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My wife and I went on our very first road trip over the Labor Day weekend! It was approx 500 miles each way starting in Northern New Jersey to Bar Harbor, Maine. It was quite the adventure mainly b/c there are no level 3 high speed chargers near Bar Harbor (only a few level 2 chargers) and to top it off, halfway through our trip there, I realized I had left our etron charger in the garage (the hotel we were staying at had a NEMA 14-50 outlet I was planning to use)!!! Thanks to the PlugShare app, I was able to find a museum that was a 23-minute-walk away from our hotel that offered free level 2 charging. Ended up using it twice, first to have enough charge to drive around town, and again before we left so we had enough range to make it to the first available level 3 fast charger. Here are my takeaways/tips from this ordeal for everyone:

1. Download the PlugShare app now, set up an account, meticulously plan your trip, and "Check In" when charging at all public stations
This app will allow you to look up nearby chargers, plan routes, create "Trips", and also "check in" while at a charger. On the road, you'll quickly come to realize that many stations are constantly undergoing repairs or broken. In order for you to successfully make your long road trip, it's important you meticulously plan your route and ensure the stations you've selected have working chargers evidenced by successful check-ins by others in recent days. Avoid stations that haven't had a check-in in over 30 days as its status is uncertain.

I know its a little work "checking in" when you're at a station but it really provides the community invaluable information regarding which stations are up and running, how recently someone was able to successfully charge, and any other observations made (ie - potentially shady area, avoid if alone, etc). "Checking in" also informs others who may have considered going to that charger that the station stall you are using is currently occupied. I believe this is good EV community etiquette - I had two instances where a Tesla was charging at the only working station and I had to return in the morning to get my charge. Had these EV owners checked in on the app, I would've known when to go and not waste time.

2. 160 miles is a safe distance in between charges
Contrary to your Audi dash telling you that you have over 200 miles of range, on the highway when you're traveling 65+ mph, your true ranges drops close to 185 miles on a normal summer day. See below post by where @4Rings links a motortrend article that found similar mileage in highway driving with the AC on (176 miles). In the winter, I'm sure its even lower. In between charges, should you end up coming to a dead station after 160 miles, you still have roughly 20-25 miles or range to find the next station.

Motor Trend recently tested the e-tron's range to see how it compares to its EPA estimate and to Tesla.

Here's what they wrote. https://www.motortrend.com/news/audi-e-tron-electric-suv-range-testing/
3. Download all of these Charging network apps and sign up for accounts
1. Electrify America (150kwH charge capability) - they often have stations under repair which is annoying but their Level 3 DC Fast Chargers supplying 150kwH cannot be matched. You can recharge your etron from 20% - 80% in literally half an hour, for full add another 10/15 min. Many are located in specific Walmart parking lots. All new etron owners get 1000 kwH free for 4 years through the Audi app - no need to use EA app until you've depleted credits
2. Chargepoint (65kwH charge capability) - much slower than EA but they are 2nd fastest at 65kwH. Expect to charge from 20% - Full in roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes. Ensure you set up an account before arriving at one of their chargers. I spent a good 10/15 minutes just trying to "load" credits onto a new Chargepoint account as all my credit cards kept getting declined - no idea why. Finally got account set up for payment through PayPal
3. EVGO (50kwH charge capability) - slowest of the 3 but useful when you're in a pinch. I used their charger to get more range to reach the next EA charger - I advise you to do the same and don't fill up there as it'll take a while. Also just sign up for their free subscription, absolutely no reason to opt for their paid subscription

4. Don't forget to pack your charger (9.6kwH charge capability)
Many owners use their Audi supplied charger as their main Level 2 charger at home and may even have it mounted on their garage wall. Do not forget to pack it when traveling! It can come in very handy when in an area like bar harbor and options are very limited. Do your research finding hotels that have a NEMA 14-50 outlet or better, a dedicated level 2 charger

Hope this helps someone that is planning on road-tripping in their etron! It's a wonderful and luxurious car but after this trip, wife and I think we will get a Tesla down the road for road trips b/c of their better range and better charging infrastructure. This will be many years down the road and after our ICE sub-compact SUV dies. We still love the etron however and it doesn't change our feelings about our etron purchase - no regrets :)
 

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Thanks for sharing! Great write up and tips! I know range and charging networks are the biggest concerns with an E-Tron or any EV. I've also thought about a Tesla for road-trips, but then I'd have to drive a Tesla. Hah.

The lack of wind and road noise, comfort, and luxurious features of the Audi is worth the trade-off! At least for now. If we need to do a lot more road trips in the future (quite rare these days), I fully expect our next EV (hopefully Audi) will have far more range. And the charging network had better have improved as well.

Or worse case, you could grab a non-EV rental for the occasional long drive where you don't have time for charging. In fact, last I checked, Audi was offering 1 week of free Audi Silvercar rental for new E-Tron buyers as well as discounts for new customers. Just a thought. ;)
 

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The next time my wife and I are in the market for a new car will be a while and hopefully by then, the non-Tesla major car manufacturers will have improved their EV range and, as you have mentioned, improved their charging network. Tesla will have come out with new cars too, which will be intriguing.

As of now however, we do still have our ICE SUV. Unfortunately it has fabric seats, no dual climate control, and none of the other luxury features of the eTron. Its a basic transportation vehicle but gets the job done. We will consider driving it for our next road trip :)
 
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