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Supercharging now more expensive than ICE

AudreyHTX1

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Supporting Member
Jun 11, 2021
549
594
South Texas
A huge number of Americans do own or rent an abode that has its own parking or garage, and can charge at home overnight.

And the vast majority of driving for most employed Americans and/or parents of school children is daily commuting from home. Leaving the house charged and not having to visit a gas station for all that local commuting has got to be way more convenient.

So in general the supercharger use is for those long road trips. I think the recent long trip we took I figured out that a 30mpg car would have cost the same. It was all superchargers and $0.44/kWh seems to be a common cost. It’s 1/3 of that at home.

It’s challenging to charge an EV for folks if you don’t own or rent a home with your own dedicated place to charge. I don’t see how those people manage - extra time and extra $$$.
 
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RayK

Safety Score 90 (Was 96!)
Apr 5, 2016
3,150
3,290
San Jose, CA
A huge number of Americans do own or rent an abode that has its own parking or garage, and can charge at home overnight.
I own my home (with a two-car garage but currently being used for storage) but don't charge at home. It's not that I can't do it; I've just never gotten around to installing my wall connector (see next comment for the main reason why).

So in general the supercharger use is for those long road trips. I think the recent long trip we took I figured out that a 30mpg car would have cost the same. It was all superchargers and $0.44/kWh seems to be a common cost. It’s 1/3 of that at home.
That may be true in your neck-of-the-woods. Here in Silicon Valley, where the lowest for regular unleaded is $5.40 (double what you pay in South Texas I would presume) and my lowest electricity rate is currently $0.2877/kWh (my highest rate is $0.389, when I exceed my baseline usage; summer months are more expensive), an ICE would have to be around 55MPG to be equivalent*. I just Supercharged today at a neighborhood station where the rate was $0.40/kWh. That's makes my home rate a little bit more than 2/3. I normally don't go there but I needed to get some data about charging for another thread.

The main reason why I don't charge at home is that I have access to a CHAdeMO station which is priced at $0.19/kWh. That beats my residential rate. Of course I had to spend $500 in order to get that adapter more than 3 years ago.

It’s challenging to charge an EV for folks if you don’t own or rent a home with your own dedicated place to charge. I don’t see how those people manage - extra time and extra $$$.
For me, yes, extra time to sit at a ChargePoint station (usually one hour) but I generally plan to stop and charge before or after my trips around town. It's definitely less $$$ than Supercharging (1/2) and still cheaper than if I had access to home charging. For your reference, I'm retired so I have the extra time.

ref: https://www.pge.com/tariffs/assets/pdf/tariffbook/ELEC_SCHEDS_E-6.pdf (My Baseline Territory is X)

* My charge today cost $15.20 and gave me 154 miles of range. For reference, the cost/mile is $0.0987. The same 154 miles in an ICE that gets 55MPG would need 2.8 gallons. At $5.40/g for regular, 2.8g costs $15.12. Again, for reference, if I had gone to my regular CHAdeMO station, it would have only cost me $7.22. If I had been able to charge at home (I would have saved an hour of my time) during off-peak hours and if I haven't yet exceeded my baseline usage, it would have cost $10.93. Being this is near the end of the month (assume over baseline) and I charged at peak hours, the cost would have been $14.78 (almost the same as Supercharging).
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
932
1,064
Sunnyvale, CA
I own my home (with a two-car garage but currently being used for storage) but don't charge at home. It's not that I can't do it; I've just never gotten around to installing my wall connector (see next comment for the main reason why).


That may be true in your neck-of-the-woods. Here in Silicon Valley, where the lowest for regular unleaded is $5.40 (double what you pay in South Texas I would presume) and my lowest electricity rate is currently $0.2877/kWh (my highest rate is $0.389, when I exceed my baseline usage; summer months are more expensive), an ICE would have to be around 55MPG to be equivalent*. I just Supercharged today at a neighborhood station where the rate was $0.40/kWh. That's makes my home rate a little bit more than 2/3. I normally don't go there but I needed to get some data about charging for another thread.

The main reason why I don't charge at home is that I have access to a CHAdeMO station which is priced at $0.19/kWh. That beats my residential rate. Of course I had to spend $500 in order to get that adapter more than 3 years ago.


