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Northern VA to central NJ: adventures in destination charging

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by paulkva, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    I'm about to leave on a weekend trip with my family, and I'm going just a bit out of my comfort zone. (I had to convince my wife that we shouldn't take the ICE -- she's substantially further out of her comfort zone -- so I *really* hope it all works out!) I thought others could potentially be interested in the research I've done, although much of it could be moot once the Edison supercharger goes live.

    The trip up to NJ will be easy -- I'm doing a range charge + preheat now and will supercharge in Delaware. I've noticed a ~20% range penalty for using heat (and I'm not going to freeze my family), so I expect I'll use a total of 265 miles of rated range to go 220 miles one-way, and therefore I should arrive with about the same number of miles in the battery that I'm able to add to the car in DE. I'm hoping I can add at least 100 miles in DE, although with the charge rate tapering down after 80%, I'm a bit concerned my family might run out of patience before that point. Then the question is how to regain sufficient mileage to get back to Delaware on Monday, given that I also plan to do ~50 miles of driving over the weekend.

    We're staying at the Hyatt House in Branchburg, NJ, whose manager (Brian) is allowing me to plug in to their 110V outdoor outlets overnight. He even went so far as to make sure I'm in a room near an outlet. I suggested he add his hotel to PlugShare and he seemed quite receptive to the idea. That might give me +60 miles over two nights. By contrast, I originally reserved a room at the Embassy Suites in Somerset/Piscataway; that hotel's manager told me their policy is to disallow EV charging of any kind on their property.

    I experienced a similar study in contrasts when I contacted two local Nissan dealers by filling out their online forms to ask about charging. Bridgewater Nissan's internet manager (Seth) called me and said it would be no problem, the chargers are accessible 24/7, and feel free to stop in and say hi if they're open. On the other hand, North Plainfield Nissan called me and asked whether I was interested in buying a new or used vehicle. When I told them I was interested in charging, they said their policy is "Nissans only." (I've updated North Plainfield Nissan's PlugShare and Recargo entries accordingly.)

    My final option, other than plugging in to 110V at my in-laws' house in Bridgewater, is Raritan Valley Community College, which is very close to the Hyatt House and has two 30A J1772 chargers that look to be free and accessible 24/7 but require a ChargePoint card.

    I'm guessing I'll still have to spend a couple hours at one of the L2 chargers (RVCC or Bridgewater Nissan) to have enough buffer to make it back to DE comfortably.
     
  2. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    So, about 110 miles to Newark, DE and then another 105 or so to Branchburg. This seems very doable, with overnight charging and a little L2 charging. The important thing is, you've got, what, four options? That's great! I think it's a good idea to plan for a couple of hours at the L2 chargers to keep from stressing about it. That's what I did in Raleigh last time, although it was a charger by a mall, so we just planned Xmas shopping and a meal around there, but I also spent a little extra time there, late evening, to get an extra buffer.

    Don't speed and you'll need to charge less. ;-)

    My only attempt to charge at a 110v outlet at a hotel didn't work out (red ring; something about the outlet), but it was a weird outlet and I'm not surprised (i.e., you'll probably charge fine). And anyway, you've got several backup options--good planning!

    If you'll be at your in-laws for any length of time (a couple of hours at a stretch?) and their 110v is reachable, why not plug in while there? If you feel outside your comfort zone, then every little bit helps...emotionally, even if it turns out to not be needed.

    Anyway, good luck--I'm sure it'll work great! Please report back (during or after the trip). :)
     
  3. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, four options including in laws. This is my 2nd round trip through the DE supercharger -- first was just to Philly, which was even easier.

    We started with 259 and arrived in DE with 132 miles of range remaining. One pretzel later we're already above 200. :) I'll probably post full details after we get home Monday, with maybe a couple interim updates depending on downtime.
     
  4. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

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    Thanks much for helping us who haven't yet ventured out on road trips to get organized and have realistic expectations!

    I can certainly understand some hotels not being agreeable to charging, but the variable reaction at Nissan dealers is very interesting. One would think there was a company policy, though I suppose those dealers are independent to some degree. Still, the Nissan penetration of charging stations is almost 100%, so even though not that many have CHAdeMO quick charging, there must have been a Nissan company push for this.

    I'm very curious if some Nissan dealers or others offering quick charge may pick up a Model S adapter for their CHAdeMO cables, once they become available. Wouldn't that be nice!
     
  5. Ven Rala

    Ven Rala Member

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    Location:
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    I had a god expeience in destination charging at Williamsburg Woodlands hotel in Colonial williamsburg, VA. they let me charge over two days on an outlet right in front of the main entrance. Unfortunately, they had to use an extension cord and occasionally the car was not happy about that. Do expect that you may get less than the 5 mi/hr promised on a 110, I had cliser to 3-4, but that was during the summer, in the winter I would expect less.

    I would recommend the J1772 charger in new bruswick Gateway Garage
    Gateway Garage - Electric Car (EV) Charging Station - PlugShare or the Tesla store in short hills mall, I have charged both places and have worked out well.

