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How Long Before You Can Drive To Fairbanks

LCR1

Active Member
Oct 24, 2017
1,349
1,178
Houston
I was looking at ABetterRoutePlanner and was wondering some crazy routes I could take in my car and it got me wondering how long before I could drive to Alaska. For the West coasters they would get in through Vancouver but there are some issues with me coming from Texas. Either way there's nothing north of Edmonton area, There are quite a gap between there and the Yukon and plenty of logistical issues I have getting there in the truck, let alone the car. I'm sure this will be the last thing they worry about but I personally feel this would be the final link to bridge EVs with ICE.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,977
10,105
Boise, ID
I'm sure this will be the last thing they worry about but I personally feel this would be the final link to bridge EVs with ICE.
This sounds like the furthest progression of moving the goalposts that we hear from the EV haters. "It won't ever be as good as a gas car until it can drive to Alaska!!!" How realistic/necessary is that?
 
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LCR1

Active Member
Oct 24, 2017
1,349
1,178
Houston
This sounds like the furthest progression of moving the goalposts that we hear from the EV haters. "It won't ever be as good as a gas car until it can drive to Alaska!!!" How realistic/necessary is that?
I'm really confused. Where did I put my first goal post?
It's very realistic, people travel there all the time by car from canada and other parts of the US
It's very necessary, The only ways into Fairbanks is land or air.

So at this point you can't travel anywhere to or within Alaska with an EV, so yes EVs will never be as good as ICE until they can completely replace ICE.
 

Chuq

Active Member
Jan 1, 2015
3,928
4,947
Hobart, Tas, Aus
This sounds like the furthest progression of moving the goalposts that we hear from the EV haters. "It won't ever be as good as a gas car until it can drive to Alaska!!!" How realistic/necessary is that?

I don't think @LCR1 is meaning it in this way, it seems to be an honest "I wonder when" question.

In Australia we get the same thing all the time - people saying that you can't drive electric vehicles from one side of the country to the other - it's the same distance across as the contiguous USA, with one particular gap (the Nullarbor) of 1200 km / 750 mi which is pretty much barren desert, with the occasional roadhouse.

Fortunately some enterprising Aussie Tesla owners worked it out... I'll copy/paste from another forum here:

Australia has a plug standard that looks like this, 32 amp 3-phase. Common in places like workshops, factories, commercial garages, showgrounds and industrial sites. Effectively it can put out 22 kW. Not as fast as a supercharger or Chademo/CCS DC charger, but still approximately a 100 km/h charge rate.

We've had some Tesla owners drive across the outback, stopping at every small town, roadhouse, caravan park, seeing if they have one of these sockets, and if not, asking if they would like one for free - the sockets cost about $100 each and are jointly supported and funded by the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) and the Tesla Owners Club of Australia (TOCA).

The end result - there is a network of 22 kW charging locations that criss-crosses Australia. It goes around the entire country, including the Nullarbor (main highway between west and east), it crosses the centre north-south (through Alice Springs, including a side route to Uluru), and a couple of other routes through outback Queensland. If you check out Plugshare and zoom so that all of Australia is shown it gives a pretty clear indication of where the routes are!

One downside - many off these towns (or in some cases, a lone roadhouse on an empty highway) are off the grid and as such run on diesel generators - so it's certainly not the cleanest way of charging an EV, nor is it the cheapest. The upside - these EV visits have made some of these places think about it a bit more and the penny has dropped that solar+battery is a much cheaper way of going about it!

Article from mid last year: Tesla Owners Club sets 'Around Australia' charging station challenge | CarAdvice

I don't know if such a plug standard exists in US/Canada but the "grassroots" effort might be applicable here!
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
11,177
14,436
California
I was looking at ABetterRoutePlanner and was wondering some crazy routes I could take in my car and it got me wondering how long before I could drive to Alaska. For the West coasters they would get in through Vancouver but there are some issues with me coming from Texas. Either way there's nothing north of Edmonton area, There are quite a gap between there and the Yukon and plenty of logistical issues I have getting there in the truck, let alone the car. I'm sure this will be the last thing they worry about but I personally feel this would be the final link to bridge EVs with ICE.
There is electricity everywhere. Every town and many rural houses have electricity. You don't have to have an official charge station.
Several years ago there was a guy with a Model S who did drive to Alaska. He seemed to like finding shops with welding equipment where he could get a 240 v connection.

