Adventures of our Grabber Blue Space Pony...

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Holey spent electrons, Batman!

We're at 20,000 miles already!

Time for the second service. It feels like we just did the first. Tires look great. Haven't had a chance to open up the frunk and look at fluid levels. We go through a lot of washer fluid, but we did just recently (6 months ago) move to a place on a gravel road.

My pickup truck also wants its 25,000 miles service. It's a 2019. Can you guess which vehicle we prefer to drive?

Ford Mustang Mach-E Adventures of our Grabber Blue Space Pony... Screen Shot 2023-05-19 at 16.00.21
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We recently returned from a trip of more than 2100 miles. I had a big write-up with each stop identified, etc., but I guess the forum software doesn't keep those drafts indefinitely.

I'm not going to write it all up again.

Summary:
  1. Northern Arizona to Los Angeles (I-40, I-15, CA-210)
  2. Driving around for a few days
  3. LA to Redding (CA-210, I-5)
  4. Drive around for a few days
  5. Redding to Bakersfield (I-5, CA-99)
  6. Bakersfield to Northern Arizona (CA-58, I-40)
The Bad:
The Needles charging station was overheating so we were limited to around 50 kW, which was annoying.

There was a charging station just north of Sacramento where someone unplugged us while we were inside using the restroom. That was annoying.

The charging station about an hour south of Redding had several rental car drivers who didn't know what they were doing so it was a bit of a mess. That was annoying.

Highway 99 is just terrible. We were in stop-and-go for a couple of hours between small towns on our way home.

Ford's navigation still does the stupid thing of telling me to get off the freeway and then back on immediately.
Ford Mustang Mach-E Adventures of our Grabber Blue Space Pony... PXL_20230607_170104289.MP~2

The Good:
I loved the stop at Kettleman City. We were down to around 34% so didn't really need to stop, but it was lunch time. So we stopped and went across the road to Bravo Farms. We ordered a couple of salads, grabbed some hot coffee from the nearby coffee shop, and went back to collect our lunch. The Mustang was at 80% by the time we'd grabbed lunch and hit 89% before we were back to the vehicle.

Our overall efficiency was 3.5 miles/kWh for the full trip. We got more around town, of course, but the number of miles driven around town was small compared with the freeway miles. We kept to within a few mph of the speed limit whenever possible. There were some fog banks on the I-5 leaving the LA area, and traffic was slower going over the foggy mountains. Big trucks passing other big trucks sometimes slowed us down. And the stop-and-go on the 99 was annoying.

The Great:
Still love the Mustang!

This is still a fantastic road trip car. The only vehicle that we've ever had that was better was a Toyota Sienna...If Toyota ever gets its act together, we would seriously consider an all-electric Sienna, but only if we didn't have to sell the Mustang to get it.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Adventures of our Grabber Blue Space Pony... PXL_20230610_180232076


Ford Mustang Mach-E Adventures of our Grabber Blue Space Pony... PXL_20230607_180010868


Ford Mustang Mach-E Adventures of our Grabber Blue Space Pony... PXL_20230607_183017618
 
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We now have >22,000 miles on the car, have charged at Electrify America fast chargers more than 50 times and at other DCFCs more than a dozen times. CarScanner says we have 96.5% SoH on the battery, for whatever that's worth.
 
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I have an upcoming trip that requires that I drive the Tacoma instead of the Mustang. Ugh.

I was driving the Tacoma for a different reason and since I was down around 25% of a tank, I went to the gas station to fill up because---even though the trip isn't for a while---I had a $1/gallon discount built up from the grocery store points scheme and they're nearly expired.

Even with that discount, I paid about five times what I would pay to charge the Mustang to drive an equivalent distance, also from 25% SOC.

The gas station was smelly and gross. If I had arrived a few minutes later, I would have had to wait in a line.

When I decided I was going to get gas, I started timing it. It took 22 minutes to leave the highway, get to the gas station, pump gas, pay (the payment was rejected twice, so I had to choose a different card), and finally get back on the road.

I'm soo close to not waiting for my nearly-ideal EV pickup and just getting something that gets me out of having to have a dead dinosaur juice burning vehicle.
 
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This isn't a report on a road trip with the Mustang. For this road trip, we towed the travel trailer behind the Tacoma from northern AZ to the Sierra Nevadas for a family reunion camping trip.

