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Superchargers on the BC Ferries fleet would be a great idea!

Mar 31, 2015
154
1
Mississauga, On, Can
Hey Elon,
How about putting a SC on some of the BC Ferries that traverse the straight of Georgia between the mainland and the island?
This could be an economical way to, for now, to SC Vancouver Island.
I think this would make sense financially as well as feasibly. Could also work on the east coast ferries.
What say you?
 

Phillip L

Gas Passer
Mar 31, 2015
729
574
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
Hey Elon,
How about putting a SC on some of the BC Ferries that traverse the straight of Georgia between the mainland and the island?
This could be an economical way to, for now, to SC Vancouver Island.
I think this would make sense financially as well as feasibly. Could also work on the east coast ferries.
What say you?
Do you mean destination chargers? Can't imagine that a SC would be feasible on a ferry?
 

deonb

Active Member
Mar 4, 2013
4,057
4,209
Redmond, WA
I think you'll have quite the challenge convincing BC ferries that they need to marshal traffic in such a way that a specific make/model of car ends within 3 ft of a specific position on the Ferry.
 

ZBB

Emperor
Feb 27, 2013
1,549
270
Scottsdale
I'm typing this from Salt Spring Island... My Tesla is back home in AZ, but we drove it up to BC about 17 months ago.

The logistics of putting Superchargers on a ferry wouldn't work. Not just getting Teslas in the right spots, but getting sufficient power to a Supercharger would be challenging. Plus, only a couple slots would be avail.

When end we had the Tesla up here, we had no problem reaching our destination from the Woodburn SC. Once here, we used a Sun Country J-1772 (the only one on SSI at the time, but there are now others) and 120V charging at my in-laws house and never had an issue with range...
 

LagunaHJames

Member
May 29, 2013
85
3
We did a road trip from SoCal to Victoria BC this summer. We used a destination charger at Colette's B & B in Port Angeles (beautiful spot right on the straits of Juan de Fuca), then took the ferry over and then stayed 3 nights at Coast Hotels in downtown Victoria less than half a mile from the ferry dock using their HPWC. Between SC and destination chargers there are very few places you cannot get to.
 

bxr140

Active Member
Nov 18, 2014
2,859
4,268
Bay Area
I wouldn't think finding power on the big boats would be too much of a problem (admittedly, I really have no idea), but yes, at the terminals makes more sense. A charging cluster or even charging lane (for all EVs) would be a great step into the future. On board a more universal solution is a better answer, so like a rail of 80 amp j connectors is probably the way to go.

As for length of a supercharger cable, the water cooled ones are longer than the fat ones and probably could go even longer to reach a larger area.
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,470
South Surrey, BC
No, I mean a SuperCharger. A 90 minute voyage would get you 100 percent charged for your travels on the island, and mainland.
vancouver at the moment only gas Squamish and Hope so why not charge en route fully?

There's about 35 ferries in the fleet so that's a lot of Superchargers. But if we restrict the Superchargers to the main routes, you still have multiple boats for each main route. So if you only have one Supercharger on a boat doing the main routes, you risk not getting it. If you put them on all boats doing the main routes, then you will get a boat with one but that takes a lot of SC's. It's still much better to put them at the terminals than on those boats. Even if you make a reservation, you must arrive 1/2 hour early or you lose your reservation, and most people arrive early enough to get a good charge before embarking.
 

SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,473
2,106
Toronto,Canada
Regarding the idea of putting fast DC charger on ferry.

1. Difficult logistically to park any one car in any one spot on the ferry
2. Charger would need to run off the diesel power of the boat, far worse on CO2 than the BC grid
3. The destination (Vancouver Island) has many high power L2 chargers with enough power to fully recharge overnight
4. Tesla fast charging is designed for highly travelled routes that cannot be covered without charging, whereas Vancouver Island is easily travelled on 3/4 charge of an S85.
5. A non-Tesla (CHAdeMO) DC fast charger at the ferry port would be of more use to more vehicle types (and Tesla with adaptor)
6. There are multiple ferry boats, each one would need a charger on it, vs putting a charger at either ferry port.

Looks like a non-starter and not worth discussing further.
 

AudubonB

One can NOT induce accuracy with precision!
Mar 24, 2013
8,137
27,442
Although I agree that it is not a good idea, let me quash one of Smart's reasons. The power plant on a medium-sized vessel such as the ones BC Ferry uses is such that on the margin the extra kW needed - and thus the extra diesel consumed - to Supercharge a Tesla is so minuscule as to be noise in the system. It would be worse than specious - it would be false - to ascribe any increased fuel consumption to having provided that power.

That aside, the other reasons stand, and here's a further one. That one SpC slot (you really weren't considering having more than one, were you?) services that first Tesla to board. And what happens to the second Tesla? We already have enough understandably ranting threads regarding ICEing of land-based SpCs. Can you imagine the mood of the driver of Tesla #s 2, 3 and so on? Ouch.
 

RiverBrick

Active Member
Mar 23, 2014
2,513
1,721
Mount Washington Valley
Over 80% of BC's electricity is from hydro, so diesel would be a huge step down. I'm with the people that have suggested having charging stations at terminals.

There is an example of this in England. A Supercharger at the Eurotunnel terminal. A train ticket is required for access. I don't think it's realistic to expect more than J1772 or HPWC curently for this purpose in BC, though. Perhaps CHAdeMO or Superchargers in the future.
 

PoweredByRain

Member
Jan 5, 2014
691
98
Victoria, BC
Although I agree that it is not a good idea, let me quash one of Smart's reasons. The power plant on a medium-sized vessel such as the ones BC Ferry uses is such that on the margin the extra kW needed - and thus the extra diesel consumed - to Supercharge a Tesla is so minuscule as to be noise in the system. It would be worse than specious - it would be false - to ascribe any increased fuel consumption to having provided that power.

