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EV BLOG 8: July 9-10, 2021 -- Eagle Lake (Range Anxiety, Nanaimo to Eagle Lake Ontario.)

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Our view of the lake through a screen of trees. Acts to protect the bank and also as a filter to protect the lake. Ron has had an ecological outlook for this property since he came here 46 years ago.

July 9th: Destination, Sudbury ( Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury 308.3 kms.). Our hotel in Sudbury would have a level two charger (we thought.)

We were starting with 388 (382). If these predictions held true, we would be arriving in Sudbury with only 75 kms. left. We had been uncomfortable with such a small margin of error, especially if we might be climbing. But this was up and down mountains which had proven to provide very good estimates. We decided we would check in Blind River and again in Espanola - both of which had chargers - and decide then if we needed a boost. As it turned out we drove straight to Sudbury, no problem and found our hotel.

Starting charge at Sault Ste Marie: 379 kms. Destination: Sudbury, 308.3 kms.

AV. 13.9 kwh (very good). Charged at Petrocan, Added 215 km. 51 mins. Cost: $16.73

Arrived in Sudbury with 100 kms. No problem. We had gained a few. We were gaining in confidence of the limits of our vehicle.

Booked into Quality Inn for a free charge. Some things are worth what you pay for. The charger wasn’t working. It couldn’t establish a connection. Sigh.

We decided to order in from the Indian restaurant since they had no patio, and charge in the morning. Fortunately, there was a Petrocan charging station on the highway.

Starting Charge 100 km. At Petrocan, Added 288 kms. Starting in Sudbury with 388kms (382kms)

AV. 13.5 kwh/100km; Time: 50.5 mins. Cost: $16.68.

Destination North Bay, Huntsville. 267 kms.

We are now in home territory. I can almost breathe the cottage air. See the sparkle of the sun on the lake at sunset. But we noticed that, as we drove along, we were climbing and losing efficiency. Once passed North Bay there was no opportunity to charge till Huntsville. We were now on TransCanada Central -- #11 -- and Petrocan was not putting EV chargers in on this route. We would be more reliant on Ontario Hydro’s “system,” IVY.

Because we had to start with a charge in Sudbury, we didn’t get on the road till 10:15. We pulled into the IVY station at the Harvey’s/Swiss Chalet in Huntsville around 1:30. We were gleeful to think we might enjoy a Swiss Chalet meal on their advertised full-service patio. Sadly, there was no patio to be seen. At least they had a washroom we could use. We ended up picnicking at a bench in the shade of a glade of trees. A good second option. But first we had to get charging.

We had 88 kms left in our range. We were hopeful to get going and get to the cottage 3 pm. I pulled out my Greenlots app and tried everything I could to connect. It didn’t recognize the machine. The sign said I needed to download the IVY app so I decided to do it. I went to the App Store and searched for IVY. Unfortunately, although the picture said it was for EV chargers what ended up on my phone was a gaming app. In the broad sunlight when it is hard to read the phone anyway, I was completely confused. By this time we have tried 3 or 4 times, tried the Petrocan technique of registering with our credit card by a sensing system but that wasn’t working. We decided to phone.

We hooked up with someone right away. The woman was pleasant and very willing to help if she could but she seemed somewhat new on the job. We asked her to register us and start our charger. We requested step by step instructions. We followed her instructions with no good result three times. She was about to give up, not knowing what to do, but we pointed out to her that we had 88 kms range left on our car and that there was no other high speed charger within 100 kms of where we were standing. We needed this to work. She redoubled her efforts.

Finally we went over and read her the sign right in front of us. She was telling us to register first and then plug in. The sign said we should plug in first and then register. That contradicted her script, but we decided to try it. In addition, she tried something else at her end. In the end, we got charging, but we had wasted more than an hour fussing around. I decided I would have to try again to find the IVY app, directly from the Ivy website and learn more about this system. For the future I needed to be properly registered

Starting Charge in Sudbury: 382 Kms. Trip 267 kms to Huntsville. Av. 14.5 kwh/100 km. Range remaining on arrival in Huntsville: 88 kms. Added 272 kms at the IVY charging station. Cost: $21.14. Range leaving Huntsville: 360 kms.

We only had less than 100 kms to get to the cottage, so we had no immediate worries. But we knew, now, that there was only one high speed charger in all of the Haliburton Highlands--at Currey Motors, the Chevrolet Dealership in Haliburton. We would need to put in a level two charger at the cottage. Ron suggested we also work with our level one until we made some decisions.

Imagine our disappointment when we visited Currey Motors after the week-end, and learned that their high speed charger was down. They hadn’t charged a car since December 2020. It wasn’t going to be repaired. It would be replaced some time in the next 18 months. Chevrolet had promised us that there would be a high speed charge at every dealership in North America. Now that promise was dust. We were on our own.

Fortunately, the car has a big enough battery you can bop around town (which in this area means bop around the county since it is a community of villages) and easily keep the car topped up by charging with our level one trickle charger overnight. We’ve been here a week now, the fridge is stocked, the woodpile is growing, and we are happy to reconnect with our neighbours on the point.

All ready to just dive in.

We were seeing our new siding for the first time.

Ron taking his afternoon nap. What We share the point with 10 cottages.

we are here for. R&R.

The next blog will include some of our reflections and recommendations.

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