Event to conclude in Summerside later this month
Drivers stand with their electric vehicles during a launch event for the E-Mazing Race in Ontario on Wednesday. Upwards of 100 electric cars will compete for points across Canada this month before converging on Summerside Sept. 20. Submitted photo
SUMMERSIDE - Summerside will serve as the finish line to a race - of sorts - across North America later this month.
But where most racers roar across the finish line in a cacophony of engines and smoke - these guys will be a tad more subdued.
Mostly because electric cars don't make much noise.
The event is called the E-Mazing Race and its organizers have dubbed it the world's longest electric car race.
It's organized by a company called Sun Country Highway. Islanders may remember them as the folks who installed several of their high-speed electric vehicle charging stations at various points of interest around P.E.I. last year.
Christopher Misch, vice-president of the company, said on Wednesday that the he's excited to be returning to the Island.
"P.E.I. is a very special place for us," said Misch.
"P.E.I. is a have-not province ... and yet it was the first province to be 100 per cent electric vehicle friendly," he said.
"So we're really excited to work with the province, with P.E.I. Tourism - but we also have great relationships with many of the municipalities there, including Mayor Basil Stewart and the great work that they've done there in Summerside."
The race finishes in Summerside on Sept. 20, and all racers must be past the finish line by 3:30 p.m. that afternoon.
The race officially got started Tuesday in Seattle, Washington, though racers can technically start from anywhere.
There is $10,000 worth of prizes available to the winners.
Misch estimates there will be about 100 electric cars rolling into Summerside from across Canada and the northern United States.
To win, registered drivers have to visit as many Sun Country Highway charging stations as possible between now and Sept. 20. Drivers collect one point for each station they visit.
Once at a station, drivers are required to scan a special QR code and post a picture of themselves at that location on the company's Facebook page.
It's all about raising awareness of the charging stations - the technology behind which is the company's main product, said Misch.
"We've got over 700 chargers across the country . . . and this year we're celebrating that by opening it up to a continent-wide race.
So it celebrates that network, it promotes electric vehicle adoption and it basically tells the public that these vehicles are a viable option for transportation," he said.
Islanders are incouraged to come out and welcome the visitors to town. There will also be weekend of special events to mark their time here throughout Sept. 20 to the 22.
One event the public might be interested in is a time trial and drag race in Slemon Park from 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 21, featuring a Tesla Model S v Performance car.
"We're excited to have supporters come out to P.E.I. to join us and support the movement. So I would incourage your readers to come out and explore what we're doing and to come out to Summerside and join in the festivities," said Misch.