I’m about to drive 550 miles in an EV BMW | Ask me anything

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Sep 9, 2022 | BMW, Electric Cars

For a lot of people, electric vehicles are still part of the great unknown–just like magnets, the origin of the universe and the internal workings of automatic transmissions.

And while electric cars have become the norm for many, we still hear a lot of questions from nonowners: What’s it really like to live with one? How’s the long-term experience? And, the biggie, can I use for a road trip that’s a bit off the grid?

I admit, I’m not Mr. EV. I don’t own an EV yet, I admit, I’m a fascinated by them.

As a child–a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away–electric vehicles only existed in the distant past, the faraway future and Ed Begley Jr.’s garage. They just didn’t seem like something I’d see go mainstream as an adult.

Wrong.

Now they’re everywhere with more on the way. But what’s it really like to live with one as a non-owner who hasn’t (yet) taken the plunge?

Good question.

Later this week, I’m headed to Miami for an EV event hosted by our friends at Hyundai. And to get there, I was able to borrow a BMW i4 M50.

Questions about the experience? That’s what this thread is for.

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 7:15 p.m.

How About Those First Impressions?

Going back to the first hybrids, things always seemed like they had to be a bit different–and not just talking about the manner of propulsion.

How’s that? Just unorthodox touches–like, for example, the Ford Mach-E’s door handles to many of the shifters, from the practically dash-mounted stick found in the earliest Prius models to the almost now-common rotary knob.

The BMW is, really, rather traditional. Traditional door handles, traditional shifter, traditional styling. On just about every level, it operates like a modern BMW: press the starter, shift it into drive, and go away.

On the road, it differs a bit from my M3. So much quicker. No lag. No waiting. No nothing.

Like any other EV, it’s all the torque right now. The big thing here is that it’s all surrounded by the usual BMW touches. The ride is quiet, the interior bits have a solid feel, the controls can be found where you’d expect them.

Need to open the hatch, for example? The button is in the door.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 7:21 p.m.

Into the Wilderness

Driving an EV to and from work seems rather routine: charge up at either destination and enjoy the ride.

Electric vehicles have simply turned every home garage into a gas station (with or without cleaner bathrooms).

But what about heading away from such safe harbors?

Nearly three years ago, I joined Porsche to drive some Taycans from Atlanta to the Rolex 24 At Daytona. This fairly uneventful voyage was intended to demonstrate how an EV would fare on the open road.

A group of us left Atlanta with fully charged batteries and stopped twice at Electrify America stations to fuel up.

But what if you leave the highway? Electrify America’s network is still mostly concentrated on the country’s major routes, but ChargePoint seems to be filling the gaps.

We decided to head from our home base in Ormond Beach, Florida, through Palatka. It’s a nice drive yet a bit underserved by both networks. What would we find out there?

We left home with a 96% charge (234 indicated miles of range) and, 48 miles later, arrived in Palatka with a 75% charge (now 183 indicated miles of range).

We stopped so someone could take a pit stop.

From there, we’d head north and check out all three miles the J.C. Penney Highway in Penny Farms–south of Jacksonville and east of the Florida International Rally & Motorsports Park, GRM’s official test track.

Again, we were heading to another area with very limited coverage.

Upon arrival in Penney Farms, we had covered 85 total miles total and had a 57% charge (133 indicated miles of range remaining). While there, we checked out the retirement community formed by the (once) retail giant. The dog barked as a statue of his likeness.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 7:25 p.m.

Even though we had spent some two and a half hours checking out a rather rural part of the state, we still hadn’t used more than half our charge. From there, we figured, we could easily, comfortably drive home.

But that didn’t sound like a fair test. Where was the nearest Electrify America station?

Turns out all the way up in Jacksonville, 44 miles to our north at The Avenues, a shopping mall.

The Electrify America app took us there–right to the far corner of the lot. (According to Google, just 350 feet–a one-minute walk–away from the mall entrance.)

We arrived at the charging station at 5:01 with a 42% charge.

All four chargers were full.

Turns out that one charger was in use, one was displaying an error message, one was blocked by an unoccupied vehicle and the fourth one needed a phone call for a reboot.

So we waited.

The people were nice and we chatted about–what else?–electric vehicles.

One couple was returning to Central Florida from South Carolina. They noted that this wasn’t the first time they had encountered a disabled charger.

A charger finally opened and, at 5:28, we plugged in.

At 5:49, we unplugged at 80%.

According to the receipt, we had taken on 32 kWh and, despite the “up to 350 kW” sticker on the charger, charged at a max rate of 132 kW.

We had added about 80 miles to our range as we now had 190 miles until empty. Total cost after taxes: $14.79 based on $0.43/kWh.

Perhaps the biggest kicker at this point: All four chargers were empty as we pulled away.

By then, it was getting late, so we headed home via I-95. It’s about an hour-long drive.

After 81 miles–that includes an errand–we wrapped up the day with 38% charge and 87 miles to empty.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 7:26 p.m.

Hey, there’s a Sport mode, too

Remember how I said something about this BMW operating like just about every other modern BMW? That means that it gets a Sport mode as well.

And that Sport mode adds sound!

It doesn’t sound like a traditional ICE engine. How to describe it? It’s a sound that changes with thrust. It’s not really mechanical and it’s not really easy to ID. More on this to come on this feature.  

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 7:28 p.m.

What About Free Electric?

Electrify America shows that we paid its usual rate for Florida ($0.43/kWh), but what about a free charge?

ChargePoint shows a free Level 2 J1772 charger at a nearby bank. Free is free, right?

As promised, the charger was open 24 hours, and there was no fee to grab some electrify. No issues using the app or making the connection.

But, also as promised, the 6.6 kW charging rate also slow: After 15 minutes, we hadn’t even added enough juice to cover the 6-mile roundtrip.

Lesson confirmed: Free Level 2 is good for employees and shoppers but maybe not the place to fill up on the road. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/5/22 7:49 p.m.

About that max charging rate - you typically need a fairly heavily depleted battery to reach it. 41% is not that. It would behoove you to educate your readers on this point, as GRM usually tries a little harder than MSN. The charger might have been capable of 350 KW, but your vehicle was not.

See the right side graph. This is why you're starting to see more manufacturers state things like "10-80% in 31 minutes", which is what BMW says about this vehicle.

Level 2 chargers are intended for long-term parking like overnight, and are not a viable replacement for rapid charge. 

My suggestion for getting EA and other networks being built out with government subsidies is that the chargers should "fail open". Most of the problems are due to communication, and there's no motivation to fix them because they're taking in cash building more. So require that the chargers will charge unless told otherwise. Tesla Superchargers work this way, their first priority is to charge the vehicle if they can't get authentication. If we tie this requirement to the grant money, I think we'll see a marked improvement in uptime. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 8:18 p.m.

Electrify America chargers can be found along most major highways. The company has just one along I-95 in our county, with that station, conveniently, at our exit.

The charging station in our hometown of Ormond Beach, Florida, features six chargers, with four listed at 350 kW. It’s located just off the interstate at a Walmart.

So we headed there for another fill-up. Upon arrival at 4:25 p.m., we found only three chargers occupied. At this point, we had 35% battery life left.

Sadly, one of the 350 pumps seemed DOA–no screen, no one home.

We’re not sure if the first charger that we selected worked. The screen never progressed past the Authorized message. It sounded like the charger was pumping, but the screen never tracked our progress.

After about 10 minutes, we unplugged. The screen never changed, so we never received any details about the encounter.

We moved to another 150 kW pump, and this one seemed to work fine–and, judging by the progress now shown on the car’s display, the first pump did give us some juice. (The motorist who stopped at that charger after us, though, couldn’t make it work.)

After 17 minutes, we had taken our BMW to 85% for $8.60.

Again, this pump wouldn’t take our phone number for a receipt. It seemed that the touchscreen feature just wasn’t working. (I know, pay via the app.)

