Man Drives Tesla to Arctic Ocean in Winter, Shattering EV Myths

Image: Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Despite skepticism about the performance of electric vehicles (EVs) in harsh Arctic winters, one man has proved the critics wrong by driving his Tesla to the Arctic Ocean during the frigid season, reports NNSL Media.

Johnathan Zoes, also known as Johnnie Zoes Man, embarked on a road trip from New York to Tuktoyaktuk to not only test the capabilities of his Tesla but also to create a documentary capturing key events in his life. He is the second person to drive an EV to the Arctic Ocean but the first to do so during winter, with temperatures reaching -40 C (-40 F).

Zoes leased a Tesla Model Y (it looks like a Performance version) for the trip and traversed Canada, initially finding it easy to access charging stations in the southern part of the country. As he ventured further north, he had to rely on the goodwill of locals to find charging points. The Yukon Territory’s rapid charging station infrastructure helped Zoes immensely on his journey.

To navigate the Dempster Highway, which has no gas stations for over 300 kilometers, Zoes relied on maintenance buildings and the support of road crews. Though the garages did not have rapid charging stations, he was able to drive to Eagle Plains without any issues.

Zoes continued to get creative with charging his Tesla as he traveled to Fort McPherson, Inuvik, and eventually Tuktoyaktuk. Reflecting on his journey, he said, “I’ve gotten here on the strength of dreams. The people I’m meeting are wonderful, and the possibilities of the future are amazing.”

“When I reached Profit River, I called the local indigenous council and told then what I was up to,” said Zoes. “They let me use the maintenance building for the night,” he explained, noting he had been relying on 50 amp outlets.

Throughout the 31-day trip, Zoes estimated that he saved $463 in fuel expenses compared to using gasoline at $701, with the only costs being payments to hosts for food and electric charges. He also enjoyed the convenience of sleeping in the warmth of his car while keeping the heater running as long as needed.

After successfully completing the trip without proper EV infrastructure, Zoes became a strong advocate for the technology, stating, “the technology will just get better and better.”

[via The National Post]