First long trip, range anxiety, inadequate EV charging stations

baldeagle47

Member
First Name
Stan
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Threads
1
Messages
5
Reaction score
12
Location
Ann Arbor Mi
Vehicles
Mustang Mach E first edition
Occupation
retired
Country flag

We carried out our first long trip in our Rapid Red First Edition, which, of course, is Extended Range and AWD. The trip was from Michigan to Indianapolis. The total distance is 270 miles, barely on the cusp of being within range of not having to charge along the way. The most pleasant, shortest route is through rural Ohio and Indiana, where Fort Wayne is the only major city before you reach Indianapolis. I studied the availability of DC chargers along the route. To my surprise, and chagrin, the only two available DC chargers on that route were ChargePoint sites at Harley Davidson dealers, one in Napoleon, Ohio, 80 miles from my starting point, the other in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but on the far side of the city, 9 miles out of my way. Though these two chargers were both CCS, they were rated about 29 kW. The next DC charger was about 20 miles outside of Indianapolis, rated at 50kW. Oh yeah, I forgot to add that at each of these sites there was only one, I repeat, ONE, charger. I realized if I planned to stop at any of these, and it was being used, I was screwed. My goal was to reach an Electrify America site in Indianapolis, a site that was south of the city, about 8 miles out of the way to get to my destination. If I took a different route, using the Ohio Turnpike, there are Electrify America chargers at a rest stop, 150kW, but that route added about 25 miles, 30 minutes, and tolls.

I charged to 100% on my home charger. The dashboard indicated a range of only 250 miles, not quite enough to make it. Even if that was an underestimate, it would be tight. I planned what I thought would be the most efficient strategy. I would stop in Napoleon, Ohio, an easy off/easy on site about 80 miles away, and recharge to 100%. That would easily get me to my destination with miles to spare. I watched the availability of that charger for a few days before I left. It was rarely in use. I also thought that if I used Whisper Mode and controlled my speed, I would have no problems. The weather report for the day of my trip was it would be mid 70s but raining all day.

First Problem: I pulled into to the charge station with 75% remaining charge. No problems connecting. After charging for 16 minutes, the charger stopped when I reached 80%. Despite charging at 20kW, it slowed to nothing at 80%. It was a DC charger. This added only about 15 miles of estimated range. I was still on the edge of reaching my destination without another charge.

Did I mention it was raining. It rained steadily, sometimes very hard, such that speeds were often limited. We noted that at our usage was about 3.3mi/kWH at 60 MPH, but 2.7 at 65MPH. Of course, less at 70.

A new strategy emerged, keep the speed down and we could probably make it to the Electrify America site in Indy. We did maintain a usage of about 3.3- 3.5 miles/kWH at 60 mph, but in the end, we saw there was a lot of traffic ahead and we chickened out. About 20 miles outside of Indy there was a convenient EVgo site, a single charger, rated at 50kW. Our FordPass App told us it was available, and that turned out to be correct. We also used the App for a quick “handshake” with the charger. 29 minutes later, we had added 25% charge, up to 50% total charge, enough to go to our hotel and for weekend use. We would deal with the Electrify America site on our way home on Sunday. We assumed there would be no excessive city traffic slowing us down on the 8 mile trip out of the way to the site.

There was no problem with EA to start our trip home. We got onto a 350kW charger easily. The App worked well, and utilized my free Ford Charging balance. We charged from 33% to 80% in 28 minutes. This was the first charging station where we encountered other EVs.

Right next to us was a Porsche Taycan, gorgeous, first I had ever seen. The driver had driven it from Florida. He said he had no problems finding chargers until he reached Indiana. He was now letting his charge continue to 100% because of anticipated range issues for the next segment of his trip. It was at that point adding only one mile of range per minute. We were also joined by a retired Ford Exec, a Lincoln, non-EV, driver, who stopped to talk to me about the Mach E. He was a very pleasant man who was full of questions. He stayed with us the entire time we charged. He also asked the Porsche driver the cost of his vehicle, $180,000. Later a VW ID.4 and another Mach E pulled up. We decided we would not charge (slowly) beyond 80%, but that meant we would have to charge on the way home. (On the way out of the shopping center where we charged, a young boy, about 10yo was jumping up and down, pointing to our Mach E with excitement.)