At 5:09, we finally left the charging station. We now had enough range for 201 miles.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 8:35 p.m.

So, tomorrow evening's big trip to Miami. 

While South Florida has plenty of Electrify America chargers, I don't have a ton of choices on the way down:

Cocoa: 70 miles away. 

Port St. Lucie: 151 miles away.

Palm Beach Gardens: 193 miles away. 

Based on how long I can go behind the wheel, I'm thinking I'll be juicing up in Port St. Lucie. (Join me, we can hang.)

I'd also like to leave with a full tank, so heading back to our local station in a few since we don't have a level 2 charger at home.

Could I leave with enough power to just get me to that first stop? Yes, for sure. But would I be watching the countdown the entire way? Yup.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 8:40 p.m.

Once I get to Miami, no worries about recharging. 

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/5/22 9:06 p.m.

Apart from the differences in replenishing the power source his does theism car compare with other cars in the same price range? If you were spending the coin and were power source agnostic are there other cars that offer the same or better comfort, performance, features, specialness, quality.... 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/5/22 9:46 p.m.

How's the air conditioning? Does it have a noticeable effect on your range?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 9:54 p.m.

In reply to APEowner :

That's a good question, and it ticks all those boxes: it's very comfortable, very fast, very well equipped and, yeah, feels like a BMW. 

At least in my experience, a lot of EVs and hybrids have asked for some concessions–like unconventional styling (inside or out) or something different along those lines.

If you didn't know this one was electric, it feels, acts and looks like a normal BMW–except much quicker. This one reminds me way more of the Porsche Taycan than the Mach-E, for example. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 9:55 p.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

How's the air conditioning? Does it have a noticeable effect on your range?

a/c is very cold and can operate while the car is charging. 

Honestly, haven't run the car without it as it's still summer in Florida. I'll see if I can do some A/B testing for you. 

Sort of related, my wife says the heated seats are better than the ones in the Nissan Z. (The last car that we had.) "You couldn't really tell they were on," she says of the Z's heated seats. 

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/5/22 10:02 p.m.

There are a few charges at the Palm Beach Lakes exit at the outlet mall. That's a few exits south of Palm Beach Gardens. 

No idea what level they are, but they are scattered throughout. There is also a cluster of superchargers, but that doesn't help you. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 10:07 p.m.

Whether talking EVs or not, I know I'm never the smartest guy in the room. My big question: How would an EV work once away from home?

If we had an EV, I realize we'd be charging at home. That's easy. But what if going to visit grandma and grandpa? Or crossing through the middle of nowhere? 

So, we're learning stuff. 

And I learned something this evening. 

The EA charger that we visited in Jax sat at the edge of the parking lot. It wasn't near anything, but there were other people there and it was still light out.

The local charger here at the Walmart in Ormond Beach? It's currently surrounded by shipping containers. (Not sure if it's for storage, a remodel or what.)

As a result, you can't see the store's main entrance from the chargers–just the entrance to the garden department which, unlike the rest of the store, isn't open 24/7.

Basically, the chargers are rather secluded. They're near some bushes on the side of the lot. 

My wife raised a very important point: She wouldn't feel comfortable charging there alone. 

I went back tonight to top off for tomorrow's big drive. My wife came with me as Walmart is the only local place that carries the yogurt that she likes. 

We arrived at 8:52 p.m. to find all of the lights in parking lot turned off–just a few flickered here and there.

Nope, my wife proclaimed, I'd leave if I was here alone.

What about charging? I asked.

I'd have to find one of those slower chargers in a place where I felt safe. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 10:30 p.m.
Slippery said:

There are a few charges at the Palm Beach Lakes exit at the outlet mall. That's a few exits south of Palm Beach Gardens. 

No idea what level they are, but they are scattered throughout. There is also a cluster of superchargers, but that doesn't help you. 

Thanks for the tip. From what I see online, those are the slower ChargePoint chargers–good for shoppers but not enough for me on this trip.

Slight change of plans: I'm going to stop in Cocoa (70 miles away). I could probably make it the 150 miles to Port St. Lucie but, if there's an issue, then it would be a nail-biter to Palm Beach Gardens. Plus, realistically, I'll need to make a stop an hour into the drive. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 10:40 p.m.

All six EA chargers were open this evening. My wife went to Walmart to get her yogurt, and I made sure she safely got to the entrance.

One terminal was still down, but this time I had five chargers at my disposal.

The app perfectly linked with the charger, and I was pulling juice (is that the correct term?) within a minute of parking.

What to do while hanging in a dark Walmart parking lot?

Night photography.

Straighten out a crooked sign.

And then, from the dark corner of the lot, a dude emerged and walked past me. (See my wife's comment about feeling safe.)

I then went back to my photography.

A few minutes later, he’d pass me again, this time returning to the same dark corner of the parking lot.

About 14 minutes after I plugged in, my wife returned with her yogurt. (And cookies.) That’s her in the dark. (We were in radio communication the entire time.)

Since we had time and no one was waiting for a charger, we let the car nearly charge to capacity.

After half an hour, we were at 97%. That’s close enough, right?

Upon stopping the charge, I got this message: “Thank you, Free.”

Very much appreciated. Looking back at the photos of the charger’s screen, now I see the $0.00 session cost. 

We charged for 31 minutes and took on 32.6150 kWh.

And, being a total pig, then hooked back up and filled to 99%.

At 9:35 p.m., we left showing a range of 239 miles.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/5/22 10:45 p.m.

Tell me more about the sound!

Some of the EV's (Toyota SUVs?) make a sound that I can't quite put my finger on. Just a humming that seems to change with speed of vehicle but it sounds..pleasant somehow? I thought maybe the engineers are doing something with the harmonics to mask the electric motor whine.

Maybe somebody realized that they could just sample the sound and make a major chord with the electric motor whine as the root? No clue.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/5/22 11:02 p.m.

In reply to CrustyRedXpress :

The sound is tough to describe, and I need to record it so we can share it. 

Likewise, I can't my finger on it. It's kind of a hum but more than that. (My guitar teacher has a terrific ear, so maybe he can ID the note for us.)

It kind of reminds me of an engine that wants to upshift. At slower speeds, it sounds okay. But above that, it feels like it needs to shift. I'll be alone in the car for this trip, so I'll spend some time concentrating on the sound. 

To be honest, I prefer the sound off. Not that I mind the "fakeness," I just prefer the quiet. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/6/22 11:17 a.m.

Something I just realized regarding this car: I can't easily drive it to my parents' house. surprise

My parents live about a hundred miles off the interstate–we always grab gas before getting off the highway as there's not much cell service, either–and 120 miles past the last AE charger. 

I see there's a charger about 45 minutes east of them. So, it's possible to drive up in an EV, but it would add a bit to the trip.

Or, we'd have to charge at my parents' house. I don't think they have a dryer outlet in/near the garage, so it would be off the standard plug.

So, learning stuff here. 

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/6/22 12:11 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Something I just realized regarding this car: I can't easily drive it to my parents' house. surprise

My parents live about a hundred miles off the interstate–we always grab gas before getting off the highway as there's not much cell service, either–and 120 miles past the last AE charger. 

I see there's a charger about 45 minutes east of them. So, it's possible to drive up in an EV, but it would add a bit to the trip.

Or, we'd have to charge at my parents' house. I don't think they have a dryer outlet in/near the garage, so it would be off the standard plug.

So, learning stuff here. 

The charging infrastructure is still not where I'd want it to be for me to travel with an EV. 

However, due to the type of travel I mostly do I don't like to travel with my Wife's gasoline powered Ford Fusion either.  It doesn't have the range, ground clearance, room or trailer towing capability that I prefer/need for most of my traveling.  The way we use her car an EV would be perfect.  It's home every night and seldom travels over 50 miles a day.

I don't think the infrastructure would keep me from buying an EV it would just be one more factor to consider when deciding what vehicle to drive when.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/6/22 12:42 p.m.

