My name is Piper. I am the co-pilot on this low impact road trip.With my family, Buddy Boyd and Barbara Hetherington, we are travelling across Canada in our new Chevy Bolt EV.

 

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Driving-Slow lane/shoulder driving

July 20, 2017

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are both incredibly beautiful provinces with long hills and windswept country-side. Long hills to climb and head winds may require adjusting driving techniques for electric vehicles especially when charging stations are few and far between.

 

This was our first time in the Maritime Provinces so we were unfamiliar the roads and the local towns. We had mapped out our route using the PlugShare app, googling pet-friendly hotels and recommendations from our east coast EV friends. We had booked the trip to Newfoundland on the Marine Atlantic ferry for Wednesday so we had some driving to do.

 

We had topped up at a last charger in Quebec before driving to New Brunswick.

 

We were pressing the range of the Bolt to maximize our travelling distance. Hills, and driving into head wind can decrease range. We were trying to squeeze everything possible out of the battery range.

 

When there is not really a plan B or a choice of charging locations there is that balance act of being cautious and being daring.

 

To extend the range since we were did not know if the going up the long hills would then give us the gift of the same slopes to regen going down, for the first time we did some driving in the slow lane and shoulders letting traffic go by.

 

Pulling over with our flashers on to be the tortoise on some of the long very steep climbing hills helped to conserve energy.

 

Many of the hares that had speeded by we later saw waiting in the line-ups at highway construction sites.

 

When we charged up Buddy wanted to get the maximum charge into the water by adjusting his driving technique he worked to keep his average up. By keeping his average up we were able to recharge our battery to keep us driving longer distances. Lowering demand on battery increases range on charge.

 

It was a bit of a nail biter pulling into the infrequent charging stations with the warning bings telling us we had 23km left while crossing fingers that the charger worked at the stop. We were very happy to have the level three charger at the Lincoln Big Stop at Waasis New Brunswick. The Irving Group has plans to install more electric vehicle charging stations at their trunk stops across New Brunswick.

 

Buddy says that you only use this tortoise technique when you are not tying up traffic and it is safe to do so. We also had me spotting for any debris on shoulders that might cut tires.

Sometimes being a tortoise may not win the race but it keeps you in the race.

 

 

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