6500km (4000mile) Trip Around Newfoundland from Ontario

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Jan King

Active Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
27
Location
Belleville Ontario
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#1
With a bit of apprehension we set off from Belleville Ontario to drive to the east coast of Canada. Our first stop was in Brossard Quebec supercharger. It was hard to find as we drove to the location on the GPS map but it was not there, turned out it was underground beneath our car! The atmosphere nearby was great at the nearby French cafe, relaxing, full of life. The car was charged ($8.50) by the time we placed our lunch order.
We just barely sat down. Our next stop was in Matagamy QC, just past Quebec City for the night, the town has a 6KW flo charger at the library and thankfully it was free so we could fill up again ($2.50 per session). The next day I made a bit of an error, we stopped in Riviere du Loup supercharger and I only charged for a few minutes ($2). I should have let it charge longer to have more of a safety margin as we had strong headwinds going south and we had to do an unplanned 1.5 hour lunch stop at a Moncton hotel enroute to get our reserve charge built back up. Arriving in Fredricton, the hotels charger was fortunately available but about and hour after arrival a thunderstorm took out power to half of Fredricton including our hotel. We waited for the power to return until 10:30 pm but it did not come back on, so I drove the car about 5 blocks away to a flo charger which still had power but this would not finish charging by our departure time. At 3AM the lights came back on (one of us left the lights on in our room) so I got up and moved the car back to the hotel as the charger rate was 11KW instead of 6KW. All good for our next leg to Baddeck NS.

We planned a charge in Sackville NS, but the storm had taken that one out as well. Nearby we tried the Aulac Supercharger. It was not working yet, (it was turned on the next day). So down to our last option was a level 2 charger at a hotel in Antagonish NS. We had booked in there on our return trip but were not staying the night that evening. After about an hour we could carry on.

The suncountry charger in Baddeck NS did not work on arrival, so plan B was a brand new Flo 6KW charger which was available $1.5 per hour ( The chademo Flo was also free but is not useable for the M3 yet). Had to leave the car there overnight to charge up. After several emails, to the town of Baddeck, NS Power found out the supporters of the SunCountry decided to stop paying the power bill for the charger so it had be permanently disabled but no-one had notified SunCountry or Plugshare.

After the 16 hour ferry trip to Newfoundland, the cars GPS was messed up for about 10 minutes and would not work. (On the return ferry it was messed up for more than 30 minutes and would not work at all, it showed us driving around Newfoundland cross country but we were 200km away).

Arriving at our hotel in St. John's we found the parking lot was across the street from the Marriot with no access to any power. The staff was great, and they let me park in a valet area beside the hotel with a nearby regular outlet. We left the car plugged in for most of the 3 nights we stayed a the hotel and were able to charge up even though it was just a 120V outlet.

The trip to the centre of Newfoundland was fine, with the only charging available by a GMs, Hickman Motors and SWE Energy Shop. Both were free and the only infrastructure available. We stopped for the night at a chalet we booked because it had a SunCountry Charger. In CowHead NL, the charger was different, it was a SunCountry charger, but it would not work, it turns out the charger needed a key to start charging, but this was not marked on the charger. It was a waste of time to keep getting the key to initiate each charge as the hotel had me wait at the front desk and sign out they key each time and line up again to return the key.

400km north from Cow Head is the place where the Vikings landed on Newfoundland (a long time before Columbus) and we drove there to see the replica buildings and the original foundations. The problem was no charging at all. I called the RV place, but we had no camping gear, called a few hotels, but the solution was to rent a cabin with an electric stove. I had made up a 30 foot extension cord to plug in the car and this worked fine charging at 32A. At night I plugged the car into the 120V outlet so we could lock the door. We scraped the bottom of the car a bit getting off the newly paved road with a high lip, going to the cabin, hopefully nothing was damaged.

The trip home was fairly easy as the Aulac supercharger was online. Again, by the time we sat down to order lunch the car was ready to go. The supercharger in Bangor Maine said that it was free power provided by Ruby Tuesdays, and the car said the charge up was $0.44 (I presume the tax), but when we got home I saw we were charged for the power. I am not sure if this a thing with using a Canadian Tesla in the US, I have no idea why we were charged.

The car had plenty of room for the 4 adults and all our bags for the 3 week trip. The front seats were pretty comfortable and better than the back seats which were fine. The car was very reliable, I was expecting more computer glitches. The most annoying thing about the car is that our iPhones do not work reliably and often we had to use the keycard either to gain entry or start driving. The car is pretty exceptional overall and I am under the impression that it will last a very long time. The drivetrain does not seem to be working very hard compared with our ICE car which seems to struggle to exist.

The overall theme of the trip is that at each stop, I had planned to always have two chargers in case one was not available, but in pretty much every case we were down to the last charger in each location. Just one more EV charging would have delayed our trip by a day and messed up all our hotel and ferry bookings. It worked out but always being on plan B is not inspiring for the future of EV charging. However, we accomplished a long trip to an area with very little infrastructure.



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Last edited:

Mike

Top-Contributor
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
1,550
Location
Batawa Ontario
Country
Country
#2
Hi @Jan King, great write up!

I am not sure if this a thing with using a Canadian Tesla in the US, I have no idea why we were charged.
My issues seem to be actually getting charged for charging in the US.

I have to constantly press Tesla to fix this so that I don't have to beg them to take my money ;)
 

tencate

Well-Known Member
M3OC Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
268
Location
Los Alamos, NM
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#3
Nice write up. Makes me appreciate the Superchargers here in the desert Southwest which i thought were a bit "far and few in between". They're pretty sparse but nothing like what you've experienced. Here's hoping the Supercharger network grows fast and furious up in Canada too! How much did your trip cost by the way?
 

Jan King

Active Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
27
Location
Belleville Ontario
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#4
Cost, Montreal QC SC $12.80, Magamy Flo $2.5, Fredricton Flo $6.45, Riviere du Loup SC $2, Baddeck Flo $18.29, Aulac NB SC $8.46, Brewer ME SC $5.28, Cornwall ON SC $9.20 = $64.98 Canadian Total.

Another interesting thing I calculated before going on the trip was that if you can charge at 48A 240V (75km/hr), to travel a 664km leg and charge:
80km/hr=9.4hrs(1.1hr chrg), 96km/hr=9.2hrs(2.2hr chrg), 110km/hr=9.6hrs(3.5hr chrg), 128km/hr=9.8hrs(4.6hr chrg).
So for the shortest time enroute 96km/hr or 60 mph works best with a 48A enroute charger.

Prior to calculating the drive and charge time I thought we could save time by driving slower, but really you just end up spending more time in the car than at a place enroute. So we would periodically draft off a large vehicle instead of driving slow on the longest legs.