Our strategy for going home was very conservative. On leaving Indy, we decided to maximize our range by going at a lower speed. At 60 mph, we were getting 3.5 – 3.7 miles/ Kw. If this was accurate, and held true, that calculated to a possible range of 325 miles!! (88 X 3.7). Even at 3.5 that would be 308 miles. Problem was, we topped out at 80% at EA, so best scenario would be 260 miles, not quite enough to get us home. We would have to charge again on the road.

We decided we would stop in Fort Wayne at the Charge point at another Harley dealer. It was about halfway home, even though using this charger would add 9 miles to the trip. We watched the Ford App off and on for about an hour before we got there to make sure this single charger site would be available.

We checked the Harley charging site again when we were less than 5 miles away. It was still available. Unfortunately, as we pulled up, a VW ID.4 was charging. As my heart sank, having driven out of the way to get there, I asked the driver how long he thought he would be. To my delight, he said only a few minutes. He was a very pleasant chap, lived locally, and said he was “topping off.” This charger, by the way, is free. He finished in about 5 minutes (I don’t know if he just had pity on us, not wanting to make us wait). We started charging without difficulty, but saw the rate of delivery was under 20 kW, despite being a DC charger. We plugged in at 44%. We had 150 miles to go. Not wanting to be take risks, we decided to charge 65% which, under worst case scenarios (3 miles/kw) would get us home with 20 miles to spare. Of course, charging at 20 kW, it took us 1 hour to get to 65%.

On the way home, we experimented, assessing utilization at varying speeds, using cruise control all the time. To not make a long story longer, at 55 mph, over one hour (with a lot of unhappy drivers behind us) we averaged over 4.1 miles/Kw, or estimated range of 360 miles!!!. At 60 mph, we varied around 3.5-3.7. or 308 miles- 325 miles. The range estimator on the dashboard, initially suggested, after charging in Fort Wayne, that we had about 25 miles in excess for getting home. As we drove at lower speeds, this safety factor continued to grow, reaching 60 miles when we got home with 17% charge left (at 4 miles/ kW). We reset trip stats along the way, which validated the utilization numbers. I charged to 100% overnight. The range estimator the next morning suggested I could go 300 miles!!

Another thing, it was a hot day. We used the air conditioning all the way, which took 4% of energy use. Other accessories used 2%, so we were using only 94% for driving range.

Bottom line: 1) there are places in this country that are very EV unfriendly. They are frustrating and require planning. 2) you can extend the range of the Mach E beyond 300 miles if you are willing to sacrifice speed. 3) If only “slower” chargers are available on your trip, you will likely do better, that is take less time, by driving slower and not having to stop to charge.

Next plan is a trip to Chicago, about 260 miles to our destination. There are several EA sites in Chicago, one 4 miles from our destination. My plan is to charge to 100% at home, then monitor speed so we don’t need to charge on the way. We will charge to 80% at EA, but before leaving for home, I will charge at one of several free J 1772 sites in the small town where we will be, to get to 100%. I hope this will alleviate any range anxiety, and we will not have to charge on the way home.

 

theo1000

Well-Known Member
First Name
Theo
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Threads
0
Messages
447
Reaction score
568
Location
Shawnee, KS
Vehicles
Mach-E 2021 IB, Audi Etron, Chevy Volt, BMW I3,
Country flag
Glad it all worked out.

Just be thankful you don't live further west like I do. Anytime I get off the interstates, toll roads, sometimes even on those, the DCFC charging is non-existent and often a single station.

White knuckle driving at its best.... o_O
 

Mach-Lee

Well-Known Member
First Name
Lee
Joined
Jul 16, 2021
Threads
43
Messages
1,317
Reaction score
2,072
Location
Wisconsin
Vehicles
2022 Mach-E Premium AWD
Occupation
Sci/Eng
Country flag
FYI there are apps like PlugShare that can help you with the route planning after plugging in your EV specs.

Sounds like you made the rookie mistake of trying to charge too early in your route, if the battery is already close to full it can't take much more charge. Also charging above 80% gets really slow.

In general for a long trip, charge right before you leave to 100%, then target DC charging once you get down to about 25% (this give you some flexibility if the charger is busy or broken). DC charge back up to 80%, more than that just gets really slow. Continue with the 25% to 80% plan until you reach your destination to minimize stops and wait time (this means stops about every 150 miles).

At least for now, most people using DC fast chargers are polite, go ahead and ask them how long they'll be using it if they are busy. A lot of times they won't be there long or will finish up early if they know you are waiting. Some people are just convenience charging so they can leave early. If you say you're on a road trip and almost dead most people would be happy to give you some priority. So don't just drive away the second you see the charger busy, ask!

