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Bolt EV owner Dawn Hall from San Jose, California took her Bolt EV on an 800 mile road trip to visit a few college campuses. The amount of planning and stops you need to take always shocks me a bit even though I've come to expect it. In her case, she had to hit every planned stop and her frustration with the charging infrastructure is understandable.

The total charging cost was $88.00 and sometimes the chargers didn't really work as expected. Pretty good read into what some owners will experience on a long road trip with a set schedule.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1109117_chevy-bolt-ev-800-mile-trip-in-238-mile-electric-car-shows-challenges-remain
 

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Bolt EV owner Dawn Hall from San Jose, California took her Bolt EV on an 800 mile road trip to visit a few college campuses. The amount of planning and stops you need to take always shocks me a bit even though I've come to expect it. In her case, she had to hit every planned stop and her frustration with the charging infrastructure is understandable.

The total charging cost was $88.00 and sometimes the chargers didn't really work as expected. Pretty good read into what some owners will experience on a long road trip with a set schedule.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1109117_chevy-bolt-ev-800-mile-trip-in-238-mile-electric-car-shows-challenges-remain
That's why at this point in time, it's dumb to use a BEV for a trip like that. The only rational reason to travel like this in a BEV is you really want the "adventure" of it all. I think everybody knows the charging infrastructure is poor, costly and takes way too long to charge. It's largely the reason the general car buying public won't consider a BEV and GM created the Volt. Now many others a copying the Volt's concept too. It's the reason Elon is furiously building out his Supercharger Network, but even that, while better than the public charging network, is a big compromise compared to a ICE car.
 

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Did you see how fast she was driving!? She admits to being a lead foot, driving at 80mph! No wonder she didn't get the range she was hoping. Slow the frig down!
 

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Somewhere I read in Europe they're testing solar panel roads, that would be a big boost to us when it comes to charging infrastructure but much like most things related to that its a long way out from positively impacting us. Probably the biggest indication of infrastructure ramping up is car makers coming out with cheap sub-compact EV's.
 

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+1 to DaV8or posting - having done several long distance road trips in Tesla's I still don't think EV's are ready for prime time for the average consumer and road trips - that being said it is doable and given how often I actually road trip the additional hassle factor is manageable for the few times a year it happens.

I was also going to discuss the speed issue - given charging times of 30-60 minutes at most fast charging infrastructures there is this strange tradeoff between driving speed and actual speed when you factor in additional charging time for higher driving speed.

There are Tesla superchargers on I-5 in California, and given the road's speed limit is 70 mph there is a tendency for actual driving speeds to be higher.

The distance from Harris Ranch supercharger to the Tejon plaza supercharger is 116 miles (24505 W Dorris Ave Coalinga, CA 93210 to 5602 Dennis McCarthy Dr Bakersfield, CA 93243)

@ 70 mph - 1:39 hours
@ 75 mph - 1:32 hours
@ 80 mph - 1:27 hours

so best case you're going to save x:39 - x: 27 - or 12 minutes

however given the increased power usage of high driving speeds - after 40 mph all the additional power usage is due to aerodynamic resistance - and it's velocity squared so the power usage becomes very very pronounced at higher speeds - it is very very very easy to spend more that 12 minutes worth of extra charging on the tail end of that trip - actually lowering your overall actual speed once you include your average speed of time vs. distance covered and include charging time as part of the equation.

Once you factor in charging time with superchargers (or DC fast chargers) - it turns out the fastest time from point A to point B is below 70 mph because the additional energy consumption toll on the battery adds more charging time than the faster driving speed saves - you'd be amazed how far these cars can travel at speeds of 50 mph or lower.

Having done the run from San Jose to Las Vegas now in a BEV at least 3 times I can say the following things are factually true based on my personal experience"

1. slower driving speeds gain time overall in charging time savings at charging stations
2. temperature and HVAC have to be considered (temps below 40 F start to really really change the equations for distance driving comfortably)
3. it takes at least 30% longer wall clock time to do most any trip in a BEV vs. an ICE vehicle if you're doing charging stops (DC fast/Supercharger)
4. it's not for the faint of heart and still requires more planning and discipline that I believe the average consumer is willing to engage in.
5. but it can be done and I've done it several times, and given it's frequency it's no problem as a BEV car is fine the other 98% of the time.
6. it's getting better every day from a planning/discipline point of view due to more charging stations adding greater flexibility, but charging speeds still add a dramatic time penalty.

