Driving Electric: Calgary to Kelowna
Many Tesla owners ask questions about using the Superchargers for longer road trips out of the province. In this post, I wanted to share some photos and details about making the 600 km trip from Calgary to sunny Kelowna – a favorite destination among Albertans in the summer.
The trip is a very scenic, enjoyable drive in the summer, and I highly recommend it. What usually is about 7 hours of driving (due to slower speed limits and road construction in the national parks) can take an additional hour with some nice breaks while supercharging.
Charging your car to 100% the night before and starting out early morning gives you a headstart on any traffic. The first stop is Canmore, although not required for charging, I highly recommend grabbing a coffee and/or bagel at some of the great restaurants near the supercharger – a 10 min walk to get a coffee and back to the car is a great chance to stretch your legs while the car tops up.
Charging up in Canmore while grabbing a quick coffee
If you want to skip Canmore and make the first leg of the journey quick, your first stop will be at the Supercharger in Golden, BC. The supercharger is located at the Travelodge, just off the highway, and they are excellent hosts, having a green space to have a snack, and a playground in you have any kids that might want to burn off some energy! The hotel is very accommodating and Tesla owners are welcome to use their bathroom and picnic area. They have some vending machines as well if you want to pick up a few snacks for the next leg of the journey.
Golden is about 250km from Calgary or 3 hours of driving, so this is a great place to stretch your legs while you top up your vehicle. If you have a 75 kw battery, 20 minutes should be more than enough to get you to your next stop in Revelstoke. If you have the larger pack, you might even not have to stop at all, but I’d recommend it just to break up the drive.
Back on the road, we enjoyed some scenic vistas through the huge windshield of the Model X. The next leg of the journey is only 150 km to Revelstoke, but often can take much longer than 2 hours due to construction.
Enjoying the view
This summer was no different and we arrived in Revelstoke around lunch. The great thing is that Revelstoke is well past the halfway point and a great stop for lunch. The superchargers are located at the Best Western, and a short walk 4 minute walk under the bridge connects you to a great green space with restaurants, playgrounds for kids, and picnic benches. We just sat under a tree in the shade and had some lunch while the car charged.
Beautiful view under the bridge in Revelstoke
A large playground for kids and a lots of space to have a nice picnic while grabbing a charge.
After 30 minutes, you likely will have more than enough charge to make the remaining 200 km to Kelowna. This last leg of the journey goes pretty fast as the speed limit increases outside of the national parks. Arriving in Kelowna, the superchargers are located at the Best Western off highway 97, so quite convenient to top up before getting to your hotel or final destination so you’re ready to hit the vineyards. Kelowna actually has a Tesla taxi service called ‘current Taxi’ that I always notice charging there – they had a new model 3 when I arrived!
All in all, the trip took a little over 8 hours – and about 1 hour of that was charging at Golden and Revelstoke – but those with the larger battery packs can often make it with only one stop and shave off some time. Surprisingly, the drive is quite enjoyable and it doesn’t seem like a long day of driving – and the best part is doing the entire trip on electricity as opposed to at least a hundred dollars in gasoline! I hope this post helps those who are thinking about making the trip and eases the anxiety of long distance travel in your Teslas!