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No one has mentioned using the route planner on the eTron. I used it on my trip from LA to SF only because I didn't know better.
How reliable is the eTron planner? Does it serach for all charging networks or only electrifyAmerica? Is it smart enough to take into consideration of a station's charging power vs time to detour to the station. Also does it monitor the status of the charging station (whether it's operational or in use) before and after the route is set. :unsure:
Knowing exactly what a planner does is crucuial because your life does depend on it.
 

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Just found out electrifyAmerica is a subsidary of VW group. I know VW is probably losing bucketloads on EVs and electrifyAmerica but I would think a marketing savvy company like Audi would know how to dress up their electrifyAmerica offering. How about putting an eye catching awning over their charging stations and some electrifyAmerica marketing flags to show people where their stations are.
Good for marketing and the awning can give customers some much needed shade. Also stop putting charging stations next to dumpsters would help the overall experience.
 

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If you think road tripping is hard in an EV today, let me point out that it was far more "fun" in 2011 and 2012.

What you need is a PAC - a Plan, "the Apps" and "the Cards", and the cards mean both the charging cards and apps and the accounts with them. Electrify America (no card!), EVgo, Chargepoint, Greenlots, SemaConnect, Flow, BC Hydro, exactly what you need depends on where you drive. There are still a significant number of charging locations that need the cards and don't work with cell phone apps, but that is getting less with time.

1. ABRP is both an app and a webpage. Get the app. Bookmark the webpage

This is better than other route planners I know of, but still has issues. One these is the less than ideal database of charging stations. The reason to use it is both automatic routing and a range estimate that takes weather and altitude into account. Use this to make your original plan. With some cars, you can link the car to the app and have the app update the plan as you proceed. I've never used this feature, so I can't comment on it. Manually updating the plan might be required with changing conditions.

2. PlugShare is both an app and a webpage. Get the app. Bookmark the webpage

PlugShare is crowdsourced. Which is usually a good thing, as you can have more up to date information than you can get elsewhere, including how to find the chargers or charging stations, how to use the chargers or charging stations, information about the area, and sometimes more. Do add to the information if there is something relevant. Even just a checkin with a success, if there isn't a recent one.

3. WAA - Planned distance between charges depends on lots of factors

The range estimate on the dash is a GOM, or Guess O Meter. This term is far older than EVs, and should give you some pause in completely believing it. It is useful, but don't start with it, and don't only think about distance. Weather, Altitude and Alternatives (aka WAA) need to be considered. Headwind will reduce your range, as will cold, rain, snow. Heavy traffic can increase your range. At the top of a pass, the GOM is likely to be pessimistic. After a long descent, the GOM is likely to be optimistic. And you plan on charging at "Plan A"... what if that station is down or busy... what is the alternative? Hopefully not a tow truck. Have a "Plan B" worked out, and sometimes a "Plan C". If Plan B is across the street, then you don't need much extra range. Otherwise, you might need more than that.

4. Bail points. Or Checkpoints. Plan for things not going to plan.

On a long segment on your plan, and your plan has you using a large fraction of the battery, have one or more points with alternative stops. For example:


Using 80% of the battery is usually a fairly good plan. But what if you have a stiff headwind?


Eh... you don't make it. So a reasonable time before the Twin Fall's exit, check the battery percentage. Like here:


Ah, if below about 41%, you don't make it. Be nice to have some margin as well. So make a note to yourself that you check the sure you have at least 41% plus margin before you pass the Twin Fall's exit. If you don't, perhaps a quick phone call to:


Would greatly lower the stress level. And if not, there are other alternatives in Twin Falls, make sure you have your cable with you. Notice that this alternative stop isn't in ABRP, I added a waypoint and make it a charging stop.

After a stop, perhaps with lunch or dinner and a nice walk, or perhaps you make it an overnight stop... You can proceed with reasonable assurance you don't need wait for the tow truck.



5. Be aware of weather

The above trip would be lower stress if you just slowed down at the start. Like this:



6. what the GOM is good for.

Another stress reducer is to use the GOM. Put your destination into the NAV, and compare GOM miles with miles to destination. Be aware that the GOM doesn't adjust to conditions ahead of you.
 

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I wanted to put some quick notes down about the road trip experience as that was a big question when I was deciding whether or not to buy and EV. First, (Disclaimer) I’m already an Audi owner 3 times over, so I’m biased...

