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Thread: Some electric cars have a road trip problem.

  1. #1
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    Some electric cars have a road trip problem.

    https://www.npr.org/2023/09/10/11872...nifer-granholm

    Sounds like Tesla's have the least problems getting a fast charge. However on weekends even the Tesla charging station is pretty packed here.
    "Whether you think you can, or you think you canít - youíre right."
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  2. #2
    Recently local TV station did a story on driving to beach for the weekend, a distance of about 130 miles. After arriving and spending the weekend, car needed to recharge. Only charger available was a slow charger. Recharge took longer than drive back to Raleigh. BBQ place about halfway to beach (Exit 364 on I-40) has a bunch of Tesla chargers in parking lot. Eat lunch while your car charges.

  3. #3
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    I'm at about 14,000 miles of electric car travel which includes three 1500-2000 mile road trips. Charging has been a complete non-issue. Quick and convenient. This contrasts sharply to traveling with my F350 diesel and 24 ft trailer, where virtually every trip has drama related to finding a diesel-selling station that I can get my rig into every 210-220 miles.

    Methinks these "news" stories about the difficulty of recharging electrics are carefully placed by entities with a vested interest in discouraging the transition. They just don't square with reality-- just as my tales of woe in buying diesel fuel don't square with what most truckers experience. Of course I wouldn't have those range anxiety problems either if Ford had deigned to give me a fuel tank bigger than a teapot.

  4. #4
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    Methinks these "news" stories about the difficulty of recharging electrics are carefully placed by entities with a vested interest in discouraging the transition. They just don't square with reality-- just as my tales of woe in buying diesel fuel don't square with what most truckers experience. Of course I wouldn't have those range anxiety problems either if Ford had deigned to give me a fuel tank bigger than a teapot.
    It might be the "vested interests" have discouraged the placement of charging stations in some areas.

    Here is a page with a map > https://www.govtech.com/fs/interacti...station-in-u-s

    A typical semi-truck has a fuel tank capacity of around 120 to 150 gallons, much more than a one ton truck.

    I'm glad my HD 3500 Silverado has a range of ~650 miles. More if I don't give it the lead foot.

    jtk
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  6. #6
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    I know a number of people with EVís that go where they want to with no trouble. One couple with a Kia does a lot of travel. We have RV hookups here that would do some charging, but even though we always offer to visitors here, no one has said they needed to.

    There are aps available that make planning ahead pretty easy.

    These days a lot of effort goes into disinformation thatís working for some.

  7. #7
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    The first thing I did to the diesel dually was put in an aftermarket replacement tank that holds 56 gallons. My fuel gauge stopped working 10 years ago. Now I use the trip odometer. I fill up every thousand miles whether it need it or not.

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    The Pepsi bottler in Sacramento, CA has a small fleet of Tesla semi tractors and I recall four chargers. The power utility had to bring in more power to the facility to run the chargers. They have a range of around 400 miles which is enough for their longest route. They have more Tesla semi tractors than chargers. A lot of the drivers make multiple runs per day so they can charge briefly between runs so they don't need to charge them all at once. I believe they plan to get more Tesla semi tractors as time goes on.

    I watched a video recently about a full size electric coach bus that made a trip from California to Florida via I-10. The range on the bus with over 20,000 pounds of batteries is just over 200 miles. They spent as much time charging as they did driving. They used Electrify America charging stations which are not designed for 45 foot buses. The trip took something like eleven days. It also cost more to use public charging stations than it would have cost for diesel fuel for the same trip. The only way an electric coach bus makes sense right now is for short day trips where the bus can be recharged at the garage, or overnight trips of less than 200 miles one way where the bus can be charged overnight.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    It might be the "vested interests" have discouraged the placement of charging stations in some areas.
    Not sure I agree, I think if you overlayed a population density map you would see the highest concentration of charging stations coincides with the highest population. This map has a red dot for each town. https://www.visualcapitalist.com/map...sity-dot-town/

