Electric Vehicles

And while you sit there charging an army of the most venomous spiders descend on you…

Yeah, when I fill up the fuel tank in the outback I normally get bitten by venomous spiders five or six times each stop. Gotta be 20 or 30 spider bites if I decided to charge my EV instead.


I’ve been seeing the stories. Sounds like they’d shutdown rooftop solar.

You’d have to put in a lot of powerlines to do it across the Nullabour. That or have a solar plant and battery system at each charging station. There aren’t a lot of gas stations there based on my experience driving from Darwin to Perth and from what I’ve heard from colleagues who have made the drive.

I think no electricity period.

We’re in NY now. The Panera next to where our hotel is has a bank of Tesla chargers in its parking lot – first time seeing actual chargers en masse in the wild.

So in the span of a few days, I saw my first
– actual Cybertruck
– regular Tesla towing a camper/RV ish
– full bank of chargers

Regarding that middle bit…note this warning about petrol availability:


Hopefully there’s a power outlet to charge out there. Might take three days to charge but you can enjoy the silence (I’ve been across and back twice - very empty).

I think this is a good idea, so long as it’s only applied to chargers during peak charging times (or in peak charging areas). When driving out west, I’ve had to fill up to 100% a handful of times when there’s a long distance between charging stations. It’s always been at stations where there’s 2 or 3 vacant chargers so probably won’t be affected.

Edit: Actually in the comments it mentioned that Tesla has a good system. If there is congestion at the station (for Tesla, >50% of chargers being used) there is a limit of 80%. One can charge above 80% but the driver has to manually ask for more than 80% and is charged a congestion fee.


Tesla’s version of charging extra makes more sense to me. Also, how long does it typically take to get from 85% to 90% or 95%?

I would think even on a road trip you’d rarely even want to go to 100% due to regenerative braking. But maybe 95% or even 98% would be good if you were going to be stopped anyway.

I’m also curious the optimal charging level and optimal speed (subject to restraints on how far above the speed limit you’re willing to go) if your goal is to simply get to your destination as quickly as possible. Is it going to vary each time based on precisely where the chargers are, or is it generally best to simply charge to X%?

Yes, I do like the Tesla system. In our car (VW ID4 using EA), 80% to 95% normally takes 10-12 minutes. 95-100% takes about 4-5 minutes. The only scenario where charging less than 100% (if I wanted maximum range) is when charging at a high altitude - I could charge to 95% and be at 100% by the time we reach the bottom of the hill/mountain. If it’s on the flat regen braking won’t put more energy in the battery than you used.

Thanks for the data. How long does, say 5% - 80% take?

We can charge at 0-20% at 190kW. By the time we get to 60% it goes down to 95kW and at 80% it’s 75kW (or thereabouts). So if I estimate it’s going to take 70% to get to the next charger and I put in a buffer of 10% (that is, charge up to 80%), that extra 10% is roughly going to take 2.5 times as long compared to putting in that 10% as part of my next charge starting from 0%.

However, we’re only talking a couple of minutes and it takes time to slow down and exit the highway to drive to the next charging station. If that charging station is at a highway service area it might be worth it but most of the charging stations are a bit further away than that.

So currently, the best bet is to drive longer between charging stations or look for charging stations that are close to the highway if getting there as fast as possible is the goal. Occasionally we’ll have a different agenda which is to find somewhere nice to eat so will be happy to drive an extra couple of minutes if the charging stop is a near a good takeout place.

You’ll get a lot longer range at 60mph vs 80mph (maybe an extra 20-30%) so out west you may have to slow down a bit if it’s mountainous/windy/a long way between stations. We generally drive at the speed limit (or some states 10 miles above) to try to fit in with the traffic.

5-80% normally takes around 25 minutes.

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Be pretty interesting to see what the “Cannonball Run”-style record is for an EV

And, Google is my friend:

42 hours.

According to Physics, a lot longer.

Note in the article I linked:

Electric vehicles typically charge faster at lower states of charge, so Levenson’s route relied on a large amount of short stops rather than longer top-offs. He’d usually arrive with less than 10 percent charge and leave with around 50 percent. Those took an average of 18 minutes across his 24 stops, a total of just over seven hours sitting still.

But still ten hours slower without charging than a gas-powered Cannonball Run, though those are highly modified with WAY bigger gas tanks.

That was three years ago. The article also notes:

Moreover, it was a chance to show off how robust the charging network has become.

Well, the TESLA network. Try that in a car that cannot use the Tesla chargers.

I don’t think this would be an issue unless you were charging at the top of a mountain. I would also expect the car’s software to be able to handle risk of overcharging and dump the load to the physical brakes.

One of the comments suggested that there are a disproportionately high number of chargers specifically on the Cannonball Run route compared to other highways… that Tesla wants the publicity of this record so they’re helping make it easier with extra chargers.

No clue the veracity of that claim.

The guy who drove was part of Tesla at one time. Not sure where he worked while there.

I am in China right now and the number of EVs here is astonishing, like maybe a third of the cars I see. Even remote villages have them. I’m seeing so many brands too that I made a game of writing down each one I see:

BYD, Xiaomi, Geome, Roewe, Aito, Sehol, Chery, Haval, Wuling, Lumin, Leapmotor, etc.

I was eating at some podunk restaurant and there were banks of chargers in the parking lot.


They’re probably thankful they don’t live in one of those xithole countries where very few people can afford to buy an EV.