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LivingWithPorsches

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After owning my Taycan for about a month now, I was looking forward to my first long range road trip down the Oregon coast. As a new EV owner some of the concepts on charging stations, kWh, etc. are new to me. I know the bigger the number the better (e.g. a 50kw station is slower than a 150kw), but really hadn't given much thought to the actual wait times. I never looked at my range in anything other than miles. Miles per kWh wasn't anything I had even looked at previously.

Night before the trip
To try and 'prepare' I used the Plugshare app and located an EVGo station a few miles from my house. I figured it would be smart to try a public charging station at least once before we headed out. Right off the bat, I found the process a bit of a pain. First, getting the car close enough to the 'pump' was hard. Between needing to raise the car heigh, creep close and the fact that the charger cables don't pull that far away from the unit meant several attempts before I was close enough to get the cable to reach.
I plugged in the CSS charger and the screen said to use my RFID card, which I didn't have. There also was no card reader to swipe my card. I have the EVGo app on my phone but I didn't see any way to pay. After a call to the 800 number, they showed me how to locate what charger I was at (and how each pump has a name) so I could pay through the app. I just let it charge for a minute or two. Mission accomplished.

Day of trip
I topped the battery of the night before with a range of about 250 miles. I was stopping by Portland first to visit a friend. The thought was to charge it while we were grabbing lunch. This station was run by a different company (PGE), not EVGo and again I ran into issues. First the fast charger cable wouldn't reach my car without me parking in the wrong spot in order for the cable could reach the right side of my car. A snarky guy charging his EV commented I was in the wrong spot. Whatever. Again I didn't have the app or an RFID card. This station had a credit card reader, but the credit card wouldn't work. Fortunately another EV owner saw me struggling and paid for my charge with his RFID card. How many RFID cards do I need to carry?

Near Eugene we needed to charge up for a long drive to Port Orford and there was a 150kw charger run by Electrify America. I used the Charging America app, which ensures my Taycan charge was paid for and it worked like a champ. Finally a good experience. Same issue with parking close though and trying to get close to the pump without hitting something.

That night we arrived at our cabin and there was a free charger there. It was after 10PM when we arrived and pitch black. I couldn't find the charger to charge that evening, so got up early the next morning to charge it. That was a big mistake! The charger was only 7kw and after 3 hours of sitting around that morning we'd only gotten about 50 miles of range. This is when I realized I had a real problem. The entire northern route of the Oregon Coast doesn't have a charger over 7kw until you get to Otis, which was 180 miles away. To be safe, I'd need at least 210 miles to make that trek but with how slow my car was charging, I would need to wait around another 5 hours just to reach that destination. I was totally stressed. It is an 8 hour drive back home even without stopping for charging. My only choice was to head inland to Roseburg where there is a fast charger and drive home north on I-5, not exactly scenic.

Without boring you with even more details the trip home was painful to say the least. Between some stations not working, others in terrible parking lot locations and me needing to constantly be doing math to ensure I could make it to the next charge station I finally made it home. Even the 50kw chargers took what seemed like forever to get enough range to make it home. It was like watching paint dry half the time.

Final Thoughts
Personally for me, I won't do another long range trip in the Taycan until there is more 150kw infrastructure in place. The waiting around and having range anxiety took a lot of pleasure out of it for me. Additionally, the inconsistency between all the apps, RFID cards, tight parking spots, etc. was irritating. It would be like every gas station requiring different methods of payment and incompatible gas pump handles. The Taycan is amazing to drive and staying around my home is no issue at all, but long range trips are too much trouble personally.

I don't think range is really the issue with EVs. On the highway I was getting 3.0 miles / kWh. If you consider the car holds 93.4 kWh, that would be 280 miles. Even if I had 500 miles of range the real issue is having to carefully plot out exact stops and the lack of 150kw or 350kw stations, means a lot of sitting around waiting.

My other observation is that a bunch of these EV stations are 7.2kw, what are the point of those? They seem totally useless adding only about 15-20 miles of range for every hour of charge. That's about the equivalent of taking an hour to put a gallon of gas in your car.

I did learn a lot more about how to 'think' about range and distance by taking this trip though, so I did find that very useful. Here's to more fast charging infrastructure in the future.
 

