Nfld. & Labrador

First cross-country electric car and camper arrives in St. John's

A couple from British Columbia is in St. John's showing off their Tesla electric car and promoting the use of alternative energy.

Couple spent $8.50 for energy to cover distance from B.C. to N.L.

A B.C. couple is in St. John's showing off their Tesla car, promoting the use of alternative energy. They are the first people to cross the country in an electric car while towing a camper. 1:42

A couple from British Columbia is in St. John's showing off their Tesla electric car and promoting the use of alternative energy.

Rolf Oetter and Silke Sommerfeld, who live on Vancouver Island, are the first people to cross the country in an electric car, while towing a camper.

Tesla has built a network of super-charger stations across the U.S. that can charge an electric car in 20 minutes.

There are some chargers in parts of Canada but none in Atlantic Canada. Oetter and Sommerfeld had to rely on slow-charging their vehicle from regular outlets at campgrounds overnight.They said there were occasions when they just made it to a destinations with very little power left to spare.

Cheaper options

"We know now that the charging network is the one weak link in the chain right now for long range travel," said Oetter.

They paid more than $80,000 for their Tesla Model-X but they say there are many cheaper options.

"We're not here to promote Tesla. We want to promote any electric car what ever make it doesn't matter," said Sommerfeld.

Oetter agreed.

"You can pick up a used Nissan Leaf — like a 2013 model — for under $10,000 because some provinces and states have incentives and then the price really comes down," he said.

The couple plans to travel around Atlantic Canada for a few weeks before heading south for the winter.