Vancouver, Canada to Portland, OR - where to stop & charge?

Vancouver, Canada to Portland, OR - where to stop & charge?

I'm heading on my 1st roadtrip (model S 85). Vancouver, Canada to Portland, OR. I've been all over plugshare and Recargo for rest/recharge options. I'm hitting a wall in South Washington. Lots of "quickcharge", Blink, Aerovironment stations, but those are not compatible with Tesla (?). Does anyone know of any good locations (free is always nice, but not required. Something to do is even better), for a couple of hours around Olympia, Wa or south towards Portland?

RobertAL | 20 April, 2013

Your experience locating chargers is similar to mine, but others seem to have no problem with it. In two weeks I put on 1,000 miles, all locally, but taking a longer trip is out of the question until I am positive that a minimum 40 amp charger is available.

The PNW drivers could set up their own shared network by offering their home station as a place to charge. They may not all be right off I-5, but they certainly would serve to provide enough charge from one place to the next.

I am on Vashon, which is basically 160 miles south of Vancouver and 160 miles north of Portland, so it is an ideal midway stop. The only problem for some would be the need to take a ferry. Of course, that gives one a chance to check out the island while their car is charging. If I had a place to charge in Vancouver, it would be perfect.

Locating a charging station between Vancouver and Northern California may soon be a mute point since Tesla has to be getting their superchargers going pretty soon. Musk will be telling us all shortly what plans he has. The early talk of one in the NW by the end of March wasn't correct, but there is disagreement on whether that was a solid commitment or not. In any case, I doubt that it will be much longer for us. And if it is, there may be enough owners who are willing to share their stations - as long as one doesn't become the sole provider for everyone else.

DouglasR | 20 April, 2013

@susannais - You are incorrect. Blink, Aerovironment, and ChargePoint stations have J1772 connectors and are all compatible with your Model S if you use the J1772 adapter that came with your vehicle. These are 30 amp stations, so the charging will be fairly slow. You can also look up RV parks and campsites that have somewhat faster NEMA 14-50 outlet (40 amps). There are plenty of both types along your route.

If you have twin chargers in your car, there are also several 70 and 80 amp chargers along your route. You would need to borrow or buy an adapter for some of these, but they are considerably faster than either of the above types.

Getting from Vancouver to Portland will still require that you spend a fair amount of time charging. Doing it in two days, however, would be pretty easy.

ThomasN | 20 April, 2013

I've done Portland to Bellingham, with a very long dinner at Tesla Bellevue. But you run the risk of the HPWC being in use.

DouglasR | 20 April, 2013

@ThomasN - But I'm guessing you have twin chargers.

kilimats | 20 April, 2013


Are you the tesla owner i noticed twice in south surrey in morgan height close to thrifty food?

if so, IM JEALOUS !!!! haha

susannais | 2 May, 2013

The trip was interesting and frustrating. Heading South not soo bad.
- Burlington (100km S of border). 30amp 1.5 hr. cc'd required -food & shopping nearby.
- Seattle (Tesla service center). 40-60(?)amp 4+ hours, GREAT area to wander. 30 km (20 miles) left on charge when we hit
- Vancouver, Wa. In stress mode found blink station at courthouse. adapter OK, but needed membership or smartphone access to activate. I had neither. Made it to hotel with 20k (8 m) left. Total trip time 12 hours.
North bound....
- Downtown Seattle Kimpton Hotel (blink station) 30 amp, 5 hours. $8
- Burlington again, 2 hours(went to see a movie at the cineplex). At Midnight ended up in
- Downtown Blaine, Wa at a lone free public charger 60 amp (soo glad it wan not occupied) Charge on car drained lower than expected/rated
. Spent an hour there and made it to Vancouver with 26 km left. Total return trip time 14 hours.

I like Robert's suggestion of home charge & meeting other drivers. Plug share lists residential and it's member protected, but not specific to Model S.

DouglasR - I'd love to know where the 70 & 80 amp compatible chargers are. Clearly I was incapable to figuring that out with the websites. I wish Tesla would provide a white paper on the types & brands of stations in regions/states and whether or not they are model S /adapter compatible. If I don't already have an adapter for these 70 & 80 amp stations it would be well worth the investment.

Kilimats - nope, not me. Some other very lucky Telsa owner :)

TeslaTech | 2 May, 2013
Steinwand | 2 May, 2013

I have 1000 miles on my MS and am getting over any range anxiety very quickly but couldn't do what you did down to 8 or even 20 miles. I feel it when I'm down to anything under 60. Maybe I will get better over time.

Brian H | 2 May, 2013

Your 20k = 8 miles is off; that's about 13 miles.

The guides will probably term the 70+ chargers Level 3. Roadster HPC chargers, for which adapters are now theoretically available generally, are 70s.

ian | 2 May, 2013

For a fairly small donation you could have used a Roadster charger in Centralia...

DouglasR | 2 May, 2013

@susannais - The map linked by TeslaTech is the best one for locating high amp stations. Of course, to take advantage of them, you need twin chargers and, for the Roadster HPCs, an adapter.

It's a little late now, but the best places to stop between Vancouver and Portland are the Tesla store in Bellevue (HPWC, so no adapter needed) and the Burgerville in Centralia (need an adapter, but you could subscribe to the Burgerville adapter). You could actually make it with only one stop in Bellevue (140 miles from Vancouver to Bellevue and 175 miles from Bellevue to Portland), but I like a cushion. You also need a place to charge in Portland for the trip back.