CAA Atlantic Tesla Model 3 with Next Ride
Image: CAA Atlantic partners with Next Ride to offer free test rides in Tesla Model 3

Addition of vehicle to the club’s fleet and partnership with Next Ride part of organization’s long-term EV strategy to be an early adopter of electric roadside assistance vehicles

Even if they aren’t CAA members, Nova Scotians can test drive a Tesla, thanks to a partnership between CAA Atlantic and Next Ride.

On July 23, CAA Atlantic introduced their Tesla Model 3, which was bought in 2019 with funds from the Connect2 grant program. Administrated by the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines, Connect2 funds clean transportation, alternative fuel and related-infrastructure projects.

Gary Howard, senior vice president of communications at CAA Atlantic, said acquiring a Tesla is part of CAA Atlantic’s goal to make electric vehicles more accessible.

“Public education on cleaner and greener transportation is needed, and we want to positively contribute to that,” said Howard. “We’re here to … show the public how easy it is to transition.”

Next Ride partnership

To spread this awareness Next Ride, a Clean Foundation initiative launched in 2019 to increase EV adoption, is hosting the tests.

Clean Foundation’s Clean Transportation Program Manager Jérémie Bernardin, said the Tesla will join a Chevrolet Bolt and Hyundai Kona as Next Ride test drive vehicles.

“We’re so excited about this partnership with CAA, and how it’s helping us give Nova Scotians even more chances to drive electric,” said Bernardin.

Those taking part in the Tesla test drive will have to adhere to COVID-19 protocols by sanitizing their hands, wearing masks, filling out a COVID-19 questionnaire and providing contact tracing information. The car will be sanitized after each use.

Long term EV strategy

CAA Atlantic said this initiative is part of a larger, long-term electric vehicle strategy, and that it plans to add more EV technology as it becomes available. According to a press release, the organization will use the Tesla for “light service duties on an emergency basis,” and is “closely monitoring the truck industry” for new opportunities to use technology in its roadside assistance vehicles.

Currently, Tesla Model 3 test drives are being conducted in the Halifax Regional Municipality throughout July and August. Other public locations will be announced at a later date, while private test drives can be booked online.