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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Origin: Oceanside CA
Destination: San Tan, AZ

Prep: I'd put the trip into ABRP a couple of weeks ago just to sanity check the trip. Since a year ago when we last made the trip in our ICE vehicle EA has put in a lot of chargers so we have a couple of choices.

The southern route is typically faster and avoids a lot of the LA traffic headed east, but the spacing of the chargers on the northern route makes the overall time shorter.

Leg 1: Destination - Palm Desert

Google suggests that we take the southern route so we override that and set a destination to a charger in Palm Desert. The EA charger is slightly off route so Google doesn't display it. I set the destination to a ChargePoint knowing I'll adjust it when we get closer.

Enroute Google routes us through the mountains due to a wreck on I10. No real change to the plan.

We arrived in Palm Desert slightly behind charging schedule. The EA spot has one of four chargers available. We join a Porsche, id.4 and a Bolt to charge from 56% to 77%. Charging takes the same amount of time as a bathroom break and Starbucks order inside the Target.

Next stop: Quartzite 130 miles away. ABRP predicts 10% but Google is less optimistic thinking we'll be at 7%. Google also is telling us there is a 45 minute delay on the 10. Hopefully it's a slowdown that will help our efficiency.

notes: four adults packed for 5 days
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Leg 2: Destination Quartzite, AZ

This will be our longest leg. Leaving Palm Desert charged to 77% ABRP had us arriving in Quartzite at 10%. Google wasn't as confident thinking we'd be down to 7%. Google knows how my wife drives. Faced with a 45 minute slowdown we abandoned the 10 in favor of driving through Coachella and then through a gorgeous canyon before rejoining the Interstate. During this side trip we got down to a predicted 4% remaining but I knew that the slow traffic on the 10 would win some of that back. I also had a backup plan of stopping in Blythe if we were cutting it too close or if the chargers were going to be unavailable. All day the Quartzite chargers were showing 1 of 4 available. As we passed through Blythe, back up to 8% remaining, it showed 2 available. The situation became clear when we arrived, 2 of the 4 are not in service.

Charging from about 9% on the EA chargers we charged about as fast as possible. As we finished our meal the vehicle was already at 73%.

My only criticism would be the choice of food here.

Next stop will be a charger somewhere near our destination.

Notes: Most of this trip was probably at 60 mph or below due to traffic. There were points where we got 84 passing other vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Leg 3: Original destination Buckeye, AZ changed in route to Arizona Mills in Tempe

Because of the extra charge we picked up while eating at the last stop we decided on the fly to extend this leg. Getting to Tempe left is at 10% after a slight detour.

This leg is one long, fast, desolate, crowded, downhill run across the desert on I10. The kind of trip where you wish they'd put up billboards to give your eyes a rest from the endless rock and scrub. The high speeds aren't great for efficiency, but there was enough traffic to slow us down in parts. Otherwise uneventful.

What was fun was the charger at Arizona Mills. An EA with some 350s had 8 stalls. Only one was occupied and that was a brand new Rivian driven down from San Jose by a company employee. It was his truck and he was showing it off to an ICE driver who'd stopped to check it out.

With only 15% left to our destination the length of this stop will be determined by the driver's bio-break. No charging issues this trip, open chargers at every stop and. EA has been flawless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
too bad you aren’t headed to Vegas — one of the coolest EA chargers is up that way. Was featured in a recent Porsche commercial:
Ultra Gas and Mart
71808 Baker Blvd, Baker, California, 92309, US
PlugShare - Find Electric Vehicle Charging Locations Near You
I've done that drive and stopped at that charger. The day I stopped most of the chargers weren't working so we went to the ChargePoint down the street that had a Food Court. EVGo also has a really nice fast charger on that strip but all the restaurants were closed when we stopped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A similarly cool charger with 14 stations just went online near us. I hope this marks a trend of more chargers per location, with a roof overhead.
The ones in Baker needs that roof. The world's tallest thermometer is there and it regularly goes above 115 degrees in the summer.
 

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@Stephen Cerruti — when my wife/I got married 15 years ago, we did so in July in Las Vegas. We proceeded to then drive to LA to visit my brother, and then over to Sedona AZ. As we passed through Palm Desert, it hit 115 F and I remember walking from the car to lunch feeling like I was under a heat lamp in a lizard terrarium — it was disgusting. And the dry heat in your eyes stung; I’ve lived my life in Ohio and been out west but this was new, nasty, and un enjoyable! Indeed, that canopy is a necessity!

