Trip Report: Los Angeles (Beverly Hills) to SF Bay Area (San Mateo)

porsche_coyote

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I just completed a drive from LA to SF, using a different route than in the past. A few observations:

1. Range forecasting in Taycan was absolutely brilliant. And the trip planner actually proposed great charging options (exactly the same as ABRP, in fact). I was gobsmacked given past experiences. I did take my own route, but the system adapted well, and recommended reasonable alternatives based on the changes in route (I jumped off 5N at Lost Hills and drove on CA46 to Paso Robles before charging and then picking up 101N). Arrival SoC was within 1 percentage point of forecast SoC.

2. I had more issues with idiotic people in low-charge-rate cars using the 350 kW chargers. I place at least some of the blame on EA, since the numbers on the chargers are hard to read from most distances.

3. I did long stints at 80-85 mph, but given some slow traffic, my average speed over the 401 mile trip was 59 mph. Consumption was a little over 370 Wh/mi, or around 2.7 miles/kWh. The third stint (after charging in Paso Robles) was 189 miles on a 90% charge, arriving with about 5% remaining.

4. Somewhere between Paso Robles and Soledad on 101 the InnoDrive system started going nuts. The car kept trying to stop at phantom stop signs, and then began giving brake assist warnings. Switching to ACC worked fine, and I had no further issues. I've actually had thousands of trouble-free miles with Innodrive so far (I've put over 14,800 miles on the car since October 2020 when I took delivery), so this was particularly disconcerting.
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fullmetalbaal

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2. I had more issues with idiotic people in low-charge-rate cars using the 350 kW chargers. I place at least some of the blame on EA, since the numbers on the chargers are hard to read from most distances.
I predict this is going to turn into an utter shit show in the next 6-12 months.
I don't think signs will help.
We'd still be relying on people:
(1) knowing how fast their car actually charges and
(2) realizing that if their car tops out at say 125kw (looking at you id.4) the faster charger isn't going to do anything for them and
(3) them taking the time to pick the right charger (because for them, selfishly, any will do)

And since the majority of non-Tesla EVs being sold charge at 125-150, even if all of the above happens correctly, we're still going to have tons of them clogging up EA stations.

EA should have enforced a minimum max charge rate.
 

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Indeed! Could possibly be solved on the chargers themselves: lower charge rate cars not charging and getting notice to move to lower rate charger at the same station when available.

Another phenomenon like this: here in Belgium there are a lot of plug in hybrid cars who are hogging the charge stations for their 9kwh battery they actually don't even need/use... Very frustrating. I'm expecting that government will intervene and that EV charging spots will be for full EV only.
 

submatrix

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I just completed a drive from LA to SF, using a different route than in the past. A few observations:

3. I did long stints at 80-85 mph, but given some slow traffic, my average speed over the 401 mile trip was 59 mph. Consumption was a little over 370 Wh/mi, or around 2.7 miles/kWh. The third stint (after charging in Paso Robles) was 189 miles on a 90% charge, arriving with about 5% remaining.
A bit surprised at the higher-than-I-would-have-expected consumption, although I do notice you have the Mission E wheels. Were you driving in Range mode? Was it windy?
 
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porsche_coyote

porsche_coyote

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A bit surprised at the higher-than-I-would-have-expected consumption, although I do notice you have the Mission E wheels. Were you driving in Range mode? Was it windy?
Yes, I have the 21” Mission E wheels, I was in Range mode, and it was very windy for the first 60 miles or so (this was Thursday morning, and there was actually a wind advisory with gusts over 50 mph in the mountain passes).
 

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I predict this is going to turn into an utter shit show in the next 6-12 months.
I don't think signs will help.
We'd still be relying on people:
(1) knowing how fast their car actually charges and
(2) realizing that if their car tops out at say 125kw (looking at you id.4) the faster charger isn't going to do anything for them and
(3) them taking the time to pick the right charger (because for them, selfishly, any will do)

And since the majority of non-Tesla EVs being sold charge at 125-150, even if all of the above happens correctly, we're still going to have tons of them clogging up EA stations.

