Q: The open road is ready for fully electric cars. We recently took a trip to San Diego and Bellingham, Washington, driving a Ford Mustang Mach-e, covering essentially the entire West Coast. At least 50 percent of our driving on these trips was NOT on Interstate 5.
The trip to San Diego was a test drive for the planned trip to Bellingham. It was so easy to find charging stations that we headed back up the east side of the Sierra, north on I-395 and over Carson Pass, adding an extra 500 miles to our trip.
On the drive to Bellingham we meandered up the east side of the Cascades with an unplanned detour through Crater Lake National Park and Rainier National Park.
Kim Wickol, Palo Alto
A: How did you do this?
Q: The Plugshare app helped us locate chargers along the routes we traveled, and a membership with Electrify America guided us to the fastest ones. While charging, we ate lunch, biked, and chatted with other people charging their cars, comparing notes on our trips, chargers, and cars. The Mach-e navigation system will automatically locate loaders and provide directions.
A: Anything else?
Q: A couple of observations: the number of non-Tesla chargers is growing rapidly, but there are still opportunities. Hotels and motels could easily install Level 2 chargers for their guests to use overnight (they don’t need the super fast Level 3 ones) and not just one or two, but many! There were often a dozen or more electric cars in the motels we stayed at. Same for national and state parks. We would have liked to plug in the car while we hiked Crater Lake.
The towns along the tourist routes are also another great place to have porters (better to have the rapid ones) to encourage people to roam the town and enjoy lunch. This is what we did for several days, but we often hooked up the last available charger.
Just in time for the summer road trip.
A: Thank you for sharing your experience and advice. A Consumer Reports survey of 8,000 American adults found that the logistics of where and when drivers can charge an electric car is the biggest barrier preventing them from owning such vehicles. A combined 36 percent said they would “definitely” or “seriously consider” an electric-only vehicle as their next car purchase.
When asked about the top concerns keeping them in a gas-powered vehicle instead of moving to an electric one, 61 percent mentioned charging logistics, 55 percent said it’s the number of miles the vehicle can travel per charge and 52 percent said it is the cost of buying and maintaining an electric-only vehicle.
Find Gary Richards on Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at email@example.com.
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