In reply to APEowner :

All very true. I'm also thinking that, for 99% of the people, the current charging network also work just fine. 

We barely have cell service when heading to my parents so, yeah, they're a bit away from major civilization. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/6/22 12:45 p.m.

And I just checked the AE app for the charging station in Ormond Beach, Florida. It's the only one in our county, and it's right off I-95.

As of Tuesday at 12:45 p.m., three of the six chargers are available. That's not bad at all, right? 

Also, I see chargers marked "in use" and "unavailable." Can I assume that unavailable means there's a technical problem? 

Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/6/22 1:38 p.m.

In reply to CrustyRedXpress :

My wife describes the exterior noise generated by our X5 PHEV as "screaming angels"

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/6/22 2:05 p.m.

In reply to Karacticus :

I could see that. 

Do you prefer it or silence? 

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
9/6/22 2:27 p.m.

I'm interested in JC Penney, "the retail magnet "....just kidding. You nailed my main concern with your notation about where your parents live. Once some major fuel station adds the charging stations; Pilot? Loves? Petro? I think it'll break it open.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/6/22 2:39 p.m.

In reply to chandler :

Doh, I'll have to fix.

And I realize that not everyone here is driving an EV to my parents' house. That's just the most rural place that we regularly visit.

We have a few different ways to get there once we leave the highway. They all take about the same time. One way hardly passes any gas stations–like, just two little, rural ones over the hundred or so miles. But it's a nice drive. 

For me, the big thing was EVs being able to get form here to Orlando–an hour each way. That was the big line to cross. 

And, I agree, once the gas stations start adding chargers, that will be huge. It would be nice to fuel up under cover, too. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/6/22 2:49 p.m.

Although speaking of on-the-road fill-ups, it's been eye-opening to see the open chargers along I-95. 

Those with EVs, how often are you recharging away from home and/or work? 

Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/6/22 3:25 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to Karacticus :

I could see that. 

Do you prefer it or silence? 

Can hardly hear it inside the vehicle unless the windows are open. 
 

Does appear to help move pets and such out of the way-- which by the way is another nice thing about the 360 degree camera setup .

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/6/22 3:26 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Those with EVs, how often are you recharging away from home and/or work? 

Back when I had a LEAF with an 80-mile range as our primary "real" car, maybe once a month. With a modern EV with 250 miles of range, maybe a few times per year.

I've written about this before, but I hate hate hate hate how inconvenient it is to refuel my gas-powered Honda Element. None of the places I go have gasoline, but all of them have electricity. No idea why I can't fill it up at home like I used to fill up the LEAF. And that's before you factor in the exponentially lower cost per mile to drive the EV around.

It's baffling to me that we're all totally fine with fueling our cars being a separate errand. Gasoline cars are the automotive equivalent of not owning a fridge--every time you want a sandwich or a drink you have to drive to McDonalds's.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/6/22 3:29 p.m.

And to be clear: I love gasoline cars and have a garage full of engine swapped cars and love them. But I'm totally fine with having fun on weekends with the gas cars I enjoy (and fuel with gas cans anyway), and using an electric car for day-to-day driving. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/6/22 3:36 p.m.
chandler said:

I'm interested in JC Penney, "the retail magnet "....just kidding. You nailed my main concern with your notation about where your parents live. Once some major fuel station adds the charging stations; Pilot? Loves? Petro? I think it'll break it open.

GM is working with Pilot to put chargers in about 500 Flyin' J and Pilot stations.
https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a40614414/gm-ev-fast-chargers-pilot-flying-j-truck-stops/

There was a charger rollout at the various "Travel Ontario" stops along the 401 and other big Ontario highways a few years back. It's happening.

Rural areas will always be the last, although it's easier to put a charger in the middle of nowhere than a gas station because the infrastructure is already there, if only partially. If you're only passing two gas stations on the way to mama's house, well, it's going to take a while before someone sees fit to put a high speed DC charger there. For the time being,the solution would be a mobile charger that can be plugged in overnight while you visit. Or look at other networks like EVgo or Chargepoint instead of just EA. When the Tesla network opens up to other vehicles, that'll unlock a bunch of options as well.

The sketchiness of a charger out behind a Walmart surrounded by shipping containers is an excellent point. Like filling up in Detroit where the attendant is behind an inch of Lexan.

Our EV very rarely gets charged away from home. By far the most common is a high speed charger near the interstate if we are on a road trip. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/6/22 4:41 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

My wife mentioned not feeling safe there alone after our first stop there. As a woman, she said, I simply wouldn't feel safe stopping there alone. Even though it's a Walmart parking lot, it's too secluded.

Upon arriving and seeing all the lights out, she let out a big nope. 

She wasn't there when the dude appeared from the bushes. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/6/22 4:50 p.m.

At the moment, the charging infrastructure (which is the new and scary part, so it's what everyone always focuses on when doing test drives) is thin enough that there aren't often multiple options for non-Teslas. So EA is probably totally satisfied with that station. But once there are other options, consumers will choose the ones with better amenities/fewer sketchy guys in bushes and hopefully a nice, clean, well-lit charging area will become a priority for the networks. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/6/22 4:53 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I'm trying to think when, if we had an EV, we'd have to fuel up on the road. Going to my parents might be the one biggie, so a few times per year. Plus whenever Iron Maiden is coming through the state. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/6/22 7:14 p.m.

Hello, Cocoa.  

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/6/22 9:39 p.m.

And hello, West Palm Beach.  

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/6/22 10:01 p.m.

So did I read this correctly?  One charging station was $14.79 for 80 miles of range?  Ouch.  My Honda goes a lot farther on that kind of coin.  It really appears that EVs work because a lot of the charging stations are "free" or heavily subsidized.  Once everyone is weened of gas and everyone is using EVs I bet those subsidies will disappear.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
9/6/22 10:14 p.m.

I wonder if the auto manufacturers have people on staff who come up with the sounds the cars make, or if they sub that work out to consultants.  It's kind of a weird new occupation that no one had ever thought of a decade or two ago - thinking up new sounds for cars to meke.  All I can think of is the sound of George Jetson's car.  smiley

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 12:10 a.m.

Hello, Miami. 

I'll post an update in the morning. I took out my contacts and then realized that i left my glasses at home. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/7/22 12:36 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Uh oh.... been there done that.  Nowadays I'm old and long married and just wear glasses all the time.  Someone once said they make me look smarter and I figured that's not a bad thing.  I also have a few different ones for driving and safety glasses for work, and after a few years I have plenty of spares available.  I keep spares in each car, in my computer bag, etc. 

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
9/7/22 6:36 a.m.
stuart in mn said:

I wonder if the auto manufacturers have people on staff who come up with the sounds the cars make, or if they sub that work out to consultants.  It's kind of a weird new occupation that no one had ever thought of a decade or two ago - thinking up new sounds for cars to meke.  All I can think of is the sound of George Jetson's car.  smiley

There was actually a Vince Vaughn/Kevin James movie from 2011 where the two main characters are inventing/selling car noises to OEMs. I don't recommend it, and the car stuff is a pretty small part of the plot, but the idea existed enough for it to be part of the movie over a decade ago.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/7/22 8:56 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Hello, Miami. 

Welcome to the jungle!

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
9/7/22 9:30 a.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

So did I read this correctly?  One charging station was $14.79 for 80 miles of range?  Ouch.  My Honda goes a lot farther on that kind of coin.  It really appears that EVs work because a lot of the charging stations are "free" or heavily subsidized.  Once everyone is weened of gas and everyone is using EVs I bet those subsidies will disappear.

It's kind of the Wild West out there on recharging fees. Some charging stations are marked way up. Some aren't. Charging at home gets you really cheap operations and obviously charging at a free station is even better. But eventually I'm sure rates will be a bit more standardized and the expensive fees will go away. At least so the optimistic side of my brain says. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
9/7/22 9:58 a.m.

43 cents a kw/h is insanely high!  That is in the range of the Big Island (Hawaii).

