For a Boomer girlfriend getaway, it’s hard to top a luxury Tesla road trip along Route 97 in BC’s beautiful Thompson Okanagan region. Here’s why:
Tesla “Wow” Factor
Every great road trip starts with a fun vehicle. But driving a Tesla kicks that way up a notch with its undeniable “Wow” factor. Just imagine Lucy & Ethel or Thelma & Louise behind the wheel of a luxury electric car like our Tesla Model S P85 sedan all-wheel drive, and you have some idea of our grand adventure. When a neighbor heard of our pending trip, he said, “You do know that the Tesla can go from 0 to 60 in a nanosecond, don’t you?” I didn’t, but not to worry. I knew we’d figure it out. And we did.
After landing at Kelowna Airport, we met up with Ryan, our host from Power Trips, who offered a quick, but thorough, orientation on driving our Tesla before turning over the keys – or rather the key fob for our remote car entry. With its cool feature of door handles that slide out when sensing your approach, Tesla had us hooked from the start.
We were off, not quite in a nanosecond, since we still had to make it out of the parking lot and onto the freeway (in our case an adventure in itself), but soon enough.
And what’s a great road trip without an accompanying playlist? Once we got familiar with the display panel and settled on our eclectic choices (from Bobby Darin to the Beatles, Beach Boys and more – MUCH more), we eased into the sublime comfort of driving our luxury model. It’s a heady feeling knowing you can accelerate instantly at the slightest pedal to the mettle. Then add the fun of causing more than a few head turns while you whizz along the highway.
After watching us park perfectly in downtown Vernon, a passerby backed up a few steps and said: “Mind if I ask how much this car cost?” My girlfriend and I looked at each other, then responded: “Umm. About $150,000.” Was it wrong of us not to mention that was the “new” price or that we were only renting the Tesla for our girlfriend getaway?
At several more stops on our road trip, people asked what it was like to drive one (“Exhilarating!”), how far we could drive without recharging (“426km, almost 265 miles, per charge.”), or in one case, how we had even managed to get our hands on one since his girlfriend had been on the waitlist for the last six months.
Sounds of Silence in a Tesla
If you’re not used to driving an electric car, expect some mental and physical adjustment, like shifting from driving an automatic to a stick-shift. Besides overcoming the twitch to turn the key in the ignition, we also had to get used to the sounds of silence. We marveled at how quiet the model was, so quiet in fact, that even after the engine was on, it was hard to tell if it was actually running. And if we couldn’t hear it, that meant that the people standing in front of our car couldn’t hear it either so we couldn’t assume they would simply move out of the way when we were ready to pull out of our space in the parking lot.
Tesla Charger Stations
Driving a Tesla means no gas stops needed, but you do need charging stations. Ryan had assured us we’d have no problem finding any along Route 97, and he was right. How cool to know that while we were off exploring wineries, golf resorts or even staying at our resort, we could recharge the Tesla for as little or as long as needed. Plus, at many destinations, we discovered that valet service is only to happy to help out, even if the team needs to go to YouTube for advice.
Just know that charging times vary, depending on whether using a Tesla destination charger (up to 8 hours for a full charge) or a Tesla Supercharger (typically 45 – 60 minutes). Our car also came with an adapter, so if we had needed to (We didn’t) we also could have used any electric vehicle charging stations along the route.
Tesla Green Factor
Besides the sheer fun of driving such a cool car, the ultimate payoff of getting behind the wheel of a Tesla is knowing that you’re in a vehicle with top energy efficiency and minimal environmental impact.
Ready for your own Tesla test drive? For more information on how you can play in BC’s Thompson Okanagan region, too, visit:
Many thanks to our hosts for the chance to take a Tesla tour in Okanagan, BC:
Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.
Destination British Columbia.
Up Next: Roadtripping Attractions in Beautiful Okanagan, BC
How about you, Wanderboomers? Have you driven a Tesla? Share your experience with us here.