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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are picking up her new XC40 Recharge next week. While I’ve had a Tesla Model 3 for almost 4 years, this is her first EV and she’s very excited / intimidated.

To kickoff her ownership experience in the right way, we’ve decided to take a 2-month round-trip trek from Maine to Florida and many points in between, leaving after the holidays. Although I’ve done a Tesla road trip before, my wife has zero experience with the process. Clearly there will be a big difference between a trek like this in a Tesla vs a Recharge but we’re looking forward to the adventure. Oh yeah: we’re in our 70’s, so we don’t have the benefits of youthful exuberance, knowledge or cleverness going for us.

For that reason, I’m looking for helpful suggestions as to how to successfully endure/enjoy the experience, particularly with respect to keeping this car juiced up along the way and minimizing range anxiety . I am particularly wanting to pack any cables, adaptors, etc. that we may need along the way, so I will appreciate thoughts that any of you may have.

Some specific thoughts of mine:
  • Knowing that there are lots of Tesla destination chargers in the world, I have bought a TeslaTap mini adaptor that allows all Tesla connectors (except Superchargers) to plug into J1772 cars. That should be helpful in a pinch, especially for hotels with Tesla destination chargers.
  • I have accounts with E’fy America and ChargePoint, so I’m good with that.
  • I’m well-experienced with using ABRP, PlugShare, etc.
  • I’m lost in terms of cables and adapters to take. The charge cable that comes with the XC40 seems very short, so I guess an extension cord would be in order? Also, what plug adapters come standard with the Volvo cable and, if I need to add other adapters to my kit, where can I get them (and will they be compatible with the Volvo mobile charger?)
  • I’ve seen that there are very long (and quite expensive…$500 or so) Volvo cables sold separately, with specific plugs on them. Worthwhile? Alternatively, what about aftermarket (non-Volvo) charging cables: any good recommendations that can help us deal with out-of-the ordinary NEMA receptacles?
  • etc

I really appreciate any help that you all could provide. Many thanks!
 

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Well sounds like you are ahead of 75% of people out there already!! I was going to recommend the TeslaTap Mini, but you already have one.....so never mind on that. We just recently got my wife the XC40 and I was thinking about getting rid of my Tesla, so I am also going to be ordering a 60A TeslaTap Mini as well. Like you said the Tesla Destination chargers are everywhere.

My big recommendations are plan conservatively for your legs of the trip as far as charging. Also try to plan for hotels/overnight stays that have charging. This way you can roll in low on charge and wake up fully charged.....no added time or stops.

The XC40 comes with the mobile charger that has a 14-50R and 5-15 connector (I don't think it's a 5-20, but I could be wrong). About the only other connector i can think of is a 14-30 (dryer plug), but not sure if you can get this connector for the Volvo mobile unit.

I also carry a 14gauge 25' extension cord with me, which works if you need to extend the mobile connector using the 5-15 end. I've never had to use this, but I have it just in case.
 

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Looks like the TeslaTap Mini is sold out on Amazon, is this a decent alternative?

 

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@spark146 --- sounds like you're way ahead of the curve, as @Rousie13 said -- so you should be fine. I don't know that any extra cables are needed, though the aforementioned extension cable might be nice. IMO you'll probably really only need to stop at Electrify America and ChargePoint chargers, out in the wild. About 90% of the DC fast chargers in this part of the country are those two brands, and while most of the CP's are slower (50-62kW) they will suffice if you're not in a rush.

Back when I bought my first Tesla Roadster, it did not offer DC fast charging. I used the Tesla map, and had an adapter there (like your TeslaTap). You'd be surprised how quickly 48A/11kW will add miles, and many of those are at fun places like a shopping district, restaurant, etc. PlugShare is useful here, because it will show you chargers kW max output. I think the best ones are legacy 80A units and will show up as 19.2kW. Those are the ones to aim for-- basically try to avoid the slower amperage ones. Meaning... if you're going to hit a Tesla destination charger instead of a DC fast charger, and use that adapter, always go for the max kW output to make use of the time. But, I'd still suggest favoring DC fast, and probably favoring EA.

PS: You'll only need to DC fast charge like twice, to get the $4 value-- so my suggestion also here is if you haven't already sign up for the $4/month EA subscription. Your savings per kW is offset by that $4 and again by your third visit you'll prob have broken even, and saved!
 

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Looks like the TeslaTap Mini is sold out on Amazon, is this a decent alternative?
[/QUOTE

Yes it is!. I used this recently on a trip on the Oregon coast and the only hiccup was that I did not read the instructions first. Connect the Tesla end and wait 30 seconds before plugging into the car. It worked anyways, but I had a moment when the light turned red when my heart sank, followed by green goodness!
 

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spark146 great homework before the trip. 👍
One thing, careful using the extension cord. Make sure it is rated for more than or at least 15A at 120V. Avoid using the extension for 240V. If you have to, make sure you are not having coiled cable along the extension cord. It will create induction which will heat or even melt the cable. Also if you have big coil and big load it will pop the breaker upon disconnect. Keep in mind just in case.
Happy trip and post pics in the road trip section.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, you all are amazing help; thanks very much. I honestly wish we could take off now!
I will be checking the forum regularly so, if there are any other suggestions, I’ll appreciate it. Again, great help.
 