We got terrible mileage (8-10 miles/gallon), even at 55/60 mph. This was no surprise. Neither was that the gas cost was around $5/gallon or more at every stop. The total fuel cost was significantly higher than if we'd had an electric truck as our tow vehicle. We stopped for gas every 125 to 180 miles, depending on terrain, wind, and gas station availability. Sometimes we had to stop when we were at half a tank because the next station was far enough away to cause concern about making it.

On the way home, we ended up deciding to leave two extremely overcrowded large gas stations with overly anxious and angry people and hope we could make it another 50 miles to the next one. We made it with 7 miles on our GOM, which was dropping quicker than 1 mile of range per mile traveled. We were traveling at 55 mph on the 75 mph highway with 90 mph traffic.

If I never again have to visit another gas station, it will be too soon. Even at its best (17 mpg), the Tacoma is an energy hog.

The Mustang has spoiled me with creature comforts, energy efficiency, and road trip worthiness. I wish I had the money for a Lightning.

On the other hand, our nearly 100% electric camping trailer was great. We left home with 100% SOC on our 360 Ah (4.3kWh) LiFePO4 battery bank. The battery runs the fridge & freezer, fans, water pump, etc., etc., etc., but not the cooktop, which is gas but will soon be replaced with an induction cooktop. The water heater is also gas and I haven't found a convincing low-voltage electric replacement just yet.

The tow vehicle powers the trailer's electric brakes and lights, but does not charge the battery because the 7-pin harness is not a charge conduit. And because the solar charge controller doesn't like the low amperage or quality of the incoming power from the 7-pin harness. I have a DC power conditioner that I haven't had time to install. Once that's installed, I can hook up an alternate circuit for higher-amperage charging while driving. I will likely replace the 140 amp alternator with a 280 amp alternator in the near future too...unless we can find the money for a Lightning.

We had poor sun during most of our camping, so our 400 watts of solar panels didn't do us much good. They provided some recharge, but every day we were lower than the day before. This was not a surprise. After a week of camping off-grid, we left our campsite with 65% charge. We stayed at a full-hookup campsite on our last night away from home. We arrived with about 60% charge and the 30A hookup pumped the charge up to about 80% over night. It was very hot (110+ F), so the fridge and freezer were working at nearly 100% duty cycle for the day and night, and the AC ran most of the night, but all was fine in the end.

We have our setup just about dialed in on the trailer (needs the aforementioned parts, an inverter installed, and a softstart on the AC unit and we can spend a week or two in the southwest desert working from "home").

And now I'm wishing I had a better tow vehicle. Until we got the Mustang, I considered the Tacoma to be a fantastic tow vehicle. Now...? The Tacoma is not electric; it's loudly noisy; it's not nearly as comfortable to drive; it's more of a pain to stop for gas than I remembered; it's still just as capable as it's always been, but the Mustang showed me a different universe and now I'm seeing greener grass over the electric fence.
 


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Going for a short (~100 miles) pleasure drive this evening.

Conundrum:

  • Do I take the Mustang with its AC (it's 93 F at 6:00 PM), no hassles, and super fun driving profile.
  • Or do I ride the motorcycle with its completely different handling and fun profile? But it's hot (I wear all the gear all the time), it needs gas, and it's not electric.
I'll probably take the Kawasaki because 'tis the season. I sure do wish there were some affordable electric motorcycles out there.
 
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Haven't been on much lately. Work is overwhelming right now. But we've done a few more road trips. Most recently my usual 1100 mile round trip to the Los Angeles area and back, but this time through Phoenix on the way out.

We spent a weekend in the Phoenix area. For some reason our mobile charger was removed from the Mustang (probably by me) and I forgot to put it back in, so we didn't get our usual trickle charge during the weekend. That meant we needed to go to a fast charger on our way out of town heading to LA along the 10. We stopped at the Electrify America chargers in Buckeye, charged up to around 85%, and hit the road.

We knew we were probably not going to stop in Quartzsite, as that station is notoriously problematic and has long lines. As we passed by it, we could see from the highway that our decision to continue on was confirmed. Instead, we stopped at the Denny's in Blythe for lunch and a charge. The heat had slowed down the charger from its nominal 63 kW to about 27 kW. Still, with a half-hour lunch stop, that boosted us up from 42% to about 57%, which was plenty to get us to Indio (arrived with 21%).

We left the Indio fast chargers with about 72% charge and arrived at our destination in the LA area with 33% charge. While on the road, we ordered a new, cheap mobile L1 charger and it arrived the same evening. We plugged in and hit 100% by the end of the week, even with driving around, running errands, work meetings, etc.