I live in Houston and planned a drive to my brother-in-law’s house in Austin for the weekend.
Night prior plan was to full charge the car.
-Resulted in an (known problem) erroneous mileage available for drive of 215miles. That quickly corrected when we set out. Had to drive about 3 miles and turnaround to get something we forgot and finally left the house with 192miles showing.
-Plan was to drive in efficiency ride selected with normal A/C usage. Highway travel most of trip with final destination at 166miles with charging planned at a Walmart at 148miles.
-Expected to have 44miles of excess at destination.
-Drove an average of 70-85mph which cut about 15-16miles of range from calculation... I’d expect that cut until it recognizes your average usage in short and long term memory. (After the trip I’m about 2.0mi/kWh which was accurate when my daily charge shows about 196 now.
-Upon arrival in Austin I realized that Austin,TX does not have good quick charge stations at anything above 50kW, except for Round Rock (ok, too location specific)..
-At about 60miles battery arc turns yellow with battery image yellow, saying reduced range. No change made and decided to stop for coffee to see what it was like at 30 and below, so we made a coffee stop and below 30 miles the arc turned red, with red battery and recommendation to charge immediately. Definitely gets your heart rate up, but how many times do we do the same and drive our car at the red close to empty in a gas car, usually because we know where to get gas. I treated this the same and I’m sure over time we get more familiar with charging stations around us.
-pulled up to the Walmart with 26% and began charge At 50kW quick charge. Spent about 45min to charge to 75miles.
-Drove around for the weekend with about about another 1.5hr charge to get to 135miles before leaving town. My thoughts are this was painful because it took much longer to charge, plan for a spot to charge, than I would have with a gasoline car. We desperately need more 150kW chargers to make this process less painful.
-When leaving for the weekend back to houston I charged to 135miles at the same 50kW (cost spent in total about same as if it were gas / mile driven) charger at Walmart (these seem to be the best) and started trip to my 1/2 way point that had a 150kW charger (Electrify America - thank God I can use my credits now)
-Hit (a little over) halfway point in Columbus off of I-10 and 71 and a really nice charging station there. Arrived at 30% of battery and charged to what showed 100% but only showed 186miles available (due to driving fast at 70-85mph). This charge took 30min, a little long for a stretch your legs stop, however car WiFi helped get through it. I’d really like to see parks at the charging stations if they’re on routes of long trips.. Drove the 60miles to the house and trip complete.
All in all, not to bad of a road trip, for better planning having a 14-50 outlet at family’s house at destination would have helped.. but not available and caused longer than desired stops. Waiting 30+ min for a charge is painful but will get better as more quick charge stations become available. The range of just around 200miles is about 100miles short of where they need to be as an effortlessly functional road trip vehicle. But in the end I’ll deal with it and make it work because I love the car, the look, the comfort, and the features.
-Trevor
Yes 300 miles seems ideal for road trips. I did Dallas to San Antonio and back. Overall trip was 2.2-2.3 miles/KwH with 75-85 mph with comfort mode/AC/seat massagers etc. I hit some traffic with construction so range stayed 2.3 for the trip. On the way out Electrify American chargers at Waco Walmart and Round Rock was good enough since I charged at home but coming back was 3 stops to be safe, Walmart San Antonio, Round Rock, and Waco all fast chargers no more than 13-15 mins to top up to 80% and move on. Even getting to 90% is not bad, 100% takes a lot more time though. Overall 30 mins more travel time compared to a one stop at a gas station so not too bad. Had trouble at one location with Audi App connecting so I can enter the charger number but otherwise it was fine. They need to simplify it so it can charge when you plug in.
 

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Lots of good info here for newbies looking to take long trips. What would be really helpful is if these planning Apps would be available in CarPlay or if Apple, Google and Waze had this database in their maps as well as Audi having it, in the built in Navigation system. With the plethora of new EVs to be released in the coming months and years, having a better charging network would be a good thing. Certainly EVs that can go 600 miles on a charge would also be a great thing to have. For a lot of folks that would mean charging one a month or every 2 months or longer depending on your commute. Going on long road trips wouldn’t require too much extra planning and that would lessen the lines at charging stations ofer the holidays.

