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Toronto to Montreal - how safe is it to rely on Best Western?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by FrozenCanuck, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. FrozenCanuck

    FrozenCanuck Member

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    Hey fellow GTA / Montreal Tesla owners,

    I was really hoping we'd have superchargers by now. But we don't. I'm going to be driving from my home at the east end of the GTA region to Montreal in a few weeks. I'd rather take the Tesla versus my Lexus SUV that sucks gas. The trip is about 500 km for me, and I definitely believe the 420km range charge estimated range having driven the car for a couple of weeks now.

    So I will need about 80 km of additional charge along the way PLUS whatever buffer is recommended. I think 100km buffer sounds safe, which means stopping for about 2 hours at the SCH charger at Kingston Best Western. I have dual chargers so I can charge at 80A.

    I'd normally stop in Kingston for a 1 hour lunch anyway (give the kids a break, etc). So stopping for 2 hours is not THAT big of a deal. But I'm a bit nervous about the fact that the spot could be:

    - ICE'd
    - Out of order
    - Occupied by another car

    What are my best de-risking plans other than calling in advance? Has anyone tried to do this trip only to get screwed by an inaccessible charger?
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Stop in Cobourg and put in enough to get to your destination. If Cobourg is blocked (unlikely) continue on to Kingston. Do the opposite on your reverse trip.

    I have done many Ottawa-Toronto trips in winter and have only ever been delayed a bit by icing once. Summer is easier.
     
  3. Knobby

    Knobby Member

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    I agree with the above advice about Cobourg, and also the Best Western in Belleville has a 30 amp charger. But it is a good idea to call the hotel first. This weekend I drove from Ottawa to Toronto, and back. On arriving in Toronto I had planned to stay at, and charge at the Best Western in Scarborough. It turned out their charger is out of order, and that caused some problems for us. Some but not all of the staff knew it was down. Also my plan B, which was the nearby ChargePoint charger at the Toyota offices didn't work. Anyway that was my first long trip, and not counting the destination charging fiasco, the car performed fantastically well.
     
  4. FrozenCanuck

    FrozenCanuck Member

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    Hey guys - thanks for the replies so far. Google Maps tells me that Cobourg to Point Claire (West end of Montreal) is 410 km. A range charge would give me 420. This is pushing it, right? Is the idea to stop ONLY on Cobourg or is it to stop in both Cobourg and Kingston?

    Also, side question: I believe in supporting the hotel that sponsors the station, so I'd happily buy lunch for my family in Kingston, but if I have to stop in Cobourg (coming from Port Perry, very much the east end of GTA), the drive is pretty short ... only a bit longer than if I was coming from Oshawa. I'd be stopping for a pee break and a coffee at most. Are the hotels cool with that?
     
  5. djp

    djp Roadster 2.0 VIN939

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    The Best Western in Cornwall is another good option. The CS90 cable reaches three spots, so there's less of a chance of being ICE'd.
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    You need a safety reserve. Suggest reading my blog post The Rules of Model S Road Tripping

    Also the speed limit on the 401 is a little higher than ideal; you'd have to draft trucks to get 420 km even though it is summer conditions.

    What I'm suggesting is that there are several CS-90's along your route, and that you stop at the first convenient location and try to charge. If there's a problem just drive to the next one. Check the Sun Country charging map because it lists ALL of the available high power stations. If you plan for three possible locations then it's extraordinarily unlikely that you'll encounter a problem.

    Tesla drove three demo cars Toronto to Ottawa last month on a single charge. By driving carefully (not too fast) they got all three here no problem. If you come to my office in Ottawa I can guarantee our charger will be functional, available, and not blocked. If you're paranoid.
     
  7. FrozenCanuck

    FrozenCanuck Member

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    Hi Doug - thanks for the sound advice. I did read your awesome road trip post a few months ago before I took delivery of my car. Great tips in there. Ok, so I think for sure I'll just plan to leave early, stop in Cobourg and hopefully charge back up to full within a little under an hour. That way when we stop for lunch in Kingston I can hopefully make the stop only one hour long and then have plenty of juice for the Montreal segment. And if I'm blocked at one of those, I'll still be able to make it to Cornwall as you suggested.

