Roadshow’s EV Week continues with 10,300-mile road trip success

Q: My husband and I just returned from a two-month trip over 10,300 miles in our Hyundai Ioniq 5. We went from Cupertino to Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Dallas, Nashville, East Lansing, Lake Erie, Massachusetts, Cape Cod, New York , New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington and back via several national parks to Jackson Hole and then home.

Finding fast charging stations took many hours of planning routes with a big map and then computer apps for Electrify America, Chargepoint and other chains.

The car’s navigation system also lists nearby stations. The highest speed chargers (350 kw) were especially buggy, and at least 20 percent of the time, the first one we tried did not work.

Only twice did we find no working chargers. Apparently, Electrify America installs chargers but doesn’t have local folks under contract to fix them. We were told it can take a week or so for some chargers to be fixed. Phoning help desks was sometimes successful when they could reboot a charger.

Chargers don’t want to go above 80 percent of your car’s battery capacity, and slow down drastically when they hit 80 percent charge. Our car supposedly gets 303 miles, but chargers judged 80 percent to be anywhere from about 215 to 260 miles. Driving over 65 mph with the air conditioning on dropped mileage a lot. Realistically, we learned to stop every 150 and 180 miles. Each stop took close to 30 minutes to find, connect and charge.

The trip was fun, and we never ran completely out of power, but sometimes we worried.

The car performed amazingly well, including through downpours and when we got lost on a steep, 4wd dirt road. We needed only washer fluid en route and tire rotation (and a car wash!) when we got back.

Anne Raphael, Cupertino

A: It sounds like a great trip. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Q: We bought a 2017 Chevy Bolt electric car in January 2020, one of our best purchases ever. Our “range” is about 250 miles with no anxiety.

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