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

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BadgerGreg

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Heading Home, Part 3(b):

Arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn in South Bend, IN. Four destination chargers (two tesla and two J1772). Three Teslas taking up three of the four spots. My MME took the final spot (very lucky I slipped in to grab the last spot). I'm going to need the charging tonight to make it home tomorrow. The charger is about 6 kW...ok but not great; enough to give me a boost so my DCFC session tomorrow morning will be short. Although Hilton is pretty good about having Level 2 chargers at their properties, they're going to need to up their game with more chargers per property.

I'm a bit biased here, but my MME looks pretty damn good in comparison to the three Teslas. I wonder if another Tesla driver will show up later tonight and lament that their spot has been Mach-E'd.

m25.jpg


m26.jpg
 
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Heading Home - thoughts on Active Cruise Control (ACC):

One thing about ACC...although I generally like it, the biggest technical glitch is that the car pays attention to speed limit signs intended for trucks and buses. In Illinois, the speed limit may be 70, but the speed limit for various vehicles will range from 55 to 65. When the MME sees those signs, it reduces speed and I have to override. It's honestly a pain in the ass. Hopefully future OTA updates can allow for the mapping of passenger vehicle speed limits on all highways so this can be avoided.
 

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Heading Home - thoughts on Active Cruise Control (ACC):

One thing about ACC...although I generally like it, the biggest technical glitch is that the car pays attention to speed limit signs intended for trucks and buses. In Illinois, the speed limit may be 70, but the speed limit for various vehicles will range from 55 to 65. When the MME sees those signs, it reduces speed and I have to override. It's honestly a pain in the ass. Hopefully future OTA updates can allow for the mapping of passenger vehicle speed limits on all highways so this can be avoided.
You're set for "intelligent" cruise control; set it to "adaptive" only (disable "intelligent") and it won't read speed limit signs. That of course means you need to pay attention to changing speed limits.

1619521484449.png
 

GoGoGadgetMachE

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matte black - which seems to be the middle Tesla deal - always make me think "they didn't finish painting that car... they did the primer and stopped." Actually, it alternates between that and "how much did they pay for spray paint?".

I know some people prefer it but those people are wrong. (*)

(*) yes this is an opinion calm down if you like matte black (**)
(**) you're wrong though
 

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matte black - which seems to be the middle Tesla deal - always make me think "they didn't finish painting that car... they did the primer and stopped." Actually, it alternates between that and "how much did they pay for spray paint?".

I know some people prefer it but those people are wrong. (*)

(*) yes this is an opinion calm down if you like matte black (**)
(**) you're wrong though
Agreed!
 

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Am I the only one that's going to ask what kind of wine?

Thanks for this. I loved every minute of it.
 
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Update - Final Leg of Trip:

Final trip from South Bend, IN to Ann Arbor, MI was pretty easy. My replacement I-Pass transponder (which I switched out at an Illinois Toll Plaza because my old one had just expired) is just starting to work on the Indiana Toll system. Also, there are no issues with the transponder working through the MME windshield (I placed it in the blackened area just next to the mirror assembly, and it works fine).

My 6 kW Level 2 charging from the night before worked wonderfully. Kudos to Hilton for having a better-than average onsite charging capability at its properties. I wasn't fully charged, but was north of 80% and had more than enough to get back home (with 30+ miles to spare). As it turned out, ONE MORE TESLA arrived last night and didn't have a spot to charge, as I had taken the last available spot. 😢
  • Total trip: 1,158 miles
  • Total time with car's power ON: 20 hours, 35 minutes
  • Bathroom breaks (too many to count; due to my two 11-yr-olds)
  • Efficiency: 2.7 mi/kWh
  • Bugs killed: 744 (see front grille photo)
  • Money spent on fuel/electricity: $9.68 (utility cost of initial full charge on my Level 2 home charger the night before the trip...all other charging on the trip was zero cost to me)
  • Electrify America charging used through Plug & Charge: 220 kWh (30 kWh remaining on my initial balance)
Summary:

