detansinn

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With 3k miles on my Taycan 4S, I thought that I’d share some of my road trip experiences in the car. To date, most of the driving has been longer trips including two 1000+ mile outings. How’s it been? Well, I’m going on another 1000+ mile road trip this week. 👍

My car is spec’d with the Performance Battery. I also have the incredibly great looking and equally inefficient Mission E wheels. Reading the forums, you wouldn’t expect this to be the spec to gobble up miles, but indeed it is glorious for the purpose.

I went into Taycan ownership having experience with other EVs, including Teslas. We also have a Mini Cooper SE which we have road tripped as well – Yes, the range is around 100 miles on that one. I thought that I’d share my learnings with the Taycan thus far.

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Planning

“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail” — Benjamin Franklin

When you’re flying a small airplane over long distances, you need to plan your stops. A successful EV road trip requires a similar flight plan.

I always start with PlugShare to scout out chargers along my route. Be sure to play with the various filters, because by default, PlugShare will hide some very good chargers that are just a couple of miles off of your route. While the PlugShare “score” is a good starting point, it’s also prudent to view recent check-ins and comments – know what the recent experiences have been.

Once I identify all of my charging stops, I add each of them to the PCM as destination favorites in the navigation. You can do this through a computer and web browser or while you’re sitting in the car.

Why the PCM step? I use the PCM to navigate to each charger individually. This properly conditions the battery for charging on arrival while also leveraging the PIRM, if your car is so equipped. I prefer to pick my own charging stops than have the PCM do so.

I try to leverage Electrify America chargers wherever possible (Plug & Charge), but also I keep RFID cards for Chargepoint, EVgo, Blink, and Flo with me. I find that the RFID cards are the most reliable way to activate other charging network chargers. Be sure to set up accounts for the various EV networks and request the free RFID cards in advance of your road trip adventures. The RFID readers seem to work much more reliably than the payment terminals on EV chargers.

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While I have cut it single digit percentage close, I am more typically conservative with my charging plan. If for some reason, I run into an issue at a charging stop, I often position myself to be able to get the next one. It’s good to take the approach until you get comfortable with real world range for your own driving.


Driving

"America is all about speed, hot nasty bad-ass speed" - Eleanor Roosevelt… Talladega Nights

I have a bit of experience doing long-distance high-speed drives. With the Taycan, I was initially concerned that doing the same kind of thing in an EV would slow me down. Admittedly, I am not going quite as quickly as I would in a car like a 911, but I also take new satisfaction in the efficiency aspect. It’s an additional welcome challenge to liven up the drive. I like to cover a lot of miles and be efficient while doing it. With that, here are my tips.

  • Range Mode. Always in range mode. My regular max speed is set to 85MPH. When PCM navigation is running, it automatically ups that max speed to 90MPH.
  • Don’t forget that Range mode supports a full kick-down function. If you just jam the gas and floor it, you’ll get full beans for passing or when another opportunity arises.
  • You can’t use Waze navigation and PCM navigation simultaneously, but if you just have Waze running in CarPlay, it will still call out hazards and speed traps.👍
  • Leverage the coasting characteristic of the Taycan wherever you can. I even use the kick down feature to build momentum to coast. It’s extremely efficient.
  • Yes, you can charge the battery on the downhills over mountains with just a little “brake” as you’re headed down.
  • PCM navigation generally provides a very good prediction of the battery percentage when you reach your destination. You can beat that estimate by more than ten points as you get more efficient with your driving.
  • Be mindful of temperature changes on your trip. I recently did a drive where temps dropped from 68F to 42F on a leg of my route. With that substantial swing, the sudden temperature drop dramatically impacted the range where I was already pushing things. I made it to the destination, but the range drop caught me by surprise, along with the snow flurries. While the PCM/PIRM estimate accounts for average temperature, it doesn’t consider that kind of dramatic swing that you may encounter in the mountains.
I currently have the Mission-E/Summer tires fitted. I went for more efficient wheels with my winter/wheel tire setup with the intent that they’ll somewhat help offset the winter temp range impact.

