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My perspective on EV cross country travel... Tesla vs other EV's and ICE's

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
599
452
North East Arkansas
Traveling at my normal 9 mph over the speed limit, from my house in Arkansas to the East Coast of North Carolina (wife’s best friends house) is a journey of 982 miles in our Chevy Bolt, taking 14 H 37 min of driving and 6 hours 42 min of charging. Total time 21 hours 20 min. This means I have no choice but to stop for the night around the half way point. My typical Bolt EV road trip is split into 600 mile segments. A 600 mile travel day results in 9 hours of driving and 4 hours of charging for a total travel day of 13 hours. I would prefer my driving time to be 14 hours or less, and things seldom go as planned so scheduling out 13 hours (600 miles) gives an hour leeway for traffic jams, detours etc. Max range on a single day trip of around 800 miles if I really wanted to push hard, but that is for one day only… I wouldn’t want to do that if I had another day of driving ahead of me.


Doing the same trip in the MY LR, I could stretch it to do the whole trip in one day. The driving time would be the same, but charging time is less than a third of the charging time in the Bolt at just a hair over 2 hours. I wouldn’t like a total travel day of 16 hours and 45 min… but I could do it. As I said above, I would prefer my days to be 14 hours or less. For travel in the MY LR, that means around 800 miles per day with a stretch length of 1000 miles in a day if I want to do a single day trip… as above I wouldn’t try to do 1000 miles in a day if I had another day of driving ahead of me.

In an ICE car not hell bent on doing a Cannon ball run, you can cover 1000 miles a day pretty easily and make a coast to coast trip in 3 days. In a MY LR, doing 800 miles per day you can do the same trip in 4 days (3.5 but you have to round up). A coast to coast trip in the Bolt would technically take 62 hours 37 min, 40 hours 30 min of driving and 22 hours spent charging. In reality I would divide that up into 600 mile segments, and do the trip in 5 days (4.6, but once again you round up)


For medium distance trips you spend just as many days on the road in the MY as you do the Bolt, but it is more pleasant in the MY and less hours on the road even though it is the same number of travel days.

On an average vacation, you will have one extra travel day in each direction in the Bolt compared to the MY… and an ICE would have a 1 day advantage over the MY on really long trips, but about the same number of travel days on a medium to short range trip.


With my work schedule, it is pretty easy to get 7 days off for a mini vacation… traveling out to see the wife’s BFF with 4 total travel days (2 days there 2 days back) only gives 3 days spent on actual recreation, not really worth the trip… doing the same trip in the MY uses 2 total travel days, leaving 5 days spent on actual recreation.

Y’all see why I ordered the MY LR? :D

Keith
 

Johnny Vector

Member
Jun 21, 2020
214
320
Maryland
Sounds about right. And add in the stress of wondering whether the single EVgo charger at the Hannaford will be out of service, or even just in use, and that's why I took the risk of getting an early-VIN MY for my DC-Maine trip last year. Paid $1000 more than they go for now (even after the recent price increases), but I don't regret it one bit.

Also, at my age I need to stop every couple hours anyway, and with the new V3 Superchargers along the route this year it won't actually be any longer than I would take in an ICE. By which I mean, it's no longer than it used to take me in my ICE. For my driving style, variation in traffic slowdowns along I-95 is larger than the difference between ICE and Model Y.
 

Johnny Vector

Member
Jun 21, 2020
214
320
Maryland
This point. this is why I have a Tesla replacing my Prius rather than a Bolt or Leaf or (something else)

when the other networks 'fill out' I'll be able to consider other options, but for now, the investment Tesla made appears to be paying off...
Yeah, it's sure to get better eventually. Five years from now it'll be a different story (I hope!), but for now you have to have pretty high tolerance for unexpected delays if you want to road trip in a non-Tesla.
 

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
599
452
North East Arkansas
Sounds about right. And add in the stress of wondering whether the single EVgo charger at the Hannaford will be out of service, or even just in use, and that's why I took the risk of getting an early-VIN MY for my DC-Maine trip last year. Paid $1000 more than they go for now (even after the recent price increases), but I don't regret it one bit.

Also, at my age I need to stop every couple hours anyway, and with the new V3 Superchargers along the route this year it won't actually be any longer than I would take in an ICE. By which I mean, it's no longer than it used to take me in my ICE. For my driving style, variation in traffic slowdowns along I-95 is larger than the difference between ICE and Model Y.

With the Electrify American network buildout I have been able to take the Bolt anywhere in the country other than the Dakota's Wyoming, and Minnesota. Their locations typically have 4 cabinets minimum with no sharing. The nice thing about travel in the Bolt is even after a long day of driving you arrive at your destination refreshed, not dead tired like the same amount of travel time in an ICE... is it the same in the MY or are the stops almost too short to be refreshing?

Keith
 
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PatrickTM

Always Be Charging
May 12, 2021
180
346
Boston
With the Electrify American network buildout I have been able to take the Bolt anywhere in the country other than the Dakota's Wyoming, and Minnesota. Their locations typically have 4 cabinets minimum with no sharing. The nice thing about travel in the Bolt is even after a long day of driving you arrive at your destination refreshed, not dead tired like the same amount of travel time in an ICE... is it the same in the MY or are the stops almost too short to be refreshing?

Keith
I mean, you control how long you stop at each supercharger. Want to go take a dump, buy food, and stretch/eat? Stop for a 45-50 mins for a 90% charge. Now you can skip the next supercharger (or five, depending on the part of the country). Want to just pee and stretch? Just top up to 50% and hop to the next supercharger.
 

bpjod

Supporting Member
Nov 5, 2016
474
2,474
Alberta, Canada
It’s much easier to do long days behind the wheel of my Model 3 than any ICE vehicle I’ve ever owned. Whenever I arrived at a destination after a long drive in an ICE vehicle I was drained. After the same drive in My Model 3 I still feel fresh.

I think there’s three reasons for:
  1. No vibrations through the seat and steering wheel from the engine. It’s subtle but I think it’s somewhat responsible for causing drowsiness.
  2. Autopilot. Babysitting autopilot is much more relaxing than micromanaging steering. I trust the TACC on Tesla much more than I do on other vehicles I’ve had it on too.
  3. Charging breaks gives the brain a break from driving and a bit of time for a brisk walk and stretch.
I’ve put many 10-16 hour days behind the wheel and I’d rather do a 16 hour day in my Model 3 than a 12 hour drive in any ICE I’ve owned.

As for Tesla vs. non-Tesla, I agree that charging infrastructure in North America’s is a great differentiator. Hopefully that gets addressed soon.
 

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
599
452
North East Arkansas
As for Tesla vs. non-Tesla, I agree that charging infrastructure in North America’s is a great differentiator. Hopefully that gets addressed soon.

People don't realize how good the non-Tesla CCS network is now. That is not a slam on Tesla owners, other CCS equipped EV owners don't know how much the CCS network has grown either. I am perfectly happy to use Superchargers and will enjoy the convenience of not needing a phone app or RFID card to start a charging session, but when CCS is 350 KW capable and spread everywhere other than North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Minnesota I have to say it is now a mater of choice rather than necessity to pick Tesla. If the Hyundai Ionic 5 was available today rather than being a year away it would have been a serious contender. 5 years ago it would have been a non-starter due to lack of CCS charging infrastructure.

When I purchased my Bolt it was a quandary weather or not to even get the CCS charging (it was optional) because there was not a single CCS station within driving distance of my house. My first road trip I had to drive to Memphis and charge at an L2 for 3 hours up to 100% in order to reach the nearest CCS station (Nashville) on my route to Florida. Today I can pull out of my driveway with half a charge and start a journey North to Chicago, East to anywhere on the East Coast, west to anywhere on the West Coast, or south to the Texas or Florida Gulf Coast without worrying about not being able to charge along the way. I would not recommend a newb doing that because the one great advantage Tesla still has is route planning that takes charging into account. To take the Bolt (or most other non Tesla EV's) on a road trip take pre-planning and fortitude :)

Keith
 

Johnny Vector

Member
Jun 21, 2020
214
320
Maryland
With the Electrify American network buildout I have been able to take the Bolt anywhere in the country other than the Dakota's Wyoming, and Minnesota. Their locations typically have 4 cabinets minimum with no sharing. The nice thing about travel in the Bolt is even after a long day of driving you arrive at your destination refreshed, not dead tired like the same amount of travel time in an ICE... is it the same in the MY or are the stops almost too short to be refreshing?

Keith
Well, and Maine, Vermont, and NH, unless you're staying in the very South of the states. It's certainly better now than it was last year, but if you want to go to Acadia National Park, say, you're back to relying on 50 kW EVgo chargers and the like, installed one per location. And of course the Bolt is limited to 50 kW anyway. Doable for sure, but you are correct that it takes pre-planning and fortitude!

And kudos for driving the Bolt long distance! I was 100% going to take mine to central Maine last year (I can trickle charge where I park for 2 weeks, so I don't actually need to charge in Augusta, one of those places with just one CCS charger). And the EA network was considerably smaller even just last year, so in fact none of my planned stops were at EA. Anyway, then the MY became available 3 months earlier than the original plan and I was able to afford it, so I took the easy way out and got one!

I'm super happy to see the CCS networks expanding. Now that I have the MY, my Bolt is used for local travel, but there are plenty of great long-distance CCS EVs showing up now and they need charging stations! I still have a slight nostalgia-fueled desire to travel the country in a Buzz, for instance.

And yes, I agree with bpjod that the MY is also far more relaxing for travel than any ICE I've driven. We mostly keep our stops only as long as the needed charging time (except once, where we had leftover fried chicken from our cooler which would have been messy to eat on the road). But it was amazing how much more rested I felt after driving 12 hours. People need to understand that, rather than focusing on "GOTTA GET THERE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE OMG WE'LL HAVE TO SPEND AN EXTRA 30 MINUTES CHARGING EVS SUCK!!"
 

