My cross Canada EV road trip report continues with this 1,300 km stretch from Thunder Bay to Regina. This largely remote leg featured three awesome days exploring Thunder Bay, another car camp out, and scenery that shifted from lakes and trees to the prairie grasslands. It also proved to be one of the more challenging legs with expected range and actual results varying wildly.
Here was my initial plan with estimated costs. Let’s see how close I came to those charging stops and budget.
With that, here’s my Thunder Bay to Winnipeg road trip report.
What To Do While You Charge in Thunder Bay?
I ended up staying in Thunder Bay to recharge both myself and the car. This cross country trip is a long one and Thunder Bay was the perfect place to stretch the legs. Over three days I explored every corner of the city and surrounding area. Highlights included hiking Mount McKay, visiting the Terry Fox Memorial, and eating Finnish Pancakes. I also had a great day out visiting the 150-year-old Silver Islet General Store before exploring Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.
For a full rundown on what to see, do, eat and drink in and around Thunder Bay, check out the post below!
Where To Charge and Stay in Thunder Bay?
While in Thunder Bay I stayed at the brand new Delta Hotel and can highly recommend it. Not only does it offer free Tesla destination charging and parking but its location is tops. Prince Arthur’s Landing and all its waterfront trails and activity are at the front door. Downtown Thunder Bay is at the back. This means the area’s best restaurants and activities are steps away. Rooms are spacious and modern. Most offer views of Lake Superior with the Sleeping Giant in the distance.
The hotel’s free charging is definitely convenient as the Tesla Supercharger in Thunder Bay is on the outskirts of town by the airport. That said, there are a few L2 chargers around town, but none are overly convenient.
For a full review of the Delta Hotel Thunder Bay, check out the link below.
Thunder Bay to Kenora
Fully refreshed and recharged, I hit the road for one of the longest stretches on this trip. I departed Thunder Bay around 0900 with a 90% charge. I made a slight detour on the way out of town to stop in at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, home of the “Niagra of the North.” Other than that, stops on the way to Kenora, my pitstop for the night, were restricted to Superchargers. More accurately, all of them inbetween Thunder Bay and Kenora.
The initial plan was just for just one six-minute charge in Ignace however this was WAY off as I ended up hitting all Superchargers along the way. This was shocking as the distance between the two cities is just 480 km. When I initially punched in my route the NAV suggested a 20 min charge in Ignace to get me into Kenora with 15%.
After my stop at the falls, this projection dropped to 7%. This was a short detour so I expected a slight change in plans however I was now projected to have just 2% in Ignace. As such, I ended up stopping at the Upsala Supercharger for 10 minutes. This added 22% and got me back on track, arriving in Kenora with 15% after a charge in Ignace.
Now, I was supposed to arrive in Ignance with 29% however I arrived with 20%. As such, I charged for 24 minutes instead of the recommended 20 minutes to add a buffer. This got me to an even 80% charge with an expected 21% upon arriving in Kenora. This dropped to 17% around my time hitting Dryden and, based on how the day was going, I opted to stop and top up to be safe. This also gave me time to set up my bed for the night as I was now going to arrive at dusk.
I added 10% and went on my way. This got me to Kenora with 27% so wasn’t necessary in the end but, again, didn’t want to chance anything.
Where To Charge and Stay in Kenora?
After a last-call stop at the Lake of the Woods Brewery for a flight and bite, I called it a night. On this visit, I stayed at the Anicinabe RV Park & Campground. My site came with a 50 AMP (Nema 14-50) plug and cost me $52 for the night.
It was funny to pull up in between two large motorhomes however it added to the experience. So did the view of the lake at sunrise and the deer grazing next to my car when I woke up!
On my stop in Kenora on last year’s trip across Canada, I did some glamping at the Wild Woods Hideaway. This eco-friendly resort focuses on staying off the grid as much as possible. We stayed in a great cabin and had access to canoes and one heck of a sunset. Highly recommend it, especially if travelling with kids.
Kenora to Winnipeg
After waving goodbye to the giant Muskie overlooking the Lake of the Woods, I made my way east. This leg was nowhere near as eventful as the previous day however it was just 211 km door-to-door. I left my campsite with 92% with an expected arrival charge of 35%. Due to my previous day’s unexpected range, I kept the trip consumption graph on screen for most of the way.
This helped me arrive with a better than expected 36%. It would have been higher however I stopped to golf in a small town along the way – something I literally searched for while driving. Using the Tesla Nav, I found a course along the way, clicked on it, and called to book. How great is that?
What To Do While You Charge in Winnipeg?
Winnipeg was another stop where I spent a few days. This was to catch up on work rather than play tourist. Still, in the evenings, I was able to explore a bit and enjoyed the riverside strolls. I crossed the Provencher Bridge, once home to the province’s most expensive toilet, and over to the Saint Boniface Cathedral before heading back across the river to The Forks.
The Forks is home to plenty of artisan shops and restaurants as well as a market. It’s also next to the fantastic and skyline dominating Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
Where To Charge and Stay in Winnipeg?
I actually stayed at two hotels while in Winnipeg. On my first night, I stayed at the Mere Hotel and can recommend it for its modern design and riverfront location. I can’t recommend it for its EV charger. Although free to use with paid parking, the charger handle was broken on my visit. Luckily though, it worked. On top of that, the parking lot is VERY small. Therefore Plugshare has plenty of reports of this spot being ICED. Be warned.
For the remainder of my stay, I moved to the Alt Hotel. I am a big fan of Le Germain properties and the Alt Hotel did not disappoint. My room felt like it was the highest in the city with incredible sunset views over the prairies. A downside though is that there is no onsite charging. That said, being Manitoba, there are 110v plugs in the parking garage. I was able to plug in and add ~10% overnight.
On my way east I stayed at the Inn at the Forks which does have free EV charging. The rooms are nice and can’t beat the location if you are looking to cover the tourist highlights.
Winnipeg to Regina
From hotel to hotel, my Winnipeg to Regina leg was ~575 km. This trip was suppose to be 20 minute charge stops in both Brandon and Whitewood with an arrival charge in Regina at 17%. In reality, I arrived in Brandon with 10% less than expected. This resulted in an additional four minutes of charging.
On the way to Whitewood, my efficiency tanked again. At first I thought it was the heavy foot that comes with driving in the praries (I was doing 120 km/h) however it was VERY gusty out which was likely a big factor. Either way, I arrived with 5% and not the 20% I expected in Whitewood. This meant a 25 minute charge (or one episode of the Office) before I carried on.
The heavy foot continued on the last streatch, largely because it was getting late. I was supposed to arrive with 27% so also had a nice buffer to play with. As such, I arrived at the Delta Regina hotel with 17%. This downtown hotel has free EV charging so there was no need to stop anywhere else on the way.
Up until this leg, my trip across Canada had been largely care free when it comes to range anxity. The downward trend continued largely all the way to Calgary. As I noticed on the way to Regina, headwind is a HUGE drain and likely the cause of my range drain in Northern Ontario as well. It really took its toll on the way to Medicine Hat, but will get to that.
Till then, here are my Thunder Bay to Regina EV road trip takeaways;
- Wind conditions play a big role in range. Use sites like Windfinder to better plan in stops that may need a longer charge.
- Setting up your Tesla bed while charging is a good way to leverage dying daylight.
- Sticking to an effecient speed in the praries is tough 😉
Thunder Bay to Regina EV Road Trip – Charging Costs
So what did this 1,300 km Thunder Bay to Regina road trip cost me?
1.5 hr Charging
Since I have Supercharging credits and stuck to accomodations with charging included, this 1,300 km streatch actually cost me nothing. Punching it into ABRP, it should cost ~$17.20.
I did spend more time charging (1.5 hours not including overnight charge) to make up for the headwind and heavy foot. Still, I never found myself bored or put out by it. There’s always Netflix!
Regina to Calgary is up next. Stay tuned.