I’m happy I got the e-tron but like most, would have preferred it if the range was over 300 miles. Only had mine a little over a week and I’m already planning road trips. First one I did without any planning and had to get towed to a charger. I did ignore the pop ups for a charging stop, as I wanted to see how far it would go Driving like I normally do. Will be doing some planning and having backup plans in the future.
 

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I wanted to put some quick notes down about the road trip experience as that was a big question when I was deciding whether or not to buy and EV. First, (Disclaimer) I’m already an Audi owner 3 times over, so I’m biased...

I live in Houston and planned a drive to my brother-in-law’s house in Austin for the weekend.
Night prior plan was to full charge the car.
-Resulted in an (known problem) erroneous mileage available for drive of 215miles. That quickly corrected when we set out. Had to drive about 3 miles and turnaround to get something we forgot and finally left the house with 192miles showing.
-Plan was to drive in efficiency ride selected with normal A/C usage. Highway travel most of trip with final destination at 166miles with charging planned at a Walmart at 148miles.
-Expected to have 44miles of excess at destination.
-Drove an average of 70-85mph which cut about 15-16miles of range from calculation... I’d expect that cut until it recognizes your average usage in short and long term memory. (After the trip I’m about 2.0mi/kWh which was accurate when my daily charge shows about 196 now.
-Upon arrival in Austin I realized that Austin,TX does not have good quick charge stations at anything above 50kW, except for Round Rock (ok, too location specific)..
-At about 60miles battery arc turns yellow with battery image yellow, saying reduced range. No change made and decided to stop for coffee to see what it was like at 30 and below, so we made a coffee stop and below 30 miles the arc turned red, with red battery and recommendation to charge immediately. Definitely gets your heart rate up, but how many times do we do the same and drive our car at the red close to empty in a gas car, usually because we know where to get gas. I treated this the same and I’m sure over time we get more familiar with charging stations around us.
-pulled up to the Walmart with 26% and began charge At 50kW quick charge. Spent about 45min to charge to 75miles.
-Drove around for the weekend with about about another 1.5hr charge to get to 135miles before leaving town. My thoughts are this was painful because it took much longer to charge, plan for a spot to charge, than I would have with a gasoline car. We desperately need more 150kW chargers to make this process less painful.
-When leaving for the weekend back to houston I charged to 135miles at the same 50kW (cost spent in total about same as if it were gas / mile driven) charger at Walmart (these seem to be the best) and started trip to my 1/2 way point that had a 150kW charger (Electrify America - thank God I can use my credits now)
-Hit (a little over) halfway point in Columbus off of I-10 and 71 and a really nice charging station there. Arrived at 30% of battery and charged to what showed 100% but only showed 186miles available (due to driving fast at 70-85mph). This charge took 30min, a little long for a stretch your legs stop, however car WiFi helped get through it. I’d really like to see parks at the charging stations if they’re on routes of long trips.. Drove the 60miles to the house and trip complete.
All in all, not to bad of a road trip, for better planning having a 14-50 outlet at family’s house at destination would have helped.. but not available and caused longer than desired stops. Waiting 30+ min for a charge is painful but will get better as more quick charge stations become available. The range of just around 200miles is about 100miles short of where they need to be as an effortlessly functional road trip vehicle. But in the end I’ll deal with it and make it work because I love the car, the look, the comfort, and the features.
-Trevor
The mileage you start with after a full charge (say 230 miles) is NEVER the actual mileage. The minute you turn on the AC or the heat, the mileage drops precipitously, so don't think that you can drive 230 miles to your destination. This past weekend, I drove to upstate NY to see my son in college. I stopped to charge the car when I was down to 30 miles on the battery, even though I had started with 230 miles, and the destination was 180 miles away. The Nav system routed me to a fast charger about 20 miles out of my way. It took me a while to figure out how to use the charger as I had never seen one like it before and there was no customer service number to call, and no one around to ask. Eventually I figured it out and it took about a half hour to get enough miles to complete the journey. The whole detour and charging added about an hour and a half to a trip that normally takes about 4 hours. On the way home, I was routed to a charging station in the Woodbury Commons mall. There were 2 fast chargers, one was occupied and the other was out of order. I was then routed to another charging station which was in an abandoned industrial park in the middle of nowhere. It was a slow charger, but I plugged in anyway as I was getting desperate. I waited 40 minutes - I still didn't have enough miles to get home, so I figured I should go back to the fast charger and hope the car that had been using it was gone. That's when the real nightmare began. I could not disconnect the charging unit from my car. It was locked in, and wouldn't budge. I called the customer service number - luckily didn't have to wait long to speak to someone. They tried everything on their end, rebooting the charger, etc. but nothing worked. It was freezing and pouring rain and I was totally stuck in an isolated area with no one to help. Eventually, after being on hold for more than 25 minutes she came back and told me to try pressing lock-unlock on the key fob 5 times in a row. Did that, and miraculously that unlocked the charger from the car. I still had to go to the fast charger and sit there for another half hour before I had enough miles to go home (without of course daring to turn on the heat, even though it was freezing - that sucks up way too much battery, kind of ironic that you are paying a fortune for a luxury car and can't turn on the heat!) The whole terrible experience took more than 2 hours. I will never take this car on a long-distance trip again. There just isn't the infrastructure in place yet for electric cars to go long distances. Until they have multiple charging stations in every rest stop, gas station, strip mall, etc. then the car is only good for short trips close to home where it can easily be charged.
 