TomServo

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
1,325
858
Belleville IL
When the “diesel-gate” money is exhausted will VW continue to build out the EA network or will it be frozen in place or will some other entity pick up and continue building DCFC charging station under the EA banner? Who will operate it and maintain it at that point?
 
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Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
599
452
North East Arkansas
When the “diesel-gate” money is exhausted will VW continue to build out the EA network or will it be frozen in place or will some other entity pick up and continue building DCFC charging station under the EA banner? Who will operate it and maintain it at that point?

VW and its parent / partner companies are heavy into EV's, so I expect them to keep it running. VW is much more driven by EU legislation on EV adoption than it is driven by US policy. If they have to sell EV's in Europe then they will make and sell them for North America and since they were forced to invest in infrastructure here it makes sense to capitalize on the forced investment with continued expansion driven by government grants / tax incentives that are soon to be enacted.

Keith
 

PatrickTM

Always Be Charging
May 12, 2021
180
346
Boston
When the “diesel-gate” money is exhausted will VW continue to build out the EA network or will it be frozen in place or will some other entity pick up and continue building DCFC charging station under the EA banner? Who will operate it and maintain it at that point?
I think so. The $15B or whatever is in the bipartisan infra bill set aside for charging infrastructure will be incentive, I'm sure.

As a sidenote, even though EA was mostly funded by VW as part of the settlement, they are an entirely separate company, with their own management, planning, staffing, etc. so VW can't directly tell EA what to do. A prime example is that ID.4 still doesn't have plug-n-charge capability on EA, even though the hardware/tech is there.
 
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alexcue

Member
Aug 5, 2020
348
225
Los Angeles
Doing the same trip in the MY LR, I could stretch it to do the whole trip in one day. The driving time would be the same, but charging time is less than a third of the charging time in the Bolt at just a hair over 2 hours. I wouldn’t like a total travel day of 16 hours and 45 min… but I could do it. As I said above, I would prefer my days to be 14 hours or less. For travel in the MY LR, that means around 800 miles per day with a stretch length of 1000 miles in a day if I want to do a single day trip… as above I wouldn’t try to do 1000 miles in a day if I had another day of driving ahead of me.

In an ICE car not hell bent on doing a Cannon ball run, you can cover 1000 miles a day pretty easily and make a coast to coast trip in 3 days. In a MY LR, doing 800 miles per day you can do the same trip in 4 days (3.5 but you have to round up). A coast to coast trip in the Bolt would technically take 62 hours 37 min, 40 hours 30 min of driving and 22 hours spent charging. In reality I would divide that up into 600 mile segments, and do the trip in 5 days (4.6, but once again you round up)

Just as an aside... just about 10 years ago, did a drive from Jacksonville, FL to LA in 2 days in a Hyundai Elantra. (yeah, that was nuts, I don't remember anything after the CA checkpoint, it's just a blur) Just this year I did a drive one way from LA to Jax in 3 days in a Prius Prime. Roughly 12 hours a day, and this car was getting just under 50 to a gallon, So 500 mile runs were possible. The EV portion is negligible but it came in handy when i was in towns. For health reasons I didn't want to push 12 hours though with time changes it probably was a bit over. Seats are good, and it made a world of difference.

What's the point of this post? personally I would have tried to do it with an EV, but not with the GF. She wouldn't have put up with the extra stops. Also, no stress of range anxiety, but that's ME, The damn Prius Prime could go with just one fill up during the drive, but naturally had to at least start the day with some miles to make it. Still had to stop to get food, or go to bathroom.

I've been doing those drives for a bit, and driven along a lot of difference routes, 70, 40, and 10 stick out in my mind. Weather was the limitation and something that I'd have to consider even more carefully in the MY.
 
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Puma2020

Member
Jun 16, 2020
415
440
New Hampshire, USA
I have done long trips, JAX, FL to/from NH in an ICE car several times. The car was getting a bit over 40 mpg, so the stops were spread out. Plus I was a few years younger. I just finished a 4,000 mile road trip with my LR AWD Y. It was awesome. Having to stop every 2 or 2.5 hours was a blessing. The knees and back and bladder very much appreciated the 10-ish minute walk. Plus I got a few geocaches on top of it. The biggest advantage of the Y is having to go supercharger to supercharger and being forced to take that 10-ish minute break. It was less stressful than pushing straight through because I didn't have much of a choice. Spend 10-15 minutes are this supercharger so that I could get to the next one with 10%, or spend 45-55 minutes and perhaps skip a SC. 20-30 minutes for 2 stops is better than 1 long stop to be able to skip a SC. Plus with Auto Pilot/FSD, it was so relaxing. It works great on a limited access highway. I didn't trust it in work zones, but having it keep me in the center of the lane for long stretches was nice. I was pleasantly surprised that my hands on the wheel provided enough torque feedback that I wasn't getting nagged (much).
 

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