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The Xc40 is a great road trip car. We find it much more comfortable than our 3-yo Model 3. My only caution after 1000 miles of long trips: On EA DC fast chargers, the weight of the cable will pull the CCS connector away from the car's mating connector at the top, causing the charger to say "initializing" for a few minutes, then it gives up. To avoid this, support the CCS cable/ connector so that it goes straight into the car's connector until the initialization phase completes - several seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The Xc40 is a great road trip car. We find it much more comfortable than our 3-yo Model 3. My only caution after 1000 miles of long trips: On EA DC fast chargers, the weight of the cable will pull the CCS connector away from the car's mating connector at the top, causing the charger to say "initializing" for a few minutes, then it gives up. To avoid this, support the CCS cable/ connector so that it goes straight into the car's connector until the initialization phase completes - several seconds.
That would’ve completely stumped me. Greatly appreciate the heads-up.
 

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Bring a can of disposable wipes for the charging station handles (you'd be surprised what comes off of them), and a roll of paper towels, microfiber cloth, and glass cleaner.

On longer driving days, plan on charging every 80-120 miles - a good time to change drivers. If you charge to 100% overnight, you can easily drive 150+ miles to your first charge.

In my experience starting an EA charger, using the phone app was more reliable than using the phone's NFC capability.
 

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That is ridiculous. Once the pin comes down and it is engaged there is no reason it should need this — and from what I‘ve seen the UK/EU handles are far superior to ours, with their CCS equivalent. Oh yay for the USA hahaha…. but thanks for sharing that is a GREAT find and a great video to show newbies and veterans alike for some help getting EA charging started successfully.

EDIT/PS :: what i mean to say above is that i am “annoyed” that this is needed — but i recognize that it does help — i am just frustrated when for a decade now Tesla’s charging cable has been so flawless — but alas, I’m done with Tesla for now — so I’ll “deal” with this until EA/others find a fix
 

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That is ridiculous. Once the pin comes down and it is engaged there is no reason it should need this — and from what I‘ve seen the UK/EU handles are far superior to ours, with their CCS equivalent. Oh yay for the USA hahaha…. but thanks for sharing that is a GREAT find and a great video to show newbies and veterans alike for some help getting EA charging started successfully.

EDIT/PS :: what i mean to say above is that i am “annoyed” that this is needed — but i recognize that it does help — i am just frustrated when for a decade now Tesla’s charging cable has been so flawless — but alas, I’m done with Tesla for now — so I’ll “deal” with this until EA/others find a fix
I’m looking forward to these EA issues🙄. The Tesla chargers are pretty much the easiest thing ever. You back up to it and plug it on……done. The only issue is it might be slow so you might have to move chargers if it’s being super slow.
 

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I’m looking forward to these EA issues🙄. The Tesla chargers are pretty much the easiest thing ever. You back up to it and plug it on……done. The only issue is it might be slow so you might have to move chargers if it’s being super slow.
Although I’m aware of this issue, I haven’t found the need to “hoist” the cables at all times. Actually more like 10% of the time. The bigger issue I’ve had lately has been speed. EA doesn’t “share” lines like Tesla, where 1A and 1B share a max 150kW (at V2 Tesla SpC). In the case of EA, for example 4x towers marked 150 x3 and 350 x1, you could concurrently have 800 kW of charging happening … or so they claim.

What we’ve found a few times lately is that plugging in the XC40/Polestar results in ~35-45kW charging at a 150kW stall, but moving to a 350kW stall gets to the ~100-150kW it should be (based on temp/SOC). So this makes me think there is some issue with the 150kW towers… or something like that. But… while that has occurred the past few times I hit EA chargers, it hasn’t occurred EVERY time. And our trip in June to TN in the XC40 was flawless save for one time, at one charger, where 1x was offline, 1x didnt want to work, and 3rd one worked fine. Other half dozen stops were perfect, in each direction (~12x total EA visits across 6x chargers)

But yes… be ready for “EA fun” :p
 

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Looks like the TeslaTap Mini is sold out on Amazon, is this a decent alternative?

I just bought that this week for a trip I'm taking from Ohio to Denver. Have not had a chance to try it yet but figured it may come in handy. If I end up using it I'll try and remember to post my experience.
 

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The Xc40 is a great road trip car. We find it much more comfortable than our 3-yo Model 3. My only caution after 1000 miles of long trips: On EA DC fast chargers, the weight of the cable will pull the CCS connector away from the car's mating connector at the top, causing the charger to say "initializing" for a few minutes, then it gives up. To avoid this, support the CCS cable/ connector so that it goes straight into the car's connector until the initialization phase completes - several seconds.
Wow this is super helpful. I wonder if this is the culprit for some of my dc fast charging issues I've had! Thanks for sharing!
 

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Looks like the TeslaTap Mini is sold out on Amazon, is this a decent alternative?

Yes, that's the Lectron adapter that I use to charge my P8 every night from the Tesla HPWC wallbox in my garage (installed by previous home owner). Adapter works reliably so far, no problems.
 

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Also note - Lectron now has a new, smaller cable-less adapter, that's rated all the way up to 48A. The previous adapter above is only rated officially up to 40A. I just ordered one of these:

 
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