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Vancouver to Alberta Trip Planning

Discussion in 'Canada' started by HTK, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. HTK

    HTK Member

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    #1 HTK, Jul 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2013
    Doug - thanks for this.

    I suggest you also include Vancouver to Alberta via the Transcanada. I did this last month and it works but needs some planning. Hope City Hall has one 70A charger and when this is being used (and you don't want to wait) there are two VER network chargers at the rec centre but they're only 30A. You need to be a member and have one of their RFID cards, similar to Chargepoint.

    The Coquihalla from Hope to Merritt has a steep grade and for the first 50 km the energy draw was 2.4 rated range km to 1 actual km, the most severe on this route. Getting off at Exit 256 to use Coldwater Rd on the valley floor avoids the last big uphill to Merritt though I would have made it anyhow. Merritt has one 70A charger at Baillie House (that was being used by a Volt when I came by) and fortunately there are also two 48A chargers at City Hall.

    Kamloops has one 48A charger at the Visitor Centre near Highway 1 (also being used by a Volt when I got there) and while there are four 30A VER chargers at Thompson Rivers University, this is further away. Across the river to the North there are two chargers, a slow one at a Kal Tire (business hours only) and a faster one, CS90, I think, at a hotel.

    After Kamloops things get more interesting. Because I had long delays to begin charging in Merritt and Kamloops on my way eastbound I knew I'd have to stay somewhere overnight so I called a few RV parks and arranged to stay at the KOA just E of Revelstoke (highly recommended). I used one of their 14-50 outlets and stayed in a cabin. Charging about 1/2 way between Kamloops and Revy is possible at Salmon Arm, where there are 2 VER chargers (30A) at Okanagan College just off the highway. Very convenient and near food.

    Golden has a 70A charger at the Home Hardware store at the S end of town. After charging fully there on my return trip I stopped in Salmon Arm to eat and top-up and then Merritt. While I was also going to top-up in Hope a white Tesla was at the charger so I continued to Vancouver, without any problem, though those who run short can charge at the Chilliwack Visitor Centre right off Highway 1 but it's 30A and there's nothing to do there.

    So that's how this trip can currently be done, though the preferred faster 70A chargers (Sun Country CS-90s) are only in Hope, Merritt and Golden. I've been emailing Tesla to suggest where there Superchargers should go and judging by the dots on their map they appear to be listening.

    Charger courtesy will need some focus as more EVs get on the road and it would help if drivers remember to put a sign on their dash saying when they'll be back or leaving a cell number.
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I just made your post into a new thread on Vancouver to Alberta Trip Planning.
     
  3. Morristhecat

    Morristhecat Member

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    Good information here HTK. What size battery do you have? I am wondering if I can do it with a 60?
     
  4. tomanik

    tomanik Member

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    Thanks for the post. We had been planning to try a trip from Calgary to Kelowna later this month, spending the night charging in golden and then topping up in revelstoke and then another stop in salmon arm or Vernon. We decided to not try it as we are to unsure about charge availability and operation at this point. Seeing your update and some addition plug share entries we may rethink this, thanks!
     
  5. HTK

    HTK Member

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    Morristhecat: Mine is 85 and I believe a 60 could do this route as well - it's lighter and should use less energy. My energy usage eastbound (westbound in brackets):

    31.6kWh (18.9) for 121 km between Hope and Merritt (via Coldwater going E and Coquihalla going W);
    17.1kwh (15.1) for 83 km between Merritt and Kamloops;
    19.9kWh (20.5) for 118 km between Kamloops and Salmon Arm;
    21.2kwh (17.8) for 107 km between Salmon Arm and Revelstoke;
    28.4kwh (25.5) for 146 km from Revelstoke (KOA) to Golden.

    - - - Updated - - -

    tomanik - if you charge fully in Golden you wouldn't need to charge in Revelstoke to make it comfortably to Salmon Arm. Some CS-90's would be helpful on this section.
     
  6. Spurkey

    Spurkey P04251

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    My girlfriend & I just completed a trip from Edmonton to Nanaimo and parts in between, we drove 2,800km over 10 days in my P85. Our trip/charging-stop planning was done with the Plug Share website & app, it shows chargers from all the different networks. It's not perfect as some of the data for the charging locations is sometimes incorrect but we found we learned fairly quickly how to identify 'probably wrong' locations.

