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All Blog Posts

If you are new to blogs, you can look at all posts on a given subject by clicking on either a ‘tag’ or a ‘category’ that is on a blog post.  (E.g. clicking on the category “Charging” will show you all posts that I have categorized as “Charging” [categories are on the left side of the website, click here to see example of where to find it]).

However, I have also included a list of all blog posts, in order of date written, from newest to oldest.  Sometimes it is easier to look through blog posts in this fashion.

The List

R1T Efficiency Tests: Bikes and Ski Boxes” – shortly after taking ownership, I completed a series of tests with bikes and a ski box to see how it would impact consumption/efficiency. I compare the results to our Model 3 and previous ICE vehicles. I also comment on the integration of ABRP into the vehicle trip planning software and how accurate it is.

Adding Outdoor Accessories to my R1T” – brief post on which accessories we are using to get the vehicle set up to take us on our outdoor adventures.

Why an EV Truck? Why the R1T?” – Incoming: wall of text, broken up by a few charts, showing our decision process when deciding on an EV truck, and ultimately a Rivian R1T. TLDR; the Rivian is a rad new breed of truck, saves us money in the long-term, and does so with less env impact.

18 Months of Petrol Burning” – after my initial splurge of data-filled posts about the Model 3, life became pretty busy and I lost my drive to keep posting. Fast-forward almost 4 years, and we’ve had a few more adventures to post about… but we reverted to a gas-mobile for almost 18 months of that time! Find out why in this post, and get a taste of the adventures we went on.

EVs for Mountain Towns” – after a few years of maintaining a general list of EVs available in Canada, the list became too unwieldy for a personal blog to keep on top of. So I updated and significantly narrowed the list to vehicles we would personally consider if we were in the market, based on where we live and play.

Tesla Model 3 Consumption with Roof Rack and Bike Rack” – an update of the consumption test post below, now with a hitch-mounted bike rack.  Lots of info to help you plan out those road trips.

2020 – finally the year of ‘Kootenay’ EVs and PHEVs” – It’s finally here, the year that prospective EV owners living in the Kootenays have been waiting for… outdoor-activity enabling electric cross-overs!

Roof rack consumption test” – shortly after installing the roof rack, I wanted to see the impact it would have on consumption (i.e. energy consumed per km, or Wh/km).  I ran a series of controlled tests on New Year’s day without the rack, with the rack only installed, and with the rack + a ski box installed.

Roof rack!” – our roof rack from Tesla arrived; I made a video of the installation process, plus my initial thoughts on the rack.

We bought a…” – a pretty long post going into the reasons for why we bought a Tesla Model 3.

So what are we getting?” – a short teaser post… we talk a bit more financials, plus look at life cycle emissions (i.e. is there an overall net benefit to replacing our fossil car?)

Cost Update – 4.5 years and 172,000 km” – the usual table… but the forecast looks a lot different!  (I also introduce updated “Buying an EV cost/payback matrices”, this time looking at replacing cars, SUVs, and pickups – the same matrices are included at the bottom of the Cost Updates summary page.)

Cost Update – 4 years and 153,000 km” – check out the summary of costs from the last 4 years, plus my usual detailed tables and charts.  I have a debate about whether to replace the battery on my Nissan Leaf or not.  And, we look a bit at marketshare for EVs in Canada vs new cars (almost 5%!)

“Kootenay Fast Chargers – trip report and implications for short-range EVs” – a trip report for doing the loop from Nelson to Red Resort (via the Strawberry Pass) to Salmo and back again, in the winter, with some unexpected road delays… newly installed fast charger network to the rescue!  Also some thoughts on what the expanding DCFC network in the Kootenays means for those of us with short-range EVs.

“Cost Update – 3.5 years and 135,888 km” – I start to stretch out my lead a bit on the gassers in total costs to-date.  Also big news of interest in the last 6 months.

Green Energy and Home Show 2017″ – I attended the Green Energy and Home Show in Nelson for the 4th year running.  Lots of interest this year, and the local dealer was able to bring out a Bolt.  I focussed my presentation (linked in the blog post) this year on 2nd generation EVs and how they will allow inter-regional travel for the Kootenays.

Cost update; 3 years and 117,000 km” – a continuation of the series of cumulative cost updates.  Steady as she goes.

Chevy Bolt:  A review from rural BC” – I get a chance to review a new Bolt in the spring of 2017.  Great car, tons of range, and down to a more affordable price range then the Tesla Model S.

“Day-trip:  Nelson to Kaslo and New Denver” – we spent a beautiful spring day in June 2016 driving to Kaslo, exploring the SS Moyie, then over the pass to New Denver (with a forest walk near Retallack) where we enjoyed Slocan Lake and visited the Nikkei Internment Centre.  Lots of beautiful scenery in the accompanying 15 minute video (found in the post) and the photos at the bottom.