@DeaneG —- i saw recently on the YouTube channel Out of Spec (or maybe a diff channel) That they (EA) are building these easy-to-add solar canopies for “each tower” — so where the one Stephen saw above, or you mentioned, will have bigger covers of solar, they are also making small little one-array-per-charger ones for easier faster roll out. That’ll be great for western USA — seemingly pointless here in Ohio perhaps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Summary:

400 mile trip
No significant additional time in transit versus past trips
Estimated cost if we had driven our old inefficient ICE car $80 ($4/gal average)
We spent $26 in charging and finished 55% down from the initial charge. This cost is a little low because EA currently shows our last stop as free.
We added a total of 125kWh (probably used 170kWh)

Looking forward - the return trip:

I want to try to return home on the 8. ABRP has this trip taking 20 minutes longer because of where the chargers are located. However, when planned via Google the route is 20 minutes shorter without stops because of traffic. It will be interesting to see which wins out because today traffic had way more impact on travel time than charging. The route on the 8 is also 20 miles shorter.
 

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So do folks have ABRP running on phone sitting on wireless charger just to check in on it from time to time in how it compares to Google/Head Unit? Do you have ARBP navigation active and just mute it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So do folks have ABRP running on phone sitting on wireless charger just to check in on it from time to time in how it compares to Google/Head Unit? Do you have ARBP navigation active and just mute it?
I meant to post about this. I am a passenger, occasionally I am allowed to drive the car.

I was running ABRP on my phone and opening it occasionally to check status or when we had to make a decision. Navigation was done with Google Maps. I would never have put this much effort in if I was the driver, none of it was required, it was just for fun.

Apps I used:

ABRP - general location of chargers - strategic planning
Google Maps - navigation (in dash), finding food (app)
EA - availability of chargers
PlugShare - general information about chargers
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm probably just going to do a couple of posts today, mostly focusing on trip planning.

All the planning apps keep trying to force us up to the 10 when we know the 8 is a better way to go. This means using the tools is difficult and inefficient. Fortunately the decisions are pretty straight forward, we know where they chargers are and we're sticking to EA for free charging. All we need to do is decide how much to charge at each stop.

We got a late stop and ended up eating an early lunch while not plugged in. We got a quick charge to 80 in Chandler before heading south through Maricopa to Dateland. Maricopa seems to be a charging desert. There's an old EVgo where the 10 meets the 8 but we'll be west of that. At Dateland we'll have to choose whether to charge for El Centro or just Yuma. That will be more of a human situation than a vehicle one

The return trip will be a bit different than the trip here. It's a lot of two lane roads at freeway speeds with some passing. It seems this would be ideal for this car. Without the bumper to bumper traffic of the interstate my driver has the adaptive cruise control on with a bit more distance to the vehicle ahead. This should make it an easier drive.

Dateland is a little more than an hour away at this point and I suspect we'll lose data coverage soon. I took the precaution of downloading offline maps and turning on caching in YouTube music. Hopefully we'll have fewer pauses in the music and less flickering from the maps.
 

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Stephen, have you tried adding stop overs that arent charging stops? I assume you are using ABRP, but I personally tend to prefer PlugShare’s trip planner. However, their trip planner is best on a desktop full screen (or at least a big laptop; the bigger the screen the better). Anyhow… i wonder if you added lay-overs that were on the 8, even if just a quick gas station or something along the way.. if that might help spoon feed the planner to take the route you desire?

Safe travels!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, I did. It didn't yield great results as it tried to use at least part of the original trip forcing me to drive an hour out of the way. Eventually I forced charging stops but I wasn't getting optimal results.

Leaving Dateland, ABRP wanted us to do a long charge (84%) in El Centro to get all the way home. Google did a better job breaking it into two legs. I think I may be able to tune ABRP in the general settings some.

Both are not entirely enthusiastic about doing the trip at 90 MPH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay, things got a little interesting on this next leg.

Leaving Dateland I set a destination of home and added El Centro as a charging stop. Since we couldn't get home from El Centro and a next destination wasn't set Google didn't know how much charge to get. ABRP wanted 63% and we charged to 71% because we were walking around the block.

When we were ready to depart Google said we couldn't reach ABRP's charger. It tried to route us to a crowded shopping mall and a non-EA charger (I guess nobody told Google EA was free.)

We went ahead and got on the road. What we learned was that Google really did not want to take a shorter route that went through a small town and then over a short mountain in favor of staying on a freeway with bumper to bumper traffic. Forcing Google to the destination before we turned resulted in an anticipated 8% charge at the destination, this leads me to believe that Google won't route you to a destination with a charge less than 10%. Once we made the turn (at which point Google admitted this route was faster) the estimated remaining charge jumped to 15%.

At the charger in Poway California we saw our first Polestar 2. Warning, EA chargers in crowded areas are going to be crowded. Check ahead. We also had our first issues charging. We had two disconnects while charging, reconnecting at the same charger worked fine and the car reported 142kW at one point.

Overall it was a good trip. I think we learned a bit more about the tools but where mid trip I was ready to rely on Google alone, now I'm not so convinced. I want to play with the routes a bit on the desktop and see what I learn.
 
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