1,100-Mile Road Trip: Impressions on Mach E and Charging Infrastructure

BadgerGreg

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Just over a week ago, I took delivery of my Premium ER AWD. I waited only a week before heading out on the road. Leaving my wife and older daughter at home, I dragged my 11 year old twins from Ann Arbor to northern Wisconsin (via Chicago) on an 1,100-mile round trip to visit family and venture beyond the frontier of DCFC. This is a recap of the trip, including thoughts on the MME as a road-tripper, PAAK, and Plug & Charge. This original post is an introduction only and is being written at the mid-point of the trip. Key milestones and issues are included below as separate messages in the thread...

Left Ann Arbor on Friday with a fresh 100% charge (indicated range was much lower than achieved). Frunk loaded with wine (to be doled out to various hosts along the way), cleaning supplies (need to keep the car looking good on its maiden voyage), umbrellas, and baseball mitts.

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BadgerGreg

BadgerGreg

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First stop in South Bend, IN. Electrify America DCFC stop. First DCFC attempt. First Plug & Charge attempt. Fingers crossed.

Plugged in and charge commenced with no issues. Charged from 33% to 81%, 38 minutes; received a notice on FordPass that 45 kWh has been deducted from my 250 kWh balance. Seamless. The only drawback is that the charge rate hovered around 90 kW. Not bad, but not great. Either way, we had enough time for a bathroom break and a quick snack. The entire charge session occurred while I went into the adjacent mall with my kids. No errors or disruptions; I monitored the progress from my FordPass app and emerged when SOC hit 80%.

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BadgerGreg

BadgerGreg

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Second stop in Rockford, Illinois to get a final charge for the last leg of the first day (to Madison, WI). Electrify America station at Sam's Club near I-90. Second Plug & Charge attempt with equal success. Absolutely no issues. Charged from 5% to 40% in about 25 minutes; only needed to get to 40% because I only had 70 miles left for the day and I would be DC fast charging in Madison the next morning. Again, the charging rate wasn't fantastic (~80-90 kW), but it was getting colder and the battery probably wasn't warm enough for a faster charge.

Headed to an adjacent McDonalds to get ice cream sundaes for my kids, who were starting to get stir crazy after a very long day of driving through construction traffic.

FYI, Co-Pilot 360 (CP360) has been used a TON today. Although CP360 is still a bit rough around the edges, it makes highway driving a lot less frustrating; especially when navigating congested highways around Chicago.

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BadgerGreg

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End of first day: arrived at my sister's house and plugged into her 120V garage outlet for the night. Delivered two bottles of wine; consumed one.

Next morning (Saturday), I headed to the Electrify America DCFC on the east side of town (Walmart). My car was flanked by a beautiful orange ICE GT.

Third time with Plug & Charge, third successful and seamless attempt. This one was even better, with charging rates hovering around 120 kW to 130 kW. 35 minutes to charge from 18% to 80%. An email receipt from Ford dutifully reminded me that I have 117 kWh remaining on my initial 250 kWh balance.

This charge is to get me to Wausau, about a 150-mile trip to the north.

THIS is my big leap of faith with the MME. No legitimate DCFC options north of Madison (I really don't count the 50 kW stations, because that's a bit too slow for me). I arrived in Wausau with a 20% SOC and am currently at my parents' house with the car plugged into a 120V garage outlet. After letting my dad take the MME out for a joy ride (I'm still trying to wipe the smile off his face), I'm planning to take the MME to downtown Wausau tomorrow (Sunday) for a date with one of two known Level 2 public chargers in the entire city. If I leave it there for 3-4 hours, I will have enough charge to get back to Madison on Monday, but only with the additional help with two overnight sessions with the 120V outlet at home.

I went from Madison to Wausau using CP360 and hardly had to drive at all, with the exception of a few lane changes on a very sparsely-populated stretch of highway. My only complaint with CP360 is that it gives up too easily on any curve where I pull even the slightest lateral g-force. Hopefully this will be resolved with the Blue Cruise update.

My car is getting crazy attention up here, as the MME is a pretty rare sight outside of metro areas.

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BadgerGreg

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PAAK is fairly reliable. It occasionally takes longer than I'd like to unlock the car as I approach it, but it never fails to lock the car as I walk away. I've had to use my password to start the car a couple of times because a key was 'not detected'.

BTW, I did NOT bring my factory-provided key on this trip. Relying wholly on PAAK, door code, and start code. No issues with any of this so far.

For those who leave a child (or children) in the car for brief periods: make sure to TURN OFF the motion sensor when prompted after turning off the power. Once you walk away from the vehicle and it locks, the security system activates and any movement inside the car activates the alarm. I've had the alarm go off a couple times now.
 

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PAAK is fairly reliable. It occasionally takes longer than I'd like to unlock the car as I approach it, but it never fails to lock the car as I walk away. I've had to use my password to start the car a couple of times because a key was 'not detected'.

BTW, I did NOT bring my factory-provided key on this trip. Relying wholly on PAAK, door code, and start code. No issues with any of this so far.

