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Cascade Loop EV Travel Writer Tour

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by JackA, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. JackA

    JackA Member

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    Plug-In NCW in partnership with the Cascade Loop Association has arranged for three nationally published travel writers to drive the Cascade Loop in Nissan Leaf EVs. The writers were selected from a large number who applied after Plug-In NCW made a presentation at the NW Travel Writer Conference held in Spokane earlier this year. These writers will depart Wenatchee on Monday the 29th of September for a three day, 425 mile experience of natural beauty and technical excellence. Nissan, USA is providing three 2014 Leaf EVs for this EVenture. While the Leaf is not usually considered a long range vehicle the abundance of charging stations on the Cascade Loop will allow these neophyte EV drivers to make the trip with little anxiety and lots of time to take in the beauty. Seattle City Light does not anticipate completing installation of their two L2 chargers in time for this EVent so Plug-In NCW is delivering two haL2 (240V 70A) EVSE on Tuesday for temporary installation. Our units will be retrieved the following week as they are already scheduled for NCW host sites.

    Steve Coram has contributed his vast experience in "long driving a Leaf" to plot out the course and set the charge times that our "no EV experience required" travel writers will follow. We appreciate his help in this effort and his contributions to electric vehicle adoption in Washington.

    We believe it is accurate to state that the Cascade Loop is the first and only nationally recognized scenic drive to offer EV drivers charging opportunities along the entire route. For more information check out cascadeloop.com or pluginncw.com
     
  2. dasRad

    dasRad Member

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    Jack,

    Many, many thanks for spearheading the installation of haL2 chargers in your area. I had the good fortune to make use of the charger at the Twisp River Pub this weekend, allowing me to make it from Burlington to Kelowna with a 2.5 hr charge in Twisp. And, yes, the food is good at the pub and the pub really seems to be a central gathering place for the community.

    I look forward to reading how this Tour works out. I am somewhat curious as to the logistics of 3 Leafs making the tour at the same time. Although there is now a good network of haL2 chargers, there is only one per location which seems to me either percludes the 3 Leafs traveling together, or involves repeated waits for usage of a charger.
     
  3. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    This great work Jack! I recently did the loop and it was a fantastic experience. I hope the Chelan wineries are on the itinerary. They should also go for a Shake at the 59'er - they might set another record this year. Ask for "Flo".
     
  4. JackA

    JackA Member

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    dasRad; It is difficult to believe that in just sightly over one year Plug-In NCW has assisted installation of so many charging opportunities. While true that there is only one haL2 at most sites we usually installed other 240V40A outlets. The City of Chelan now has three haL2 and a bunch of 240V40A and 120V12A outlets. Pateros has four 120V12A outlets along with one haL2. Winthrop has many RV hookups to compliment the haL2 and the Mazama site installed two additional 240V40A outlets when they placed the haL2. Even with this we have set start times for the drivers that will in part offset the overlap in charging times. However, these are writers so time on target is good! They will find things to write about that they may not have noticed during a five minute fill up of an ICE. Another advantage for us is that there are L3 CHAdeMO chargers on about half the route which will reduce the dwell time for each driver. We look forward to the writer's published stories about the Cascade Loop and their driving it in battery powered cars!
     
  5. JackA

    JackA Member

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    We Could Use Some Help!

    We were informed yesterday that Nissan USA is not including any charging network fobs or cards with the three Leafs they have provided. I spoke with EV Solutions (Aerovironment) last night and they are pretty sure it is "too late" to get fobs to us by Monday the 29th. There are two of us in Wenatchee that have fobs, what I am looking for is someone who has a active fob that is willing to let us use it between 29 September and 2 October. Plug-In NCW will pay the cost of one month unlimited use which is $19.50. We would even pay postage both ways.

    Use of the CHAdeMO L3 chargers from Burlington back to Wenatchee is a very important need for this writer's tour to be successful from an EV point of view. Thanks for considering this request. Jack
     
  6. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    I would if I could.

    I find it pretty amazing that Nissan appears clueless about marketing. Especially with the "Why Gas" campaign. Low cost, very high impact.
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Will any Teslas be going along for the ride?
     
