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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ABRP = A Better Route Planner (google it if you aren’t yet familiar with it)
For those who have never used ABRP, it is a very nice and powerful tool to help you pre plan a trip in your electric car. There have long been apps/sites like these, since early EVs lacked this. Once Tesla finally started offering route planning through chargers (about 2 years into making cars), it was still beneficial to use third party apps/sites as they often did a better and more accurate job of showing your SOC upon arrival, etc. Over the years, the Tesla system got so good that it really was more for other brands. (Some die hard people still use it because ABRP shows things like elevation and other cool data/metrics). To stay current, ABRP also now offers a Premium plan, and also integrates with Apple CarPlay. If you have a long range EV (non-Tesla) it can be a useful can…. But….

In my experience, there are a few key reasons why I do not think the ABRP app will be worth the time or hassle. Although my drive home from Detroit to Cleveland (~180 miles with 1 charging stop required) two days ago was the primary reason for the app, I have delved deeper into it for the past 2 days, read some reviews, watched a Bjorn video that, even from a few months ago, is still accurate. And better yet, both our XC40 Recharge and my Polestar 2 are both on v1.7 which brings important updates. Allow me to explain….

GOOGLE FILTERING
As of v1.7 there is now a more robust metric for filtering. Google Maps has always allowed us XC40/P2 owners to search for chargers nearby, and prior versions had a little lightning bolt icon to search for what it deemed “fast” (50kW or more). While I do hope future iterations allow for you to adjust that lightning bolt (eg: I’d prefer to only see 150kW or higher chargers)— its a step in the right direction. But the v1.7 update brings a BIG ONE that really matters: you can now pick what networks you want to use with the EV payment filter (the credit card icon). This is important because…

USA TRAVEL (ROW?)
Here in the USA the most robust network for 150kW (or faster) charging is Electrify America. In some parts of the USA there are some other networks (ChargePoint, for example) who have a good system in place. But for most cross country travel, in most of the US, EA is all that really matters. By using the new credit card icon filter to choose only those stations, you will always get the same experience. All of their stations (that I’m aware of) have 150 and 350 kW options, as well as CHAdeMO. As it pertains to our cars, you will always find 150kW so youll always get the BEST experience possible. And as those chargers are, for most users, 100-150 miles apart, you should be able to use those chargers for your trips easily. For the ROW (rest of world), i assume IONITY might be the case, but as i am not as familiar with UK/EU networks I apologize as my experiences will be here to explain my domestic US findings only.

CALCULATIONS
It has been proven that Google’s latest iterations are actually just as good as ABRP. Although you can do a bit more work in ABRP to filter based on your car (if you want to override because of a heavy load, towing, etc) you can do this. But the fact of the matter is that Bjorn’s video even back in spring time showed that Google was as good or in some legs better at predicting your arrival % SOC. Yes, ABRP does garnish access to the cars SOC and can share this data to the cloud for logging if you pay (premium). But the ABRP app is not really that much better. It can filter more granular of controls, so if you are a power user, and an EV geek like me, you may enjoy the features. But for 98% of the genral public, you can just use the car as intended, and let google do the math. (though again i would suggest filtering to just the EA network personally; for max charging rates)

PRECONDITIONING
Another issue with ABRP is that the nav system is crappy, and its better to share to google. While you can share your next charger to the native Google Maps, it does so via GPS coordinates. And while this works flawlessly, the issue is that with v1.7 the car is now preconditioning the battery, based on your destination being a google recognized DC fast charger. Guess what? GPS coordinates -may- (I’m going to wager def dont) work. You need to be navigating to an actual named, recognized, DC fast charger i’d bet— nobody has proven this yet but without access to pack data (pack temps, voltages, etc) we may never know. Either way, it seems likely it will prove a shortcoming of using GPS cord for sharing method.

