Nfld. & Labrador

Man completes cross-Canada electric car trek, in memory of his wife

Vancouver's Harvey Soicher and his wife always wanted to buy an electric car and visit Newfoundland. After she died, he vowed to do both.

Harvey Soicher fulfilled his wife's dream of visiting Newfoundland

Harvey Soicher left Victoria on July 2, and finished his roadtrip Sunday in St. John's. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

Vancouver couple Harvey Soicher and Mary Ann Heary always dreamed of owning an electric car, and one day taking it on a vacation to Newfoundland.

After she died of cancer last year, Soicher vowed to carry on with their plans for a cross-Canada road trip. He completed that solo mission Sunday in St. John's, 41 days after leaving Victoria.

"It feels pretty amazing," said an emotional Soicher, moments after dipping his electric SUV's tires into the waters of Quidi Vidi gut.

And in a way, Mary Ann was there too.

"It was an incredible journey. My wife was with me all the way."

While Soicher made his trip in remembrance, he also wanted to make a point.

"One of the main purposes of the trip was to show people you can actually go across the country in an electric car," he said.

Soicher and his wife, Mary Ann Heary, always planned to visit Newfoundland via electric car. (Harvey Soicher/Facebook)

The $238 scenic route

Soicher added in an extra electric challenge to his trip by taking the scenic route.

He left Victoria and headed up the coast to Prince George, before heading inland to Jasper, across the Prairies and through the Maritimes to the ferry crossing from North Sydney to Port aux Basques.

All in all, he tested his car's capabilities over the course of about 11,000 kilometres, a well-plotted out route with the help of an app that tracked electric charging stations along the way.

"It was definitely doable," he said, noting only once did he come close to draining his battery.

Soicher chose a top of the line ride in his bright blue Audi Etron Quattro 55, an all-electric SUV that just debuted in Canada. The base model for the Audi comes with a cool price tag of $90,000. But Soicher said overall, his trip was impressively cheap, with a total electricity bill of $238. 

An east coast return

While Soicher said the entire country's landscape has held "amazing views," one place in particular has stood out: Gros Morne.

"That was really the focus of coming, was coming to Newfoundland. My wife and I always wanted to come here," he said.

After checking out Gros Morne's fjords, St. John's views and all the friendly people in between, Soicher says he'll be back.

"It's unbelievable how nice it is," he said.

He may have completed his mission, but Soicher's journey is far from over. He's now turned his Audi around and headed back west to charge his way back across the country.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Meg Roberts

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