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Jseis

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I had the need to make a Pacific Coast run out and back on I90 east on business to Great Falls, Montana: Leaving Thursday at 4:30 am and back by Monday at 3:30 am. 96 hours covering 1700 miles+ another score in local travel. Being in “Rome” I drove some pretty insane speeds 75-80 on quaint two-lane blacktop only to get to rural western Washington home thinking “our rural roads are quainter and no way could I roll such speed here locally”.

Out and back are 16-17 hours of time including about 3 hours of charging each way. 3 stops going east but going west (bad headwind from Great Falls to Snoqualmie Pass) I lost enough range for a top-off in Olympia.

Of course rolling home head winds and mountain passes and 75 MPH+ speed ate battery capacity like candy corn and the minute I got lead feet the range dropped nearly a full mile/KWh. Like from 2.6 to 1.7 and that pulled an easy 100 mile off range. As long as you’ve a good charging station route planned, you’ll be stopping a bit more and there’s substance to slightly more frequent stops.

About charging stations: EA needs to pay us frequent chargers a princely sum for educating charger newbies. If road charging wars are enLightning.. regarding surfing the electric charcuterie board then feast.

BP Pulse station: $$$ but dead drop simple. Plug in connector. Plug in chip credit card. Done.

Blink L2: Once in system, app is seamless and it’ll tell you which connector to use. Low charge rate (5-6 KWh) but a dual Blink L2 within easy hotel walking distance saved my bacon in Great Falls.

Charge Point: Like Blink and app driven and as simple. Found a free dual CP L2 at a hotel next to a restaurant and added 25 miles while having dinner. For you road warriors if you are not L2 charging to 85-100% while you sleep you are gambling that the next DCFC on your map works…

Electrify America. My nemesis. Never abandon me but very frustratin. An EA site only let me down once. Ford’s in-network was right only when I stubbornly went to a former site that was decommissioned and while the app refused to find it I returned only to find it dark. My bad. That led me to a BP Pulse site.

I figure a 100% probability that 1-3 EA towers will not work at any particular site. The drivers of Rivians, Mach Es, Hyundais, E-Trons, Mazdas, etc., that are stacked up at an EA site, have already figured out which towers defaults to L2 levels, or needs a system reboot and this amazingly sophisticated community will direct you to the good ones (125+ KWh) and bad ones (6-21 kWh maybe or unresponsive screens). These folks self organize, assists newbies, and no one is in a rush as they are all adrift looking for electrons as early adopters. There are smug ones who pull a charge cable at a tower charging and are mystified when “their plug” gives no watts. They’ll learn.

The Lightning attracts A Lot Of Attention. At the Ellensburg Taco Bell It’s like a line backer in coach. Those stalls are two small. “You can’t park there!” comments with your front tires on a sidewalk and rear perched on a curb, angled in as “no room”. But charge I did at EA-Missoula EA-Spokane, EA-Ellensburg, and that would’ve been enough but BP-Pulse in Oly got me the 40 extra miles to get home. In fact, my last 100 miles was in the rain @ way past midnight so I drove easy, averaged 2.4 mi/KWh and this morning after a night on the CP Home Flex, all is good with the world.

EA Taco Bell in Ellensburg is the most heavily used site.

EA Missoula was always available. Must be a Montana thing.

EA Spokane Valley can be busy early afternoon through late afternoon on a Sunday. Had the highest rate of unavailable towers. Missoula & Ellensburg tied For 3rd.

10-pm to 10-am, most sites have zero use. Charger hogs boosting to 100% can really take up time & space. Saw two of these and just figured they were shopping at WalMart though one appeared as a highly graph ad for-rental (it was a Rvian).

Blue Cruise isn’t for everyone. I used it for 30 minutes & discovered my watching the landscape kept it yelling at me to pay attention. Sigh.

