First Road Trip Musings/Charging Infrastructure is a Joke

McgR

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In Europe it is getting better and better. Large charging facilities starting to appear at important locations. For example a 16 charger Fastned hub near Paris. That was a blind spot before.

I did a couple of longer trips last year. It works. Germany is well equipped. But I avoided weekends.

for me personally it is possible to make road trips but it takes time planning and knowing where fast chargers are.

and we will have to see how things will be when more and more cars will be electric.
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thecoloradokid

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Wow, way to go off topic folks! :CWL:

My comments were directed at non—Tesla EVs.

Back on topic.

This forum is incredible. Now people are bitching about fully functional chargers because they are not exactly where people want them. You live in California, you have access to more CCS charging options in certain counties than a state like Texas has in its entirety.

Can you share a few more details about your trip? Where did you go? Where did you spend a week? Why were charger locations a surprise when there are plenty of recourses available to help long distance EV travel?

I have driven from Denver to Houston, Denver to Phoenix, Denver to San Diego, Denver to Helena, Montana, Denver to LA, and Denver to Kansas City. I would say that the vast majority of the 40 EA chargers I have used on those road trips are immediately off an interstate exit. The worst EA charger in terms of location in my neck of the woods is in Grand Junction, CO since it is 2 miles off the interstate. Salina, KS is like a mile off I-70, so not exactly ideal, but it is easy to get too.

You successfully completed your road trip. You did not get stranded. You did not have to be towed. I am not sure how the existing CCS charging infrastructure you leveraged is a joke if it allowed you to complete your road trip without too much drama?

That being said, do we have a very long way to go in regards to expanding the CCS charging infrastructure to adequately support the tsunami of CCS compatible EVs that will be rolling out in the next couple of years ? We certainly do, but we have come a long way since 2019 when I had to go 200 miles out of my way just to drive the Audi e-Tron I had back then across the state of Utah. It will get better, it will just take some time.
 
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Archimedes

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Point missed. I’m not complaining about ‘now’. I’m saying our approach is fine for a world of low adoption, novelty EV usage. But it’s entirely wrong for mass adoption. Laughably so.

It’s akin to building cars at random workstations rather than a high throughput mass production line.
 

PetroK

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Back on topic.

I have driven from Denver to Houston, Denver to Phoenix, Denver to San Diego, Denver to Helena, Montana, Denver to LA, and Denver to Kansas City. I would say that the vast majority of the 40 EA chargers I have used on those road trips are immediately off an interstate exit. The worst EA charger in terms of location in my neck of the woods is in Grand Junction, CO since it is 2 miles off the interstate. Salina, KS is like a mile off I-70, so not exactly ideal, but it is easy to get too.
In my opinion you are missing a point here raised by OP and I totally agree with him. Charging Hubs need to be ON Intestate rest areas, not NEAR. Sometimes even that is half-mile off, there is a lot of local traffic and just getting in and out takes 1/3 of charge time itself. Another thing, they are usually not equipped at all with any wind/sun/rain protection, sometimes not lit enough and there is never f...g trash bin. Fact that they are somewhere on the back, not well lit might not present issue for me, but sure presents safety issues for women for example (this point is raised multiple times in may EV forums)

This is how they should look like covered, bright, clean and overall nice, not that disgusting stall we have at the back of Walmart parking lot in best case scenario.

It will get better, it will just take some time.
Choice is personal of course, but if we leave it to bunch on clearly incompetent people it will take LONG time, not some and result will be far from satisfying.

vz5y0n1bztoi_800.jpg

1920_fastnedfastchargingstation-kreuz-hilden-germany039slargestcharginghub.jpg
 

thecoloradokid

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Point missed. I’m not complaining about ‘now’. I’m saying our approach is fine for a world of low adoption, novelty EV usage. But it’s entirely wrong for mass adoption. Laughably so.

It’s akin to building cars at random workstations rather than a high throughput mass production line.

Point certainly not missed. You expect this widespread, super convenient infrastructure to appear overnight. It is not going to happen.

You have taken one road trip and are entitled to your opinion. It is not completely wrong, but not as bad as you make it out to be.

