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How do you charge an electric car in rural area
Old 09-13-2019, 04:12 PM   #1
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How do you charge an electric car in rural area

I spend the summer in the North Carolina mountains, right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I went to lunch at a local cafe and met a woman and her children traveling on the Blue Ridge Parkway who was stuck with a Tesla that she could not charge. She only had 8 miles of charge left and the closest charger she could find was 25 miles away. Her cellphone (ATT) would not work so I loaned her mine (Verizon). She had to call AAA and was going to have her car towed 25 miles to the nearest charger. She had been trying to charge her car with a regular household plug in at a campground but she said it charged very slowly. What do people do with electric cars when they are traveling in a rural area like the Blue Ridge Parkway and there are no car chargers?
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:17 PM   #2
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She should have waited at the campground to charge, no matter how long it takes.

Why did she take off with 8 miles of charge left, knowing she would not make it to the charging station 25 miles away?

By the way, a 15A regular receptacle will deliver perhaps 5 miles each hour. Maybe she thinks she can get towed there in less time than waiting?
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:18 PM   #3
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Have it towed or charge slowly, but she should have had a better plan? It appears the car would have been warning her in a variety of ways...
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:22 PM   #4
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Have it towed or charge slowly, but she should have had a better plan? It appears the car would have been warning her in a variety of ways...
Perhaps she thought she would be OK charging at the campground, but then got impatient and just took off. She might never charge before off a 15A outlet, and was expecting too much?
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:28 PM   #5
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Next time she should pack a gas generator in the trunk, then she could have filled it up and ran it grabbing 240 volts off it ??
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:29 PM   #6
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These type of cars seem very impractical to me, especially if you travel much
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:33 PM   #7
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I thought Teslas had a map that showed the various chargers within range so as to prevent this kind of thing. