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Your comment about putting charging stations where this is "gas" is spot on.

One of the things here in MD that I am seeing is Sheetz and Royal Farms are installing Tesla Superchargers in their larger store/gas stations. Yeah, it sucks its only Tesla BUT the concept is sound. You have to wait to charge the car, chances are you will buy something in the store. And since these places make the vast majority of their profit off the food and not the gas, it just seems like a smart business model. Hopefully they will move to include other DC Fast Chargers.

Honestly I just don't understand why new stations being planned right now (it takes years to get approvals to put in a new gas station) are not including fast chargers in the business model.

Keep up the awesome posts! I continue to look forward to your posts.
 

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2. I agree with you about the community enforcing civil behavior. The days of acting like any of us is “the only EV around” are long past.
Having driven an EV for close to ten years, the community was MUCH more civil about this stuff back then. There were companies that made tags we could attach to the charging cables letting folks know when we planned to return to the car so they knew how long we would be sitting. The one I used even noted whether this was an emergency charge or a convenience charge ... the idea being if someone absolutely needed to use the cable and I marked it as a convenience charge, they had permission to unplug the car. Obviously if I was using a Tesla specific charger, they could not do this ... but standard J1772 plugs were just fine to disconnect. In fact, some folks even left their cell phone on the tag so someone could call them to ask. I was always aware of the time I spent on a charger and took pains to ensure I used it as quickly as possible, the moved the car.

My company installed two destination Tesla chargers at each location and for years, folks would use them with no problems. From my personal experience, when the Tesla Model 3 became popular, the number of "rude" or "obnoxious" people increased so much we had to remove the chargers and ask PlugShare to hide them. Folks were buying EV's thinking there was this "free" network of companies that didn't mind if you parked your car there. Two of our chargers were in a downtown region with limited parking, so Tesla folks were simply parking there overnight ... sometimes all day. We finally towed a few (not fun) but seriously folks seem to have forgotten there really are courtesy standards with charging, even today.
 

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I was told by someone from another EV charging company that they don't usually put roofing because we plugin and walk away, compared gas stations that we stand there holding the nozzle
That's someone that clearly never started a charge in a cold rain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Day 16 | Monday June 20

After spending a few days including Father’s Day with my dad and stepmom, I headed out of Central Georgia and up to Raleigh NC to stay with friends. Weather was pleasant, traffic light. I stopped at a couple of rest stops in South and North Carolina that were nicely maintained. Relaxed and had lunch, and snapped some pics. South of the NC border, I ran into a small hiccup with a Duke Energy charger on a travel plaza called “South of the Border.” This charger required the Shell Recharge app which was new to me and not on my phone. Internet was very slow at this location, and though I was able to install the app, repeated failures with it caused me eventually to give up. [This reminds me of family travel planning when I was a kid and my parents had multiple gas credit cards, and would use the road atlas and a AAA TripTik to plan each day’s segment. The current network fragmentation, with all these apps—which a non-local often will not know until at the charger—is understandable, but it definitely needs to improve.] Anyway, I checked the in-car nav for any other DC chargers in the area and discovered there was an EA station at a Walmart in Lumberton NC just 21 miles away. Why the app, and ABRP and EVC, did not guide me there in the first place is a mystery. I was able to arrive there above my 15% SOC goal. At the Walmart in Lumberton, there was a Mustang and an Ioniq at the 350 chargers. I started up with a 150 and was able to get about half my goal while in the store. When I came out, the Ioniq was gone and I finished with the 350 in just a few more minutes. Minor inconvenience. But we’ll see more of that.

My appreciation for #WalMart continues to grow. From nice stores with good selections (including some excellent keto-friendly options) to friendly people and clean restrooms, to hosting the best overall network of high speed EV chargers, the chain has helped to make this a very enjoyable and practical road trip. And today, the Grovetown GA store even had an excellent soundtrack playing. 👍

I rolled into Raleigh with plenty of juice, and had a great night with friends.

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Day 16 | Monday June 20

Relaxed and had lunch, and snapped some pics. South of the NC border, I ran into a small hiccup with a Duke Energy charger on a travel plaza called “South of the Border.” This charger required the Shell Recharge app which was new to me and not on my phone. Internet was very slow at this location, and though I was able to install the app, repeated failures with it caused me eventually to give up. [This reminds me of family travel planning when I was a kid and my parents had multiple gas credit cards, and would use the road atlas and a AAA TripTik to plan each day’s segment.
Oh wow! You actually stopped at South of the Border?!? That place has some interesting stories! Heck the highway billboards leading into it are almost as interesting as the park itself. Its almost a right of passage if you grew up in the Carolinas.