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Sorry you had a first not-so-stellar experience. The only silver lining is that the situation is going to improve quickly. I just watched some old Bjorn Nyland videos yesterday (youtuber who essentially convinced me to get my first Tesla). It is a trip to North Cape in Norway back in 2014. At that time, there were only 6 supercharging stations in Norway, and you can see through how much pain he had to go with charging. There are now 64 open SC stations - see the 2014 vs 2020 map. Same will happen to EA and the rest of the charging infrastructure. Furthermore, the charging speed has essentially doubled (used to be ~115-125 kW, now up to 250 kW for both Taycan and Model 3/Y.

Unfortunately - as you experienced - most of the non-Tesla charging stations in US are currently low power, since no manufacturer was serious about long-distance travel in an EV. The EA stations are the way of the future, I hope now that multiple EVs are coming up the process of charging infrastructure build-up will accelerate. Most impressive is that many gas stations in Norway have now added high-power EV chargers - a sign of the future.

My advice for all new EV owners is to carefully map your trip before you leave.
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PanameraFrank

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@LivingWithPorsches So, don't take that experience too strongly! It sounds like you learned that maybe you weren't as prepared as you should have been. The Taycan certainly requires planning before embarking on a long trip, but as long as you have a plan & some patience it will work out.

I did a trip from Seattle down the Oregon coast. It was easy & stress free with planning ahead of time. The Oregon coast is oddly devoid of chargers, so you want to stop in Portland/Salem/Eugene at a 350 charger and get as close to 100% as possible first.

Seaside to Crescent City is 350 miles. Add 85 to get to Seaside from Portland + 20 for messing around. That gives you 455 miles. Assuming you leave Portland with 90% charge, that should easily get you 240 miles even messing around a bit. Stop in Otis for a CCS charge and then hyper mile or just plug in wherever you sleep.

Also depending on your trip you can definitely make the loop of, say, Salem = EA 350kw > Lincoln City > Florence > Eugene = EA 350kw.

In general you want to heavily prioritize EA 350, then 150, chargers and only use other ones as necessary fill ins. As you grow more comfortable with the range, you'll realize just how far you can push the car without concern.

If you charge in Portland you can easily do Portland > Astoria > Otis without stopping. Zero concern.

Also you don't have to sit around and wait. Go get food, get a coffee, enjoy the view. You can lock the car while it's charging and walk away.
 
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daveo4EV

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@LivingWithPorsches sorry to hear about your travels - and I've had similar experiences

the reliability, efficiency, and complexity of "on the road" charging is a challenge for most EV's and I 100% agree the Taycan is road trip challenged at this point in it's life cycle. More/better infrastructure is required before road tripping with ANY CCS vehicle is going to be closer to a gas car experience.

the EV industry needs to up it's game here in ALL aspects of this situation (parking, cable ergonomics, payment, speed, reliability, etc…) it's going to be a while before this happens which is unfortunate reality of the CCS enabled EV's at the moment …

I unfortunately lack confidence this will get better due to lack of motivation and a continued focus on ICE vehicles…

one of Porsche competitors does do better in this space, and quite frankly is approaching it's no big deal for road tripping - until you experience it for your self it's easy to under-estimate just how much further ahead that competitor is in this space, and how much more functional their EV's are vs. the competition

I have a Taycan (CCS based), Bolt (CCS based) and the competitor product - my wife will only let us road trip in one of these 3 EV's, and it's neither the Taycan or Bolt - but she's loves the 3rd choice…cause it's fast, reliability, easy to use and has NONE of the issues you encountered.

my prediction is it will be that way until at least 2025 in North America - it will only happen sooner if the other manufacturers start to actually care - which to date I still don't believe they actually do.
 

daveo4EV

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@LivingWithPorsches 7.2 kW for the L2 slow chargers is actually pretty good - that's 32 amps - most L2 public charger in the Bay Area are 30 amps @ 208 volts (commercial 3 phase power) or 6 kW… - so 7.2 is actually better than average…

and this will get better over time - no worse - and next time planning will help a bit - but yeah I also have apps/rfid cards for all the charging networks I might encounter on a given trip.
 
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LivingWithPorsches

LivingWithPorsches

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The PlugShare app was great. Had I been able to charge while I was sleeping getting up North to the next fast charger would have made the trip back much more tolerable.