Post script. A colleague and I took a ride out east of Great Falls to the Fort Benton-Loma area. He commented on the amazing quiet and smoothness of the ride. It gets up and rolls across the miles. Specifically like the ride of a Lincoln or Caddy. And it’s a sleeper. And it can tow and haul. And haul 5 too. Despite the slightly wonky charging situation I’m optimistic that in a few years these will be stories we tell.

Goliaths in the distance at Vantage.
Ford F-150 Lightning Lightning Commuter goes long haul: 96 hours covering 1700 miles IMG_0791


Dusk in Missoula at EA.
Ford F-150 Lightning Lightning Commuter goes long haul: 96 hours covering 1700 miles IMG_0806


L2 charging along the MissourI.
Ford F-150 Lightning Lightning Commuter goes long haul: 96 hours covering 1700 miles IMG_0874


Sunday afternoon at EA in Spokane.
Ford F-150 Lightning Lightning Commuter goes long haul: 96 hours covering 1700 miles IMG_0801


Home beckons west of Moses Lake.
Ford F-150 Lightning Lightning Commuter goes long haul: 96 hours covering 1700 miles IMG_1045
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TaxmanHog

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Nice report
 

Maxx

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Great report. I assume this was with ER. Would you take the same trip with SR?
 

KickingGas

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About charging stations: EA needs to pay us frequent chargers a princely sum for educating charger newbies. If road charging wars are enLightning.. regarding surfing the electric charcuterie board then feast.
Getting ready to do my first public charging trip, and I definitely would have paid you $5 for these tips ;) And extra kudos for making the post entertaining!
 
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Jseis

Jseis

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Great report. I assume this was with ER. Would you take the same trip with SR?
Whoa. That’s a good question. we did the same route a year ago in our SR MME. Did fine, six charges as I recall. Plus we stayed overnight in Cour d’Alene.

The trick is slightly slower speed to gain distance. Last year we averaged 62-64. W/LT it was 64 once out of Idaho.
 

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wighty

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The trick is slightly slower speed to gain distance
Eh, this should only really apply if you are needing to extend your range to make it to a charger. Most of the time your power consumption while driving is going to be less than the power provided while DCFC.

Example:
2.4 miles per kWh at 65 mph is approx 27kW power draw
2.2 miles per kWh at 70mph is approx 32kW power draw
2.0 miles per kWh at 75mph is approx 37.5kW power draw

Even with our trucks slow charging speeds, you are still usually higher than 40kw when below 80% SOC... so in an ideal world you are better off going with higher speeds. In our non ideal world it depends on your route whether going slower would be better, ie do you need to extend your range to make it to a charger, or if you extend your range it lets you skip a charger that is way off your route, then yes you are right.
 
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Jseis

Jseis

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Eh, this should only really apply if you are needing to extend your range to make it to a charger. Most of the time your power consumption while driving is going to be less than the power provided while DCFC.

Example:
2.4 miles per kWh at 65 mph is approx 27kW power draw
2.2 miles per kWh at 70mph is approx 32kW power draw
2.0 miles per kWh at 75mph is approx 37.5kW power draw

Even with our trucks slow charging speeds, you are still usually higher than 40kw when below 80% SOC... so in an ideal world you are better off going with higher speeds. In our non ideal world it depends on your route whether going slower would be better, ie do you need to extend your range to make it to a charger, or if you extend your range it lets you skip a charger that is way off your route, then yes you are right.
Here on the rural coast, speed (all charging aside) kills. I drive slightly less than the limit because oh, elk, deer, bear, trees, lanslides. And that extends to freeways where I’m never really in a hurry. My Montana escaped was interesting because I wasted serious time plugging in, unplugging, plugging in trying to get a DCFC tower that either worked and or worked at over 100 KW and it dawned on me that I shouldn’t be in a rush. Spokane and Eburg EA drove me crazy and Missoula was right up there too. Oddly, not a single EV driver was “in a rush”. Fortunately most of my charging is at home. If you want to go fast, save time because time is money.. you pay more.
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