EA should have enforced a minimum max charge rate.
I fear your are correct. Note that fast charging EVs can also cause problems for slow charging EVs. I violated charger etiquette several times in my Taycan by taking the only DC fast charger that had both CCS and CHAdeMO connectors, when CCS-only chargers were available. The next time I used that location, I realized my mistake and used a CCS-only charger. A few minutes later an EV pulled up and used the CHAdeMO charger.
 

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I predict this is going to turn into an utter shit show in the next 6-12 months.
I don't think signs will help.
We'd still be relying on people:
(1) knowing how fast their car actually charges and
(2) realizing that if their car tops out at say 125kw (looking at you id.4) the faster charger isn't going to do anything for them and
(3) them taking the time to pick the right charger (because for them, selfishly, any will do)

And since the majority of non-Tesla EVs being sold charge at 125-150, even if all of the above happens correctly, we're still going to have tons of them clogging up EA stations.

EA should have enforced a minimum max charge rate.
Or alternatively change the charging structure. Introduce quite high congestion fees after say 30 minutes. Or even less? Then slow charging vehicles would move off the charger quite quickly and maybe never return? A combination of price per kWh and minutes after 30 minutes.
 

fullmetalbaal

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I fear your are correct. Note that fast charging EVs can also cause problems for slow charging EVs. I violated charger etiquette several times in my Taycan by taking the only DC fast charger that had both CCS and CHAdeMO connectors, when CCS-only chargers were available. The next time I used that location, I realized my mistake and used a CCS-only charger. A few minutes later an EV pulled up and used the CHAdeMO charger.
I think there's all kinds of wrinkles that show up when you have to support all kinds of cars that Tesla just dodges.

The mix of 350 +150 even at newer locations. The Chademo variants that you point out.

And EA stations are often in different spots relative to the parking space, to enable one or another car to charge easily. Half the time, I spend a few moments thinking through which available spot will work best. The cables are MASSIVE and longer and heavy compared to Tesla. I've seen smaller women really struggle connecting their cars.

And while at a Tesla supercharging station, anybody can help anybody else, all the various non-Tesla cars seem to use different apps and often slightly different arrangements with EA (how much/how often is free etc.). Twice already I've been asked for help while charging and instead of a "oh, it's exactly THIS, i've done it a million times", it turned into a joint problem solving session in one case and a "sorry, no idea, this looks different" in the other.

IMHO EA/Ionity should have just spent some time talking to the top 5 OEMs and agreed on a similar set of standard: CSS only, this part of the car for charge ports only, at least xxx Kw etc., we all use this one app or at least, all apps have this UI flow for charging. Right now, I think they thought "it's just electricity", and didn't realize how much the experience benefits from standardization.
 

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I predict this is going to turn into an utter shit show in the next 6-12 months.
I fear the same.

There were two 350 chargers where I parked at Harris Ranch.
One was occupied by a BMW i3. I didn't want to mention to them that they can use one of the many 150s and get the same result since I was fine with having a 350, and would have been fine even using a 150. But I had the same thought that it will get worse before it gets better.

And before people jump in with...but...but...Tesla, there was a long line of Tesla people waiting to get a charge (and this was at noon on the Friday after thanksgiving, so not exactly peak holiday travel time). There must have been over a dozen chargers. And they were not exactly being very civil to each other (one person was driving the opposite way to where the line ended and people thought he was trying to jump the line).

FYI, my average speed was 66 mph for the 350 miles with a consumption of 3.0 mi/kwh.
 

Skilly

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I think there's all kinds of wrinkles that show up when you have to support all kinds of cars that Tesla just dodges.

The mix of 350 +150 even at newer locations. The Chademo variants that you point out.

And EA stations are often in different spots relative to the parking space, to enable one or another car to charge easily. Half the time, I spend a few moments thinking through which available spot will work best. The cables are MASSIVE and longer and heavy compared to Tesla. I've seen smaller women really struggle connecting their cars.

And while at a Tesla supercharging station, anybody can help anybody else, all the various non-Tesla cars seem to use different apps and often slightly different arrangements with EA (how much/how often is free etc.). Twice already I've been asked for help while charging and instead of a "oh, it's exactly THIS, i've done it a million times", it turned into a joint problem solving session in one case and a "sorry, no idea, this looks different" in the other.

