my husband decided to cross the country with our Tesla. Not to save cost but for the thrill of it (but eh, the savings were massive – stick till the end for the numbers!).

 

Here’s what his experience looked like.

 

First of all, when I asked him “would you do it again” he said “YES!”. Now that doesn’t mean he didn’t get stressed a few times, but overall he enjoyed the experience.

 

Long-distance driving with an electric car adds one stressor: making it to the next charger. The balance of going as far as you can and using up the battery to its fullest – while keeping yourself a buffer - and having to stop to charge it.

 

Finding the Next Charger

With over 30,000 Tesla Superchargers in North America (primarily in the US), it’s doable to cross the US or Canada with peace of mind.

The network of Superchargers was designed by Tesla to offer freedom and real savings. Finding a Supercharger matters because you’ll save time. They offer a much faster charging (like 15min to full it vs 60min+ on regular chargers).

Network of Tesla Superchargers in America

Phil was able to do 250 to 300km between each charging breaks. That means he was stopping roughly every 2,5-3 hours (perfect timing for a pee break!). He would catch-up on emails or watch Netflix on the screen while waiting.

Driving an electric car for a long-distance adds the challenge of trying to get as far as possible until the next charger.

 

Before We Start

No two trips are created equal. Before we dive into the itinerary, it’s important to note the following:

  • Car Model: You must know that we have the long-range version of Model 3 - which gives us about 480km.
  • Weight? Phil left the house packed up to the ceiling with a cargo rack on top so he definitely lost efficiency.
  • Aerodynamism: We have kept the original tire rims for more aerodynamism and to save more energy.
  • Weather: Driving in the cold will eat up your battery much faster so it’s important to take this unpredictable factor into account.

 

The first time you see these pop-ups it can be stressful. It's best to utilize the built-in Superchargers finder app to make sure you make it to the next one with enough battery!

 

The Itinerary

Important disclaimer: Phil’s goal was to make it to Quebec as fast as possible. There was no sightseeing, no kids in the car and no limit to how long he could drive. He completed the trip in 4 days.

What’s great with Tesla is that the computer will tell you where the upcoming Superchargers are. When you select one and make it your next destination, the battery will pre-condition itself so that when you get there, it’s ready to receive the fast charging.

On average, doing a full charge took 15-25 minutes depending on the charging speed available. The cost was around $7-10. Yes, that’s cheaper than gas!

Superchargers are often located close to an highway exit but rarely close to a decent food stop - pack snacks! There's normally always a place to go use the bathroom.

 

Below are the exact Superchargers he used along the way. You’ll noticed he arrived to some of them with almost nothing left – that was due to the unpredictable winter conditions. The battery can sometimes take a sudden drop which can keep you on the edge of your seat!

 

1 - Revelstoke, BC

Top-Up

2 - Golden, BC

Full charge + overnight sleep

3 - Canmore, AB

Full charge (with 19km left)

4 - Bassano, AB

Full charge (with 13km left)

5 - Medicine Hat, AB

Full charge

6 - Swift Current, SK

Full charge + overnight sleep

7 - Regina, SK

Full charge

8 - Whitewood, SK

Full charge

9 - Portage La Prairie, MB

Full charge

10 - Prawda, MB

Full charge

11 - Kenora, ON

Full charge + overnight sleep

12 - Ignace, ON

Full charge

13 - Upsala, ON

Full charge

14 - Nipigon, ON

Full charge

15 - White River, ON

Full charge

16 - Wawa, ON

Top-Up

17 - Sault Ste Marie, ON

Full charge

18 - Baldwin, ON

Top-Up

19 - Sudbury, ON

Top-Up

20 - Deep River ON

Full charge + overnight sleep

21 - Casselman, ON

Full charge

22 - Brossard, QC

Full charge

 

Between Golden and Calgary, prepare for winter driving conditions and a shorter battery range. Same applies for the never-ending north of Ontario.

 

Going through the Rockies.

While I’m not a fan of the self-driving mode, Phil really enjoyed this cool feature, especially in the Prairies where you can drive straight for hours.

 

Going through Saskatchewan.

 

Tips and Tricks

  • Pack food: If you’re into healthy eating like us, we recommend you pack yourself lots of healthy snacks. I packed for Phil a cooler with fruits and veggies already prepared, some beef sticks, protein bars, hard-boiled eggs, etc. He only had to stop for food for dinner on-the-go and didn’t waste any time!
  • Hydrate: yes you’ll be doing long days and be tempted to sip on coffee all day long but the most important thing is to stay well hydrated (ideally pick Spring water)
  • Don’t pre-book hotels/motels: simply because so much can happen on this road. The weather is unpredictable in most places which might slow you down. Or you might be having good momentum and feeling capable of going further. There are tons of options (although not always the nicest) but it does the trick!
  • Line-up your podcasts and playlists: if you’re planning to cross the country, be ready: it’s a long and boring drive for the most part. While driving, be sure to have pre-selected all your podcasts and music so that time goes by quicker.
  • Safety: in the event you got stuck on the road, it’s best to keep these basics safety items in your car: blanket, candle, matches, dry food (ie. Bag of crackers), spare tire, basic tool kit and knife.

 

And finally, I bet you're curious about the total cost of the trip?

It cost him $250 with the electric car VS over $1000 with the current price of gas.

There, you have it all! If you’re planning a long-distance trip and have any further question, feel free to reach out.

 

Hope this was helpful!

Vanessa & Phil

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