Improvements are coming.
 


SteveDC

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So, I just took my first road trip in the 22 Taycan 4S, which consisted of 450 miles each way and then a weeks worth of driving around the city in between. The car was pretty flawless and charging went okay, but at the end of it all I was struck with they feeling that the way we’re going about building out the public charging infrastructure in the US is a joke and entirely wrong for supporting widespread adoption of EVs.

First, let me say that I went to 5-6 different charging locations and charged about 10 times. All the locations had at least 75% of the chargers working, though charging rates were a fraction of the supposed capacity. That said, most of my charging was around 80-90kWh, with one station at 100-135 and one at 25. I left the 25. All were EA, save for one, which was an EVGO station that I used when the EA place was full. Generally, it all went fine, Plug and Charge worked every time, and I found that anything above 85kWh was acceptable for me given the need for a driving break anyway.

That said, the locations of the chargers are a joke for supporting anything but a novelty level of EV adoption. There is no way that we could support high throughput of vehicles with a few stalls in back of the bank, or in the back corner of a truck stop, or in the drive through at In and Out Burger (where the queue of cars in the drive thru block the spots!). I was sitting at the EA charger at the Walmart in Santa Clarita (4 chargers) looking at the 150 cars in the parking lot and imagining if just 10 percent of them switched to EVs. And we all tried to queue up, in the middle of a Walmart parking lot, with the chargers in parking spaces. Just a fucking joke.

If we want mass adoption of EVs, we need the charges installed on major highways and byways, not in back of a bank in the middle of downtown four miles off the freeway. And the facilities need to be drive through, like a gas station or truck stop, where we can queue up.

As good as the car performed, what this trip convinced me of is the need to continue to own an ICE car as well so that I never have to rely upon the public charging infrastructure except in rare instances. Doubt I’ll be taking the Taycan on another roadtrip for a long time.

Oh and an aside, the hotel that I stayed at had a Clipper Creek L2 charger for visitor use, but it was totally knackered. Definitely not up to commercial use.
About the only thing regarding the EA network that I find having improved is the Plug and Charge feature. It works nearly every time. This eliminates what used to be a big hassle trying to set up a charge. Rate of charge is still hit or miss. I agree the 85 kW does the job, but you just never know what rate you will get. The charger locations are sometimes difficult to find. I don’t lay this at Porsche’s doorstep. But major work on the charging network needs to be done.
 

McgR

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In my opinion you are missing a point here raised by OP and I totally agree with him. Charging Hubs need to be ON Intestate rest areas, not NEAR. Sometimes even that is half-mile off, there is a lot of local traffic and just getting in and out takes 1/3 of charge time itself. Another thing, they are usually not equipped at all with any wind/sun/rain protection, sometimes not lit enough and there is never f...g trash bin. Fact that they are somewhere on the back, not well lit might not present issue for me, but sure presents safety issues for women for example (this point is raised multiple times in may EV forums)

This is how they should look like covered, bright, clean and overall nice, not that disgusting stall we have at the back of Walmart parking lot in best case scenario.


Choice is personal of course, but if we leave it to bunch on clearly incompetent people it will take LONG time, not some and result will be far from satisfying.

vz5y0n1bztoi_800.jpg

1920_fastnedfastchargingstation-kreuz-hilden-germany039slargestcharginghub.jpg
I was looking for a picture of a good example of our Dutch fast charging company Fastned but you found some your self. They have good 300 Kw chargers, good locations most of them directly on the highway next to gas station where you can buy a coffee an use the toilet. And they have a roof. I think the problem is that these prime locations are very expensive compared to those off the highway.

I have charged once on a location 3 minutes of the highway. This wasn’t a problem as such but not having any fascilities and nothing to do makes the charging expience far less interesting.

BEFB6D66-9208-4613-942B-625A564C2CC3.jpeg
 
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Archimedes

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Point certainly not missed. You expect this widespread, super convenient infrastructure to appear overnight. It is not going to happen.

You have taken one road trip and are entitled to your opinion. It is not completely wrong, but not as bad as you make it out to be.

