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Electric Drive to the Far North

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Mary Ann’s Electric Drive and this website  is named after my late wife Mary Ann. We were both wanting to visit Newfoundland by driving across Canada in a new Electric Car, unfortunately our dream was curtailed due her losing her battle with Cancer in June of 2018. The following summer of 2019 I decided to do the trip on my own with Mary Ann with me in Spirit and always in my heart. It was started on July 2, 2019 and successfully completed the drive 63 days later in my new Audi e-tron fully electric SUV September 2, 2019. To view this first  electric drive please click here.

In the summer of 2019 a second EV drive was completed called Mary Ann’s Electric Drive 2.0 where I visited family and friends across Canada and also set a fast EV drive to show how quickly an EV can go coast to coast. For info on this trip you can click here.

Since then I’ve been asked many times when and where is your next  trip.........?

Welcome to: The Electric Drive to the Far North

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After three years of dreaming of going to the far north it’s finally a reality. On June 14 th of this year and on the 6th anniversary of Mary Ann’s passing I’ll be departing in my five year old Audi e-tron from my home in Vancouver and with my co-pilot Therese to the far north of Canada including Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Alaska, USA.

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This northern route’s first destination is Yellowknife the capital of the Northwest Territories.  We then backtrack through northern Alberta and BC as there are no direct roads from Yellowknife to the Yukon.  Once we get to Fort St. John, BC we can head northwest on the Alaska Hwy to the Yukon and on to Alaska.  We will be visiting some iconic locations including Liard Hot Springs, Watson Lake and its sign post forest, the gold rush towns of Whitehorse and Dawson City. From Dawson City we will take a small ferry across the Yukon River and drive the 175 mile famous “Top of the World Highway” at 4,515 ft. with a climb from Dawson City of over 3,200 ft. Just past the summit is Chicken Alaska a fun eclectic town filled with everything to do with Chickens.  Our next destinations will be Fairbanks our farthest north location and only 241 KM south of the Arctic Circle and the Northern Lights!

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Our next stop is Anchorage, the largest city in the north with a population of almost 300,000 and situated on Cook Inlet and the gateway to the Gulf of Alaska. With a backdrop of stunning glacier topped mountain, we will explore first class cultural and historical museums, beautiful national parks close by, and more. Anchorage will certainly be one of the highlights on our trip.

After spending about 2 days in Anchorage and if we have time we will stop in the famous gold rush port of Skagway where thousands of anxious gold miners made their way via the Chilkcoot Pass to Whitehorse and Dawson City. From there it’s the start of our journey home.  We’ll drive back through the Yukon into BC where we will head to Prince Rupert and sail on the BC ferry from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy at the northern tip of Vancouver Island. The next morning we will head south to Nanaimo and the ferry back to Vancouver. We should arrive home around July 12th.

As an Electric Vehicle advocate I want to show that an EV and especially an older EV still has a healthy battery and that you can own an EV for just as many years or more  as a regular ICE (internal combustion engine) car.   Many drivers of ICE cars are hesitant to buy a new or used EV as they think the battery will not last as long as a regular car but this has been proven not to be the case and I’ll help bust this myth.  The other myth is that people think that driving an EV has incoveniences of having to wait to charge on a long trip.  The truth is charging an EV is a minor inconvenience at best.  On long trips you have to go to the bathroom, eat, and sleep. During these times when you are not in your car that’s when you charge it.  In some cases you spend less time compared to going to a gas station. If you stop to have lunch you still may need to gas up your car after lunch. Many hotels now are equipping their parking lots with EV chargers so while your sleeping the car will have a full battery in the morning and you can skip the gas station! With an electric car it takes a minute or less to plug in, go to the restaurant and when you finish lunch your car is ready to go.  Many times the car is ready before you finish eating.

 

For your interest you can download the route plan and charging log by clicking here: "Route Planner and Charging Log". I’ll be updating it at every charge stop and posting the revised version every other day.  You will  see where and when we will be charging, how the car is performing all the parameters that effect the efficiency and resulting effective range including the distance between charge point locations, elevation change, type of roads, weather and other factors.  You will also see the all the dates of each planned stop.  

I’ll also be posting lots of photos and short videos mostly on Polarsteps.  You can find the app on line or on the App store on your phone.  When visiting the Polarsteps site you can search for Harvey Soicher and request to follow me.  If you do, you will get notified as soon as I post at a new location or STEP, hence the name Polarsteps.  Each step will be identified on a map of the route we have taken so far. Click here to be taken to Polarsteps. If you are on facebook or Instagram please look me up and request to be my friend as I'll be posting on these social media sites which will often have direct links from a Polarstep step.  If so simply click on the photo and then you will be able to see all the text and additonal photos and short videos. I’ll also be doing some videos that I’ll be uploading on my YouTube channel. I hope you will follow me, track our progress to all the scenic spots along the way, take in some of our experiences, unforeseen issues, and more.

As an electric vehicle advocate I’m always looking for a challenging adventure and I believe that this trip will be the most exciting. Where most of North America’s charging infrastructure is going strong driving an EV to the far north is a significant challenge which I’m looking foreward to and prepared extensively for. The majority of this trip charging is not a problem however there are a couple of spots where we will have to camp overnight at an RV campsite and hook up my mobile charger to the RV hookup. This is not unfamiliar to me as I did this a few times on my first trip in 2019 where regular EV chargers were not available. Even though this year I’ll have to charge at a few RV sites. I’m happy to report that both the Northwest Territory government and BC Hydro have plans to install high speed level 3 chargers by the end of this year and even more in subsequent years. I could wait till next year to do this trip but as mentioned earlier I’ve been planning for three years to go to the far north and I simply can’t wait to start this amazing adventure. If you currently own an EV or planning to get your own you can rest assured that there will be more chargers installed and driving  this northern route will be no problem at all whether you like to camp or not.   I hope you get inspired to do so after seeing all the videos and photos.

 

During this trip I'm continuing to promote Mary Ann's favorite charity, the Functional Neuorsurgery Department headed by  Dr. Chris Honey of the UBC and VGH Hospital Foundation.  Dr. Honey was the surgeon that performed her emergency brain surgery that saved her life in 2002.   ​ Dr. Honey’s research is  allowing for new breakthroughs for treatments of Parkinson’s and so many other brain disorders which  help transform the quality of life to so many  patients suffering from Parkinsons and other Brain Disorders.   Click here to Support Mary Ann's Favorite Charity.  When donating from this link 100% of the funds get directed to Dr. Honey’s Functional Neurosurgery Research.  Any size donation is very much appreicated. For more info on Dr. Honey's work and the impact he and his team are doing you can visit his personal website at http://drhoney.org/.
I sincerely hope you find it informative and interesting.  You can always leave comments or questions on Polarsteps as well as on my YouTube channel.  I'll be sure to respond quickly as I can.

Thanks for checking out this website and following this EV trip.

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