It would not be false at all. In the real world energy has to be generated. Your argument makes about as much sense as saying that if I paid $1 million for a house, the additional cost for a car is negligible so therefore I will be given one for free.

Regardless of how much power is being generated for the ship - and admittedly it is a lot, 20,912 hp max (15.6 MW) for the Spirit of Vancouver Island - the extra load is real, and has to be accounted for. The same is true on any vehicle. Turn on icing protection in an aircraft and the fuel burn goes up. Turn on air conditioning in a bus and the fuel burn goes up. As I recall the air conditioning load in a coach is about 20 hp (15 kW). It's enough that drivers will turn off the air conditioning in order to make it possible to go faster up a steep hill. Keeping the inside of the bus at a nice temperature directly costs diesel fuel.

Now even for just a few cars we are talking about power on the order of 1 MW. Do you really think that the electrical generating capacity of the ship is over-spec'd by that much? I very much doubt it. It isn't a matter of just wiring up another circuit.

This is not a technically viable option. BC Ferries is not going to spend millions of dollars (per ship) to retrofit their ships to provide this ability. It is not going to happen.

And I, for one, don't want to see it happen, because I don't want the car to be powered by fossil fuel. Good grief, we live in one of the few places in the world that has nearly 100% renewable electricity generation, and you want to take fuel, burn it, throw away about 2/3 of the chemical energy, emit all the toxins associated, so that you can charge an electric car?
 
Last edited:
Mar 31, 2015
154
1
Mississauga, On, Can
Hey Elon,
How about putting a SC on some of the BC Ferries that traverse the straight of Georgia between the mainland and the island?
This could be an economical way to, for now, to SC Vancouver Island.
I think this would make sense financially as well as feasibly. Could also work on the east coast ferries.
What say you?

After reading the various replies to my Thread, I too think it would be impractical.
On the other hand, a charger of sorts would be handy at the terminals, to be used while waiting for the ferry.
I think the HPWC would be best. A SC would be nice but perhaps overkill.
I think we will see charging of some sort at the BC Ferries terminals very soon.
 

beeeerock

Active Member
Mar 12, 2015
1,504
427
Kamloops BC Canada
After reading the various replies to my Thread, I too think it would be impractical.
On the other hand, a charger of sorts would be handy at the terminals, to be used while waiting for the ferry.
I think the HPWC would be best. A SC would be nice but perhaps overkill.
I think we will see charging of some sort at the BC Ferries terminals very soon.
A row of Sun Country chargers on the edge of a terminal waiting lane that EV's are directed to in priority would make sense. Teslas should easily make the trip, even if the last charge was in Hope or Squamish or at an island HPWC... or south of the border... it's the Leaf/Smart etc. with limited range that would REALLY appreciate a boost to help them get to their destination on the other side. 80 amp J1772's would be a nice bonus.

As EV drivers, we learn to be opportunists... I'll plug in wherever I find a cable, whether I'm at 10% or 60%... If it doesn't mess with someone in greater need, I like to know I've got a few more km's in the batteries. It's not just about the concern of finding another 'station' as with ICE vehicles... it's also about maximizing time efficiency.

I personally believe (and hope!) that the next few years will see a huge surge in EV purchases. The Bolt late this year, the Model 3 next year (correction: 'sometime this decade'... LOL) and all the others that seem to be taking shape. Getting a charge could quickly become a headache if we don't get ahead of the car purchases with charge station installations.
 

AudubonB

One can NOT induce accuracy with precision!
Mar 24, 2013
8,137
27,442
It would not be false at all. In the real world energy has to be generated. Your argument makes about as much sense as saying that if I paid $1 million for a house, the additional cost for a car is negligible so therefore I will be given one for free.

Regardless of how much power is being generated for the ship - and admittedly it is a lot, 20,912 hp max (15.6 MW) for the Spirit of Vancouver Island - the extra load is real, and has to be accounted for. The same is true on any vehicle. Turn on icing protection in an aircraft and the fuel burn goes up. Turn on air conditioning in a bus and the fuel burn goes up. As I recall the air conditioning load in a coach is about 20 hp (15 kW). It's enough that drivers will turn off the air conditioning in order to make it possible to go faster up a steep hill. Keeping the inside of the bus at a nice temperature directly costs diesel fuel.

Now even for just a few cars we are talking about power on the order of 1 MW. Do you really think that the electrical generating capacity of the ship is over-spec'd by that much? I very much doubt it. It isn't a matter of just wiring up another circuit.

This is not a technically viable option. BC Ferries is not going to spend millions of dollars (per ship) to retrofit their ships to provide this ability. It is not going to happen.

And I, for one, don't want to see it happen, because I don't want the car to be powered by fossil fuel. Good grief, we live in one of the few places in the world that has nearly 100% renewable electricity generation, and you want to take fuel, burn it, throw away about 2/3 of the chemical energy, emit all the toxins associated, so that you can charge an electric car?

To a great extent any argument here is a teacup in the tempestuous Skookumchuk rapids, because the entire situation is a non-starter. I already have gone on record as saying this is a bad idea. However, I don't back off from a challenge, so:

1. To answer your last question, no, I don't.

2. I don't know your background so I cannot say "more background than you" but I do have decades of experience of running diesel generators and other diesel engines and I stand by what I said regarding noise in the system. These are not anywhere the precise microelectronic devices that can account for every electron generated, divert each watt-second of power precisely whither it belongs, or regulate the necessary diesel flow to the exact drop. As such, "a little over" is the order of the day. That's how the world - and especially the big diesels in even small ships - work.
 

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