Giant, over sized radiator grill.....  sigh.... they couldn't give that up for this car?!


Have you mentioned the retail cost? (and general availability).


How much regen do you get going down hills?  

(That's a joke BTW)

Mike (Forum Supporter)
Mike (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/7/22 10:03 a.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

So did I read this correctly?  One charging station was $14.79 for 80 miles of range?  Ouch.  My Honda goes a lot farther on that kind of coin.  It really appears that EVs work because a lot of the charging stations are "free" or heavily subsidized.  Once everyone is weened of gas and everyone is using EVs I bet those subsidies will disappear.

Electricity is a bit like drinking water. It's piped into your home as a commodity, and there, it's super cheap. If you want it packaged to pick up quickly on the road, you'll pay a premium. It shouldn't hurt so much, since it's only on your road trips. If you're needing a public charger more than a few times a year, there's a good chance an efficient car that burns gasoline still makes economic sense. 

Honestly, (unpopular opinion here,) most people could get by with 110v home charging. For an efficient compact car, that's 40+ miles of range every night.

Paid public chargers almost never beat gasoline on a price per mile basis. Maybe it'd be better if it did for adoption purposes, to serve consumer expectations of a "go somewhere and fill up" errand analog. 

Thing is, there's no "we have gasoline at home" pricing analog. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/7/22 10:09 a.m.

I'd have to go back and check the numbers, but my fuel cost for charging during a trip is roughly equivalent to a 40 mpg gas car if memory serves. Of course, I start the trip with a free "tank" and I will stay at hotels that offer a free "fill" overnight, so the total average is less than that. And of course, I don't pay much for fuel when I'm not on a road trip. Before we were on solar, our cost per mile was roughly 3 cents.

Eventually, charging stations will be tightly enough packed that they'll start to compete on amenities, non-sketchiness, price and speed.

In our case, we'd probably still be driving an electric every day even if the cost was the same as an ICE because the car has a bunch of other attributes we like a lot. The fact that it costs less to feed is a bonus.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 2:34 p.m.

Miami was fun and already on the way back. So far, smooth sailing. I'm currently at a Walmart in Ft. Lauderdale. Didn't need to fuel up but want to make a stop so fueling while checking something online. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/7/22 2:39 p.m.

Filling up my EV at home was about 1/5 the cost of filling it up at a public charger. Yeah, that water bottle vs. home tap water analogy is pretty good. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 2:40 p.m.

Also, so far, no waiting for a charger on this trip. Currently seven out of 10 chargers available. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/7/22 2:41 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Miami was fun and already on the way back. So far, smooth sailing. I'm currently at a Walmart in Ft. Lauderdale. Didn't need to fuel up but want to make a stop so fueling while checking something online. 

I call that "opportunity charging". You're stopped anyway, why not plug in?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 6:57 p.m.

Well, when I left West Palm Beach with a full tank, it looked like it was enough to get me home. 
Well, hello Cocoa! Based on the numbers I was seeing, it was going to be a photo finish. And I wasn't feeling that lucky. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 6:58 p.m.

Come see me at Sam's Club between floral and mixed nuts. We can hang for a few.  

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 9:17 p.m.

Okay, I am home.

Some TL;DR:

Yes, you can road trip an EV.

Yes, there might be some challenges.

Yes, we have come a long way in a relatively short time. 

More to come once my phone syncs. :) 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 9:22 p.m.

Also, I need to clean up the kitchen from dinner. 

BRB. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 9:38 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Exactly. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 10:04 p.m.

Okay, some of the high points from the trip.

First stop on the way down was in Cocoa, so an hour south of us. It was time for a bathroom break, and I was getting hungry. Next charger isn't until Port St. Lucie, so almost another hundred miles. 

The Cocoa EA charger is in a Sam's Club parking lot. Easy access from I-95.

Clean bathrooms and I think they had a bidet. 

The cafe had just closed. 

And not much to eat unless you're feeding an entire family.

Here's the bill:

Sam's Club isn't open 24/7, though, so that could impact your travel plans. 

I was still hungry and not up for an entire rotisserie chicken, so I had to make a second stop for food (don't judge). 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 10:14 p.m.

Next stop was in West Palm Beach. On the app, it looked like this charger was located in a shopping center. I wasn't sure how South Florida traffic was going to be, so I erred on the earlier stop.

This stop was a bit deluxe. The chargers were located in the lower level of a parking garage. Close to I-95 but took a few minutes to get there. 

I was the only one there charging. 

Not much open at that time of night–it was a few minutes to 10:00–but Whole Foods hadn't yet closed. I grabbed dessert.

If Whole Foods was closed, not sure what was around for a bathroom. I saw people in sporting wear, so I'm thinking the gym was still open. Was it open to travelers? No idea. 

My plan was to grab enough of a charge to get down to Miami and then a bit north for the drive home. I forgot to check regarding charging facilities at the hotel. 

While waiting for the car to charge, I checked out the local sights. 

The rest of the drive to Miami was rather uneventful. (The way I like it.)

What Google says takes 4 hours to drive actually took me 5.5. (I also stopped at a rest area for a minute.)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 10:24 p.m.

Now the drive home.

First, the hotel, while very, very nice, didn't offer charging. I asked, and they pointed me towards a 110 outlet. I figured that was a fool's errand. 

My plan was to get past Miami traffic before stopping. There I could reevaluate everything for the rest of the trip. I also saw that the Port. St. Lucie chargers were currently down.

 

So, how about Ft. Lauderdale? This charger was at a Walmart and looked close to the I-95.

Being able to charge at the hotel would have saved this stop. 

As promised, these chargers were close to the highway: 10 chargers and, again, no waiting. 

I figured there would be more traffic as I continued north. How would that impact range? Honestly, I didn't have enough seat time to tell. So, I figured, I'd stop again in West Palm Beach. With Port St. Lucie down, it would be as far north as I could stop before leaving South Florida airspace. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 10:31 p.m.

During the daytime, West Palm Beach was happening. The parking lots were nearly full. No wait for a charger, though. 

Where some chargers were located in the corners of the various lots, these occupied rather prime real estate. 

And maybe that's tied to something that I noticed here, and hopefully those with more EV experience can chime in: Is using the EV spots just to park a thing? Or do these Teslas have wireless charging?

I saw both owners park and leave. Then I realized that their cars weren't plugged in. The Model Y sat there for at least 25 minutes. 

But, a bonus for me:

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/7/22 10:33 p.m.

I just grabbed the car from David and plugged it in at my house. Nice of BMW to include a burly EVSE and adapters in the trunk--I'm currently charging at 11kw from a welding outlet in my shop. That's a good bit faster than the Level 2 EVSE in my front garage can put out. 



David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 10:34 p.m.

West Palm Beach is about 205 miles from home. The range said that I could go 254 miles. 

Could I really make it home from West Palm Beach to Ormond Beach without stopping? That did sound luxurious. 

But I'd also be flying without a net as I had just the Cocoa stop between us. If I came up even just a mile short, I'd be SOL. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/7/22 10:38 p.m.

If my math is right, the car is going to slurp down 40 kWh while I'm asleep tonight. That will cost me about $6 for the 117 miles of range added. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/22 10:43 p.m.

So, I watched the numbers and kept doing the math. As I reached Cocoa, it looked too close for comfort: I'd have 71 miles to go with 94 miles of range showing. 

I admit, I just wasn't up for an adventure. 

So, hello again, Cocoa. 

I let this stop go a little longer as I felt the need to stretch my legs a bit. 

And another free charge. 

And from there, I was home in an hour. Thanks to traffic (and the stops), the drive up from Miami to Ormond Beach took 6+ hours. 

Thanks for following, and let's discuss. 

GaryC83
GaryC83 Reader
9/7/22 11:49 p.m.

Thanks for the logging of information. Pretty interesting to read and seems to correlate with a lot of what I've heard and read from other folks.  Seems like while they have come a long ways, the infrastructure still leaves a LOT to be desired.  That seems to be the biggest sticking point, especially when you need to head out into the boonies. 