I found him!
Taking a Model 3 to Alaska
He now has a Model 3 and wants to do the same Tijuana to Alaska trip.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,977
10,105
Boise, ID
I'm really confused. Where did I put my first goal post?
Well no, I wasn't originally referring to you. I took it as kind of an idle question, but I was saying it sounds like the kinds of things we've all been hearing for the past several years from the naysayers.
"can't be fast"
"can't go 200 miles"
"can't leave your city"
"can't charge quickly"
"can't drive coast to coast"
"can't be affordable"
"can't do semi trucks"
As each thing is overcome, they just keep coming up with the next complaint that's just a little farther out. This "can't do a trip to Alaska" is kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel of the next thing electric cars supposedly "can't" do.
It's very realistic, people travel there all the time by car from canada and other parts of the US
Oh, you seriously are identifying with it? People do that "all the time"? So most of the people you know have done this every year? I don't happen to know anyone who has done it ever, so it seems kind of unbelievable that people do this all the time. It seems like a really obscure, rare, adventurous thing that hardly anyone does.
It's very necessary, The only ways into Fairbanks is land or air.
Sure, so is moving a house full of furniture, but that doesn't need to be a standard capability of a standard market family sedan. You can rent a U-Haul truck for that rare occurrence of moving furniture, and you can rent a Land Cruiser for that much more rare event of driving through the Yukon Territory tundra to Alaska.

So at this point you can't travel anywhere to or within Alaska with an EV, so yes EVs will never be as good as ICE until they can completely replace ICE.
I hadn't bothered before, but @mspohr got to it. None of these things "can't" be done. They just take longer. I wish I could remember that one guy's username who is a Tesla owner in Alaska.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,977
10,105
Boise, ID
I don't think @LCR1 is meaning it in this way, it seems to be an honest "I wonder when" question.
That's how I originally thought it was, not really referring to him, but making an observation about the types of critiques we hear against electric cars, but he kind of surprised me by responding that he actually believed that was a requirement for an electric car to be a real replacement for a gas car.
 

hacer

Active Member
Apr 13, 2016
1,218
5,869
Clarksville, MD
...
"can't do semi trucks" ...
don't forget "can't drive across the Pacific ocean"
I hadn't bothered before, but @mspohr got to it. None of these things "can't" be done. They just take longer. I wish I could remember that one guy's username who is a Tesla owner in Alaska.
I could be wrong, but I vaguely thought @AudubonB was in Alaska.
 

Chuq

Active Member
Jan 1, 2015
3,928
4,947
Hobart, Tas, Aus
That's how I originally thought it was, not really referring to him, but making an observation about the types of critiques we hear against electric cars, but he kind of surprised me by responding that he actually believed that was a requirement for an electric car to be a real replacement for a gas car.

Well no, I wasn't originally referring to you. I took it as kind of an idle question, but I was saying it sounds like the kinds of things we've all been hearing for the past several years from the naysayers.
"can't be fast"
"can't go 200 miles"
"can't leave your city"
"can't charge quickly"
"can't drive coast to coast"
"can't be affordable"
"can't do semi trucks"
As each thing is overcome, they just keep coming up with the next complaint that's just a little farther out. This "can't do a trip to Alaska" is kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel of the next thing electric cars supposedly "can't" do.

Ahh yeah, I 100% know what you mean. I run into these people all the time. I remember a post from someone saying "You can't get to Camooweal (tiny town, middle of nowhere, population under 200) in an EV so therefore they are useless". A few months later the Plugshare map looked like this! (Camooweal is circled)
neKoeZA.png
 

AudubonB

One can NOT induce accuracy with precision!
Moderator
Mar 24, 2013
8,907
37,796
<MOD Hat is OFF>

Rocky_H: I find almost every part of your responses demeaning, derogatory, laved in ignorance and in just about every other way, reprehensible.
Yes, I've driven to and from the lesser-48 and Alaska, about 40 times.
Yes, it galls me every time another SpC site pops up in California. "But it's convenient for many" palls against "But it's essential for some."
Yes, it does indeed represent something of an "ultimate goal post" for demonstrating the capabilities of a mode of transportation. It was thus a little over 100 years ago, when the first steam- and gasoline-powered automobiles made the trek; it will be so when EVs feasibly can do it.
Yes, there will be those who will then claim "But when can one drive to Inuvik?" And the Australian and Siberian and Trans-Sahel and so forth analogs thereof.
Yes, the SpC team has knowledge of the 12-15 locations along Alaska's road system that it would take to cover approximately 99.6% of vehicular traffic.
Yes, I and the two dozen or so other Alaskan Tesla owners wistfully cling to Mr Musk's tweet regarding SpCs of 18 or so months back: "Yes, eventually to Alaska."

