Dear Tesla: Suggested features for the Model Y

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

Day-trip: Nelson to Crawford Bay area

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

Beach bumming on an e-cargo bike

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

Day Trip to Larch Ridge near Rossland

When I was coming back to the Kootenays from Kelowna in early October in my electric vehicle (a Nissan Leaf), I travelled through the Strawberry Pass on my way to Rossland and noticed that the larches were all a brilliant golden yellow.  There is a set of trails in an area just north of Rossland known as Larch Ridge, and I wanted to take my family to show them before all the needles fell, so we decided to go the weekend right after I got home.

Continue reading Day Trip to Larch Ridge near Rossland

Skiing and a Christmas Tree

For a video update on winter driving, go to the bottom… (original post follows)

Ski season started recently in the Kootenays!    I love skiing so this is one of my favourite times of the year.  There are a few ski hills close to Nelson, so in the fall I plugged the data into my spreadsheet model to see which trips were viable:

EV energy usage model by trip
EV energy usage model by trip

Continue reading Skiing and a Christmas Tree