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Charging

"There's a part of me that's always charging ahead. I'm the curious kid, always going to the edge." - Yo-Yo Ma

With the PCM warming up the battery for the charging destination, the speed of the Taycan charging is what makes it work for a road trip machine. I start with 85% and charge to approximately that level at each charging stop. On a 350kW charger, 15-20 minutes is pretty typical for me to get back up to that 80+ %. Yes, that’s pretty much in-line with a bathroom/gas station stop in an ICE vehicle. I've done it in as little as 10 minutes if that gets me to the next stop.

Unlike the Tesla’s, I haven’t had to wait for a charger yet, but on a few occasions, I have encountered a slower charging vehicle taking up a 350kW charging spot. It’s a little frustrating to see a Mustang Mach-E only able to charge at 50kW taking up a 350kW charger. 😠

Last week, I arrived at an Electrify America charger with a Hyundai in the only 350kW spot. Before I even said anything, the owner, who saw my car rolling up, ran up to me in my car and said that he would move to a different charger, because he knew that my car could charge faster on it. I thanked him profusely for his etiquette and accommodation. That’s a good dude! 🥳 Oh, and my charging rate justified his move. He was blown away.

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Additional Thoughts

I know that, for some. the above may already be obvious, but I thought that it might be useful to share on the forum. The charging speed, not the range, is what makes the Taycan a super-capable road trip EV. When you drive it to its strengths, it’s pretty awesome. I hope that folks found this helpful and please share your own thoughts. Thank you!
 

thecoloradokid

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A road trip post without any details of where you went?! We need details!

Someone drove their car to the Arctic Circle in the winter earlier this year, and now someone is planing on driving from the tip of southern Spain to the Arctic Circle this summer. Where are/were you headed?

If you are going to share already well understood road tripping characteristics of the Taycan you need to at least share where you went! Post pictures of your car in scenic spots, or at least a picture of the state trooper who has or will pull you over on the Pennsylvania Turnpike doing 105mph in a 70mph zone!

This is a tough crowd! We want travel details!

Cheers and happy EV motoring.
 

DCYL725

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Shake and, and thennnnnnnn

Bake.

Talladega Nights, what a classic.

Thanks for the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. This is getting re-watched this weekend.
 

fgwinn

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.....Unlike the Tesla’s, I haven’t had to wait for a charger yet, but on a few occasions, I have encountered a slower charging vehicle taking up a 350kW charging spot. It’s a little frustrating to see a Mustang Mach-E only able to charge at 50kW taking up a 350kW charger. 😠......
I think that the reason owners with slower charging EVs use the 350kW chargers is that they genuinely believe that their car will charge faster than it will at the 150kW charger. They don't understand that the charging rate is limited by the car.
 

McgR

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Very interesting. Thanks for sharing your drive and charge plan. I am going on a trip this summer.

For your trip, do you enter all destinations in one trip or de you enter the next charger once you leave the last one.

I just have my car for a couple of days. I tried Ionity once but it didn’t preheat the battery. I suppose I should enter it as a charger by searching the name of the charger and not by entering the address? Or are both possible?
 
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detansinn

detansinn

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Very interesting. Thanks for sharing your drive and charge plan. I am going on a trip this summer.

For your trip, do you enter all destinations in one trip or de you enter the next charger once you leave the last one.

I just have my car for a couple of days. I tried Ionity once but it didn’t preheat the battery. I suppose I should enter it as a charger by searching the name of the charger and not by entering the address? Or are both possible?
I enter all of my charger addresses as navigation favorites before I hit the road. It makes it easy to pick them. Porsche’s navigation database charger list is pretty good. Often, you can enter the charging network name and town, and it will come up in the list.
 
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detansinn

detansinn

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A road trip post without any details of where you went?! We need details!

