Clean Energy Vehicle incentive returns

CEV

Well, the Clean Energy Vehicle incentives have returned.  I am slightly bitter, since the program was cancelled ran out of funds in February of 2014 and I couldn’t buy my electric vehicle until at least April.  It was ridiculous of the government to sit on their thumbs for a year and put a few hundred early adopters at a future disadvantage in the used car market; but nonetheless, I think it is a good program to help EVs and PHEVs get on their feet so am happy to see it return.

The program came back into effect on April 1, 2015 – you can find all the details at the CEVforBC.ca website.

I do plan to show the effect this would have for someone looking to buy a new car when I post my ongoing cost data update for February and March of 2015.  My first cost data post that covers cost data from May 2014 to January 2015 can be found here.  Expect the next cost post sometime this Easter long weekend.  Update:  my second cost update included the analysis alluded to above – you can read it here.

Infrastructure

More exciting for me though (and other existing EV owners) – I received my regular BC Hydro update email yesterday and this article contained great news, they plan to dramatically expand the Level 3 (Quick Charger) network this year!

The article included a link to a Google Map that showed the locations of existing and future planned stations – I was pretty excited to see that the network extends east along the Trans Canada (Highway 1) to Revelstoke, as far east as Osoyoos on the Crowsnest (Highway 3), and up through the Okanagan.  We are already planning future trips that will be enabled by this improvement in infrastructure 🙂

As an example, I’ve included a screenshot of my spreadsheet for trip planning for driving to Merritt for the trip today, and the trip of the future, hopefully later in 2015!

Current vs Level 3 - charge times will be dropped by 3 hours once the new Level 3's are installed... notice the huge amount of time spent charging at Level 1 however...
Current vs Level 3 – charge times will be dropped by 3 hours once the new Level 3’s are installed… notice the huge amount of time spent charging at Level 1 however…

Travel and charge time are reduced by 3.3 and 3 hours respectively.  Notice the huge amount of time spent charging at Level 1 though… what would the trip length be like if Grand Forks and Midway had Level 2 charging available?

The Level 2 Gap - Once the gap in Level 2 chargers is filled in (ie. chargers in Grand Forks and Midway or Rock Creek), we will be able to travel from the Kootenays to the Okanagan and further afield in a much more reasonable time frame.
The Level 2 Gap – Once the gap in Level 2 chargers is filled in (ie. chargers in Grand Forks and Midway or Rock Creek), we will be able to travel from the Kootenays to the Okanagan and further afield in a much more reasonable time frame.

Much better!  Even without the Level 3 improvements, it would drop travel time by over 5 hours, and total charging time by 12.5!  You would still have to stop somewhere for the night to sleep however, since if you tried to do it in one day, it would take 17 hours.  But adding the announced Level 3 chargers into the picture, the trip is now down to a manageable 13.5 hours with 8 hours of that spent charging.

Notice the one glaring trip oddity?  Why am I driving through Rossland instead of Castlegar for all these trip plans?  Well, for some reason, Castlegar has elected not to install a Level 2 charger at this time, despite winning a free EVSE years ago at a trade-show – hurry up and install it already or donate it to a local business who looks to the future.

Anyways, one day I expect we will have Level 3 chargers in Midway, Grand Forks and Castlegar…

All Level 3 - now that is a totally reasonable driving time to Merritt.
All Level 3 – now that is a totally reasonable driving time to Merritt.

Trip time would be down by a further 6 hours, with only 2.5 hours spent charging.  With our kids, we take about that much time in breaks already over a 500+ km trip.

Dare to dream!  How about it government and private industry, can we get this done by 2018?

In the meantime, a big thank you to BC Hydro and the government for working to expand Level 3 charger coverage – having sufficient quick chargers is what will enable the eventual switch from gasoline cars to EVs.

Now about that gap between the Okanagan and the Kootenays…..

kootenay andrew

kootenay andrew

Andrew is an environmental engineer by day, "kid activity/school volunteer" by evening, and EV advocate / blogger in his remaining spare time.