For me, yes, extra time to sit at a ChargePoint station (usually one hour) but I generally plan to stop and charge before or after my trips around town. It's definitely less $$$ than Supercharging (1/2) and still cheaper than if I had access to home charging. For your reference, I'm retired so I have the extra time.

ref: https://www.pge.com/tariffs/assets/pdf/tariffbook/ELEC_SCHEDS_E-6.pdf (My Baseline Territory is X)

* My charge today cost $15.20 and gave me 154 miles of range. For reference, the cost/mile is $0.0987. The same 154 miles in an ICE that gets 55MPG would need 2.8 gallons. At $5.40/g for regular, 2.8g costs $15.12. Again, for reference, if I had gone to my regular CHAdeMO station, it would have only cost me $7.22. If I had been able to charge at home (I would have saved an hour of my time) during off-peak hours and if I haven't yet exceeded my baseline usage, it would have cost $10.93. Being this is near the end of the month (assume over baseline) and I charged at peak hours, the cost would have been $14.78 (almost the same as Supercharging).
You may want to consider the EV-2A rate for your power in Silicon Valley. Until recently, it was only 14 cents/kWh at night, though sadly in the last year it has gone up to 24 cents. I would definitely rather pay 24 cents to charge at home than 19 at a DC fast charger I have to drive to and wait at.

Of course there is a cost, you pay 48 to 54 cents for on-peak power. But for me, when I signed up my electric bill went *down* even though I started charging a car, because I moved things like my pool to off-peak.

You could have sold your CHAdeMO charger for $1000 on eBay a few months ago. Today you could still get the $500 you paid for it if your car will support CCS.
 

RayK

Safety Score 90 (Was 96!)
Apr 5, 2016
3,150
3,290
San Jose, CA
I have solar with my E-6 rate, which is going away after next month. Will probably transition to the default E-TOU-C plan. Since I'm not charging at home for the foreseeable future, 19 cents is still cheaper than 24 and it's literally 1.1 miles from home and is on my usual route to get to the major highway in the area (the nearest Supercharger site is 2.1 miles). I have the time to spend: I'm retired.

I bought the CHAdeMO adapter when I realized it was, at the time (mid-2019), the only other DC Fast charger that I could use while traveling (after a software update enabled usage). I've since used it on several trips up to Southern Oregon at free stations in towns where I stayed. When I was working at Samsung, there were about three dozen L2 ChargePoint stations and a couple of DC stations in the employee-only parking structure. Free charges were good enough to add about 90 miles per session; 4 hours @ L2 or 75 minutes @ L3. That was the reason why I delayed installing the wall connector. When I was retired, I essentially lost that daily charging source so I've since relied on the ChargePoint CHAdeMO near me. The $0.19 rate is partially subsidized by the Santa Clara Valley Water District. If/when that source goes away, then I'll probably install my wall connector.
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
932
1,064
Sunnyvale, CA
I have solar with my E-6 rate, which is going away after next month. Will probably transition to the default E-TOU-C plan. Since I'm not charging at home for the foreseeable future, 19 cents is still cheaper than 24 and it's literally 1.1 miles from home and is on my usual route to get to the major highway in the area (the nearest Supercharger site is 2.1 miles). I have the time to spend: I'm retired.

I bought the CHAdeMO adapter when I realized it was, at the time (mid-2019), the only other DC Fast charger that I could use while traveling (after a software update enabled usage). I've since used it on several trips up to Southern Oregon at free stations in towns where I stayed. When I was working at Samsung, there were about three dozen L2 ChargePoint stations and a couple of DC stations in the employee-only parking structure. Free charges were good enough to add about 90 miles per session; 4 hours @ L2 or 75 minutes @ L3. That was the reason why I delayed installing the wall connector. When I was retired, I essentially lost that daily charging source so I've since relied on the ChargePoint CHAdeMO near me. The $0.19 rate is partially subsidized by the Santa Clara Valley Water District. If/when that source goes away, then I'll probably install my wall connector.
Where is this one? Is it just CdM or is it both? I sold my CdM and got a CCS (and upgraded my controller.) I had not seen a 19 cent around here. There are a moderate number of cheap/free DCFast out there. On my tour of BC last year I used a variety of free rest stop stations (though most are only 25kW and a few are 50) when they made sense. Tesla in the bay area is very expensive, but I don't fast charge when at home normally.

To each his own, but I have to say I will happily pay a fair bit more at home than the fast charging price. You may want to give it a try, your mind might change about it. It's better for your battery, too. Of course, it also used to be cheaper. I wish I were in the city of Santa Clara where it's pretty cheap.
 
Whereas the in the case of L1/L2 at home, it's primarily about the product (or to be clear, at home they pretend delivery is free, by rolling the cost of delivery into the cost of the product).
Delivery charges are listed separately.

Energy-Bill-3_digital.jpg
 

RayK

Safety Score 90 (Was 96!)
Apr 5, 2016
3,150
3,290
San Jose, CA
Where is this one? Is it just CdM or is it both? I sold my CdM and got a CCS (and upgraded my controller.) I had not seen a 19 cent around here. There are a moderate number of cheap/free DCFast out there.
The ChargePoint station that I use is here: Santa Clara Valley Water District

There is one CCS/CHAdeMO station that is available to the public (DC2; it faces Almaden Expressway). The other (DC1) I believe is for the Water District employees but I think it's available on weekends.
 
I have had my 21 refresh S for approx. 15 months / 52k miles. Approx. 60% is home or destination chargers - balance is Tesla SC. Coming from a vehicle that obtained 18.5mpg and used premium, the SC are still a bargain for me.

For me, a bigger benefit than the savings is the convenience of not going to gas stations. I charge as much as possible at home and utilize destination charges at hotels whenever possible and I can make a 10-11 hour round trip with no more than 30-45 minutes in SC stops.

I realize I may or may not be in the fringe, but in my world, the SC is not more expensive than ICE.
We LOVE the convenience and ease of charging at home. One more stop eliminated. The majority of our trips are 40 miles RT or less, for shopping, dental and doctor. We only do longer road trips in the Spring and Fall and on those, have not had any trouble finding Super Chargers. I don't think I could go back to gas cars.
 
I have solar with my E-6 rate, which is going away after next month. Will probably transition to the default E-TOU-C plan. Since I'm not charging at home for the foreseeable future, 19 cents is still cheaper than 24 and it's literally 1.1 miles from home and is on my usual route to get to the major highway in the area (the nearest Supercharger site is 2.1 miles). I have the time to spend: I'm retired.
Why TOU-C vs -D? I like the more limited 15 hours of peak per week versus 35, and as a net producer under NEM2 it doesn't matter if the offpeak rate is higher than with -C. Though if I do swap in a less efficient EV (Rivian), I may exceed the allowance I provisioned for in the solar panels.

It's a bit sad that ~30cents is becoming the lowest charge rate option. Better than SC charging of late, but still pretty pricy compared to solar under NEM1/2 or with solar based charging in the day. I calculate my cost at 11 cents.

SC pricing is a combo of 1) cost of electricity, 2) cost of site buildout 3) desired profit margin. The SCs also cover the early year Tesla sales that came with the unlimited charging enticement. As the L3 buildout matures, I would hope that the charged cost converges towards #1. It shouldn't cost 56 cents/kWh. Though I struggle to see why it should cost 30 either, when utility scale solar is 2-4 cents. As the state pushes towards EVs and electric heating, we need to get past those legacy costs.
 

Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
801
1,152
USA
SC pricing is a combo of 1) cost of electricity, 2) cost of site buildout 3) desired profit margin. The SCs also cover the early year Tesla sales that came with the unlimited charging enticement. As the L3 buildout matures, I would hope that the charged cost converges towards #1. It shouldn't cost 56 cents/kWh.
You forgot the most important cost:
4) Maintenance (preventative and repair)
the price will, hopefully, converge to 1) + 4) since finding a broken L3 charger while on a road trip is worse than not having one there in the first place.
Though I struggle to see why it should cost 30 either, when utility scale solar is 2-4 cents
You're forgetting the cost of distribution and load management (excess reserves). And, with solar and wind, the cost of storage and excess production to handle the demand load during non-productive times is fairly significant. These probably exceed the utility scale energy costs by some margin and are being passed on to the L3 service providers.
Then, I'll touch on the touchy subject that; someone has to pay the electricity bill or subsidies for all of the low-income people in CA. You can be quite sure that L3 charging companies are not getting those rates.
 