    Our trip took us from Edmonton through Calgary, Canmore, Golden, Chase, overnight in Kamloops, Merritt, Hope to Vancouver in 2 days. We then crossed over to the island and drove all over Victoria and up to Parksville & Duncan before returning home.

    One thing we didn't expect was how difficult it was to get a full charge in Vancouver & Victoria, both of which have numerous charging stations. Many stations are in paid parking lots, or in lots where you could only stay for 2 or 3 hours. We actually had someone physically unplug the car at a shopping mall in Victoria because we'd been there just over the 3 hour maximum stay. Compounding the issue was that the vast majority of 'city' chargers were 30A units meaning the car needed to sit for >10 hours once it was empty. We also found very few Sun Country units once in the city, most units were AddEnergie or ChargePoint stations requiring a swipe card to unlock. AddEnergie stations require a VERnetwork card which you have to send away for and pay $10 to activate, ChargePoint card are the same but require a $25 deposit. We found that a credit card with an RFID chip worked for both (ie: Visa payWave or MasterCard PayPass), the AddEnergie stations were definitely more finicky with those since you had to hold the credit card just right for it to be detected. We didn't pay once for the actual charger use (we did pay for parking in a few places), the credit card was only to unlock the cable so you could connect it to the car.

    One happy surprise was that there are active DC fast chargers in BC, we stumbled across one in Duncan that had just been installed and was 2 weeks away from being activated. Nanaimo has one that's up and running, we didn't get a chance to try it out since we were catching a ferry that day and were running late. Surrey supposedly has an active one at an engineering research lab and the Surrey Museum has an installed-but-inactive unit. It appears that more are coming:

    New fast charging stations offer convenience & choice for EV owners

    Hopefully they'll keep going eastward as well into Kamloops/Salmon Arm/Golden.
     
  7. pairtrader

    pairtrader Member

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    I'm driving this route (Vancouver to Calgary/Edmonton) in April using Sun Country Highway chargers. Some patience will be required along with a one night stop each way. We'll see if I make it :)
     
  8. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    I hope you do, because I'm planning to drive the same route this summer. :smile:
     
  9. gpetti

    gpetti Active Member

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    Ideally I would like to drive from Calgary to Summerland BC where I have a summer place. I think that I may wait until superchargers are in place but it will depend where they are placed whether I can actually get to Summerland as there will clearly be no Superchargers on highway 97. I'm already looking at charging options at the Summerland property which ironically has a larger service than my Calgary residence (which is larger and has more electrical devices).
     
  10. pairtrader

    pairtrader Member

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    It looks like you could make it if you don't mind spending a night in Revelstoke. I would go from Calgary to Revelstoke (Best Western overnight) day one with a top up in Canmore or Banff along the way (there are worse places to spend a few hours!). Next day to Summerland shouldn't be a problem.
    EV Trip Planner | Sun Country Highway

    Plugshare shows three Level 2 chargers in Summerland. I wonder if you'd be the only Model S in that area this summer....

    - - - Updated - - -

    FWIW, many of the Sun Country chargers are 90 AMPS, with new ones of 100+AMPS being installed. Tesla told me a rough estimate is each AMP would give you 1km per hour of charging. Of course there are more factors, but if it's even close to that, I'll take 70-100km of range per hour charged. Also, the Sun Country chargers are all currently free.
     
  11. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    But you have to take off 20% - e.g. the "90A" charger only delivers 72A continuous, 100A -> 80A. I use a Sun Country 60A (48A continuous) at my home, and the car tells me it's 47km/hr being delivered. When I used a 90A Sun Country charger at a hotel about a month ago, the car said it was getting 55km/hr, but I think that was because I looked quite soon after starting it up (usually takes a few minutes to get up to full delivery), and it would have gotten to high 60's at least. That's with dual chargers, with single you'll top out at 40km/hr, so I've heard.
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    A lot depends on the voltage. Commercial properties tend to have 3-phase source, so it's 208V nominal instead of 240V nominal for residential. I have 90A at home and at work, and there's a 20% difference in charge rate (238V versus 196V under load).
     