We did end up using a bunch of that charge on a trip to dinner on the beach the night before we were leaving. We left the next morning with about 63% charge, parked in a no-charging location for a few days while we played on Catalina Island.

We left the Long Beach Catalina Shuttle parking lot with about 50% charge and arrived at the Barstow EA charging station with about 18%. Traffic leaving Long Beach all the way through to the 15 was stop-and-go. We rarely got up to 55 mph. The drive from Long Beach to Barstow is typically 2.5-3 hours, but with traffic it took us about four hours.

We had a late lunch and left with 85% charge.

I napped during the drive from Barstow. While I was sleeping, my partner made the decision to skip the Needles charging station. No blame here, I probably would have done the same. We arrived at the Kingman charging station with 4% charge and about 0.5 of the 4 chargers working. Another Mustang was on one charger, getting about 30 kW and was aiming for 100% SOC. We plugged into the only other charger that was online and got about 73 kW. We chatted with the other driver for about an hour before we both left. We left with 82% charge.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Adventures of our Grabber Blue Space Pony... PXL_20230914_021857227 (1)


A big rig with a 400 kWh battery but only a CCS-1 charge port took our spot. They said they had driven from Chicago for some stress testing and the drivers were definitely stressed.

We made it home with 21%. I suppose we could have left 15 minutes earlier, but we weren't in a huge rush. We got to chat with a few different people, learn a teeny-tiny bit about a new EV semi truck being developed, etc. They asked us not to take photos and they were cagey about the company they worked for. There were Kenworth flaps hanging off the truck, but I don't know if their company was Kenworth--this might have just been the donor chassis for testing a motor or battery.

Nearby, a diesel pickup truck was blocking traffic while they tried to figure out what was wrong. They'd been there since before the other Mustang had arrived and were there after we left. I've done my share of late-night repairs in parking lots and alongside highways. I don't miss working on fossil fuel vehicles in the middle of the night. I'll be so happy when I can trade in my pickup and motorcycle for their EV replacements.
 
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I've been too busy for forums.
The Mustang now has 30,000 miles on it. No problems.

I recently received an annoying letter declaring we would need to bring the car in for a hardware recall at some point. Sigh. Guess we'll do that when the time comes.

Last week I had a work conference in San Francisco, so we took a little mini vacation to drive from northern AZ to the Bay Area.

The drive to Bakersfield was without incident. We stayed the night at a hotel that boasted chargers, but they were both expensive and turned off after a short charging session. We left Bakersfield with only 50% charge, but that was plenty to reach Kettleman City where we got breakfast and coffee. Breakfast took long enough that the car was charged to 90% before we were ready to go.

We made a last-minute decision to skip the rest of the I-5 and headed through wine country and to the coast.

We followed the Pacific Coast Highway for as far as we could, then headed into the city.

Parking in the city is wildly expensive. But... That's the way it is.

We got a full charge at an L2 charger while parked overnight in a garage.

We visited Muir Woods the next day. Did some wandering around the city, and I worked on my conference presentations.

DW flew home to go back to work. I continued work for another could of days. The car sat parked (expensively) for a couple of days.

After the conference, I needed to visit a collaborator in Los Angeles, so I headed south on the 1, 101, 5, and eventually the 210.

After a couple of days, some L1 charging, work and visits, I headed back to AZ.

Another road trip in the books. This time approximately 1800 miles. Minor to no charging issues. One VW charged to 100% at a full station. One station was all down, but we had the range to get to the next one.

After about 21 months of ownership, I still love this car, especially for road trips. I've lost interest in tracking charge times, range, et cetera. I do still track the rough total efficiency of the car. We're getting around 3.3-3.5 miles per kWh average over the 30k miles on the car.

No photos, sadly. We were too busy and distracted.
 
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Nice reports ! your getting the best out of it
The Mustang is, by far, the best vehicle we've ever owned. We've had zero issues with the vehicle. The recall fix for the HVBJB is going to be the biggest inconvenience we'll experience, and I'm still on the fence about whether I'll bother with taking it in.
 
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Two more vacation road trips done.

