Driving a Chevy Bolt EV electric car across Canada, all the way


2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car on Coquilhalla Highway, BC, Canada, May 2017 [Boyd/Hetherington]

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car on Coquilhalla Highway, BC, Canada, May 2017 [Boyd/Hetherington]

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To celebrate Canada's 150th birthday, Barb Hetherington and Buddy Boyd embarked on their maiden voyage to prove electric car travel is feasible in a very large country with some very sparsely populated areas.

With a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV as their chariot, and their dog Piper for company, the couple left Victoria, British Columbia.

They don't plan to stop until they reach Newfoundland, the easternmost province, and touch the Atlantic Ocean.

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In total, the road trip will take about two months, and it's an ambitious challenge with a lack of charging stations and relatively slow CCS "fast charging."

The couple has named their initiative Bolt Across Canada and view it largely an effort to educate Canadians on electric vehicles.

Along the way, the electric-car advocates plan on composting and will use reusable cups and containers to minimize their impact and keep things green.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car on Coquilhalla Highway, BC, Canada, May 2017 [Boyd/Hetherington]

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car on Coquilhalla Highway, BC, Canada, May 2017 [Boyd/Hetherington]

Enlarge Photo

As part of the education effort, Boyd and Hetherington have also lined up a handful of speaking sessions with many local electric-car associations.

The couple also wants to bring the Bolt EV to some rural Chevy dealerships that haven't received their allocations of the cars yet.

They will also advocate for additional investment in electric-car charging infrastructure.

READ THIS: Chevy Bolt EV: 800-mile trip in 238-mile electric car shows challenges remain

Both say those investments are crucial and could help boost Canada's robust tourism industry.

"Like other electric vehicle owners, we are more likely to go for lunch, stay overnight, or take in local attractions while we charge up," Hetherington wrote in the couple's first update.

She notes that such electric-car tourism should clearly be viewed as "dollars coming into a community."

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Enlarge Photo

The couple chose the Chevrolet Bolt EV for its impressive 238-mile range rating and its affordable price of less than $40,000.

The couple operated a handful of Azure Dynamics electric work vans in the recycling business they ran, but their range simply wasn't good enough for a cross-country trip.

Right on time, the Bolt EV launched in Canada earlier this year—and the trip planning began.

CHECK OUT: Why I canceled my Chevy Bolt EV electric-car order: a reader explains

With a bit of persistence, the couple were among the first 50 Canadians to purchase a Bolt EV in the country.

They'll be charging their electric car at a mix of DC fast-charging sites, limited to the Bolt EV's 50-kilowatt maximum rate, and slower Level 2 charging stations while they make their way across the vast land.

So, if you see a Bolt EV plastered with green imagery humming across Canada, know that it's Boyd and Hetherington carrying out their ambitious mission in the name of sustainability education.

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