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      09-12-2022, 08:06 AM   #1
smatanovic
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First longish i4 road trip: amazing

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We had to take a spur of the moment trip in our i4 yesterday, from Philadelphia to Massachusetts (about 350 miles) due to a family emergency. Family member is now stable, so I figured I would post some of my impressions.

This car DEVOURS highway miles. It was the most unstoppable highway car I've ever driven. I set the adaptive cruise to 90 when we left and we got here quickly and quietly, with one stop in Connecticut to eat and charge. I used the integrated NAV to plan the route and charging stop and it worked as intended, guiding me to a 350 kw EA station in a strip mall with a bunch of food options, right off the highway. Charging was quick and we returned to the car with seven minutes to go in the grace period. I was admittedly not driving to maximize range, but we never felt any anxiety about getting where we needed to go safely and on time.

If this trip is an indication, I cannot wait to explore the limits of this i4, as it learns my driving style and as I learn to maximize what it can do.
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      09-12-2022, 08:19 AM   #2
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Did you have a backup plan if the EA chargers were out of commission? Like paying for others nearby? That would be my biggest concern.
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      09-12-2022, 10:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbchris View Post
Did you have a backup plan if the EA chargers were out of commission? Like paying for others nearby? That would be my biggest concern.
This specific EA station has 8 chargers and I could monitor them in the app. I knew there were a couple of 350 kw chargers available before I got there. Moreover, there are at least two other EA stations within 20 miles. I was not particularly worried. The nav system identifies each and every charger along the route (as previous versions of iDrive did with gas stations) and you can add them as waypoints very easily.

Separately, I made accounts with EVGo, Blink, and ChargePoint, out of an abundance of caution. In fact, my car is currently charging at a municipal ChargePoint charger:


Last edited by smatanovic; 09-12-2022 at 10:48 AM..
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      09-12-2022, 10:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbchris View Post
Did you have a backup plan if the EA chargers were out of commission? Like paying for others nearby? That would be my biggest concern.
OP likely had a ton of options on that route, but I just made my second trip across Pennsylvania and back this past weekend where charging is a little more scare (it's pretty rural in the center of the state) so might address your concern better. My 1 stop each way was in State College, PA, at an EA station and my estimated SOC at that charging stop was 10-15% each way with absolutely no other fast chargers within 70 or so miles.

I really had no anxiety for it, though... I've charged at EA a good 25 or so times in the last 6 weeks I have had the car and have had plenty of issues, but getting to know EA (knowing to hold up on the handle when connected, that EA stating there was an issue with your charge doesn't mean anything, knowing they could reset "unavailable" chargers, etc.) has made the experience a little better in terms of actual resulting reliability. I still wouldn't call them reliable by any means, but I have yet to leave an EA station without a charge.

If EA was completely down, there were about 20 Level 2 chargers at more walkable areas within 5 miles... I could have found something to do for an hour or 2 while I charged enough to get to and pay at the next fast charger near my route. Obviously not ideal, but it's not like you're talking about being completely stranded.

In fact, on my way back from Pittsburgh, the EA station is not exactly convenient to my route to get a charge that will get me back to State College (since I was arriving below 50% each time). The first time I took the trip, I stopped at an EVgo station which was a little closer and paid for a 20 minute charge. This past time, I moved my car from my hotel valet (which didn't have chargers), to a garage with free Level 2 Charging the morning of my departure. The garage was at a great location where I was able to do some shopping, sight seeing, and grab lunch over about about 3 hours before I wanted to head back. I used "PlugShare" to find it. It was a CharePoint charger at the garage, so I now have EVgo and ChargePoint accounts/apps at the ready if ever needed.
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      09-13-2022, 05:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unfoundnemo View Post
but getting to know EA (knowing to hold up on the handle when connected,
Can you explain that a little more? I've used 1 EA charger and had a heck of a time, maybe that was it?
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      09-13-2022, 06:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle BMW View Post
Can you explain that a little more? I've used 1 EA charger and had a heck of a time, maybe that was it?
There usually 3 different types of EA chargers made by different companies etc . Some of them are better than others. Most are gen 1/gen 2 hardware allegedly the gen 3 are supposed to fix all of the problems....
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      09-13-2022, 08:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elle BMW View Post
Can you explain that a little more? I've used 1 EA charger and had a heck of a time, maybe that was it?
It might have been, I had a heck of a time as well until I finally called EA... their explanation was that their cables are much heavier than others as they have coolant running through them. If you put some light upward pressure on the cable while it is trying to connect to your vehicle (when your car is blinking orange at the charging port) it will help counteract that weight and better align the contacts. You have to do it for a good 20 seconds or so until it makes the connection with your car (when your car starts blinking blue at the charging port), so you feel a little silly, but I haven't had an issue with my car not making the connection since.

