Talk­ing with tourists

BC cou­ple and dog con­quer cross-Canada drive in 100% elec­tric car

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROSALYN ROY THE GULF NEWS [email protected] Twit­ter: @tyger­lylly

BC cou­ple in elec­tric car recharge in PAB.

PORT AUX BASQUES – They’re a long way from home but Buddy Boyd, Barb Heather­ing­ton and dog Piper don’t seem to mind.

The cou­ple and their furry friend hail from Gib­sons, Bri­tish Columbia, where they own and op­er­ate a re­cy­cling de­pot.

Gib­sons was the set­ting for the pop­u­lar CBC tele­vi­sion show of the 1970s and 80s —“The Beach­combers”— and in 2009 was voted as the Most Live­able City in the World (pop­u­la­tion un­der 20,000) by the In­ter­na­tional Live­com Award or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The cou­ple left Vic­to­ria on Canada Day, head­ing East to Quidi Vidi. On July 22 they dipped the back tires of their 100% elec­tric car into the At­lantic, hav­ing ac­com­plished their goal.

“This is the first Chevro­let Bolt all elec­tric, first time across Canada. Ever,” Boyd told The Gulf News dur­ing a stop at Port aux Basques. “And the last charg­ing sta­tion in New­found­land is at the St. Christo­pher’s Ho­tel.”

That even smaller com­mu­ni­ties like Port aux Basques have up­graded fa­cil­i­ties to ac­com­mo­date elec­tric ve­hi­cles and en­vi­ron­men­tally-con­sci­en­tious tourists is part of what made this trip both at­trac­tive and pos­si­ble, the cou­ple said.

“We be­long to the not-for-profit group Zero Waste Canada,” ex­plained Boyd. “We wanted to show that we could travel across Canada in elec­tric ve­hi­cles be­cause it has ex­tended range.”

The cou­ple took two months hia­tus from work in or­der to make the drive and Boyd praised smaller com­mu­ni­ties for their for­ward-think­ing ini­tia­tives to draw tourists. Both he and Heather­ing­ton ac­tively sought to avoid larger ur­ban cen­ters for the trip, pre­fer­ring to ex­plore the more ru­ral and scenic ar­eas along the way.

“It’s be­cause some towns have pro­gres­sive ad­min­is­tra­tors, pub­lic ser­vants and/ or busi­nesses,” said Boyd, who claims he al­most kissed the gen­eral man­ager of St. Christo­pher’s Ho­tel once he was told the ho­tel had a charg­ing sta­tion.

The cou­ple spent their last evening in New­found­land strolling in Scott’s Cove Park and lis­ten­ing to some lo­cal mu­sic, be­fore head­ing, re­luc­tantly, to the ferry the next morn­ing for the jour­ney back to BC.

“Oh man I don’t want to leave,” said Boyd.

“It’s so beau­ti­ful,” agreed Heather­ing­ton, who has en­joyed meet­ing so many New­found­lan­ders. “The friendli­est, kind­est peo­ple.”


Piper, Barb Heather­ing­ton and Buddy Boyd were re­luc­tant to leave New­found­land af­ter driv­ing all the way from Bri­tish Columbia for a visit.


Piper is both friendly and stylish in her dog­gles.

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