Vancouver Driver Sets New Coast to Coast EV Record

While fast-charger accessibility still tops the list of concerns for Canadians who are skeptical about getting an EV, one Western Canadian duo took advantage of the ever-growing fast-charging station network to link St. John’s, NB and Victoria, B.C. in record time.

On board their fully electric Audi e-tron SUV, Harvey Soicher and co-driver Kent Rathwell took on the 7,000-kilometre journey and completed it in four days and 19 hours, consequently setting a record for the fastest drive of the entire Trans Canada Highway in an electric car.

Or course, the Trans-Canada Highway made it easier for them; that’s where the country’s charging network was born and is currently growing at a fast pace. Taking the side roads would’ve undoubtedly resulted in a completely different challenge – one with more planning involved, and much longer charging times to factor in.

While Soicher wants Canadians to know that electric vehicles must be more widely adopted to help curb climate change, and that the technology is more reliable and far ranging than ever, there was a special, more personal reason behind the adventure. Soicher had originally planned to tackle the long drive with his wife Mary Ann, but she died of cancer in June 2018.

A year later, Soicher crossed Canada in his EV, taking 63 days to complete the stretch. But with the ever-growing charging network, a ‘2.0’ drive was in order and Soicher set out on the road again, wrapping the sides of the vehicle with his wife's name and the charity set up in her memory.

"Transportation done by fossil fuels is a high percentage of carbon emissions," Soicher told CBC News. "This summer, with all the fires, people are really realizing that we have to make some changes, quickly."

Photo: Harvey Soicher

The Growing Fast-Charging Network Makes Longer Trips Possible

Newfoundland and Labrador's new fast-charging station network was the last piece of the puzzle needed to complete the trip in record time. Prior to this, it would have been impossible to cross the province in a reasonable amount of time and within legal speed limits.

Although a previous team in a Tesla drove Highway 1 from B.C. to Halifax in a faster time, the trip didn’t cover the full length of the highway, making Mary Ann's Electric Drive 2.0 the first record for travelling the length of the Trans Canada Highway the fastest in an electric vehicle.

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

NewsNext-gen Porsche 718 Models to Go Fully Electric, Report Claims
We learned back in June that Porsche was planning a smaller, cheaper electric car that would slot below the Taycan and directly rival the Tesla Model 3 , Polestar 2 and more. This time Car and Driver is saying it has received confirmation that the next generation of the 718 …
ElectricNew EV Chargers Coming to Ontario
As part of #EVWeekinCanada, Natural Resources Canada yesterday announced an investment of $2.3 million to Anvil Crawler Development Corporation to install 36 electric vehicle (EV) chargers across Ontario. Anvil Crawler, Opus One Solutions, SWTCH, Energy+ Inc. and Elexicon Energy, along with site host partners, are also supporting this initiative, bringing …
ElectricTesla Superchargers to be Accessible to All EVs Starting Later This Year
A few weeks after hinting that even more powerful and faster-charging Superchargers are coming (with up to 350 kilowatts), Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that all electric vehicles will have access to the company’s network starting later this year. The California-based automaker has deployed over 25,000 Superchargers around …
ElectricElectrify Canada Now Aims for 500 Fast Chargers by 2025
Electrify Canada, an electric vehicle charging network that began its operations in 2019 with 32 planned locations in select parts of the country, now aims to have more than 100 by the end of 2025. EV owners will find a total of 500 individual DC fast chargers at these locations.
NewsGas Prices Soar Past $1.75 in Vancouver, Setting a Record
The freezing temperatures that hit Western Canada in late December—below -30 degrees Celsius, even dropping to -50 degrees with the wind chill—continue to bite consumers as gas prices have reached new highs, topping $1.75 per litre in Vancouver. Local media outlets report that some gas stations were selling gasoline at …
New ModelsAudi e-tron Gets Fresh Looks, More Range, New Name
Four years after its debut, the Audi e-tron is changing its name to Q8 e-tron as part of a mid-cycle update that also includes styling revisions and increased range. In Canada, the new Q8 55 e-tron will be available in standard and Sportback body styles with a larger 114kWh battery …
First Drives2023 Audi Q8 e-tron: Increased Performance and Longer Range
Audi introduced the e-tron quattro back in 2018. It later added a coupe-like Sportback body style and a three-motor S variant. As a result, the e-tron quattro has become the best-selling electric crossover in Europe, while global sales now exceed 150,000 units. For the 2023 model year, a mid-cycle refresh …