This EV Just Set a Charging Record across Canada

volkswagen id4 rolls along two lane highway in canada
This EV Just Set a Charging Record across CanadaRainer Zietlow/Elric Popp
  • Rainer Zietlow and Elric Popp completed a drive from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Victoria, British Columbia in a Volkswagen ID.4 with 18 stops to recharge the EV.

  • The 4432-mile route took 7 days, with the team focusing on achieving the fewest number of stops rather than the fastest coast-to-coast time.

  • The team now plans to visit all 145 Volkswagen dealerships in Canada on the drive back to the east coast, which is an effort that will take about a month.

Coast-to-coast records in the US may have gotten all the attention in recent years, including the electric variety, with plenty of sub-categories to choose from if you're adventurous enough. For instance, a decade ago we followed a modern-day record in a pre-war car, with a two-person team 1930 Ford Model A making the drive from New York to LA.


But driving from the Red Ball Garage in Manhattan to the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, California, isn't the only way to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Earlier this month Rainer Zietlow and Elric Popp set a Guinness World Record for crossing Canada from coast to coast in an EV while making the fewest number of stops.

The two-person team drove from St. John's, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia—a distance of 4432 miles—in a Volkswagen ID.4 while recharging only 18 times. As such, this record is a bit different from one focused entirely on achieving the fastest time, which would require a longer-range EV that can do 400 to 500 miles between recharges.

The duo departed the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador on July 25 and arrived in Victoria on August 1.

"The Volkswagen family is thrilled to celebrate Rainer's new Guinness World Record," said Pierre Boutin, President and CEO of Volkswagen Canada. "Our ID.4 SUV proved to be the ideal companion for this adventure, providing the comfort, space, and range necessary to tackle the thousands of kilometers separating the country's east and west coast."

But Zietlow and Popp aren't done even after this week-long trip.

They are currently driving the ID.4 from Canada's west coast back to the east coast while also visiting all 145 Volkswagen dealers in Canada in the process. That's a far more ambitious and far less direct route, one that will be a greater test of charging infrastructure in Canada than the weeklong trip from Newfoundland to BC.

Needless to say, Zietlow and Popp will have to average about five dealerships per day just to complete the trip in about a month. That's a tall order even in a gas-powered VW with a big tank.

"It is special to celebrate this achievement with dealers and Volkswagen employees by making a second coast-to-coast trip across this beautiful country," said Zietlow. "I hope it will provide Canadians with confidence in the long-distance capabilities of electric vehicles and the continuously improving charging infrastructure in Canada."

If you're wondering what the coast-to-coast EV time record is in the US, it currently stands at 42 hours and 17 minutes with 24 stops, and was set in 2021 by a team in a Tesla Model S Long Range. Of course, that's quite a different record in many respects as it doesn't involve a ferry crossing and also aims for the fastest travel time.

As such, the Tesla team opted for a greater number of shorter recharge cycles each totaling about 20 minutes, getting the car from 10% to 50% state of charge at each stop, rather than aiming for the fewest stops.

The Canadian record was focused on fewer overall stops, and crossing from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia by sea added its own time commitment. At 4432 miles, this cross-country Canadian route is also longer than the New York to LA route by about a thousand miles.

Therefore, a non-stop record attempt focusing on travel time in an EV would look very different.

What's the longest road trip you've done? Did you ever come close to running out of gas? Share your experiences below