    I didn't know that 3 cars all made it from Toronto to Ottawa on one charge! That's amazing considering it's a 450 km drive! They must have taken back roads and taken turns drafting on each other just like a flock of birds. Still, impressive!

    Thanks, everyone, for helping make me feel more comfortable setting off on this trip, which will be the first time I have to charge my Model S from the road.
     
  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    From Tesla on Lawrence street to our charge station in Ottawa is 386 km if you take Highway 7 the whole way instead of the 401. Shorter and lower speed limits than the 401. That would definitely help.
     
  9. FrozenCanuck

    FrozenCanuck Member

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    Doug, you're tempting me to make a trip to Ottawa first :) Lots of friends to catch up with, perhaps an excuse to take the kids to the Science museum or something. Whereabouts in the city is your charger? I used to live in Barrhaven as a kid, then closer to Merivale / Baseline. Spent a few years working there before moving to Toronto back in 2000.
     
  10. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I grew up near Merivale and Baseline, and live in Barrhaven now.

    Our office and charge station is near Merivale and Slack, on Grenfell Crescent.

    Oh, and the science museum has a CS-90 charger in the parking lot, spot reserved for EVs. You get to park right by the door. You do have to pay for parking at the museum these days, though.
     
  11. agileone

    agileone CDN P#40

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    #11 agileone, Jul 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
    I second the Cornwall option, which we used both ways as we did our annual pelerinage to Prince Edward County. Just came back a few hours ago.
    It seems closer to the highway than the Kingston BW, and also more importantly, as mentioned before, the cord is long enough to allow to park in the non-EV spots
    and charge when the two marked spots are ICE'D. The parking lot was almost empty, but for two cars parked in front of the charging stations today.

    I had mentioned to the reception counter that we would be coming back for dinner and they would happily put a cone to reserve the spot.
    But we changed our plans and arrived for a late lunch and the receptionist had not been able to reserve the place. So call ahead and they will try to keep you a place open.
    It is especially important in Kingston, since the station is the last one of a row, next to a wall, with only one other spot next to it. So they do get used....

    Food wise, both places are good. We had a very nice breakfast buffet this weekend on our way out of Montreal, and the lunch today was just as good. The Colbourg menu, from last year memories on our TTTTTTTT* trip, was a bit less elaborate.

    Range wise, I keep getting better : was averaging between 140 wh/km and 160 wh/km by following cars going 100-105 at about 3 cars length, it does reduce consumption fairly...


    Footnotes :
    TTTTTTTT : The Two Thousand Thirtheen Tesla Tour To Toronto
    Last year recap is here
     
  12. Username

    Username Member

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    Two hours is underestimating. Whenever I make that route, I have to charge for 3 hours just to be safe and then i top off in Cornwall for an hour jut so I'll have power when I actually get to Montreal.
    Make sure you are topped off in Montreal before heading back otherwise it will take about 9 hours to get home, trust me!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Except the Cobourg stop is ALWAYS iced over by utility trucks. The charger is out of the way of the front desk so they don't care. The utility companies must have a contract to stay there at night because every time I stop in, the bloody trucks are always there.
    Don't even think of stopping there. Waste of time.
     
  13. Username

    Username Member

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    You will runout of juice going from Cobourg to Pointe Claire. Forget the useless "Range" mode. It is a gimmick just like the "Ideal " range.

    What you need to rely on is the energy graph display "Projected" range. This is the most accurate. You will find that a full charge under projected range will give you about 285 km. I've pushed Tesla to add the projected range under the speedometer in the next update and do away with the useless range and ideal modes.
    Having said that, you WILL need to top off in both Kingston and Cornwall.
    Please push Tesla to add the projected range as well under the speedo!
     
