We decided to go to Tofino for Easter, with the LEAF.
The journey officially started for me in Chilliwack on Thursday, April 2 (well, you could argue it started in Vancouver that morning, when I left home for work in Chilliwack). I left work a little bit early, en-route to Surrey to pick up my boyfriend, Bram, and his sister, Anneke, at the skytrain station before heading to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.
I did a quick, quick charge in Langley (I went to this station because I knew exactly where it was at the time, unlike the Surrey ones) to facilitate the ~140 km journey from Chilliwack-Tsawwassen and then Swartz Bay-Victoria. I then picked up the others and we made our way to Victoria! We went to Victoria first, instead of just Nanaimo, to visit my brother and his fiancee who live there.
We made it to Uptown Mall, the site of the Saanich fast charger, and spent quite awhile trying to actually find it in the labyrinth of the mall parking (the station was very new, and wayfinding signage wasn’t up yet). When we found it, unfortunately it wasn’t working, so we were shown by a very nice other LEAF driver that showed up how to exit the parkade easily and get a little bit of a charge at Campus Nissan (thank you!) in order to safely make it to my brother’s house. We spent a nice night at his place, trickle charging (120V) overnight.
In the morning, we were off to Ucluelet! We departed and first stopped at the Duncan fast charger to check it out (fantastic location, thank you Duncan)! We continued on to Nanaimo, where I encountered the very first charge I had to pay for at a public station (this was after 4 months of ownership and about 16,000 km – so pretty good!) at the fast charger there. The cost is $0.35/kWh, with a minimum $2 charge. We also enjoyed a nice walk around the harbour and a coffee at a local shop (EV drivers spend money at local businesses when they stop to charge – take note!)
From there, we continued to Coombs. There’s a charging station a few kilometres from goats on the roof, and things were going well charge-wise, so we stopped at goats on the roof without charging. We also stopped at Cathedral Grove, to check out the beautiful, huge, green trees. It was then on to Port Alberni.
Port Alberni had three public charging locations at the time, one of which was sited in a fantastic location on the riverfront, near the downtown area. The site was easy to find, well marked, and simply a pleasure to use – big kudos to Port Alberni. We needed to ensure we had a full charge there, before the next leg to Ucluelet – 99 km, hilly, cool temperatures (~5C-10C), 3 adults and gear in the car, with essentially no charging options between Sproat Lake (about 8km outside of Port Alberni) and the Parks Canada visitor centre at the junction, about 90km away. The time in Port Alberni flew by, as we did some grocery shopping, checked out the local bookstore, and most importantly, enjoyed a delicious meal at the Clam Bucket Restaurant (highly recommended)!
With 100% charge, we were off from Port Alberni to Ucluelet! The trip is beautiful, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I was also delighted to arrive in Ucluelet with 31% charge remaining. It was a very comfortable trip!
We enjoyed exploring Ucluelet and Tofino over the next few days. I had called ahead before we left for the trip, and ensured that our accommodation would allow us to trickle charge, as the only public charging station in Ucluelet at the time was at Black Rock Resort (which I did check out) – several kilometers from where we were staying. Tofino had a handful of charging stations, which was great.
The way home was much the same, except we took the ferry back from Nanaimo. Overall, a great trip, and very easy to do with the LEAF.
Total trip: ~800 km