For my next EV road trip, I’m kicking it up a notch. This cross-country trek from Vancouver to Toronto is a doozy. Unlike my trip from Quebec to Vancouver last fall, this route gets me off the Trans Canada highway and through some remote areas with limited charging. Therefore, some preparation and planning are required.
This is my Vancouver to Toronto EV trip plan.
Vancouer to Toronto – The Complete Route
As always, my trip planning starts with ABRP. This allows me to select my vehicle make and model, the charge levels to depart and arrive with, departure times, and the inclusion of specific charging options available to me. This gets the most accurate plan possible, something critical when going “off the beaten path.”
Punching in my total route including the stops I am planning in advance, I am looking at a whopping 5,760 km and 64 hours of driving including 7 hours of charging.
This is a rough look at the total route. To get a better plan, let’s break it down by day and segment.
Unlike my trip across Canada last year, I will be working my day job while making my way across the country. This largely means being stationary during the week and travelling on weekends and evenings. Driving from Vancouver to Toronto like this will be interesting. I do have some holiday time mixed in which helps but for the most part, the travel is done in bursts. This leaves little room for error as both my travel partner and I will need to be working come Monday AM. This means being somewhere with reliable internet and space. Thankfully, we have plenty of friends and family along the way willing to put us up.
The other big consideration this time of year is, unfortunately, forest fires. This can cause severe delays and detours. With limited charging options in some stretches, this is something I will need to monitor as we go. Websites like firesmoke.ca are great for this. It tracks current fires and forecasts their path along with where the smoke is going. As I write this, BC, Saskatchewan, and Northern Ontario are in pretty rough shape.
Day 1 – Vancouver to Banff
Our trip kicks off with an early AM departure to allow us enough time to get to Banff for dinner. This means little sightseeing or stops along the way. I just completed two great BC road trips, one to Tofino and one to the Kootany’s, so I am OK with breezing through my home province.
This leg is 850 km and should take 10 hours to complete. This includes 4 x 15-minute charging stops in Hope, Kamloops, Revelstoke, and Golden BC. These are all Tesla Superchargers and should cost $22 total, or in my case, free. I have credits from Tesla referrals and finally getting to put them to use!
In Banff, we are meeting up with friends for dinner and spending the night. There is free EV charging at the Banff Visitors centre next to our hotel so it is my hope to park here while going for dinner. Otherwise, we will likely charge at the Canmore Supercharger on the way to Calgary.
Day 2 – Banff to Edmonton
After touring Banff for a day, we are going to head to Calgary and will stay with friends. This will give us a place to work out of till midweek. In the evening we are going to head north on Highway 2 to Edmonton where we will again, visit with friends and work out of their homes.
This stretch is just 430 km spread out over a couple of days. I will be charging at friends in Calgary and Edmonton but will require one Supercharger stop in Red Deer on the way north. This should be about $4.00 and take just 10 minutes.
Day 3 – Edmonton to Saskatoon
This is where the route east gets interesting. Instead of heading back through Calgary to pick up the Trans Canada Highway and the Supercharger Network on it, we are going to try a more direct route. Taking the Yellowhead (HWY 16) will shave 400 km and 4-hours off the ride. The downside is, of course, charging options are limited. Telsa Superchargers are scheduled to open along this route, but not until the 4th quarter of 2021. This means I need to get a little creative.
Looking at Plugshare, there are no charging options until Lyodminister, 250 km out and smack dab in between Edmonton and Saskatoon. The options, however, are dicey. Peavy Mart’s in Alberta have J1772 chargers at most locations but reading reviews, they are unreliable. In Vegreville, for instance, the Peavy Mart is under renovation and the charger was removed. Too bad as we will be passing through to see the world’s largest decorated egg. This would have been ideal to charge and eat some Ukrainian food.
There is a Peavy Mart in Lyodminister with an operational charger but that would mean we would be there for a while with little to see and do. A friend once told me, “if you have a year to live, spend it in Lyodminister as it will be the longest year of your life!”
With that in mind, I looked for other options. This lead me to the Rolling Green Fairways Golf Course & RV Park. Although it will cost me $42 to book an RV stall with a Nema 14-50 outlet, I was planning on bringing my golf clubs for this trip so this is perfect. The plan is to play a quick 9 while the car charges.