The Mach-E has been meeting and exceeding it's range estimates so you don't need to worry so much. It also takes 500 miles of driving for the range meter to be accurate to your driving. 280 miles going 70 mph seems to be possible. You can still drive ~5 miles after it gets to 0% battery as an emergency safety net, but you should avoid doing this.

Also reminder not to charge above 90% unless you will be driving the car immediately afterwards to avoid battery degradation. Do not charge to 100% and let the car sit.
 
Last edited:

Nklem

Well-Known Member
First Name
Norm
Joined
May 20, 2021
Threads
79
Messages
1,065
Reaction score
1,404
Location
Coast of Maine
Vehicles
Hyundai Ioniq EV, 2021 Premium AWD ER
Occupation
Mechanical Engineer
Country flag
Welcome to EV Ownership. I have owned one for two years and now have a Mach E too. You have experienced exactly what I have, over two years, and not one new fast charger has been installed since October of 2019 within 106 miles of me (and my Hyundai has a 110 mile Winter range) .

I am glad it worked out and it is kind of fun rolling the dice in available stations for a trip like this. Planning is fun as well. You learned quickly how speed and route makes a huge difference. Remember you only have a 2.5 gallon gas tank. Quite amazing how far you can go.

I had planned a trip to Massachusetts with My Hyundai in April. I had it all planned got ready to go and found I forgot to plug it in. After I had enough Level 2 charge to get to the next fast charger 106 miles away, I could not make it the specialty store in time, before 5:00 PM (when it closed) if any of the Single charger stations in Mass were in use. I had to scrap the trip.

I wrote the governor in 2019 when I got my Hyundai telling her how bad the infrastructure was in Maine (and I am in touristy Bar Harbor) and to date nothing has been done.

Maybe in 5 years we can use our EVs to the fullest intent……
 
Last edited:

jrstinkfish

Well-Known Member
First Name
Scott
Joined
May 9, 2021
Threads
2
Messages
184
Reaction score
263
Location
Memphis, TN
Vehicles
2021 Mach-E Premium RWD SR Infinite Blue
Country flag
Sounds like you made the rookie mistake of trying to charge too early in your route, if the battery is already close to full it can't take much more charge. Also charging above 80% gets really slow.
And the rookie mistake of thinking you can charge to 100% at every stop and factoring that into your route. Having never used a fast charging station on a road trip before (all my EV driving was in town), I was a bit panicked my first time when I saw the charge rate drop so hard after 80% and the estimated time to 100% being hours away. Luckily my route had plenty of chargers, so I just had to add more stops than I had originally planned.
 


praxiscat

Well-Known Member
First Name
Christine
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Threads
3
Messages
160
Reaction score
324
Location
DC
Vehicles
Mustang Mach-E, Tesla Model 3
Country flag
This is why I like living in the eastern megagapolis no shortage of chargers. It has never been hard to find one.
 
OP
OP

baldeagle47

Member
First Name
Stan
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Threads
1
Messages
5
Reaction score
12
Location
Ann Arbor Mi
Vehicles
Mustang Mach E first edition
Occupation
retired
Country flag
Just to clarify, I looked at FordPass, Chargepoint, Plug and Go , EVgo, Greenlots, Blink, and Electrify America sites, as well as Google Maps, Waze and any other sites I could reference to look ahead for chargers. The route I took, had only the chargers I referenced and a few J1772. I was mistaken in thinking that the low energy DC chargers (20-25 kW) might not slow down at 80%. Northern Ohio between Toledo and Fort Wayne, Indiana is a void, as well as northeastern Indiana
 

Mach-Lee

Well-Known Member
First Name
Lee
Joined
Jul 16, 2021
Threads
43
Messages
1,317
Reaction score
2,072
Location
Wisconsin
Vehicles
2022 Mach-E Premium AWD
Occupation
Sci/Eng
Country flag
Just to clarify, I looked at FordPass, Chargepoint, Plug and Go , EVgo, Greenlots, Blink, and Electrify America sites, as well as Google Maps, Waze and any other sites I could reference to look ahead for chargers. The route I took, had only the chargers I referenced and a few J1772. I was mistaken in thinking that the low energy DC chargers (20-25 kW) might not slow down at 80%. Northern Ohio between Toledo and Fort Wayne, Indiana is a void, as well as northeastern Indiana
This is what I came up with, one stop at the EA station near West Unity, OH would likely do it. Charge up to 90% before leaving Indy on the way back. Yes not many fast chargers on that stretch but doable with only one charger stop.

Screen Shot 2021-07-20 at 3.35.17 PM.png
 

HDer

Well-Known Member
First Name
Yi
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Threads
5
Messages
80
Reaction score
64
Location
San Jose
Vehicles
InfiniteBlueRt1, 07XterraManual
Country flag
Great write up!
 

ChasingCoral

Well-Known Member
First Name
Mark
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Threads
273
Messages
10,039
Reaction score
20,176
Location
Maryland
Vehicles
GB E4X FE, Leaf, Tacoma, F-150 Lightning ordered
Occupation
Retired oceanographer
Country flag

We carried out our first long trip in our Rapid Red First Edition, which, of course, is Extended Range and AWD. The trip was from Michigan to Indianapolis. The total distance is 270 miles, barely on the cusp of being within range of not having to charge along the way. The most pleasant, shortest route is through rural Ohio and Indiana, where Fort Wayne is the only major city before you reach Indianapolis. I studied the availability of DC chargers along the route. To my surprise, and chagrin, the only two available DC chargers on that route were ChargePoint sites at Harley Davidson dealers, one in Napoleon, Ohio, 80 miles from my starting point, the other in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but on the far side of the city, 9 miles out of my way. Though these two chargers were both CCS, they were rated about 29 kW. The next DC charger was about 20 miles outside of Indianapolis, rated at 50kW. Oh yeah, I forgot to add that at each of these sites there was only one, I repeat, ONE, charger. I realized if I planned to stop at any of these, and it was being used, I was screwed. My goal was to reach an Electrify America site in Indianapolis, a site that was south of the city, about 8 miles out of the way to get to my destination. If I took a different route, using the Ohio Turnpike, there are Electrify America chargers at a rest stop, 150kW, but that route added about 25 miles, 30 minutes, and tolls.

I charged to 100% on my home charger. The dashboard indicated a range of only 250 miles, not quite enough to make it. Even if that was an underestimate, it would be tight. I planned what I thought would be the most efficient strategy. I would stop in Napoleon, Ohio, an easy off/easy on site about 80 miles away, and recharge to 100%. That would easily get me to my destination with miles to spare. I watched the availability of that charger for a few days before I left. It was rarely in use. I also thought that if I used Whisper Mode and controlled my speed, I would have no problems. The weather report for the day of my trip was it would be mid 70s but raining all day.

First Problem: I pulled into to the charge station with 75% remaining charge. No problems connecting. After charging for 16 minutes, the charger stopped when I reached 80%. Despite charging at 20kW, it slowed to nothing at 80%. It was a DC charger. This added only about 15 miles of estimated range. I was still on the edge of reaching my destination without another charge.

Did I mention it was raining. It rained steadily, sometimes very hard, such that speeds were often limited. We noted that at our usage was about 3.3mi/kWH at 60 MPH, but 2.7 at 65MPH. Of course, less at 70.

A new strategy emerged, keep the speed down and we could probably make it to the Electrify America site in Indy. We did maintain a usage of about 3.3- 3.5 miles/kWH at 60 mph, but in the end, we saw there was a lot of traffic ahead and we chickened out. About 20 miles outside of Indy there was a convenient EVgo site, a single charger, rated at 50kW. Our FordPass App told us it was available, and that turned out to be correct. We also used the App for a quick “handshake” with the charger. 29 minutes later, we had added 25% charge, up to 50% total charge, enough to go to our hotel and for weekend use. We would deal with the Electrify America site on our way home on Sunday. We assumed there would be no excessive city traffic slowing us down on the 8 mile trip out of the way to the site.

There was no problem with EA to start our trip home. We got onto a 350kW charger easily. The App worked well, and utilized my free Ford Charging balance. We charged from 33% to 80% in 28 minutes. This was the first charging station where we encountered other EVs.

Right next to us was a Porsche Taycan, gorgeous, first I had ever seen. The driver had driven it from Florida. He said he had no problems finding chargers until he reached Indiana. He was now letting his charge continue to 100% because of anticipated range issues for the next segment of his trip. It was at that point adding only one mile of range per minute. We were also joined by a retired Ford Exec, a Lincoln, non-EV, driver, who stopped to talk to me about the Mach E. He was a very pleasant man who was full of questions. He stayed with us the entire time we charged. He also asked the Porsche driver the cost of his vehicle, $180,000. Later a VW ID.4 and another Mach E pulled up. We decided we would not charge (slowly) beyond 80%, but that meant we would have to charge on the way home. (On the way out of the shopping center where we charged, a young boy, about 10yo was jumping up and down, pointing to our Mach E with excitement.)

Our strategy for going home was very conservative. On leaving Indy, we decided to maximize our range by going at a lower speed. At 60 mph, we were getting 3.5 – 3.7 miles/ Kw. If this was accurate, and held true, that calculated to a possible range of 325 miles!! (88 X 3.7). Even at 3.5 that would be 308 miles. Problem was, we topped out at 80% at EA, so best scenario would be 260 miles, not quite enough to get us home. We would have to charge again on the road.

We decided we would stop in Fort Wayne at the Charge point at another Harley dealer. It was about halfway home, even though using this charger would add 9 miles to the trip. We watched the Ford App off and on for about an hour before we got there to make sure this single charger site would be available.

We checked the Harley charging site again when we were less than 5 miles away. It was still available. Unfortunately, as we pulled up, a VW ID.4 was charging. As my heart sank, having driven out of the way to get there, I asked the driver how long he thought he would be. To my delight, he said only a few minutes. He was a very pleasant chap, lived locally, and said he was “topping off.” This charger, by the way, is free. He finished in about 5 minutes (I don’t know if he just had pity on us, not wanting to make us wait). We started charging without difficulty, but saw the rate of delivery was under 20 kW, despite being a DC charger. We plugged in at 44%. We had 150 miles to go. Not wanting to be take risks, we decided to charge 65% which, under worst case scenarios (3 miles/kw) would get us home with 20 miles to spare. Of course, charging at 20 kW, it took us 1 hour to get to 65%.

On the way home, we experimented, assessing utilization at varying speeds, using cruise control all the time. To not make a long story longer, at 55 mph, over one hour (with a lot of unhappy drivers behind us) we averaged over 4.1 miles/Kw, or estimated range of 360 miles!!!. At 60 mph, we varied around 3.5-3.7. or 308 miles- 325 miles. The range estimator on the dashboard, initially suggested, after charging in Fort Wayne, that we had about 25 miles in excess for getting home. As we drove at lower speeds, this safety factor continued to grow, reaching 60 miles when we got home with 17% charge left (at 4 miles/ kW). We reset trip stats along the way, which validated the utilization numbers. I charged to 100% overnight. The range estimator the next morning suggested I could go 300 miles!!

Another thing, it was a hot day. We used the air conditioning all the way, which took 4% of energy use. Other accessories used 2%, so we were using only 94% for driving range.

Bottom line: 1) there are places in this country that are very EV unfriendly. They are frustrating and require planning. 2) you can extend the range of the Mach E beyond 300 miles if you are willing to sacrifice speed. 3) If only “slower” chargers are available on your trip, you will likely do better, that is take less time, by driving slower and not having to stop to charge.

Next plan is a trip to Chicago, about 260 miles to our destination. There are several EA sites in Chicago, one 4 miles from our destination. My plan is to charge to 100% at home, then monitor speed so we don’t need to charge on the way. We will charge to 80% at EA, but before leaving for home, I will charge at one of several free J 1772 sites in the small town where we will be, to get to 100%. I hope this will alleviate any range anxiety, and we will not have to charge on the way home.
Nice write up. You’re learning. Did you try letting the Ford navigation figure out your route? It’s done a great job for me, including MD to FL and back.
 

ChasingCoral

Well-Known Member
First Name
Mark
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Threads
273
Messages
10,039
Reaction score
20,176
Location
Maryland
Vehicles
GB E4X FE, Leaf, Tacoma, F-150 Lightning ordered
Occupation
Retired oceanographer
Country flag
Well this should help --

1626817951778.png
And Level 5 self driving by the end of 2021 and Cyber Trucks on the market by the end of 2022. Like all else Elon, I’ll believe it when I see it.
 

snikt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Threads
5
Messages
209
Reaction score
188
Location
Denver, CO
Vehicles
2021 Tesla Model 3 LR
Country flag
And Level 5 self driving by the end of 2021 and Cyber Trucks on the market by the end of 2022. Like all else Elon, I’ll believe it when I see it.
The time frame isn't as important as the actual news, this is the first confirmation it's going to happen in the first place

 

 
Top