About Mary Ann's Electric Drive 

 

My name is Harvey Soicher, my wife Mary Ann and I had a dream to drive a new electric car from our home in Vancouver all the way to Newfoundland.   Neither of us have ever been to the 10th province and furthest east in Canada over 7,000 km from our home. It was far away on the other side of Canada, but inviting and full of wonderful sights and history.  We wanted to check out the unique scenery, the rugged coastlines,  the famous icebergs and  just as important the people of Newfoundland who had the reputation of being the most heartwarming and welcoming people that you would meet anywhere in the world.   Unfortunately before we were able to go Mary Ann passed away from a brutal cancer on June of 2018.   I decided to still do this drive with Mary Ann with me in spirit and  always in my heart.  I dedicated this drive to her and called this  Journey "Mary Ann's Electric Drive" so…. On June 25th 2019, I took delivery of a new Audi e-tron SUV.   The first 100% Battery powered Electric car that Audi has produced and the first model of many to come.   On this day  September 2nd exactly one year ago today I successfully  completed the drive to Newfoundland and arrived safely back  home,  a distance  of 22,383 KM.  I parked my Audi in the parking pad behind the house, plugged it  in and crawled into my own bed after  exactly 2 months away.     

The journey took me from  Vancouver but  started in the opposite direction of my first goal of St. John’s Newfoundland.  Accompanied with my first co-pilot Rich Galan we took the BC Ferry to Victoria where we dipped the wheels of my new Audi into the Pacific Ocean a few hundred meters from Mile 0 of the Trans Canada Hwy.  From there we drove up to the tip of Vancouver Island, took the Ferry through the Inside Passage Route to Prince Rupert just south of the Alaska Panhandle.  Once we arrived in Prince Rupert we were finally heading east to Newfoundland.   The route took me to Prince George BC then into Alberta and Jasper, Banff and Calgary.   From there I picked up my new co-pilot Jungle Jim Hunter of Canadian Ski Racing fame.  Jungle was born in Shaunavon Saskatchewan and the perfect tour guide to drive with for 3 days over the prairies to Winnipeg Manitoba.  Jim left me there and I drove solo into the lake head region of Ontario, South to Toronto, and East again to Montreal.   I picked up my 3rd co-pilot Phil and we drove to Quebec City and to Fredericton NB.   Phil was only with me for 2 days but my brother Mel who lives in Fredericton joined me and on August 1st we drove to the Bay of Fundy, Shediac then over the Centennial Bridge to PEI an then a ferry back to Nova Scotia and on to Sydney in Cape Breton Island.  Mel flew home and then the morning of the 5th I boarded a larger ferry to Port Aux Basque the SE corner of Newfoundland.  3 days of driving and discovering the rugged beauty of Gross More National Park I arrived in St. John’s and Kilometer “0” of the Trans Canada Hwy.  On August 11th and very early in the morning I drove to Cape Spear to see the sun rise at the furthest East point in North America, Cape Spear.  A few hours later drove back to St. John’s and dipped my Audi’s front wheels into Quid Vida Harbour.  A very emotional moment for me to complete the drive across Canada from coast to coast!

The following day I started my return home west  by taking the Ferry just west of St. John’s from Argentia back to Sydney, Nova Scotia.   Instead of retracing my steps through Canada I headed back first to Halifax, then the Digby Ferry to St. John NB and on August 16th Crossed the US Canada border just west of St. John, New Brunswick into the border town of Calais, Maine.  For the next 17 days I drove south west down the eastern seaboard to Hartford, New Jersey, Washington DC, then west to Nashville and then NW to St. Louis.  The next morning and just a few miles west of St. Louis I decided to do a Cannonball run to see how far I could go in a day.   I left at 8 AM and drove 1440 KM to Dillon Colorado and arrived at 2 AM in the morning the following day.   From Dillon on to Moab Utah,  Las Vegas Nevada, Santa Cruz in Northern California and then up the Interstate 5 through Oregon and Washington and arrived home the Monday night of September 2nd . The total Kilometers driven just over 22,383 KM and a total of 63 days on the road.

The trip was not just about the journey itself but also to show that a 100% Battery Electric Vehicle or BEV can find enough chargers to  make it across Canada and the USA .  I love a challenge so I wanted to take roads more remote and where finding an EV charger was more difficult.  

Mary Ann also had a favorite cause/charity which I have been supporting in her name and another reason for the trip was to raise money for Parkinson's research and other brain disorders.   20 years ago Mary Ann suffered a life threatening ruptured brain aneurism.  She required emergency brain surgery which was performed by Dr. Chris Honey of the Vancouver General Hospital just 10 minutes from where we lived.   Dr.  Honey did a masterful job and Mary Ann survived and made a full recovery with no side effects.   To show her appreciation to Dr Honey, every Christmas Mary Ann sent a Christmas card and a nice check  to help support Dr. Honey's research to help Parkinson's patients as well as other patients suffering from a variety of  other types of brain disorders.  His  functional neurosurgery  techniques enabled by this research allowed for a much higher quality of life for so many patients.  His work has been miraculous for so many and aclaimed around the world.  For this story  please click the catagory below for more info and find the direct link to help support Dr. Honey's research.  Your support is greatly appreciated.  I have been successful  in raising about $18,000 but my goal is one dollar for every KM driven so I still have more to raise.  

I created a  full charging log which is a record of all the charging sites used on the drive, types of chargers, how long and how far each charge took my Audi as well as all the factors that determine the performance, battery efficiency and range of each charge click on the link below.  Through this trip I was able to get a variety of articles and press to report on my journey as well as my New Audi.  Simply go to the section in the website for the Charging Log and Audi Reviews.  ​

Follow along on my memorial drive for my wife Mary Ann. Please  enter your email below and hit Subscribe Now.    This will allow you to follow my journey and recieve updates on the  4 separate catagories shown below.  You may only be interested in the charging info and the details of the new Audi E-tron or the photos taken along the route from the Polarsteps app or  the adventures and people I'll be meeting along the way or even  supporting Mary Ann's Favorite Charity, but whatever you are interested in you will be able to get regular updates every day or two.  I am looking forward to sharing Mary Ann's Electric Drive with you!    So don't delay and subscribe below.   Of course you can also be a follower on Facebook and Instagram too!   Simply click on the respective icons on the top right corner of this page or right here.   

Thanks so much!  

Harvey

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Dr. Chris Honey and Mary Ann, May 2018

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