I saw a bunch of CHAdeMO 50kw chargers, but if you can buy an adaptor for those I didn’t have one.
 

dnanian

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The PlugShare app was great. Had I been able to charge while I was sleeping getting up North to the next fast charger would have made the trip back much more tolerable.

I saw a bunch of CHAdeMO 50kw chargers, but if you can buy an adaptor for those I didn’t have one.
The other app to consider is A Better Route Planner. It's quite good!
 

daveo4EV

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I saw a bunch of CHAdeMO 50kw chargers, but if you can buy an adaptor for those I didn’t have one.
most but not all Chademo stations also have CCS

I wouldn't worry about an adapter - Chademo is _NOT_ the future - Nissan it's main supporter is even shipping EV's with no Chademo port now - and has all but admitted CCS is the future…

this is something that is going to get better over time

and yes the preferred road trip agenda is:

  1. 1 or 2 fast charger stops a day (400-600 miles)
  2. top off overnight @ hotel with 7.2 or 9.6 kW charger (11 kw charger if they have Tesla Destination chargers and you have JDapter/TeslaTap)
  3. leave next morning @ 100% and do the fast charger thing again no more than twice a day should be necessary.
 

PanameraFrank

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The PlugShare app was great. Had I been able to charge while I was sleeping getting up North to the next fast charger would have made the trip back much more tolerable.

I saw a bunch of CHAdeMO 50kw chargers, but if you can buy an adaptor for those I didn’t have one.
Oops, you're right. I was at a different computer and didn't set the filter properly. Otis has CCS. Then you could either slightly hyper mile to make it to Crescent City or stop for a 7 kw charge while you eat dinner or explore the sights at any of a number of places, basically every town. Or just charge wherever you sleep for the night

It's definitely more of an adventure than driving an ICE car but I also don't think it's that difficult or unpleasant at all once you get a hang of the logistics.
 

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After owning my Taycan for about a month now, I was looking forward to my first long range road trip down the Oregon coast. As a new EV owner some of the concepts on charging stations, kWh, etc. are new to me. I know the bigger the number the better (e.g. a 50kw station is slower than a 150kw), but really hadn't given much thought to the actual wait times. I never looked at my range in anything other than miles. Miles per kWh wasn't anything I had even looked at previously.

Night before the trip
To try and 'prepare' I used the Plugshare app and located an EVGo station a few miles from my house. I figured it would be smart to try a public charging station at least once before we headed out. Right off the bat, I found the process a bit of a pain. First, getting the car close enough to the 'pump' was hard. Between needing to raise the car heigh, creep close and the fact that the charger cables don't pull that far away from the unit meant several attempts before I was close enough to get the cable to reach.
I plugged in the CSS charger and the screen said to use my RFID card, which I didn't have. There also was no card reader to swipe my card. I have the EVGo app on my phone but I didn't see any way to pay. After a call to the 800 number, they showed me how to locate what charger I was at (and how each pump has a name) so I could pay through the app. I just let it charge for a minute or two. Mission accomplished.

Day of trip
I topped the battery of the night before with a range of about 250 miles. I was stopping by Portland first to visit a friend. The thought was to charge it while we were grabbing lunch. This station was run by a different company (PGE), not EVGo and again I ran into issues. First the fast charger cable wouldn't reach my car without me parking in the wrong spot in order for the cable could reach the right side of my car. A snarky guy charging his EV commented I was in the wrong spot. Whatever. Again I didn't have the app or an RFID card. This station had a credit card reader, but the credit card wouldn't work. Fortunately another EV owner saw me struggling and paid for my charge with his RFID card. How many RFID cards do I need to carry?

Near Eugene we needed to charge up for a long drive to Port Orford and there was a 150kw charger run by Electrify America. I used the Charging America app, which ensures my Taycan charge was paid for and it worked like a champ. Finally a good experience. Same issue with parking close though and trying to get close to the pump without hitting something.

That night we arrived at our cabin and there was a free charger there. It was after 10PM when we arrived and pitch black. I couldn't find the charger to charge that evening, so got up early the next morning to charge it. That was a big mistake! The charger was only 7kw and after 3 hours of sitting around that morning we'd only gotten about 50 miles of range. This is when I realized I had a real problem. The entire northern route of the Oregon Coast doesn't have a charger over 7kw until you get to Otis, which was 180 miles away. To be safe, I'd need at least 210 miles to make that trek but with how slow my car was charging, I would need to wait around another 5 hours just to reach that destination. I was totally stressed. It is an 8 hour drive back home even without stopping for charging. My only choice was to head inland to Roseburg where there is a fast charger and drive home north on I-5, not exactly scenic.

Without boring you with even more details the trip home was painful to say the least. Between some stations not working, others in terrible parking lot locations and me needing to constantly be doing math to ensure I could make it to the next charge station I finally made it home. Even the 50kw chargers took what seemed like forever to get enough range to make it home. It was like watching paint dry half the time.

Final Thoughts
Personally for me, I won't do another long range trip in the Taycan until there is more 150kw infrastructure in place. The waiting around and having range anxiety took a lot of pleasure out of it for me. Additionally, the inconsistency between all the apps, RFID cards, tight parking spots, etc. was irritating. It would be like every gas station requiring different methods of payment and incompatible gas pump handles. The Taycan is amazing to drive and staying around my home is no issue at all, but long range trips are too much trouble personally.

I don't think range is really the issue with EVs. On the highway I was getting 3.0 miles / kWh. If you consider the car holds 93.4 kWh, that would be 280 miles. Even if I had 500 miles of range the real issue is having to carefully plot out exact stops and the lack of 150kw or 350kw stations, means a lot of sitting around waiting.

My other observation is that a bunch of these EV stations are 7.2kw, what are the point of those? They seem totally useless adding only about 15-20 miles of range for every hour of charge. That's about the equivalent of taking an hour to put a gallon of gas in your car.

I did learn a lot more about how to 'think' about range and distance by taking this trip though, so I did find that very useful. Here's to more fast charging infrastructure in the future.
Thanks for the write-up sharing your experience. I would suggest that whenever you're doing EV trip planning you try abetterrouteplanner.com. It's a dedicated EV trip planning 'app' (they do have iPad and iPhone versions as apps), that does a good job of taking into account your car's range, the terrain, weather, etc. and recommending routes and options that minimize the time you spend charging for a given trip.
 

Schlossj

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Another newbie question: assuming you have a TeslaTap, is this road trip a lot easier by also utilizing non-super Charger Tesla locations? And what’s the process for using those (e.g. reserving / paying)?
 

PanameraFrank

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Another newbie question: assuming you have a TeslaTap, is this road trip a lot easier by also utilizing non-super Charger Tesla locations? And what’s the process for using those (e.g. reserving / paying)?
Tesla destination chargers are (usually) free but often attached to a business. Depending on your area, many hotels have them. Some are at places like golf courses. So they're free but only available if you're a guest.

So it certainly can add some convenience. The main benefit is giving you a place to charge overnight, which is always going to make life SIGNIFICANTLY easier.
 

daveo4EV

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Another newbie question: assuming you have a TeslaTap, is this road trip a lot easier by also utilizing non-super Charger Tesla locations? And what’s the process for using those (e.g. reserving / paying)?
TeslaTap allows you access "Tesla desintaiton" chargers - these are chargers that Tesla made available for free to business if they would provide them to their customers (it would just like Porsche offering free PMCC's to anyone that agreed to install one).

Usage of these chargers is at the discretion of the business owner - there is no billing/networking or activation - just an EV charger that you can plug into if you so desire and the business owner gives you permission.

an example of where you might want a TeslaTap/JDapter - Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur - ONLY has Tesla chargers - no J-1772 chargers - so if you have a TeslaTap/JDApter you can charge your Taycan, if you don't then you have to drive to Carmel to charge your Taycan.

it's a compatibility thing that simple increases the number of places you can Charge your Taycan - but doesn't make charging any faster - just allows you to use a charger you otherwise couldn't.
 

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Hard way to learn, but you got some valuable lessons.

Always charge your vehicle over night. low power chargers are worthless ‘in the morning.’

Use EA chargers if you can. They tend to have multiple chargers so one will work most times.

Plan ahead. In Oregon, the EA Chargers are on the 5, not the coast.
 

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I completed my first public charging session at the EA station nearest my house. As seems to be typical of EA, three out of four charging points were down including the one 350 KW unit. I charged off of the only working charge point which was 150 KW. I used the Charging NA app to initiate the charge after being terrorized by the inoperative card reader message. The car went from 60% to 98% in about 30 minutes. I left the car off while charging which I read you are supposed to do but it was 90 F.
 

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