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2000Firehawk

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Figured I might share some mostly positive news today to distract from the unfortunate double whammy of the tax credit changes and the price increases. Sorry for the really long post, but wanted to give as much detail as possible.

Just got back from an extended weekend trip from the Columbia, Maryland area to Bar Harbor, Maine (Acadia National Park) with a visit with some family and friends mixed in along the way. This is our first trip in an EV over 300 miles round trip.

Couple of quick stats:
  • Total trip miles – 1,528
  • Total miles on the truck at end – 3,726
  • Total drive time – 33 hours, 15 minutes
  • Overall average consumption – 2.3 mi/kWh (per the truck), 2.47 mi/kWh (calculated)
  • Total charge time – 14 hours, 37 minutes (see table below - not all fast charging)
I didn’t drive any differently than I normally would in any other vehicle and certainly wasn’t hanging out in the slow lane. There was no consideration at any point during the trip to slow down or otherwise improve range. 1PD was on at all times. I like it and it makes for a nice quick change of pace if you happen to think your speed might be a little off when coming up on specially marked vehicles. Very little use of cruise control as it was too busy, I don’t trust Blue Cruise (yet – if ever) and I don’t generally use cruise control that much anyway – even on long trips. AC cranking at around 70 degrees full time as it was HOT! I do have window tint (35%) and a bed cover (MX4), no other modifications to the truck.

Charging:

All data taken from the Ford app charge logs. Take the data and calculations with a grain of salt since there is rounding in the SOC from Ford. Also, on the average DC fast charge rate, note that there were several times I did not jump at the 80% mark. Mostly that was because we didn’t finish our lunch or otherwise get back to the charger (talking with other EV owners) at around the 80% mark. In one instance (96%) I wanted to squeeze as much in as (i) a test to see how bad the curve was since I wasn’t doing anything else in the late evening and (ii) we were headed to an area where charging might be limited.

Table - charging.png


Couple of observations about the charging stations.

The Lightning pretty much pulled to the charging curves people have posted (Out of Spec, ect.) on each stop including the initial boost, drop off at exactly 80%, then 90% plus is a waste. I wasn’t monitoring the screen exactly, so that is a bit anecdotal. Honestly though, if you aren’t in a huge hurry, the extra 10 minutes or so charging to 90% wasn’t inconvenient and may well be worth it if making multiple charging stops in a day to avoid the dreaded time winding your way to the charging station.

Spaces at some charging spots are tight for an F150. I also drive a Ram 3500 Mega Cab so I’m used to driving hard to park vehicles, but the spacing of the chargers, the arrangement of the parking slots behind the row of chargers and not wanting to be a jerk and block a bunch of spots or park at an angle can make it a multipoint turn situation.

The charging stations could really use some trash cans as the charging stop takes the place of the normal throw away time (former gas stops). Add in that you might be bringing food to your charge stop to make efficient use of your time and it makes even more sense. Not all stations are in a functioning/thriving area. I do get the possible challenge of arranging for trash pickup for far away corners of parking lots though.

My wife called the charging stops a car show. People sharing stories and talking about cars. Along the way we were joined at the chargers by two Taycans (in Paramus), lots of Mach-Es, ID4s, and Ionics, a couple of Bolts and one Rivian. People really like their Ionics, are pretty happy with their Mach-E’s and are more or less satisfied but not impressed by their ID4s. There were always tons of questions about the Lightning because no one had seen one in the wild. Everyone seems to “have one on order,” but also didn’t seem overly impressed with anything but the frunk. It is too big and doesn’t make much sense to most people.

Last comment was about the various navigation products. Thanks to the help of others, I was well prepared with planning our route via ABRP, then checking Plug Share for station status and Google maps for actual directions. I also had the Electrify America app open to check the charger availability as we got closer given that there were multiple charging locations within the same general range on the northeast corridor run. I was also playing with all the nav tools during our trip (Ford nav, Google maps, ABRP). Ford nav cancels (actually notes this on the screen) as soon as you start a route on Google via Carplay. Google and ABRP will run navigation and call out over each other if you are running both at the same time. Ford nav did calculate most of the same stops as ABRP, but there were occasions where it randomly either wanted to go way out of the way or stop at a slow charger for no apparent reason. Certainly don’t blindly trust the nav as has been said by everyone else.

Overall though, a really great trip without any sense of range anxiety. Our biggest “concern” was the section from Portland, Maine to Bar Harbor, Maine and back. There are plenty of chargers (not fast chargers) so not super concerned, but I did find a hotel that had good charging options to ensure I didn’t have to give much thought to whatever plans we made along the way. I did do a lot of pre-planning, certainly much more than I would have in a regular ICE vehicle, but I like to plan…so win-win!

Not an exact map, but pretty close to the drive.

Map.png

 

LightningShow

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Great write up! Thanks!

Initially I had planned my first "road trip" in the Lightning would be the Boston to Bar Harbor route but she didn't quite get to me in time. As I've said many times, DCFC infrastructure in northern New England totally sucks. I was definitely a bit concerned about charging after Portland but there are lots of slow chargers around Bar Harbor (a few that weren't on PlugShare) so that was good. Where did you stop for the free charging in Lowell? I'm just in the next town over.

