The following is a journal of a cross-Canada trip by electric vehicle this summer.
July 30th, 2022 – Left Regina in a Kona 2022 Electric vehicle, on our way to Ottawa. The first time charging it was in Whitewood, SK, and we opted for the Petro-Can because there was a bad rating on Plugshare.com for the Co-op EV chargers there. The first one I pulled up to didn’t work, so we tried the other one and it did. While charging, a couple pulled up in another new EV, and were on their way to Dauphin from B.C. They waited 10 minutes for us to finish charging, and we got food at the gas station.
My kiddo’s friend bought a milkshake type thing, which was in a fridge below some sort of processing station, but it turned out to be spoiled. I tasted it, and we threw the rest away.
We tried charging at the Co-op in Virden, but it was out of order. Their customer support was responsive on Plugshare, and it might have been fixed prior to our return trip, but we didn’t end up testing it again. We instead charged a little bit for free at the Sun Country Highway charger near the old train station and had a walk under the tracks and around the old building before heading out to Brandon. We filled up there, and continued to Winnipeg where we ended the day at my relatives’ place south of the city and I roasted a marshmallow while catching up some.
One of my cousins’ family was just recovering from COVID-19, while a 2nd cousin had recently died in a drowning accident on the open prairie. The kids played on the trampoline, acquiring an expected non-serious injury only.
July 31 – On Sunday morning we left in the well stuffed car with 3 people, and were the first to record on Plugshare a charge at a south end Winnipeg Co-op charger. It wasn’t especially rapid, most of the chargers I encountered cost about $18-$20/hour, and deliver power at less than the advertised 50kW even when the battery is in a condition it should accept close to that. The car seem to be limited to about 75kW, but there are some CCS chargers capable of over 200kW, which would save some money when filling the battery and being charged by the minute.
We next stopped in Kenora, finding Redden’s Store next to their campgrounds, with an Ivy charger, an Ontario network of rapid chargers. There were 2 EVs there before we got there, so had to wait about 10 minutes to connect to one. One of the drivers was from Quebec, and the other from the west. One family was preparing a snack outside the car in the decent weather. I figured out the app, creating one on my phone, getting a hotspot to be able to activate the charger, and waited 39 minutes for the car to finish charging.
We got to Dryden and the sun was about to go down so we found a campground on the highway in town, and it was only $25. There were some shortfalls, one there was no water to half the campground (including our spot), and no toilet paper. The owner was friendly and helpful though, and explained the water service was being repaired soon.
We charged at a nearby Ivy for 30 minutes, and got Subway across the street. The firewood at the campsite was damp, and despite quite a few minutes trying, no lasting fire worked. The kids camped in the car, but their tent was set up with the good cushions, so I had my firm mat only for my sleeping bag. In the morning I learned they’d not used the tent, so got the good cushions next time.
Aug 1 – Charged next in Thunder Bay, it was a holiday Monday, so the A&W and Superstore across the stroad were both closed. A Tesla owner was able to charge at the Ivy beside us because they used the CHAdeMO adapter, although the CCS cord at that charger wasn’t working.
Finished a 25 minute charge at Terrace Bay at midnight and found a rest stop to sleep.
Aug 2 – Sault Ste Marie charged for an hour. Blind River charged for 18 minutes. Stayed overnight in Sudbury at a hotel near the international bridge covered in flags.
Aug 3 – Had breakfast at a breakfast themed restaurant with a sticky table that wobbled until we put paper under a leg of it. Charged in North Bay for 8 minutes. Paused at a nuclear demonstration plant. Charged in Petawawa at another Ivy for 24 minutes before reaching Ottawa.
Aug 4 – Courtyard Marriott in Ottawa near the Via Rail station and the ball park.
Aug 5th – Went to CFL game
Aug 6 – Phoned Meyers Hyundai and left a voice mail. They called back as I was going into the War Museum and said they could help Monday morning.
