Laurie lives in the Cariboo region, just outside of 100 Mile House. About 4 years ago, she installed a 15 kW solar array on the roof of her home and began waiting (and saving) to get her first EV. She ordered a Tesla Model, which arrived in fall 2018. Laurie loves her vehicle, and loves knowing that it is fueled by free energy from the sun through her solar panels.
When she goes to Vancouver, she usually spends about $20 on electricity at Supercharger stations for a round- trip. When she leaves home with a full charge of 495km, she can easily make it to Hope and charge up there for 20 minutes at the Tesla Supercharger before continuing to Vancouver.
Winter trips can take some extra planning, but Laurie has been amazed by how well electric travel works even then. In February of 2019, in the middle of a -28 C polar vortex, she made a trip from her home to Prince George for UNBC’s Green Day Celebration. Charging infrastructure was sparse then, but she used a level 2 charger at the William’s Lake TRU campus and another level 2 in Quesnel at the Billy Barker Hotel, having supper in Quesnel as she charged. It took about 3-4 hours on a level 2 station then, but takes far less time now that level 3 (fast charging) stations have been installed between William’s Lake and Prince George.
While in Prince George, she charged at UNBC and at the home where she was staying. At -28 C, parked outside in the wind, she had no trouble driving away in the morning – no cranking amps required! She stopped again in Quesnel and William’s lake on the way home. Laurie is looking forward to the planned infrastructure improvements for EVs: “Once we have Level 3 chargers (fast chargers) throughout our highway system, driving anywhere will be a breeze.”
Laurie has on occasion, pushed her battery capacity to its limit: “In a gas car you are passing gas stations on a regular basis and tend to check your fuel gauge when you do,” she says, “Not so in an EV. I have learned however, that when my car says I’m at zero kms, it will drive for another 10 km or so. Lucky me!”
She has also informed Tesla that they need to “make an old lady car. Not all of us can haul ourselves out of a vehicle that’s 6 inches off the ground!”