Electric vehicle tidbits and adventures in the Kootenays
Author: 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.)
A few months after that last post/video, in the spring of 2019, I received and installed a Stealth Hitch on my Model 3 (post coming “soon”). I decided to re-run the consumption test, but this time including a bike rack, a Northshore rack that I’ve been using for several years on a few different cars. Read on to find the values I use when planning out my longer road trips – because the car cannot recalibrate it’s range estimate enough to compensate for the added consumption (it tries, but it is always wrong), it is important to have these values. You can adapt these values for use with the Model Y as well – see the bottom for more.
It’s finally here, the year that prospective EV owners living in the Kootenays have been waiting for… outdoor-activity enabling electric cross-overs! (Or CUVs, SUVs, XUVs… whatever floats your boat for terms… [I made up that last one]). Ever since the dawn of the modern EV and PHEV, your choices have been sedan or hatchback two-wheel drive cars, with only a few exceptions. Go look at my “Available EVs in Canada” page (which I know needs a major update… coming!) and you’ll see what I mean.
But, that all changes this year with the introduction of no less than 4 new models!
Let’s start with what will likely be the best-seller of the bunch in 2020 (and for the foreseeable future):
Yep, it is coming this year! In my “what did we buy” post in December 2018, at that time the forecast for the Model Y arrival in Canada was 2021; turns out Tesla has learned a thing or two from building a factory from scratch in China and churning out new cars in less than 1 year – they have been able to move forward the timeline of the Model Y by several months – it launched in the US in March and will likely follow pretty quickly to Canada.
The Y builds on the fantastic Model 3 (currently outselling pretty much all other EVs available in the US combined!) and adds all the touches that will make it appreciated for the Kootenays:
Clearance is increased to over 7″ along with standard full-time 4WD (one motor per axle)
Plastic trim on the body edges (e.g. skirt and wheel wells)
Hatchback design with probably double the cargo space of my Model 3 (therefore likely more than our previous Subaru Forester)
Available 5 + 2 seating if you find yourself transporting kids everywhere
Continued access to the Supercharger network (fastest and most stalls per site), plus access to the general DCFC network which is becoming denser every year in the Kootenays (through purchasing an adapter though)
In a sign that some of the Detroit automakers are taking the EV revolution seriously, Ford announced the Mustang Mach-E in November 2019, and even recently paid big $$$ for an ad spot at the Super Bowl. Obviously they studied the Model 3 closely, as they have included many similar touches, but have also added their own. What makes it more suitable for the Kootenays? Similar to the Model Y:
Clearance is roughly 7″, and 4WD (dual-motor) is available on some models
Plastic skirting around the edges
True fast charging ability at 150 kW to enable road trips (this is much faster than the current crop of cars, which aside from the Model 3, generally top out at 50 – 75 kW; unfortunately the general DCFC network in BC is currently capped at 50 kW)
The Mach-E is slated for release in late 2020 – no word yet on whether the release will be simultaneous here in Canada, but they do have it on their Canadian website, so that’s a good sign.
Rivian is an EV start-up that I think has a decent chance of succeeding. They’ve actually been around several years, but until just a few years ago, were working under the radar. In 2019 though, they made a few big spashes with multi-billion dollar investments from Ford and Amazon. They are currently tooling up a factory in Illinois and production is targeted for later 2020 for their first vehicle, an adventure pick-up, the R1T.
It is roughly the size of a Toyota Tacoma, but will be more capable both on-road and off. It even has an option where you can have a motor for each wheel! Tacoma’s are a dime a dozen around here, and this truck, or one very similar to it, likely will be as well in the next decade. (Maybe not right away, as the price is a bit up there!)
Toyota has offered a hybrid version of the RAV4 SUV for the last few years, and now they have improved on that dramatically by offering a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version. Range on battery only can be as high as 60 km, which will allow most Kootenay residents to get their daily driving done from a nightly charge on a regular 120V outlet. Not all the details are out yet, but it should be very similar to the regular RAV4 in all the usual ways, but will offer improved acceleration, fuel economy and traction (it has a dedicated rear-axle motor for improved AWD).
Anything interesting for 2021…?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 4 months, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the Tesla Cybertruck, announced in November 2019 to a wide-range of opinions (to say the least!) The design is pretty polarizing, but the specs are pretty jaw dropping, particularly for the stated price ($35k USD). We’ll see if Tesla delivers on these specs in 2021.
Last week we received and installed the new Tesla Model 3 Roof Rack on our car – go check out the install if you are curious. One of the comments I have been receiving and seeing online in the forums is “how does the roof rack affect your efficiency?” I decided to do a controlled test to find out!
Woot! Received and installed my Tesla Model 3 roof rack!! One of the key items necessary to make this car viable for my family was availability of a roof rack, so I was stoked to see it officially announced at about the same time I ordered the car.
Ok I promise I’m actually going to tell you which electric vehicle (EV) we bought in this post! (Unlike the last teaser post haha!)
As a reminder, or for those who haven’t been following the blog regularly, we’ve now owned a Nissan Leaf for 4.5 years and an electric cargo bike (Xtracycle Edgerunner) for 3 years, and just recently took the last step to becoming an “EV-only” family by replacing a 2011 Subaru Forester. In this post I’ll share what we bought, and some of the reasons for our choice. Drum roll please….
Welcome to another edition where we show all of the costs for our 2014 Nissan Leaf SL electric vehicle (EV) to-date, which is 4.5 years now. This post is one in a series, the rest of which can be found at Cost Info Posts. Note that all costs are in $CDN.
First off, the usual detailed 6 month interval update, then a look at the forecast costs for the Leaf into the future (this edition with new charts), and lastly a surprise!
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