What are your electric vehicle plans?

Just a quick bump here to say that I’ll be taking the EV on its first “long” trip in a couple of days. It’s only about 200 miles, which is well within full range of the Kona, but a bunch of that will be mountainous. I am interested to see how it performs on steep grades and how much mileage I lose on those stretches. I’m going to try to do a rough comparison of mileage on flat highway vs. mileage in the mountains.

Our EVs are a dream to drive on steep roads. You will see the range drop, it’s not crazy, but you’ll notice it. (but it makes up for some of that one the way down)

Not just some, but a huge fraction. I did some experiments going up a mountain, and found that something like 90% of the potential energy was returned to the battery on descent. On average, it actually did better than typical highway driving because of the lower speeds. The only problem is that actually reaching the summit might be tricky, since you can’t “borrow” from the battery below zero…

Back from our trip a couple of a days ago and finally getting in here to discuss how the Kona EV held up on this somewhat mountainous journey.

The result: mediocre.

The good news is that driving the hills of the Green Mountains was a lot of fun. The electric motor had no problem powering up steep grades, and we definitely got some charge back from the regen braking going down. Handling was great on sharp curves.

The bad news is that the mileage loss from what was predicted at the start of the trip up was pretty severe. We left with 285 miles available according to the car. Our B&B was 185 miles away, according to Google, plus we added about 8-10 miles for a lunch break stop in the middle. So, a 90 mile buffer to account for driving into the mountains. I thought it would be plenty. But…we had to stop and charge about 80% of the way there at the last available fast charger. It’s possible we could have made it, but the miles were dropping rapidly and there are no fast chargers on that last 20% of the trip, so we decided to play it safe and pop off for a 15 minute charge boost before proceeding.

I knew we’d lose some mileage, but was very disappointed about how much the battery lost. I fully expected to get there with 40-50 miles to spare. We were on major highways for 90+% of the trip, so it’s not like we were climbing up Mt. Washington or something.

On the plus side, going back is apparently more downhill, and we did not have to charge on the way back. We returned with 50 miles to spare, which is what I expected on the way up. Thinking about how this affects future trips, I’ll definitely have to take elevations into account more when it comes to calculating when/if I need to stop to charge. So the trip was educational, if a little disappointing when it comes to “real life” range.

Congratulations! You have now learned what every cyclist who’s ever gone on a hilly ride knows in their bones. You never get as much back from the downhill as you spent on the uphill.

Just like with gas mileage, speed makes a huge difference. 150 miles at 75MPH will use much more than the rated range, while at 55MPH it may use less.

Have you played with A Better Route Planner? It tries to take into account things like speed and altitude change when plotting trips. I used it a lot for planning, but didn’t use it on the trip, because the in car stuff was fine for that.

I was curious, so here is the comparison of what ABRP predicted would be the arrival charge at each charging stop, and the actual arrival charge.

Leg ABRP arrival SoC Actual arrival SoC Notes
1 62% 69% Heavy traffic
2 5% 23% Overcharged at stop 1 by 3%
3 5% 35% Overcharged at stop 2 by 21%
4 5% 19% Overcharged at stop 3 by 8%

So in this case ABRP was more pessimistic about how much charge would be used in each leg than what I actually experienced, even taking into account that at each stop I charged more than ABRP recommended. Overcharging represents extra time spent at each stop. The interpretation of that should be that even if I’d been filling up with gas, I’d have still spent more time at the stop than was necessary for charging.

250 W-h/mi (roughly typical energy use for an EV) is equivalent to 559 J/m, or just 559 N. A 2000 kg vehicle weighs 19,620 N. Which means that travelling 0.028 units of distance vertically takes the same energy as 1 unit horizontally. In other words, a 2.8% grade will at least double energy consumption. And that’s not even particularly steep. Put another way, every 148 ft of elevation gain takes off a mile of range. You do get much of that back in the end, but you have to get there first.

I am not familiar with that, but will definitely check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

I just looked at it for as a comparison for my weekend trip (25 hrs, 650± miles, mostly rural). Leave after work on Friday, get into hotel 11:00±, outta there by 6:15 the next morning.
My ICE gets 300ish miles to a tank & takes me 4 mins to fill up, so 8 mins for the whole trip. I usually fill up across from the hotel & then somewhere on the way home.

ABRP states 2 stops for 52 mins (using a hypothetical Kona) on the way out there to have me arrive (to a rural state park) at 10%. ABRP states there is a charger there, maybe it’s at the visitor’s center (if they have one) or the ranger’s station. I better figure that out in advance because there’s no cell phone coverage there. It’s so rural the bathroom is a 5-walled (interior wall to separate mens from women’s pit); you may know this by it’s other name - outhouse. Nope, they don’t even have a honey dipper come out every so often to clean out a PortaPotty. I did not do enough research to see who’s brand of charger it is & how they work (insert a credit card or use an app on my phone) but I’d be fearful of trying to use one in a place that I know has limited cell coverage; who knows, maybe AT&T works there but not Verizon or T-Mo so it might work for someone else but not me, which would then leave me screwed.

I’d probably need three stops on the way home, so 45 mins less sleep on an already short night, & 2½ hrs more in charge time for the total trip over my ICE.

While it’s my only time going to this specific place this year, Sept brings weekends of 600, 700, & somewhere north of 300 in a day that starts & ends at a rural campground; about ½ of my long trips in a normal year. Until there’s a non-Tesla wagon/hatch/SUV with longer ranges & shorter refuel times I can’t consider getting one. I want to consider one but they’re not up to the needs of someone with my long driving requirements.

