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The 10 Things We Learned through Driving Cross-country in an Electric Vehicle

No person stated it used to be going to be simple. Our project to cannonball (however force at an affordable and decent price) a shuttle from Disneyland in Anaheim, California, to Walt Disney Global in Orlando, Florida in a Kia EV6 electrical automotive used to be harder than expected, however now not as a result of seat time.

The direction required stops to fee the auto at 20-ish places alongside the way in which. Alongside the street, we realized some tricky courses about electrical automobile (EV) infrastructure in addition to the bits of EV existence which are really useful.

Many of those problems are common, however the usage of a distinct charging community, like Tesla’s Superchargers, might relieve one of the most rigidity.

One of the vital problems we had been ready for forward of time, having gotten masses, of hours in the back of the wheel of EVs over the past decade, and realizing the fine details of very best practices for fueling with electrons.

Listed below are our greatest takeaways.

Fast Women Electrify America Walmart San Antonio
The Kia EV6 GT-Line fees at an Electrify The us depot in a Walmart automobile parking space in San Antonio, Texas.
Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Plan to be disenchanted.

No charging pace ever met what the Kia EV6 is able to dealing with. Two times it got here shut, and handiest two different instances did the charger in fact ship the rest just about its most charging pace.

Every now and then, the glide out of a quick charger used to be slower than what you would generally get out of a 110-volt socket at house.

Whilst the chilly climate did not assist, the temperatures alongside the direction were not excessive, by no means dipping under 30 levels and not getting upper than 70 levels. We even used the EV6’s Wintry weather Mode throughout the coldest instances to strengthen riding and charging efficiency.

This loss of capacity slowed all of the adventure. Now not realizing how lengthy you’ll have to take a seat at a forestall is a stressor, particularly while you know you are touring to a lower than fascinating location after darkish.

Possible choices are not at all times to be had

Alongside the Interstate 10 direction traveled, there have been lengthy swaths of freeway the place there used to be no selection public charging supply instead of one supplier at one charging depot.

The subsequent one can be about 200 miles away, so topping off used to be important. Now not handiest did that prolong time between preventing and beginning, but it surely additionally produced a good quantity of vary nervousness.

Moreover, there can be difficult landscapes alongside the way in which – mountains, rolling hills, and tough roads.

There used to be one stretch the place we drove for approximately 3 hours in close to freezing temperatures in the course of the night time, with out local weather keep an eye on on, simply to get to the following location because of vary nervousness from the space between charging issues, blended with mountainous terrain.

We weren’t beholden to anyone charging supplier and attempted out ChargePoint, Electrify The us, EVgo and Duke Power chargers throughout the shuttle.

Rubbish packing containers are not provide like at fuel stations

Best a number of the charging places had been close to companies the place trash packing containers had been to be had, in contrast to at a fuel station the place they appear to be at each and every pump.

Whilst maximum places had been blank, there have been a couple of that had been downright disgusting, entire with rats, lots of ants, muddle (together with a half-used and open jar of peanut butter teeming with bugs) and beer bottles.

Fast Women EVgo California EV charging
A Ford Mustang Mach-E, Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Audi E-Tron fee at an EVgo station close to Cabazon, California.
Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Wheels, tires and rain topic greater than you might have learned

Added into the electrical automobile charging location problem is what occurs when the automobile encounters inclement climate. Torrential downpours did not simply motive us to need to force slower, it led to the on-demand all-wheel force device within the EV6 to turn on, propelling the tires via various water resistance.

We discovered that this, along side the important use of entrance defrost local weather keep an eye on and windshield wipers, blended to lower vary greater than terrain or pace had during all of the adventure.

You’ll be able to’t at all times pick out your charging pace

Positive, a location can have 3 150 kilowatt chargers, however handiest the 50 kilowatt charger off to the aspect is also the one one that is to be had. When you are in a pinch, beggars cannot be choosers.

Fortunately, maximum rapid chargers mean you can see what proportion any individual is charging at. If a automobile handiest has a couple of proportion issues left to fee, it can be price ready to peer if they are transferring away quickly, liberating up the distance.

It is price noting that upper charging speeds additionally generally value extra.

2022 Kia EV6
A Kia EV6 fees at a financial institution of chargers in a buying groceries space.

Charging places are not excellent

Positive, some charging places are absolute best with simple in/out, amenities and meals within reach, various chargers. Others don’t seem to be. In reality, maximum are some distance from it.

Many places we skilled had difficult parking eventualities with the chargers positioned inside of a diagonal pull-in house with slender curbs and parking lot block that did not simply paintings with the EV6’s fee port location.

Alternatively, we additionally skilled some truly just right setups that allowed pull-through over a bigger house, very similar to a fuel station. Many had been well-lighted.

A couple of situated the ability provide devices for the chargers in a location that restricted encompass visibility, which left us feeling like our private protection can have been compromised.

Toilet breaks continuously require some other forestall

This factor is very similar to the rubbish bin one. When you forestall to fee at a Walmart or Goal, the amenities and what we’re going to name “leisure issue” are upper than in case you are parked in entrance of a abandoned Econo Resort.

If you are now not going to your highway shuttle with out stops like we had been, the revel in turns into more straightforward as a result of you are able to forestall for foods, which most often include the good thing about a restroom within reach.

More space in an EV’s cabin provides a highway shuttle win

The wonderful thing about an electrical powertrain is that it does not require a transmission tunnel working during the middle of the automobile, taking over cabin house. This permits for flat flooring and extra a extra spacious cabin design.

2022 Kia EV6 under storage
The Kia EV6 has a garage bin at the flooring up entrance.

Within the EV6, designers opted to permit the auto’s middle console to have minivan-like traits, with a deep coated garage space and a decrease bin-like house that is absolute best for storing snacks, wallets, handbags, unopened beverages, brochures, and a rubbish bag. We made complete use of the realm and are satisfied to document that it used to be in reality a spotlight of the auto.

Charging consultation charges are not at all times obvious up entrance

In contrast to while you refill with a gallon of fuel, the fee for filling up on electrons is not at all times a in line with kilowatt-hour fee. Positive, that is part of it, however there is additionally a taxes, now and again a consultation rate and fees for staying previous your charging time (most often there is a window of forgiveness).

One station we stopped at didn’t put it on the market the consultation rate up entrance. We handiest came upon by means of the opinions at the ChargePoint app. However, as a result of there have been no different charging places

All the time be able to discover a backup charger, if conceivable

On this generation, EV roadtripping nonetheless calls for a good quantity of making plans. That suggests discovering your subsequent charging station sooner than you permit the remaining, and finding if there are any selection charging places within reach.

It additionally method having a buffer zone for vary to hit any selection location if important, and having plans if none of that works out so you are now not stranded.

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