I'm  also curious to see what the long term reliability is on these things, as they start to age and acquire upwards of 100,000 miles and get to the 6-10 year mark, for the "average" buyer.  Not just on the handful of outliers that have made it to the 200k-250k plus mark, with folks whom are *obviously* more diligent about such than the average user.... I want to see the real world owners who *aren't* as conscious about proper charging to extend battery life, doing the "proper" warm up cycles and such (you know, where it actually gets legit cold) Im curious how those will fair as they begin to age out. That's my biggest question on them, at the moment. Long term battery life.

Being said, I'd love to build an electric swapped hot rod / custom. AEM and others are doing some neat stuff.  To say I'm curious about that end of things is an understatement. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/8/22 12:13 a.m.

One more observation about the BMW i4 to answer an earlier question: This car feels so much like a BMW that it's eerie. 

Let me explain. If you handed this car to a friend and didn't tell them it was electric, not sure they'd know. 

The throttle, for example, feels so much like an ICE car. It has that progressive feel that we all know. It doesn't have that instant-on found in some EVs. No weirdness, no "get used to it."

And, likewise, the car seems to "creep" away from a stop like a traditional automatic. When you take your foot off the brake, it doesn't just sit there. 

The familiarity curve with the i4 was just instant, and I think that's a lot of the appeal. 

 

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/8/22 12:18 a.m.

In reply to GaryC83 :

One thing that I keep coming back to: I never had to wait for a charger except that one time in Jacksonville, and in the past week I drove all of I-95 in Florida. 

Also, yeah, there's a difference between a road trip stop at a 24/7 Walmart or (insert your favorite travel plaza) vs. a Sam's Club or shopping mall that's closed for the night. 

GaryC83
GaryC83 Reader
9/8/22 12:30 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to GaryC83 :

One thing that I keep coming back to: I never had to wait for a charger except that one time in Jacksonville, and in the past week I drove all of I-95 in Florida. 

Also, yeah, there's a difference between a road trip stop at a 24/7 Walmart or (insert your favorite travel plaza) vs. a Sam's Club or shopping mall that's closed for the night. 

 I wonder how that will be / if it will continue to remain that way, as more and more EV'S continue to populate the road. I can see that being the tipping point for people, if charging lags behind and you wind up having to wait a half hour, or whatever for an open spot, as more and more folks adopt EV platforms. 

I hope the charging situation grows at the same pace as the amount of them on the roads are. Along with our E36 M3 infrastructure.... that needs a solid upgrade. But anybody with their eyes open and a functional brain can see the writing on the wall there. 

 

I can see a proper gasoline or diesel electric performance hybrid being my own ideal, for the foreseeable future. As I travel off the beaten paths far too frequently. It's a shame, IMO, nobody has embraced that side of things, really.  Maybe someday, but for now it seems lost to the typical Prius and the like. 

 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 12:36 a.m.

In reply to GaryC83 :

There have been a number of studies done on the real world effects of lots of fast charging on the fleet. Turns out it's not as bad as you'd expect, to the point where it might be noise in the data. "Proper warming" isn't as much a thing on EVs as it is on ICE, so I don't think maintenance/use is going to have as big an effect on longevity as it does on liquid fuel vehicles. Turns out these things are pretty smart when when it comes to caring for their own batteries.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 12:40 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Parking while not charging is what's known as a "dick move". Just like leaving your Camry at the only diesel pump while you go peruse the Slim Jim selection in the convenience store.  There are shiny happy people everywhere.

I figured there would be more traffic as I continued north. How would that impact range? 

Stop and go or varying traffic punishes an EV far less than an ICE as they don't need to idle and they can regen. To the point where Google is starting to calculate different "most efficient" routes for ICE vs EV - that's just rolling out now. So hitting traffic will not affect your range as much as you might think. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/8/22 6:48 a.m.
GaryC83 said:
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to GaryC83 :

One thing that I keep coming back to: I never had to wait for a charger except that one time in Jacksonville, and in the past week I drove all of I-95 in Florida. 

Also, yeah, there's a difference between a road trip stop at a 24/7 Walmart or (insert your favorite travel plaza) vs. a Sam's Club or shopping mall that's closed for the night. 

 I wonder how that will be / if it will continue to remain that way, as more and more EV'S continue to populate the road. I can see that being the tipping point for people, if charging lags behind and you wind up having to wait a half hour, or whatever for an open spot, as more and more folks adopt EV platforms. 

I hope the charging situation grows at the same pace as the amount of them on the roads are. Along with our E36 M3 infrastructure.... that needs a solid upgrade. But anybody with their eyes open and a functional brain can see the writing on the wall there. 

 

I can see a proper gasoline or diesel electric performance hybrid being my own ideal, for the foreseeable future. As I travel off the beaten paths far too frequently. It's a shame, IMO, nobody has embraced that side of things, really.  Maybe someday, but for now it seems lost to the typical Prius and the like. 

 

 

I don't see that lag happening, or at least not for too long. Why? See my post about the cost of electricity at home and compare it to what David was paying at the public chargers. That's a BIG markup for a product that has almost zero logistics and staffing needs. I suspect companies will realize the money to be made and make it. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/8/22 6:50 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

During the daytime, West Palm Beach was happening. The parking lots were nearly full. No wait for a charger, though. 

Where some chargers were located in the corners of the various lots, these occupied rather prime real estate. 

And maybe that's tied to something that I noticed here, and hopefully those with more EV experience can chime in: Is using the EV spots just to park a thing? Or do these Teslas have wireless charging?

I saw both owners park and leave. Then I realized that their cars weren't plugged in. The Model Y sat there for at least 25 minutes. 

But, a bonus for me:

In my experience, that's a classic Tesla move. Those things constantly block charging spots and don't charge. The EV equivalent of giant suburban with roof boxes, which are always parked at gas pumps not pumping. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/8/22 10:03 a.m.

I think that was the biggest disappointment of the entire experience: seeing other EV drivers treat the charger as their own front-row parking spot. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 11:14 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

That could be sheer numbers. If there's an EV parked anywhere, the odds are it's a Tesla simply because they make up such a large percentage of the EV fleet in the US.

Parking in front of the pump is an old move. It's just even more annoying for EVs because of the timeframes. The chargers will usually charge idle time if you stay plugged in after charging is complete, but if you're not plugged in nobody knows you're there. I don't have a good solution for this short of surveillance cameras with plate recognition - which is not a technical challenge, but until it starts to hurt the people who own the chargers there's no motivation to deploy it.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/8/22 11:40 a.m.

Having to put significant thought into charging station locations reminds me of when I first started driving diesel pickup trucks as my main vehicle in 1995.  If you stayed on the interstates fuel was readily available.  When you started traveling more off the beaten path you really had to look for places to buy fuel.  Farm stores and fuel oil places would sometimes have diesel pumps hidden around back that the locals would know about.  A call on the CB for local information or a scan through the yellow pages at a phone booth were sometimes needed to find them.

Now gas stations without diesel are the exception rather than the norm.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/8/22 12:15 p.m.

In reply to APEowner :

That sounds like a fair analogy. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 12:46 p.m.

Suggestion made by a friend of mine: Sonic needs to get into the charger business.

Well, yes. Yes, they do.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/8/22 1:15 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I know that EA has a partnership with Walmart. If that's the case, can we assume that more would be on the way?

EA charger at every Waffle House, for example? Sonic as well? 

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/8/22 1:21 p.m.

I wish our local Costco would have them.  I know in some cities they do but if they have them at some Sheetz then every Costco should have them IMO

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve Reader
9/8/22 1:21 p.m.

For me, I think the lack of chargers isn't quite as much of an obstacle as time.

