Dear Porsche... (How I would wish EV Planning would work for me)

evanevery

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Dear Porsche,

I wish that I could simply plan an EV trip as follows:

1. Use any/all third part tools as required to map out my trips and all the associated charging stops along the way:

I tell you this because, although it would be nice for the Porsche software (Onboard, Smart Phone App, Connect Web Portal) to be able to do this all on its own, I certainly don't expect it to be able to do this any better than many of the tools (ie. ABRP) already available. I don't want to be a slave to any one proprietary (Porsche) planning solution. I like choices and want to be able to use any of them as I please. However, for your software to enable this, it has to be able to accept user designated stops (for chargers and otherwise).

I also want to be able to do my "third party" trip planning in whatever way suits me. For me personally, this means sitting in my comfy office chair, working at my PC with a keyboard and mouse and perhaps several tools (ABRP, PlugShare, etc) to determine my route and charging stops.

My agreement with you is that I will have a list of charger addresses (and other stops as necessary) ready to import into your software.


2. Import the addresses of these charging stops (and others) directly into your software:

The best platform for me (while comfortably sitting at my keyboard) is the "Navigation" page from inside the Porsche Web Portal. I'm happy to pick chargers off of YOUR map, but I also want to be able to designate them strictly by address if necessary.

- I want to be able to save all my pre-identified addresses as ONLINE favorites so I can use them again.

- I want to be able to designate any of these online favorites as the address of a charger. I'ld like to be simply be able to say "there is a charger here and this is how much power it provides" (50kw, 150KW, 350kw, etc) even if your database does not yet know about it. ...even if it is only a 30 Amp drier receptacle I plan to hijack at a relative's house. Its not so hard. Its just one extra integer field. "0" for not a charger and a some other integer (KW) if charging can be obtained...

- I want to be able to assemble any of these online favorites into a "route".

- As with saving online favorites, I want your software to save these online routes I have created.

- I want your software to allow me to create/save/load/edit these online routes if I wish to use them later or make changes.


3. Send these "Favorites" and "Routes" directly to the car:

- I want to be able to send my "online" favorites down to the car so they can be accessed locally for quick retrieval.

- It should NOT have to be said but, I want my car to understand that some of these "online" favorites are addresses of chargers.

- I want to be able to send my "online" routes down to the car so they can be stored locally for quick retrieval.

- I want your software to manage these "online" favorites/routes so they can be kept in syc. I want to be able to direct the "online" list kept in the car to match the "online" list in the cloud at any time. (I appreciate that maintaining two lists (online vs local) will make synchronization much easier!)


4. Have the NAV system work FOR ME to complete my trip:

- I want to be able to COPY any "online" favorite/route to a "local" favorite/route so I can manipulate it "locally" (inside the car).

- I want to be able to create/save/load/edit "local" favorites/routes from within the car as I travel in the event that my needs, desires, or conditions change.

- I want to be able to create "local" routes in a simple and straightforward manner. I don't want to have to fight with the Nav system to assemble a route (in REVERSE order!). I simply want to identify the route stop-by-stop in LOGICAL order. I don't want to fight with the Nav system as it continually tries to recalculate my route and provide additional "suggestions" while I assemble this route.

- I want to be able to ACTIVATE any of the routes ("Online" or "Local") stored in my car at any time. I don't want to have to fight with the Nav system to assemble a route immediately before departing. I want to simply be able to load a pre-configured route, activate it, and go...

- I don't want the Nav system to continually interrupt me with a new route "it thinks" is better. Once is fine, but I want a "STFU" button to turn this off. (You specifically tell me that I can't turn off PIRM). This is unfortunate as I therefore have to leave your "New Route Suggestion" always in my notification list or you will simply pop it right back up again. I appreciate a notification if traffic conditions CHANGE, but I want absolute authority to determine my routing. I don't want to be constantly distracted with the same suggestion over and over. No means NO!

I understand your software already does SOME of this. This note is simply to give you a complete picture of how I think this could all work. Other folks may think differently. This is just my list...

I honestly don't understand why you didn't take the time to write a functional specification for the interaction of your software. I don't understand why you didn't take the time to consider how an actual EV driver might want to plan and execute a road trip. I don't understand why you didn't allow sufficient user-testing to get the feedback which would likely provide the very same suggestions I am presenting here.

