Montreal to Burlington on a single charge
For some, 95 miles in a Leaf might seem like a suicide mission meant to leave you stranded in the middle of some unwelcoming forest packed full of wolves. For me, it's just another trip to demonstrate to the general public that "range anxiety" can be beaten. Hi, my name is Simon, and I'm the president of the Quebec EV Association.
The Quebec EV Association (www.aveq.ca) presently has over 43 000 readers who visit the site multiple times per month to get their EV news fix, buying and installation guides for new owners and businesses who want to get involved in the movement by installing a charging station, forums for owners to exchange on, projects, and a funny blog on "Trips with a Nissan Leaf". We also have been very involved on the political spectrum, to influence government decisions, and represent all 2000 EV owners located in the Belle Province.
The day previous to our appearance at the Burlington Plug-In Day, I had driven 105 miles from Montreal's South Shore to the Mont Tremblant ski resort by traveling on the highway. I don't have a magical Nissan Leaf, I just drive properly without being a hypermiler. On ECO mode, I will do 5 miles per kWh to do those trips. Actually, the first trip I ever took with my 2013 Leaf was on the same week I took delivery, this July. I drove down to South Barre VT to go mountain biking. So even without any experience whatsoever, I did the trip Montreal-Burlington on a 100% battery, charged up partially in Burlington to continue my trip to South Barre.
How can I be so confident in getting to destination? I just use the GPS on long trips. Always. Even to get home. I can therefore see how far I have to go to versus how much range I have left in the battery. By keeping at 5 miles/kWh, it allows me to get the exact range left, and not an approximation. So I can get to where I need to be, 100+ miles away, with 2-4 miles of range left and not sweat about it. Except if the charging station I needed is being used, and the closest available one is 4 miles away! I just break out the 120V EVSE, plug in anywhere (always easy to find or borrow someone's 120V outlet and chat with them for a few minutes!) until I have enough range to get to the nearest, available charger. I've never pushed to get to "turtle mode" which is meant for emergency situations.
So, a simple charge at home which costs me around 1.50$CAD, and a free charge in Burlington, and that's pretty much what the roundtrip costs me! Chump change. Even doing the opposite, leaving Burlington where a home charge might go for 3$ and a charge in Montreal will cost you a flat fee of 2.50$CAD at an Electric Circuit station, it's still such a small price to pay for the roundtrip!
Our goal at the Burlington Plug-In Day was twofold:
1) We wanted to meet Vermont EV owners to let them know that they are welcome in Quebec, we have an extensive charging network (Electric Circuit, VER Network, SunCountry Highway, and ChargePoint) of over 350 chargers. Our members are fond of "electric tourism", based on motorcycle day trips on secondary roads, enjoying the scenery while driving at a moderate speed retaining energy for longer range, charging up along the way and enjoying what the area has to offer while the charging takes place. So we have become more efficient recently at having charging stations located at interesting spots so that EV owners can take advantage of the charging time for lunch, museum, parks and rivers, beach, shopping malls. So please do have a look at all our charging points on www.plugshare.com, and plan your next summer trip in Quebec! All memberships to our charging networks have opened to Americans since early October 2013, to make things easier for you to charge up during your stay. Before that time, American credit cards to buy "credits" on our charging networks were not accepted as some of you had discovered, but now things have changed.
2) We wanted to meet gas-guzzling Vermonters to let them know that if they ever decided to buy an EV, they could actually take trips with their cars, and not just be stuck with a restricted range around their hometown. And that if they decided to take those trips, it wouldn't cost them much at all! We were living proof of that fact, and not just some local American EV owners saying so.
We had four members on-site to answer questions and promote electric tourism. We got to meet so many Quebecers that were in Burlington that day, never expected that!! So we got to convert some gas-guzzling French-Canadians as well! How great is that?
October is a big month for Quebec, as the Premiere will be announcing her "Transportation Electrification" project that will accentuate home-made solutions for electric public transport, electric car-sharing services with a possible Quebec-made electric car, and hopefully a proper electric highway made up of 30-minute DC fast charging public chargers. A large 516 millions dollars project until 2020.
We look forward in extending our relationship with Vermont EV owners, and hope to welcome you to our province more often. Why not? It's a cheap trip to do!
Do not hesitate to visit our website, www.aveq.ca - it has Google Translate functionality built-in which can make for quite a humorous read! And if you decide to participate in our forums in English, we will answer back in the same language, no worries.
Simon-Pierre Rioux, Président
Association des Véhicules Électriques du Québec
Quebec EV Association