He is very passionate about the future of energy generation & usage.He prefers bikes to cars, but acknowledges that Canadian cities have been developed primarily with cars in mind, so if we're going to drive, let's make them all EVs!(But let's get EV buses and take those where possible first.)
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kootenay andrew

Andrew is an environmental engineer by day, "kid activity/school volunteer" by evening, and EV advocate / blogger in his remaining spare time. He is very passionate about the future of energy generation & usage. He prefers bikes to cars, but acknowledges that Canadian cities have been developed primarily with cars in mind, so if we're going to drive, let's make them all EVs! (But let's get EV buses and take those where possible first.)

12 thoughts on “Clean Energy Vehicle incentive returns”

  1. Yes, I agree with you…we got the short end as well.

    I will be interested in “I do plan to show the effect this would have for someone looking to buy a new car when I post my ongoing cost data update for February and March of 2015. My first cost data post that covers cost data from May 2014 to January 2015 can be found here. Expect the next cost post sometime this Easter long weekend.”.

    Could I re-post your current blog on the Victoria Leaf Forum; or would you prefer to do so yourself. I believe it will be of great interest to EV owners here on the island.

    Keep up the excellent research/analysis. I really appreciate these.

  2. Right, so having just purchased an EV I was totally excited to see this since we travel from GVRD to Osoyoos a lot. However, how does one get from Hope to Merritt and from Merrit to Kelowna. Both those distances are too much for a Leaf. I mean Its great the network is expanding but I’d love to know the background on the decision making….they are creating a loop, they have closed the loop but the loop has big gaps!!

    1. Hi David, I believe they know the gap is too large between Hope and Merritt and there is power at the washroom near the old toll-booths (I charged there for a few minutes on my way from Hope to Merritt in May 2014, then realized I had enough to get to Merritt provided I took the Coldwater Road instead of the Coq the rest of the way). I think they even showed a station on their map at one point, though looking at it today I do not see one. I agree with you on the gap from Merritt to Kelowna, it is just too large for the current Nissan Leaf and other EVs with that driving range. I don’t think there is any infrastructure to speak of along the way that would work either. Now having said all that, the next generation EV in 2017 should have a range of about 220 – 250 km in good weather, perhaps 60% of that in winter weather. So I suspect there is some cost-benefit analysis happening behind the scenes and the realization that the EV range is likely to get a bit longer, thus negating the need to install expensive stations between towns.

      Edit: I should add that I am banking on Nissan (or an aftermarket company) releasing a battery with increased density for my Leaf in the future such that my range increases by perhaps 30% to 170 km reliably.

  3. I would love to get involved at a provincial policy making advisory level to be a consumer advocate for charging infrastructure in BC. I wonder how to do that…do you know anyone?

    1. Hi David.
      I agree with both you and Andrew on the Coquihalla route; but consider the Hope/Fraser Canyon Route. Last mid-September we took that route, and while we were not electric, gas only, we found it a route entirely different than what it used to be. There was MINIMAL traffic! And no line-ups, etc.

      The other advantage is that here are level 2 chargers at both Boston Bar and Spences Bridge; and the road between Spences and Merrit is beautiful, similar to the OK, following the bautiful winding Niola River.

      From there you can go via Kamloops or the OK connector.

      If you do try the route, I’ll be interested; as we are looking at doing in in late August.

  4. Absolutely familiar with plugshare…

    I just asked my local costco to install an L2 and they have already contacted me back. They sound open to it. Even though I am in the land of L2’s (vancouver) I find there are not many in the locations my family wants to go (Parks, recreation, beaches, and the shopping areas we use.)

    I have begun a personal campaign to solicit for L2’s at the locations I want go to.

    -David

  5. Andrew,

    I see (by stalking) you on plugshare that you are in the lowermainland. Are you going to the monthly VEVA gathering or any other leave gatherings? Just thinking about meeting some other “late” adopters…

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