First long road trip in the Audi ETron, Washington DC to Salisbury Connecticut. It’s a 350 mile drive and the Etron has about a 220 mile range give or take depending upon weather and other conditions. Yesterday I planned out the trip checking out charging stations on Plugshare. Between DC and NYC there are ample stations along the New Jersey Turnpike, all in the EVgo network. Between the turnpike, just south of NYC and Northwest CT the number of available stations is pretty slim. I have two choices for getting up to CT, I can go through NYC on the George Washington Bridge, or I can cut off the Turnpike north before the GWB and head up through Jersey and on the west side of the Hudson, crossing at Newburgh. East of the Hudson through Westchester County NY, there are a few more fast charging stations available, but getting stuck in traffic on the GWB can be a nightmare especially at rush hour. Taking the other route through NJ and across the Hudson at Newburgh, there are fewer fast chargers, but usually much less traffic. On this trip I opted for west of the Hudson, with not the best results.
Getting from DC to the Turnpike was easy enough. Once on the turnpike, I have to admit I was a bit nervous going the whole way, I chickened out and stopped in Mt Laurel NJ at the Clarion Hotel EVgo 50 kw station for a 30 minute charge. I had this bad feeling, what if charging stations along the way didn’t work, or weren’t powered up or fully installed yet, was plug share website accurate, was my onboard computer accurate. Absolutely suffering from range anxiety for my first long distance trip. Half hour stop got me about 25 kw which was a little bit more than a quarter of a battery, I had traveled about 150 miles, so felt like I really needed that extra bit of charge to make sure I could make it to my next stop. I left with about half a battery.
Second stop was Joyce Kilmer service station on the Turnpike. I pulled in with about a quarter of a battery left. No problem plugging in, once again EVgo 50 kw station. I did have to call customer service for them to reset the machine, which took 2 minutes. I used the bathroom, got a drink and a bite to eat, checked my email on my phone, took the dog for a walk. I need about an hour of charge to get a half battery. I’m cutting it real close with about 160 miles still to go. An hour is a long time to stop.
Last leg of the journey, Turnpike, I turn off around Hackensack to get on the 80, to the 17 which is going to take me up Jersey and in to New York State. I’m getting close to Woodbury Commons having gone about 85 miles and again chicken out, I’ve got just enough battery to get me to Salisbury, but no room for error. I get off at Woodbury and stop for another charge, but this time there’s only a level 2 unit available. I’m thinking to myself, “Ok no problem, I really only need an extra ten miles or something like that.” Again go to the bathroom and take the dog for a walk.
I finally get to our house, its been an impossibly long day, at least an extra hour and half maybe two just for charging, which includes getting off the roads and finding the charging station. Honestly it’s a tough sell. Happy I made the trip, feels like I accomplished something, happy to be home, happy that our home EV charger is up and running. Have to experiment with other routes on the way back to DC.