6,000mi Road Trip Report (Current Status of DCFC Infrastructure)

Jolteon

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Hi all,

Thought I'd post a summary of a rather long road trip I took (in my Model 3, since my Mach-E obviously hasn't arrived yet!).

In 16 days, I drove 6,200 miles across 12 states, with a total of 52 DC Fast Charging sessions, and a few hotel AC charges, but those were pretty rare and I'm not including them here since they were free.

Prior to the trip, I bought the Tesla CHAdeMO adapter, with the idea that I'd try out networks other than Tesla, and because one place in particular - Dinosaur, Colorado, was too far away from a Supercharger and I needed CHAdeMO to make the trip.

1601127760989.png


While Tesla hasn't put a Supercharger in Dinosaur, Chargepoint has :D


So, that said, here's the final results: 52 DCFC (32 Tesla Superchargers, 8 Chargepoint CHAdeMO, 8 Electrify America CHAdeMO, 2 Greenlots, etc. etc. )

ZECrLmcgFdFMYfCe2NbWiSKdQFKMozm4J_5Fjxu0WAgx-RrNtY.png


From a cost perspective, averaging the costs of power delivered, including per kWh pricing where legal and time-based pricing elsewhere, Tesla comes out on top for the lowest cost/kWh, while ironically the most expensive charge was one single pay 7 kW J1772 AC charger which cost $22.24 for 31 kWh (time based), but was literally the only game in town (Cody, WY) and a the one "critical link" in the plan, so I had to pay what they asked.

F5lzggpeQIPKUW4TRoEZybCtfvwJ-94MGLz2krS8BwLc1LE3IE.png


95qVlRkguo8Kt5r4cNZuR-zcxrjDIKDDd_87r-7O1vfuEFFtV8.png


As some on here know, ChargePoint allows the individual site operator to set their own pricing, so here's the per kWh price breakdown for the Chargepoint units I used - that Dinosaur one was the most expensive because they charged per kWh for energy AND per minute for "parking" even though it's in a gravel lot that was free... :p

kvogIxz4WL5yFU6SprxBZo4OFiVKhvuxzc_5WzWEmQDbbxheiI.png


As for charger reliability, there were two issues:

  • Rapid City, SD (Tesla) - one of the 4 Supercharger (V2) stalls was offline, the remaining 3 worked - the Tesla nav alerted me to this, was not a surprise.
  • Colorado Springs, CO (Electrify America) - the single solitary CHAdeMO dispenser was offline, even thought the app said "ready" when I planned the stop. This one was a surprise, and not a good one that EA's chargers can report online and "ready" when in fact they're dead as a doornail. Not even a software glitch - totally turned off.
In terms of charging speed, well that gets complicated. Because Tesla limits the CHAdeMO adapter to 50 kW, the CHAdeMO sessions were artificially slower than we'll experience in our Mach-Es.

The session average charging speed for Tesla Superchargers was 76.5 kW over the entire session, for an average Supercharge session time of 24.1 minutes, delivering an average of 28 kWh, or about 125 miles of range.

I don't know if this was helpful, but I find EVs fun to road trip in, and I'm looking forward to getting to explore the CCS infrastructure with my Mach-E next!

I'm encouraged, even tourist traps have added DCFC this year. Hopefully a sign of the promising future of EV road trips to come!


I'm always looking forward to the next road trip :D
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Wow! Blue Earth Minnesota (Green Giant). We've been there (not in an EV) I doubt there was any chargers there back then either (1999-2000ish).
 

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Hi all,

Thought I'd post a summary of a rather long road trip I took (in my Model 3, since my Mach-E obviously hasn't arrived yet!).

In 16 days, I drove 6,200 miles across 12 states, with a total of 52 DC Fast Charging sessions, and a few hotel AC charges, but those were pretty rare and I'm not including them here since they were free.

Prior to the trip, I bought the Tesla CHAdeMO adapter, with the idea that I'd try out networks other than Tesla, and because one place in particular - Dinosaur, Colorado, was too far away from a Supercharger and I needed CHAdeMO to make the trip.

1601127760989.png


While Tesla hasn't put a Supercharger in Dinosaur, Chargepoint has :D


So, that said, here's the final results: 52 DCFC (32 Tesla Superchargers, 8 Chargepoint CHAdeMO, 8 Electrify America CHAdeMO, 2 Greenlots, etc. etc. )

ZECrLmcgFdFMYfCe2NbWiSKdQFKMozm4J_5Fjxu0WAgx-RrNtY.png


From a cost perspective, averaging the costs of power delivered, including per kWh pricing where legal and time-based pricing elsewhere, Tesla comes out on top for the lowest cost/kWh, while ironically the most expensive charge was one single pay 7 kW J1772 AC charger which cost $22.24 for 31 kWh (time based), but was literally the only game in town (Cody, WY) and a the one "critical link" in the plan, so I had to pay what they asked.

