For the edification of other Vancouver-area Soul EV owners, I'll relate briefly the pertinent details of my trip to the Seattle area this past weekend. Before we left, I bought a monthly subscription to Aerovironment for US$19.99. Sadly, I did so too late to get the key fob (additional US$15 one-time fee), so I had to phone the toll-free number each time I needed to charge (roaming fees
We left East Van with 100% charge on Saturday morning. When we reached Bellingham, we charged up at Sehome Village, where there is an Aerovironment ChaDeMo charger. We were at about 30% charge when we got there, having driven fairly fast on Hwy. 99 and the I-5. There was nobody else charging there. The charge took us to 83% in about 20-some minutes, which was perfect to get a snack. Our next stretch was longer, stopping at Performance Kia in Everett. Now, the Plugshare app indicated that they charge "$5/session for non-Soul EV drivers". I had emailed the dealership previously, and had been assured that the fact that I had bought my car at a different dealership (in a different country, even) would not be a problem, but when I went in and asked about charging up, the first thing I was asked was whether I had bought the car there. When I said no, but told them about my email exchange, the salesman looked puzzled and had to check with his manager that it was okay to let us charge. They did, though, which was a good thing, because our battery was below 20% and the car was nagging us to get it some relief. We had lunch at a nearby Panera (the kids loved it!) while the car got its much-needed power. Then it was on to my brother-in-law's place in Sammamish. There, we plugged into a wall outlet overnight, ensuring that we could leave the next day with 100% power and a nice cool interior.
On the way back, I decided to avoid Performance Kia because of their attitude, and also because we weren't going to be having a meal and I didn't think the area was particularly pleasant to be hanging around in. So, we took a more scenic route out of Sammamish along SR 203, with a small (10 km) detour east along Hwy 2 to Sultan. There, the information centre had an Aerovironment ChaDeMo charger. We still had plenty of charge at that point, but we needed top off to make our next stop, so spent a pleasant few minutes in the small town of Sultan. When we got to 83% again, we headed west on Hwy 2 to the I-5 and then north to Burlington. We got lunch and another Aerovironment charge at the outlet mall there. It was the only place we had to wait for the charger, as a pleasant young fellow with a Nissan Leaf was not quite finished when we got there. After getting up to 83% on the ChaDeMo, we moved the car over to a Chargepoint free Level 2 machine, and got it up to 100% (and cooled down) while the kids bought some fudge and we got the daughter some clothes. The trip home from Burlington to East Van took us down to 13% charge, so it's a good thing we got the Level 2 boost.
Lessons from the trip:
1) Don't count on businesses giving a free and cheerful charge, even if they tell you they will. At the least, you'll have to be fairly persistent about it.
2) When possible, get the Level 2 charge after the ChaDeMo. Aerovironment has Level 2 chargers at all the same locations as their fast chargers, so once I have the key fob, it will be easy to top up to 100% without moving the car.
3) Keep a close eye on the GOM and the remaining distance on the Navigator, and how much faster the GOM goes down than the Navi, especially when driving at highway speeds and using the AC intermittently. Range anxiety is real!