Some say that electric cars aren’t suited for long-distance travel, but not Sylvain Juteau. Sylvain is the owner of the first Focus Electric sold in Canada and the proud founder of RoulezElectrique.com, a French blog about electric cars. Juteau made the 1,300-kilometre round trip between Trois-Rivières, Que., and Old Orchard, ME., by carefully plotting charging stations along his route.
Sylvain’s story began when he read a story about a journalist who tried to make the trip a few months ago, and failed. Why did he fail? Well, according to the article, the journalist had a hard time finding charging stations in the U.S. and charging took too long.
After reading this, Sylvain’s blog readers asked him to try it. Some of them even sent him donations to finance the expedition! An electric car enthusiast, it didn’t take much to convince him to do it. And he succeeded! The key of his success? Planning.
As Sylvain will tell you, you don’t drive an electric car like you would a traditional gasoline vehicle.
You need to plan your trip according to available charging stations. This is an easy task to do in Quebec, but doing it in the U.S. is a little more difficult. After a little searching and a few phone calls, Sylvain found a private charging station, plus some motels, garages, gas stations and restaurants along the way. And just in case, he brought with him a survival kit, full of adaptors to help him connect his car to a variety of different portable charging stations.
Driving an electric car is a way of life. It changes the way you approach a road trip. According to Sylvain “you are forced to stop and take your time. And you’re not always on the highway. It’s much more pleasant to travel like that.”
On a closing note, not only did Sylvain prove that it is possible to make the long trek to Old Orchard from Trois-Rivières in an electric car, he also took time to drive to the top of Mount Washington. Sylvain says that adventure cost him 32 cents. It also made the Focus Electric the first mass-produced, all-electric vehicle to make the climb, according to Mt. Washington Auto Road.
Are you considering an electric vehicle? Let us know if you have any questions about electric vehicles in the comments below!