But I'll leave this thread with a direct answer to the thread's headline question: Right now. Fairbanks is only 200 miles from Paxson.:p
 

TaoJones

Beyond Driven
Nov 10, 2014
3,064
3,030
The Americas
The drive to Fairbanks, from Tijuana as I recall, was first done (by a Tesla) in 2013 in a red Model S. Took weeks.

I visited the Edmonton SC a couple of days after it went live and as far north (and a little west) as I could get and then back with a single charge. There were L2s at seemingly every gas station up thataway so I could have kept going, but wanted to keep the trip SC-centric.

I almost headed north from Kamloops toward Alaska last year and the year before but just ain't doing it until those 12-15 SCs are in place.

And then it's going to be a gorgeous trip.
 

arg

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
1,841
1,856
Cambridge, UK
It won't be real until you can go from Alice Springs to Hall's Creek without a 1000km detour through Katherine.
(sorry, ex-pat Aussie.)

I suspected a trick question here. Google maps recommends the detour even for ICE driving, yet the map shows a tantalising direct route (marked highway 5?). I'm guessing it's a "road" not passable by ordinary cars?
 

mblakele

FSD Beta (99)
Mar 7, 2016
1,831
6,421
SF Bay Area
I suspected a trick question here. Google maps recommends the detour even for ICE driving, yet the map shows a tantalising direct route (marked highway 5?). I'm guessing it's a "road" not passable by ordinary cars?

I think you're right. Never been there myself, but it looks like it's unpaved. Did you notice the estimated driving time is 10-12 hr longer if you drag the google maps route over to that route?

Tanami Road in Australia | Alice Springs to Halls Creek Australia | Tanami Track in Australia

About Tanami Road Australia (often referred to as the Tanami Track also)

Halls Creek to Alice Springs (1053km) The Tanami Road is the most direct route from the Kimberley to Alice Springs.

Crossing the expanse of the Tanami Desert, the Tanami Road is actually a fairly well-formed earth/gravel road, that is maintained by Shire of Halls Creek until the NT Border. It is, however, an isolated route, that is closed for much of the wet season.

It is recomended that 4WD vehicles are used for the road and outlying areas, and you will need to be well-prepared and self-sufficient.

It is not recommended for caravans or trailers. Rain can close parts of the road at short notice. Take ample supplies of fuel, food and water as various roadhouses along the track can be unreliable. You should also carry enough drinking water to last two trips, as all dams and bores along the route are classified as undrinkable.​
 
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LCR1

Active Member
Oct 24, 2017
1,349
1,178
Houston
Well no, I wasn't originally referring to you. I took it as kind of an idle question, but I was saying it sounds like the kinds of things we've all been hearing for the past several years from the naysayers.
"can't be fast"
"can't go 200 miles"
"can't leave your city"
"can't charge quickly"
"can't drive coast to coast"
"can't be affordable"
"can't do semi trucks"
As each thing is overcome, they just keep coming up with the next complaint that's just a little farther out. This "can't do a trip to Alaska" is kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel of the next thing electric cars supposedly "can't" do.

Oh, you seriously are identifying with it? People do that "all the time"? So most of the people you know have done this every year? I don't happen to know anyone who has done it ever, so it seems kind of unbelievable that people do this all the time. It seems like a really obscure, rare, adventurous thing that hardly anyone does.

Sure, so is moving a house full of furniture, but that doesn't need to be a standard capability of a standard market family sedan. You can rent a U-Haul truck for that rare occurrence of moving furniture, and you can rent a Land Cruiser for that much more rare event of driving through the Yukon Territory tundra to Alaska.


I hadn't bothered before, but @mspohr got to it. None of these things "can't" be done. They just take longer. I wish I could remember that one guy's username who is a Tesla owner in Alaska.

