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Mission residents driving across Canada in electric car

Janet Chalmers and Roger Dowker are taking their Hyundai Kona from Mission to Newfoundland and back

Janet Chalmers and Roger Dowker’s trip across Canada in an electric car requires meticulous planning.

The Mission residents circle the places they want to go on a map and find out what the charging stations will let them see.

“Do a good job planning and there’s no unexpected surprises,” Dowker said.

Neither Dowker or Chalmers have done this kind of trip before but as they age, they wanted to do it while they themselves still have the ability to recharge.

“We’re both in our 70s and we thought we want to do it while we still have the energy and the health to be able to get out of the car after travelling and still be able to walk around,” Chalmers said.

Their only concrete commitment is a ferry to Newfoundland on July 25, where they’ll stay for three weeks.

Starting in Mission, they’ve already made it through Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to Ontario.

The pair travel for about four hours per day in their Hyundai Kona, but charging the vehicle can take over an hour. Dowker says the car telling them when to stop gets them out and walking around.

“For us, travelling in the electric vehicle has been a real blessing because it’s affordable,” Chalmers said. “But it has forced us to slow down. We stop, we plug in, and talk to people and learn about our country.”

Dowker says there aren’t really challenges to driving an electric vehicle cross-country if the trip is properly planned.

“Once or twice, we stopped at the station and it wasn’t working very well,” Dowker said. “We plugged in and it shut off 10 times and finally we found customer support. They said there was a different charging station just a block or so away, so we went there, charged up and everything worked out.”

Chalmers and Dowker bought the electric vehicle in 2021 and have been driving it ever since.

“We’re totally comfortable with it,” Chalmers said. “We live in Mission, so of course we have the benefit of ample charging stations.”

Chalmers says the highlight of the trip so far has been the people they’ve met in the small towns with stories and suggestions of places to go.

“We’re taking pretty much the southern part of the provinces,” Chalmers said. “We had no idea that Manitoba had so many rolling hills and valleys. It’s beautiful.”

Dowker is looking forward to going to Quebec, where his family has a long history. After they get to Newfoundland in July, they will come back.

“There we’ll start heading home,” Chalmers said. “Whatever we missed on the way, we’ll get on the way home. We just want to get across the Rockies before it snows.”

Chalmers and Dowker are updating their progress on a blog at:

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