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Destination Charging: Western Canada

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Nappe, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. Nappe

    Nappe Member

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    We are nearing completion of a road trip from Calgary to Vancouver Island, and I thought it would be handy to have a collection of regionally specific destination-charging info. I'll add a few comments good and bad on locations we visited, but I thought I would start with a post about brand-new chargers at Harrison Hot Springs.

    Harrison Hot Springs very recently added a universal charger at the tourism office and two Tesla chargers just steps from the beach. Until this week, they weren't in Plugshare or anywhere else that I could find them online. This is a lovely little tourist town at the south end of Harrison Lake, and, despite its size, the village has quite good accommodation options and excellent dining along the waterfront.
     

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  2. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    Good to know! I talked to the Harrison HS Resort in May and learned there was nothing there. Gave them the 'talk' and exchanged some emails but didn't hear anything more after that. Same with the Village. Glad to hear there are facilities there now though! Next time I'm talking to the Village staff I'll have to find out how this was triggered. I know Tesla has been pushing the Destination program pretty hard, so perhaps they made this happen.

    To add to your list...

    The charger at Predator Ridge works just fine and there are a variety of food options right adjacent.

    The Best Western Plus in Kelowna has several chargers... some Sun Country and at least one Tesla. I used the Tesla unit without issue. The front desk will reserve a spot for you with traffic cones if they know you're coming. This location wasn't on the Destination Charger map, but should be shortly. Nice hotel!

    The Sage Hills motel in Cache Creek has both a Tesla and a Sun Country unit around back. Friendly people and appears to be a safe bet for an overnight stay. Also not on the Destination Charger map, but hopefully will appear soon.

    The Coast Fraser Inn in Williams Lake is apparently getting close to having a Destination Charger installed. This will be a fantastic addition! Good hotel with a Boston Pizza attached.

    I'm working to have TRU install a high amperage Tesla unit at their Williams Lake campus. If the Coast Fraser Inn comes through as planned, it will provide a second point in Williams Lake. The Add Energie units already there are pretty sluggish... The hwy 97 corridor is pretty thin for charging, so if Williams Lake can become a more reliable stop, that would bridge the gap between Kamloops and Prince George.
     
  3. Nappe

    Nappe Member

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    Thank you, beeeerock.

    Indeed, Best Western Plus in Kelowna is a very nice hotel, and I've never seen so many chargers spread out across several parking spots. The location of the chargers is clever, because they are close to the lobby, so high profile and easy to find, yet not as conveniently located for access to the rooms as the lot around back, which reduces the ICEing risk.

    In Vancouver, we stayed at Chateau Granville, which is also a Best Western Plus. Two chargers that could reach three spots. They are AddEnergie chargers, and the hotel said there is a $2/hour fee to charge, but I just signed up for AddEnergie through their app and I could activate a free charging session through the app.

    In BC, there are so many chargers around, that destination charging doesn't need to be at a hotel. We were hunting for a spot in a parking lot at the beach park in Parksville, north of Nanaimo, where we went to hang out on the beach and to see the sand-sculpture competition. Sure enough, we found a spot with a charger and came away with enough charge for a day or two of tootling about the island.

    Harrison HS (mentioned above) is another example of convenient destination charging away from accommodations. Harrison HS Resort said they have EV charging, but they took me to a utility shed, where they plugged me into 110, then locked their end of my charger cable in the shed (!). You can imagine my relief when I came across the Tesla charger a few blocks away next to the beach.

    Mission Hill winery has two EV stalls in a choice location of their lot, but they only charge at 40 A, so unless you stay all day for tours, tasting, and dining, you may still need a hotel charger in Kelowna.
     
  4. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    I've done some consulting work down that direction and found the Village of Harrison Hot Springs to be staffed by a really good bunch of people. They've gone so far as to buy an electric dump truck of sorts to use for the public works department jobs it can manage. The HPWC's they had installed are apparently even 80 amps which isn't that common, so they don't mess around!

    The HS Resort Hotel is another story though... I spoke with them and swapped emails back in the spring to encourage them to do something. It just didn't seem to have any priority with them however. Luckily, the Village took on the challenge and with the help of Sun Country Highway there are now some very good options close to where people want to be. The next phase of their downtown revite is likely to add yet another charge station at least. The Village has taken on the carbon footprint challenge... if only others would follow their lead!
     
  5. Khatsalano

    Khatsalano Member

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    I found that the majority of charging in Vancouver and Victoria was free! At times, you did need a Chargepoint account and card, but it's still free.

    - K
     
  6. pericowest

    pericowest New Member

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    What are the options in Osoyoos for a tesla?
     
  7. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    According to Plugshare.com, there are several options available. Some appear to be 'guest only', but not all are marked that way. Gyro Park appears to be a municipal J1772 (2 of them), so likely open to anyone.

    And then there are all the wineries with charging facilities just to the north... Oliver area.
     
  8. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    I can confirm the Gyro Park stations are 30amp J1772 with AddEnergie card access. I used them on a Sunday morning last April, so nobody else around. I would imagine that these are often full, a nice park along the river. I didn't bother with the others listed on plugshare, but if spending the night at one of these hotels, charging should be pretty easy.
     
  9. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    BC in general is great for destination chargers. Almost every small town has at least one (usually at the town hall), and the major centres seem to have some every few blocks.
    Alberta on the other hand is much harder to find destination chargers with most towns having none, and even the big cities only having a hand full.
    So far Plugshare is really the way to go though to find destination charging, almost everything is listed on there, and if it's not, you can easily add it.
     
  10. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    That certainly fits the stereotypes of BC and Alberta, doesn't it?

    But in Alberta you will find outlets for block heaters to be quite prevalent, given the extreme cold at times, won't you?
     
  11. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    You will, however there are a few problems with block heater outlets. First of all, it takes about a week to get a full charge off of one, then there's the fact that in the winter the pack heater can actually use more power than the block heater outlet can provide.

    Additionally, to save power, many block heater outlets (especially at large companies, pay parking lots, or government facilities) are either turned off above certain temperatures, and/or on a timer that cycles them on and off (usually only on about 15 mins per hour)

    That said, I do rely on the block heater plugs at the ambulance hall on a regular basis to get me home, 2 x 120v 20A outlets on different phases combine together to give me 240v and 16A continuous power through my homemade adapter. Which is good, because without a charge, I simply couldn't take the Tesla, the round trip is more than my maximum range.
     

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