IMHO EA/Ionity should have just spent some time talking to the top 5 OEMs and agreed on a similar set of standard: CSS only, this part of the car for charge ports only, at least xxx Kw etc., we all use this one app or at least, all apps have this UI flow for charging. Right now, I think they thought "it's just electricity", and didn't realize how much the experience benefits from standardization.
I'd like to say that the 350KW chargers are so fast that I would go to the trouble of complaining, but unless Im pulling up with a <10% charge, the benefit isn't more than a few minutes vs the litany of 150KW chargers readily available. Especially if I was on a road trip. Frustrating...maybe we should make some official looking stickers that say something like:

"DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE: Please ensure your vehicle is compatible with 350kW charging. If not made for this high capacity charging, critical battery failure will result."

Like you guys, I can't stand seeing a Bolt, ID4, etc charging at the big boy station but nothing is being done that would be effective. Right from the get go, even the dealerships (including Porsche) have very little knowledge about the charging, so these slow charge cars are filled with people without a clue.

The drivers see a big number and they think there's a benefit....I live by a bank of 12 chargers in a row and the 350kW chargers are ALWAYS the first ones used. Its not that the stickers are too small; they help create the problem!

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.40.20 AM.png
 
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fullmetalbaal

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I fear the same.

There were two 350 chargers where I parked at Harris Ranch.
One was occupied by a BMW i3. I didn't want to mention to them that they can use one of the many 150s and get the same result since I was fine with having a 350, and would have been fine even using a 150. But I had the same thought that it will get worse before it gets better.

And before people jump in with...but...but...Tesla, there was a long line of Tesla people waiting to get a charge (and this was at noon on the Friday after thanksgiving, so not exactly peak holiday travel time). There must have been over a dozen chargers. And they were not exactly being very civil to each other (one person was driving the opposite way to where the line ended and people thought he was trying to jump the line).

FYI, my average speed was 66 mph for the 350 miles with a consumption of 3.0 mi/kwh.
I'll be that guy then:

"But but Tesla".

Idiot drivers come in all colors, with all kinds of cars. So do selfish drivers, and those merely confused.

Here's what Tesla did & does to make it better:

1- Even their most humble and basic cars come with far more charging capability. Looks like 200kw is now the lower boundary. So 80% of what a V3 station could do. AFAIK Bolts are still only at 50kw. That is one seventh of what the charging station could do! VW and Ford aren't much better. The bulk of the cars with CCS in the next 2-3 years will be at or below 150kw.

2- They are investing WAY more heavily. EA is playing a "meet the govt metrics" game by launching lots of locations with a paltry 4 chargers each. Tesla has an average of >10 chargers per location. This is true even in Europe. I crunched the numbers: Tesla has far more locations with a far higher average charger per location than Ionity, and is growing faster (both in absolute numbers AND in growth rate!). Add up the number of chargers in operation (chargers, not locations) along major routes in the US, and it's sobering to say the least. Take SF to LA for example: you'd have to assume that Tesla will have >90% market share for the car to charger ratio to be the same. Then there's the execution piece: I know of 3 different EA locations just standing around apparently finished, without going online. Redmond EA station has been "Ready" since before I ordered my car in April. They are either running out of some component, understaffed the licensing dept, or already get credit for "station installed" before they are actively serving customers.

3- Because all teslas are the same, you KNOW what the other car in front of you is trying to do. And they know what you are going to be doing. (e.g., backing up into that spot). I've had it where the EA station was located in a way where I needed to back into the spot, only to have a different driver mistake my driving for "driving past".

4- The payment system. It's super frustrating to be waiting behind somebody, and watch them fight with the app for 5-10 min and call EA. I wait around for those, there's a good chance they can't get it resolved and move on, and I get to try my luck next.

And here's stuff the other OEMs are actively F'ing up:
1- The traditional OEMs actively market their slow-ass DC speeds as "super fast charging". If you're not careful about following the industry, I think you can be forgiven for thinking your brand spanking new ID.4 probably has the newest and greatest tech. If they were honest, VW and Ford would put a clear spec on there, and also have a sticker on the charge port (ONLY 150KW). They could make this much better, but they are IMHO actively obfuscating.

