Thursday, December 28, 2023

W-EVdnesday #6 Travelling

My apologies for not posting last Wednesday or yesterday; blame it on the holiday brain fog.
Since we’ve just returned from another 2000 km round-trip, I thought I'd write a bit about this fairly major stumbling block a lot of people have when it comes to considering the purchase of an EV. Although long trips are slightly different, especially in these early days of EVs, they shouldn't be a factor that deters you from buying an EV. We've now got four long trips under our belt since we purchased our Ioniq 5 just about two years ago. This most recent one was to Dayna's in Spring Hill, Tennessee, a distance of just short of 1000 km, thanks to having to go off I-75 to get to a fast charging station.

You can see that it is estimated to take not quite nine hours which doesn't account for stops or traffic issues. Dayna and Tyler usually do it in a little over 9 hours with one stop for gas, food and bathroom. Again, this depends on traffic; going down we ran into major congestion and delays in Louisville which added an hour to our travel time; coming home, out of order charging stations did the same.

The biggest factor right now regarding long haul trips like this is lack of charging stations. Add to that the other factor that the chargers often do not put out what they are slated to put out. Rarely do we get the 150 kW fast charge speed even though it is supposed to be that, so I liken it to pumping gas which should be going through that fat hose, but you’re using a garden hose. 

I was pretty shocked to find that there were no fast charging stations along I-75 through Ohio. Several are being built, according to the PlugShare app, aka We left home with a 100% charge from our home charger, and the first stop was Toledo, which was where we had to drive off the freeway about 20 km to a really nicely set up (why didn't I take a photo?!) station at a Flying J. Yay, thanks to PlugShare, here you are:
not our car!

This station is just off the Ohio Turnpike, aka I-90. Were there more stations along I-75, we wouldn't have needed to stop this soon, but this got us through Ohio. This station is the best we've had, with window washing receptacles and squeegees, and all the amenities you want in the Flying J convenience store/station.

We find that we stop about every three to four hours, depending on where the fast chargers are located. So yes, ahead of your trip, you have to sit down, plan your route, and go on PlugShare to find the places to stop. We don't usually charge more than 80% because, just like charging your iPhone or device, the last chunk of percent takes quite a bit longer than the first. On three of the four trips we've had our dogs with us, so it's good for them and us to get out, stretch our legs, hit the bathroom, grab a drink, and by the time that's done there's maybe five or ten minutes left. Time to input the next stop into the GPS, check our phones, and off we go. We find we arrive nowhere near as wiped out as doing it the way we used to, Dayna and Tyler style. To be fair, they've done that trip for family and Lions games purposes, with the attitude of just get it over witho.

The charging station at the Meijer in Louisville is awesome.

Going down we had to wait here as it was so busy. All eight Tesla chargers were in use as were all six 'everybody else' chargers. Going back home, we had to wait quite a while at the charging station at a Walmart near Dayton because of busy-ness and two chargers, the super-fast one, a 350 kW, out of order. They need to get these super-fast ones reliably up and running and at least in the 300s for speed! Yet a third charger there wouldn’t read credit cards and another wouldn’t read the Electrify America app so it was a bit of a juggle. We lost a good half hour there just waiting in line as a result.


When we get our adapter from Hyundai, available early in 2024, we will be able to use the Tesla chargers and that will be a game changer, because they've been on the ball from the get-go as far as developing infrastructure. The other thing to note is that you can go in your settings somehow in your car GPS and the car will start to prepare the battery for charging so it will take the charge faster. We haven’t done this yet because the temperatures have been warm. Remember that was in a previous post, to check the charging speed, as in how fast the battery will accept the charge. They are not all created equally. Right now, the German makes, the Hyundai and Kia, Lucid and Rivian are the best for this aspect.

I love seeing the variety of EVs at charging stations grow over the nearly two years we've had ours: Rivians, both the truck and SUV models, even a beauty of a Lucid, Audi e-trons, VW ID.4's, Mach-E's, Kia EV6 (the sister car to our Ioniq 5), Porsche Taycans, Ford Lightnings, just so cool.

We got to Dayna's and guess what Tyler was driving? A Cadillac Lyriq. The GM plant where he is a manager makes them, and managers have access to some for personal use. We got to ride in it when we went to the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg on Saturday. Wow. It's a beautiful car.

So the moral of this post is that you do have to plan a bit; for now it's better to err on the side of caution, as in stop when you still have 75-100 km of battery. Once the infrastructure catches up, which it really is starting to, then it'll be much like today's ICE cars where you plan your route, and you know there will be lots of charging stations for when you need a top-up!

A quote from a dude MacGyver follows is à propos here. Funny: he read it out to me this morning just when I was about to publish this post.

95% of the people who think our electricity system will never be able to handle EVs and heat pumps were alive at a time when our telephone network was only powerful enough to make phone calls…

Our roads were not built for big trucks and SUVs, so we changed our roads. Electrical systems are growing now, as they have for the past hundred or so years. I wonder if, when electric fridges were introduced, people were actively fighting the introduction.
How-Sen Chong
Climate justice campaigner
@howsenchong (X and Instagram)
McGill and Yale-various degrees

Something that I was thinking about yesterday was this: think about the phone in your hand whose abilities you pretty much accept as the norm. We can FaceTime with our daughter in Alberta while she is driving 110 km down the road while we are driving down an interstate 3000 km away at the same speed. The image and sound are very clear and there’s no delay, all transmitted digitally! The phones aren’t plugged in; they’re using their battery. Go back even 20 years and this would seem crazy to hold a tiny battery-powered TV screen in your hand and talk in real time! For reference, the iPod came out in 2007. Things are changing, as they always have, and changing quickly, so embrace it! 

Note: I’ll publish my ‘I Like’ or gratitude post later today or tomorrow morning. 


  1. Such an interesting post today, Sandra! I was reading some of it aloud to my husband who is very interested in owning an electric car, but concerned about the lack of charging station infrastructure. I thought you made a good point about how it will grow and develop over time, just like all technology does.

  2. I read your post today and previously with interest. We talk about an Electric car a lot. Mr Busy is always pointing out the Teslas and the others as we drive. We live in the part of Wyoming that is nicknamed the Energy Capital of the World. There are 11 coal mines currently. Our coal is shipped to 36 states where 99.99% of it is used to generate electricity. Lots of our fellow Wyomingites are so opposed to electric vehicles. And we are the least populated state in the US, so the infrastructure has got a lot of catching up to do. We will keep an eye on it, but probably will not live long enough to see charging stations often enough to travel the long distances between populated towns and cities! I wish we would though! Shhhhhh, don’t tell my neighbors I’m all for alternative sources! 😉

  3. Hope you had a great visit! The infrastructure needs to grow faster then it currently is. The town I live in doesn't have even one charging station. Change is coming whether people want to face it or not.

  4. Glad you had a safe trip and are back home. Infrastructure will make a huge difference. Thought about it alot as I await my hybrid and was traveling this week. Yup, we all gotta keep up with the changes.

  5. Hi Sandra! I think about change a lot especially with regards to my littles. They can't even figure out what a desktop phone is let alone a rotary one! Oh the changes they'll see in their lifetime but we've seen quite a lot as well. Just the internet alone is mind boggling. Thanks for sharing the insights. Have a Happy New Year! {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. Thanks for sharing the real life experience.