Rentals for all of those weekends would negate the cheaper ‘fuel’ cost the rest of the year & you’re never as safe driving an unfamiliar car as your own.

That does sound accurate. While you could probably make it work, it would be a pain. More electrons for the rest of us!

I’m doing Settle to Spokane in September. I’ll have to charge along the way, but 45 minutes or less, once every year or two, doesn’t seem like a big problem. Especially when it means that all the rest of the time, I never have to stop for gas.

The EV thing is really dependent on 1) what kind of driving requirements you have, and 2) do you an easy place to charge over night.

I’m sure we had this discussion a few years ago in the Model 3 threads, but as you can see from my charging more than necessary at every single charging stop, there is no way I do a 650 mile trip with 8 minutes of stops. That table only includes the stops I charged at. There were non-charging stops, too.

Do most states charge extra registration fees? When I was renewing my (regular gasoline vehicle) registration I noticed that there is a “$100 or $200” per year EV surcharge in my state. Considering my yearly registration is around $66 all-in with state and local fees, I wouldn’t look forward to being punished with registration fees at 250-400%. So, that might tell you my general outlook - I’d consider it but not looking for too much extra hassle to get a EV at this pint.

Many do, but it is in place of gas taxes. So instead of paying $0.22/gallon in Colorado I pay a $50/year registration fee for my EV. About 230 gallons is the break even point. A new law passed which is raising both of these. The government is going to get your money the old way your used to, or the new way that is a shock.

My thought is that I prefer the registration fee on EVs, because the other option is a use tax, which could easily slide into mandatory GPS tracked by the government. (I mean, I’m currently tracked by Google, Apple, Tesla, State Farm, AT&T, and probably others I’m forgetting about, but the government is a step too far (Google and Apple can’t use guns to break into my house and arrest me (yet)).)

And don’t lock yourself into paying extra on gas, just to save some on registration. Last week I drove 458 miles and it cost me $8.19. Even if I’d done that in a 45mpg hybrid, I’d still be looking at about $33 in gas for the week. It would have been over $100 if I’d had to do the driving in my truck.

I’ve never experienced a car autopilot but that’s also what I don’t like about airplane autopilot. When they turn, they will all of a sudden will jerkily roll to a degree or so more than feels natural, then clunkily stop their rotation. Then, they will, admittedly smoothly, perform the turn, then just as jerkily put us back to level flight and/or the approach.

Could, but I don’t see why that’s necessary. It wouldn’t be too hard to simply tie the EV fee to miles driven without tracking where those miles were driven. And while it’s possible to manipulate the odometer, it’s also possible to buy untaxed fuel (for non-road use.) I see no reason to believe that the new form of tax evasion would be more prevalent than the old. The advantage to doing this, of course, is that the tax you pay scales with the wear/tear/usage you put on the roads, as it does with the gas tax.

I tend to drive. On the way out, I’ll stop for dinner, probably before I get on the highway, & then not again until I pull in for the night. On the way back, I’ll probably make two stops, because I’m worn down after all of that driving & the legs are sore after the race & sitting in the car. Again, I didn’t do a lot of research on it because it’s only hypothetical but, according to ABRP, the first stop is at a car dealership & the second one is at a Walmart, after 10pm. Some Walmarts are in strip malls & some are stand alone, some have Mickey Ds or Subways inside & some don’t but even if they do, will they be open that late at night? IOW, any bio or sustenance breaks might have to be separate from the recharging stops unless you happen to get lucky enough to have a fast food joint or a convenience store next door to your charging location.

I have seen a couple of Wawa’s (regional convenience store chain) with Tesla charging stations on their property but none with a generic EV charger yet.

My first job was a pump jockey at a full service gas/repair station. The island was all of the normal grades of gas/diesel while the far corner had a Cam2 (racing fuel) pump & up by the corner of the office was a single kerosene pump. 90+% (& probably 95+%) of our sales were on the island but the customers who used those two outlier pumps really appreciated that we had them. My guess is that in 40 or 50 years we’ll see that model again. The island will be all EV charging stations, with one gas pump in the far corner for those with antiques.

Thank you for explaining that rationale. My first thought when I saw the fees was that the state inexplicably wanted to discourage EV use and/or something about Big Oil lobbyists.

Hi everyone, I’m chipping in because I’m considering an EV. My circumstances will be different to many in this thread because it’ll be a company car; the job I’m about to start offers either a car or a cash allowance as part of the overall reward package.

EVs are very attractive as company cars in the UK, because they attract very low tax rates. To put that in context, a ~£30K Skoda Octavia with a 2L ICE petrol engine would cost £4326 per year in Benefit in Kind tax at 2021 rates. A ~£50K Tesla Model 3 would cost… £199. (Figures from the first BIK calculator website I found on Google). That’s not a typo - it’s a three digit number versus a four digit one, for a much more expensive vehicle. When you factor in that I won’t be paying for servicing, insurance, tyres etc, it’s a very attractive option. Most days, I wouldn’t get anywhere near range-anxiety inducing-distances. I do a handful of longish drives per year, but I’m not especially worried about that - the infrastructure is getting there in the UK.

I haven’t seen the company car list for my new employer yet, but the firm in question made a big announcement recently that they were moving over to a 100% electric company car fleet. I’ll be interested to see what cars are on offer.

My biggest concern is whether my home electrics will support a 7KW home charger. I hope it will be fine, but I’m not electrically minded, and there’s no way to find out until you get a survey done.

Are you able to charge at work at all?

Not an electrician, and in particular not a UK electrician, but reading the charge point installation guide, it sounds like you can set the charging rate to anything from 6 to 32 amps - so you should be able to set it to something your electric service will handle, with a trade off of charging time.