Tesla Model S Ventures North Of 60th Parallel In North America For First Time Ever


Lisa And James Locke's Tesla Model S (Source: Tesla Owners On Vancouver Island)

Lisa And James Locke’s Tesla Model S (Source: Tesla Owners On Vancouver Island)

Lisa and James Locke, proud Tesla Model S owners from Sooke, British Colombia on Vancouver Island, shared their love of Tesla and their road trip experiences with Tesla Motors. They named their Model S the “Polar Express” as it is the first Tesla on the planet with the Northwest Territories (NWT) polar bear license plate. The couple took the Polar Express to Hay River, NWT, marking the first known time a Tesla has ever crossed the 60th parallel in North America.

Canada's Northwest Territories. Take Notice Of the Location Of Hay River (Source:

Canada’s Northwest Territories

The Lockes took an interest in electric vehicles about two years ago and purchased a Nissan LEAF. James pointed out that this vehicle will be replaced by their upcoming Model 3.

The decision to purchase a Tesla Model S and future plans for a Model 3 came after Elon Musk announced Autopilot and Dual Motors. This coupled with the electric car’s long range, safe operation in cold climates and the Tesla Ranger program for service, piqued the Locke’s interest.

However, James explained that it wasn’t until Tesla visited and offered test drives, that he and Lisa were sold. He said:

“Who couldn’t be, the car sells itself! When the order was placed it was like Christmas for the 6 weeks waiting until delivery. I’ve never had so much anticipation for any purchase in my life. I must have read the entire manual several times and watched all the videos multiple times before the delivery day.”

The couple, who had never been road trippers before, has now accumulated 70,000 km (almost 44,000 miles) in the first year. They are part of a community of Tesla owners that travel and blog about their adventures. Lisa is also editor of Victoria EV Club. James and Lisa have crossed the United States twice and were part of Tesla Road Trip 2016 trip to Williamsburg, Virginia this year that attracted record amounts of electric cars. James recounts another trip:

“I think the proudest moment for me personally is the day we drove our Tesla to Hay River, NWT. We are the first to get a Tesla North of the 60th Parallel in North America. It was an amazing feeling to bring such a new technology to the North. We’re also the first to have a Tesla charger in the NWT. It was so much fun to see the look on so many people’s faces that I took for test drives!”

Although the car was very expensive for the Locke’s budget, James said that he has no regrets. In the first year the couple has recorded a fuel savings of over $12,000. He concluded:

“I can see the day in the near future when more EVs are on Northern roads and driving the future to sustainable transport coast to coast to coast. I can now see the day, not so far from now I can hop in my Tesla Model S and it will take me to the NWT without touching anything. I could work or sleep and the car will safely take me to my destination. The future is now and I can’t wait to see where it takes us next!”

Source: Tesla Motors, Tesla Owners On Vancouver Island, Victoria EV Club

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21 Comments on "Tesla Model S Ventures North Of 60th Parallel In North America For First Time Ever"

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A bit of a qualifier “North America”. Bjørn Nyland has taken his Model S to North Cape, Norway, which is at 71.17 degrees north.

Norway is also home to the northernmost DCQC in Tromso. The DCQC furthest north in Canada is the Tesla Supercharger at Red Deer, another 200km south of Edmonton. To drive from Edmonton to Hay River takes about 10 hours, according to Google Maps.

So if anything, Hay River is even further into the Hinterlands than Nordkapp is.

i suspect that it gets a lot colder in the nwt during the winter than it does in norway.

That’s like saying a type of apples are smaller than all oranges.
Norway temperature obviously is just not ONE measure, but consists of a number of observation stations.

For instance, the YEARLY average for Fannaråki in Sogn og Fjordane was -6.7 C (that’s centigrades) in 1940.

For something more recent, the ONE DAY average for Karasjok, Finnmark on 28th of January 1999 was -50.0 C.

And for the last 12 months the same place had an (monthly) average of about 0 C.

Of course, these are extreme observations, but one needs to support ones claims by facts.

Your suspicion might or might not be true.

Love the Polar Bear shaped license plate!

A couple of years ago, one man from Sacramento drove his Model S up to Alaska. See http://insideevs.com/tesla-model-s-ventures-mexican-border-fairbanks-alaska/ So this couple may be the first to have driven a Tesla to the Northwest Territories, but not the first to have crossed the 60th parallel in North America.

