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I just completed a round trip from Los Altos, CA to Olympia, WA. My experience largely mirrors those of other road trips posted here, but I wrote a long two-part blog post about it that may prove useful to some planning to take their XC40 on one. I think a gas car is still the preferable option for most people, but the trip in my Volvo was overall a success. The public infrastructure is definitely getting there with Electrify America, but it's not quite ready for prime time. The posts are focused on the charging part of the trip, not the car, but I loved the driving experience compared to trips in other cars I've had. The cruise control was especially helpful. With previous cars I've driven cruise control did only one thing: keep the car at a steady speed. If the car ahead slowed, it would drive me right into into it. Unless it was totally open road, I had to constantly brake and restart cruise control. My right glute would get sore after an hour or so from the constant pressing on pedals, with or without cruise control. With the XC40's sensors operating, the car slows and resumes speed to match traffic ahead without me having to do so, allowing me to rest my leg. That was a huge benefit for me. Overall the creature comforts (like seat comfort and climate control), the good sound system (I listened to mp3 music and an audiobook on my phone), handling and safety features were all great. Navigation was mostly excellent, but there was a scary moment when I was getting conflicting instructions from Google navigating me to two different locations at the same time. I give the Volvo an A- and Electrify America a B+. To get the details, read the blog posts at the link above. It's too long to post it all here. Something EA and other charging stations really need are canopies like gas stations have over their pumps. I forgot to mention that in the blog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Another suggestion I have for all the charging station companies is to add extendable or fold out handles to the nozzles. I have arthritis in my hands and I found wrestling and twisting them into a vertical position to plug in a difficult and painful process. I saw a 60 Minutes segment where Leslie Stahl went on a test ride with an EV company car guy and she was unable to plug in at all. I've heard from my wife that some of her female friends also can't plug in in DC fast charge cables. I think handles that extend out the top and bottom of the nozzle would provide the necessary torque to solve this problem. EVs shouldn't be a healthy young male only kind of vehicle.
 

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Another suggestion I have for all the charging station companies is to add extendable or fold out handles to the nozzles. I have arthritis in my hands and I found wrestling and twisting them into a vertical position to plug in a difficult and painful process. I saw a 60 Minutes segment where Leslie Stahl went on a test ride with an EV company car guy and she was unable to plug in at all. I've heard from my wife that some of her female friends also can't plug in in DC fast charge cables. I think handles that extend out the top and bottom of the nozzle would provide the necessary torque to solve this problem. EVs shouldn't be a healthy young male only kind of vehicle.
Very true. In my opinion, the charging cables are too **** short and unwieldy.
 

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I just completed a round trip from Los Altos, CA to Olympia, WA. My experience largely mirrors those of other road trips posted here, but I wrote a long two-part blog post about it that may prove useful to some planning to take their XC40 on one. I think a gas car is still the preferable option for most people, but the trip in my Volvo was overall a success. The public infrastructure is definitely getting there with Electrify America, but it's not quite ready for prime time. The posts are focused on the charging part of the trip, not the car, but I loved the driving experience compared to trips in other cars I've had. The cruise control was especially helpful. With previous cars I've driven cruise control did only one thing: keep the car at a steady speed. If the car ahead slowed, it would drive me right into into it. Unless it was totally open road, I had to constantly brake and restart cruise control. My right glute would get sore after an hour or so from the constant pressing on pedals, with or without cruise control. With the XC40's sensors operating, the car slows and resumes speed to match traffic ahead without me having to do so, allowing me to rest my leg. That was a huge benefit for me. Overall the creature comforts (like seat comfort and climate control), the good sound system (I listened to mp3 music and an audiobook on my phone), handling and safety features were all great. Navigation was mostly excellent, but there was a scary moment when I was getting conflicting instructions from Google navigating me to two different locations at the same time. I give the Volvo an A- and Electrify America a B+. To get the details, read the blog posts at the link above. It's too long to post it all here. Something EA and other charging stations really need are canopies like gas stations have over their pumps. I forgot to mention that in the blog.
Thanks - enjoyed reading your blog post! We’re looking forward to taking a road trip in our car, but for now we’ve just done day trips. The number of charging stations here in Australia is so small that you’d only have one choice on most road trips, so if the chargers are down, you’d be in trouble! That will hopefully change over the next few years as the government(s) (at most levels) are offering grant money for companies to install charging infrastructure. Hopefully the charging infrastructure here will keep up with EV sales! :)
 

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Great blog post! I may do something similar to visit my sister outside Grants Pass later this year.

Hope you have fully recovered from Covid.

One thing I have found that helps is to identify charging locations on the EA phone app, but then navigate to it by telling the car to (e.g.) "navigate to Grants Pass Electrify America". The important thing this does is start the car's preconditioning (heating) of the battery for fastest charging. The other way it helps is that the car's nav screen will show you turn-by-turn route info even in within the parking lot where the chargers are located, helping you to find them.

In practice I use ABRP while still at home to evaluate the sanity of a driving route and find likely charging locations. Then Plugshare to read others' comments about those charging locations. It's extra work up front compared to driving a gas car, but our EV is so much nicer to drive. Also we don't have a gas car any more, and it's not as comfortable a trip in a rental.
 

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I just completed a round trip from Los Altos, CA to Olympia, WA. My experience largely mirrors those of other road trips posted here, but I wrote a long two-part blog post about it that may prove useful to some planning to take their XC40 on one. I think a gas car is still the preferable option for most people, but the trip in my Volvo was overall a success. The public infrastructure is definitely getting there with Electrify America, but it's not quite ready for prime time. The posts are focused on the charging part of the trip, not the car, but I loved the driving experience compared to trips in other cars I've had. The cruise control was especially helpful. With previous cars I've driven cruise control did only one thing: keep the car at a steady speed. If the car ahead slowed, it would drive me right into into it. Unless it was totally open road, I had to constantly brake and restart cruise control. My right glute would get sore after an hour or so from the constant pressing on pedals, with or without cruise control. With the XC40's sensors operating, the car slows and resumes speed to match traffic ahead without me having to do so, allowing me to rest my leg. That was a huge benefit for me. Overall the creature comforts (like seat comfort and climate control), the good sound system (I listened to mp3 music and an audiobook on my phone), handling and safety features were all great. Navigation was mostly excellent, but there was a scary moment when I was getting conflicting instructions from Google navigating me to two different locations at the same time. I give the Volvo an A- and Electrify America a B+. To get the details, read the blog posts at the link above. It's too long to post it all here. Something EA and other charging stations really need are canopies like gas stations have over their pumps. I forgot to mention that in the blog.
Thank you for your blog post. It’s really helpful that you shared your experience with the XC40 recharge on a long road trip. How much did you spend on charging costs from Los Altos CA to Olympia WA?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for your blog post. It’s really helpful that you shared your experience with the XC40 recharge on a long road trip. How much did you spend on charging costs from Los Altos CA to Olympia WA?
$275.77. But I stupidly forgot that EA offered a discounted rate for those on the monthly plan. For $8 ($4 for April, $4 for May) I could have saved over $100 in charging fees.
 

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$275.77. But I stupidly forgot that EA offered a discounted rate for those on the monthly plan. For $8 ($4 for April, $4 for May) I could have saved over $100 in charging fees.
I keep telling people about the monthly 4$ membership!!

4 dollars for a 21% saving is huge!!! Pays for itself ridiculously fast.

Thanks for letting people know rat.
 
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