Dear Tesla Motors:
My family lives in a mountainous region of BC, Canada called the Kootenays. The venerable Subaru is kind of the unofficial car of our region for a number of good reasons. We in fact own a 2011 Forester as our 2nd car for all the journeys that our electric Nissan Leaf cannot do. It has a good AWD system, decent ground clearance, and can traverse any gravel road we encounter on our way to remote lakes and mountain hikes. In the winter, the AWD and clearance makes the drive to the ski hill a non-event. And, for a small SUV, it gets decent gas mileage. However, after driving an EV for a few years, driving the Forester feels archaic.
We would love to replace our Forester with a Model Y in the next few years, and while on a recent road-trip in our Forester, we thought up a list of features we would like to see in your next take on an SUV.
(For blog readers unaware, Tesla will be making a SUV/CUV vehicle after the Model 3, and it will be based on the same platform and called the Model Y; similar to how the X is based on the S platform.) Continue reading Dear Tesla: Suggested features for the Model Y
Our neck of the woods near Nelson is a really beautiful part of British Columbia. The roads along the lakes, valleys and over the passes are amazingly scenic. You can drive a little slower with the windows down and really enjoy the scents and sounds of the mountains, or you can tighten your grip on the wheel and enjoy the twisty roads (safely of course!)
On this day-trip from Nelson, we head along the North Shore of the West Arm of Kootenay Lake to Balfour, where we catch the longest free ferry in BC across the lake to Kootenay Bay (this ferry, and several others, should be converted to be electric!) From there, we hop over a small ridge to Crawford Bay, a very neat village with a dense collection of artisans. After browsing and shopping for a few hours, we decided to head north on the east side of the lake to check out Riondel, and then south of Kootenay Bay onto Pilot Bay Peninsula to visit the restored lighthouse. (Data about the drive from a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle point of view is at the end of this post.) Continue reading Day-trip: Nelson to Crawford Bay area
Kelly Carmichael has shared his electric vehicle (EV) trip planning tool on the British Columbia Nissan Leaf Owners group page – direct link to the tool here (looks like it has been taken down, at least for now…)
I made a quick tutorial video on how to use the tool. I would recommend taking the information from his tool and putting it into a spreadsheet or writing it down on a piece of paper to bring with you on your road trips. You could put the data into my trip planner spreadsheet and just hide the columns you don’t need to help organize your route and timing etc.
View the video in full screen for HD and easier viewing…
I forgot to mention in the video that if you want to look at the details of a charging location, click on the icon. For more exact information, including up-to-date status of the station, visit PlugShare. In Nelson, we do not yet have a public charger, so look up my home charger on PlugShare (make sure you have the ‘residential chargers’ selected) if you are visiting the area.
Blue = good to go!
Yellow = low battery warning
Red = very low battery warning
Black = can only do the trip in the downhill direction
Almost 80,000 km in 2 years (I drive too much!) The Leaf remains as perky and smooth as day 1, which is pretty amazing.
I changed the format of my cost updates somewhat and will issue them on a roughly 6 month basis going forward. The new format of the chart should be easier to read and thus more informative. Previous updates are linked below:
Lucky 27,777km and February 2015 Cumulative Cost Update
Cost update Feb to April 2015
50,000 km and cost update
Cost update 63,500 km, Dec 2015
Continue reading Cost update – 77,777 km and 2 years
Updated April 5, at the bottom…
Well I’ve gone and done it apparently. I’ve
brainwashed converted my young children to see infernal combustion vehicles as the dinosaurs that they are and electric vehicles (EVs) as the future!
I had been suspecting this for some time, but it became quite evident a few days ago…
Continue reading Like father like son?
As the snow melts and the snowdrops start to bloom in Nelson, BC, my family starts to dream about all of our favourite summer activities. We live near the shores of beautiful Kootenay Lake, so one of those activities is hanging out at the beach.
Our electrified Xtracycle Edgerunner cargo bike (aka Edgy) saw a lot of use on the weekend soccer and market runs, but it also did a bunch of trips to various beaches in the area. The most remote was to Troop beach, which is more often accessed by boat, and is located on the south side of the west arm, on a prominent sandy point.
Continue reading Beach bumming on an e-cargo bike
I’ve now covered over 64,000 km in our electric vehicle (EV), a 2014 Nissan Leaf. The cover image for this blog post shows that I finally “turtled” the car (on purpose!) this month (December 2015) – another blog post in the near future will explain why I was doing this! (Turtling the car means you go into reduced power mode and have less than 1 km to drive, the car continually limits your power to force you to pull off to the side of the road safely – this protects the battery from discharging too far.) Continue reading Cost update – 63,500 km, Dec 2015