The Leaf Experiences Part 2

As I write this blog post I am sitting in the parking lot of the Burnaby Central Secondary school in the borrowed Nissan Leaf while it is charging.

I have to admit, I’ve been a little negligent and perhaps a more than a little impatient with charging the car.

For example, early yesterday morning I was at a charging station in Port Moody where I charged the car for about an hour. That hour added about 40 km of range to the car batteries. In hindsight, I should’ve charged for 2 hours knowing that I was going to be doing quite a bit of driving during the day. Oops.

Later in the day I realized I needed more charge so I returned to Rocky Point. The charging station was in use and there was another Leaf waiting to use the charger once it was available.

So I headed over to the Port Moody Rec Centre where the PlugShare app told me there is another charger. It too was in use.

Plan C – head over to Ikea on Lougheed Hwy. Both chargers in use. Fortunately this time the owner of the Leaf being charged was in his car. So I asked him to plug my car in once he was done. He obliged.

I’m not the kind of person who can stay in Ikea for more than an hour so again, I only added about 40 km of range.

And, I’ve discovered that going up really steep hills like the ones coming out of Port Moody really suck the juice out of the batteries thereby significantly lowering the range of the car.

Later in the day yesterday I went back down to Port Moody to see about getting some more charge. Again, both stations were in use!

I returned home thinking that I’d get an early start in the morning to add some juice to the batteries. Again both stations were in use!

I figured go big or, well, don’t go anywhere and I headed over to Burnaby Central.

My gamble paid off. Both charging stations were available and I’m now charging. But really, I should leave the car charging for 2-3 hours so what to do, other than write a blog post?

So my thoughts on the EV – if cities are committed to supporting the transition to EVs, there really needs to be an increase in the commitment to adding charging stations.

When building a charging station, don’t put in one. Make it for two vehicles. Add charging stations at all sorts of public buildings – libraries, rec centres, sports fields and schools. Make the stations accessible 24/7 and yes, make users pay for the electricity they take.

Bottom line, driving an EV has really forced me stop and think about how much juice the car has on the tank before I hit the road. In many ways it is like doing long distance riding on a motorcycle. You need to know where your next fuel stop is before hitting the road.

But, it has been a very cool feeling driving by gas stations and no caring how much the price of gas has gone up that day!

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