This, according to ABRP, won’t get us enough to our destination. As such, we will be stopping in North Battleford to top up. The Peavy Mart there gets a rating of just 1.3/10 so I am planning on it being broken. Thankfully there are two car dealerships with 24-hour J1772 chargers available. Calling ahead I confirmed these are good to use and will get us enough to our final destination for the day, the Alt Hotel in downtown Saskatoon.
Overall, this route is a bit head-scratching as Edmonton to Saskatoon is 520 km, about the max range of my Tesla Model Y. Still, ABRP is saying I need the RV park charge, as well as a second charge t,o make it to Saskatoon with 10% left. I am hopeful real-world results will be better. As is now, charging will be ~6 hrs between the RV park and dealership and will cost $42. ?
Day 4 – Saskatoon to Winnipeg
The hope was to get a bit further than Saskatoon so if real-world results are indeed better, we will most likely stay in Regina. Either way, I plan on stopping in at Rebellion Brewing before counting east.
Since we are picking up the Trans Canada highway in Regina, the rest of the route is largely Tesla Superchargers. On the way to Winnipeg, we will charge in Regina, Whitewood, and Brandon totalling 37 minutes and ~$19.
In Winnipeg, we will be staying at the Inn at the Forks which has free EV charging. It’s also located next to the Forks, a market and entertainment area, which will give us something to check out before carrying on the next day.
Day 4 – Winnipeg to Thunder Bay
The next day we will be an 8.5 hour stretch through Northern Ontario. I initially wanted to stay in Kenora again as last time I found a great glamping spot at the Wild Woods Hideaway however the area is currently affected by wildfires so thought it best to move through. Still, a stop in at the Lake of the Woods Brewery and a quick photoshop at Husky the Muskie are in order.
In Thunder Bay, we are going to stay at the new Delta hotel which has EV charging. The rest of the charging for this leg is again all Tesla Superchargers and includes Kenora and Ignace totalling 30 minutes and ~$14.
Day 5 – Thunder Bay to Sudbury
At just under 13 hours, this leg is the longest. As such, we will be leaving Thunder Bay early, stopping in for a Perisian and coffee before paying our respect at the Terry Fox Memorial. From there it is four Supercharger stops (Terrace Bay, Wawa, Sault St. Marie, and Blind River) and will total 50 minutes and cost ~$22.
Once in Sudbury, we will be staying with family and trickle charging while working for the rest of the week.
Day 6 – Sudbury to Cottage Country
After finishing out our work week, we will be taking the next week off and enjoying the cottage life. We rented this cute cabin and will be hosting friends over the week. I plan to top up at the Perry Sound Supercharger on either side of the cottage stay before continuing on. This should be about $15 at most.
Day 7 – Cottage Country to Chatham
After a week of relaxing at the lake, we will be making our way into Southern Ontario where my spouse is from. Once there we will again work the work while trickle charging and visiting with family. Stops along the way include Webers for a roadside burger and a pop in at a friends place in Beeton.
This route will be about 550 km with Supercharging stops in Perry Sound and Orangeville. Total charging time is expected to be 33 minutes and will cost ~$15.
Day 8 – Chatham to Toronto
Finally! After over 5,000 km we will arrive in Toronto! Chargers for this leg does not include any charging stops as it is just 300 km. Our hotel in Toronto includes charging and is free of charge.
No plans at this point for Toronto so if you have suggestions to pass along let me know!
Day 9 – Toronto to Hill Island
Although this EV road trip plan is from Vancouver to Toronto, I am actually going a little further east. My final destination is the Thousand Islands to, once again, visit family. This streatch is, again, 300 km and does not include any charging stops. I will likely stop in Kingston to charge there to top up and should cost about $10.
Charging and Cost
As noted, this Vancouver to Toronto trip should include ~7 hours of charging. That may seem like a lot however it is spread out over a month and over 5,500 km. In total, I am looking at about $150 to charge. Using a fuel calculator and plugging in a genourous $1.25/litre average, this trip would cost $720 in fuel for a standard car! That is some crazy savings right there!
This trip, especially the portion off of the Trans Canada highway, should be interesting when it comes to actuals. Like my other EV Trip Planning posts, I will be following up with an EV Trip report post so be sure to check back soon! Better yet, sign up for my newsletter so you get the latest posts directly to your inbox!
As always, for coverage on the go, be sure to follow me on Instagram. I will be sharing the trip through Insta Stories along the way!