Also... looking at your location, it might have been the same EA station I often use!
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Last edited by unfoundnemo; 09-13-2022 at 08:46 AM..
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      09-13-2022, 08:29 AM   #8
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State College EA Location

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfoundnemo View Post
OP likely had a ton of options on that route, but I just made my second trip across Pennsylvania and back this past weekend where charging is a little more scare (it's pretty rural in the center of the state) so might address your concern better. My 1 stop each way was in State College, PA, at an EA station and my estimated SOC at that charging stop was 10-15% each way with absolutely no other fast chargers within 70 or so miles.

I really had no anxiety for it, though... I've charged at EA a good 25 or so times in the last 6 weeks I have had the car and have had plenty of issues, but getting to know EA (knowing to hold up on the handle when connected, that EA stating there was an issue with your charge doesn't mean anything, knowing they could reset "unavailable" chargers, etc.) has made the experience a little better in terms of actual resulting reliability. I still wouldn't call them reliable by any means, but I have yet to leave an EA station without a charge.

If EA was completely down, there were about 20 Level 2 chargers at more walkable areas within 5 miles... I could have found something to do for an hour or 2 while I charged enough to get to and pay at the next fast charger near my route. Obviously not ideal, but it's not like you're talking about being completely stranded.

In fact, on my way back from Pittsburgh, the EA station is not exactly convenient to my route to get a charge that will get me back to State College (since I was arriving below 50% each time). The first time I took the trip, I stopped at an EVgo station which was a little closer and paid for a 20 minute charge. This past time, I moved my car from my hotel valet (which didn't have chargers), to a garage with free Level 2 Charging the morning of my departure. The garage was at a great location where I was able to do some shopping, sight seeing, and grab lunch over about about 3 hours before I wanted to head back. I used "PlugShare" to find it. It was a CharePoint charger at the garage, so I now have EVgo and ChargePoint accounts/apps at the ready if ever needed.
Thanks for the info. Where exactly in State College did you find the EA charger? I am contemplating ever using the i4 when I go to PSU games or just out of caution take the wife's 45e. Also, I make trips to Pittsburgh from Philly, any recommend charging locations on PA turnpike?
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      09-13-2022, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pretty1911 View Post
Thanks for the info. Where exactly in State College did you find the EA charger? I am contemplating ever using the i4 when I go to PSU games or just out of caution take the wife's 45e. Also, I make trips to Pittsburgh from Philly, any recommend charging locations on PA turnpike?
There's an EA station at a Sheetz right off 99 just south of State College... nothing is really walkable there aside from the Sheetz.

I'm coming from Scranton, so I don't take the Turnpike to get to Pittsburgh, but it looks like EA has spots near Carlisle and Bedford too... it will be a lot more convenient once Telsa opens up their network as most service plazas on the PA Turnpike have Superchargers. Once you get to Pittsburgh, it's more EVgo... there are 12 EVgo stations to the 1 EA.
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      09-13-2022, 11:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unfoundnemo View Post
There's an EA station at a Sheetz right off 99 just south of State College... nothing is really walkable there aside from the Sheetz.

I'm coming from Scranton, so I don't take the Turnpike to get to Pittsburgh, but it looks like EA has spots near Carlisle and Bedford too... it will be a lot more convenient once Telsa opens up their network as most service plazas on the PA Turnpike have Superchargers. Once you get to Pittsburgh, it's more EVgo... there are 12 EVgo stations to the 1 EA.
Thank you!!!
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      09-13-2022, 02:33 PM   #11
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Nooo it cant be amazing!!!! Mist have rwd only and manual transmission. It also has to be loud and get 12mpg!!!!!!!
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      09-13-2022, 03:48 PM   #12
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Imagine how awesome it would be if you had access to all the thousands of Tesla Supercharger locations. Best of both worlds?
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      09-13-2022, 07:35 PM   #13
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Just curious, do you have the e40 or m50 ? Wheel size?
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      09-13-2022, 07:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine Wait View Post
Imagine how awesome it would be if you had access to all the thousands of Tesla Supercharger locations. Best of both worlds?
There's not that many. They're only about 1500 in US and about 4000 worldwide.