Please don't leave me wondering why you didn't "fix" this as well...

The success of an EV Road Trip is largely dependent on Pre-Planning. I would like your software to fully support this. I would like your software to be more efficient, logical and easier to use. I would like your software to work for ME (and not I for it).

Please?

Ed
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evanevery

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arijaycomet

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Curious ... @evanevery — how long have you owned the Tesla you have listed in your bio? When did you first become a Tesla owner?

I ask because ... our first EV was 2012 (Nissan Leaf), and our first Tesla was in 2014 (Model S). We are nearby one another (Ohio v Wisconsin) and the supercharger network has been slower in the Great Lakes than most places. I’ve watched the Tesla software grow — and in 2014 it was no better (perhaps worse) than the Porsche is right now. (Hence why I ask)

There is room for improvement, don’t get me wrong. And I agree with most everything you said. But while VW’s $ went into EA, and there are agreements between the two companies, but I question just how deep they are going to bake this into the OS (more than what they already have with the Porsche charging as shown).

PS: PlugShare has trip planning that works decently, too. It doesn’t allow for the ABRP/EV Trip Planner metrics, but if you have a good idea how many miles you can actually go, then it is suffice. Plus, for many, they want just EA chargers, which you can filter on PlugShare very easily. Just FYI.
 
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evanevery

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Curious ... @evanevery — how long have you owned the Tesla you have listed in your bio? When did you first become a Tesla owner?

I ask because ... our first EV was 2012 (Nissan Leaf), and our first Tesla was in 2014 (Model S). We are nearby one another (Ohio v Wisconsin) and the supercharger network has been slower in the Great Lakes than most places. I’ve watched the Tesla software grow — and in 2014 it was no better (perhaps worse) than the Porsche is right now. (Hence why I ask)

There is room for improvement, don’t get me wrong. And I agree with most everything you said. But while VW’s $ went into EA, and there are agreements between the two companies, but I question just how deep they are going to bake this into the OS (more than what they already have with the Porsche charging as shown).

PS: PlugShare has trip planning that works decently, too. It doesn’t allow for the ABRP/EV Trip Planner metrics, but if you have a good idea how many miles you can actually go, then it is suffice. Plus, for many, they want just EA chargers, which you can filter on PlugShare very easily. Just FYI.
The Taycan is my 4th EV. (Still have 3 of them) I've owned my Model X for about 5 years now. We were going to sell it after we got the Taycan - but then we took delivery of the Taycan... My Wife won't drive it...

I also currently have a BMW i8 and had a Chevy Volt since well before the Model-X. I actually considered the Volt to be an EV (more so than the i8) since it always killed me to put gas in it (which it demanded twice a year to replace the old fuel...).

You can also filter charging services with ABRP. IMHO: ABRP is by far the best planning app out there with PlugShare primarily best used for getting (and posting) reports from other EV drivers regarding real-time station status...
 

arijaycomet

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The Taycan is my 4th EV. (Still have 3 of them) I've owned my Model X for about 5 years now. We were going to sell it after we got the Taycan - but then we took delivery of the Taycan... My Wife won't drive it...

I also currently have a BMW i8 and had a Chevy Volt since well before the Model-X. I actually considered the Volt to be an EV (more so than the i8) since it always killed me to put gas in it (which it demanded twice a year to replace the old fuel...).

You can also filter charging services with ABRP. IMHO: ABRP is by far the best planning app out there with PlugShare primarily best used for getting (and posting) reports from other EV drivers regarding real-time station status...
Ed, it sounds like we’ve had some similar ownership experiences. Between my wife and I we have had 11 Tesla vehicles, 3 BMW i8s, 1 BMW i3, 1 Nissan Leaf, 1 Audi eTron SUV, 1 Audi A3 eTron hatch, and many more (our combined total of cars over the past 15 years is somewhere around 85+ right now; its a really bad habit!)

Agree that ABRP has a really nice, granular interface. But for me I tend to favor a good UX over complexity. I’ve always been happy to use PlugShare, or for my Tesla, just go To the trips sub-webpage they offer. And as you know, there isnt much reason to pre-plan with A Tesla. That said we just took my wife’s Model Y for an 1800+ mile trip from Ohio to Georgia over New Years and i did pre plan just to ensure we had good lunch stops along the 14+ hour day.

(side note: most Volt owners seem to treat their cars like EVs with “range extender” which is how I drove my BMW i3S REx — and i get it— def great cars all around)

My point from my prior post was this; back in 2015 or 2016 we took a trip in our Tesla, and halfway between Toledo (Maumee supercharger) and Mishawaka supercharger, the car told me i didnt have enough range, and to turn around. This was before the days of “slow down To X speed to reach destination” — and this was in the early days Of Tesla’s range projections. At that point Tesla has been out for 4 years, and had already produced over 100,000 total cars; far more time and units than the Taycan). So again, Porsche is IMo ahead of where Tesla was, which points to their legacy experience hopefully. That said, they have no control over the charging sites (we all have had bad EA experiences; and those will persist, sadly)

Another grip that I think goes to your “email to Porsche” — or really that is a “good” thing for the Taycan I should say — is the range accuracy. Earlier today I left my garage with just over 200 miles at 90% SOC and I put it in sport mode (~4 miles less range) and drove 62 miles running errands/getting lunch today. When I got home, I had lost 65 miles of range. That is amazingly accurate. On the flip side, driving my Teslas has always been far worse. In these cold temps (mid 30s here today) I’d lose 20-30% of my miles. The “Guess-o meter” on the Tesla is not great for most users; it is false, and creates annoyances. I appreciate that the Taycan is conservative; and while I appreciate the Tesla being aggressive, that can also be a huge letdown for the consumer.

If/when you do submit your email to POA, I’ll be very curious to see what happens. We need proper OTA updates, we need improvements to the trip planning, and we need to show people that these cars can do amazing long trips. We had a pleasure driving the Tesla 1800+ miles recently, and if it weren’t for the lack of a DC fast in Charleston WV, we would have taken the Porsche. Soon enough, I hope... soon enough...
 
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evanevery

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Ed, it sounds like we’ve had some similar ownership experiences. Between my wife and I we have had 11 Tesla vehicles, 3 BMW i8s, 1 BMW i3, 1 Nissan Leaf, 1 Audi eTron SUV, 1 Audi A3 eTron hatch, and many more (our combined total of cars over the past 15 years is somewhere around 85+ right now; its a really bad habit!)

Agree that ABRP has a really nice, granular interface. But for me I tend to favor a good UX over complexity. I’ve always been happy to use PlugShare, or for my Tesla, just go To the trips sub-webpage they offer. And as you know, there isnt much reason to pre-plan with A Tesla. That said we just took my wife’s Model Y for an 1800+ mile trip from Ohio to Georgia over New Years and i did pre plan just to ensure we had good lunch stops along the 14+ hour day.

(side note: most Volt owners seem to treat their cars like EVs with “range extender” which is how I drove my BMW i3S REx — and i get it— def great cars all around)

My point from my prior post was this; back in 2015 or 2016 we took a trip in our Tesla, and halfway between Toledo (Maumee supercharger) and Mishawaka supercharger, the car told me i didnt have enough range, and to turn around. This was before the days of “slow down To X speed to reach destination” — and this was in the early days Of Tesla’s range projections. At that point Tesla has been out for 4 years, and had already produced over 100,000 total cars; far more time and units than the Taycan). So again, Porsche is IMo ahead of where Tesla was, which points to their legacy experience hopefully. That said, they have no control over the charging sites (we all have had bad EA experiences; and those will persist, sadly)

Another grip that I think goes to your “email to Porsche” — or really that is a “good” thing for the Taycan I should say — is the range accuracy. Earlier today I left my garage with just over 200 miles at 90% SOC and I put it in sport mode (~4 miles less range) and drove 62 miles running errands/getting lunch today. When I got home, I had lost 65 miles of range. That is amazingly accurate. On the flip side, driving my Teslas has always been far worse. In these cold temps (mid 30s here today) I’d lose 20-30% of my miles. The “Guess-o meter” on the Tesla is not great for most users; it is false, and creates annoyances. I appreciate that the Taycan is conservative; and while I appreciate the Tesla being aggressive, that can also be a huge letdown for the consumer.

