Last week a group of students from the University of British Columbia left Vancouver in an electrified 1972 Volkswagen Beetle on a 4,000 mile road trip to the other side of Canada. The UBC Electric Car Club members are hoping to not only set a record for the fastest coast-to-coast trans-Canadian trip in an electric vehicle, but they also want to see if the car’s ready to become the first Canadian entrant in the Zero Race, an 80-day race around the world for electric vehicles.
The real difficulty of the journey is planning out places to plug in the car for four hours to recharge its lithium iron phosphate battery. The electric beetle has a top speed of 85 mph, and a range of about 185 miles at 60 mph and more than 340 miles at 30 mph.
After the first week, the team is a little more than halfway through the trip, having traveled over 2,000 miles across British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan and into Ontario. The longest they’ve driven in a single day is just over 400 miles and they’ve mainly been recharging at RV camps.
The club has a blog that offers daily updates and live GPS tracking of their progress. And they’ve uploaded some video to YouTube: