San Jose to LA trip -- not so good

smartino

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On my last road trip I tried to use the Ford navigation to do the whole route and it just didn't work. What I learned what that when you enter a destination, the 3 route options the navigation provides are BEFORE any EV charges are added. Then once you select your route it adds the chargers at that point, which is definitely not the way to do it. For example we were going from Chattanooga to Bloomington, IN I selected the route that made the most sense and it said 7 hours. After it added the EV chargers the time went from 7 hours to 14 hours because it selected a couple of Level 2 chargers which clearly added a ton of time the overall trip. So instead I selected the 3 EA charges on the route and navigated to each one and the total trip took a little over 8 hours to complete. Clearly the chargers should be selected by the navigation as part of the route planning not afterwards. I sent this feedback to Ford because if they really want the navigation to work they need to get this fixed.
 

bruceski88

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This is why I wish there were better PHEV options available, it's pretty close to RAV4 Prime or nothing right now. Except, I don't fit in a RAV4, they are marked up like a Mach E and they aren't that great of a vehicle.

I could cut my gas usage by 80% and still have the range and accessibility of gas with a good PHEV.
Be careful before buying a RAV4 prime. It is not really AWD in the snow, reverts to 1 wheel drive.
 

Dr Obnxs

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During a trip from the bay area to Pizmo Beach I found that at 75 mph I added range, at 85 I lost estimated range. Wasn't that windy but I learned that 75+ MPH the range estimates have to be discounted.
 

theo1000

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One thing about all the PHEV vehicles, if you absolutely must go for them but be aware that you are buying two sets of drive trains with all the problems having two sets of drive trains means. Your best benefit is to go full EV and gain ALL the benefits.

Mulling the OP's comment it sure seems like it is hard to see the benefits in terms of long drives right now and to plan/having to slow a bit.... But the few expended there minutes are more than compensated for on the back end. For most folks charging at home a bunch of hours going to gas stations is eliminated, a bunch of hours repairing and sitting in repair shops for ICE issues is eliminated, as the temperature rises do you see all those folks by the side of roads with the front hood up staring at the steam/smoke coming off their ICE, well that is not a worry for you. You don't have to worry about the octane of your gas or if you stocked the right coolant type. By and large EV's over time are extremely trouble free and tend to save you and the nation a bunch of time.

If only we can fix this limited DCFC locations situation. The $15 Billion for chargers is like a rounding error for Congress these days.
 

jrstinkfish

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My Mache e shows the distance to destination right below the remaining range. I have found it to be quite accurate at 75 mph. For my long trips, I drive my Chevy Volt and reserve the MME for trips of under 300 mi, which is almost all of them.
Mine was eerily accurate on my road trip doing 80. I kept glancing at the GOM and then the miles I'd traveled, and it lined up, maybe off by 2 miles at most. I didn't even bother on the way back, 500 miles without a hiccup made me trust it enough to just believe what it said on my return journey.
 

kltye

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I'm going to go against the PHEV consensus here and say that there aren't two sets of problems and a vehicle of compromises necessarily. Coming from a 2016 CMax Energi, it's been great for around town driving on electric-only, and great for 600+ mile trips. The transmission is dead simple for it (compared to a torque converter or a dual-clutch), and the brakes/engine get much less use over time because of the availability of the electric motor. It also certainly gets a workout if we go out of town (not just 600 mi trips), so it's not like it sits entirely unused for months on end.

In the end, all vehicles are a compromise of sorts. Choose what's best for you (a PHEV happened to be the best compromise while we waited for better DCFC).

As far as roadtrip planning - with a PHEV, we mapped out the gas stations with a) the cheapest gas; and b) the best quality fuel. Different strokes, and all.
 

TheSeg

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I had a much more positive experience than OP driving from East Bay to LA and back via I-5. Though I had a problem on the way back. But I plan on doing this trip quarterly. Albeit a bit wiser next time…

To LA (May 21, 2021):
Started at home with 100%. I used Ford’s navigation system which pointed me to the new CalTrans level 3 chargers in Kettleman City and completely free to use. Picked up a lunch, drove to the station (two of them), and got to 80%.

Ford’s system doesn’t do well is when you turn back on the car. The navigation recalibrated the trip making something different than the original plan. Sure, I put in more power than asked, but it shouldn’t wildly change my plans.

When I hit the Tejon Pass, the Guess-o-meter tanked. The grade is very drastic with semi runoffs aplenty, so I wasn’t shocked. Thankfully I knew CalTrans also installed a free Level 3 station (4 chargers) at the Tejon Rest Area. Allowed me to have plenty to charge when I got to my hotel in LA.

I did not pay for charging my car the whole way down.

To East Bay (May 30, 2021):
Going back started further south in Irvine. Used Ford’s system to direct me to the EA at the Shell in Bakersfield. This time I charged about 5 minutes over the recommendation and trusted the next EA station would work. *FORSHADOWING*

The system directed to the EA station at Firebaugh. Got there and attempted to charge… and none of the 6 stations worked. I had 27 miles left on the GoM and the next level 3 was 47 miles away. The API for EA reports that one station works… when it actually doesn't. Folks are directed there, but they were all broken. Called EA who took an hour for me to do their dance to conclude what I already told them: All stations were broken, some more than others.