You're funny. It's not that it "can't" do it, it's not feasible. There are no L3 chargers I've found along that route or any route into AK. And until that trip can be made guess what, you haven't replaced ICE.

You're also very sheltered if you don't think driving from the 48, north isn't a thing. Hell there are entire clubs devoted to MOTORCYCLES riding to the the 4 corners from AK, Nova Scotia and new foundland down to the keys, MOTORCYCLES. there are also websites devoted to guiding people along the journey, best time to go, which routes to take and where to go for the best views. You should get out of your shell sometime.

If I have rent a truck to replace an EV, we just took a step backwards. ;)

The time to make a 1500 mile trip through mountains on level 2 charging means the trip isn't feasible. :)
 

LCR1

Active Member
Oct 24, 2017
1,349
1,178
Houston
Also, I can get from Houston to Fairbanks, stopping twice to fill up in the truck. We've got a long way to go before EVs can truly match the possibility of the ICE. I could go that route if you want me to start moving goal posts. The other truck gave up 2' of bed space but the 120 gallon tank in there plus the 60 gallon tank in the truck i have 180 gallons to tow pretty much anywhere on the convenient without have to make unnessesary stops. Small price to pay for 2' of bed space. Let me know when an EV can do that. :rolleyes:
 

LCR1

Active Member
Oct 24, 2017
1,349
1,178
Houston
I don't think @LCR1 is meaning it in this way, it seems to be an honest "I wonder when" question.

In Australia we get the same thing all the time - people saying that you can't drive electric vehicles from one side of the country to the other - it's the same distance across as the contiguous USA, with one particular gap (the Nullarbor) of 1200 km / 750 mi which is pretty much barren desert, with the occasional roadhouse.

Fortunately some enterprising Aussie Tesla owners worked it out... I'll copy/paste from another forum here:



I don't know if such a plug standard exists in US/Canada but the "grassroots" effort might be applicable here!

Problem with that is america is single phase and we're limited to about 17kw on the new chargers, older dual chargers would do about 19kw. It's certainly possible if someone puts enough effort into it but if I have 2 weeks of vacation I dont want to spend the entire time driving and charging.

I haven't made any long trips in the tesla, it's all get there now, now, now. But, in planning some I've sent destination charger requests to places I'd like to go. Even if they install them It won't fill me up at 40amps but it will certainly put a nice dent into the charging when checking places out for a few hours.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
11,177
14,436
California
You're funny. It's not that it "can't" do it, it's not feasible. There are no L3 chargers I've found along that route or any route into AK. And until that trip can be made guess what, you haven't replaced ICE.

You're also very sheltered if you don't think driving from the 48, north isn't a thing. Hell there are entire clubs devoted to MOTORCYCLES riding to the the 4 corners from AK, Nova Scotia and new foundland down to the keys, MOTORCYCLES. there are also websites devoted to guiding people along the journey, best time to go, which routes to take and where to go for the best views. You should get out of your shell sometime.

If I have rent a truck to replace an EV, we just took a step backwards. ;)

The time to make a 1500 mile trip through mountains on level 2 charging means the trip isn't feasible. :)
Different people have different ideas of "feasible". If you demand 5 minute fill ups on a cannonball run, then only an ICE car is "feasible". If you demand 30 minute fill ups, then a Tesla with SCs on the entire route is feasible. If you have the time and are taking a slow pace to enjoy the scenery and stop at interesting places, then destination chargers are feasible.
I've done all of these kinds of trips. The most enjoyable are the slow drives to enjoy the scenery. Two years ago took a trip across Canada to Banff then down through Glacier, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole then back to California. The section from Banff to just North of Yellowstone was all level 2 destination charging. We took a few days and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. If you just wanted to cover the miles, it was probably "not feasible". If you wanted to tour the countries, it was perfect.
People have driven from the lower 48 to Alaska in EVs. It is certainly feasible for them.
Just because you can come up with one use case where it's not feasible, doesn't negate the value of an EV.
 
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Apologies for dragging this off topic with the remote Australia routes. For those interested, I've tagged all the relevant threads in the Aus/NZ forum with "remote charging". You can find them here - remote charging | Tesla Motors Club

Feel free to create a thread for the Halls Creek via Tanami route in Australia & New Zealand forum but I don't think you'll get many takers :p
 

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