And I constantly refer to TripTik’s when explaining the process of planning your long distance trip in an EV. I relied on those things to get me back in forth to college in the 1980s from MD to Kansas. Back then, in the midWest, gas stations were certainly not everywhere and I drove a VW Beetle with questionable gauges! Had to plan every miles on that thing too.
 

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E-tron GT. My third EV. My first: a 2014 i8. My second a 2019 E-tron. Also drive a 2020 AMG GT roads
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Tesla was able to build a reliable, resilient charging infrastructure even while building cars that were less than reliable and well made.

And then came along VWAG, which bribed its way out of criminal liability for its diesel engine fraud with the DoT by promising to build out ElectrifyAmerica. EA is unreliable, poorly developed and poorly maintained. It's no wonder why. DoT is satisfied with VWAG's half-a$$ed measures. We Audi owners should not be.

I suggest posting our experiences everywhere on the Internet when there is a discussion about VWAG's EA infrastructure. If nothing else we can embarrass VW into doing a better job.
 

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Tesla was able to build a reliable, resilient charging infrastructure even while building cars that were less than reliable and well made.

And then came along VWAG, which bribed its way out of criminal liability for its diesel engine fraud with the DoT by promising to build out ElectrifyAmerica. EA is unreliable, poorly developed and poorly maintained. It's no wonder why. DoT is satisfied with VWAG's half-a$$ed measures. We Audi owners should not be.

I suggest posting our experiences everywhere on the Internet when there is a discussion about VWAG's EA infrastructure. If nothing else we can embarrass VW into doing a better job.
Did you actually own a Tesla back when they started building out their network? I had one for the last ten years and initially their Destination Network (businesses installing AC chargers) were more reliable than their SuperChargers. Heck back then non-Tesla chargers were almost impossible to find even in the DC region I live in. Within five years, both the Supercharger network AND normal AC charging networks (like in city parking garages) were everywhere.

I have no doubt the same will happen here.

VW Group, unlike Tesla, is building chargers for everyone, not just one model. You could make the same complaint about EVGo and ChargePoint … both networks have been flaky in this region as well. Time will change this though.
 

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I suggest posting our experiences everywhere on the Internet when there is a discussion about VWAG's EA infrastructure. If nothing else we can embarrass VW into doing a better job.
I agree and am fully onboard. In fact I would report failures to Porsche with the Taycan to put additional pressure by saying "you sold this as a feature of the car and included it, if I can not charge at EA because the stations do not work it is failing to meet the conditions."

Remember EA is under the same umbrella as Audi.
 

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EA is unreliable, poorly developed and poorly maintained.
I've just finished a 4000 mile trip and 42 charges using mostly EA. I didn't find EA to be "unreliable, poorly developed or poorly maintained". Yes, I did have four chargers that didn't work when I plugged in, but by putting multiple chargers at a location the odds of not being able to charge at a location are very low. And two that only supplied ~45 kW. And yes, I checked Plugshare in advance and avoided chargers that didn't work or had been reported to supply less power than specified, so this isn't an unbiased sample.

My expectations might be different. I'm taking trips that would have been very difficult a few years ago and having no large problems. I'm getting what I need, if not what I'd want. Cue up the Stones.

I'd like a roof over the chargers. Plugging in with a heavy rain s****.

I'd like a restroom a reasonable distance from the chargers. Along with reasonable coffee, and food. One stop was at a Panera Bread... More of these, please.

I'd like to have a trash can nearby.

I'd like to have windshield cleaning stuff handy.

Walmart isn't that bad. Better than I expected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
My expectations might be different. I'm taking trips that would have been very difficult a few years ago and having no large problems. I'm getting what I need, if not what I'd want. Cue up the Stones.
Exactly. No large problems is precisely what it is. I want EA to be better, a roof over the chargers, etc., same as you. It’s all doable now, and it will only get better. FWIW, I keep a small car care kit in the trunk with detail spray, interior cleaner, tire dressing, and glass cleaner. I use the time at stops to clean her up as she needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 · (Edited)
Day 17 | Tuesday June 21


I left Raleigh this morning en route to Washington DC to visit more family. A cloudy morning meant that, for once I did not have the sun in my eyes. The car/ABRP/EVC route plans all called for me to charge up at a Walmart in NC and an EVGo at a WaWa station near Richmond. Both stops went fine, but a mile after leaving the EvGo, an HPC charger appeared on the nav screen (I love that feature): you guessed it, an EA station at a Walmart. Still don’t know why this is happening, but I now have a new protocol of always doing a quick DC search when I get within 5 miles of a charger destination.

