Press Release – For Immediate Release, September 2016

A first! 100% Electric Adventure with Camping Trailer Across Canada

On Labour Day Weekend, a British Columbia couple arrived in St. John’s NL after driving 15,000km across Canada in their 100% electric car towing a camping trailer. Rolf Oetter and Silke Sommerfeld together with their dog Kye started off in Victoria BC 3 months ago. “We knew we would be one of the firsts to get a Tesla Model X in Canada, currently the only 100% electric car that can tow a camping trailer,” says Silke. She adds “We wanted to take this opportunity to use our long-term dream of crossing Canada as a way of raising awareness for electric cars and solar energy.” Rolf adds “If we can cross Canada in an electric car with camping trailer, then surely electric cars are an option for driving around town. We believe that the second car in every two-car household can easily by fully electric.”

Charging Challenges across Canada

During their trip, Rolf and Silke relied almost entirely on the public charging infrastructure as built by Sun Country Highway and Electric Circuit (in Quebec). Rolf explains: “If you want to feel a certain freedom when driving an electric car, you have to rely on public chargers. Where we couldn’t find any of those, we charged our car in campgrounds over night.” “If you’re only driving around town, you don’t need any of those public chargers,” Silke adds. “You would always charge your electric car at home.”

Silke and Rolf faced many challenges in the remote areas of Canada, where public chargers are rare and far between. Regardless, it was not an option for the couple to detour to the United States where they could have easily charged along the Tesla Supercharger network. “We wanted to show that at today’s day and age, you can already cross Canada in an electric car towing a camping trailer,” says Silke.

The camping trailer makes that adventure extra difficult as it reduces the car’s range substantially from over 400km to around 250km. “One strategy to overcome range anxiety, was to go slowly,” says Rolf. “Many times, we drove at only 70km/h and let other cars pass.”

Raising Awareness along the Way

Along the way, Rolf and Silke made a point of scheduling local Meet Ups to show their car and Safari Condo trailer, built in Quebec, and answer questions. “We met a lot of very interesting and amazing people. That’s what we enjoyed the most on this trip.” Silke continues “To raise awareness for sustainable energy and transportation, we also covered our trip on Social Media, our Blog and YouTube channel. We hope that we inspired a few people to look into electric cars and solar energy as alternatives.” Rolf explains why that is so important to the couple: “I feel that, for the first time in history, the current generation is leaving a world to their kids that is worse then the world that all previous generations got from their parents. Fossil fuels play a big role in destroying the world we live in. We are promoting electric cars and solar energy so that our kids have a chance to a bright future. I have a daughter, I care deeply.”

The fact that the couples’ cross Canada trip is over doesn’t mean that they are done travelling. Silke and Rolf are planning to spend the next few weeks in the New England states for the Indian Summer. They will return home to Victoria BC next spring.


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