RayK

Safety Score 90 (Was 96!)
Apr 5, 2016
3,150
3,290
San Jose, CA
@kelpcar I crunched some numbers over a year ago to determine which plan would be best for me. I believe that E-TOU-C came out slightly better for my usage. I think that the inclusion of the baseline quantity discount helped. I probably should go over the usage again since I now have one less person living in the house for most of the year. I have a 12 year old, 20 panel rooftop solar rated at 3.7kW, central air, gas furnace and stove and electric oven and dryer, with no plans to charge my car at home.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
12,076
16,150
California
I own my home (with a two-car garage but currently being used for storage) but don't charge at home. It's not that I can't do it; I've just never gotten around to installing my wall connector (see next comment for the main reason why).


That may be true in your neck-of-the-woods. Here in Silicon Valley, where the lowest for regular unleaded is $5.40 (double what you pay in South Texas I would presume) and my lowest electricity rate is currently $0.2877/kWh (my highest rate is $0.389, when I exceed my baseline usage; summer months are more expensive), an ICE would have to be around 55MPG to be equivalent*. I just Supercharged today at a neighborhood station where the rate was $0.40/kWh. That's makes my home rate a little bit more than 2/3. I normally don't go there but I needed to get some data about charging for another thread.

The main reason why I don't charge at home is that I have access to a CHAdeMO station which is priced at $0.19/kWh. That beats my residential rate. Of course I had to spend $500 in order to get that adapter more than 3 years ago.


For me, yes, extra time to sit at a ChargePoint station (usually one hour) but I generally plan to stop and charge before or after my trips around town. It's definitely less $$$ than Supercharging (1/2) and still cheaper than if I had access to home charging. For your reference, I'm retired so I have the extra time.

ref: https://www.pge.com/tariffs/assets/pdf/tariffbook/ELEC_SCHEDS_E-6.pdf (My Baseline Territory is X)

* My charge today cost $15.20 and gave me 154 miles of range. For reference, the cost/mile is $0.0987. The same 154 miles in an ICE that gets 55MPG would need 2.8 gallons. At $5.40/g for regular, 2.8g costs $15.12. Again, for reference, if I had gone to my regular CHAdeMO station, it would have only cost me $7.22. If I had been able to charge at home (I would have saved an hour of my time) during off-peak hours and if I haven't yet exceeded my baseline usage, it would have cost $10.93. Being this is near the end of the month (assume over baseline) and I charged at peak hours, the cost would have been $14.78 (almost the same as Supercharging).
Comparing a Tesla to a 55 mpg econobox is deceptive.
Just drove cross country from CA to Miami. At every Supercharger stop, I did the math and gas was always more expensive. Even in Texas with $3.50 gas and $0.43 electricity. I compare my Model S to a 20 mpg car. (It's probably more like a 17mpg Mercedes S)
 
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You forgot the most important cost:
4) Maintenance (preventative and repair)
the price will, hopefully, converge to 1) + 4) since finding a broken L3 charger while on a road trip is worse than not having one there in the first place.
Fair enough - there is a maintenance element, though I'm ok with shooting wire thieves on sight.
You're forgetting the cost of distribution and load management (excess reserves). And, with solar and wind, the cost of storage and excess production to handle the demand load during non-productive times is fairly significant. These probably exceed the utility scale energy costs by some margin and are being passed on to the L3 service providers.
Not forgetting - distribution costs are there for everything. But when you replace fuel based production with cheaper solar (esp as natural gas prices rise), shouldn't the overall cost decrease? And the modernization expenses should in time decline, one would hope?

