First road trip...not simple to say the least. (Long post)

nwills

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Today I took my first mini road trip in my 4S with the 93kW battery.

Started the day with a timer set to charge to 100% at time of departure which read 290 miles on my guess o meter. The highest I’ve seen since my ownership of 1000 miles.

Started by planning a set of DC fast chargers using a few apps since some will show certain chargers and others won’t.

I made sure I would give myself plenty of error margin between chargers as I anticipated some may not work or be unavailable...good thing I did since that’s exactly what happened. First charger was not working. Second charger was ChargePoint and it had two DC ports both had Ford F-150 pick up trucks parked in the spots! Unbelievable.

Long story short it was a difficult journey and I will spare all the details but it does lead me to a few questions:

The Porsche Connect app offers a way to plan a navigation route but it looks like something that was developed by a 14 year old.

Is there a way to plan a trip using the Porsche PCM navigation where you have a starting point, destination, waypoints and return to staring point? Also adding your own charging points rather than relying on the limited charging points the PCM offers?

From what I understand the Taycan can pre-condition the battery prior to arrival at a charger to optimize the charging time by preparing the battery. In order to do this the PCM needs to know the exact locations of the chargers along your itinerary which therefore limits you to the PCM suggested charge points?

Is this pre-conditioning a real advantage over simply arriving at a charging station and connecting the vehicle to a DC charger?

It would seem that in order to really benefit from the car’s ability to create a “smart” navigation itinerary where it takes into account weather, traffic, elevation and driving style you would need to use the navigation rather than simply mapping out your trip manually and not inputting the full itinerary in the car?

The car offers the charge planner but I don’t really understand how you can really take advantage of this?





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manitou202

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I'm not sure how to pre-condition the battery. I'm assuming you need to select the charger as your destination but I haven't confirmed that. I will say that unless its a 150kW charger or higher, the pre-conditioning probably won't do anything unless your battery was really cold (<50F).

In terms of route planning no EV manufacturer (including Tesla) offers a good solution. I've owned several EV brands (Nissan, Chevy, Porsche, Audi, and Tesla) and none have figured this out. They don't always choose the logical charger or don't allow for a deviated route. Plus some (like Tesla) are way too optimistic so you would never make it along the route they suggest.

The best option unfortunately is using a third party app like A Better Route Planner, mapping out your route with all of the chargers, and then plug in your first charger into your navigation. Once you reach the first charger and are charging, plug in the next charger into the NAV. Continue this process. It's not ideal but it works pretty well once you get the hang of it.

The other great app to have is PlugShare. This allows you to look at the ratings and comments for any given charger. You can then try to avoid ones that seem to have issues (not working, or bad parking situations) and you also might learn some tips as people post them in the comments for that charging location.

If people are buying EV's expecting a smooth road trip experience, it's not yet available. Tesla is close, but even then there are still a lot of compromises compared to jumping in a gas powered car and finding a gas station when you are low. You need to think of it as a bit of an adventure, lower your expectations, and just roll with it. Sounds ridiculous especially when you have spent >$100k on a Porsche EV, but that's reality.

Good luck on your next road trip and hope you continue to enjoy the 4S!

Edit: I will add I'm planning on driving our E-tron (and possibly our Turbo S) from Colorado to Arizona in November. It's already stressing me out a bit because I'm going to be in some remote areas of New Mexico and Northern Arizona with not a lot of backup options. But my wife is game and we are going to try it.
 

Dlurker20

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Edit: I will add I'm planning on driving our E-tron (and possibly our Turbo S) from Colorado to Arizona in November. It's already stressing me out a bit because I'm going to be in some remote areas of New Mexico and Northern Arizona with not a lot of backup options. But my wife is game and we are going to try it.
Please post updates on that trip! Sounds interesting and a bit nerve wracking. We would love to hear how it goes...and of course a few pics in that lovely part of the country.
 

riburn3

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Even when I road-trip in my Tesla, which is a much more fleshed out and accurate experience, I am sure to have A better route planner map going, and also use the plugshare app.

In my 4S I follow the same pattern with ABRP and plugshare, but the plugshare app might not be as reliable as fewer people have used some of the fast chargers available to non Tesla vehicles, so information isn't as current. Honestly, the bigger crapshoot for me is not if the car will make it to the charger, but if the EA charger's are actually working at speed, or not being ICE'd. I recently scrapped a trip in my 4S after having rough experiences with the EA chargers and just went with our Model X.
 
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nwills

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The main concern I have of using othe apps to create an itinerary is the fact that the Porsche PCM navigation will not know where and when my charging will take place resulting in no battery pre-conditioning and lack of smart calculations being done by the car to keep track of available range in context of weather, speed, traffic, elevation etc.
 

riburn3

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Is the battery preconditioning that big of a deal? I guess it is in much cooler climates. Where I am in a warmer climate it doesn't matter much to me, but I rarely roll in for a charge at 5% or meet all the requirements Porsche recommends for the fastest possible experience.

The EA chargers are fast, even without the precondition I don't think I've spent much more than 20-25 mins at one and usually 15ish minutes provides enough energy to get me to the next charger with plenty of juice.
 

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