EA called Ford roadside for me. The operator was having a hard time understanding for my Mach-E, I needed electric charging -- not a ‘jump’ for my car battery. Then I realized I have 100 mile towing via AAA. They were over in 20 minutes and towed me to a ChargePoint in Santa Nella. Thankfully a flatbed, so I drove it on and off with ease (tied down). The driver was interested in the car, so I showed him how to put the car *actually* in neutral.

Lessons & Thoughts:
  • Use PlugShare to check on chargers. Had I checked Firebaugh, no one was reporting successful charging that day.
  • Going south I plan to hit the CalTrans chargers. Free and they work like a dream.
  • Use ABRP on the way north.
  • Don't go with the bare minimum charging. The north third of I-5 between Tracy & LA is sparse on chargers. A little more charge at the first station and I'd make it.
  • You can not go slower than 70 MPR on I-5.
    • Seriously, it's more of a hazard to be slower than faster on that stretch. I did use cruise control and the safety distance caused risker behaviors by others. I worry that BlueCruise won't handle keeping the flow of traffic because of the actual speed on that highway.
 

Mach-E-Fan

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I was also misled by the Ford navigation on the way to LA (perhaps I don't understand how it's working). As I was leaving home, it did set the stops for charging, so I though I was all set, but after the first charge I apparently needed to set the next charging again. I assumed it would take me to the second charger and it didn't.
Perhaps it's just the way the navi works. I watched a road trip video on Youtube from the Mach-E VLOG folks (Denver to Santa Fe), and I noticed that they always re-entered the final destination and re-started the nav after each charging stop. I thought it was odd, but I guess that's the way it's supposed to work.
 

mkhuffman

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Then I realized I have 100 mile towing via AAA. They were over in 20 minutes and towed me to a ChargePoint in Santa Nella. Thankfully a flatbed, so I drove it on and off with ease (tied down). The driver was interested in the car, so I showed him how to put the car *actually* in neutral.
Because there is no tow hook receptacle on the front of the car, I have been worrying about how the MME will be towed up onto a flat bed. In your case, it sounds like since you had power, the tow truck operator allowed you to drive it on and off the bed. I can see situations when the operator does not allow you to do that: insurance reasons, and if the MME is totally dead. Did you discuss how the car could be pulled up on the bed?
 

ARK

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I had a much more positive experience than OP driving from East Bay to LA and back via I-5. Though I had a problem on the way back. But I plan on doing this trip quarterly. Albeit a bit wiser next time…

To LA (May 21, 2021):
Started at home with 100%. I used Ford’s navigation system which pointed me to the new CalTrans level 3 chargers in Kettleman City and completely free to use. Picked up a lunch, drove to the station (two of them), and got to 80%.

Ford’s system doesn’t do well is when you turn back on the car. The navigation recalibrated the trip making something different than the original plan. Sure, I put in more power than asked, but it shouldn’t wildly change my plans.

When I hit the Tejon Pass, the Guess-o-meter tanked. The grade is very drastic with semi runoffs aplenty, so I wasn’t shocked. Thankfully I knew CalTrans also installed a free Level 3 station (4 chargers) at the Tejon Rest Area. Allowed me to have plenty to charge when I got to my hotel in LA.

I did not pay for charging my car the whole way down.

To East Bay (May 30, 2021):
Going back started further south in Irvine. Used Ford’s system to direct me to the EA at the Shell in Bakersfield. This time I charged about 5 minutes over the recommendation and trusted the next EA station would work. *FORSHADOWING*

The system directed to the EA station at Firebaugh. Got there and attempted to charge… and none of the 6 stations worked. I had 27 miles left on the GoM and the next level 3 was 47 miles away. The API for EA reports that one station works… when it actually doesn't. Folks are directed there, but they were all broken. Called EA who took an hour for me to do their dance to conclude what I already told them: All stations were broken, some more than others.

EA called Ford roadside for me. The operator was having a hard time understanding for my Mach-E, I needed electric charging -- not a ‘jump’ for my car battery. Then I realized I have 100 mile towing via AAA. They were over in 20 minutes and towed me to a ChargePoint in Santa Nella. Thankfully a flatbed, so I drove it on and off with ease (tied down). The driver was interested in the car, so I showed him how to put the car *actually* in neutral.

Lessons & Thoughts:
  • Use PlugShare to check on chargers. Had I checked Firebaugh, no one was reporting successful charging that day.
  • Going south I plan to hit the CalTrans chargers. Free and they work like a dream.
  • Use ABRP on the way north.
  • Don't go with the bare minimum charging. The north third of I-5 between Tracy & LA is sparse on chargers. A little more charge at the first station and I'd make it.
  • You can not go slower than 70 MPR on I-5.
    • Seriously, it's more of a hazard to be slower than faster on that stretch. I did use cruise control and the safety distance caused risker behaviors by others. I worry that BlueCruise won't handle keeping the flow of traffic because of the actual speed on that highway.
Sorry to hear about the towing. It does seem to me that until chargers get more reliable or charging stations more widespread, the safer thing to do will be to always make sure there is enough charge left to reach the next station in case the one the driver is pulling into has an issue across the board.