  14. mathur

    mathur Member

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    A lot depends on driving style. I just drove this morning from Syracuse New York to my house on the east end of Toronto for a total of 429km non stop with the cruise control set at 105kph the whole way and with AC on and music running. I did not do any drafting but kept to the 105kph speed. I arrived home with 15km range left on the battery with total consumption of 72.4KW suggesting 12.6KW still left on the cells though I suspect a lot of that will not be available to me. My total trip was 2000km from Toronto to Providence Rhode Island and back in 64 hours to drop of my daughter at Brown University...

    photo.JPG
     
  15. dasRad

    dasRad Member

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    @mathur,

    I take it that you were fully charged (range charge) when you left Syracuse. If that is the case, on arriving home, your display appears to indicate that the car was willing to let you use between 75kWh and 76kWh before it would show "empty" (15 km of Rated Range is about 3 kWh). I'm still trying to figure out just how many kWh are available for actual usage out of the 85 kWh battery and your post is the best example I have seen to date.

    A month or so ago, our Model S recorded that it had used 79.9 kWh on a round trip between Kelowna to Revelstoke. I had added 150km of range in Revelstoke, but I've been wondering if I could have done the trip without the intermediate recharge. Based on your numbers, the answer is "no".

    Has anyone been able to measure how many kWh one can use from a 85 kWh battery before you need to get the folding bike out of the frunk?

    Brompton (older model 3-speed Sturmey Archer):
    IMG_20140622_084628.jpg

    Dahon Mu (8-speed - probably P8) :
    IMG_20140516_181912.jpg
     
  16. bsd

    bsd Member

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    We just drove to and from Montreal. We stayed overnight at the BW Kingston on the way out and they were happy to block off the space. I forgot to leave a note on the dash with my cell number in case a straggler needed a charge, which unfortunately happened as I discovered from PlugShare. The BW staff refused to contact me to see if I'd be willing to move. I also discovered that you can checkin to a charger with PlugShare, providing the ability to send a message.

    Kingston seemed less happy to block off the spot on our return. We were only staying for lunch and a bit of a charge. But they did do it.

    The Coburg and Cornwall BWs have nicer restaurants IMHO, and the staff happily blocked off the spots.

    I did draft trucks. It's worth experimenting as my energy savings varied considerably between trucks — I averaged around 150Wh/km with one particular truck over hilly terrain.
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I've noticed that, too. Had really good results with a tanker truck once. Greyhound buses are also pretty good, and they drive faster.

    Just remember - keep a safe distance.
     
  18. Username

    Username Member

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    Doug, I recommend never stop in Cobourg as all four times I stippled there, I couldn't charge because a utility company uses the hotel and they always, lazily, park one of their vehicles there instead of 20 feet ahead in the open lot.
    The front desk wouldn't bother calling the occupant either in at least one case.
    I suggest stay away as it is too risky.
     
  19. FrozenCanuck

    FrozenCanuck Member

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    I just completed the drive from Montreal back home (Port Perry) yesterday. Total distance is about 500km and I did a range charge ahead of the trip, which gave me a projected range of 429.

    We called the Cornwall Best Western in the morning and arranged a cone to block the spot. They were happy to do this for us. We stopped in for an hour and had buffet breakfast (very good, and kids are $4.95, so I recommend this hotel!)

    We then made it all the way to Cobourg, which is about 300km, and stopped for lunch. They were also happy to block off the spot with a cone. We called them about an hour before we arrived. Decent buffet lunch.

    The whole trip took 7.5 hours including 5.5 hours of driving (105 to 110 on highway, but lots of construction areas). Total of two hours of charging. Very relaxing trip.

    On the way to Montreal I stopped in Ottawa with the kids. We charged chez Doug (thanks for the electrons) and went bowling + ate lunch while we waited. Very nice stop over. Plus we hit up the Calypso water theme park the next morning before heading to Montreal. Definitely a worthwhile family stop.

    I made sure to thank the Best Western front desk at both hotels. It's nice that they provide the charging stations and I want them to know that's why I popped in.
     
  20. Forty Creek

    Forty Creek Member

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    We recently topped up at the Cobourg Best Western while meeting friends for lunch on our way back from a cottage in Peterborough. Good food and the staff were great. I wasn't desperate for the electrons and so didn't call ahead. We lucked out and the charger was available. A good experience and I'm thankful to Best Western for their EV support!
     

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