one last thing - having done the I-5 Harris ranch Tesla supercharger run from Nor. Cal to So. Cal at least 15 times - I can say with some authority - BEWARE HEAD WINDS - a 10-15 mph head wind can totally destroy the best laid plans for fast charging stops. I have on alternate occasions made it from Tejon Ranch supercharger (5602 Dennis McCarthy Dr Bakersfield, CA 93243) all the way to Gilroy Supercharger (681 Leavesley Rd Gilroy, CA 95020) - 227 miles on a single charge w/elevation changes in an 85 kWh Tesla - and landed in Gilroy with 4-6% battery - and the very next week in the same car - I barely made it from Tejon to Harris ranch (arriving at Harris ranch with 16% charge) due to head winds.

Heads winds are virtual speed - and a 10-15 mph head wind when you're already doing 60-70 mph is devastating due to the whole velocity squared part of the aerodynamic drag equations - it was a real nail biter and an eye opening experience to watch my battery sapped dry due to head winds.

Head winds in a BEV with outside temps below 30 F on a trip where the two fast charging stations are at the 70-80% battery range limits is not a nail biting trip I would wish on anyone as the combination of increased drag, lower battery efficiency due to outside temps, and increase demand on cabin temperature maintenance is a dicy combination that makes for some real tough questions about why one is driving a BEV with one's kids in it and is it all worth it.

ICE's are still vastly superior due to dramatically more developed infrastructure and for cold weather long distance driving they are vastly superior and a much more comfortable low effort experience.
 

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The gas engine vehicles (or ICEVs) have over a hundred years of a headstart as the lowered cost during the early 1900s allowed more drivers to buy them, motivating the installation of more gasoline fueling stations nationwide. But the first gas engine vehicles had refueling problems before that. Some had to ask farmers to borrow their horses to pull their cars to the next town or cities that could sell them gasoline!

At least the modern electric vehicles have the advantage that any 120 VAC outlet can charge their batteries. If you plan to visit, plan ahead to recharge while you are staying at that destination. If it is somewhere that you visit often, have a new EVSE permanently installed, or carry a portable Level 2 EVSE that can plug into a water heater or clothes dryer outlet. It is much easier to ask for a charge that to ask for gasoline or horses!!
 

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The gas engine vehicles (or ICEVs) have over a hundred years of a headstart as the lowered cost during the early 1900s allowed more drivers to buy them, motivating the installation of more gasoline fueling stations nationwide. But the first gas engine vehicles had refueling problems before that. Some had to ask farmers to borrow their horses to pull their cars to the next town or cities that could sell them gasoline!

At least the modern electric vehicles have the advantage that any 120 VAC outlet can charge their batteries. If you plan to visit, plan ahead to recharge while you are staying at that destination. If it is somewhere that you visit often, have a new EVSE permanently installed, or carry a portable Level 2 EVSE that can plug into a water heater or clothes dryer outlet. It is much easier to ask for a charge that to ask for gasoline or horses!!
And in the early 1900's it was even worse for electric cars vs. gasoline cars, since electricity was a very rare fuel resource as well. The reason gasoline cars were developed vs. electric and have a 100 year head start is because gasoline is a far superior energy storage medium vs. chemical batteries.
 

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This trip was about as close to a disaster as you can get without actually running out of charge and getting the Tow of Shame.

Owner is totally clueless about the charging network (EVgo) pricing plans, totally clueless about the fact if she had taken 99 instead of 101, there would have been plenty of fast charging options on the route. Totally clueless about slowing down so you don't kill your EV range. I mean it's a miracle she didn't end up on a flatbed.

Basically this is a perfect example of "What not to do when road tripping in a Bolt". It's like John Broder 2.0 minus the Tow of Shame.
 

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Well hopefully she learned a few things! For a first road trip she was bound to do things that weren't ideal for maximizing range but hopefully she'll read threads like this and try again. It can be a pretty big learning curve transitioning from ICE to EV. There are a lot of bad habits to unlearn!

I still say good for her for making the trip and not being deterred from the challenge of doing it! A good attitude and a little bit of ignorance is a good thing IMHO! LOL
 
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...however given the increased power usage of high driving speeds - after 40 mph all the additional power usage is due to aerodynamic resistance - and it's velocity squared so the power usage becomes very very pronounced at higher speeds - it is very very very easy to spend more that 12 minutes worth of extra charging on the tail end of that trip - actually lowering your overall actual speed once you include your average speed of time vs. distance covered and include charging time as part of the equation.

