Friday, June 3, 2022

The Elephant in the EV Room: "Range Anxiety"

 Day 2 of our cross-country drive in the Mach-E.


We made it to Nashville from Detroit, but before launching into EV roadtripping, I have to give a huge shout-out to Nashville – such a beautiful and fun city! As a music lover and writer, I have no clue why I never spent time here. Sarah and I enjoyed great music and hanging with a bunch of aspiring musicians. (Bailey was solely focused on the BBQ.) We will return!
Which brings us to today’s EV update. Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room – “range anxiety.” We made yesterday’s 550 mile drive from Detroit to Nashville with only two stops to recharge, each stop lasting around 35 minutes. EV charging stations are everywhere. Before owning the Mach-E, I never noticed them because, unlike gas stations, they’re not on all four corners of an intersection. Where they are is in your local shopping center parking lot. Electrify America, which has the most ultra-fast DC chargers across the country (ChargePoint has the most

chargers overall) seems to have chosen Walmart as its location of choice. Both charging stops yesterday, as well as today’s upcoming stops from Nashville to Dallas, were at Walmart Supercenters.
Before starting out yesterday I was admittedly worried about range. We packed light to reduce weight in the car; thought we’d have to limit AC usage (which draws on the battery); and drive the speed limit (horrifying!). But in truth, none of that was necessary. The app plans when and where to charge. The car displays current battery range and distance to the next pre-planned charger, leaving nothing to worry about. And if you don’t want to plan ahead, the NAV system finds charging stations as easily as it finds your Latte fix. On the back half of yesterday’s drive I lost all range anxiety and switched the Mach-E into “unbridled” mode. The performance mode didn’t degrade efficiency and range all that much. Today’s leg will be a bit longer as we travel from Nashville to Memphis to Dallas…fully unbridled…with AC turned up to 11. 🙂

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