    Good luck!

    The more of us get hotels to understand that EVs can now travel long distances and need charging, the more they will cater to us.
     
  6. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    Got to the hotel, 122 miles remaining on the battery. I found four 110V outlets outdoors, one of which had a Chevy Volt attached to it! Good hotel so far. :)
     
  7. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    Awesome! Thanks for checking in here. :-D Sounds like you're doing/will do fine.
     
  8. ABVA

    ABVA Member

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  9. NJ Plugin

    NJ Plugin Member

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    The Gateway chargers are my "home" charger. I believe I remember your car a few weeks back Ven. Very reliable chargers. I have had very few issues in 7 months. The J1772's here run about 18 or 19 miles gained per hour plugged in. BTW, there are more chargers a half block in the Wellness Plaza garage (on the other side of the tracks.) There are a ton of restaurants within a block or two, including Brothers Jimmy BBQ plus a Barnes and Noble in the same building as the Gateway garage. As well as the NJ Transit/Amtrak train station.
     
  10. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    Thanks everyone for all the encouragement! I'm not too worried, really.

    One more quick update. Went to dinner and in laws' house (their outlet didn't work). Short trips but the battery went from 122 to 96 range, so I spent an hour or so at RVCC. Standard 19 mph got me back to 116, and I got work done on my laptop in the meantime. Even picked up wifi. They shut off the parking lot lights (but not the chargers or wifi!) at midnight. Now I'm charging at 4 mph back at the hotel. (No extension cord, just barely reaches.) Hoping for +36 miles by 10am. :)

    ABVA: my NJ trip was originally planned for that weekend, so now I might be able to join for part of the event. Still not sure yet.
     
  11. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    Paulkva (my fellow NoVA'er)-

    Thanks for taking the time to write up your plans & experiences... I think such are valuable for others to observe for planning, etc...

    I've taken a a couple of trips where 120V at the destination was all I was able to manage to arrange. One also from VA to NJ (via the DE supercharger), and one to Richmond. The hotel manager at both places was very accommodating, in one instance even coning off the parking space in their lot for me.

    I was sure to note their cooperation in their customer survey/online-feedback area as a significant factor in my choosing their hotel, as well as suggest that level II charging options would draw even more business. The more we "vote with our wallets" and let them know about it, the better for us.

    Incidentally, I started a "Supercharged Travels" thread for the very purpose of having these kinds of experiences shared. Thus far it doesn't seem folks have been much interested in posting there, but if you are inclined to do so , maybe we could encourage others to do the same.... I have a couple of more to add too, but didn't want to be the sole poster...

    Thanks again and enjoy your trip...
     
  12. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    Scaesare, we're on the same wavelength. I was already planning to send feedback for both Hyatt House and Embassy Suites and probably post to TripAdvisor as well.

    As for your thread, I'll gladly post a summary after my trip. I can also post about my other trips (one supercharged, two that weren't but were on routes that are now supercharged). Meanwhile I'll continue "blogging" my current trip here... :)

    We're just about ready to venture out for the day (hotel breakfast was decent) and my battery has 147 miles rated range now. Not quite +36 overnight, but not bad either!
     
  13. ABVA

    ABVA Member

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    That will be great, even if it is for part of the event. Approx. 70 have already committed, and that count is going up every day.
     
  14. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    Excellent... I'll be following. :)
     
  15. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    Charging successfully at my father-in-law's office (he's a dentist). 11A 115V 3 mph (had to reduce from 12A due to extension cord) while we get our teeth cleaned and help go through some old boxes. Note that I said this is a trip, not a vacation. ;-)

    Trip meter says 435 Wh/mi for the 4.7 mile trip from the hotel.
     
  16. SamGarber

    SamGarber S85 "Whale Shark"

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  17. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    Thanks Sam, much appreciated! I don't have twin chargers, but I'll definitely let you know if I need a little extra charge to get me back to DE; 30 mph is still much better than anything else around here.

    Latest update: I found a different outlet at my in-laws' house that gives me 10A. (The car yells at me if I try 12A.) Better than nothing...
     
  18. Tharo

    Tharo Member

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    Thanks for sharing the experience, do you make pictures of the charge in Hotel?
     
  19. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    I haven't, actually, that's a good point. I'll try to remember to take a couple photos when I get back to the hotel and/or in the morning before I unplug.

    I'm charging again at RVCC right now. Used up lots of range today, got here with only 81 rated.
     
  20. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    One more quick update: I picked up almost 40 miles of range at RVCC last night, plus another 35+ at the hotel. The phone app says 155 now and we're still almost an hour away from checkout, so even with a stop at the in-laws' house for lunch (extra 10 miles or so) we should make it to DE comfortably.

    Here's a photo of the car charging at the hotel -- it also illustrates that the manager was serious when he said he'd put us in a room close to the power outlets. :) Normally I'm not so fond of a parking lot view, but I definitely don't mind in this case!

    Charging.jpg
     

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