In 2014, a month after buying our Leaf, we headed out to PEI on our first electric car road trip. In 2015 we did our second trip, this time to Halifax. For our third trip, this year we’re going to drive the complete southern circuit of Nova Scotia.
Our grand tour includes taking the ferry from Saint John to Digby then visiting Digby, Yarmouth, Liverpool (Hell Bay Brewery!), Bridgewater, Lunenburg, Chester, Halifax, Avonport (quilt shop!), Grand Pré (Just us Coffee!), Kentville, Middleton, and Annapolis Royal. Our previous trips to PEI and Halifax involved multiple 2-3 hour charging stops to get to our destination. This time we’ll be able to get to each destination on our tour with a single charge. At each stop we’ll plug in the Leaf then wander off to explore. Yup, on this road trip the Leaf will be waiting for us to finish exploring rather than us waiting for the Leaf to finish charging.
The first part of our route includes crossing to Digby on the new Fundy Rose ferry. While talking to the reservation agent I pointed out how handy it would be if their nice new modern ferry had a charging port on board for electric cars. Hint! Hint!
Charging the Leaf on the tour will be mostly free since many Nova Scotia communities have installed Sun Country Highway chargers. These level 2 chargers are installed in public locations and are free to use. Kind of a thank you for not producing emissions. One charger which is not free is the fast (level 3) charger in Halifax. There are only two of these fast chargers in Atlantic Canada so, even though we don’t need to, we’ll probably pay the $5 for the thrilling experience of filling up in 20-30 minutes instead of two hours. Ah, what passes for a thrill for us these days…
As I mentioned, most places we plan to explore have level 2 EV chargers. Plugshare.com shows us where they are, whether they are working and when they’re available. The charger in Kentville was last reported as broken so I’ve asked, through Plugshare, a fellow EV owner to check it out so we can plan appropriately. Lunenburg does not have one but the owner of the B&B is allowing us to plug into one of their regular 110 volt outlets. Annapolis Royal does not have one either but the B&B owner wants $20 to use their 110 volt outlet. Hmm. An overnight (10 hour) charge would use about $2 (12 kWh) of electricity. $20 for $2 of power seems a little steep so I plan to skip that offer since we won’t need a charge at that stop anyway. I do plan to quiz the B&B owner about that rate though.
We’re both looking forward to the trip. We’ll get to visit places we’ve enjoyed before and places neither of us have ever been even though we’re both Maritimers! I’ll let you know how it goes when we get back. Here’s hoping for sunny skies, warm days and speedy charging!