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

Two trips to Kelowna – and many new Highway 3 chargers!

I’ve gone from Nelson to Kelowna twice in the last month and thought I’d share some photos, data, and random insights from each trip… and in between the two trips, several new chargers were added on Highway 3, happy days!!

Don’t worry, this isn’t a novella (unlike the Sechelt trip report!)

September – Nelson to Kelowna via Revelstoke, back via Osoyoos

September Map
Click to enlarge…

Since I completed my last trip to Kelowna in the spring in our electric vehicle (EV), a 2014 Nissan LEAF, a new Direct Current Fast Charger (DCFC) had come online in Revelstoke, so when I planned this trip, I really wanted to take the slightly longer northern route.

Continue reading Two trips to Kelowna – and many new Highway 3 chargers!

A Tale of Two Journeys – Part Two

This post is the trip report of our journey to Sechelt and back in June 2015.  The trip came out of an invitation to participate in a planning workshop for future deployment of Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFCs) in British Columbia (BC).  For a quick primer on different levels of EV charging, head here.

Part 1 of this series can be found here and includes a description of the planning process. For this post, we’re headed straight to the journey itself.

For the TLDR; version (“too long, did not read!”), skip right to the heading at the bottom for “Trip Takeaways”).

A quick reminder on our trip plan – we would work our way across southern BC on Highway 3, utilizing Level 2 charging infrastructure over 2 days until we reached the Level 3 DCFC infrastructure in the Lower Mainland on the 3rd day.

Trip Planner Tool - click to enlarge
Trip Planner Tool – click to enlarge

The post title is a reference to how the  trip would encompass two fundamentally different types of charging and provide a stark comparison of the reality (as of June 2015) of long-distance travel via Level 2 chargers vs the future: the expanding network of DCFCs!

The First Journey (seeing the sights!)

Knowing that we had set a pretty ambitious time to leave town of 10 am on Friday June 12 (hey that’s early when you have two young kids!), we did a fair amount of packing on the Thursday night, then got up the next morning and proceeded to cram everything in… and left at the bright and early hour of 11:30 am! Continue reading A Tale of Two Journeys – Part Two

A Tale of Two Journeys – Part One

Introduction

In May I received an invitation to a workshop to help plan future deployment of Level 3 DCFC infrastructure in BC. The workshop was to take place in mid June in Vancouver and hosted by PlugInBC. The workshop was to include representatives from government, educational institutes, BC Hydro, various EVSE network service providers and several other EVangelists. I was invited to provide some perspective from outside of the Lower Mainland and was extremely excited about the prospect of attending. I immediately went into planning mode and floated the trip by Marley later that evening – I could either do the trip by myself, attending the workshop on Monday and getting home late Tuesday night (or heading straight to work in Trail on Wednesday morning), or we could move some of our holiday plans around to allow her and the kids to come as well… and of course we would have to do the trip in our EV! It would have been crazy to drive our gas car to attend a workshop on DCFC infrastructure – I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to explore the current state of Level 2 and DCFC infrastructure in the various regions of BC!  (click here for an explanation of Level 2 vs DCFC and visit PlugShare to explore what infrastructure is available in BC currently) Continue reading A Tale of Two Journeys – Part One

Trip Report: Kelowna and back, Part 3 (and the last!)

This is the third and final part of 3 posts on my trip from Nelson to Kelowna and back in February of 2015.  Links to the earlier posts:  Part 1, Part 2.  Part 3 covers my journey from Kelowna back to Nelson.

Trip back home

The night before I was to leave for home, I started thinking about the other possible ways to get home. I had previously looked at different ways to the Okanagan based on the infrastructure available in the Okanagan valley in the summer of 2014. At that time I had ruled out the ‘middle’ route from Vernon to Needles/Fauquier (via Cherryville), it was just too far of a stretch at 355 km with only Level 1 charging opportunities along the route (that’s about 36 hours of charging!) However, the northern route looked potentially promising, especially after Sicamous added a Sun Country Highway EVSE at their new visitor center, and the Best Western added an EVSE in Revelstoke. That brought the “Level 2 gap” down to only 250 km between Revelstoke and Nelson, comparable to the gap between Osoyoos and Nelson of 265 km. Continue reading Trip Report: Kelowna and back, Part 3 (and the last!)

Trip Report: Kelowna and Back, Part 2

This is Part 2 of my trip report from Nelson to Kelowna and back. Part 1 can be found here

Grand Forks to Osoyoos

As noted in Part 1, my planning seemed to be right on par, but a thought had kept bugging me while I was eating breakfast. My spreadsheet takes into account elevation gains and losses, but it does not differentiate between whether the hills are near the beginning of a route, in the middle, or near the end. Continue reading Trip Report: Kelowna and Back, Part 2