Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Anywhere You can go, I can go cheaper!


     I have been testing the waters more and more as I drive further in my Tesla; then today Tesla announced they built their 50,000th charging station.  Here is a link, if you care to see the interactive version of the map above.  So, looking at the availability of all these chargers and hearing testimonials from people who actually drive their Teslas across country makes me feel pretty confident about going on this trip this winter.  

     Certainly sounds much better than the horror story of Granholm's caravan blocking EV chargers with a gas car. This is an unethical practice called ICEing (verb, ICE = Internal Combustion Engine); in this case they ICEd a family with a baby when her advance team blocked a charger they planned to use for the caravan.  Although, part of her problem is that she had a fleet of cars traveling to showcase electric car usage.  Which was compounded by the fact that most private charging stations have issues (broken or vandalized chargers are huge problems here.)

     One reason using a tesla charger is generally a better experience is the lack of user interface on the machine itself.  When you plug the charger into your car, there is a data connection between the charger and the car, and the car itself initiates the charging session.  This means you don't need to install an app on your phone, or log into a server to start the charging session.

  This weekend, It went to Electrify Expo Seattle, and had some interesting conversations with the companies putting on the show.  I was surprised to find out that most of the bicycle vendors had little to no down time on their electric bicycle fleets as they offered test rides to an endless line of people eager to give the bikes a ride.  I was especially excited about the Riese & Muller cargo bikes; the ones with the big box in the front that can fit both of my daughters side by side in them.  Those were pretty fun to ride, especially the Load 75 which could actually fit 3 kids, but that $10,000 price tag will prevent me from getting it.

     The main focus at Electrify Expo is really the cars, and the test drive track!  It was fun to compare the acceleration on on the Model X Plaid to the Porsche Taycan; its close, but I think the Model X wins.  I was also excited to take a good hard look at the Ford F-150 Lightning, which is a pretty impressive truck.  While Ford is supposedly switching to NACS (aka the Tesla port), and they are working with Tesla to work out billing for charging, but right now they still use the CCS connector.  I think getting everyone on one charging port is really important, and because it seems like a lot of companies have agreed on NACS, we should just do that and move forward.

     So right now, I look at the map above, and feel like it would be easy for me to get across the country in a Tesla.  I also like seeing all those destination chargers (the gray dots), which are slower chargers at hotels that are intended for overnight charging while you sleep.  Those could be great for topping off if you drive ~50 miles past your charger before stopping for the night.

     The biggest "concerns" I hear are from people who don't have electric cars telling me that its not a good idea yet.  However, I think the majority of Tesla owners are confident in the Tesla super charging network.  Additionally, I'm hoping to find a couple of those new Flying J stations that have electric charging stations too, that could be pretty sweet!  So, getting closer to the drive, and I'm pretty excited about it!