Someone drove their car to the Arctic Circle in the winter earlier this year, and now someone is planing on driving from the tip of southern Spain to the Arctic Circle this summer. Where are/were you headed?

If you are going to share already well understood road tripping characteristics of the Taycan you need to at least share where you went! Post pictures of your car in scenic spots, or at least a picture of the state trooper who has or will pull you over on the Pennsylvania Turnpike doing 105mph in a 70mph zone!

This is a tough crowd! We want travel details!

Cheers and happy EV motoring.
Noted for future posts and adventures. 👍

We’re doing Maine and Nova Scotia in a month or so. Should be a blast and picturesque.

On the Turnpike, you need to watch for the speed cameras. A PA state trooper is an increasingly rare sight nowadays, but watch for an unoccupied and unmarked Jeep Cherokee, parked at the side of the road — they’re the speed camera cars. Sometimes, you’ll see a pop-up warning sign about 100 ft or so ahead of it.

FYI. The first time that a speed camera car gets you on the Turnpike, you’ll get a warning, but after that, it gets real.
 

thecoloradokid

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Noted for future posts and adventures. 👍

We’re doing Maine and Nova Scotia in a month or so. Should be a blast and picturesque.

On the Turnpike, you need to watch for the speed cameras. A PA state trooper is an increasingly rare sight nowadays, but watch for an unoccupied and unmarked Jeep Cherokee, parked at the side of the road — they’re the speed camera cars. Sometimes, you’ll see a pop-up warning sign about 100 ft or so ahead of it.

FYI. The first time that a speed camera car gets you on the Turnpike, you’ll get a warning, but after that, it gets real.
Very cool. Definitely want to see pictures of the car on some scenic roads by the coast.

I live out West, so we still have highway patrol vehicles ruining the fun.

Enjoy that road trip.
 

Boss Hogg

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Nice observations, temperature change on a long trip has also caught me out before. Crawled up to my destination with 1% battery and all manner of warnings etc popping up.
 

Hirschaj

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Thanks for the tips @detansinn I’m an EV newb and I will be picking up my Taycan in about a week and immediately taking a 1000 mile road trip to get it home. I’ll start another tread late next week to provide details on how the trip goes.
 
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detansinn

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Any range information?
“Range” depends upon a lot of factors. I am typically not starting at 100% SoC. Usually, I am at 80-85% SoC with the PIRM guess-o-meter showing 155-165 miles. I’ve have driven legs where I see a resulting range of 180 miles, higher than the initial guess at departure for the SoC. I’ve only seen it swing dramatically the other way with a large cold temperature swing.

While I try to be smart about it, to be clear, I’m not babying it. By the trip computer, I’m averaging 68-70MPH on these journeys, which includes traffic, construction zones, and taking exits for the chargers. I am making good time.

Again, there are a lot of factors at work here. For example, a gas powered car doesn’t add gas to the tank going downhill. An electric car does that. Driving from Pennsylvania through West Virginia and Ohio uses a different amount of electricity than the reverse trip — just like a gas powered car gets different mileage depending upon which way you run it. Fortunately, PIRM is smart about elevation changes.

Would the PB+ battery make a difference? Meh. On the trip that I am doing this week, an additional 30-50 miles of range wouldn’t enable me to skip one of my planned charging stops. If there was an option that added 100 miles of real world range, different math, but I am not sure that I would want to be hauling all of that battery around. Having driven both a PB and PB+ Taycan, I prefer the lighter weight of the PB car. It’s noticeable.

It is the literal classic case of “your mileage may vary”. Once you get a feel for how the car behaves, uses power, etc, so-called range anxiety disappears.
 

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While I don’t have my Taycan yet, another tip I find really useful is staying behind trucks or other big vehicles. You don’t want to get too close, but if you can find a truck or SUV going 75+ mph, you can save 15-20% over 2 hours of driving. I did this regularly with my Tesla if I was cutting it close to the next destination. Otherwise, I would have to drop down to 60mph. At highway speeds, air resistance is the biggest eater of battery
 
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