Yesterday, I finished my first long-range trip in my Tesla Model S – meaning my first long-range trip without my hubby Rolf carrying all the responsibility. Long-range in this case actually only meaning 320 km… It’s so much easier to let hubby take over – and blame him when something goes wrong or doesn’t work. So much more relaxing…Well, not this time… 😉
My sister and I drove from Victoria to Tofino, BC. Whenever she comes for a visit from Germany, she requests a trip to Tofino. Since I love that beautiful place just as much as she does, she doesn’t need to twist my arm. Usually, that trip should not be a problem since the Tesla has a maximum range of 430 km and our trip was only going to be 320 km. But bad weather has quite an impact on the range of an electric car and weather was really bad that morning – raining buckets, cats and dogs. On top of that, I had checked the web cams of the Port Alberni summit and the Sutton summit and all I could see was snow and slush. Not very promising… Was I nervous before we left? Yes, I.Was.Nervous. My plan was to top off the charge in Port Alberni, which is the last stop before Tofino. I figured we could go to the Hospitality Inn, have lunch for an hour and charge my car at the same time. Once I realized that the Inn only has one charger – which could either be in use or broken – I got even more nervous. In a last minute rescue mission, my dear hubby asked fellow Victoria EV Club members for an AddEnergie card, which would be needed to use one of the other 4 chargers in Port Alberni. Luckily, Jim was so kind and lend me his, so my back up plan was in place (Thanks, Jim!) Made me feel so much better! Usually, I don’t need such a card as the Tesla range is sufficient for my daily use. Hence, I had never ordered one.
We started at 9am, the drive wasn’t great with all that rain, but we got to Port Alberni around lunchtime, found the charger unoccupied (yeah!) and working (double yeah!), plugged in, started charging, but found the Inn’s restaurant closed for lunch. They let us charge anyway, which was great! We spent an hour at a nearby shopping mall, having a bite to eat and walking my dog Kye. Time was over in a blink. Having added about 40km in an hour, I felt confident that we would make it all the way to Tofino without a problem. Finally, I was able to enjoy the ride.
Being in Tofino for three days with an electric car was not a problem as many hotels have EV chargers, ours even had two Tesla and one SunCountry charger. We enjoyed three beautiful, sunny, cold days in Tofino. Charging overnight for the drive home was a piece of cake. Man, was I relaxed on the drive home! Beautiful countryside, beautiful snow (not on the road), beautiful sunshine.
We stopped in Nanaimo to meet with friends in a restaurant while topping up the charge – even though it was not necessary, I still had plenty. My go to charger in Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Center was unfortunately occupied by two Nissan Leafs. What a bittersweet sight! Luckily, there were two more chargers at the Canadian Western Bank around the corner, both empty (and working!), with our meeting point, the restaurant White Spot, just across the street.
We got home with 18% charge left. I now know that range anxiety is overrated 😉 Just planning ahead a little and knowing where to find chargers with the PlugShare App will give you peace of mind. And the range indication of the Tesla is definitely to the point. The only difference to driving a gas car, really, is that you know there will be plenty of gas stations on your route. With an electric car, you have to know the location of the EV chargers and plan ahead a little more. If you do that, going on longer trips is a breeze.
Now, time is running out for us, otherwise I know for sure hubby Rolf would put together a nice video of my trip. Since we will be leaving for Fort Lauderdale FL on January 5th there might just not be enough hours in the day to get that done. I hope you enjoy the photos instead.