  13. gpetti

    gpetti Active Member

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    Thanks for that!
    I'm hoping that Golden will eventually have a supercharger too - I think they have a Sun Country there now. I was originally thinking that a stop in Golden to top-up and then Revelstoke would do the trick. Coincidentally the spots I usually stop at in an ICE.
    With the amount of traffic from Vancouver it seems likely that there could be a couple of other model Ss. Might have to offer my HPWC if I install one. Not sure what the protocol is for that. Maybe the Summerland hotel will pay me commission :smile:
     
  14. pairtrader

    pairtrader Member

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    With Plugshare.com, if you register you can also see private chargers (residences). Could be a good way to meet other owners by sharing your charger. There seems to be one currently listed in Summerland.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm not sure about compensation, but would assume it's up to the individual. I may try it out locally when my S85 arrives as I've put the cart before the horse and will not have a home charger until later this year.
     
  15. gpetti

    gpetti Active Member

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    I wasn't really serious, I imagine I would be happy to share with other Tesla owners though I suppose at some point it might get old if my house became like a Supercharger.
     
  16. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    #16 Mayhemm, Feb 25, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
    I'm a huge fan of SCH (in fact, I've sponsored two EV chargers) but there are some oft-repeated misconceptions that need to be cleared up:

    1) The 90/100A rating are for the breaker, of which the device can only draw 80%, leaving you with a real maximum current of 72-80A.

    2) Advertising uses a 240V standard for their numbers (kph of charge), whereas most charger locations use 3-phase power with 208V. This can often drop to below 200V when there is other load on the service.

    3) While the charging is typically free, some locations get around this by charging fees for parking.

    4) Many locations do not mark the spaces for EVs and are frequently ICE'd. Some proprietors will take action if you report this, some will not.

    What all this means is you're more likely to get closer to 15KW charging from a SCH unit than you would the 22KW advertised number, and it may end up costing a few bucks. Still much less than gasoline.

    They're still far better than the other level 2 chargers out there (Blink, Chargepoint, etc) and I'd far rather have them than not, but people should have realistic expectations and plan accordingly.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Well, with a HPWC you don't have to worry about Leafs and Volts since only Model S can use it. :tongue:
     
  17. pairtrader

    pairtrader Member

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    Thanks, this is very useful. I have much to learn. I was planning to give myself lots of time to do the Vancouver-Canmore-Edmonton-Vancouver drive, but I'll make sure I allow even more time to charge at each stop. I'm planning to use two Chargepoint chargers as my primary local chargers. It would have been prudent to wait until I move and have home charging, but I just couldn't pass up having my S85 this summer. All part of the EV adventure.
     
  18. HTK

    HTK Member

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    @pairtrader,

    As far as I know, other than the new Chademo chargers installed in Kamloops and Merritt (for which you need Tesla's yet to ship $1,000 adapter), the fastest charger on this route remains a SCH 70A charger at the Home Hardware store at the south end of Golden. Tesla superchargers are planned for Hope, Kamloops, Revelstoke and Lake Louise but likely won't be installed until late this year. RV Campgrounds are good bets to find NEMA 14-50 plugs. There's a KOA I stayed at last summer just east of Revelstoke. This stop was required because the charger at Kamloops' Visitor Centre was occupied for at least 5 hours by a Volt. Charging etiquette remains in its infancy but is hopefully improving as people learn to leave contact information on their dash.
     
  19. pairtrader

    pairtrader Member

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    Thanks. I was planning on stopping at the KOA in Revelstoke. Much cheaper than the Best Western! I plan to make the drive twice this year, but it will be great once the SuperChargers are installed. I may drive directly from Vancouver to Edmonton, which seems to be a more difficult route than Vancouver to Calgary. Kamloops to Valemount is 320km with some elevation changes, so it could be a gamble. Has anyone driven Van-Edm? It might be safer to go through Calgary.

    I hope the RV parks work well. I'm planning to drive all the way down the West Coast this summer on the Oregon Coast Highway using them since I won't be on the main route with the SuperChargers.
     
  20. Zapped

    Zapped Model S - PURE EV

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    #20 Zapped, Feb 28, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
    I drove from Edmonton to Vancouver but that's a 600 m drop in elevation. Topped up in Red Deer, skipped Calgary, hit Banff, Golden, overnight in Revelstoke, and topped up in Kamloops and Merrit. Sometimes the shortest route is not always the fastest, especially when you consider charge times on low amperage chargers.

    Not many if any chargers on the Valmount- Jasper - Edmonton route. Peavey Mart have installed high amperage SCH chargers in Alberta which really helps. Peavey Mart EV Chargers

    Might want to PM Spurkey. I beleive he's done the trip a few times.
     

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