TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

The end of the road

Discussion in 'Model S' started by fsch, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. fsch

    fsch Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    ...or more accurately, the end of the paved road in that direction.

    My challenge for this summer was to go visit relatives who live in a remote location in the North of Quebec, that is, the Mistissini Cree Reserve on the shores of the Lake Mistassini (the largest natural lake in Quebec, 100 miles long, a fantastic place for fishers). As you may see on Plugshare, the closest plug is 320 km from there, and my 2013 MS has a rated range of 396 km. Enough buffer unless it rains a lot or there are strong head winds.

    We were apparently the first electric car to go there.

    On our way in (we were coming from the Saguenay fjord to see whales, etc.) we slept at La chute à l'ours camping (very nice place), which provides NEMA 14-50 plugs for RVs. Then, we drove to Mistassini at speed limit (90 km/h, 55 MPH), with slight head wind up to Chibougamau, and then, a bit of a tail wind for the last 100 km so we were able to drive at 105 km/h.

    Route 167 is paved all the way up to the road to Mistissini. After that, it's a gravel road mostly used by trucks from the lumber and mining industry. (I initially considered going up to Lake Albanel, 130 km further down the road (so 260 km return) but quickly changed my mind.)

    At our guests house, I ran a wire to the basement heating system (electric baseboards, 220 V), connected to a breaker rated at 20 A, the other end of the wire being connected to a homemade adaptor in which I connected the UMC. This homemade plug was located somewhere sheltered form the rain under the porch. I set the charging current to 16 A (80% of the breaker) so it charged at ~18 km/h so the car was charged at 75% the next morning. (We stayed there 3 days.) I discovered in the process that the thermostat fully turned on still cuts the current for about a minute every half-hour, and the MS does not like power sources that fail intermittently. So I had to go back and connect directly in the thermostat box. (Of course, the baseboards where disconnected all that time.)

    The plan for the return was to stop at a camping near the first one, but the weather was bad for camping in a tent. So we decided to try to go back to our home in southern Quebec in a single day. That's 841 km by the shortest road, but we had to stop at the CHAdeMO in Chicoutimi, so our journey was 918 km long. The first stretch was 320 km under the rain (but with some tail wind) down to St-Félicien, first J1772 @ 30A on our way. We left early and drove at 80 km/h (50 MPH) down to this plug. We arrived there with 70 km of range left. There, we charged 1.5h to get the 123 km we needed to reach the Chicoutimi CHAdeMO, plus a 10 km buffer. With a good tail wind and no rain, we were able to travel at 120 km/h. We charged at the Chicoutimi CHAdeMO for 1h, and then headed for Quebec City, where there are 3 other CHAdeMO, but our buffer was low and we were forced to drive at 100 km/h, so we decided to stop at a CHAdeMO in-between at l'Étape where we charger another hour, enough to reach the Drummondville SC at 120 km/h. There, we needed less than 15 min to get the 60 km left to reach home plus some buffer. All in all, it took us 14 hours. We went home a bit passed midnight.

    Here are a couple of pictures: one in front of the Mistissini Lodge, and the other where we can see the edge of the lake in the background.

    TeslaMistissini.jpg
    Google Maps

    TeslaLacMistassini.jpg
    Google Maps
     
    • Like x 5
  2. reuted

    reuted Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Chicago
    fsch, tks for sharing! Would you mind adding your charging experience to plugshare? I don't believe I saw entries in plugshare a moment ago? We found plugshare to be critical in a recent attempt to drive around Lake Michigan. In the northern end power electrons become harder to find. Finding working NEMA 14-50 plugs is key. Who wants to spend time hunting for plugs at Hospitals, Airports, Marinas, Camp sites.....

    Recent experiences:
    PlugShare
    Washington Island Airport | Washington, WI | Electric Car Charging Station | PlugShare

    or we were only the 2nd electric car ever to show up at:
    | Escanaba, MI | Electric Car Charging Station | PlugShare
    p.s. Scott W and wife are just super nice! The 1st time ever I have seen a home electric meter run backwards.

    Further, this must imply that just about nobody drives from Green Bay to Sault Ste Marie or the other way around?
     
  3. fsch

    fsch Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    reuted, thanks for your comments. Regarding the plug at our guests house in Mistissini, it was a temporary installation I made (no proper waterproof shielding etc.), connected to their basement heating system, and I put it back in working order before I left. Plus, it's a rented house so they were not willing to have any permanent installation anyway. But I hope to have created some interest and frenzy in the reserve, they might install an official one at some point, given that Quebec's Electric Circuit is expending steadily.

    I'm actually aware of the location of a J1772 @ 30A near Chibougamau (we stopped there 10-15 min.), but its for government's vehicles only and they didn't want me to put it on PlugShare, even with a restricted access status. One can PM me if in need of a plan B along this road, I can give you the email of my contact there. They are willing to help, but not to have users of the plug on a regular basis. And it's not a place where you can stay several hours.

    Regarding camping, here is a webpage showing campgrounds in Quebec offering NEMA 14-50 plugs. (They are not reported on PlugShare because they are usually closed during winter, and their purpose is usually not to charge EVs.) Beware that they are not all happy to have tents on RV sites, so you may have to insist and explain your situation.
     

Share This Page