This is a completely legit road trip car. Range is as expected and charging was as smooth and error-free as I could have expected. Plan out your charging stops ahead of time, as the Ford Navigation interface is decent but needs some work. There are PLENTY of newer charging options through PlugShare that won't show up in Ford's system, so go with the following on charging strategy:
  1. FIRST, check the Electrify America app (these should be your absolute go-to chargers...map these out first and skip them at your peril)
  2. SECOND, check the PlugShare app (figure out where you have good destination chargers and plan for your charging when you get off the DCFC Grid)
  3. LAST, enter your destination in the Ford Navigation interface and us the "blue blob" to track your range. The interface may or may not give you good advice on charging locations; make sure you set up the menu to filter out Level 1/2 chargers. Be prepared to change your charging location if the range shrinks to fall short of your destination (this is why the PlugShare is a good standby). In my case, it identified a brand new DCFC at a toll plaza in Indiana I needed for a quick top-up to make it to my hotel. Ford Navigation didn't have it in its system.
  4. If having trouble at any charger, call the phone number listed on the unit. They are often willing to 'comp' your session if there are any hang-ups. Much of this hardware is brand new and they go out of your way to make you a happy customer.
Speed kills. In this case, not people, but range. I usually default to 8-10 mph over the speed limit. However, I'm thinking that 75 is probably a good top cruising speed for this car. Actually, 72-73 is more ideal, but that's just too slow for most interstate traffic. If necessary, keep it in the right lane, set CP360, and relax.

m30.jpg


m31.jpg
 
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Am I the only one that's going to ask what kind of wine?

Thanks for this. I loved every minute of it.
A good mix of Italian reds, a Syrah, and a Merlot. All consumed during the trip, of course (although I had some help).
 

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This is a completely legit road trip car. Range is as expected and charging was as smooth and error-free as I could have expected. Plan out your charging stops ahead of time, as the Ford Navigation interface is decent but needs some work. There are PLENTY of newer charging options through PlugShare that won't show up in Ford's system, so go with the following on charging strategy:
  1. FIRST, check the Electrify America app (these should be your absolute go-to chargers...map these out first and skip them at your peril)
  2. SECOND, check the PlugShare app (figure out where you have good destination chargers and plan for your charging when you get off the DCFC Grid)
  3. LAST, enter your destination in the Ford Navigation interface and us the "blue blob" to track your range. The interface may or may not give you good advice on charging locations; make sure you set up the menu to filter out Level 1/2 chargers. Be prepared to change your charging location if the range shrinks to fall short of your destination (this is why the PlugShare is a good standby). In my case, it identified a brand new DCFC at a toll plaza in Indiana I needed for a quick top-up to make it to my hotel. Ford Navigation didn't have it in its system.
  4. If having trouble at any charger, call the phone number listed on the unit. They are often willing to 'comp' your session if there are any hang-ups. Much of this hardware is brand new and they go out of your way to make you a happy customer.
abetterrouteplanner.com is also a great place to plan out your trip, and it seems to read from plugshare (or at least shares a database with plugshare).
 

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I experienced much of the same that Greg describes on my 1600 mile (RT) Denver-Vegas drive last week. Averaged 2.6 MPK (mi/kWh), mostly at 75-80 MPH cruising speeds.

Electrify America is indeed king. Car charged like a champ with no charge failures once it got going. Had a problem with the EA app at first, but that was a phone issue. Just needed to reinstall the EA app. Once I fixed that, 11 of 12 EA chargers started and ran perfectly (one entire bank failed to start and had to call EA to remote start the session). Averaged about 92 kW power overall, charging mostly between the 30-80% SOC area. (Ford's 10-80% in 45 minute claim is an 82 kW average, so this was actually better).

While I used ABRP initially to get an idea of the charging options along the route, I didn't bother using it's charge-to recommendations. I know the traditional way to minimize charging time is to arrive at just 10% each leg (and only charge up to what's needed), but the MME charging curve is flat enough to not take that riskier cut-it-so-close approach. It doesn't save much time at all when the charge curve is this flat. That's a good thing, because it means people can drive it more like an ICE car that they're more used to, and live in the upper part of the battery rather than the lower. More peace of mind that way, as it often leaves enough juice in the tank for a backup charger if needed. Simply charge to 80% most stops. Easy-peasy. The only time we didn't was on final legs of the day where we had overnight charging.