At the start of the year, SCs peak hours were commonly 4-9, matching the TOU-C pattern when demand is highest. Then it morphed to 11am-9, and now its really just middle of the night for offpeak. But because solar is in excess during the ~10-3 range, rates should be incentivizing use during this time, esp in spring and summer. It would seem that Tesla is building on the profit margin with these changes, rather than passing along changing costs.
Then, I'll touch on the touchy subject that; someone has to pay the electricity bill or subsidies for all of the low-income people in CA. You can be quite sure that L3 charging companies are not getting those rates.
Frankly, I'm less bothered by CARE/FERA subsidization than I (would be) paying for PG&E wildfire and gas explosion settlements. I thought the state should have seized it when it was in bankruptcy and could be had for a song. They have shown us that private ownership is not in the public interest.
 

RayK

Safety Score 90 (Was 96!)
Apr 5, 2016
3,150
3,290
San Jose, CA
Comparing a Tesla to a 55 mpg econobox is deceptive.
Yes, it is :). The comparison between my Tesla and "equivalent" ICE car was only based upon the operational cost-per-mile in my area since the topic of this thread is about Supercharging being more expensive than ICE (to propel a car, assumedly). Certainly, California with some of the highest gas prices on this side of the country, compared to the OP's location of Florida, would need a higher (highest?) ICE MPG fuel consumption rating to compete with an EV. I wasn't concerned with comfort or performance with the comparison.
 
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Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
801
1,152
USA
Not forgetting - distribution costs are there for everything.
they're there but they do cost money.
But when you replace fuel based production with cheaper solar (esp as natural gas prices rise), shouldn't the overall cost decrease?
I'm not saying your are, however the assumption of 2 - 4 cents/kWh for solar sounds like the spec plate price, not the price to deliver reliable, on-demand electricity to your home. I, personally love solar, however, most people don't think about the fact that, with solar, one needs to generate about 3X the needed KWh and store 2 to 4 days worth of electricity (or some similar blend of the 2 depending on exactly where you are) to handle night time and cloudy periods. Peaker NG plants, wind, and hydro may offset this but it can quadruple or quintuple the effective cost of solar beyond its face-value.
Good point about the settlements. Blaming and charging PG&E for the fires, however, is a lot about putting a tax on those who live in less quaint neighborhoods so that Si-Valley retirees can more safely and cheaply live in their wilderness paradises and still enjoy all of the modern conveniences (ie electricity) or move the power generation away from the cities thus externalizing the associated pollution. IMHO, however, having been in public power districts and those with regulated monopoly utilities, as well as the hybrid where I am now, I don't see them being a whole lot different. The only difference may be that, in CA, the socialist-leaning majority seem to forget that blaming and punishing the big evil private power companies means the cost still comes out of the pockets of the taxpayers. Buying PG&E would have incurred their liabilities which would still have to be paid by the taxpayers, either in taxes or from their electric bill. The money has to come from somewhere.
 
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they're there but they do cost money.

I'm not saying your are, however the assumption of 2 - 4 cents/kWh for solar sounds like the spec plate price, not the price to deliver reliable, on-demand electricity to your home. I, personally love solar, however, most people don't think about the fact that, with solar, one needs to generate about 3X the needed KWh and store 2 to 4 days worth of electricity (or some similar blend of the 2 depending on exactly where you are) to handle night time and cloudy periods. Peaker NG plants, wind, and hydro may offset this but it can quadruple or quintuple the effective cost of solar beyond its face-value.
Good point about the settlements. Blaming and charging PG&E for the fires, however, is a lot about putting a tax on those who live in less quaint neighborhoods so that Si-Valley retirees can more safely and cheaply live in their wilderness paradises and still enjoy all of the modern conveniences (ie electricity) or move the power generation away from the cities thus externalizing the associated pollution. IMHO, however, having been in public power districts and those with regulated monopoly utilities, as well as the hybrid where I am now, I don't see them being a whole lot different. The only difference may be that, in CA, the socialist-leaning majority seem to forget that blaming and punishing the big evil private power companies means the cost still comes out of the pockets of the taxpayers. Buying PG&E would have incurred their liabilities which would still have to be paid by the taxpayers, either in taxes or from their electric bill. The money has to come from somewhere.
I'm sorry, but you seem to be forgetting, or omitting, that PG&E was found criminally responsible for the San Bruno gas explosion, and for obstruction of justice in the post mortem investigation. And of course it was responsible for the triggering events for multiple fires in the interior. They asked CPUC to approve rate costs to cover maintenance in along the forest corridors, but directed it to bonuses and dividends.