2- Ford and others are advertising the weird bundling of multiple third party networks as their own pseudo network. (FordPass charging network). That's just disingenuous and adds to confusion. Then they build L2 chargers that look like tesla L3 chargers, etc. I mean, look at this:
Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.44.08 AM.png


3- Their support numbers don't understand EVs - at all.
 
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Skilly

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I'll be that guy then:

"But but Tesla".

Idiot drivers come in all colors, with all kinds of cars. So do selfish drivers, and those merely confused.

Here's what Tesla did & does to make it better:

1- Even their most humble and basic cars come with far more charging capability. Looks like 200kw is now the lower boundary. So 80% of what a V3 station could do. AFAIK Bolts are still only at 50kw. That is one seventh of what the charging station could do! VW and Ford aren't much better. The bulk of the cars with CCS in the next 2-3 years will be at or below 150kw.

2- They are investing WAY more heavily. EA is playing a "meet the govt metrics" game by launching lots of locations with a paltry 4 chargers each. Tesla has an average of >10 chargers per location. This is true even in Europe. I crunched the numbers: Tesla has far more locations with a far higher average charger per location than Ionity, and is growing faster (both in absolute numbers AND in growth rate!). Add up the number of chargers in operation (chargers, not locations) along major routes in the US, and it's sobering to say the least. Take SF to LA for example: you'd have to assume that Tesla will have >90% market share for the car to charger ratio to be the same. Then there's the execution piece: I know of 3 different EA locations just standing around apparently finished, without going online. Redmond EA station has been "Ready" since before I ordered my car in April. They are either running out of some component, understaffed the licensing dept, or already get credit for "station installed" before they are actively serving customers.

3- Because all teslas are the same, you KNOW what the other car in front of you is trying to do. And they know what you are going to be doing. (e.g., backing up into that spot). I've had it where the EA station was located in a way where I needed to back into the spot, only to have a different driver mistake my driving for "driving past".

4- The payment system. It's super frustrating to be waiting behind somebody, and watch them fight with the app for 5-10 min and call EA. I wait around for those, there's a good chance they can't get it resolved and move on, and I get to try my luck next.
Uh, Tesla aint perfect...FAR from it - their drivers are just as oblivious as EA users and the charge locations are riddled with challenges; perhaps different from EA but demand is hitting EA harder and they don't have the tenure Tesla does.

Tesla has grossly outsold its demand side so their network is clogged with people trying to get a charge. The example in the posts above at Harris Ranch is par for the course at that location, and any other destination charge location. Anyone from the Bay Area can attest to the Livermore Outlet Mall....Im surprised that there hasnt been a serious incident. Tesla drivers are constantly blocking the entrances, or parking access etc, its over the top crazy. Not the same as the ID.4 driver parking in the 350kW charger - but they both ZERO clue about the world around them.

For Tesla, its all self managed chaos, and these high profile charge locations are particularly troublesome (if not dangerous). Tesla drivers can often literally take over the entire location and create stress and problems for everyone. Its complete bedlam to get a charge...not to mention, expect to wait a good 30 to 45 min just to get the privilege of charging your Tesla.

I've had 2 of them. Saying that they are much better just means you haven't lived both versions in areas with any kind of demand.
 

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Tesla has grossly outsold its demand side so their network is clogged with people trying to get a charge. The example in the posts above at Harris Ranch is par for the course at that location, and any other destination charge location.
Yeah, the point I was trying to make is that with all of their investment and perfection and awesomeness people were waiting half an hour for a charge on a Friday at noon. When they sell 50% more every year and have a million cyber trucks on the road, their investment or approach will need to be radically different to avoid an even larger s*** show.

There are benefits to the walled garden approach of course as pointed out. But you better make sure you have enough investment to take care of all the weeds that could grow.

As for the other comment, I wouldn't have even thought of confronting the BMW person - more of a gentle nudge to let them know that they would have gotten as good of a charge at a 150, so that if someone else rolls in and could use a 350, they wouldn't feel they had to ask the person to move.