  10. #10
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    The bottom line is that "currently" there are places where range anxiety and charing availability can be justified. But that's going to change as time passes. The uptake for electrified vehicles that use chargers (EVs and PHEVs) is ramping pretty quickly and there are many initiatives, private, local government, state government and federal, that are feeding additional charging capacity. Further, Tesla opening up their relatively robust charging network to non-Tesla vehicles and the adoption of Tesla's charger interface design isn't going to hurt. Like anything transformational, it's going to take time, and folks have to make careful decisions, particularly if they are a one vehicle household and travel a lot or they live where it's impractical or impossible to install their own home charging setup. Honestly, I would have purchased an EV a month ago if there was a non-Tesla option that met my own requirements now that we are a single vehicle household. While most of my driving is absolutely local, I prefer the larger size comfort and cargo capacity I have now, AWD and towing reasonably is a requirement. There just were not any options that met my need for a cost I was willing to pay. For personal reasons, I will not buy Tesla. Now if we had not moved to one vehicles (Professor Dr SWMBO is no longer driving for health reasons), the replacement for what she was driving (very little) would have been a smaller EV, probably a Subaru Solterra since that's "our brand of choice".
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    I'm at about 14,000 miles of electric car travel which includes three 1500-2000 mile road trips. Charging has been a complete non-issue. Quick and convenient. This contrasts sharply to traveling with my F350 diesel and 24 ft trailer, where virtually every trip has drama related to finding a diesel-selling station that I can get my rig into every 210-220 miles.......
    I can only imagine what a nightmare it would be if towing with an electric truck. At least with diesel you can find stations set up for semi trucks that you can pull up to while towing an RV. Some of the charging stations around here were built with a small compact car in mind. A full size pickup without a trailer would be a challenge. With a trailer I would think you'd have to unhook the trailer, leave it in a parking lot sort of close to you, then drive to the charger. WHile it's charging you'd most likely walk back to your trailer to wait only to reverse the process.

  12. #12
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    You certainly wouldn't be doing it as laid out with the local Tesla charging station unless you wanted to block the whole row of chargers or blocking the access road.

  13. #13
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    I'm going on 10 years driving Teslas. While it was a little more interesting driving at the beginning of that, getting a charging plug at home made it a non-issue. Then a Tesla supercharger was built on my way to/from work, and life got easier, and free electricity. No question many of the non-Tesla charging stations were often out of service. I used to try them all the time for kicks. The Tesla one worked all the time. Range anxiety (which was pretty silly at the time having 200+ mile range), vanished as my Plaid gets well over 300 miles on a charge (and can charge to about 350 miles before a pending hurricane, for example.)

    The idea of mandating electric cars until apartment/condos have charging outlets for all the residents is folly. Why would any of those people buy an EV? That being said, I love having an EV, and haven't worried about charging in years.
    Last edited by Alan Lightstone; 09-13-2023 at 9:22 AM.
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  14. #14
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    I was at the Lee Mills steam boat rally on Lake Winnipesaukee yesterday and thought you might find this photo relevant to the towing conversation and as an amusing contrast in technology. That's a Tesla model Y. Towing a 3300 lb boat trailer works for this guy, albeit with some trip planning as the range hit is substantial (about a 50% reduction). He has no problems hauling it around New England.

    If you're towing with a Tesla you get used to unhooking your trailer to charge, though the number of sites with pull-through chargers is growing. Not that different from having to unhook your trailer to get into a regular gas station to buy diesel, which I've had to do frequently.


    IMG_7345.jpg

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    I was at the Lee Mills steam boat rally on Lake Winnipesaukee yesterday and thought you might find this photo relevant to the towing conversation and as an amusing contrast in technology. That's a Tesla model Y. Towing a 3300 lb boat trailer works for this guy, albeit with some trip planning as the range hit is substantial (about a 50% reduction). He has no problems hauling it around New England.

    If you're towing with a Tesla you get used to unhooking your trailer to charge, though the number of sites with pull-through chargers is growing. Not that different from having to unhook your trailer to get into a regular gas station to buy diesel, which I've had to do frequently.


    IMG_7345.jpg
    Not that I need to tow anything, but it will be interesting to see how much a Tesla Cybertruck will tow. Of course, I'm about 300,000th on the waiting list, so gonna be quite some time till I'll know for myself.
    - ďItís not that Iím so smart, itís just that I stay with problems longer.Ē Ė Albert Einstein
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