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Charged-Up About EVs: Going The Distance

Nov 27, 2019 | Posted in Charged Up About EV's going the distance with EVs

tesla-fast-charging-station

Tesla Super Charging station located at the CrossIron Mills Mall late at night in Calgary, AB.

Randy: One of the first couple of questions people have asked me about driving an EV is “where do you charge it?” and “how long does it last on a charge?”.

To best answer the first question, literally everywhere. After 8 weeks and over 5,000 kilometers under my belt in an EV, you start to realize there are charging stations in places you didn’t even realize. Previously, like everyone else, I had been driving a gas-powered vehicle and never really noticed EV charging stations popping up everywhere. The first major commitment to owning an EV is having a fast charger installed in your home, after that you will soon realize that there are destination charging stations in malls, hotels, city parkades, numerous retail stores, government buildings and now Petro Canada stations.  Petro Canada with its commitment to “keep Canadians moving” has recently installed level 3 DC fast-charging stations from coast to coast along the Trans Canada Highway. The “range anxiety” you feel the first couple days of driving an EV fades away quite quickly. Curious about EV charging stations around you? Open Google Maps and type “EV charging” in the search bar, you will be amazed.

To best answer the second question, “how long does it last on a charge” you need to think about the first question. The short answer is 2-4 days, depending on the distance of your commute and the type of EV you are driving of course. Here is the shortest “long answer” I can give you;  If you think of your EV as a smartphone, most of us will plug it in when we get home from work and then unplug it in the morning, that is what you end up doing with an EV. The EV I am driving is always charged up because it is so quick and easy to do when I get home. You will stop thinking in terms of going from “fill up” to “fill up” and start thinking in terms of just keeping it charged up, like your smartphone.

For more information about Petro Canada’s commitment to keep Canadians moving, visit Petro Canada’s website to view their EV charging network.

– Randy McMahon is our Prairies Remarketing Manager for Jim Pattison Lease. In this EV blog series, he documents his own experience and opinions from driving a Tesla Model S to provide first-person insights into owning an electric vehicle.

Charged-Up About EVs: Charging Your EV Around Town

Nov 07, 2019 | Posted in Charged Up About EV's charging your EV around town

electric-vehicle-charging-station-tesla-model-s

Randy: Numerous people have asked me questions about where and how to charge EV’s in the city. The “how’ to charge an EV depends on the brand of EV you drive. In North America, we have mainly four types of EV charging station plugs, you just need to know which one will accept your EV port. The “where” and “how’ can easily be answered at the same time. There are a growing number of smartphone apps that will guide you to the correct charging station depending on the EV you drive. These apps include ChargeHub, PlugShare, ChargePoint and a few others. When creating an account on one of the apps, it will ask you the type of EV you drive, in order for the app to guide you to the proper charging station. The cost for charging depends on the charging location which can range from “free” at places like Ikea where they want you to come in and shop, to around $1.00 per kWh. Generally speaking, charging costs can vary slightly by location.

When looking for a charging station, it is important to note that the degree of charging (kilowatts per hour) can and will vary. Most free charging stations will be a slower rate of charge, around 3-4 kW/h. To figure out how long you need to be plugged in, the math is easy. If you are driving an older Nissan Leaf with a 25-kW battery and you require a full charge, divide the rate of charge into the battery size to determine how many hours will be needed for a full charge. With a charging rate of 4 kW/h, it would take 6.25 hours to fully charge a 25-kW battery. The idea behind some of the free or destination chargers is to allow you to shop for an hour or two and put back into your car the amount of energy it took you to get to the store.

If you are traveling further distances and you want to fast charge, the image above shows the two different types of fast charging plugs at Petro Canada stations across Canada on the Trans Canada Highway. The plug on the left called a CCS J1772 Combo (350kW) and is used by Chevrolet, Jaguar, Volkswagen, Ford, FCA, Kia, Hyundai, and BMW for DC fast charging. The plug on the right is called a CHAdeMO (50 kW) and is used by Nissan, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Volvo, Toyota, Tesla (with an adaptor) for DC fast charging. If you plug in the same Nissan Leaf to the DC fast charger at this Petro Canada (50kW/h), it will take less than 30 minutes to get a full charge.

For fun, download an EV charging app I mentioned and have a look at all the stations around you.

– Randy McMahon is our Prairies Remarketing Manager for Jim Pattison Lease. In this EV blog series, he documents his own experience and opinions from driving a Tesla Model S to provide first-person insights into owning an electric vehicle.

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