But to your point, this is in the works. They need new equipment to support all EV's. Rollout will be slow but it will happen.
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      09-14-2022, 07:12 AM   #15
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Just curious, do you have the e40 or m50 ? Wheel size?
Assume you were referring to the OP? My car is an eDrive40 with the MSport 19" wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport 4s.
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      09-14-2022, 09:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzer666 View Post
There's not that many. They're only about 1500 in US and about 4000 worldwide.

But to your point, this is in the works. They need new equipment to support all EV's. Rollout will be slow but it will happen.
Do we know this for sure? I saw the news about the grant for Tesla to build the CCS chargers in CA along with the federal funding for the Buffalo facility, but I don't see why they can't open up everything on the network (with the expectation that non-Tesla cars would need to purchase an adapter).

So far, EA has built a fast charging station near-ish everywhere I care about, but the redundancy would be nice.
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      09-14-2022, 09:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzer666 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine Wait View Post
Imagine how awesome it would be if you had access to all the thousands of Tesla Supercharger locations. Best of both worlds?
There's not that many. They're only about 1500 in US and about 4000 worldwide.

But to your point, this is in the works. They need new equipment to support all EV's. Rollout will be slow but it will happen.
That's not correct at all. https://www.tesla.com/supercharger
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      09-14-2022, 10:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moveswiftly View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzer666 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine Wait View Post
Imagine how awesome it would be if you had access to all the thousands of Tesla Supercharger locations. Best of both worlds?
There's not that many. They're only about 1500 in US and about 4000 worldwide.

But to your point, this is in the works. They need new equipment to support all EV's. Rollout will be slow but it will happen.
That's not correct at all. https://www.tesla.com/supercharger
How so? If you're looking at the 35,000 global number, that refers to actual stalls, not different locations.
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      09-14-2022, 10:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzer666 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by moveswiftly View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzer666 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine Wait View Post
Imagine how awesome it would be if you had access to all the thousands of Tesla Supercharger locations. Best of both worlds?
There's not that many. They're only about 1500 in US and about 4000 worldwide.

But to your point, this is in the works. They need new equipment to support all EV's. Rollout will be slow but it will happen.
That's not correct at all. https://www.tesla.com/supercharger
How so? If you're looking at the 35,000 global number, that refers to actual stalls, not different locations.
Ah - you were referring to locations, not super chargers.
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      09-14-2022, 10:57 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unfoundnemo View Post
Do we know this for sure? I saw the news about the grant for Tesla to build the CCS chargers in CA along with the federal funding for the Buffalo facility, but I don't see why they can't open up everything on the network (with the expectation that non-Tesla cars would need to purchase an adapter).

So far, EA has built a fast charging station near-ish everywhere I care about, but the redundancy would be nice.
With Elon, nothing is certain I agree, you could easily purchase an adapter and use existing superchargers. We will see what they do by end of year.

When they do open the superchargers, maybe we should have a meet up at a Tesla Supercharging location to charge our BMW's
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      09-14-2022, 09:07 PM   #21
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ICE them! Er, I mean BEV them!!
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      09-15-2022, 07:41 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unfoundnemo View Post
There's an EA station at a Sheetz right off 99 just south of State College... nothing is really walkable there aside from the Sheetz.

I'm coming from Scranton, so I don't take the Turnpike to get to Pittsburgh, but it looks like EA has spots near Carlisle and Bedford too... it will be a lot more convenient once Telsa opens up their network as most service plazas on the PA Turnpike have Superchargers. Once you get to Pittsburgh, it's more EVgo... there are 12 EVgo stations to the 1 EA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pretty1911 View Post
Thank you!!!
I have used the stations in State College, Bedford, and Carlisle a good number of times. I've never had any issues with the State College and Bedford locations. They've always been accessible when I've stopped there, they activate quickly and without issue, and charge as fast as they should. The Carlisle location...not so much. I've been there three times, and each time there has been an issue with at least one or two of the chargers. I've been able to charge every time, but not without issue.

The Allentown location has also been good, aside from when I was there last week after they did their system-wide updates that left tons of chargers nearly broken.
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