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oneguynick

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Original post here: https://geekyschmidt.com/personal/travel/tech/ev/lightning/2022/05/27/drivingfeedback.html

Charging Network

Our Tesla, when it sits for a few days, can drop significant battery capacity, so when we pulled up to Mackinaw City, I wanted to be sure we had more than the 70 miles we had. I put into the Ford’s GPS the closest high-speed charger and navigated.

The filters available in the GPS are odd. Coming from Tesla’s SuperCharger network, I am used to clicking on the screen to select the EV station, its speed, and available stalls. You are given a series of numbers corresponding to the EV charger on the map on the Ford system. Until you click on it, there are not a ton of details. Not great UX.

We pulled into the ChargePoint at the Odawa Casino near the ferry stop. Oddly there was a Rivian also parked there!

He indicated this was his first EV and that he wasn’t sure if he was using the charger right, but it wasn’t working. I figured maybe, as a first time EV owner, he didn’t understand the process. Nope. He was right; the station wasn’t working.


f150a-3.jpg

Fawlty Towers of Chargers

The Rivian owner called and complained to ChargePoint and left. I sat there for a bit, hoping the system, now with only one EV plugged in, could provide some juice.

When the screen turned red and the charger indicated a fault. And then another fault.

I pulled out from one stall and moved to one a few spaces down.

Fault.

Keep in mind that it would charge me for connecting every time I did this. I believe there were 10 dollars in fees for what amounted to a waste of time. At this point, I had something I hadn’t had in many years.


f150a-1.jpg



f150a-5.jpg

Range Anxiety

Sitting there with my family in the back, growing upset, I felt uneasy that maybe taking the F-150 Lightning on this first trip wasn’t a great idea. To be honest, I hadn’t done a ton of research into the charging networks up north other than validating there were stations.

With our Tesla, I just put in the route I want to take and let it deal with it.

Instead of catching the ferry, I felt we needed to get some charge before we left. I feared that if we didn’t have juice, we wouldn’t be able to get back to a functional highspeed charger. I put into the GPS the next nearest charger and double-backed 30 miles to Indian River.

High Speed?

EV networks we need to talk. If your charger cannot provide 125kw+ juice, please stop labelling it at high-speed. The station we were able to get back to provided us 50-70kw. We sat until we had 125 miles on the tank (~30 minutes) and headed back to the ferry.

BlueCruise

I had a chance to compare BlueCruise to our 2019 Tesla M3, and they are similar in idea but different in execution. Given we only have the AutoPilot (not the FSD beta), they are identical in what each vehicle can provide.

BlueCruise does better than our Tesla in driving along the highway as the driver. I mean that changing lanes, braking, etc., are more manageable to transition between than the Tesla. You can tell that the Tesla was designed with complete autopilot in mind, so turning it off to switch lanes and back on is clunky.

I think Ford accepts that total autopilot will not happen for many years, so it was built with the driver being more involved with the lane switching, cruise, etc. I don’t think this is a bad thing. Ignoring Elon’s antics for a moment, it will likely be many years before Level 5 is a reality.

Ping Pong

BlueCruise has the unfortunate issue that it ping pongs along the lane lines. You can tell it is compensating with going too far and then back. At highway speeds, it can be slight nausea-inducing. I have read a few reviews of the tech on other autos Ford produces, and no one mentioned it, so I am not sure if it is something wrong with my truck or if no one else has compared it to other platforms.

I want to quantify that these ping pong moments are not 100% of the time, but they are often enough that my wife, riding shotgun, asked what was wrong with the system a few times.

Trip Stats

I shared my trip stats online on a few mediums, but given all the questions, I figured before I get started, I would consolidate the information here:
  • Cargo for this trip was two adults, a toddler, a suitcase, and two bikes
  • The weather is 4-22C (42F-72F)
  • The average speed was 75mph, with no hotdogging
  • The trip started with a 100% battery
You can see the trip profile (thanks to @ktamsPDX); it’s a bit of a grade. I will post the stats on the return also.
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1653741804958.png

 

rlbussard

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We have a 21 Mach E with blue cruise and every so often it does the ping pong thing too. Our Mach E also likes to keep slightly to the right in the lane. It'll be great when my truck comes in so I can compare the two to see how similar or dissimilar they are.

How is the one pedal driving when coming to a stop? I know when the reviews came out last month, there seem to be quite a bit of rollback before the traditional brakes grabbed to hold.
 
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oneguynick

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We have a 21 Mach E with blue cruise and every so often it does the ping pong thing too. Our Mach E also likes to keep slightly to the right in the lane. It'll be great when my truck comes in so I can compare the two to see how similar or dissimilar they are.

How is the one pedal driving when coming to a stop? I know when the reviews came out last month, there seem to be quite a bit of rollback before the traditional brakes grabbed to hold.
It seems fine. Not as clean as the Tesla, but totally acceptable. I am worried about the trailer with one pedal, but will review that component soon!
 

bobrosco

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Was the faulty charger accurately reported on any charging app (PlugShare, etc.)?
Or were you solely using the Ford nav?