By the way, my charge started at around 250 and stayed above 200 for a while. I did go back to check since given the odd charging start, wanted to make sure I wasn't bounced out.
 

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Uh, Tesla aint perfect...FAR from it - their drivers are just as oblivious as EA users and the charge locations are riddled with challenges; perhaps different from EA but demand is hitting EA harder and they don't have the tenure Tesla does.

Tesla has grossly outsold its demand side so their network is clogged with people trying to get a charge. The example in the posts above at Harris Ranch is par for the course at that location, and any other destination charge location. Anyone from the Bay Area can attest to the Livermore Outlet Mall....Im surprised that there hasnt been a serious incident. Tesla drivers are constantly blocking the entrances, or parking access etc, its over the top crazy. Not the same as the ID.4 driver parking in the 350kW charger - but they both ZERO clue about the world around them.

For Tesla, its all self managed chaos, and these high profile charge locations are particularly troublesome (if not dangerous). Tesla drivers can often literally take over the entire location and create stress and problems for everyone. Its complete bedlam to get a charge...not to mention, expect to wait a good 30 to 45 min just to get the privilege of charging your Tesla.

I've had 2 of them. Saying that they are much better just means you haven't lived both versions in areas with any kind of demand.

I didn't say Teslas charging network and experience were perfect, only that they are BETTER than EA.
I also said idiot/selfish drivers are found in all types of cars. (i.e., Tesla drivers are definitely NOT better, they are actually often the SAME drivers/people that also have a non-Tesla EV)

I've lived in CA and the PNW. We're on our third Tesla and my daily is a Taycan. We've put over 80K miles on EVs, with several multi thousand mile road trips.I may have had different experiences and taken different lessons with different opinions. Saying that they are better is just my opinion, until somebody has data on actual utilization.

But in terms of network size, they are WAY bigger. Take Harris Ranch that you mention. Look at that location + 50 mile radius. Add the charging stalls up for both Tesla and EA. Unless you assume that Tesla will maintain their current 60+% market share in the US (I don't), this will be an absolute nightmare for anybody traveling during holidays hoping to charge with EA.

You have an interesting point that large charging locations need better queue management. This will affect all charging networks. Here I predict that there will be a software solution (you "check in" as you approach the location, and are asked to stay clear of the immediate surroundings until you are within 10 min of your turn). Guess who is better positioned to roll that out?
 
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I just completed a drive from LA to SF, using a different route than in the past. A few observations:

1. Range forecasting in Taycan was absolutely brilliant. And the trip planner actually proposed great charging options (exactly the same as ABRP, in fact). I was gobsmacked given past experiences. I did take my own route, but the system adapted well, and recommended reasonable alternatives based on the changes in route (I jumped off 5N at Lost Hills and drove on CA46 to Paso Robles before charging and then picking up 101N). Arrival SoC was within 1 percentage point of forecast SoC.

2. I had more issues with idiotic people in low-charge-rate cars using the 350 kW chargers. I place at least some of the blame on EA, since the numbers on the chargers are hard to read from most distances.

3. I did long stints at 80-85 mph, but given some slow traffic, my average speed over the 401 mile trip was 59 mph. Consumption was a little over 370 Wh/mi, or around 2.7 miles/kWh. The third stint (after charging in Paso Robles) was 189 miles on a 90% charge, arriving with about 5% remaining.

4. Somewhere between Paso Robles and Soledad on 101 the InnoDrive system started going nuts. The car kept trying to stop at phantom stop signs, and then began giving brake assist warnings. Switching to ACC worked fine, and I had no further issues. I've actually had thousands of trouble-free miles with Innodrive so far (I've put over 14,800 miles on the car since October 2020 when I took delivery), so this was particularly disconcerting.
One quick addition: the two charge stops I took were at the Countryside Market Shell in Bakersfield and at the BofA in Paso Robles. Both stations had 350 kW chargers, but I was only able to use the higher-speed charger in Paso Robles, as the 350 kW chargers were occupied by other cars (one being a Hyundai Kona with a peak charging rate of 72 kW) in Bakersfield.
 
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