For those who leave a child (or children) in the car for brief periods: make sure to TURN OFF the motion sensor when prompted after turning off the power. Once you walk away from the vehicle and it locks, the security system activates and any movement inside the car activates the alarm. I've had the alarm go off a couple times now.
Safe travels to you and your family.
 
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BadgerGreg

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Looking forward to seeing your MPKWh when the trip is complete 😁
2.8 miles per kWh near the end of day 2. This is averaging 75-77 mph on the highway with temps in the low to mid 50s and a little local city driving mixed in.

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Day 3: no traveling today, but thanks to a free 40A charger in a public parking ramp, I’m charging worry-free on a Sunday. I’ll pick up the car this afternoon and leave it on the 120V overnight before I start heading home tomorrow. This easily gets me back to the world of DCFC, and it appears I will not be stranded in northern Wisconsin.

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End of first day: arrived at my sister's house and plugged into her 120V garage outlet for the night. Delivered two bottles of wine; consumed one.

Next morning (Saturday), I headed to the Electrify America DCFC on the east side of town (Walmart). My car was flanked by a beautiful orange ICE GT.

Third time with Plug & Charge, third successful and seamless attempt. This one was even better, with charging rates hovering around 120 kW to 130 kW. 35 minutes to charge from 18% to 80%. An email receipt from Ford dutifully reminded me that I have 117 kWh remaining on my initial 250 kWh balance.

This charge is to get me to Wausau, about a 150-mile trip to the north.

THIS is my big leap of faith with the MME. No legitimate DCFC options north of Madison (I really don't count the 50 kW stations, because that's a bit too slow for me). I arrived in Wausau with a 20% SOC and am currently at my parents' house with the car plugged into a 120V garage outlet. After letting my dad take the MME out for a joy ride (I'm still trying to wipe the smile off his face), I'm planning to take the MME to downtown Wausau tomorrow (Sunday) for a date with one of two known Level 2 public chargers in the entire city. If I leave it there for 3-4 hours, I will have enough charge to get back to Madison on Monday, but only with the additional help with two overnight sessions with the 120V outlet at home.

I went from Madison to Wausau using CP360 and hardly had to drive at all, with the exception of a few lane changes on a very sparsely-populated stretch of highway. My only complaint with CP360 is that it gives up too easily on any curve where I pull even the slightest lateral g-force. Hopefully this will be resolved with the Blue Cruise update.

My car is getting crazy attention up here, as the MME is a pretty rare sight outside of metro areas.

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This weekend we took an overnight trip to watch Div 3 college baseball which took us beyond 150 kW chargers. We stopped at a 50 kW location to add 25 kW which allowed us to drive back home without another charging session. These “slower” locations can be helpful for longer road trips if topping off will help you reach the next 150 kW charger.
 

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Those EA stations look very new. On the way home, could you check and see what kind they are? Really thankful for your posts. Looking like Ford, EA or both have worked out some bugs when it comes to P&C. Safe travels tomorrow!
 
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Heading Home, Part 1:

Left northern Wisconsin with a 90% SOC, but cold and wet weather ate into the range a bit. I hoped to make it to Rockford, IL, but opted for Madison, WI instead. The Electrify America DCFC at Walmart worked great again, charging from 20% to 81% in just over 40 minutes. Plug & Charge was flawless (4 for 4 so far on this road trip!). Charge rate started north of 150 kW. Charged while my kids and I went into Walmart to have lunch at Subway and to grab some beverages for the road.

Overall road trip efficiency dropping a bit to 2.7 miles/kWh. This is due to a cold battery to begin the trip and 75+ mph speed during the first two hours.

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BadgerGreg

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Heading Home, Part 2:

Left northern Wisconsin with temps in the high 30s...ended the day with temps in the low 80s; this is typical for the upper Midwest in late April. Also, WINDY in Illinois. A strong wind from the south certainly ate into efficiency; this was either a crosswind or headwind. Range dropped faster than expected, so I stopped at another Electrify America DCFC in Schaumberg.

An Audi eTron was plugged in for a few minutes while I got there. One of my only encounters with another user at any of the EA stations I've visited on this trip so far.

I had my first Plug & Charge hiccup...the first charger faulted after plugging it in. I tried an adjacent charger and Plug & Charge worked just fine. This was a short visit...I stayed plugged in enough so the Sync 4A navigation system showed the "blue blob" (graphical range limit) extending beyond my destination for the day, which is South Bend, IN. In retrospect, I should have stayed plugged in another five minutes (see next post).

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BadgerGreg

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Heading Home, Part 3(a):

I was hoping this would be the last leg of the trip, but the increasing temps (now over 80 degrees) and a very still headwind as I headed south around Chicago caused the "blue blob" range indicator to shrink a bit, and I realized I wouldn't make it to South Bend, IN. Fortunately, I found a travel plaza about 15 minutes west of South Bend with two DCFCs set up by the Indiana Toll Road.

Ironically, these DCFCs popped up and are active prior to the Tesla Superchargers, which were installed but are not yet active (see photo). The Indiana Toll Road charger isn't super fast (I pulled about 40 kW), but I only needed 10 minutes of charging to give me the extra miles I needed to get to the hotel in South Bend. The credit card reader wasn't active yet, so when I called the number on the charger, the representative activated the charger and let me charge without payment.

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