There may even be a few Model S owners in Alaska??

winter temperatures in anchorage, alaska are not that much different from chicago, illinois, so owning a tesla in anchorage is much different from trying to own one in fairbanks (which gets *much* colder).

Guy Hall, circa 2014 drove his almost brand new S85 from Tijuana to just north of the Arctic Circle….just to prove even then that “big road trips” were possible in an EV.

that must have been a HARD trip. that trip had to involve driving long distances on gravel roads in a very remote area (i am assuming that he traveled in yukon, but the road to the arctic circle in alaska has similar characteristics). i can’t help be wonder how he was able to recharge the vehicle.

Too bad there was no info as to cold weather performance, especially ‘standby’ performance.

i don’t assume that these tesla owners are in a position to comment on cold weather performance. i don’t imagine that vancouver island is particularly cold (i would expect that it would be like seattle), and if they took their trip to the northwest territories at this time of the year, i don’t imagine that it would be particularly cold there either.

Something is wrong with the numbers. They drove 44,000 miles in one year. And then they state that they saved $12,000 in fuel. There are many cars available that get at least 35mpg. And there are many at much higher mpg’s. So based on this, they used about 1,257 gallons of gas. Or in Canadian terms, 4,758 liters. The price per liter for gas has been about $1.21 CD which comes out to $5,757. Then to be honest you need to subtract the cost of electricity. The author can contact the couple for an explanation on the numbers?

The numbers are based on our previous vehicle the Tesla replaced, we used to get real world numbers of 14 L per 100km, based on the 70,000+ km we have done the first year assuming $1.21 per Liter that equals $11,858. The power use is under $500 as most of our charging for the 70,000km has been using superchargers. Also it would be negated by the lack of oil changes and oil filters etc. 🙂

“saving oil changes and filters”. My mandated yearly maintenance on the Roadster was about $870, since I had to pay in $US to the Mississauga Service Center since that is the only one I could drive to from Buffalo, NY. — Unfortunately, I also had to pay a supposedly refundable 14% GST but its too much of a pain to try to get a refund from provincial Ontario, and the federal govt in Ottawa. I heard something about model S owners are also mandated to do yearly maintenance. If so , I bet that buys an Oil filter or two. Not saying this is the case here, since I’m just trying to reconcile statements people make. For instance, a while ago there was a video of a Roadster Driver who said he drove 20,000 miles in 3 years with ZERO MAINTENANCE. I figure $830 times 2, plus the tires have to be replaced at 6000 mile intervals unless you get the optional tires which have to be replaced at 4000. (Unless you spec your own tires which Tesla ‘officially’ prohibits, but then the service center is inquistive to know exactly what I did to make the tires last so long,… Read more »

Bill, Tesla Model S owners are not required to take their car into service every year, and it does not impact warranty. A lot of owners take their car in for maintenance on year 2 ($800 I believe?) and skip year 1 ($600). That’s the a la cart price, without paying for prepaid maintenance. The prices vary for each year because the amount of service varies per year. For example, in year 2, it’s more expensive because they refresh the A/C, etc.

The $12,000 savings are a little deceptive. 14L/100km (16.8 mpg) is a very poor performing vehicle. You could have purchased a Chevy Malibu Hybrid for $28K USD vs $75K USD for Tesla S. It gets about 45mpg. Saving $12K is not really true.

it all depends where you live and what you pay for gas/petrol. I currently spend about $900 per month on gas/petrol.

As noted in the OP, and confirmed by James the average price is $1.21 Canadian per liter. Many cars are available to 35mpg or much higher. At most, the gas cost should cost $5757 ($479/month) and if running a Toyota Prius could be down to $3364 Canadian ($305/month)

people can’t own every car, as long as the cited number represents the owner’s own experience, and as long as the reported figure seems credible, you just have to take the number at face value and figure that YMMV.

as you noted, electricity isn’t free, but the cited figure apparently represents “fuel savings”. it is certainly credible that they saved money overall, but i agree that it is highly dubious that they saved $12,000 in out of pocket expense (which would include the cost of electricity, but could also include cost of maintenance savings).

Randy Denmon drove his Tesla to Deadhorse, Alaska, which is more than 70 degrees latitude. For more information, read his book about his trip: “Off The Grid” or visit this website: http://www.midwestteslagathering.com/guest-speaker/