F5lzggpeQIPKUW4TRoEZybCtfvwJ-94MGLz2krS8BwLc1LE3IE.png


95qVlRkguo8Kt5r4cNZuR-zcxrjDIKDDd_87r-7O1vfuEFFtV8.png


As some on here know, ChargePoint allows the individual site operator to set their own pricing, so here's the per kWh price breakdown for the Chargepoint units I used - that Dinosaur one was the most expensive because they charged per kWh for energy AND per minute for "parking" even though it's in a gravel lot that was free... :p

kvogIxz4WL5yFU6SprxBZo4OFiVKhvuxzc_5WzWEmQDbbxheiI.png


As for charger reliability, there were two issues:

  • Rapid City, SD (Tesla) - one of the 4 Supercharger (V2) stalls was offline, the remaining 3 worked - the Tesla nav alerted me to this, was not a surprise.
  • Colorado Springs, CO (Electrify America) - the single solitary CHAdeMO dispenser was offline, even thought the app said "ready" when I planned the stop. This one was a surprise, and not a good one that EA's chargers can report online and "ready" when in fact they're dead as a doornail. Not even a software glitch - totally turned off.
In terms of charging speed, well that gets complicated. Because Tesla limits the CHAdeMO adapter to 50 kW, the CHAdeMO sessions were artificially slower than we'll experience in our Mach-Es.

The session average charging speed for Tesla Superchargers was 76.5 kW over the entire session, for an average Supercharge session time of 24.1 minutes, delivering an average of 28 kWh, or about 125 miles of range.

I don't know if this was helpful, but I find EVs fun to road trip in, and I'm looking forward to getting to explore the CCS infrastructure with my Mach-E next!

I'm encouraged, even tourist traps have added DCFC this year. Hopefully a sign of the promising future of EV road trips to come!


I'm always looking forward to the next road trip :D
This is awesome! I've been following your adventures on Instagram. I took notice of your travels because I live in Colorado and you posted from a lot of familiar locations. I've even showed your posts to my wife to show her some of the charging possibilities.
 

dbsb3233

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Nice report! I don't think we'll be as adventurous on road trips when we have a gas Escape to pick from sitting in our garage too, but there's certainly a "challenge" aspect to doing it in a BEV instead. It's almost like it's a game of sorts. Like a road rally.
 
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Jolteon

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Nice report! I don't think we'll be as adventurous on road trips when we have a gas Escape to pick from sitting in our garage too, but there's certainly a "challenge" aspect to doing it in a BEV instead. It's almost like it's a game of sorts. Like a road rally.
There was definitely an element of that "challenge" in certain days.

Sheridan -> Cody -> Riverton, WY in one day, when the only charger en route is 1x J1772 in Cody that required 5 hours to top up enough to coast into Riverton... that was the only "less fun" challenge, hopefully at some point even a 50 kW CCS/CHAdeMO station gets put in in Cody, and then that'd become an easy day.

Some of the more rural chargers did attract some attention - in Meeker, CO a few people stopped to ask how I got the Tesla there lol
 

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Looks like this was a great experience for you!

How much advance planning did you do, versus just checking in-car or in-app maps whenever heading back out on the road?

I noticed in some of the Instagram posts that you mentioned trying to limit use of Superchargers as much as possible, so you can be more prepared for the Mach-E. How did that work out? Did you ever NEED to use a Supercharger in order to get to the sight seeing or motel stops that you wanted?
 
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Jolteon

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Looks like this was a great experience for you!

How much advance planning did you do, versus just checking in-car or in-app maps whenever heading back out on the road?

I noticed in some of the Instagram posts that you mentioned trying to limit use of Superchargers as much as possible, so you can be more prepared for the Mach-E. How did that work out? Did you ever NEED to use a Supercharger in order to get to the sight seeing or motel stops that you wanted?
I did advance planning for the "out of the way" destinations - specifically I wanted to go through Bighorn National Forest and over to Cody to see the Buffalo Bill Dam (I'm a big infrastructure nerd), and I checked with A Better Route Planner to verify that I couldn't do that trip without a charge in Cody, found that 1 J1772, and decided to risk it, that as a worst-case, there was an RV park in town and I had my NEMA 14-50 adapter in the frunk.

The other thing was Dinosaur National Monument - where I needed the CHAdeMO adapter or otherwise I'd have had to take an extra day and charge overnight somewhere near it.

Otherwise I relied on the car, other than finding the CHAdeMOs that I wanted to check out, and then overruling the car's nav to get there. You can hit "Remove Charging Stops" in the Tesla nav and it will delete any Superchargers it has planned, so you can see what the risks with your own plan are ;)

As to where I needed Superchargers - South Dakota and Wyoming. The last CHAdeMO charger on my route was I-80 West is in Blue Earth, Minnesota, until I was near Denver. I used 9 Superchargers in South Dakota and Wyoming that the trip would not have been possible without.

Other than those 2 states, I could have done the whole trip on CHAdeMO (or CCS in a Mach-E), but I didn't only because Tesla limits the CHAdeMO adapter to 50 kW, and that's a huge increase in charging time... when you're charging 52 times in two weeks.
 
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