It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Given the opportunity to attend a brief electric vehicle charging infrastructure discussion at Ministry of Energy offices, it seemed logical that I drive the company electric vehicle to the meeting. Why not? I had made the 160 km trip from Woodstock to downtown Toronto on previous occasions. Granted, a significant amount of time would be required to allow for recharging. But it’s an adventure – right?
Now I love driving electric vehicles. I love the whole package. The efficiency, torque, simplicity and most of all, the option to leverage renewable energy as the primary fuel source.
But the love was waning on this trip as it rolled on, something like this:
- 4:45 am – leave home. Oh-oh, didn’t expect minus 5. Better go easy on the heat though.
- 5:30 am – 58 km - arrive at first charge station. Charger blocked but manage to reach port. Blocking a bay door so I leave a business card on window.
- Charge for one hour and thaw out at local Tim Hortons. Warmed up on the walk there too.
- Leave at 6:30 am
- 7:00 am – 100 km - arrive in Milton. Charger in fault condition. Move to another charger in Milton. Charger locked off. Wait for staff to arrive and turn on.
- Leave at 8:20 am.
- 9:00 am – 130 km - arrive at Nissan level 3 DC charger. Charger faulted. Gentleman from office steps out for a cigarette and agrees, charger is faulted. 20 minutes later, charger reset.
- Leave at 10:00 am with 86% charge (thank goodness for the rare level 3 charger)
- 10:50 am – 160 km - arrive at Ministry office on Grenville, just in time for EV charging infrastructure meeting. Feeling desperately engaged and passionate about said meeting.
Was the Honeymoon over?
The online Urban Dictionary neatly describes the charmed period between infatuation and reality as
“The three-month maximum period between a person's entry into a new situation and a person's complete screwing up of said situation or essential elements of it. This phenomenon is backed by massive amounts of studies in social psychology and even more massive amounts of personal testimony from bitter, angry people.”
EV charger infrastructure planning – it’s time to grow up!
In spite of the cold, long and eventful trip to Grenville, I still found myself invigorated. Certainly not bitter, nor angry, but somewhat sad.
The night prior I attended one of the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change roadshow meetings in London Ontario. Incredibly well run with great ideas, an attentive audience and respectful hosts, I left the meeting convinced electric mobility was about to take a leading role in climate mitigation efforts.
The trip to Toronto reminded me of just how little collective planning and effort we are making to ensure a robust and reliable EV charging infrastructure is developed. Our EV charging network as it stands is a hodge-podge of random chargers, mostly provided by private businesses and ambitious entrepreneurs who really need our help and support.
We need to move quickly and swiftly together to build this system.
The honeymoon may be over, but the real relationship is about to begin.