Improvements are coming.
No, point still definitely missed. My point is not that it’s not happening fast enough. It’s that it’s being built out incorrectly. If all we do is keep building more of the same, it doesn’t matter how fast we do it, as we’re still going to be left with a crazy inefficient system. Someone needs to rethink the entire blueprint of how we design and build out the infrastructure. Sticking them in parking spaces of random businesses is fucking moronic.

If anyone asks me if they should get an EV, I’d tell them only if you can charge at home and only if you have an ICE car for long range travel.
 
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kort

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I posted this on rennlist regarding a road trip that I've just returned from. and there was no user errors involved.

I just returned from an unscheduled trip from FL to NYC and the EA experience was tough at best. many of the 350 units were offline and some of the ones that were online were very, very slow, one was delivering 7kw. here's a screen shot from one unit.

img_1010_7b67da879404dfe1cb6984b817a2106729482691.jpg


the 150's were very slow as well. I was barely getting over 60kw at 3 different locations, one started at 127 but settled in at around 87 kw.
two possible reasons for this could be the cold weather, low 40's, and unlikely but maybe the car's battery wasn't warm enough.
on the return trip the chargers were slowish as well, getting 120+ on 350's and 87 kw on 150s.
this coupled with the car's range being nerfed by the last software update I was showing 190 miles of range @ 100% soc. which made what was easy hops from charger to charger into nail biting runs.
because of the slowness of the chargers on this trip which I could do with 4 maybe 5 charging stops I had to make 8 stops to charge.
in the past it would show 240+ and in warm weather I could get past 250 miles driving the car, 4s with 20 inch wheels and performance battery is making me consider selling the car.
my Ipace is still showing 245+ range despite the chilly weather.
between EA's poor performance and porsche's nerfing the range the car is not doing the job that I need it to do. I bought a porsche, I want to drive like it is a porsche and not sticking to the speed limit in order to make it to the next charger.
 

simcity

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This wasn’t a problem as such but not having any fascilities and nothing to do makes the charging expience far less interesting.
Plenty of folks sit in car the whilst DC charging. I’m not one of them. Like to stretch my legs and possibly get a drink / something to eat etc. and/or do some work.

Either collocate them with the services (refuelling station) or a decent hotel ala Tesla.
 

xyeahtony

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If anyone asks me if they should get an EV, I’d tell them only if you can charge at home and only if you have an ICE car for long range travel.
Meh to each their own. Roadtripping in an EV is fun and entirely possible. One guy on this forum (Don) literally drove around the entire continent in 2020 in his Taycan Turbo and was fine.
 
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kort

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Meh to each their own. Roadtripping in an EV is fun and entirely possible. One guy on this forum (Don) literally drove around the entire continent in 2020 in his Taycan Turbo and was fine.
road tripping should be fun, however the diminished range on the taycan and the poor EA charging infrastructure turns what should be fun into an arduous experience.
 
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Archimedes

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Meh to each their own. Roadtripping in an EV is fun and entirely possible. One guy on this forum (Don) literally drove around the entire continent in 2020 in his Taycan Turbo and was fine.
Yes, he did it now. When (non Tesla) EV adoption is insignificant. A novelty. The current strategy works ok for that. My point is that it’s not a scalable model. When 4-5x as many EVs are out there, the current approach will be exposed for how inefficient it is. It won’t be a matter of just needing more chargers. We need them deployed differently, both in terms of location and the layout of the facility.
 
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Archimedes

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road tripping should be fun, however the diminished range on the taycan and the poor EA charging infrastructure turns what should be fun into an arduous experience.
While my point is more about the overall strategy, I also came to a similar conclusion about range. The Taycan’s range is just a bit too low for road tripping. If I bought another EV, it would have to have a real world range of at least 300 miles.
 

xyeahtony

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While my point is more about the overall strategy, I also came to a similar conclusion about range. The Taycan’s range is just a bit too low for road tripping. If I bought another EV, it would have to have a real world range of at least 300 miles.
I don’t think range matters as much for long road trips as charging network and charging speed. Kyle from out of spec beat a model X and model 3 in his taycan by over an hour from Colorado to Vegas. Both teslas had more “range” and a better charging network.
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