Saturday, February 4, 2023

Three Uruguayans Cross America in Tesla: “The Biggest Challenge Was Finding Charging Points”

Early last year, Martin Canabal decided to pack his bags and leave the San Francisco, California area, where he had moved with his wife after she got an opportunity to work at a technology company in Silicon Valley. His wife’s contract in the city was expiring, but he wanted to return to his native Uruguay in a special way, “to remember it for the rest of his life.”

“I remember when we were going to San Francisco for a vacation in Miami, I said to my wife: ‘When we get back, I’m not going to do it by plane. I want to go by boat or drive. My adventure is going to happen’, explains Cannabal during an interview with Zoom voice of america from Bahía Blanca, Argentina, where he made a technical stop on his way to Punta del Este, Uruguay, where he would henceforth reside.

“He thought it was a joke”, but nothing could be further from the truth. He convinced two other friends, Tuti Airaola and Oliver Ampere, to travel from one end of the American continent to the other aboard some Tesla electric vehicles.

from alaska to ushuaia

“We started on June 1st in Anchorage, Alaska and formally ended on December 29th in Ushuaia, Argentina,” he elaborated on the trip that has become “the trip of my life.”

They Highlight The Selfless Help Of Many People In Latin America To Charge Their Cars, Despite The Fact That In Some Places There Is Not Enough Infrastructure Available. [Foto: Cortesía Martín Canabal]
They highlight the selfless help of many people in Latin America to charge their cars, despite the fact that in some places there is not enough infrastructure available. [Foto: Cortesía Martín Canabal]

They knew it was not going to be an easy adventure, mainly because not all countries are friendly to electric vehicles. In some places they don’t even have electrical outlets so they can be charged. That’s why everything had to be planned in advance.

“The biggest challenge was the weight”

“One of the big challenges was the issue of cargo. In the United States, there is no excuse for not having electric cars, except for the economic issue because there is enough infrastructure for it. But that is not the case elsewhere, although Mexico A little better because Tesla is on the market, in the rest of the countries in the region they are not ready,” he remarked, assuring that this “will soon change” because in those nations to include this type of car in a normal way “Trying”.

for the adventure, which he titled “Electric America”He chose to ride a Tesla because “it was the vehicle that had the greatest range (of autonomy) at the time”, it had more experience in the field than other brands and because there is a community of owners (known as “Teslas”). is) owner”)” where many, along with Harley Davidson motorcycles, share their concerns and advice on the use of these cars.

They Made A Pan-American Route Of More Than 32,000 Km, From Alaska – Where This Photo Was Taken – To Ushuaia In Argentina. [Foto: Cortesía Martín Canabal]

They made a Pan-American route of more than 32,000 km, from Alaska – where this photo was taken – to Ushuaia in Argentina. [Foto: Cortesía Martín Canabal]

So they planned the route according to the places where they could receive the cargo and “tried to optimize the time” of the journey. “For example, we used to go to hotels and leave charging all night and the next day you have a ‘full tank’ to continue. He used to invent all kinds of gadgets wherever he could load them”, he recalls. He says that “most of the time it was thanks to the selfless help of people” who gave him their plugs so he could charge.

Despite problems finding points to charge electric cars, Cannabal joked that he found “the Internet and yerba mate a lot more to find.”

Martin Canabal, One Of The Members Of Journey Through America, Loads Up His Tesla Vehicle At A Point In Baja California, Mexico. [Foto: Cortesía Martín Canabal]
Martin Canabal, one of the members of Journey Through America, loads up his Tesla vehicle at a point in Baja California, Mexico. [Foto: Cortesía Martín Canabal]

“We got to places that I still can’t believe and it makes me think. We went to Guatemala, Mexico, the Atacama Desert, Chile.

Elon Musk knows about this adventure

His journey across the American continent has attracted the attention of many people as it is the first time that someone has traveled the Pan-American route covering a distance of over 32,000 kilometers in an electric car. This has made it an ambassador for this type of vehicle, which is increasingly popular given the awareness that exists in society to be more careful towards climate conditions and the environment.

Even the Tesla company, the brand with which they traveled across the continent, was interested in the project and the company’s founder and CEO Elon Musk himself knows what these three Uruguayans have done for the sector.

From Left To Right: Olivier Ampère, Tuti Airaola And Martin Canabal Pose In Front Of One Of The Alaskan Mountains At The Start Of Their Journey Across The American Continent Aboard An Electric Vehicle. [Foto: Martín Canabal]
From left to right: Olivier Ampère, Tuti Airaola and Martin Canabal pose in front of one of the Alaskan mountains at the start of their journey across the American continent aboard an electric vehicle. [Foto: Martín Canabal]

“No More Excuses Not To Use Electric Cars”

“We didn’t do this for fame, it wasn’t our goal, but we wanted to convince as many people as possible that if we could do a Pan-American route in electric cars today, there are already too many people out there to have an electric car.” There are fewer excuses on a daily basis because the issue of cargo is not so important anymore”, commented Cannabal during an interview with visa on arrival,

“Every day, 60 or 120 kilometers are driven, depending on where your job is, and when you come, you reload the car. Every day and gasoline enough Cheap. So what’s the excuse for not having such a vehicle?” He assured that “in five years, our infrastructure will be in place and cars will no longer be the same”, in addition to the fact that, in his opinion, they are more careful towards the environment.

“Nothing will happen without the support of the government”

However, this 45-year-old mechanical engineer assures that private companies will not be able to do anything without the support of public institutions, which, in his opinion, are supposed to give space for this type of industry to develop. with success.

Photo Of Vehicles Traveling On A Highway In Mexico As They Rode A Tesla On The Pan-American Route. [Foto: Martín Canabal]
Photo of vehicles traveling on a highway in Mexico as they rode a Tesla on the Pan-American Route. [Foto: Martín Canabal]

In the United States, for example, they are already working on this. President Joe Biden announced during a climate summit in April 2021 that his administration is embarking on a project to create “millions of green energy jobs”, boost the sector, which includes electric vehicles, and create a climate free of carbon dioxide emissions. electrical system. 2035.

“Yes, governments have to provide conditions for private companies to make these investments, which are huge. It would be much better if we could convince governments to ease the issue of processes to reduce risk for companies and help in this transition, especially in Latin America”, he said.

an adventure turned documentary

Very purposeful route. His journey of about seven months has been captured on video with the idea of ​​making a documentary where he will learn about the culture and traditions of the places he has passed through in the electric vehicle. You can already see some photos and videos from the trip on their website.

The Aim Of This Adventure Was To Make A Documentary About This Journey And Some Platforms Have Already Taken Interest In Airing This Project. [Foto: Martín Canabal]
The aim of this adventure was to make a documentary about this journey and some platforms have already taken interest in airing this project. [Foto: Martín Canabal]

He also took the opportunity to do some adventure sports such as surfing or skiing, his other passions. He has already received an offer from several on-demand platforms who are interested in the project.

But first, it’s time to get home, “process all this adventure” and start again in Uruguay.

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Nation World News Desk
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