  8. JackA

    JackA Member

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    Only mine.... Charlene and I will be "shadowing" the three Leaf EVs. The drivers of the Leafs are travel writers and not one of them has driven an EV before. If you are interested in linking up let me know and I will provide the travel plan.
     
  9. JackA

    JackA Member

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    Day One: Wenatchee to Mazama

    Not sure this will be a daily entry, but I will try. The three writers arrived at the Marriott Springhill Suites in Wenatchee yesterday. They got an introduction to Plug-In North Central Washington and the tour route. They were given individual instruction about the Leaf they will be driving by two experienced Leaf drivers, Randy and Ann Brooks. As part of that instruction they drove to the Wenatchee Convention Center and plugged in to ah Aerovironment L3 EVSE unit. Then, of course we had a reception at the Springhill... I got home at about 7:30.

    Today, we meet at the Pybus Public Market where they have arranged a light breakfast and "send off". We will also be looking at the Plug-In NCW haL2 charger at the market and explaining the differences between L2 and haL2. Not one of our writers has driven and EV before yesterday! Talk about a learning curve. Our route follows the Plug-In NCW haL2 path to Chelan, Pateros, Twisp, Winthrop and Mazama. We are staying the first night at the Mazama Country Inn. This is where we gathered for the "North Cascades EV Rally of Discovery" last June. Really a nice place in a beautiful setting.
     
  10. JackA

    JackA Member

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    First Vehicle Recovery - Driver Error

    Well, it is sad to report that we had to "roadside charge" one of our Leafs late Monday. The driver did not use the GPS address we provided and took a route that was about 30 miles longer than we had planned. Then, because they were in a hurry, shorted the charge time specified for Pateros. The result is they ran out of charge about 18 miles short of the next planned charge location. A local resident stopped to assist and linked about 200 feet of extension cords to start the car charging where it sat along the road. There is no ATT or Sprint cell phone coverage in this area so the person who provided the charging opportunity also drove our driver to Twisp so she could call us! Charlene drove our Model S down to pick up the driver and get them to the Mazama Country Inn. Early this morning we drove to the stranded Leaf and drove it to Mazama to get a 100% charge before starting over Washington Pass.
     
  11. JackA

    JackA Member

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    Second Day - What a Day

    Departed Mazama using about a thirty minute stagger to ensure we did not all arrive at the AAA Charge Truck at the same time. Weather was overcast with temperature in the fifties. The AAA truck was waiting and ready. We got some really good video and images of this operation. The driver joined us down the hill to Seattle City Light's Newhalem site. One point I can assure you SCL customers; you should drive up to Newhalem and see what Mr. Ross (Grandfather of SCL) created and what is now producing most of your electricity. If you are thinking, what will I do while charging, I can tell you that we were so busy walking, and sightseeing that we were late getting away! On site maintenance told me that they expect to have two haL2 and two L2 chargers installed by December. Stay tuned to pluginncw.com for plans to celebrate this "golden spike" or, golden bolt , ceremony for the Cascade Loop!

    The Aerovironment L3 at Burlington worked flawlessly and got us all to Oak Harbor for spark at their L2. Thny on to the most accommodating and beautifully situated Saratoga Inn at Langley. The owner has a Model S 85P+ and a Leaf so was motivated to stay late at the Inn to greet us as we arrived well past their check in time. They have two Blink L2 chargers that are part of the Blink Network. Lesson learned; always carry all of your access cards when traveling! Fortunately for me their customer service was quick and easy to use and we got the Leafs charged up. Side note: you can generate a code to start a Blink EVSE unit from their website if you have signed up to be a member there.
     
  12. dcopperfield

    dcopperfield Member

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    Wow – unfortunate and probably be a sore spot for the article – focusing on range anxiety. This is why leaf's are a practical car for daily commutes that have limited to and from range. For road trips, these kind of things happen all the time. I have a feeling that your Tesla will get more face time in the article than the Nissan leaves the writers are driving!



     
  13. JackA

    JackA Member

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