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Tofino BC from Seattle-any tips?

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by Nevek, May 30, 2015.

  1. Nevek

    Nevek Overt Member

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    I'm planning a Tofino Vancouver Island trip which will be a first for us in an 85D. My thought was to range charge, then take a lunchtime charge in Port Alberni (about 200 miles not counting the ferry ride) at one of their public J1772 level 2 locations. I don't know the actual mph charge rate for these, however, and will probably stop at the Burlington WA SC beforehand to make sure we don't run into charging time problems.

    We will have access to a Tesla HPWC at our Pacific Sands Resort destination.

    Has as anyone made the trip and have suggestions? There are other charging opportunities along the way, including some public charging in Nanimo, but I'm looking for ways to optimize the drive.

    I may also post this in the Canadian forum section. Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    #2 Ugliest1, May 30, 2015
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
    Last year I charged overnight to 100% or about 260-265mi (85S) and easily drove from Victoria to Tofino, I think had something like 35 miles RR left (was 50-60km), with no charging enroute and a few stops along the way (was participating in a car rally). Coming from Seattle, I would say definitely get to 90-odd % at Burlington (or, until the delivered amps are so low you can't stand it). From the ferry in Swartz Bay, perhaps stop at the 3rd street parking lot in Sidney (9751 3rd St), it's a Sun Country CS90 so will deliver around 70km/hr (45-50mi/hr?) if you have dual chargers in your car. It's really close to downtown Sidney (i.e., Beacon Ave) so plenty of shops to peruse. The stop in Port Alberni is only a 30A (I think), so you'd get more bang for your time from Sidney, even with only a single charger. I had a quick look on Plugshare but didn't really see any other high-amp EVSEs on the route from Swartz Bay to Tofino.

    EDIT: Any time you see Chargepoint, AddEnergie, GE Wattstation, it's pretty much guaranteed to be a 30A EVSE (delivering 24A continuous or about 23 km/hr). Sun Country's are anywhere from 40A (32A continuous) up to 100A.
     
  3. Nevek

    Nevek Overt Member

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    Thanks, I appreciate the insights on the charging options. I'll look again with the Sun Country chargers in mind.

    The route we normally take is up U.S. 5 to Twsawsen and then the ferry to Nanaimo, as the slog from Victoria to Nanaimo is no fun with traffic. I've tried it through Anacortes and Victoria but prefer the northern route.

    I do have dual chargers and a CHAdeMO adapter along with a bag of various adapters. I just made a 3500 mile run to Las Vegas, San Diego and Palm Springs with my late April delivery 85D and developed a profound respect for what Superchargers offer compared to any other charging method.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    Forgot about the ferry to Nanaimo!! Maybe you could make it from Burlington on one charge.

    Tesla is apparently negotiating with the BC Ferries to provide a charging EVSE (and presumably, premium parking) on at least the major runs. Not there yet, though.
     
  5. RyanT

    RyanT Member

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    I show a CHAdeMO in Nanaimo. That'd make it an easy trip.
     
  6. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Nevek, I've made that exact trip before. We charged at the Burlington Superchargers, then at what I think was a 208V 80A J1772 station at a hotel in Port Alberni - for an hour or so while we had lunch - and then stayed at the Pacific Sands in Tofino. All went well.
     
  7. Nevek

    Nevek Overt Member

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    That must be the Port Alberni Hopitality Inn with the high amp J1772. I'll get in touch with them prior to our trip to make sure we'd be welcome to use it and have the public chargers as a backup. I'm pretty sure they are lower amperage, but the city engineer couldn't tell me.
    Thanks!
     
  8. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Yes, it was the Hospitality Inn. They were friendly even though we were not guests. Their restaurant was not open for lunch that day.

    My plug share notes say 68a @201v.
     
  9. gglockner

    gglockner Member

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    #9 gglockner, Jun 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
    This should be easy: supercharge in Burlington, take the ferry from Tsawwassen to Nanaimo, drive to Tofino. According to evtripplanner.com, you need about 170 rated miles for Burlington to Tswwassen and from Nanaimo to Tofino. You almost have the range to skip the supercharger, but that would be foolish.
     
  10. Nevek

    Nevek Overt Member

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    I see it in Google maps as 205 miles from Burlington to Tofino, not including the 42 miles on the ferry. That's still theoretically doable, but a quick charge in Port Alberni provides peace of mind.