Once you factor in charging time with superchargers (or DC fast chargers) - it turns out the fastest time from point A to point B is below 70 mph because the additional energy consumption toll on the battery adds more charging time than the faster driving speed saves - you'd be amazed how far these cars can travel at speeds of 50 mph or lower....
This was the hardest lesson for me to learn. I have a lead foot, so did my father, and his father before him! LOL. But once I realized how little a difference in time speeding made and how big a difference in my EV range speeding made with my Volt, I learned to love Cruise Control and Low! Now I cruise around at the speed limit with the cruise on and usually in low. I live in a hilly area and with the cruise contorl on in low it keeps the speed bang on the speed limit going down hills maximizing my regen. If I have to loose range going up hills I might as well try to recapture as much as I can! Years of speeding tickets weren't able to curb my speeding but my obsession with maximizing my EV range has!

It was interesting to read your observations on headwinds and range! It makes perfect sense but I had never thought of it. I like to sea kayak and it is often said that you won't see experienced kayakers fighting a heavy headwind. They'll wait in camp until headwinds die down and not waste their energy fighting the wind paddling to go nowhere!
 

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Well hopefully she learned a few things! For a first road trip she was bound to do things that weren't ideal for maximizing range but hopefully she'll read threads like this and try again. It can be a pretty big learning curve transitioning from ICE to EV. There are a lot of bad habits to unlearn!

I still say good for her for making the trip and not being deterred from the challenge of doing it! A good attitude and a little bit of ignorance is a good thing IMHO! LOL
Journaling what you do and the range you get every day is a great way to narrow it down, suggested that to my Volt owner friends and they found a lot of leaks in how they were killing range and not making the best use of the juice. The beauty of all this it makes you really conscious of how you drive, no more just hopping in and going from A-B.
 

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I too have driven my Tesla S85D long distance from La Quinta CA up the I-5 to Portland OR and then to Hood River OR - close to 1200 miles. Done this six times so far. And I had done this a number of times in ICE cars as well. The temptation in an ICE is to 'just keep driving' and you will get there sooner but that is not always the primary consideration. The Superchargers 'allow' stops more or less at respectable intervals so when the day is done you are not frazzled.

I absolutely agree that dropping the speeds will make the trip easier in terms of range / charging stops as well as just less stress on the driver.

The more I drive our new Bolt the more I like it. Definitely easier to get in and out of - love the regeneration L setting, like the real map pockets and a regular center console. If there were a decent charging infrastructure I would be tempted to try it on the I-5 route but not as it is today. I think Elon figured out that EVs needed a charging network to make them more than just a suburb car no matter how nice the styling or acceleration. Don't know why Chevy and the other manufacturers using the DCFCS standard don't collaborate on this. Additionally the rates charged by the charging stations as they exist today are to my mind just too high.
 

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I think Elon figured out that EVs needed a charging network to make them more than just a suburb car no matter how nice the styling or acceleration. Don't know why Chevy and the other manufacturers using the DCFCS standard don't collaborate on this. Additionally the rates charged by the charging stations as they exist today are to my mind just too high.
It's a good idea for manufacturers to collaborate on a charging infrastructure, but we have to remember, they can't even agree on a standard charging plug!! If BEVs were a high priority for the established automakers, I bet they would come together, but we have to remember that plug in sales is a tiny, tiny percentage of their sales to date. They are responsible to their shareholders and the real profit is in ICE powered vehicles.

The auto business is a mature, competitive, established sort of business and so tends to conservative in nature. It tends to be more reactionary than revolutionary. If indeed the Model 3 from Tesla sells like wild fire, I think we will see significant movement by the "old guard". The Bolt has shown us that they are capable of rapid reaction.

Speaking of the Bolt, I think it's debut may go down in automotive history not so much as a turning point, revolutionary product, but more like the Tesla Roadster, an inspiration to other manufacturers to get with the program. You all have have noticed how many other established auto companies have shown off "concepts" that trumpet 200+ range and fast zero to 60 times. If General Motors, a notorious penny pinching, conservative, "react only if we have to" kind of company is doing the whole BEV thing, then they need to take notice. It's working it seems.
 

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Did you see how fast she was driving!? She admits to being a lead foot, driving at 80mph! No wonder she didn't get the range she was hoping. Slow the frig down!

not totally correct ... the faster you driver the faster you can recharge ... there was an article about that ...
 
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