Crossing the country in a Tesla Roadster is nothing short of electrifying for Bonnie Bieber.
While her nephew, Justin Bieber, is often the attention-grabber in her family, Bonnie is travelling from Seattle, Wash. to Summerside, Prince Edward Island in Sun Country Highway’s E-mazing Race. Pulling up to Black Hills Winery in Oliver on Friday driving a Tesla Roadster, Bonnie was taking the spotlight like her pop-star nephew.
You should see everyone rubber necking on the highway,” said Bonnie, who is attempting to set a Guinness World Record for the world’s longest distance in a Electric Vehicle on multiple charges. “It is like a magnet and draws people in so when you park somewhere, everyone comes around and wants to ask questions.”
The roadster, selling for about $40,000 in Canada, is known for feeling more like a fighter jet than a sports car. It can go from zero to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and definitely turns heads.
“I love to travel and drive and with an opportunity to drive a car like this, who wouldn’t go for that?”
The EV race features Sun Country Highway’s EV Charging Network, the fastest Level Two charges available on the market today.
Glenn Fawcett, president of Black Hills Estate Winery, said installing a charger at their tasting room, which is open daily until October from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., was a no-brainer because it fits into their environmental mandate.
“Some of our biggest wine customers really wanted us to have this installed. As well we are very environmentally sensitive at our winery, as are the tourists that visit and the Sun Country message fits right in with what we do here,” said Fawcett.
Black HIlls is committed to sustainable, environmentally-friendly farming and winemaking practices. They have been awarded Environmental Farm Plan Status by the B.C. Environmental Farm Plan.
The goal of the E-mazing race is to try and hit as many of the Sun Country Highway charges as drivers can to earn points by scanning a QR code located on the chargers themselves. There are two vehicles that are up for the Guinness record if they cross the finish line in P.E.I. by Sept. 21. Danny and Marjorie Rempel, from Saskatchewan are driving a 2013 Tesla Signature 5. There are over 700 stations with Sun Country Highway electric chargers, with 1,000 expected to be in place by the end of the year. The project is completely funded by the private sector and has a standard plug that fits any electric vehicle. The stations are all located in places where people can plug in and spend time at a winery, walking around downtown shopping or in a neighbourhood filled with restaurants.
“Part of what we are doing with the E-mazing race is raising awareness about electric vehicles and the fact that the infrastructure is in place for people to drive one of these cars that costs less than a twoonie to fill up,” said Joe Squire, regional business development manager for Sun Country Highway.
Rob MacGregor, regional director, said they are using the E-mazing race as a tool to boost the profile of the emission free movement. MacGregor added now with charging stations in Princeton (at the town hall) and in Oliver (at Black Hills Winery and more wineries interested in coming online), it is possible for people driving EV cars to cruise down the Hope-Princeton Highway and make their way to Kelowna where the next Sun Country Charger is found.
“This boosts the economic, social and the environmental sustainability of Canadians and Canada. The bottom line is to get Canadians to save money,” said MacGregor.
Follow the E-mazing race on Facebook or on Twitter at @SunCountryHwy.