My commute is 80 miles round trip, which is well within the limits of modern EVs, even with no charger at my office. However, my girlfriend lives in an apartment in Eastern TN, 3 hours in the opposite direction from where I work. If I want to see her (and I very much do), I can meet her in the middle, which gives me a ~180 mile round trip before I get home to charge. Probably still doable without taking the time to stop for a charge in the middle, though I'd be a little worried about the 80 mi commute the next day if the car hadn't started the trip with max charge.

If I go to visit her on a Friday night, that's 207 miles of travel from home to work to her apartment. She obviously doesn't have any place to charge there, so I'd have to find some other place to charge to near max capacity before I went home the next day. That's starting to take a pretty good chunk out of my already short visit with my girlfriend, and if I have to choose between 30 minutes of charging a car or 30 extra minutes with my girlfriend, I'm gonna choose the latter every time.

I get that my situation is unusual - most people probably aren't making such time-sensitive trips hundreds of miles multiple times per week, but the fact that I can fill my car up in 5 minutes on my way home is a major help in my life right now.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/8/22 5:53 p.m.

In reply to AMiataCalledSteve :

Yeah, I can see that. Your situation sounds like me visiting my folks in that it's probably in that 1% or something. 

If I had a normal commute–even an hour-long commute–an EV makes a lot of sense. Getting range from 60 miles to 200+ is huge. 

Like Tom noted, recharge at night for a few bucks and then go to work. And no stop necessary to fill the tank. Come home, plug in the car, be home. 

GaryC83
GaryC83 Reader
9/8/22 6:53 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to AMiataCalledSteve :

If I had a normal commute–even an hour-long commute–an EV makes a lot of sense. Getting range from 60 miles to 200+ is huge. 

Like Tom noted, recharge at night for a few bucks and then go to work. And no stop necessary to fill the tank. Come home, plug in the car, be home. 

That's still a problem for a lot of folks though, especially in urban areas. We have street parking at our house, as its on a smaller lot and the house takes up most of it.   So, where to charge...

There's also a lot of folks that live in apartments / condos / etc that can't charge at night due to the same circumstances.  Can't charge at the shop either, as all our inside bays are full of projects, and we park across the street, in the parking lot. 

Logistically speaking, they're still not an ideal for a lot of people. If somebody came out of with a more afforable performance hybrid, something like the Ioniq 5 or whatever that thing is, with a dumbed down version of Porsche's hybrid drive...gas or diesel, I'd be all over it. And I have a feeling a LOT of other folks would be more willing to make the switch to a setup like that as well.   Full electrics are great...for a small sect of the population. Everybody else is caught in this grey zone, currently. I wouldn't mind an electric setup, but its currently too big of a pain in the ass logistics wise to even consider. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/9/22 9:23 a.m.

In reply to GaryC83 :

Good points, charging for some could be a challenge. 

One day, will charge points be as common as parking meters? Or will hybrids be the answer for those living in urban areas? 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/9/22 9:26 a.m.

There are already EV owners who can't (or don't bother to) charge at home. Those people charge while doing something else, like grocery shopping. I think that's the market EVgo is targeting. It's like a ICE vehicle in that regard, only you don't have to make a special stop at a special car feeding place.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
9/9/22 9:36 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Although speaking of on-the-road fill-ups, it's been eye-opening to see the open chargers along I-95. 

Those with EVs, how often are you recharging away from home and/or work? 

Almost never. The parking garage downtown where I park sometimes has free charging. My wife uses the free charger in Hendorsonville when she brings my son up there to volunteer, so maybe 4.1x per month.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
9/9/22 9:38 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
chandler said:

I'm interested in JC Penney, "the retail magnet "....just kidding. You nailed my main concern with your notation about where your parents live. Once some major fuel station adds the charging stations; Pilot? Loves? Petro? I think it'll break it open.

GM is working with Pilot to put chargers in about 500 Flyin' J and Pilot stations.
https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a40614414/gm-ev-fast-chargers-pilot-flying-j-truck-stops/

There was a charger rollout at the various "Travel Ontario" stops along the 401 and other big Ontario highways a few years back. It's happening.

Rural areas will always be the last, although it's easier to put a charger in the middle of nowhere than a gas station because the infrastructure is already there, if only partially. If you're only passing two gas stations on the way to mama's house, well, it's going to take a while before someone sees fit to put a high speed DC charger there. For the time being,the solution would be a mobile charger that can be plugged in overnight while you visit. Or look at other networks like EVgo or Chargepoint instead of just EA. When the Tesla network opens up to other vehicles, that'll unlock a bunch of options as well.

The sketchiness of a charger out behind a Walmart surrounded by shipping containers is an excellent point. Like filling up in Detroit where the attendant is behind an inch of Lexan.

Our EV very rarely gets charged away from home. By far the most common is a high speed charger near the interstate if we are on a road trip. 

This is a game changer. Coupled with the 5% early adoption rule of thumb, and some of the 2030ish predictions sound about right.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
9/9/22 9:39 a.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

So did I read this correctly?  One charging station was $14.79 for 80 miles of range?  Ouch.  My Honda goes a lot farther on that kind of coin.  It really appears that EVs work because a lot of the charging stations are "free" or heavily subsidized.  Once everyone is weened of gas and everyone is using EVs I bet those subsidies will disappear.

You're leaving out the 99.9% of the time you're charging from home at something like 1/10th the price of a ICE vehicle.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/9/22 10:01 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

Yep, see Tom's post about charging at home: about $6 to add 117 miles of range.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
9/9/22 10:07 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to tuna55 :

Yep, see Tom's post about charging at home: about $6 to add 117 miles of range.

I did see that. I spend quite a bit less. Depending on gas prices, I was spending something between 1/6-1/10 of what I spent to fuel my 30 mpg Accord. I think I calculated roughly half of what Tom quoted.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/9/22 10:55 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

Impressive. 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/9/22 11:03 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

Average electricity cost in the US right now is about 16.6c/kWh. We're using 29 kWh/100 miles on average (3.4 miles/kWh if you think that way, and just about the same rating as a Bolt), so 117 miles would be $5.63. Tom's numbers aren't that far off. I think some of that is the difference between the raw $/kWh listed on your bill and the actual delivered price after everything else is bolted on, because that site shows Denver as being 50% higher than our raw price.

So that's roughly 5c per mile. National gas price average is $3.738 to $4.487. To bring the cost-per-mile down to 5c, you'd have to get 77.6 mpg on regular or 93.2 mpg on premium.

The Hummer EV uses 64.6 kWh/100 miles, so it'll cost you 10.7c/mile or the equivalent or 36 mpg on regular. That's about the same as my CRX :)

sun573
sun573 New Reader
9/9/22 11:28 a.m.

Reliability and consistency is why Tesla will still have the lead for at least a few years. Having road tripped in both my Tesla and a non-Tesla EV, it is a world of difference. 

 

With the Tesla, we have:

1. Never had to wait for charging

2. Never experienced a broken charger

3. Just plug and play, and it charges to my card automatically

4. Costs around $15 for 10-80%, compared to >$25 for similar kwh at EA stations (I'm in southeast US)

 

In the non-Tesla, it was about 50/50 whether we would be able to charge after immediately getting to the station. Once (if) Tesla opens up superchargers to other EVs, it will be a game changer.

 

Charging at home is the same though, so for the vast majority of the time, it's not a big deal.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/9/22 11:44 a.m.

It's not "if" for the Tesla network opening up, it's when according to friends who work there. I'm not personally looking forward to it because it will decrease the effectiveness of the network for me, but it's something that has to be done.  I definitely agree that the Tesla charging experience is what all other networks should strive to achieve, it's very reliable and could not be simpler.

The Tesla SC prices have been going up. The first time I stopped at the Glenwood Springs SC in October 2019, it was 24c/kWh. The last time, last May, it was 39.6c/kWh (both of these are without tax, which bumps the total by about 3c). That puts my cost per mile at about 12.5c, or 30 mpg on regular.

