Colwood a stop on world’s longest ‘green highway’

Electric car manages the cross-country trip with a fill up at Royal Bay Bakery

Piper Nathanial Roberts leads Kent Rathwell and his Tesla Roadster electric vehicle into Colwood

Piper Nathanial Roberts leads Kent Rathwell and his Tesla Roadster electric vehicle into Colwood

First by train, then vehicle and now electric car, Canadians have a new way to travel coast-to-coast.

When the Last Spike was driven into the Canadian Pacific Railway on Nov. 7, 1885, marking the first efficient way to travel coast-to-coast, it would have taken a Jules Verne-like imagination to predict that 127 years later you would be able to make the same trip in a personal vehicle run on electricity.

But that day is here, as evidenced by Kent Rathwell’s trip from the shores of Newfoundland to the edge of the Pacific Ocean in Victoria in his electric Tesla Roadster.

Rathwell drove the length of the Trans-Canada Highway, juicing his car along the way at charging stations installed across the country by his company, Sun Country Highway.

Rathwell stopped at one of those charging stations in Colwood just before Christmas. The station at the Royal Bay Bakery was installed in March. Bakery owner David Grove owns a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle and had the station installed so that he and customers could “fuel up”.“The inspiration has come really from talking to EV owners across Canada,” Rathwell said during the local stop. “The way that you guys have spread the word has made it easy for us to get this done. It’s a pleasure being in Colwood, definitely one of the leading communities in the country and probably North America, for that matter.”

Rathwell left on his trip from St. John’s, Newfoundland on Nov. 17. He took his time, stopping in communities along the way to talk about his journey and, of course, to recharge the car.

The Tesla Roadster can travel 245 miles per charge, about 394 kilometres. A second electric car was towed in a trailer for the trip as a backup, but it was never necessary. Rathwell always managed to get to a charging station in time and the little car managed to make it through any weather thrown at it.

“Somebody needed to take it and get it done, it’s been waiting way too long,” Rathwell said.

“Why not have Canada become the leading country? We’re recognized in this country as caring people and with one of the most difficult climates and geographies to conquer and if we can do it here, we can do it anywhere.”

Fred Wissemann, Leaf Club president, welcomed Rathwell to the bakery, along with Mayor Carol Hamilton, Coun. Judith Cullington and electric car vehicle owners from the Victoria Leaf Club. The Leaf Club presented Rathwell with it’s newly created 2012 ECO Award in recognition of his accomplishment.

“People had the vision to put a railroad to connect the country,” Wissemann said. “And then they paved a road right across the country. And now we have a man that has a vision to do the same with electric cars. … He created the world’s longest green highway and we’re very happy and excited about his accomplishment.”

 

 

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The City of Victoria is hoping to ring in the summer by celebrating local art and offering some distanced, live music to surprise people in parks, plazas and other public spaces. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria)
Live, pop-up concerts and local art being showcased in Victoria this summer

People will see surprise serenades at 16 locations throughout the summer

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

Jada Benwell and Connor Larkey are the valedictorians of the 2021 graduating class at Parkland Secondary School. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Pandemic taught lessons in perseverance for North Saanich high schoolers

Parkland Secondary School to release 2021 grad ceremony video on June 25

The 14th annual Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) awards June 3. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay celebrates its Young Exceptional Stars with outdoor award ceremony

Nine young people recognized in 14th annual awards

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read