Now my first big roadtrip will be next week and it's actually very similar to yours, spanning between DC and Northern NH (Boston>DC>NH>Boston). It's great to hear you had a positive experience.

I have to admit, I'm kind of looking forward to the car show vibe at the chargers. 😄
 

SteelTerp87

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Figured I might share some mostly positive news today to distract from the unfortunate double whammy of the tax credit changes and the price increases. Sorry for the really long post, but wanted to give as much detail as possible.

Just got back from an extended weekend trip from the Columbia, Maryland area to Bar Harbor, Maine (Acadia National Park) with a visit with some family and friends mixed in along the way. This is our first trip in an EV over 300 miles round trip.

Couple of quick stats:
  • Total trip miles – 1,528
  • Total miles on the truck at end – 3,726
  • Total drive time – 33 hours, 15 minutes
  • Overall average consumption – 2.3 mi/kWh (per the truck), 2.47 mi/kWh (calculated)
  • Total charge time – 14 hours, 37 minutes (see table below - not all fast charging)
I didn’t drive any differently than I normally would in any other vehicle and certainly wasn’t hanging out in the slow lane. There was no consideration at any point during the trip to slow down or otherwise improve range. 1PD was on at all times. I like it and it makes for a nice quick change of pace if you happen to think your speed might be a little off when coming up on specially marked vehicles. Very little use of cruise control as it was too busy, I don’t trust Blue Cruise (yet – if ever) and I don’t generally use cruise control that much anyway – even on long trips. AC cranking at around 70 degrees full time as it was HOT! I do have window tint (35%) and a bed cover (MX4), no other modifications to the truck.

Charging:

All data taken from the Ford app charge logs. Take the data and calculations with a grain of salt since there is rounding in the SOC from Ford. Also, on the average DC fast charge rate, note that there were several times I did not jump at the 80% mark. Mostly that was because we didn’t finish our lunch or otherwise get back to the charger (talking with other EV owners) at around the 80% mark. In one instance (96%) I wanted to squeeze as much in as (i) a test to see how bad the curve was since I wasn’t doing anything else in the late evening and (ii) we were headed to an area where charging might be limited.

Table - charging.png


Couple of observations about the charging stations.

The Lightning pretty much pulled to the charging curves people have posted (Out of Spec, ect.) on each stop including the initial boost, drop off at exactly 80%, then 90% plus is a waste. I wasn’t monitoring the screen exactly, so that is a bit anecdotal. Honestly though, if you aren’t in a huge hurry, the extra 10 minutes or so charging to 90% wasn’t inconvenient and may well be worth it if making multiple charging stops in a day to avoid the dreaded time winding your way to the charging station.

Spaces at some charging spots are tight for an F150. I also drive a Ram 3500 Mega Cab so I’m used to driving hard to park vehicles, but the spacing of the chargers, the arrangement of the parking slots behind the row of chargers and not wanting to be a jerk and block a bunch of spots or park at an angle can make it a multipoint turn situation.

The charging stations could really use some trash cans as the charging stop takes the place of the normal throw away time (former gas stops). Add in that you might be bringing food to your charge stop to make efficient use of your time and it makes even more sense. Not all stations are in a functioning/thriving area. I do get the possible challenge of arranging for trash pickup for far away corners of parking lots though.

My wife called the charging stops a car show. People sharing stories and talking about cars. Along the way we were joined at the chargers by two Taycans (in Paramus), lots of Mach-Es, ID4s, and Ionics, a couple of Bolts and one Rivian. People really like their Ionics, are pretty happy with their Mach-E’s and are more or less satisfied but not impressed by their ID4s. There were always tons of questions about the Lightning because no one had seen one in the wild. Everyone seems to “have one on order,” but also didn’t seem overly impressed with anything but the frunk. It is too big and doesn’t make much sense to most people.

Last comment was about the various navigation products. Thanks to the help of others, I was well prepared with planning our route via ABRP, then checking Plug Share for station status and Google maps for actual directions. I also had the Electrify America app open to check the charger availability as we got closer given that there were multiple charging locations within the same general range on the northeast corridor run. I was also playing with all the nav tools during our trip (Ford nav, Google maps, ABRP). Ford nav cancels (actually notes this on the screen) as soon as you start a route on Google via Carplay. Google and ABRP will run navigation and call out over each other if you are running both at the same time. Ford nav did calculate most of the same stops as ABRP, but there were occasions where it randomly either wanted to go way out of the way or stop at a slow charger for no apparent reason. Certainly don’t blindly trust the nav as has been said by everyone else.

Overall though, a really great trip without any sense of range anxiety. Our biggest “concern” was the section from Portland, Maine to Bar Harbor, Maine and back. There are plenty of chargers (not fast chargers) so not super concerned, but I did find a hotel that had good charging options to ensure I didn’t have to give much thought to whatever plans we made along the way. I did do a lot of pre-planning, certainly much more than I would have in a regular ICE vehicle, but I like to plan…so win-win!

Not an exact map, but pretty close to the drive.

