6.07.2022

I have stated in the past how electric cars would NOT work for my lifestyle and this news editorial is a great story to show exactly what I mean


There are lawmakers and influencers in large city positions trying to force the entire country into electric cars based on their personal lifestyles.

If you live in a large California city and you drive a grand total of 25 miles a day - including your commute and errands - OF COURSE you think electric cars are fine for 'everyone' but you are too stupid to realize not everyone lives your life.  The rest of America is nothing at all like San Fransisco and your ilk.   

I drive cross country fairly often and my typical, average daily drive is about 9 hours.  Sometimes 11 or 12 or 15 but usually about 9 or 10.  I don't even like having to stop for a 10 minute gas station or restroom break; there is no way I want to wait around to have to charge my glorified golf-cart.  

When I'm in the middle of New Mexico, on a lone highway, hours from any large city and it's 110 degrees out; I want to know my gas tank is full and all systems are go.  I do not want the stress of having to worry about what might be dragging my charge down; where the next charging station is, whether or not it's broke down; whether it's locked up and it's after closing so there is no one there to turn the key for me; what electrical storms are messing with my charge, etc.

I LOVE the peace of mind I get driving a gas car.  It works for me.  It works for my lifestyle.  I know exactly how many miles I have on a tank of gas.  An extra container of gas is a great back up.  If I am stupid and misjudge and run out of gas, I can walk a short distance with an empty gas can to get more from thousands of gas stations around the country; or I can have gas brought to me and be on the road again within minutes.  


 

When I travel and drive I do NOT want to have to wait 30 minutes up to 8 hours to charge.  I don't want to have to search high and low for a charging station. I like driving 9 hours without stopping to get to where I need to go.  

I want to be able to take off on a 2 week camping and hiking road trip on back roads, forest roads, primitive campgrounds and never have to worry about a lack-of-charge stranding me alone and unsafe. 

Love this news article.... thought I'd share.

Read the whole article here: Source

 

I rented an electric car for a 4-day road trip. I spent more time charging it than I did sleeping.

 

".....I rented an electric car for a 4-day road trip. I spent more time charging it than I did sleeping. Four days and 2,000 miles from New Orleans to Chicago totaled $175 in charging costs

          Less money, more time

Given our battery range of up to 310 miles, I plotted a meticulous route, splitting our days into four chunks of roughly 7 1/2 -hours each. We'd need to charge once or twice each day and plug in near our hotel overnight.

The PlugShare app -- a user-generated map of public chargers -- showed thousands of charging options between New Orleans and Chicago. But most were classified as Level 2, requiring around 8 hours for a full charge.

Over four days, we spent $175 on charging. We estimated the equivalent cost for gas in a Kia Forte would have been $275, based on the AAA average national gas price for May 19.

That $100 savings cost us many hours in waiting time.

 But that's not the whole story.

Charging nuances

New Orleans, our starting point, has exactly zero fast chargers, according to PlugShare. As we set out, one of the closest is at a Harley-Davidson dealership in Slidell, La., about 40 minutes away. So we use our Monday-morning breakfast stop to top off there on the way out of town.

But when we tick down 15% over 35 miles? Disconcerting. And the estimated charging time after plugging in? Even more so. This "quick charge" should take 5 minutes, based on our calculations. So why does the dashboard tell us it will take an hour?

"Maybe it's just warming up," I say to Mack. "Maybe it's broken?" she says.

Over Egg McMuffins at McDonald's, we check Google. Chargers slow down when the battery is 80% full, the State of Charge YouTube channel tells us.

Worried about time, we decide to unplug once we return to the car, despite gaining a measly 13% in 40 minutes.

Our real troubles begin when we can't find the wall-mounted charger at the Kia dealership in Meridian, Miss., the state's seventh-largest city and hometown of country-music legend Jimmie Rodgers.

When I ask a mechanic working on an SUV a few feet away for help, he says he doesn't know anything about the machine and points us inside. At the front desk, the receptionist asks if we've checked with a technician and sends us back outside.

Not many people use the charger, the mechanic tells us when we return. We soon see why. Once up and running, our dashboard tells us a full charge, from 18% to 100%, will take 3-plus hours.

It turns out not all "fast chargers" live up to the name. The biggest variable, according to State of Charge, is how many kilowatts a unit can churn out in an hour. To be considered "fast," a charger must be capable of about 24 kW. The fastest chargers can pump out up to 350. Our charger in Meridian claims to meet that standard, but it has trouble cracking 20.

"Even among DC fast chargers, there are different level chargers with different charging speeds," a ChargePoint spokeswoman says.

Worse, it is a 30-minute walk to downtown restaurants. We set off on foot, passing warehouses with shattered windows and an overgrown lot filled with rusted fuel pumps and gas-station signs. Clambering over a flatcar of a stalled freight train, we half-wish we could hop a boxcar to Chicago.

By the time we reach our next station, at a Mercedes-Benz dealership outside Birmingham, Ala., we've already missed our dinner reservations in Nashville -- still 200 miles away.

Here, at least, the estimated charging time is only an hour -- and we get to make use of two automatic massage chairs while we wait.

Salesman Kurt Long tells us the dealership upgraded its chargers to 54-kW models a few weeks earlier when the 2022 Mercedes EQS-Class arrived.

 'Everyone's concern is how far can the cars go on a charge," he says. He adds that he would trade in his car for an EV tomorrow if he could afford the $102,000 price tag. "Just because it would be convenient for me because I work here," he says. "Otherwise, I don't know if I would just yet."