If/when you do submit your email to POA, I’ll be very curious to see what happens. We need proper OTA updates, we need improvements to the trip planning, and we need to show people that these cars can do amazing long trips. We had a pleasure driving the Tesla 1800+ miles recently, and if it weren’t for the lack of a DC fast in Charleston WV, we would have taken the Porsche. Soon enough, I hope... soon enough...
You noticed I said nothing about any issues with Electrify America (of which I've had my share). None of my letter has anything to do with that. This is all about miserable software design and functionality and inadequate user testing. This is not about growing pains. This is about no one having a clue on how to plan an EV Road Trip and then no one performing or listening to a user evaluation. All pretty standard stuff in the software world...

Yes, the Taycan is much more accurate in its range predictions than my Model-X. I will say, though, the Model-X has also never left me on the side of the road (nor has the Taycan).

I don't need to submit ANOTHER email. I already have several tickets open with them on this very subject and many others. Porsche has a very thorough listing of all my issues - and suggested resolutions - with their software. I've had tickets open with them almost since I took delivery in August. As I've mentioned in other threads, all they do is call me back and say "We are working on it", yet when I ask the caller "Working on what?" they never seem to know exactly what the ticket is about. Apparently its cheaper to hire folks to answer phones and make "reassuring" calls then to actually try and get something accomplished.

Here's a little report of a 1400 mile trip (inc EV Planning) I did through your neighborhood back in Sept if you haven't already seen it...
 

arijaycomet

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Thanks— yeah i did see that thread, and your robust list of cars in the sidebar. Kudos to you for the big trip and the learning experience. And thank you for sharing it with us.... that was great to see. As it was also fun to see my local friends who took their Taycan on the cannonball run cross country. I’ve going to mostly keep lurking here, since you have all the good stuff covered and better than I could have “put it” ;-)

PS: From what I have found so far, at least for us midwestern USA folks... the DC fast ElectrifyAmerica stations are spaced such that you pretty Much have to hit ALL of them in almost any journey (as you get closer to big cities like Chicago, you can pick whichever one is most convenient; if you are headed to NY/NJ same thing). And in the winter time, if you head south into mountains, the range might be an issue.

PS (also) — thanks for being the voice of all us consumers to Porsche NA. If at any point you think it prudent that more of us jump on the bandwagon (read: they think your case is isolated; we know it isn’t) let us know. I’m sure I speak for many of us here when I say we’d be happy to all call/email the correct party to aggregate our wants/needs. Meanwhile, we’ll be twiddling our thumbs waiting :p
 
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evanevery

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Thanks— yeah i did see that thread, and your robust list of cars in the sidebar. Kudos to you for the big trip and the learning experience. And thank you for sharing it with us.... that was great to see. As it was also fun to see my local friends who took their Taycan on the cannonball run cross country. I’ve going to mostly keep lurking here, since you have all the good stuff covered and better than I could have “put it” ;-)

PS: From what I have found so far, at least for us midwestern USA folks... the DC fast ElectrifyAmerica stations are spaced such that you pretty Much have to hit ALL of them in almost any journey (as you get closer to big cities like Chicago, you can pick whichever one is most convenient; if you are headed to NY/NJ same thing). And in the winter time, if you head south into mountains, the range might be an issue.

PS (also) — thanks for being the voice of all us consumers to Porsche NA. If at any point you think it prudent that more of us jump on the bandwagon (read: they think your case is isolated; we know it isn’t) let us know. I’m sure I speak for many of us here when I say we’d be happy to all call/email the correct party to aggregate our wants/needs. Meanwhile, we’ll be twiddling our thumbs waiting :p
YES! EVERYONE should call them and open a case for this kind of crap! They need to know its unacceptable! ..and they need to hear it from as many owners as possible! There is no shortage of stuff to call them about! Pick your "favorites"! The good news is that almost all of it is software related!

I even suggested that Porsche organize a Taycan Owners conference (post-Covid). I would fly over to Stuttgart on my own nickle if I could sit down and speak with someone who REALLY would listen and had the POWER to fix things...
 
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Possibly the fix requires them to hire software engineers with different skills like setting up large scale web services, and modern Product and UI designers. That can take years if it ever actually happens.

