Planning ahead for EV charging makes a big difference

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Here is the July 21, 2023 issue of The Elkalaka Eagle, where it was front-page news that an EV owner had planned ahead well enough to be able to charge at 27 miles per hour in a place that was 136 miles away from the nearest public EV charging station. 

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Elkalaka, Montana is remote.  It is so remote that the nearest EV charging stations are not even in Montana.  The nearest is in Deadwood, SD (136 miles away), and Dickinson, ND (147 miles away) and Sheridan, WY (238 miles away).  To reach an EV charging station in Montana you must drive 258 miles to Billings.

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The driver of the EV who found his car competing in the front-page news with a pet parade and a cribbage game had planned ahead, bringing with him a travel EV charger and a set of NEMA charging adapters, shown at right.

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He stumbled upon a lamppost that happened to have what a seasoned EV owner would call “the holy grail” — a live, unlocked NEMA 14-50 receptacle.  This is what they look like, at right.  If you are a hundred miles from the nearest EV charger, this receptacle is your lifesaver.  You select the matching 14-50 NEMA charging adapter, snap the adapter into place in your travel charger, plug it into the “holy grail” receptacle, and start charging your EV.  Each hour that passes gives you another 27 miles of driving range.

It turns out that the electrical power in Elkalaka, Montana is provided by Southeast Electric Co-Op, Inc., which is a nonprofit customer-owned cooperative.  According to news stories, the owner of the EV was able to find the business office of the coop and they were very nice about his having made use of their NEMA 14-50 receptacle.  It seems this was the first time anyone had ever offered to pay for their use of this receptacle.

One news story reports that the coop is now considering installing a level-2 EV charger in Elkalaka.

3 Replies to “Planning ahead for EV charging makes a big difference”

  1. There are some RV parks that apparently will let you charge on 50 or 30 amp outlets if you ask nicely and pay a nominal amount for the charge.

    1. Thank you Ken for commenting! Yes you are absolutely right that RV (recreational vehicle) parks can be a godsend for an EV driver who might otherwise be stranded with a dead battery. Your comment inspired this blog article.

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