After the Birmingham suburbs, our journey takes us along nightmarish, dark mountain roads. We stop for snacks at a gas station featuring a giant chicken in a chef's costume. We lean heavily on cruise control, which helps conserve battery life by reducing inadvertent acceleration and deceleration. We are beat when we finally stumble into our Nashville hotel at 12:30 a.m.

To get back on schedule, we are up out early, amid pouring rain, writing the previous day off as a warm-up, an electric-car hazing.

For the most part, we are right. Thanks to vastly better charging infrastructure on this leg, all our stops last less than an hour.

It isn't all smooth sailing, though. At one point we find ourselves wandering through a Kroger, sopping wet, in search of coffee after wrestling with a particularly finicky charger in the rain. By this point, not once have we managed to back in close enough to reach the pump, or gotten the stiff cord hooked around the right way on the first try.

In the parking lot of a Clarksville, Ind., Walmart, we barely have time for lunch, as the Electrify America charging station fills up our battery in about 25 minutes, as advertised.

The woman charging next to us describes a harrowing recent trip in her Volkswagen ID.4. Deborah Carrico, 65, had to be towed twice while driving between her Louisville, Ky., apartment and Boulder, Colo., where her daughter was getting married.

"My daughter was like, 'You've lost it mom; just fly,' " the retired hairdresser says. She says she felt safer in a car during the pandemic -- but also vulnerable when waiting at remote charging stations alone late at night. "But if someone is going to get me, they're going to have to really fight me," she says, wielding her key between her fingers like a weapon.

While she loves embracing the future, she says, her family has been giving her so much pushback that she is considering trading the car in and going back to gas.

We pull into Chicago at 9 p.m., having made the planned 7 1/2 -hour trip in 12 hours. Not bad, we agree.

 Less money, more time

Leaving Chicago after a full night of sleep, I tell Mack I might write only about the journey's first half. "The rest will just be the same," I predict, as thunder claps ominously overhead.

"Don't say that!" she says. "We're at the mercy of this goddamn spaceship." She still hasn't mastered the lie-flat door handles after three days.

As intense wind and rain whip around us, the car cautions, "Conditions have not been met" for its cruise-control system. Soon the battery starts bleeding life. What began as a 100-mile cushion between Chicago and our planned first stop in Effingham, Ill., has fallen to 30.

"If it gets down to 10, we're stopping at a Level 2," Mack says as she frantically searches PlugShare.

We feel defeated pulling into a Nissan Mazda dealership in Mattoon, Ill. "How long could it possibly take to charge the 30 miles we need to make it to the next fast station?" I wonder.

 Three hours. It takes 3 hours.

 I begin to lose my mind as I set out in search of gas-station doughnuts, the wind driving sheets of rain into my face.

Seated atop a pyramid of Smirnoff Ice 12-packs, Little Debbie powdered sugar sprinkled down the pajama shirt I haven't removed in three days, I phone Mack. "What if we just risk it?" I say. "Maybe we'll make it there on electrical fumes."

"That's a terrible idea!" she says, before asking me to bring back a bag of nuts.

Back on the road, we can't even make it 200 miles on a full charge en route to Miner, Mo. Clearly, tornado warnings and electric cars don't mix. The car's highway range actually seems worse than its range in cities.

Indeed, highway driving doesn't benefit as much from the car's regenerative-braking technology -- which uses energy generated in slowing down to help a car recharge its battery -- Kia spokesman James Bell tells me later. He suspects our car is the less-expensive EV6 model with a range not of 310 miles, as listed on Turo, but 250. He says he can't be sure what model we were driving without physically inspecting the car.

"As we have all learned over many years of experience with internal combustion engine vehicles, factors such as average highway speed, altitude changes, and total cargo weight can all impact range, whether derived from a tank of gasoline or a fully charged battery," he says.

To save power, we turn off the car's cooling system and the radio, unplug our phones and lower the windshield wipers to the lowest possible setting while still being able to see. Three miles away from the station, we have one mile of estimated range.

At zero miles, we fly screeching into a gas-station parking lot. A trash can goes flying and lands with a clatter to greet us. Dinner is beef jerky, our plans to dine at a kitschy beauty shop-turned-restaurant in Memphis long gone.

Then we start to argue. Mack reminds me she needs to be back in time for her shift the next day. There's no way we'll make it, I tell her.

To scout our options, Mack calls a McDonald's in Winona, Miss., that is home to one of the few fast chargers along our route back to New Orleans. PlugShare tells us the last user has reported the charger broken. An employee who picks up reasonably responds that given the rain, she'll pass on checking to see if an error message is flashing across the charger's screen.

Home, sweet $4-a-gallon home

At our hotel, we decide 4 hours of sleep is better than none, and set our alarms for 4 a.m.

We figure 11 hours should be plenty for a trip that would normally take half as long. That is, if absolutely everything goes right.

Miraculously, it does. At the McDonald's where we stop for our first charge at 6 a.m., the charger zaps to life. The body shop and parts department director at Rogers-Dabbs Chevrolet in Brandon, Miss., comes out to unlock the charger for us with a keycard at 10 a.m.. We're thrilled we waited for business hours, realizing we can only charge while he's there.

We pull into New Orleans 30 minutes before Mack's shift starts -- exhausted and grumpy.

The following week, I fill up my Jetta at a local Shell station. Gas is up to $4.08 a gallon.

I inhale deeply. Fumes never smelled so sweet."