My first job as a software engineer was for a "hardware" company and most sw engineers were veterans that used to write software that run only in one computer and you needed physical access to the machine for debugging.

The latest Porsche TSB about the 12v with a PDF questionnaire for dealers to ask the owners is exactly what my first company would do and what any modern software company wouldn't do. Automatical log collection over internet is a problem solved many years ago..
 
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Dear Porsche,

I wish that I could simply plan an EV trip as follows:

1. Use any/all third part tools as required to map out my trips and all the associated charging stops along the way:

I tell you this because, although it would be nice for the Porsche software (Onboard, Smart Phone App, Connect Web Portal) to be able to do this all on its own, I certainly don't expect it to be able to do this any better than many of the tools (ie. ABRP) already available. I don't want to be a slave to any one proprietary (Porsche) planning solution. I like choices and want to be able to use any of them as I please. However, for your software to enable this, it has to be able to accept user designated stops (for chargers and otherwise).

I also want to be able to do my "third party" trip planning in whatever way suits me. For me personally, this means sitting in my comfy office chair, working at my PC with a keyboard and mouse and perhaps several tools (ABRP, PlugShare, etc) to determine my route and charging stops.

My agreement with you is that I will have a list of charger addresses (and other stops as necessary) ready to import into your software.


2. Import the addresses of these charging stops (and others) directly into your software:

The best platform for me (while comfortably sitting at my keyboard) is the "Navigation" page from inside the Porsche Web Portal. I'm happy to pick chargers off of YOUR map, but I also want to be able to designate them strictly by address if necessary.

- I want to be able to save all my pre-identified addresses as ONLINE favorites so I can use them again.

- I want to be able to designate any of these online favorites as the address of a charger. I'ld like to be simply be able to say "there is a charger here and this is how much power it provides" (50kw, 150KW, 350kw, etc) even if your database does not yet know about it. ...even if it is only a 30 Amp drier receptacle I plan to hijack at a relative's house. Its not so hard. Its just one extra integer field. "0" for not a charger and a some other integer (KW) if charging can be obtained...

- I want to be able to assemble any of these online favorites into a "route".

- As with saving online favorites, I want your software to save these online routes I have created.

- I want your software to allow me to create/save/load/edit these online routes if I wish to use them later or make changes.


3. Send these "Favorites" and "Routes" directly to the car:

- I want to be able to send my "online" favorites down to the car so they can be accessed locally for quick retrieval.

- It should NOT have to be said but, I want my car to understand that some of these "online" favorites are addresses of chargers.

- I want to be able to send my "online" routes down to the car so they can be stored locally for quick retrieval.

- I want your software to manage these "online" favorites/routes so they can be kept in syc. I want to be able to direct the "online" list kept in the car to match the "online" list in the cloud at any time. (I appreciate that maintaining two lists (online vs local) will make synchronization much easier!)


4. Have the NAV system work FOR ME to complete my trip:

- I want to be able to COPY any "online" favorite/route to a "local" favorite/route so I can manipulate it "locally" (inside the car).

- I want to be able to create/save/load/edit "local" favorites/routes from within the car as I travel in the event that my needs, desires, or conditions change.

- I want to be able to create "local" routes in a simple and straightforward manner. I don't want to have to fight with the Nav system to assemble a route (in REVERSE order!). I simply want to identify the route stop-by-stop in LOGICAL order. I don't want to fight with the Nav system as it continually tries to recalculate my route and provide additional "suggestions" while I assemble this route.

- I want to be able to ACTIVATE any of the routes ("Online" or "Local") stored in my car at any time. I don't want to have to fight with the Nav system to assemble a route immediately before departing. I want to simply be able to load a pre-configured route, activate it, and go...

- I don't want the Nav system to continually interrupt me with a new route "it thinks" is better. Once is fine, but I want a "STFU" button to turn this off. (You specifically tell me that I can't turn off PIRM). This is unfortunate as I therefore have to leave your "New Route Suggestion" always in my notification list or you will simply pop it right back up again. I appreciate a notification if traffic conditions CHANGE, but I want absolute authority to determine my routing. I don't want to be constantly distracted with the same suggestion over and over. No means NO!

