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Western Canada Charging Networks

Discussion in 'Canada' started by hybridbear, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    I expect to be taking a road trip out to Vancouver Island & Edmonton to visit family almost immediately after taking delivery of my Model S. What charging networks do people find that they need to have access cards for? We'll need charging outside of the Supercharger network during the time we're in Edmonton & on Vancouver Island. Our family that we'll be staying with don't have accessible 240V outlets & 120V charging just won't cut it.

    I've noticed quite a few EVSEs on PlugShare that show up as being part of the Sun Country Highway network. Do those EVSEs require a membership card or credit card to activate? Do they cost anything?

    Are there any apps besides PlugShare that would be recommended for making a road trip across western Canada? Thanks!!
     
  2. Hugh Mannity

    Hugh Mannity Mediocre Member

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    Greenlots,(chademo), and charge point are most of them, you don't need a card to activate them, just use your QR reader and RFID credit card. I hear that RFID credit cards aren't yet popular in the states though?

    The sun country's I've used don't require an access card or credit card to activate.
     
  3. cmt489

    cmt489 Member

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    Do keep in mind that if you are going to be using the chademo charges you need to get the adapter from Tesla. The bad news it is expensive. The good news is that it went down by a $100 in the past week or so.
     
  4. f-stop

    f-stop Member

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    If you're spending any time on the way in Vancouver city itself, or Richmond, most of the public chargers are ChargePoint (free to charge, though some in pay parking lots). So a ChargePoint account, app, and RFID card will be useful since Plugshare doesn't show live status on those, only the CP app. the CP app seems slow to activate a session so I recommend getting the RFID card (free). The few of SunCountry ones I've seen in the city just plug in and charge, no card required, but don't know if true at all of theirs.

    If you are going to be staying somewhere in the city, you can PM me and I can let you know specific ones that may be useful to you in your area.
     
  5. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    Within the local Tesla owners group there are multiple owners willing to share their CHAdeMO adapters when other Tesla drivers take road trips.
    ChargePoint is the network we have here in MN, so I've used ChargePoint for the last 3 years with my Focus Electric. I don't mind paying for parking to access an EVSE in most cases, but I don't like having to pay for the EVSE since ChargePoint will charge $25 to my credit card and then use up that balance for charges. I have never once used a pay EVSE in my years driving the Focus Electric, although I have paid for parking in order to access an EVSE a few times.

    I'm glad that the Sun Country ones are free & don't require a card. Is that true of their L3 chargers too, or just of their L2 units? I downloaded their app this past week to have it for the trip.

    Three places that I want to show my dad in Vancouver are: Stanley Park, Gastown (for the steam clock) & Granville Island. It looks like there is a free L2 on Granville Island that we could hopefully use.
     
  6. f-stop

    f-stop Member

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    All the ChargePoint units in Vancouver that I know of are free to charge, some are pay to park only. So while I have a ChargePoint account I've never had any charge to my account or to my credit card on file for the initial $25 top up. So you don't have to worry about that initial charge to your credit card here.

    The Sun Country ones I know of are only L2, so I can't speak for any L3 units.

    Stanley Park has ChargePoint L2 chargers in the Aquarium parking lot (pay lot)

    There are a number of pay parkades with EV charging not far from the Gastown Steam Clock, check Plugshare. There is one nearby I'd recommend, about 5min walk away in the Bank of Montreal parkade (enter on Homer St between Georgia and Dunsmuir). Two free SunCountry L2 chargers, parking a flat $7 evenings or reasonable hourly rate during the day. But main reason I suggest them is because unlike some of the other parkades you can see if the spots are available before paying for parking or taking a ticket, the EV spots are visible from top of the ramp at street level and there is no pay gate (pay after you park). The SunCountry ones are non-networked so you can't see their status beforehand in Plugshare.

