Driving My Solo EV

Previously, I wrote about how I might have to drive the Solo from Calgary with many stops at charging stations. Now, I will consider some longer trips I could make from my home base.
Home base to

  • Powerview, Manitoba – 99km – Has a charging station at Edgewater recreation and great fishing at the Winnipeg River. Folks report the charging station is handy for a walk to the river or around town. There’s another station at 18 Pine St., behind “Through the Arbour”.
  • Dauphin, Manitoba – 377km with charging at Dauphin, Headingley and Carberry – nice fishing at Ste. Rose du Lac in the Turtle River
  • Pilot Mound, Manitoba – 233km via Carman and Winkler – family

One place I won’t be driving my Solo is USA. From my home to any point in USA is just too far. I can’t even drive east to be closer to a USAian destination. Kenora, Ontario is the nearest charging station and it is probably out of range. North Dakota, my nearest State is a wasteland for charging stations at least in the the closest parts. They produce a lot of oil, eh? I guess they figure EVs are disloyal or out of place. I guess we Canadians are more flexible. Anyway, I can drive hundreds of miles in two directions, enough for this old retired guy.

UPDATE WooHoo! I found Winkler has a charging station at the Day’s Inn, putting Pilot Mound in range easily. It may be intended for guests only but the network grows…

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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4 Responses to Driving My Solo EV

  1. See CAA EV Charging Station Locator

    They are still few and far between in my part of Canada but I can live with that. I will soon have my own range data and can think for myself. The rollout of the Solo on top of Leaf, Volt, Tesla… should increase availability. Saskatchewan is interesting. They produce both coal and oil and a lot of their power comes from coal so they may not be as friendly to EVs. That’s OK. I only have to pass through once.

    I’ve also found a somewhat longer route which has much shorter intervals between charging stations, 140km maximum, by driving north near Edmonton and then east to Regina and Winnipeg. Interesting. By adding 200 miles or so to the course, I get much less worry about running out of juice.

  2. dougman says:

    “You haven’t seen me drive. I travel ~80km/h even on the best highways. For this trip, I think I would drive 70km/h”

    That would make it far worse, the Car and Driver test was done in the city, no-winds and low speeds. No one is doing 80km/h in a city, at best you may top out at half that if you are lucky. So your point is silly.

    In your case, it would be way cheaper to just get a small tow trailer, hitched to your car and tow it home. These electric cars are meant for the city, not the open tundra in mountainous environments.

  3. dougman wrote, “their three-month extended road test with the Nissan Leaf, Car and Driver magazine obtained an average range from a full charge of 58 miles.”

    You haven’t seen me drive. I travel ~80km/h even on the best highways. For this trip, I think I would drive 70km/h just for the improved range. I am that patient. I would have lots of time for eating/sleeping/reading the manual, stuff I enjoy.

    I asked Electrameccanica for parameters, like Range v Speed in still air, and with/without headwinds. They don’t have the data but they do have a ballistic coefficient so one can calculate drag. Other makers have accumulated data and there is a big advantage in range for driving slower. Now, if Electrameccanica’s range is for 40km/h in the city, I could have a problem. Part of the reason for taking such a trip is to confirm such things and I can bring a small generator. It would be an interesting restful experience. I expect the trip that is normally done in one long day to take two or three. I’m OK with that. I’m retired. Do I have some better place to be than out on the prairie in clean air and sunshine? Nope. I found one more charging station along my route from Calgary to my home. It adds a few miles but takes me to a place I think I’ve never been before, so it’s OK.

    I expect the published shipping quarters may slip which would bring my machine into a summer quarter. It’s all good.

    The report cited includes only one legitimate test: a 45 mile distance out at 60mph/96km/h with electrical loads on and back at 30mph/50 km/h with everything off. The return trip used 15% less energy. Consumption was 19.72 kWh and 16.66 kWh. So, if the whole trip had been done at 50km/h the range would have been 24kwh/16.66kwh X 45 = 64miles, still below the published 84miles. Not sure why that is the case but the Leaf is heavy and would be greatly affected by hills. I don’t see hills on that route on Google Maps but Detroit is at 240 ft higher elevation than Ann Arbor. They needed to do the whole trip at the same speed to deal with that. They also took two different routes… Maybe there was a headwind or traffic on the return trip. I do intend to play the radio on my travels…

  4. dougman says:

    Pogsey, you should really rethink your plan.


    Also, Nissan claims that the range of a Leaf is about 100 miles. Electra Meccanica says the same thing.


    However, their three-month extended road test with the Nissan Leaf, Car and Driver magazine obtained an average range from a full charge of 58 miles. Cold weather and fast driving can shorten this to as little as 30 miles. So in essence, I would ONLY plan on 1/3 of what the stated capacity is by the Electra Meccanica.

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