Gordon Kubanek, CACOR Board of Directors, shares this EV experience.
The biggest change we found is that you really have to plan your stops to ensure you don’t run out of power, but also have the battery low enough to have an increased rate of charging (if you start charging above 50% battery level it charges at half the speed!). Fortunately, there are lots of fast DC chargers (440V/120 amps vs 220V/40 amps at home, which translates into charging time of 1 hour instead of 7) in Quebec that only cost $10/hr. Price wise that meant our trip cost us $25 in electricity instead of $120 it would have cost us with our gasoline powered car.
The trade off was that we had to stop more often, around 30 min. every 2 hours. Luckily for my wife that meant wandering through cute Quebec country villages and buying delicious cheese and even some shoes she had been eyeing that ‘just happened’ to be on sale! At other charging stops we just had a nap, which I imagine made the drive safer. We do admit, that if you had little kids and really wanted to get somewhere quickly, that this mode of travel may not be for you, for we did drive slower (95 km/hr) to conserve energy and thus the trip was 2 hours longer than it would have been with a gasoline powered car; that is, assuming you only made quick stops for gasoline.
Our punch-line? If you have time and drive where there is good charging station infrastructure (which is why we chose Quebec) you have no need to fear driving with you all electric car: it is cheaper, safer and quite honestly having more stops made the trip much less stressful. Next summer we are planning to visit my brother’s cottage north of Kenora. I know this is possible because I have emailed the Engineer in charge of the project to install a series DC fast charging stations across northern Ontario, all the way to Winnipeg, a project that slated to be completed this October. So, see in Kenora soon!