It does seem to me that within the I-5 corridor in the Central Valley, there are enough EA and CalTrans chargers of at least 100 kWh charging speed (CalTrans being 100 kWh, EA having at least 150 kWh, which I believe is max for Mach-E on ER trims, 115 kWh being max on SR trims) to make this possible:

E393ED23-E094-46BC-89F4-9C40DA15DDF8.jpeg
 

Orangefirefish

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Sorry to hear about the towing. It does seem to me that until chargers get more reliable or charging stations more widespread, the safer thing to do will be to always make sure there is enough charge left to reach the next station in case the one the driver is pulling into has an issue across the board.

It does seem to me that within the I-5 corridor in the Central Valley, there are enough EA and CalTrans chargers of at least 100 kWh charging speed (CalTrans being 100 kWh, EA having at least 150 kWh, which I believe is max for Mach-E on ER trims, 115 kWh being max on SR trims) to make this possible:

E393ED23-E094-46BC-89F4-9C40DA15DDF8.jpeg
I would agree. Ford pass might often advise a 60-65% charge but at DCFC speeds, the time penalty to get to 75%-80% for a little insurance is worth it.
 

TheSeg

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Did you discuss how the car could be pulled up on the bed?
No, since I was able to drive it up and down. Thought didn't even cross my mind, but it's a very good point.

In my conversation with the driver, he was talking about how it's really hard to find out what unique process per car you need to do. Some drivers will take the time to look it up, others would so much ruin the car anyway. There needs to be some standards and tools put in place to make these things work right the first time.

Sorry to hear about the towing. It does seem to me that until chargers get more reliable or charging stations more widespread, the safer thing to do will be to always make sure there is enough charge left to reach the next station in case the one the driver is pulling into has an issue across the board.
If I were to act on and get funding for a new roadside chain focusing on quality experience of Level 3 charging and rest stop services, I'd try to put them in between each charging station you marked on the map. First one between Kettleman City and Firebaugh.
 

eastern refugee

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I have driven round trip to Houston and back...3800 miles with zero issues. The problem is not ford but the operator.

Please let me explain.

1. When you set up navigation in your ford navigation both in the car as well as on the app you need to specify SPECIFICALLY which type of chargers you are looking for. For example I ONLY have EA as the primary and chargepoint as the secondary. As such it will ONLY send me to EA unless it is not available and then chargepoint.

2. You HAVE to put the EXACT address into the navigation of where you are going to end your destination at or the navigation has zero idea of where you are going. When you said it stated 10% that means that you never put in the exact end point or it would have listed the chargers.

3. As for chargepoint you HAVE too have an account already set up in your wallet on your iphone or android. Without this chargepoint has no idea of who you are. I am no fan of chargepoint, however if I had an issue they fix it for me right away. No where near as sophisticated as EA but it will work.

4. Both EA and chargepoint have different chargers. At EA it is best to use the 350 whenever possible. At chargepoint it only states FAST CHARGER or DC charging.

I drive regularly 250 miles round trip form LA to Bakersfield, and love doing it. Try the steps above and you will have a far better experience.
 

RetiredDP

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You might want to stick to ICE if you want to drive at those speeds. No current EV will be able to handle those speeds for extended periods of time.
I have to agree with RedStallion...I just drove I-5 from Sacramento to L.A., and the traffic flow was going 80mph. Trucks were doing 75.
 

Kamuelaflyer

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I have driven round trip to Houston and back...3800 miles with zero issues. The problem is not ford but the operator.

Please let me explain.

1. When you set up navigation in your ford navigation both in the car as well as on the app you need to specify SPECIFICALLY which type of chargers you are looking for. For example I ONLY have EA as the primary and chargepoint as the secondary. As such it will ONLY send me to EA unless it is not available and then chargepoint.

2. You HAVE to put the EXACT address into the navigation of where you are going to end your destination at or the navigation has zero idea of where you are going. When you said it stated 10% that means that you never put in the exact end point or it would have listed the chargers.

3. As for chargepoint you HAVE too have an account already set up in your wallet on your iphone or android. Without this chargepoint has no idea of who you are. I am no fan of chargepoint, however if I had an issue they fix it for me right away. No where near as sophisticated as EA but it will work.

4. Both EA and chargepoint have different chargers. At EA it is best to use the 350 whenever possible. At chargepoint it only states FAST CHARGER or DC charging.

I drive regularly 250 miles round trip form LA to Bakersfield, and love doing it. Try the steps above and you will have a far better experience.
We could probably use a good primer on how to use the Sync Nav system for route planning. Except me, I live on an island. ;)
 
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