    Google Maps
     
  11. gglockner

    gglockner Member

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    #11 gglockner, Jun 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
    I think you missed my point. It's only 170 rated miles, based on https://www.evtripplanner.com. Get to ~220 miles rated range at the Burlington Supercharger, and you have plenty of range for the drive.
     
  12. Nevek

    Nevek Overt Member

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    #12 Nevek, Jun 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
    What am I missing? Ev planner puts it as 231RM, more than the google actual land miles.
     

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  13. gglockner

    gglockner Member

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    #13 gglockner, Jun 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
    EV Trip Planner is counting the distance spent on the Ferry!
    The segment from Burlington WA to Tsawwassen BC is 70 RM
    The segment from Nanaimo BC to Tofino BC is 104 RM
    Total RM is about 175.

    That's why I said that you will be set if you charge to 220 RM in Burlington.
     
  14. Nevek

    Nevek Overt Member

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    Good catch on the ferry in EVPlanner. I'm still planning to take a conservative approach, as my experience is that the EVPlanner is a good guideline, particularly when routing via superchargers, but needs to be cross checked.

    The EV planner with a speed multiplier of 1.0 gives an average efficiently of 232 and 290 wh/m on the two segments, but I use a multiplier of 1.2 when using it since I never seem to use less than 300 wh/m.

    And when Google maps tells me the distance from Burlington WA to Tofino BC is 251 miles with 42 of them on the ferry, I want a little more buffer to cover 209 road miles in some fairly low populated areas. I'm not sure why there is such a discrepancy, but I'll update this thread once I make the trip in August. If anyone else has real world data before then, please post it!

    Thanks for your input.
     
  15. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    This summer I'm considering a similar trip to Nanaimo, perhaps including a day trip to Tofino and/or a multi-day run up to Port Hardy depending on available time. Obviously lots of time will be spent charging, so don't worry about that. I'll probably stop at Wayward Distillation House (Courtenay) and Canadian Electric Vehicles (Parksville) just for the interest. I'm looking at overnights in Nanaimo and perhaps Telegraph Cove. I'll look for and charge at SunCountry ClipperCreeks over other systems, but since there will be several overnights even 208V 30A L2's will be fine. I already know that some nights may be on L1.

    So, a couple more questions for folks. Thanks in advance for your help:

    1) Which ferry, Tsawwassen or Anacortes/San Juans? I've read recommendations for both. I think the ferry through the San Juan's will be more interesting. Unfortunately, driving from Sydney to Nanaimo will include more traffic, so less interesting and more hassle. The big unknown for me is the border crossing. My last experience at Blaine was 4+ hr which I don't want to repeat. I'm not familiar with the Tsawwassen ferry, but there are several. Will reservations be required like Anacortes? How to predict drive/border time if making a reservation? I'm not familiar with the Sydney/Anacortes border crossing (on the boat, at the dock, hours or minutes?). Unfortunately, this trip would be a SUNDAY in late AUGUST. I can't think of a worse time to attempt a border crossing. Any thoughts/experience on either direction? I'm leaning toward Anacortes with a reservation just because I can better predict arrival time, although it will mean more traffic from Sydney to Nanaimo.

    2) Reliability of L2 on the NE coast, especially north of Courtenay. Plugshare reports are spotty due to the lower number of drivers. I'm used to this, but thought I'd ask if anyone has newer intel. Again, I'll likely spend several nights and will look for L2 overnight or at least L1. Will this area require reservations in late August mid-week or is drop-in possible?

    3) Camping with 14-50 charging? I can't seem to locate campgrounds with electricity in this area. Perhaps commercial RV parks, but I haven't looked for those yet. I prefer wilderness camping over car camping, but with an EV I'm willing to accept the extra noise, but only in return for overnight charging. Also, I'm trying to reduce expenses and staying at high-priced resorts is not really in my budget.

    3) Charging systems/cards. I've got ChargePoint, Blink, AV, and OPConnect. I see AddEnergi, GreenLots, and maybe SemaCharge. There are old Plugshare posts about free, no card, or card attached. Is this still the norm or are cards or phone apps required?

    4) Additional sightseeing ideas? I prefer more natural and will try to do some hiking and perhaps bicycling.
     
  16. Nevek

    Nevek Overt Member

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    @ReddyLeaf:

    The Anacortes Ferry has you clear Canadian Customs as you exit the Sydney terminal in Victoria, so that is relatively quick and painless. There is a passport check at Anacortes, but it's just to get basic data and make sure you have one. (As of about three years ago, anyway).

