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Planning a 700 mile trip in my 2021 ID.4 from NC to FL along I-95 - what do I need to know?

828 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Manybees
Hello, EV Peeps!
I have had my 2021 ID.4 for about 5 months and so far I have only driven relatively short distances. There are not a lot of charging stations near by, so I have only used them a few times, and I think only 1 was high speed. I have a level 2 charger at my house so that is all I have needed thus far.
I am planning a trip to Florida in April from the Raleigh area of NC to my sister's in the Jupiter- Stewart - Hobe Sound area of Florida just north of West Palm Beach, FL - about 700 miles. How do I go about planning such a trip?
It will be almost entirely along I-95. How do I find and plan charging stops? In a gas-powered vehicle with minimal stops, the trip takes 10-12 hours. I know I will have to stop more often and charging takes longer, of course, than gasing up. I'm still a newbie at this, so any and all advice is greatly appreciated. No info is too elementary - all is appreciated.
I will document my trip to help others in return.
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Two apps needed. PlugShare and ABRP (A Better Route Planner).
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If it takes 10-12 hours the “old fashioned” way, it will definitely be longer now. Are you the only driver? If so I would break it up into a 2 day trip and find a hotel/motel where you can charge overnight. I would also not worry about the “only charge to 80%” stuff for this trip. Charge as much as you need to get where you are going. Also, IMHO, I95 is not the prettiest or most pleasant road to drive on. Maybe look at finding some alternate routes, a least for part of the journey. Don’t make it just about the destination but think about how to enjoy the trip. Have fun planning!
Download ABRP (A Better Route Planner) Or go to their website and enter your vw car model, then type in your starting point and final destination and click the round button the the bottom right, then APRP will show you a plan of where to stop and how many minutes to charge at each stop.
you might also want to set electrify america as your preferred charging network in the settings
I doubt you'll have any problem finding fast charging stations on the I-95 corridor. I would research a motel with charging capability about 3/5ths of the way down your 700 mile trip. You can leave in the morning with a full tank and probably make it to your destination with only one more charging stop
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I would include fluency with google maps, or whatever your smartphone has on it. That will be a general help. In addition to charging the car, you will need to charge and change oil on the humans.

Also get familiar with the assisted driving on the car. Like the setback from vehicles in front of you, cruise modes, etc. I-95 is high workload driving, and those systems will reduce your workload and fatigue.

Finally, get familiar with the climate control features. As I recall there are places in Georgia, and probably others as well, where the area has smoke and industrial odors. You may find it helpful to recirculate air for a while, when encountering those areas. When it is extremely humid, recirculation of air will help dry it out more, and it will stay cooler easier without unnecessary moisture, with less energy.

I would be less concerned about fueling, because it appears that there are lots of EA chargers spaced nicely, on I-95, unlike North Dakota. Enroute, keep an eye out for fully loaded and unavailable chargers, to avoid getting pinched in a location where you cannot fuel up.

I look forward to your guidance, because I have a 3000 mile (one way) trip in the spring, and two 2000 (one way) road trips planned thus far for this summer.
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Check Plugshare now to plan the route. And watch out for messages about stations that will be out of service. I randomly picked the one in Jacksonville and saw this:

Automotive parking light Car Vehicle Wheel Motor vehicle
Font Tire Parallel Screenshot Automotive tire

This specific closure will probably not an issue in April, so you will want to check again very shortly before your trip as they can go down for replacement or repairs at any time. You don't want to arrive at a station with low SOC to find it offline. I also find the ratings on Plugshare to be nearly useless. Read the reviews instead to get a better feel for how the station is doing. It may have a 10 rating but if you read the reviews its only one working stall and everyone who charged recently got lucky that they were the only ones there. I have also seen stations with low ratings and it has three working stalls but a lot of people got unlucky and plugged into the one non-working stall first and dinged the rating. You should also try to return the favor by leaving a review on Plugshare if you have time.

If this is your first EV road trip, I would agree with others to break it into two days unless you are prepared to spend 16 hours on the road (not saying it definitely will take that long, but better be prepared for it because it might). Especially the first time, you want to give yourself a lot of extra time to deal with issues that might arise. If/When you get more comfortable with it you can try rushing things a bit, but even a very experienced EV road tripper can run into a line at a charger or two that can ruin a trip if you are rushing it.

Similarly, being new to it, you may want to plan to arrive with plenty of extra margin, maybe 30% SOC or so, until you get comfortable with arriving with less. The charging rate is much higher when you arrive with less than 20% but a miscalculation or a dead station can cause a lot of headache in that case. Best to save that for when you have more experience.

Also, figure out backup plans in the event a whole station is down. Be ready with the needed apps for those backup plans as well (Chargepoint, Greenlots/Shell Recharge, EVGo, etc.). Now is to the time to set that stuff up, not when you are low on charge and desperate and can't get good cell signal to download an app. If you have some of those stations near you, it might also be a good idea to just go test them out to be sure the app is set up correctly and you can start a charge.

On the trip, when charging at one station, check the reliability of the next station with Plugshare and the native app (be it EA, Chargepoint, EVGo, etc.) to give some confidence that it will be working when you get there.

If you plug into a charger and you think the car should be getting good speed but you are only getting 32 kW or so, try the other charging handle. There is a known issue where a temp sensor in the handle can go out and it limits the charger to about 32kW, many times switching to the other handle, even on the same charger, removes this limitation.

All of this might sound like a lot, but once you get used to it, it becomes second nature and some wierdos like me actually enjoy it. If you find that you don't like it, you can wait and maybe it will get better, or just buy a Tesla, it really is EV road tripping with an easy button.
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Not much I can add that bish79 or the previous posters haven't already written. I WAS planning a similar trip last November, Durham NC area to Tamarac FL (near Fort Lauderdale), but had an issue with the ID.4 at the time and had to rent a gas SUV instead.

If possible, do share the outcome and your thoughts as its a route I plan to take regularly (at least twice a year) but haven't had a chance to actually yet but will need to in a few months. ABRP estimated the trip would take ~15 hours. Being that I have a 4 year old, I planned on breaking it up into two days with Jacksonville, FL being a hotel stop (plus the potential to use the EA stop at The Avenues) also considered a hotel that had level 2 or better charging. I had planned the same for my return trip and was planning to stay somewhere (can't recall) near the GA/SC border.

As mentioned, do download all of the necessary apps and setup them beforehand. FPL Evolution is another one that you should consider. I believe it is the charging network setup by a Florida electric company and you may want to utilize one or two of the stations if you're running low entering into Jacksonville.

I tend to research as much as possible to get an idea of the charging stops area and reliability. Not saying you need to do the same but it was helpful for me viewing quite a few Youtube videos of east coast EV road tips (I focused on non-Tesla road trips for obvious reasons). Quite a few from the Out of Spec family (Kyle and his dad) were helpful. It helped me plan backups (South of the Border charging station at the NC/SC border, I think its a Shell Recharge) or what I would consider safe/unsafe if I was in an area during the dark.

P.S. I can't wait till we get to a point where EV charging stations are added to road signs similarly to gas stations, fast food and rest areas.

Edited due to slight revision since I originally missed that bish79's screenshot is of the EA station at The Avenues in Jacksonville, Fl.
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Question - are the ID.4s compatible with J-1772 chargers?
Question - are the ID.4s compatible with J-1772 chargers?
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