It's interesting to note that pretty much all journalists are testing EVs in the "cannot charge at home" mode. They're all apartment dwellers in this use case. Rarely do they have a car long enough to get a feel for day to day use, because of course the first thing they want to do when they get an EV is plan a road trip to test the charging network. So from that viewpoint, the state of the charging network along their chosen route becomes all-important and every stop is momentous. You can certainly pick up some good observations from doing this, but it's really not a good indication what what normal use is like. It's like doing all your supercar test driving on a track when most supercars rarely go near one.

Tom's viewpoint, having lived with an EV, is a good counterpoint to this. To properly get a feel for what it's like to live with an EV, all journos should spend a month or two with one, preferably with a home charger. That way they can learn more about the fundamental differences about the mode of propulsion and can then review the cars on other aspects taking the charging experience as a constant (for everything not a Tesla).

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/9/22 11:47 a.m.

The Tesla charging system is a game-changer. What's the latest on Tesla opening its network to everyone else? 

Oddly, they also don't have chargers near my parents. 

My parents had some friends visit with their Tesla. Yeah, my dad said, it was a pain. The nearest fast charger is half an hour away. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/9/22 11:51 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

This was the most time/miles I spent with an EV. Very educational. Speaking as a journalist, a week with an EV is very different than a day with an EV. 

I'm also thinking that soon our garage will need a proper outlet for EVs. 

DjGreggieP
DjGreggieP HalfDork
9/9/22 11:55 a.m.

An all electric vehicle is HIGH on my list of next vehicle related purchase (flat deck trailer is #1 right now, hopefully next year) and if I used it as a daily driver to work the number of times I would need to charge away from home is in the 0.5% range, the occasional trip to a bigger city center would be the only time I'd need to charge, and I am sure I could make a stop at a store that also has a charger while I am in the city. 

I guess for myself it'll comes down to features/setup, pricing and if I like how it looks, but I can live with an ugly car if it's inexpensive enough and does what I need it to do. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/9/22 11:55 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

This was the most time/miles I spent with an EV. Very educational. Speaking as a journalist, a week with an EV is very different than a day with an EV. 

I'm also thinking that soon our garage will need a proper outlet for EVs. 

It's the nature of the journalist lifestyle. You are more likely to have the equivalent of a rental car experience than an ownership experience :) That's pretty hard to avoid.

My charger is plugged into the same kind of outlet I use for my welder. You need an outlet for a welder in your garage, obviously.

The nearest Tesla fast charger being a half hour away isn't a problem if it's on the way. If it's a half hour out of the way, that's a problem.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/9/22 11:59 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

It's half an hour in the other direction....

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/9/22 12:01 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Not ideal. Wouldn't be a problem for your parents, but it will make it harder to visit. The networks are growing fast, though - since we got our car, there have been a whole bunch pop up to make back country road trips easier in the Colorado mountains. They're in places that don't seem to make sense until you look at what they're between instead of where they are.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/9/22 12:05 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Yeah, not sure if my parents will do an EV. Not that they're against the idea, but they have a Miata and a BMW wagon. Kinda hard to step away from that pairing. 

Hopefully their town gets a fast charger. I'm a little surprised that it doesn't but, at the moment, both Tesla and EA miss them. And, yeah, this is all growing so quickly. How far it's come in less than five years.

GaryC83
GaryC83 Reader
9/9/22 12:39 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

The Tesla SC prices have been going up. The first time I stopped at the Glenwood Springs SC in October 2019, it was 24c/kWh. The last time, last May, it was 39.6c/kWh (both of these are without tax, which bumps the total by about 3c). That puts my cost per mile at about 12.5c, or 30 mpg on regular.

It's interesting to note that pretty much all journalists are testing EVs in the "cannot charge at home" mode. They're all apartment dwellers in this use case. Rarely do they have a car long enough to get a feel for day to day use, because of course the first thing they want to do when they get an EV is plan a road trip to test the charging network. So from that viewpoint, the state of the charging network along their chosen route becomes all-important and every stop is momentous. You can certainly pick up some good observations from doing this, but it's really not a good indication what what normal use is like. It's like doing all your supercar test driving on a track when most supercars rarely go near one.

Tom's viewpoint, having lived with an EV, is a good counterpoint to this. To properly get a feel for what it's like to live with an EV, all journos should spend a month or two with one, preferably with a home charger. That way they can learn more about the fundamental differences about the mode of propulsion and can then review the cars on other aspects taking the charging experience as a constant (for everything not a Tesla).

 

I think a lot of them are doing apartment dwelling mode, because it IS the most common parking situation. Not necessarily living in an apartment itself, but the lack of a having a garage. 

Stats show roughly 70% of the Population lives in a single family or type dwellings.  Of those, only roughly 63% have garages. That is a miniscule 42% of the population. Not saying *some* apartments dont have garage space you can rent, but odds are those will have a 110 only hookup and not be wired for a 220v drop by your car.... nor is that something most places may be willing to do.  

 

Honestly, for the time for the "average Joe / Jane", it probably is the most realistic vantage point. 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/9/22 12:55 p.m.
GaryC83 said:
Keith Tanner said:

The Tesla SC prices have been going up. The first time I stopped at the Glenwood Springs SC in October 2019, it was 24c/kWh. The last time, last May, it was 39.6c/kWh (both of these are without tax, which bumps the total by about 3c). That puts my cost per mile at about 12.5c, or 30 mpg on regular.

It's interesting to note that pretty much all journalists are testing EVs in the "cannot charge at home" mode. They're all apartment dwellers in this use case. Rarely do they have a car long enough to get a feel for day to day use, because of course the first thing they want to do when they get an EV is plan a road trip to test the charging network. So from that viewpoint, the state of the charging network along their chosen route becomes all-important and every stop is momentous. You can certainly pick up some good observations from doing this, but it's really not a good indication what what normal use is like. It's like doing all your supercar test driving on a track when most supercars rarely go near one.

Tom's viewpoint, having lived with an EV, is a good counterpoint to this. To properly get a feel for what it's like to live with an EV, all journos should spend a month or two with one, preferably with a home charger. That way they can learn more about the fundamental differences about the mode of propulsion and can then review the cars on other aspects taking the charging experience as a constant (for everything not a Tesla).

 

I think a lot of them are doing apartment dwelling mode, because it IS the most common parking situation. Not necessarily living in an apartment itself, but the lack of a having a garage. 

Stats show roughly 70% of the Population lives in a single family or type dwellings.  Of those, only roughly 63% have garages. That is a miniscule 42% of the population. Not saying *some* apartments dont have garage space you can rent, but odds are those will have a 110 only hookup and not be wired for a 220v drop by your car.... nor is that something most places may be willing to do.  

 

Honestly, for the time for the "average Joe / Jane", it probably is the most realistic vantage point. 

 

If you're running those stats, it might be interesting to look at households and not population. And lack of a garage does not mean inability to charge at home - IIRC Tuna parks his Bolt outside and we have another GRM member who runs a Volt that lives outside as well.

The new apartment/condo construction in my town has chargers. I know that building codes are evolving so that new construction has a certain amount of charging capability. So that will gradually evolve as the market demands it (ie, you can charge more rent for an EV-friendly apartment, until they're all EV-friendly). But as I mentioned, it's completely possible to treat an EV like an ICE and take it somewhere for refueling occasionally. The difference is that you plug it in and walk away and do something else instead of standing beside it, so it's not the wasted time you think it is if you haven't actually experienced it. I could charge while doing my grocery shopping or visiting the mall here, for example. Both of those chargers are fast enough that I'd have no trouble getting a full charge while in the store. I have a friend who runs a Tesla and has a garage and the ability to install a charger, but hasn't bothered because he hasn't really needed to. 