“Benefits of EVs” – I added a static page with some information on the benefits of EVs as I see them after 2.5 years of ownership and over 100,000 km.

“2017 Starts with a Bang!” – a number of seemingly small events occurred in early 2017 that had me feeling quite optimistic about where the EV movement is heading in the coming year, so I put together a short post with my thoughts.  I’ve also included blog plans for the year.

“Cost Update – 96,000 km and 2.5 years” – the next post in the series of cumulative cost updates.  In this update, I get to laugh at how much I have spent in maintenance vs the recommended service intervals for our Subaru!  (Wow gas cars are expensive to maintain!)  I also get a bit deeper into using LeafSpy.

“New West Family Goes to the Great Wolf Lodge” – the NWS takes a trip across the border into the US to central Washington to visit a thematic lodge/resort – lots of details of how the trip logistics worked out.

“Dear Tesla:  Suggested features for the Model Y” – living in the Kootenays, we have some specific needs from a SUV.  In this post, I provide a list of features that we feel should be included on the next Tesla in the design pipeline, the Model Y (which should be based off the Model 3, arriving in 2017).

“Day-trip:  Nelson to Crawford Bay area” – a nice short trip to take from Nelson to Crawford Bay, I’ve included some stats and photos.  I also made a short video of the trip.  I also think again about the possibility of converting the inland ferries of our region to run on electricity.  Scandinavian countries are already doing this, and in some cases with Canadian technology!

“Cool new trip planning tool!” – I give a quick video tutorial of how to use Kelly Carmichael’s electric vehicle trip planning tool.

“Cost update – 77,777 km and 2 years” – a cumulative cost update after having owned the car for 2 years.  I will be issuing these every 6 months going forward.

“Like father like son?” – the boys enter a colouring contest for the engineering association of BC, and Linden wins his age category with an electric train.

“Beach bumming on an e-cargo bike” – for our very local trips (e.g. farmer’s market, downtown, beaches < 10 km) we prefer to take our electrified Xtracycle Edgerunner cargo bike.  This is a trip report to a local beach near Nelson; we use only 2 cents of electricity to complete the 16 km trip with 300 m of climbing.

“Day Trip:  The NWEV Family goes to Whistler for the Day” – David provides a nice recap of a day-trip from New Westminster to Whistler, which includes a few DCFC stops and the stats for the journey.  If you live in the Lower Mainland and are considering a Leaf or other similar range EV, this article is a must read.

“Cost Update – 63,500 km, Dec 2015” – a summary of key stats for the year of 2015 in our Leaf.  I also include a few random topics, like what to do if your key fob runs out of juice, the latest on the CEV for BC program, and a note on my observed battery degradation (about 5% at this point).

“Winter Driving in the Leaf up to Whitewater” – I brought the video camera along for one of our regular trips up to our local ski hill, Whitewater Resort.  The blog post summarizes winter driving, with more detail included in the embedded video.

“New West Family Goes to the Zoo – Part 2 of 2” – David recounts the second half of their road trip to Seattle and provides a summary of this thoughts on the pros and cons of travelling via an EV at this early stage of the infrastructure roll-out.  This series of posts has very valuable info included for those travelling into the US and planning to use the charging network!

“An intro to electric vehicles and the Nissan Leaf during my work commute” – a video blog post about EVs in general, with some specific items about the Leaf.  I also included a section in the middle on why I bought an EV in the first place (I will write a full-length post on this topic somewhere in the future!)

“Day-trip:  Nelson to Fletcher Falls and Ainsworth Hotsprings” – a 120 km round-trip to local destinations.  I include a brief discussion on using my trip planning tool, since I knew I would be pushing the range of the car.

“New West EV Family Goes to the Zoo – Part 1 of 2” – David recounts their trip to the Seattle area for a family trip.  His trip account highlights some of the future opportunities for area of improvement in how we roll out our DCFC network here in BC (i.e. to avoid some of the problems he encountered).  Having said that, my takeaway from this post is that such a road-trip is eminently doable even in our current generation EVs, and will only get better with the next generation of cars and denser infrastructure.

“Hello from the New West EV Family” – David owns a Leaf and lives in New Westminster, BC (in the greater Vancouver area) – he has been following my blog for a number of months and wanted to become a contributor:  this post is the first of a series of posts from David on a recent trip to Seattle, and the planning he had to undertake to utilize the Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) network south of the border.

“Day Trip to Larch Ridge Near Rossland” – we took a day trip to an area near Rossland to enjoy the fall colours of the larch trees.  I discuss how I approach a typical weekend day trip with my spreadsheet trip planner.  We also get to enjoy some tasty treats in Rossland AND still save money on gas!