    Finally, yes Granville Island has 2 great L2 chargers in a very convenient central area, 3hrs free parking while charging. Popular spots but turnover is pretty good, just check the status beforehand on ChargePoint. In a pinch if those EV spots are full, the new Tesla Store/service centre on Fir&4th is a short few blocks walk from Granville Island - they have several HPWC in their underground customer parking. I've never done this, but as an out of town visitor desperately needing a charge you might be able to ask nicely to see if they'd let you plug in for a while?
    Have a great visit!
     
    • Helpful x 1
  7. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    Thanks for all the tips here! I've downloaded the Greenlots & Flo apps to my phone, in addition to ChargePoint, so that I can use the apps to start charging sessions. I'll have a limited amount of data that I can use on my phone in Canada, so hopefully it'll be just enough to get me through those charging needs. I'm going to write down the addresses of prospective EVSEs that we'll use on a note on my phone so that I can access all of that offline, along with the PlugShare notes regarding location of the EVSEs.
     
  8. f-stop

    f-stop Member

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    If you've got the ChargPoint RFID card bring it along too, it'll save you time connecting and save your data. The Plugshare descriptions for most chargers around here are pretty good so if you study those along your route you'll be fine. Have a fun trip!
     
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  9. SMSMD

    SMSMD Member

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    RFID card as suggested is really helpful for chargepoint, I added the same RFID card to the greenlots ,have not checked if it works. Yet another EV provider is Suncountry...Portland, Oregon
    IKEA and PEAVEY mart have EV charges.
    I prefer to screen shot the EV locations addresses and also use Offline google maps.
    Good Luck
     
    • Helpful x 1
  10. TLej

    TLej Little-Known Member

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    @hybridbear If you need a place to charge in Edmonton, I have a HPWC I'd be happy to let you use. Only 40A, but better than 110. Especially if you can leave it for a few hours.
     
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  11. f-stop

    f-stop Member

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    Yes all IKEA stores in Canada have EV chargers, the one in Richmond BC has 2 Sun Country plugs shared by 4 parking spots - no card needed to activate. A slight detour off Hwy 99 but handy if you're in the area and need a coffee break pit stop, or have a craving for a 75cent hot dog or cheap meatball meal :)
     
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  12. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    Thanks! In what part of the city are you located? My family that we'll be staying with live less than a half mile from Southgate Mall. I think I'll use the L2 charger there mostly.
     
  13. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    I think we'll have plenty of charging options in the Vancouver area. We'll only be in Vancouver for a few hours. There will be more need in the week we're on Vancouver Island. There aren't a lot of options in Duncan or Port Alberni (the two cities where we'll be visiting family) that are at all close to where we'll be staying. And, the CHAdeMO in Duncan appears to be still out of service due to parking lot repaving... Our family that we're visiting don't have 240V outlets that would be available so 120V is all that would be available at their houses.
     
  14. cmt489

    cmt489 Member

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    You can get an app that puts plubshare onto you car screen and tells you where all the charges are without chewing through your phone's data plan.
     
  15. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    tesla.plugshare.com or something different?
     
  16. f-stop

    f-stop Member

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    Unfortunately the problem with Plugshare is that it doesn't show live status of ChargePoint stations - and the majority of the ones in Vancouver area are theirs. You can load the ChargePoint website and log into your account on the car's browser but it is abysmally slooooowww on the 17" screen, you can almost drive there before looking up to see if the charger is unoccupied in the car's browser. Plus the ChargePoint website seems to always log you out every day, further slowing you down if you like to keep a list of favourite locations (My Spots) shown. Would love to hear if anyone knows another way to get live ChargePoint status on the 17" screen...

    I don't have access to my car right now (traveling) but if I recall tesla.plugshare.com is one Plugshare web app you can use in the car. I think teslapage.com is another that shows you chargers in your vicinity, not sure where it gets the data
     
  17. TLej

    TLej Little-Known Member

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    @hybridbear ugh, I live on the other side of the city (far north-west). You can find me on Plugshare. There are some other guys on here from the south side that might be more convenient; if you post a note on the Tesla Owners Club of Alberta thread you might find one of them closer to you who can donate some electrons if need be. @Footbag knows more of them than I do.
     
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