Thanks again for all the info sharing!
 

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You would think that for the chargers you encountered billing at $9.49 per 0.25 hours for 125kW they could have them operational, especially on a holiday weekend. The Chargepoint chargers in Clare run $3.00 per 0.25 hours, so the owners of the Casino must be looking to make a killing off of people charging just prior to crossing the bridge to the UP.

My oldest son lives in Eau Claire and with the very limited chargers in the UP so far and now knowing the one at the Casino in Mackinaw City is a rip-off, I will have to take the route of going through Chicago instead where there are plenty of chargers to visit him.
 


EVBill

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Was the faulty charger accurately reported on any charging app (PlugShare, etc.)?
Or were you solely using the Ford nav?

Thanks again for all the info sharing!
ChargePoint's site indicates "Power Reduced" and $3.00 for each 0.25 hours of charging at 125 kW. I tend to believe this is the correct rate with it being a ChargePoint charger.

PlugShare has no indication of not being operational and indicates the below for $$ that does not match up with ChargePoint's site:
Payment Required
Energy All Days: $0.50/min Station Parking While charging: Free When not charging: $0.50/min after 15 min grace period Min / Max Fees Flat Fee: $1.99 per session
 
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oneguynick

oneguynick

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Was the faulty charger accurately reported on any charging app (PlugShare, etc.)?
Or were you solely using the Ford nav?

Thanks again for all the info sharing!
All the apps show it as functional, but plugshare comments on the review show issues. My lesson learned is that I need to use multiple apps to verify...not great for consumers.
 
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oneguynick

oneguynick

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You would think that for the chargers you encountered billing at $9.49 per 0.25 hours for 125kW they could have them operational, especially on a holiday weekend. The Chargepoint chargers in Clare run $3.00 per 0.25 hours, so the owners of the Casino must be looking to make a killing off of people charging just prior to crossing the bridge to the UP.

My oldest son lives in Eau Claire and with the very limited chargers in the UP so far and now knowing the one at the Casino in Mackinaw City is a rip-off, I will have to take the route of going through Chicago instead where there are plenty of chargers to visit him.
As a Michigander, I of course, love the UP! We have never ventured there with our EV because the network is not usable. We were going to the Soo, but had to cancel given the supercharger is on the Canada side and was not accessible due to Covid restrictions.
 

EVben

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Great write up, the charging network is critical for winning over customers. I really wish Ford would have taken total ownership like Tesla but it’s just not something a legacy company would sign up for.

I don’t need a zillion chargers but at least on par with the reliability and location of current Tesla super chargers would be great.

We’re already assuming many of the trips we take with Tesla cannot happen (or will be ‘exciting’) for a few years with EA/charge point reliability (MN/Dakotas)
 
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vandy1981

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It seems fine. Not as clean as the Tesla, but totally acceptable. I am worried about the trailer with one pedal, but will review that component soon!
One pedal is disabled when pulling a trailer, I think.
 


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oneguynick

oneguynick

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Great write up, the charging network is critical for winning over customers. I really wish Ford would have taken total ownership like Tesla but it’s just not something a legacy company would sign up for.

I don’t need a zillion chargers but at least on par with the reliability and location of current Tesla super chargers would be great.

We’re already assuming many of the trips we take with Tesla cannot happen (or will be ‘exciting’) for a few years with EA/charge point reliability (MN/Dakotas)
Granted most of our trips have been on the Eastern side of the US, but I have driven multiple times from MI to NYC and had no issue. As I mentioned above though, we cannot go to the UP currently, given the lack of chargers. It's a mixed bag, but Tesla's bag is much, much better.
 

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That's disappointing about the charger, and charging you for failed connections is just salt in the wound. Seems like 3rd party chargers just mailed it in to get that sweet subsidy and basically left. Putting in the resources to ensure a few bucks of charging revenue isn't lost doesn't seem to be worth their effort.

Also a drag about the ping pong. I have an AP1 car which does lane changes. It does fine, I suppose, though it is slow to actually make the change when prompted by the turn signal. With plenty of room to change lanes it is good, but when there's a bit more traffic requiring passing and getting back over, I often turn AP off and leave cruise on since the system isn't responsive enough to change lanes. Good to hear that Ford is less intrusive. Is the wheel "locked" in the same way the Tesla is with BC enabled? Whenever I take over it always jerks the car since you have to put so much torque on the wheel to overcome the steering servo with AP engaged.
 

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The only time I’ve observed the ping pong effect in my Mach-E was when the lane stripes were visibly faded.

As far as where it tracks in the lane, you’re supposed to be able to manually hold it in the desired position for a bit and the car will learn your preference. This seems to work for me, but you have to do it again after every restart of the car.
 

Billgeffert

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I'm hoping someone at Ford is keeping in contact with as you are the first person with the truck. Have they reached out to you yet after posting these initial results? The battery mileage is concerning to me, I was planning on getting the SR but now I may just get a Tesla as the chargers and mileage seem more reliable. Granted a tesla is car vs a truck, but still :)

 

 
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