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Looking for info on charging in Ucluelet/Tofino, BC

1671 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  WestEV
We're planning a trip up to Ucluelet (Ukee in local parlance) during December. I suspect my pax will expect to have at least some cabin heat and in any case this mission is beyond the single-charge, one-way range of the Bolt. Extrapolating my spine recovery, I'd prefer this to be Bolt rather than Volt mission.

Topping up after reaching Vancouver Island doesn't look like an issue, leaving juicing up to start home from Ucluelet as the main hurdle. We'll of course be taking the OEM cord with us but our stay won't be long enough to get enough juice into the car to start a return journey.

Big Google shows public charging stations in Ukee and Tofino.

Does anybody here happen to know the direct ground truth on charging at Ukee and Tofino?
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Black Rock Oceanfront Resort seems to have a 69Amp (!!!) J-1772 charging station (free!).

FLO ( ), Sun Country, and ChargePoint all have some installations on Vancouver island (mainly L2) but as mentioned, Greenlots is KING for the DCFC stations on the island.

Greenlots appears to have a free DCFC very near Ucluelet. The L2 stations around Ucluelet (west island) seem to all be Sun Country (or non-networked). There's not much charging infrastructure in the north island, so make sure to 'fill up' at the many Greenlots DCFCs when you on your way north and back.

On the drive there and back, I'd make sure to have enough time to stop for a free DCFC session at Nanaimo/Qualicum Beach (or Richmond/Vancouver {city}), which is kinda/sorta halfway between Ucluelet and Seattle.
I highly recommend going to the PlugShare web site, and finding out what charging networks are available around your home/work sites as well as along any routes you plan before (longer distance) traveling. Print out a picture to keep in your glovebox during the trip.

In order to find DC Fast Charge sites, try this :

1- go to , set the map to your location, zoom out to maybe 50-90 miles around you (for your trip to Ucluelet, have the map zoomed out to show Seattle and Ucluelet and the route between)

2- in the upper left of the map, click on the 'options' icon (3 horizontal bars next to "Search for a Charging Location")

3 - unset/unselect all vendors (including "other") and set only CCS/SAE under "plugs" (unselect the other plug types)

4 - one by one, set a single network (say, ChargePoint). Look for orange 'teardrops' (indicating locations with DCFC) to pop up - if some do, write the name of that network down. Now, unselect that network and select the next one. Do this until you have done all the networks. You now know which networks have DCFCs near the area that interests you (well, the ones that are listed in PlugShare, at any rate.)

So you now know which companies (networks) have DCFC stations in your area (or along your route) - those are the networks that you should consider joining. You can zoom the map in closer (10 mi?) to work, home, family homes you might visit, hotels you are staying at, etc. and select just the "J-1772" (or "EV plug") plug to find level-2 (240V) charging locations nearby (those teardrops are green). The "Other" network (generally, those not networked) can be very useful close to home, work, family, friends, etc. where you spend several hours, as sometimes those are FREE and you can find locations near where you often are where you can get free juice. I used to "carpool" with a guy who would drop his car off at a free charger on his way work, and go pick it up at lunchtime. (I put "carpool" in quotes because he'd drive to the charging location and plug in his car, miles from work, and I'd pick him up there and bring him to work.)

That compiles the list of "useful networks" (for you - it really depends on where you live). Many companies allow you to sign up for free. Some will allow you to sign up for free, but charge you for a card with RFID chip ($5?). Some networks (many, actually) allow you to start a session via their smartphone app - but you better hope you have cell reception when you get there! I have cards for about 5-6 networks - I've only ever used one of them, but the others are in my glovebox for emergency use.
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