    We got NEXUS passes that make the Blaine border crossing pretty quick even at peak times, so after using both ferry routes a few times, I much prefer Tsawwassen since you avoid the slog between Victoria and Nanaimo. Stop and go, traffic signals, confused RV renters-it isn't a long drive, but it is not fun in peak summertime.

    Tsawwassen reservations are made on the BC Ferries site and for the extra $15, highly recommended. (For future reference the NEXUS pass application can also get you the Trusted Traveler status for speedy airport screening as an option-takes some time to get it, but the $50/person for 5 years has been well worth it for us). I have no idea how long the Blaine crossing will take you, but it sounds like you've experienced it at its worst already.

    Your other questions are outside my experience.
     
  17. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    Thanks. That's another vote for Tsawwassen, so it's leading the recommendations. Actually I misspoke, my last border crossing experience was actually at the Peace Arch, but it was a Sunday during the world's fair, so certainly not typical. I read about the Nexus pass just a few minutes ago. Thanks.
     
  18. Nevek

    Nevek Overt Member

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    As closure on my original question about a road trip in the Model S 85D from Seattle to Tofino BC, I wanted to pass along the following real world info:

    -the trip from Seattle via the Tsawwassen ferry to Nanaimo can be done with one charging stop at the Burlington WA supercharger to 100%, with average summer conditions and traveling at normal highway speeds;

    -on the outbound route, I charged at both Burlington and later at Port Alberni since it was a new route for me and we wanted to stop for lunch anyway. The Hospitality Inn in Port Alberni has a 68A charger and the front desk people were very welcoming. There aren't many lunch possibilities and we ended up with at a Subway a couple of blocks away. As it turned out, the 30 miles or so I added at Port Alberni were not needed, but again, why not if you are stopping anyway?

    -destination charging in Tofino was at our hotel, The Pacific Sands Resort. They have FIVE EV chargers, 3 of them Tesla HPWC at 80A and two J1772 chargers. Their website, unlike many other destination chargers, says they are open to anyone, guest or not.

    -On the return, we used free public 30A chargers at Harbor Quay in Port Alberni, again as part of a lunch stop. 15 miles an hour added was not really useful if you are in a hurry but there are better lunch options and we had time to kill before our ferry reservation. It did allow us to skip Burlington on the way home to the northern end of Seattle. Arrived home with 6% power and could have stopped in Burlington, but we didn't need it.

    I'm always conservative on a new route but the Seattle-Tofino path can be done without drama and the upcoming new superchargers in the Vancouver area should provide even more options in the future.

    One of the three HPWCs at Pacific Sands is front and center and clearly marked, as shown below. The two Sun Country units are also at Pacific Sands, and the last picture is the dual cable EV charger at Harbour Quay in Port Alberni. It is free, but you need an Add Energie card (get it in advance) or possibly an app to release the connector. Plug Share has details.
     

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  19. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    I'll add that this is ALSO possible with a 70D and two bicycles on the back. Via the same route, we arrived in Nanaimo with about 50% SOC, charged for a couple of hours at a local mall over dinner and a bicycle tour, then topped up overnight on 120V. Touring around Nanaimo, Lady Smith, Chemainus was easy. We purchased the AddEnergie card before leaving and, while not absolutely necessary, it saved us from having to worry. A full charge leaving Nanaimo to Ucluelet/Tofino is mandatory with the 70D with bicycles and a pouring rain! We missed the SunCountry in Port Alberni and used the harbour stations instead (lunch on both inbound and outbound trips), arriving in Ucluelet with around 10-15%. The biggest potential problem was the single station at the Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet, which fortunately we able to share with Peter's P85 from Alberta. Our Ucluelet hotel, a mile or so from Black Rock, didn't really have 120V available. I brought an extension cord, but the plug was up a hill and 20 ft upstairs. I didn't like the set up, so decided to skip charging at that location. However, with only the single charger, and a near empty 70D battery upon arrival, I needed a good 6+ hours at the Black Rock station. I left it overnight and bicycled back and forth in the rain, not fun but I've been in worse. If we do this again, I will definitely overnight in Tofino, probably at the Pacific Sands Beach Resort with their abundant number of stations. Having only one option in Ucluelet was a bit stressful. That reminds me I need to thank the Black Rock Resort for their assistance. With no Canadian cellphone, I had to rely on email to communicate with them and Peter over the charging coordination.
     

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