First was a quick, "short" trip down off the mountain to the Tucson desert. We left with 100% charge, though it was icy and we did need to warm up the car and defrost the windows. The drive down was a one-way distance of 265 miles, which meant no need to stop, other than for a quick restroom break. Our favorite charger on the way down is at a place that's closed on holidays, so we didn't bother with stopping (we usually stop here for a quick charge while going to the restroom). We arrived in Tucson with about 20% charge remaining. Our accommodations also didn't have a charger, but we had plenty of range for all of the around-town driving, so it wasn't a big deal.

After a night of visiting, we headed home the next day. I had a business call, so we timed our charge stop so I could have good signal for the call. After a just less than hour-long call, we were up to 90% (from about 8%) and good to go. We did stop in Anthem, mostly because my partner still experiences range anxiety up the mountain, and we needed a quick restroom break anyway. We left the chargers with 71% and got home with 21%. And, no, we didn't go slow on the freeway--we mostly kept up with the fast traffic.

The next day we were home, and charged to 100%. The day after, we headed to Albuquerque. We stopped in Gallup for a short stop, mostly because we needed the pee break, but we charged up too--might as well. The place we stayed didn't have any charging infrastructure, but that was fine, we had enough charge for around town driving. The next day, we used the EA chargers at Walmart to get up to 90% while we had lunch.

We did some exploring, took the tramway ride, had dinner, visited with family, and then the today we headed home. We did stop in Gallup on the way home too, but only charged to about 79% with the plan of stopping in Winslow if necessary. There was no wind or adverse weather, so we didn't stop. We arrived at home with 20% charge. Coming up the mountain, we got about 3.3 miles/kWh, which surprised me because this leg of our road trips is usually pretty bad (2.7 or so), but then we didn't have any adverse weather, and we usually are driving into the wind.

Anyway, we're well on our way to 35,000 miles and I guess I need to look at the maintenance schedule.
 

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Two more vacation road trips done.

First was a quick, "short" trip down off the mountain to the Tucson desert. We left with 100% charge, though it was icy and we did need to warm up the car and defrost the windows. The drive down was a one-way distance of 265 miles, which meant no need to stop, other than for a quick restroom break. Our favorite charger on the way down is at a place that's closed on holidays, so we didn't bother with stopping (we usually stop here for a quick charge while going to the restroom). We arrived in Tucson with about 20% charge remaining. Our accommodations also didn't have a charger, but we had plenty of range for all of the around-town driving, so it wasn't a big deal.

After a night of visiting, we headed home the next day. I had a business call, so we timed our charge stop so I could have good signal for the call. After a just less than hour-long call, we were up to 90% (from about 8%) and good to go. We did stop in Anthem, mostly because my partner still experiences range anxiety up the mountain, and we needed a quick restroom break anyway. We left the chargers with 71% and got home with 21%. And, no, we didn't go slow on the freeway--we mostly kept up with the fast traffic.

The next day we were home, and charged to 100%. The day after, we headed to Albuquerque. We stopped in Gallup for a short stop, mostly because we needed the pee break, but we charged up too--might as well. The place we stayed didn't have any charging infrastructure, but that was fine, we had enough charge for around town driving. The next day, we used the EA chargers at Walmart to get up to 90% while we had lunch.

We did some exploring, took the tramway ride, had dinner, visited with family, and then the today we headed home. We did stop in Gallup on the way home too, but only charged to about 79% with the plan of stopping in Winslow if necessary. There was no wind or adverse weather, so we didn't stop. We arrived at home with 20% charge. Coming up the mountain, we got about 3.3 miles/kWh, which surprised me because this leg of our road trips is usually pretty bad (2.7 or so), but then we didn't have any adverse weather, and we usually are driving into the wind.

Anyway, we're well on our way to 35,000 miles and I guess I need to look at the maintenance schedule.
Hopefully you got some good NM cuisine while in NM. We lived there for 35+ years and in addition to our friends we really miss the food. We've yet to find anything that approximates NM cuisine our here on the central coast of CA.
 
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Hopefully you got some good NM cuisine while in NM. We lived there for 35+ years and in addition to our friends we really miss the food. We've yet to find anything that approximates NM cuisine our here on the central coast of CA.
Had a great breakfast at the Flying Star!
 

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Had a great breakfast at the Flying Star!
Which used to be called the Double Rainbow until the DR company (SF based ice cream) didn't want to be associated with the DR in Abq when it wanted to branch out to food other then ice cream. History here.
 
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Which used to be called the Double Rainbow until the DR company (SF based ice cream) didn't want to be associated with the DR in Abq when it wanted to branch out to food other then ice cream. History here.
Interesting. My connections to the area are only since about 2002.
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