FINAL THOUGHTS
ABRP is a flaky app right now, too. When i close the app it often stops sharing to the cloud. It has features that seem half baked. And some of the cooler functions require what i deem a fairly pricey cost. If i was driving a Chevy Bolt where the only way to route plan is smart phone (no native maps) then i would say sure, Apple CarPlay plus premiums ABRP prob makes awesome sense. And the iOS app seems (marginally) better. But as the ABRP app is still infancy stages, i don’t suggest it. And since we’re lucky to have a Google OS (most others dont have as good route planing as we do), enjoy it while you can. I know a lot of people think there will be much to gain but i think google maps is maturing at a faster rate, works better, and is more than satisfactory. That said, i do feel using ABRP or my preferred site: Plug Share, to pre plan a trip, makes good sense. But then just use the Google Voice Assistant to nav (“hey google, navigate to electrify america charger Mansfield Ohio” and poof you’re well on your way! It works fine/great.

PS: Polestar is giving away 2 free years of charging on the EA network so for me that just makes the most sense to use for long trips. But we got the $500 credit from CP for their network. But around here (Midwest) most of the CP units are 50kW max, making them really not useful for charging when below 70% SOC (above that Negligible obviously due to charging curve). I could see using the filter (credit card icon) to DC fast charge on that network when it makes sense, or scan BOTH networks as needed— but again, google does this better/faster and more reliable than ABRP anyhow… cheers!
 

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Great write-up! I’m a little surprised you factored in a stop between Detroit and Cleveland for a 180-mile trip, though. Were you at less than 100% SOC when you left, or heavy acceleration or high speeds? I’m planning on doing a similar distance trip soon and I am not planning a stop (although I will be in reach of an EA charger if consumption looks abnormally high) so I’m curious where your battery was in Mansfield and if you thought you could have made it all the way home without charging.

EDIT: Realizing the Mansfield EA charger is probably not where you planned your stop based on proximity to your route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@brew — good deductive logic! When we left we had ~98% SOC — Polestar/Volvo Farmington Hills (LaFontaine) was 188 miles to home (Beachwood, OH 44122). It showed we would have ample charge to get home, but as it was below 15% arrival it did tell me “you should charge along the way“ to reach home.Although the car is rated at 249 miles of EPA range, I’ve had enough EVs to know that never actually happens. And the car, by default, wanted me to stop on the turnpike.

Had I wanted to drive the limit I might have made it, but much of the trip was turnpike/etc at 70 MPH and I tend to set the cruise to 5 MPH over. That meant 75 MPH on the Ohio Turnpike, which was going to kill energy far more than 65 MPG would. (Exponentially worse as you may be aware). I didn’t want to hypermile it. PLUS— i wanted to stop to charge on the way home, for sake of testing my free EA charging. Although I could have done this on the turnpike (Wyandot is the eastbound turnpike rest stop, as suggested; Blue heron is the westbound across the road)— this would have been fairly high in the SOC (around 45%) and the speed would not have been as good. My goal: to test my free charging, and also to see 150kW.

Hence, we opted to stop At Sheffield Crossing on the west side of Cleveland. We were around 31% SOC at arrival— and the truth is that we spent less time charging (though I stayed a bit longer, B/c hey it was free!). But do take note of what your power consumption is; you said you have A similar trip forthcoming. I suspect you’ll find that these colder temps take a good 10% of your range with It, and a touch more with 75 MPH speeds. I think I saw around 380 WH/Mi average which is not that great but again I was definitely a bit lead footed and 5 over the limit. XC40 would be on par there I suspect if not worse. And as my buddy would say…. “Trust the algorithms” — so if the car wants you to stop, do it. Though if it says you’ll get home at 5% that is probably correct, and if you’re ok with that, do it. Goodness knows on some BEVs i’ve gotten down to 1-2% SOC … its just a personal comfort level for all folks.

PS…. i only mentioned the Mansfield charger because that was the one that came to mind. And i charged our XC40 there recently and i know that google voice actually found it perfectly.
 
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