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I’ve always been skeptical about how EPA range numbers are thrown around as the key factor that EVs live and die by. Sure, you can drive for longer periods if you have more range, but I don’t think that stopping once or twice more is really a deal breaker for most (the one exception to this may be in destinations that lie in a magic sweet spot between two EVs where one would require zero stops). Certainly I don’t think the cars are totally unusable as some try to say.

As such, and living in the middle of the wide open US west, I decided to compare a few vehicles using a hypothetical road trip between my city and Disneyland.

Cars compared:

Tesla Model Y LR AWD (326 miles EPA)
Polestar 2 (233 miles EPA)
Audi e-Tron (222 miles EPA)
Volvo XC40 (208 miles EPA)

I used ABRP, and I didn’t go through and validate the wh/mi it uses for each vehicle was accurate according to any real world testing, but the values ranged from 270 to 386 wh/mi.

This is technically the trip home from Disneyland, having an elevation gain of 5000ft means it’s the more strenuous leg of the journey.

I also took a look at the suggested charging infrastructure. All of the non-Tesla EVs were routed to stops that had at least 2 x 350kw and 2 x 150kw stations. In many cases there were 50kw alternates in the area and even 350/150kw stops completely bypassed.

The Tesla stops were nearly always 8 x 250kw or 8 x 150kw. If you consider how many Tesla EVs we have out there road tripping vs non-Tesla, I suspect the cars/charger numbers might favor non-Tesla at the moment.

At any rate, here is what ABRP came up with. None of the cars are run dry between stops, and they all stop to charge five times. the Tesla has an edge in its stops being a bit shorter, but I think for the length of this trip it’s impressive that they all seem to be close. Granted, this is only a simulatio

There are certainly other trips I could make up that might not fare so well, in particular North/South Dakota are a CCS charging dead zone, but I think the infrastructure has been built out to prioritize the most common useful routes. I think it shows that even with the current state of things, you don’t necessarily gain a ton from having a 300+ mile car. Maybe if you have a 500+ mile car you can make fewer stops if you want to do marathon drives.
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I have to admit range appeared a lot more important before I got some EV experience. Also spending this much time in a car makes all kinds of comfort features more important too. Like a very good seat etc.
 

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I'm 46 years old, the number of time I did a trip this long ? ONE.

It took us 3 days, in my Volvo V60.
First leg, 174 miles, we stopped to eat and sleep at my girlfriend's parents.
Second leg, 300 miles, we stopped to eat and sleep in a hotel.
Third leg, 275 miles, followed by 5 hours of ferry...

So, if anyone tries to convince me a Model 3 would be better than my Polestar because I would save 15 minutes...

Going on a trip with family and kids is a really different story than doing one-day aimless 1000km runs, alone, weekly, because you live on YouTube income.
 

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I feel like it’s a cultural shift but growing up we routinely did long extended road trips to different areas of the country, driving >12-18 hrs each way with maybe a stop overnight some place if my Dad’s wallet could ever be pried open for it (No! We’re not stopping - we can totally make it!).

Now? We’d fly - even said Dad. (Assuming this pandemic ever recedes). I just don’t see in which situation we wouldn’t fly and rent a car at the destination if it otherwise meant driving such a long time.

did the cost or barriers to flying and renting a car relatively decrease in the last few decades?
 

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I'm very particular about my car(s).. therefore I don't do 'RoadTrips' in them typically. Rental Cars are for bugs, road rash/stones and ocassional curb hopping, when you get 'lost'....


That being said, I only needed to spend money on fuel in my 2011 VOLT when I took Grandma on long GroceryShopping/Errand runs and the

$0.02
 

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I'm 46 years old, the number of time I did a trip this long ? ONE.

It took us 3 days, in my Volvo V60.
First leg, 174 miles, we stopped to eat and sleep at my girlfriend's parents.
Second leg, 300 miles, we stopped to eat and sleep in a hotel.
Third leg, 275 miles, followed by 5 hours of ferry...

So, if anyone tries to convince me a Model 3 would be better than my Polestar because I would save 15 minutes...

Going on a trip with family and kids is a really different story than doing one-day aimless 1000km runs, alone, weekly, because you live on YouTube income.
On holidays, yeah I do long drives, from Bicester to Inverness, or Bicester to mid-France. Those trips will be in my polluting diesel with its 700-mile range,
 
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