Road Trip / Planning

Vancouver to Tofino in an EV – Trip Plan

With local pandemic travel restrictions set to lift next week, I am starting to plan a few EV road trips around British Columbia. First up is a trip to Vancouver Island including stops in remote Ucluelet and Tofino. Read on for my planned Vancouver to Tofino itinerary including expected charges and costs along the way.

The Route

Punching in my itinerary into ABRP, door to door between my place and the Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet I am looking at 262 km and five and a half hours.

Charging and Cost

Although the one-way trip clocks in around 7 hours with stops, the total driving time is a little over two and a half hours. This is thanks to the ferry ride to the island. This makes this road trip a relatively easy one. That said, there are a few unique aspects to it.

For one, I am curious how much charge I will lose on the hour and forty-minute sailing. This will, of course, depends on if we stay in the car or head to the upper deck. Netflix in the car is pretty comfy ?

Second, this route has very few charging options. There is a Tesla Supercharger in Nanaimo and a couple of CHAdeMO chargers along the way. That said, with the short distance, charging is not required. Still, having a CHAdeMO adaptor is a nice backup to have. There are a couple of BC Hydro charging stations along the route that use CHAdeMO.

That said, if I depart with 90% charge I should arrive at my destination with 42% left. In reality, I expect this to be around 35% with stops and a heavy foot. It will be interesting to see and will be sure to share the real-world results!

Charging at the Black Rock Resort is free with your stay. As such, I expect to pay $0 for this trip.

Note: I pay a flat $25/month for EV charging at my condo. Charging prior to and after the trip is covered with that.

Sites and Stops

While researching the trip I came across BC Hydro’s dedicated site for EV’s. Along with plenty of great tips and info, they have EV road trip suggestions including an itinerary for Vancouver to Tofino. This route is a relatively easy one with plenty to see and do along the way.

For me, this includes a stop at the Longwood Brewery in Nanaimo before continuing on to Coombs Old Country Market for supplies. The latter is known for its goats grazing on the grass roof, although it’s been years since I have seen them out on my visits.

If open, I will be taking in the tall trees of Cathedral Grove before continuing west. The pandemic has closed the park to visitors so I may be on to Port Alberni in short order then on to Ucluelet.

I will be staying at the Black Rock Resort which is known for its rugged coastline views and innovative architecture. It has long been on my list to check out. I will have a full write up on that experience over on

There is a J-1772 charger on-site at the Black Rock Resort which makes the trip even easier.

In Ucluelet I plan to hike the Wild Pacific Trail before taking a coastal drive up to Tofino, stopping in at the beaches in the Pacific Rim National Park along the way. If the weather cooperates I will be hiking the Canso Crash Site Trail. This takes you to the site of a well intact Royal Canadian Air Force Canso 11007 which crashed in the winter of 1945!

Besides that, I intend to enjoy the hotel and relax for a couple days before heading home on the same route.

Real-World Results?

Stay tuned for a full write up on the trip and see how close to the plan I get. For coverage while on the go be sure to follow me on Instagram as I will be sharing the trip through Insta Stories along the way!

If you are thinking about placing a Model Y order, be sure to use my referral code and get 1,500 Supercharger kilometres!

Cover image via BC Hydro

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