Can we use our existing car? 761 days to go

Chevrolet Bolt plugged in at a charging station

Last year we became a ONE car family. The reasons were threefold. First, I was not working. Second, we moved to a house that was within shouting distance of the subway. Finally, our second car had a major malfunction that we decided not to get fixed. Giving up that second car was a blessing in disguise.

We had always thought we would end up getting a new car when I went back to work. It would be that new car that we would drive across Canada in two years time. Now we do not see that happening. The question now is if our current car can handle the task.

We currently drive an electric vehicle. It is a Chevrolet Bolt. In the summer we get over 400km on a charge. In the winter we get considerably less. Back in 2018, we went on a camping trip up north of Sudbury. It was a thousand-kilometre roundtrip. At that time, the EV infrastructure left much to be desired. We crossed our fingers and hoped the Tim Hortons in Azilda actually had a functioning fast charger. It did but it did not charge as fast as advertised. We spent an exciting three hours talking to people going through the drive-thru. We agreed we would not try that again for some time.

Before the pandemic there had been a couple big announcements around the EV infrastructure across the country. Petro Canada and Canadian Tire seem to be on board which mitigates some of the concerns around scarcity and availability. When I was researching the charging stations across the country I was amazed at how many had been added since our 2018 foray. We use the location finder at ChargeHub to help plan our journeys.

As I currently see it here are the current negatives associated with using our existing electric vehicle.

  1. Limited storage and comfort space – The car is small. The kids will not have a lot of room in the back seat. It just will not hold all our camping and travel gear for two months of travel. We might have to put a storage contraption on the roof.
  2. More planning required – Yes, the network exists or will exist but ensuring we are always within range of a charger will involve a little bit more effort. The charger also needs to be available to us at the time we need it to be.
  3. Spur of the moment – We can still be spontaneous but we will have to ensure the car is fully charged before we deviate from our plans.

The main reasons to use the Bolt are as follows.

  1. It would be a great story – We might shake our head at the time but over the years we will definitely look back on the idea with amusement. At some point, taking an EV for a multi-week holiday will be commonplace and easy. Would it not be fun to do it before it became more mainstream?
  2. Aligns to the Goal of doing with less on the trip – A smaller car means living with less. This was one of the goals of the trip.
  3. Cost – This is probably the biggest pro. No additional cash outlay would be required as we would be using something we already have. Hopefully, minimal operating costs as charging should come in much cheaper than gas. We can even leverage our existing insurance arrangments.

Current thoughts:

We like the idea of using an EV. We probably would even deal with the charging and planning requirements. Our principal concern is around comfort and storage for the kids. Due to the duration of the voyage, the comfort piece weighs heavily on our selection. For now we will continue researching other opportunities like the Volkswagen Camper Van which Paige has been pushing for.

2 thoughts on “Can we use our existing car? 761 days to go

  1. Mariam June 23, 2020 / 12:30 am

    I think you should make it happen! I’m also super hyped for this trip. Consider me invested.


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