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The mileage you start with after a full charge (say 230 miles) is NEVER the actual mileage. The minute you turn on the AC or the heat, the mileage drops precipitously, so don't think that you can drive 230 miles to your destination. This past weekend, I drove to upstate NY to see my son in college. I stopped to charge the car when I was down to 30 miles on the battery, even though I had started with 230 miles, and the destination was 180 miles away. The Nav system routed me to a fast charger about 20 miles out of my way. It took me a while to figure out how to use the charger as I had never seen one like it before and there was no customer service number to call, and no one around to ask. Eventually I figured it out and it took about a half hour to get enough miles to complete the journey. The whole detour and charging added about an hour and a half to a trip that normally takes about 4 hours. On the way home, I was routed to a charging station in the Woodbury Commons mall. There were 2 fast chargers, one was occupied and the other was out of order. I was then routed to another charging station which was in an abandoned industrial park in the middle of nowhere. It was a slow charger, but I plugged in anyway as I was getting desperate. I waited 40 minutes - I still didn't have enough miles to get home, so I figured I should go back to the fast charger and hope the car that had been using it was gone. That's when the real nightmare began. I could not disconnect the charging unit from my car. It was locked in, and wouldn't budge. I called the customer service number - luckily didn't have to wait long to speak to someone. They tried everything on their end, rebooting the charger, etc. but nothing worked. It was freezing and pouring rain and I was totally stuck in an isolated area with no one to help. Eventually, after being on hold for more than 25 minutes she came back and told me to try pressing lock-unlock on the key fob 5 times in a row. Did that, and miraculously that unlocked the charger from the car. I still had to go to the fast charger and sit there for another half hour before I had enough miles to go home (without of course daring to turn on the heat, even though it was freezing - that sucks up way too much battery, kind of ironic that you are paying a fortune for a luxury car and can't turn on the heat!) The whole terrible experience took more than 2 hours. I will never take this car on a long-distance trip again. There just isn't the infrastructure in place yet for electric cars to go long distances. Until they have multiple charging stations in every rest stop, gas station, strip mall, etc. then the car is only good for short trips close to home where it can easily be charged.
The "mileage you start with" is called a GOM or Guess O Meter. It is a guess, based on past driving, current battery state, climate controls, and more. Important safety tip, it is only a guess. I've driven a lot of different EVs and have a lot of miles, so I can usually guess far better than the GOM. You can learn to do so as well. The e-tron's GOM is better than some, and I'm not telling you to ignore it. Learn its limitations.

My first experience with a fast charge station was amusing, as it was the first day the station had been on-line, the third fast charging station installed in the State of Washington, and there was someone there that had been trying for an hour to get it started. Neither of us had ever used any fast charger before. We did manage to get it started.

Long trips in an EV can require planning to avoid disasters like your trip. Trips in Puget Sound area have enough infrastructure to not need planning... unlike most of the country. There are places I wouldn't take any EV at this time, due to lack of infrastructure, unless I really had to and had lots of time. I use plugshare.com and abetterrouteplanner.com, and there are other such tools.

If you would like, I can walk you though a trip plan that might have given you a far less "exciting" trip. Give me a rough idea of end points. Not your address, but a town/city center or nearby business.
 
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