Reaching Alaska in an electric vehicle requires some planning, particularly for someone not well-seasoned on off-the-supercharger-network travel. I needed to answer a few questions before setting off:
* Would I really be able to get at least rated range out of my car?
* How do I break up the legs to Hyder, Alaska, so that they are achievable?
* How do I pay for the use of public chargers en route? I have practically no experience using public chargers.
And here’s what I came up with:
* Range- The leg from Prince George to Houston is on relatively level ground and covers 191 miles. If I arrive with a large enough energy reserve, then I will have confidence of doing such a distance again. The Houston leg is a test case because the previous leg didn’t go so well.
* When Michael Fritts did this route to Hyder, he drove an 85KWH version of the Model S. My car has only 70KWH available. Michael went from Houston directly to Steward Canada/Hyder Alaska, but I can’t, since it is 246 miles long. Instead, I will go to Houston in one leg (191 miles), recharge at 26miles/hr. rate until the Tesla’s battery is full, then drive the 40 miles to an RV Park in Smithers, where I will recharge at a mere 3mph rate until I have a full battery again, then tackle the 200+ mile leg to Alaska. I did my calculations using http://www.evtripplanner.com .
* Payment for charger- I called the Visitor’s Center in Houston, which is next to the charger. The friendly Canadian visitor’s center employee said that she could approve a complimentary charge for my car. Done deal as long as I arrive before 5pm. I found valuable information about charging stations at http://www.plugshare.com .