The Accelerate Kootenays direct current fast charger (DCFC) network is filling in right now during the winter of 2017/2018. In December, Radium and Canal Flats came online, and in the last two weeks, Greenwood, Christina Lake, Castlegar, Salmo and Creston all came online as well (as I write this, Jaffray might be online now too!) That brings the total tally to 8 (or 9?) out of 13 installed so far. I recently had a trip in our 2014 Nissan Leaf (a short range electric vehicle, or EV) that I think will illustrate what the fledgling DCFC network will mean to those of us with (or contemplating buying) short-range EVs. If you want to skip the trip report itself, head right to the big heading of “Conclusions” near the bottom. Continue reading Kootenay fast chargers: first trip! (and what they mean to short-range EVs)
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. In an electric vehicle, 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 instant torque of an EV on our twisty roads (safely of course!)
On this sunny day in June 2016, we travelled along the shores of Kootenay Lake to nearby Kaslo. After a tour of the SS Moyie and a light lunch (while charging at the local campground), we headed away from the lake, up over the pass and down to New Denver on the shores of Slocan Lake. We stopped for a short walk in an old cedar/hemlock forest on the way. My wife and her mom visited the Nikkei Internment Centre while the boys and I played in the park and swam in the lake (the car was charging at the campground while we were doing this). Continue reading Day-trip: Nelson to Kaslo and New Denver
In late March 2016 during spring break, the New West EV Family made the trek south of Olympia, WA to the Great Wolf Lodge all the way from New Westminster, BC. Great Wolf Lodge is a hot and humid indoor water-park and thematic hotel in the middle of no-where Washington state. There are a dozen or more of these monstrosities across the US and this one is perfectly situated, equidistant from Seattle and Portland, for frazzled parents to whisk away their kiddos for some distraction in the middle of the gloomy winters. For us Canadians it was a welcome escape from our cool, damp, and grey winters. We had really wanted to get someplace like Palm Springs or San Diego for some authentic sunshine but since our loonies and toonies don’t go as far these days the artificial tropics of the Great Wolf Lodge was just what we needed and what the pocket book would accept. Continue reading The New West EV Family Goes to the Great Wolf Lodge
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
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.