Aug 7 – Hogsback Falls
Aug 8 – Got up at my Gatineau hotel across from the casino, and took the car to Meyer’s Hyundai. They got me an Uber back to the Supreme Court of Canada, and I walked by Parliament and got a free ticket to tour the Senate of Canada Building. Spent a lot of the day in the Rideau Centre on my phone looking through the Internet.
Aug 9 – Called the dealership and they said the part to fix the charger on the car would arrive Wednesday and I could use it before then if I wanted.
Aug 10 – Part didn’t arrive, I’d taken the bus over to Bayshore Mall and got my cell phone battery replaced while I ate a Beyond Meat burger from A&W, and got a cord from a dollar store in the mall. I continued my trip over to Meyer’s Hyundai on the bus, and picked up the car. I took the kids to an arcade across the street from the Ottawa Citizen and National Post. I lost my game card playing laser tag, but found it when walking through after the game.
Aug 11 – Checked out of hotel, and dropped kids off at the outlet mall across from the Canadian Tire Centre, then dropped the car off to be repaired. I walked over to the mall and found interesting ditch garbage along the way. Met the kids at the candy store, and we also got Beaver Tails for lunch. The kiddo bought a Lakers hat and found one on sale so he could afford to get Lebron’s name and number embroidered onto the hat too.
We left Ottawa after the car was repaired, charging in Carleton Place at an Ivy for an hour and 5 minutes before charging in Peterborough at a Flo station for the first time. We arrived in Port Severn after dark, and went to my friend’s cabin for the night. After a steak, fried zucchini, and corn on the cob feast, we watched the Perseids meteor shower. I saw 4 meteors, not a bad haul.
Aug 12 – We left the cabin, and the kiddo got to drive a boat for the first time. We charged the car for an hour in Port Severn, while eating burgers at the roadside restaurant across the street from the library and their community garden.
Aug 13 – Blind River charge was 30 minutes. Charged in Sault Ste Marie at the Ivy by the water tower again for only 6 minutes. Drove around a bit, almost made a wrong turn into the United States. Found a Walmart had moved from the position on the GPS or map we’d used.
Aug 14 – Charged at Ivy in Terrace Bay again, for 30 minutes, and climbed the lighthouse. The kiddo had a meltdown when ice cream shops were all closed and the gas station had none. Decided to leave him on a bench by the chargers where he’d parked himself after refusing to get back into the car for a while. Returned a few minutes later. Rolled into Dryden campground really late even after the time change. Kids were asleep, I set up my tent, and fell asleep, not using the marshmallows on a campfire.
Aug 15 – The tent was a bit wet outside, and a small bit of water inside. Flicked a couple of slugs off the outside of the tent. Ate a few wild blueberries. There was still no toilet paper in the campground, but I’d brought some this time, and the water was on also. The water was on too much, there was some of it on the floor of the bathroom and the artificial turf or carpet indoors was soggy.
We charged again at the Ivy, and ate breakfast.
We charged again at Kenora, and again at Petro-Can as we entered Winnipeg. Used a Co-op charger in south Winnipeg to try it out and use the bathroom at the grocery store.
Aug 16 – We charged in Brandon at 3 locations and had lunch at the Co-op grocery store deli. We then played some arcade games. The pinball machine was malfunctioning, with a rubber bumper that came off and blocked the balls from falling properly. :-(
We charged again in Whitewood, encountered many grasshoppers prior to Indian Head where I used the Shell’s squeegee, and then arrived home to drop off the kiddo’s friend, before we drove home to unload the car. I then refilled the battery to 90% over night on my level 2 charger at home.
It was approximately $431 to charge the car in total, after returning to Regina. There was some charging done at 2 different hotels, and would have been 3, but the charger in the car stopped working in Ottawa and had to be repaired.
Those charger people are major profiteers. Like, I know the actual electricity doesn’t cost anything resembling that much.
Didn’t realize you were passing through my city!