That is the difference between a publicly managed utility and a private one. It could honestly assess its capital improvement needs. It could lower rates or spend the profit margin on systemic improvements. It could work with the rooftop solar industry in CA rather than view it as competition, as we have seen readily in the NEM3 discussions. And likewise, it could put more effort into EV management. In many utilities around the country, you can get steep rebates and rate discounts for installing named EVSEs that communicate with the grid and charge at the most ideal time. PG&E offers essentially dirt to EV owners since the EV1-A plan is no more. A state owned utility would share the state's interest in achieving the decarbonization. The current private companies just rejoice in the pending mandates.

If we take away the savings component, then the voluntary EV market drops considerably....to those who enjoy the performance primarily.
 

Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
801
1,152
USA
I'm sorry, but you seem to be forgetting, or omitting, that PG&E was found criminally responsible for the San Bruno gas explosion, and for obstruction of justice in the post mortem investigation. And of course it was responsible for the triggering events for multiple fires in the interior. They asked CPUC to approve rate costs to cover maintenance in along the forest corridors, but directed it to bonuses and dividends.

That is the difference between a publicly managed utility and a private one. It could honestly assess its capital improvement needs. It could lower rates or spend the profit margin on systemic improvements. It could work with the rooftop solar industry in CA rather than view it as competition, as we have seen readily in the NEM3 discussions. And likewise, it could put more effort into EV management. In many utilities around the country, you can get steep rebates and rate discounts for installing named EVSEs that communicate with the grid and charge at the most ideal time. PG&E offers essentially dirt to EV owners since the EV1-A plan is no more. A state owned utility would share the state's interest in achieving the decarbonization. The current private companies just rejoice in the pending mandates.

If we take away the savings component, then the voluntary EV market drops considerably....to those who enjoy the performance primarily.
I've seen as bad or worse anti-EV and anti-solar practices by public utilities as I have regulated, private ones. The whole electrical and automobile industry are seeing the business model with which they've become comfortable, for over a century, eroding away as transportation moves to electric and energy supply becomes distributed, especially 'behind-the-meter'. Whether a corporate executive responsible for shareholder value or a public servant responsible for fiscally sound optics in their operation, executives are facing a lot of stress today. We are seeing this in the various changes that are being thrust upon our electric bills directly, Net-metering changes, or indirectly through the cost of public EV charging.
I believe that it is important for us citizens to have a realistic view of what the actual costs are associated with solar and fast charging as we bully the powers that be to do things the right way.
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
932
1,064
Sunnyvale, CA
they're there but they do cost money.

I'm not saying your are, however the assumption of 2 - 4 cents/kWh for solar sounds like the spec plate price, not the price to deliver reliable, on-demand electricity to your home.
EVs don't require reliable on-demand electricity. Unlike almost any other load in the world, they can and will take power any time they are plugged in if you have it for them cheap. They will take it on demand -- on the demand of the power company. People call this V1G, a cute pun on V2G.

Now for solar that does mean they have to be plugged in from an hour after sunrise to 3pm, which is way more common in commuter and office parking lots than homes. So if you want to charge a car making use of a home solar array that's harder unless you work from home.
 
EVs don't require reliable on-demand electricity. Unlike almost any other load in the world, they can and will take power any time they are plugged in if you have it for them cheap. They will take it on demand -- on the demand of the power company. People call this V1G, a cute pun on V2G.

Now for solar that does mean they have to be plugged in from an hour after sunrise to 3pm, which is way more common in commuter and office parking lots than homes. So if you want to charge a car making use of a home solar array that's harder unless you work from home.
Or you live/work in SF, where driving the car to work is more miserable than dealing with Muni/Bart.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
12,076
16,150
California
Or you live/work in SF, where driving the car to work is more miserable than dealing with Muni/Bart.
Cities and cars are incompatible. Even low quality city transportation is better than driving a car.
Every time I go to SF, I have a miserable time... Traffic and parking.
Just drove across country. Love the rural drives. Every city was a zoo. Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Orlando. Now in Miami and it is a special kind of hell.
 

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