I understand your software already does SOME of this. This note is simply to give you a complete picture of how I think this could all work. Other folks may think differently. This is just my list...

I honestly don't understand why you didn't take the time to write a functional specification for the interaction of your software. I don't understand why you didn't take the time to consider how an actual EV driver might want to plan and execute a road trip. I don't understand why you didn't allow sufficient user-testing to get the feedback which would likely provide the very same suggestions I am presenting here.

Please don't leave me wondering why you didn't "fix" this as well...

The success of an EV Road Trip is largely dependent on Pre-Planning. I would like your software to fully support this. I would like your software to be more efficient, logical and easier to use. I would like your software to work for ME (and not I for it).

Please?

Ed
Couldn’t agree more! Well said...
 
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Possibly the fix requires them to hire software engineers with different skills like setting up large scale web services, and modern Product and UI designers. That can take years if it ever actually happens.

My first job as a software engineer was for a "hardware" company and most sw engineers were veterans that used to write software that run only in one computer and you needed physical access to the machine for debugging.

The latest Porsche TSB about the 12v with a PDF questionnaire for dealers to ask the owners is exactly what my first company would do and what any modern software company wouldn't do. Automatical log collection over internet is a problem solved many years ago..
While I largely agree with what you say, all Porsche needs to do is hire ONE project manager and give them the POWER to solve this problem. All they need is ONE person with the proper vision and the authority to make it happen. No offense, but programmers are pretty easy to find. Someone just needs to give them the proper work to do.

Its pretty clear that they never sat down and wrote the functional specifications for their individual software packages, how they should interact with each other, and how they could be used to actually achieve their desired end result.

They hired someone to write Porsche Connect. They hired someone else to write Charging NA. (Why do we need both?). They hired someone to write the online Nav Portal in Porsche Connect. They hired someone to write the PCM/Nav software. Its like they had some contest and asked all their programmers to write "something" for the Taycan and then through all the results in a bag for us.

Apparently they DIDN'T hire someone to consider how all of this should work together. Now they need to unwind it and see if they can force fit it into some combined model of functionality. (At least they need to if they want it to be successful...) Along with software which gets force-fit into some frankenstein model of functionality, we the customers must also be force-fit into compliance in order to use it. (i.e. Why do I need to "convert" my charger addresses?")

Lots of wasted effort here because they didn't do the planning properly. Nobody had the appropriate vision. Everybody had their eye-balls up close to their personal software projects and nobody was sitting back to consider the big picture. You know, like the CUSTOMER would experience it...

Its pretty clear they never sat down and tried to figure out how an actual person would plan an EV Road Trip.

Its also pretty clear they never user-tested the stuff for feedback from real people in actual use of the vehicle.

I've given them a pretty clear roadmap (at least of how I would do it). Its a pretty simple design. They can start with that...

I've been writing software since 1977. I've been doing it professionally since 1982. Microsoft, HP, and NATO have world-wide site licenses for software I've written. I continue to write software which is being used on workstations and deployed in many IT data centers globally by a variety of private corporations and govt organizations.

I'll happily donate some time if Porsche simply promises to make good use of it. They can pay me by making my car easier to operate...
 
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Could you add too your list for me mate:-

once sat Nav is programmed and user decides to drive off the sat Nav system is rather bright early in morning. A nice simple dull button could be added. You took time to add a ‘off’ button for the screen but it appears turn the radio off at the same time.
 
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evanevery

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Ed
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2020 Taycan Turbo S, 2019 BMW i8 Roadster, 2016 Tesla Model X, 2016 BMW M4 Race Car
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Could you add too your list for me mate:-

once sat Nav is programmed and user decides to drive off the sat Nav system is rather bright early in morning. A nice simple dull button could be added. You took time to add a ‘off’ button for the screen but it appears turn the radio off at the same time.
I appreciate your request, and would like to help anyway I can.

...but please send YOUR list to Porsche. They need to hear from ALL of us!
 

KrisMc

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Kris
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I appreciate your request, and would like to help anyway I can.

...but please send YOUR list to Porsche. They need to hear from ALL of us!
They currently have a letter of rejection from me for the car they can’t fix so another one won’t help. In for the 3rd time in 2 months!!
 
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ZYRUS
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