Map.png
This is great! If you don’t mind, what is ABRP? Also, you are in Columbia? Right up the road from me and where my office is located. I know Apple Ford has delivered about 10 of these but I have yet to see one “in the wild.” Hood to have mine by end of next month!
 

Pioneer74

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Great write up. I have a trip from Toledo to Baltimore coming up in October and I'm trying to convince the wife to take the Lightning.
 

greenne

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Thanks for this. Excellent write up.

What was your speed on 95/NJ Turnpike. 70'ish? or speedlimit(65)?

I'm a speed limit to limit+5 type of driver...
 


OP
OP

2000Firehawk

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The hotel I stayed at had 4 Clipper Creek 64 amp chargers which was why we picked that one. I was never super concerned because we were pretty close to making it there and back on one full charge. So really, in a pinch, we would have only needed to find a minimal charge to get back to the Portland area. There are lots of Tesla chargers hiding around as well if you have the TeslaTap.

I certainly enjoyed the car show aspect of it...other than it being insanely hot. Was nice to hear other experiences with trips, charging, etc. It makes the time go by very quickly. One thing I would note is that the plug and charged worked perfectly every time for me. It isn't exactly fast to engage, but works with only a couple button presses to confirm the charge rate, etc. In a nice change of pace from my last short trip to the beach, the Lightning actually connected and charged perfectly on a charger that others were having problems with right before me.
 
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2000Firehawk

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Great write up. I have a trip from Toledo to Baltimore coming up in October and I'm trying to convince the wife to take the Lightning.
My wife was actually the one adamant that we take the Lightning. It helped that we didn't have the kids, so if we ran into issues or had to stop at a slow charger for some super long time it wouldn't matter.
 
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2000Firehawk

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Thanks for this. Excellent write up.

What was your speed on 95/NJ Turnpike. 70'ish? or speedlimit(65)?

I'm a speed limit to limit+5 type of driver...
I'm a flow of the faster side of traffic person, but certainly not blowing by everyone. We were making good pace pretty consistently.

Also, the immediate acceleration made the drive along Route 1 up the coast tolerable as it was easy to jump past the campers and other really slow moving traffic.
 

LightningShow

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This is great! If you don’t mind, what is ABRP? Also, you are in Columbia? Right up the road from me and where my office is located. I know Apple Ford has delivered about 10 of these but I have yet to see one “in the wild.” Hood to have mine by end of next month!
ABRP = A Better Route Planner. It's an EV navigation app.

desktop version: https://abetterrouteplanner.com/

The iOS app works on Carplay so you can have it up on the in car display.
 

sotek2345

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We are actually headed up to that area this weekend (staying in Bangor, but headed down to Bar Harbor for a day). We wanted to take our Mach-e (no Lightning yet), but no charging in Bangor, so we are taking my Raptor. Looks like you lucked out with the hotel charger!
 


Aspesi4

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Thanks for sharing.

I live on the MA and NH line. I've been look at good routes from Portland to Bar Harbor and you're right, there's no good charging stations at the moment. However, I've reached out to the State of Maine's EV group ( I forget the name) and there are many DCFCs with up to 125KW being installed now. Some in Lewiston and many on the way to Bar Harbor. Your next trip might be a little easier.
 

Rob G

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Thanks for the write up. I’m doing a Central NJ to Northern Fl run a week from Friday. I’ve been probably over planning it at this point but better to be prepared. I have my mobile charger and Tesla Tap ready to go. However, there seems to be a good number of EA fast chargers along the I95 corridor.
 

Aspesi4

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We are actually headed up to that area this weekend (staying in Bangor, but headed down to Bar Harbor for a day). We wanted to take our Mach-e (no Lightning yet), but no charging in Bangor, so we are taking my Raptor. Looks like you lucked out with the hotel charger!
DCFCs are being built in both the Ellsworth and Belfast, ME Hannaford parking lots. That should help make the ride from the Portland, ME EA stations all the way to Bar Harbor more comfortably.
 

LightningShow

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Thanks for sharing.

I live on the MA and NH line. I've been look at good routes from Portland to Bar Harbor and you're right, there's no good charging stations at the moment. However, I've reached out to the State of Maine's EV group ( I forget the name) and there are many DCFCs with up to 125KW being installed now. Some in Lewiston and many on the way to Bar Harbor. Your next trip might be a little easier.
I had looked into that as well. I was hoping they’d be installed by the time i went up there but I didn’t end up taking the Lightning anyway. I was hoping they’d be higher wattage but it will make a big difference to add more convenient fast charging north of Portland. Now, they need to do the same north of Manchester on the NH side. Most of my trips where i’d use a fast charger are up to the NH white mountains. If Tesla opens their network the problem is solved, there’s like 5-6 Superchargers north of Manchester but absolutely 0 public DCFC Manchester and the Berlin/Gorham area, which is about as far north as I go. I did just notice that some campground in Lancaster installed a 50kW charger. When i go across from 93 at Twin Mountain to Rt2 towards Gorham it’s only 15 minutes out of the way. I may end up using that at some point. Still it’s sad that is the only public DCFC up there when there is huge volume of tourist traffic coming up that way from Boston and southern NH.

 

 
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