“Two Trips to Kelowna – And Many New Highway 3 Chargers!” – two trips to Kelowna within a month allowed me to contrast the “pre-charger” state of Highway 3 from Osoyoos to Nelson and the current state with several new Level 2 chargers (hint:  much easier to do this route now!)  I also discuss some fast charging (DCFC) experiences (one negative, multiple positive).

“2015 Green Energy & Home Show” – I attended the home show in Nelson again this year as an EV ambassador, but this time I also gave a short presentation.  You can download the presentation and all of the materials I had at the show from this blog post.

“50,000 km and Cost Update” – Updated cumulative cost graph and table (comparing to two other vehicle types) and a summary of cumulative stats (e.g. cost of electricity for 50,000 km, approximately $850!)

“A Tale of Two Journeys – Part 2” – this part is the trip report.  I won’t call it a summary, because I got a bit carried away – hopefully it is informative!

“A Tale of Two Journeys – Part 1” – I was invited to Vancouver to participate in a Level 3 DCFC infrastructure workshop, so we decided to extend it into a family trip and do the trip in the Leaf.  We decided to head to Sechelt as well.  Part 1 discusses planning the trip.

“Say Hello to Our Electric Edgy!” – my first passion is actually biking, whether on trails or commuting by bike.  Since living in Nelson, I had found myself wanting a better way to get around town in the 9 months of riding season, so we sold some bikes and bought a cargo bike this spring.  Then we electrified it!

“Electric ferries are in Europe, why not BC?” – northern European countries are pioneering the use of fully-electric drivetrains in passenger and car ferries – we should be doing the same in BC.

“Easter Weekend Trifecta” – Nelson and the Kootenays have the wonderful phenomena of two simultaneous seasons (sometimes 2.5) only separated by tens of kilometres of distance and thousands of metres in elevation.  The Leaf helped us experience our own personal trifecta by hauling rocks for our garden, carrying us and our bikes to Castlegar, and bringing us and our skis up the gravel and snowy roads to Whitewater for our last day of the ski season.

“Cost Update – Feb to April 2015” – my second cost update for the blog – the CEV incentive came back on April 1, so I decided to see what the scenario would look like with that initial $5,000 off the car… I would have been breaking even after only 1 year!

“Trip Report:  Kelowna and Back, Part 3” – the final leg home.  I decide to travel back via the northern route through Revelstoke.  On the way, I set a personal record for distance travelled on one charge – 182 km, including 1,600 m of climbing and descending 🙂

“Clean Energy Vehicle incentive returns” – the incentive program is back in BC; I share a few thoughts on the “year off” that the BC “Liberal” government gave the program, then move on to the more exciting announcement from BC Hydro with respect to fast charging infrastructure!

“Trip Report:  Kelowna and Back, Part 2” – on this leg, I drove from Grand Forks to Kelowna.  A slight miscalculation (!) had me wondering if I could get to Osoyoos first though!

“Trip Report:  Kelowna and Back, Part 1” – I recently drove to Kelowna and back.  I had so many thoughts on this journey that I decided to split it into 3-4 posts.  Part 1 includes the planning process and the first leg of the trip from Trail to Grand Forks.

“Lucky 27,777km and February 2015 Cumulative Cost Update” – cost data for the first 9 months of driving.  I plan to update this every month or two.  I also forecast the point at which the EV will be cheaper than a ‘gasmobile’.

“Utility Companies and EV Infrastructure” – PG&E (in California) has announced a roll-out of 25,000 charging station points in the next few years!  Wouldn’t that be great in BC too?

“Starting an ‘EV Basics’ series of webpages” – this blog post points to the EV Basics series of pages that are permanently linked in the top banner of this website.  I decided that having all of the basic info about EVs posted in one spot made more sense than random blog posts interspersed with trip reports etc.

“Skiing and a Christmas Tree” – a recount of our first few trips to Whitewater, including some data on climbing large hills!

“Driving up to winter at Kokanee Glacier Park” – a trip report and lots of photos.  I also observed an interesting phenomena with the LEAF’s energy meter.

“The World We Want Forum” – I presented at a local forum on sustainability issues.  The post includes my Powerpoint slideshow, both with links and notes.  Full of good info!

“Follow-up on the Green Home and Energy Show” – I attended a local home show in Nelson in the fall of 2014 as an ‘EV Ambassador’ – I brought the LEAF and showed it to many interested people.  I also prepared some infographics for the event, and included them in this blog post.

“Join us for the ride…” – the first post on this blog!  I included a number of subjects that I intended to cover over the coming years and a great photo of the LEAF with a winery on my way home from picking up in the car in Vancouver in May 2014.

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