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EV Blog1: (Range Anxiety) Crossing Canada by Electric Car

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

July 1st, 2021

To see the entire blog please go to and choose blog.

In January 2010 Ron and I bought our last gasoline car, and began saving immediately for the most expensive purchase we ever made -- an all electric vehicle. We were concerned to reduce our personal greenhouse gas pollution in every possible way. In January 2020, we achieved our dream. For a year and a half we have been testing it out and enjoying it immensely on Vancouver Island.

We love EV driving. The car is so responsive. We don't even use the brake much. The regen function just slows the car to a stop. It's a completely different way of thinking to drive an EV. We are so used to knowing how much gas we have left and how far it will take us. We have half a tank. Batteries are not like that. At best you can know your best possible outcome, your average projected outcome, and the minimum you might get. All depends on how many hills, the temperature outside, and whether or not you have to run the air conditioning or the window wipers. And even the optimum and average figures are changing by the minute. Driving an EV is living in the moment, --with uncertainty.

Ron and I are starting an adventure. We are about to find out what is involved in crossing the country by EV from BC to Ontario. We'll report our travel and charging adventures along the way for those who are thinking about purchasing an EV.

For those who are interested, we are driving a Chevrolet Bolt with an estimated range of 385 kms on a full battery. But anyone with an EV will know that that is only an estimate. In Nanaimo we will often average over 500 kms with all the up and down, lots of regeneration opportunities, and a 50-60 kph average speed. On the highway, in the mountains? at 100 km/h? During a heat wave? Who knows what will happen?

We have already learned that fast chargers only give you an 80% charge to protect you from burning out your battery. That reduces our range automatically on second charge to an estimated 320 kms. We have decided to book into motels with EV chargers to get a good start the next morning. But most hotels have not yet found enlightenment on the subject of servicing electric vehicles. There isn't enough demand to make it interesting.

So the first part of our journey was the planning. Finding all the EV apps and signing up for them. Looking to see which hotels have level 2 chargers for our type of vehicle. Looking at the mileage from place to place to see how often to stop and recharge. And incidentally, what is of interest to stop and see along the road.

Would you like to know what happens? Join us. Follow my blog, and receive updates as we enjoy this adventure in uncertainty and a little peak into the future, with more and more cars going off fossil fuels.

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Jul 15, 2021

Hi Fran,

I am on my second EV. Warren, early adopter, bought a Leaf in 2008. But we had a Volkswagen for long trips. In 2017, with the VW gone, Warren wanted to buy a Bolt but we compromised with a hybrid Volt. It has an EV range of 100k (in the summer) and I only buy gas a couple of times a year.

I don't think I'll ever have to replace it. Sylvia Andrews

Frances Deverell
Frances Deverell
Jul 17, 2021
Replying to

I didn't choose a Volt because I understood that if we were going up hills, it would kick out of EV and use gas -- and Nanaimo is nothing but hills. I'd have to constantly be paying attention to what mode it was in.

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