One added note... in addition to speed and weather, watch elevation too. We had a few 4000' elevation changes between charging stops, and that created like +/- 30% to the mileage for those legs.
 

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Update - Final Leg of Trip:

Final trip from South Bend, IN to Ann Arbor, MI was pretty easy. My replacement I-Pass transponder (which I switched out at an Illinois Toll Plaza because my old one had just expired) is just starting to work on the Indiana Toll system. Also, there are no issues with the transponder working through the MME windshield (I placed it in the blackened area just next to the mirror assembly, and it works fine).

My 6 kW Level 2 charging from the night before worked wonderfully. Kudos to Hilton for having a better-than average onsite charging capability at its properties. I wasn't fully charged, but was north of 80% and had more than enough to get back home (with 30+ miles to spare). As it turned out, ONE MORE TESLA arrived last night and didn't have a spot to charge, as I had taken the last available spot. 😢
  • Total trip: 1,158 miles
  • Total time with car's power ON: 20 hours, 35 minutes
  • Bathroom breaks (too many to count; due to my two 11-yr-olds)
  • Efficiency: 2.7 mi/kWh
  • Bugs killed: 744 (see front grille photo)
  • Money spent on fuel/electricity: $9.68 (utility cost of initial full charge on my Level 2 home charger the night before the trip...all other charging on the trip was zero cost to me)
  • Electrify America charging used through Plug & Charge: 220 kWh (30 kWh remaining on my initial balance)
Summary:

This is a completely legit road trip car. Range is as expected and charging was as smooth and error-free as I could have expected. Plan out your charging stops ahead of time, as the Ford Navigation interface is decent but needs some work. There are PLENTY of newer charging options through PlugShare that won't show up in Ford's system, so go with the following on charging strategy:
  1. FIRST, check the Electrify America app (these should be your absolute go-to chargers...map these out first and skip them at your peril)
  2. SECOND, check the PlugShare app (figure out where you have good destination chargers and plan for your charging when you get off the DCFC Grid)
  3. LAST, enter your destination in the Ford Navigation interface and us the "blue blob" to track your range. The interface may or may not give you good advice on charging locations; make sure you set up the menu to filter out Level 1/2 chargers. Be prepared to change your charging location if the range shrinks to fall short of your destination (this is why the PlugShare is a good standby). In my case, it identified a brand new DCFC at a toll plaza in Indiana I needed for a quick top-up to make it to my hotel. Ford Navigation didn't have it in its system.
  4. If having trouble at any charger, call the phone number listed on the unit. They are often willing to 'comp' your session if there are any hang-ups. Much of this hardware is brand new and they go out of your way to make you a happy customer.
Speed kills. In this case, not people, but range. I usually default to 8-10 mph over the speed limit. However, I'm thinking that 75 is probably a good top cruising speed for this car. Actually, 72-73 is more ideal, but that's just too slow for most interstate traffic. If necessary, keep it in the right lane, set CP360, and relax.

m30.jpg


m31.jpg
Hi @BadgerGreg

What a great trip and what a great review - really shows what can be achieved. Thanks for such an interesting journal 👍

Sadly, in the UK, we don't quite have the charging networks you have, but equally not the same distances to travel ........ and no MMEs yet 😀

I'm hoping my ER RWD will be here in a few weeks with the one of the first batch of deliveries to the UK, and then I'll try a few trips here 🤞

Thanks again and kind regards
David
 

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Update - Final Leg of Trip:

Final trip from South Bend, IN to Ann Arbor, MI was pretty easy. My replacement I-Pass transponder (which I switched out at an Illinois Toll Plaza because my old one had just expired) is just starting to work on the Indiana Toll system. Also, there are no issues with the transponder working through the MME windshield (I placed it in the blackened area just next to the mirror assembly, and it works fine).