There was an hour+ traffic delay headed into DC. The car does very well in stop & go. The biggest problem with that situation is the constant jockeying of many of the other drivers. Is what it is. Once I got into DC, I had ample charge to drive around and visit a few spots before dinner and take a few pics, including the one below at the Air Force Memorial. Tomorrow, on to NY.
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Day 17 | Tuesday June 21
Both stops went fine, but a mile after leaving the EvGo, an HPC charger appeared on the nav screen (I love that feature): you guessed it, an EA station at a Walmart. Still don’t know why this is happening, but I now have a new protocol of always doing a quick DC search when I get within 5 miles of a charger destination.
Curious if you have the "Prefer Electrify America charging station" setting on under the Navigation Settings? If so, it's even worse that the Audi nav system is ignoring the EA stations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Curious if you have the "Prefer Electrify America charging station" setting on under the Navigation Settings? If so, it's even worse that the Audi nav system is ignoring the EA stations.
I sure do. Day before yesterday, I even rebooted the MMI and reset it to be sure. And I confirmed it again this morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 · (Edited)
Day 18 | Wednesday, June 22

Left DC at 6:30am. It’s a short ride to NYC, but it had its challenges. Generally a smooth departure and trip, but both DC and Baltimore involved lots of surface roads, and wow are they in bad shape. And the highways are nothing to love either.

First charging stop was a bust. It was supposed to be an EV Institute in a community library parking lot in Baltimore. Terrible neighborhood, and the gates to the lot were locked. Had to leave Baltimore and look for a charger at a Maryland House travel plaza on I95. That went fine, but sheesh Baltimore is a dump. The chargers at the travel plaza were EV Institute chargers. This is a Maryland DOT company. Payment by CC went fine. As near as I could figure out, there is no app for EVI chargers. And while each charger had RFID capability, none of my tags/cards worked. Settled for a 55% SOC top up.

Worked my way up to Philly. Visited an EVGo charging plaza in a WaWa station. A couple of 150 chargers and a 350. Each had two plugs, the smaller ones with CCS and ChaDeMo; the larger was CCS only. Each offered simultaneous charging, which was nice. There was a Polestar (rented) at the 350. He had to park awkwardly because a semi rig was blocking g part of the last EV charging spot. My sense was the truck driver did the best he could. At first, I didn’t want to crowd the Polestar, so I tried a 150 charger named Algernon. But I couldn’t get it talking to the GT. So, I moved over to 350 Imogene; at least everything was in the right place for the GT’s awkward charging port (my only real complaint about the car), and the hose was long enough. And sure enough, simultaneous charging worked fine. At a 34% SOC, she pulled 150kW right away. Oddly, at 54% SOC, after the Polestar drove away, the rate plunged to 102kW. Oh well. I soon had enough to get to my daughter’s house in NYC and still have 170 miles of range. All good. But man, these east coast roads. And those tolls. $16 to cross over to Staten Island. Thank goodness for the ITM in the GT.

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Curious how the car is handling the heat? Since there is no temperature gauge, does the car seem to handle the high temperatures we’re experiencing without issue? What is the longest stretch of driving you’ve gone without stopping, except for brief charging?
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Curious how the car is handling the heat? Since there is no temperature gauge, does the car seem to handle the high temperatures we’re experiencing without issue? What is the longest stretch of driving you’ve gone without stopping, except for brief charging?
I think the longest day of actual driving was a little over 12 hours. And that was in some serious heat, temps above 100F. The car seems unfazed by heat. I think the farthest I drove without any stop at all was about 3.5 hours.
 

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I’m really enjoying these posts. Thank you for documenting your trip for us. Am I correct that you are getting ~3 mi/kWh…I think that’s what your last photos showed. If so, that’s significantly better than I expected. I have less than 100 miles on my GT and all city driving so not a significant sample, but seeing more like 2.5 mi/kWh.

Safe driving and keep posting!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I’m really enjoying these posts. Thank you for documenting your trip for us. Am I correct that you are getting ~3 mi/kWh…I think that’s what your last photos showed. If so, that’s significantly better than I expected. I have less than 100 miles on my GT and all city driving so not a significant sample, but seeing more like 2.5 mi/kWh.

Safe driving and keep posting!!
Thanks! And yes, especially when I let the car do the driving, I am consistently able to hit 5km/kWh. The key so far has been to let the car do as much of the driving as possible. And that’s been true from 60-80, wherever cruise was set.
 
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I’m really enjoying these posts. Thank you for documenting your trip for us. Am I correct that you are getting ~3 mi/kWh…I think that’s what your last photos showed. If so, that’s significantly better than I expected. I have less than 100 miles on my GT and all city driving so not a significant sample, but seeing more like 2.5 mi/kWh.
I believe regen is very limited in your car until the brakes settle in, and without full regen your efficiency is impacted. Also short (edited) trips will show lower efficiency than longer stretches of driving.

In 80f weather driving in efficiency at around 65 mph or so I am seeing 3.1 and that is with less efficient RS all season performance tires.
 
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