This certainly isn’t the first electric car rally that has occurred, but the BC2BC-2013 Rally, which took place last week, gave electric cars the opportunity to strut their stuff. Not surprisingly, the Tesla Model S dominated throughout the race, as did the Tesla Roadster, with four Tesla cars finishing in the top 5.
The race consisted of four segments and a number of checkpoints, and each segment was timed, so the overall winner was the driver who had the fastest combined time of the four segments. There were also pauses between each segment that allowed the slower cars to catch up in order to all start together again in the next segment.
In total, eight electric cars and one electric motorcycle took part in the challenge and traveled from British Columbia in Canada, to Baja, California. The event included a Tesla Roadster, a Zero S electric motorcycle, Toyota RAV4 EV, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, two Nissan Leafs, and three Tesla Model S cars.
Tesla ended up dominating the competition, mostly thanks to the Model S’s and Roadster’s long range and fast-charging batteries. The Model S can recharge in about an hour using Tesla’s proprietary Supercharging stations. As for the Nissan Leafs, they performed well, but slow charging was the bane of their existence during the race.
While all but one of the cars successfully arrived at the finish line, the journey revealed major weaknesses in the infrastructure of electric vehicle charging. Despite promises that California would be part of the West Coast Electric Highway, the CHADEMO chargers used to charge Nissan Leafs stop at the Oregon border, which resulted in one of the Leaf drivers to get stuck in California for 15 hours charging at 120 volts.