My 6 kW Level 2 charging from the night before worked wonderfully. Kudos to Hilton for having a better-than average onsite charging capability at its properties. I wasn't fully charged, but was north of 80% and had more than enough to get back home (with 30+ miles to spare). As it turned out, ONE MORE TESLA arrived last night and didn't have a spot to charge, as I had taken the last available spot. 😢
  • Total trip: 1,158 miles
  • Total time with car's power ON: 20 hours, 35 minutes
  • Bathroom breaks (too many to count; due to my two 11-yr-olds)
  • Efficiency: 2.7 mi/kWh
  • Bugs killed: 744 (see front grille photo)
  • Money spent on fuel/electricity: $9.68 (utility cost of initial full charge on my Level 2 home charger the night before the trip...all other charging on the trip was zero cost to me)
  • Electrify America charging used through Plug & Charge: 220 kWh (30 kWh remaining on my initial balance)
Summary:

This is a completely legit road trip car. Range is as expected and charging was as smooth and error-free as I could have expected. Plan out your charging stops ahead of time, as the Ford Navigation interface is decent but needs some work. There are PLENTY of newer charging options through PlugShare that won't show up in Ford's system, so go with the following on charging strategy:
  1. FIRST, check the Electrify America app (these should be your absolute go-to chargers...map these out first and skip them at your peril)
  2. SECOND, check the PlugShare app (figure out where you have good destination chargers and plan for your charging when you get off the DCFC Grid)
  3. LAST, enter your destination in the Ford Navigation interface and us the "blue blob" to track your range. The interface may or may not give you good advice on charging locations; make sure you set up the menu to filter out Level 1/2 chargers. Be prepared to change your charging location if the range shrinks to fall short of your destination (this is why the PlugShare is a good standby). In my case, it identified a brand new DCFC at a toll plaza in Indiana I needed for a quick top-up to make it to my hotel. Ford Navigation didn't have it in its system.
  4. If having trouble at any charger, call the phone number listed on the unit. They are often willing to 'comp' your session if there are any hang-ups. Much of this hardware is brand new and they go out of your way to make you a happy customer.
Speed kills. In this case, not people, but range. I usually default to 8-10 mph over the speed limit. However, I'm thinking that 75 is probably a good top cruising speed for this car. Actually, 72-73 is more ideal, but that's just too slow for most interstate traffic. If necessary, keep it in the right lane, set CP360, and relax.

m30.jpg


m31.jpg
When we do our 1800 mile road trip to Arizona later this year, we plan to stay at Hilton properties. Did you do anything special to verify that the Hilton locations have destination chargers before you picked a hotel?

Also, curious if you’ve given any thought for the Tesla to J1772 adapter to open up Tesla destination chargers when venturing beyond fast charging coverage areas?
 

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When we do our 1800 mile road trip to Arizona later this year, we plan to stay at Hilton properties. Did you do anything special to verify that the Hilton locations have destination chargers before you picked a hotel?

Also, curious if you’ve given any thought for the Tesla to J1772 adapter to open up Tesla destination chargers when venturing beyond fast charging coverage areas?
I went ahead and bought the 50A TeslaTap. May never end up using it, but figured I might as well have full capability in case I end up at a hotel or other destination where it will come in handy.

http://www.umc-j1772.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=17&product_id=99
 

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We got the TeslaTap Mini to have on hand and it came in handy at at Westin in Palm Springs that only had Tesla chargers. I am sure we pissed off a few Tesla owners (there were many in the parking lot) when we took up one of the the two Tesla charging spots for most of the day charging back up for the return trip home! Worked like a charm and we will not hesitate to use a Tesla Destination charger when needed (especially if the hotel or other location is not EV forward thinking enough to have J1772 chargers as well as the Tesla chargers).
 

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We got the TeslaTap Mini to have on hand and it came in handy at at Westin in Palm Springs that only had Tesla chargers. I am sure we pissed off a few Tesla owners (there were many in the parking lot) when we took up one of the the two Tesla charging spots for most of the day charging back up for the return trip home! Worked like a charm and we will not hesitate to use a Tesla Destination charger when needed (especially if the hotel or other location is not EV forward thinking enough to have J1772 chargers as well as the Tesla chargers).
That's OK, Tesla owners have been tying up Electrify America chargers for years. It's only fair we get to use some of theirs too. :cool:
 

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