But journalists don't get a chance to experience that as they're usually only living with the car for a few days, and they don't get a chance to learn a routine. It's all still weird and new. The only way to learn things like "charging isn't necessarily like visiting a gas station" is to actually use it like a normal car for a while.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
9/9/22 1:18 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
GaryC83 said:
Keith Tanner said:

The Tesla SC prices have been going up. The first time I stopped at the Glenwood Springs SC in October 2019, it was 24c/kWh. The last time, last May, it was 39.6c/kWh (both of these are without tax, which bumps the total by about 3c). That puts my cost per mile at about 12.5c, or 30 mpg on regular.

It's interesting to note that pretty much all journalists are testing EVs in the "cannot charge at home" mode. They're all apartment dwellers in this use case. Rarely do they have a car long enough to get a feel for day to day use, because of course the first thing they want to do when they get an EV is plan a road trip to test the charging network. So from that viewpoint, the state of the charging network along their chosen route becomes all-important and every stop is momentous. You can certainly pick up some good observations from doing this, but it's really not a good indication what what normal use is like. It's like doing all your supercar test driving on a track when most supercars rarely go near one.

Tom's viewpoint, having lived with an EV, is a good counterpoint to this. To properly get a feel for what it's like to live with an EV, all journos should spend a month or two with one, preferably with a home charger. That way they can learn more about the fundamental differences about the mode of propulsion and can then review the cars on other aspects taking the charging experience as a constant (for everything not a Tesla).

 

I think a lot of them are doing apartment dwelling mode, because it IS the most common parking situation. Not necessarily living in an apartment itself, but the lack of a having a garage. 

Stats show roughly 70% of the Population lives in a single family or type dwellings.  Of those, only roughly 63% have garages. That is a miniscule 42% of the population. Not saying *some* apartments dont have garage space you can rent, but odds are those will have a 110 only hookup and not be wired for a 220v drop by your car.... nor is that something most places may be willing to do.  

 

Honestly, for the time for the "average Joe / Jane", it probably is the most realistic vantage point. 

 

If you're running those stats, it might be interesting to look at households and not population. And lack of a garage does not mean inability to charge at home - IIRC Tuna parks his Bolt outside and we have another GRM member who runs a Volt that lives outside as well.

The new apartment/condo construction in my town has chargers. I know that building codes are evolving so that new construction has a certain amount of charging capability. So that will gradually evolve as the market demands it (ie, you can charge more rent for an EV-friendly apartment, until they're all EV-friendly). But as I mentioned, it's completely possible to treat an EV like an ICE and take it somewhere for refueling occasionally. The difference is that you plug it in and walk away and do something else instead of standing beside it, so it's not the wasted time you think it is if you haven't actually experienced it. I could charge while doing my grocery shopping or visiting the mall here, for example. Both of those chargers are fast enough that I'd have no trouble getting a full charge while in the store. I have a friend who runs a Tesla and has a garage and the ability to install a charger, but hasn't bothered because he hasn't really needed to. 

But journalists don't get a chance to experience that as they're usually only living with the car for a few days, and they don't get a chance to learn a routine. It's all still weird and new. The only way to learn things like "charging isn't necessarily like visiting a gas station" is to actually use it like a normal car for a while.

Exactly.

 

I drive 400 miles a week and never ever ever ever go near a gas station other than to fill the mower occasionally. It's an errand I no longer have to plan for. I save time by not having to fuel 2x each week.

The Bolt currently sits at 4.2 mi/khw, and my last bill says I pay $0.11 per khw, so that equates to 2.62 cents per mile. Fuel here is $3.20 today for 87, so in a 30 mpg car, that equates to 10.7 cents per mile. With gas this low, it's closer to a fifth of the cost for the EV, even skipping things like oil changes and such.

My Bolt has never been inside of my garage, and I installed the charger for a cost of around $500.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/9/22 1:22 p.m.

We haven't discussed wireless, in-the-road charging yet. Think that we'll see that go mainstream? 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/9/22 1:33 p.m.

The cost to install and maintain that would be immense. I don't think so. It's a cool concept but not really plausible.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/9/22 1:40 p.m.

One other thing that doesn't seem to get discussed much: home chargers can be slow. Like, s-l-o-w. The average person drives something like 35 miles a day, right? So the average charger at an apartment complex needs to be able to give about 35 miles of range in 10 hours. That's a 1 kw charger, otherwise known as a standard wall outlet. That will still take investment, but "install a bunch of standard wall outlets in the parking garage" is a whole different ball game than "install a bunch of 300kw connections in old construction." One DC fast charger equals the same amount of peak electrical demand as 300 daily commuters plugged into their slow charging parking spots. 

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
9/9/22 1:45 p.m.

That's an interesting point about not bothering to install a charger. (I'm late for Keith's reference to that Tesla owner, but we're still more or less on that topic)

As much as my outdated Leaf experience told me that it wasn't ready for us (or vice versa) at that point in time because of the pain of trips with a 65 mile freeway range, it was too easy for local use: I bought an L2 charger, and it's still sitting on the shelf in the basement because in day to day usage I started every day fully charged on 120V and never bothered installing the L2 at home.

How many people who "can't charge at home" would be adequately served for the vast majority of their use by a standard extension cord?

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
9/9/22 2:01 p.m.
Tom Suddard said:

One other thing that doesn't seem to get discussed much: home chargers can be slow. Like, s-l-o-w. The average person drives something like 35 miles a day, right? So the average charger at an apartment complex needs to be able to give about 35 miles of range in 10 hours. That's a 1 kw charger, otherwise known as a standard wall outlet. That will still take investment, but "install a bunch of standard wall outlets in the parking garage" is a whole different ball game than "install a bunch of 300kw connections in old construction." One DC fast charger equals the same amount of peak electrical demand as 300 daily commuters plugged into their slow charging parking spots. 

Sort of agree that a 110V charger is unusable for modern EVs, but then again every dwelling has 220V service for a dryer or a stove or AC somewhere. My admittedly slow-charging Bolt is usually topped off by the time I go to bed, and it doesn't start charging until 7pm.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/9/22 2:05 p.m.

I think we have a Tesla owner on the forum who uses 110 to charge at home and stops by a Supercharger occasionally for a top-up if the reserve is getting low. It's plausible - the 110 home charging just stretches the time between charger visits. IIRC a standard 15A 110V outlet is good for something like 3 miles of range per hour. If you're driving 35 miles a day, you can recover most or all of that overnight.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/9/22 2:38 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I want to say that I saw about 3 miles per range hour on both the Mach-E and i4 using a 110v outlet. 

I'm a huge EV fan and I'm excited to get one, but realistically I'll probably wait 5-10 years until the infrastructure has come along.  My travel needs are just too diverse and sporadic to tolerate the current inefficiencies.

DjGreggieP
DjGreggieP HalfDork
9/9/22 4:37 p.m.

Am I the only one to see a correlation between the 'free charge' charging and seeming to have been shopping in the store the charger was at or was it merely just coincidence that happened?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/9/22 5:08 p.m.

Swap out "free charge" for "free wifi" in that thinking and we've been through this evolution just recently :)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/9/22 5:37 p.m.

In reply to DjGreggieP :

I think it's a coincidence but I see where you're heading. 

For example, one charge in West Palm Beach was free while one wasn't, and I bought something there both times.

One charge in Cocoa was free, one wasn't, and I never bought anything there. 

Also, in both cases, I didn't use the same credit card for charging and my purchases. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/9/22 5:43 p.m.

Also, BMW does offer free charging with new cars: 30 minutes and up to 200 miles. But I didn't have the code for the app and, in several cases, the charger wouldn't even read my phone so I just used a credit card. Some of my free charges went past 30 minutes, too. 

So, still trying to find a common link here for the free charges....

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/21/22 4:49 p.m.

Oh, one part of the trip that I forgot to share–and really has nothing to do with EVs.

Our first Electrify America stop was up in Jacksonville. After waiting a few, I finally get to a charger. 

Right as I get things going, I hear a car skidding. I look up, and there's some rando in an E36 doing donuts in the parking lot–like, not dangerously close but, still, we're at a mall that's open for business.

After a few donuts, he drove away like nothing happened. 

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