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Polestar 2 NE American road trip notes +3
This entry relates the experience of my first road trip with the Polestar along the American northeast coast. I've driven back and forth across both America and Europe in gas cars. Thus, I am writing from the perspective of a hardcore road tripper who prefers to avoid airline nonsense, and is accustomed to driving high speed back to back tanks of gas with just brief refueling stops. The three main points for people considering such an excursion are:
- For populous areas and major highways, it's completely doable. Just plan ahead and expect charging to increase your minimum travel time by almost 20%.
- Know your charging companies, and car capabilities.
Polestar's active battery warming really shines here.
- Do NOT expect to save money vs gas cars.
- Like me, you might be a happy Chargepoint home charger owner, but if you rely on the company for an extended road trip, you are putting your plans and possibly your life in jeopardy.
- Its installations always had at least four charging spots, which meant I never wound up needing to wait for one.
- EA charges a flat rate for charge provided, as does EVGo. As expected in my private writing, no Tesla stations that I saw appeared to be available to me, despite news about the company opening up. I hope the company is denied federal funding until this changes on a broad scale. Beware, some other providers charge by the minute, often with a slow rate, and some even charge a small initial hookup fee.
- For the sites I visited, at least 150KW was always available, although I never saw the actual rate even get into triple digits. In practice, the difference in charging time between a 50 and 150 was very significant, whereas the 350 vs 150 was negligible and sometimes even slower. Which leads to the next point...
- Pay attention to the charging speed! It can vary significantly, even by moving just one spot over despite the same posted KW. EA will display a message when the rate is particularly slow, but it only flashes up every 30 seconds or so.
- Unlike Chargepoint, non-working plugs were clearly identified by the screen.
- It was easy to use these chargers without yet another app or
signup. I note that using the chip reader for credit
cards was by far the most reliable means of payment, rather than
tapping or swiping.
Finally, a word on cost and experience... Charging rates for my trip varied between 37 and 48 cents per KWh on this particular trip with state and provider being the biggest points of variance. By my math, this averaged out to be a comparable to current gas prices in the northeast, whereas charging at home certainly saves us substantial money. That's disappointing, but par for the course in America. It really speaks to the varying business & growth models available to different companies, and my private analysis of investment prospect on CHPT. Despite the initial scare, and my efficiency-minded approach, I still very much enjoyed my trip. I had a book and the food I like with me for charging breaks; maybe I'm just getting old, but the trip wound up feeling much more relaxed and safe than ever. Infrastructure will need to expand to keep pace with EV adoption, but again, that's a matter for the private side of this blog. I hope many others can benefit from my experience!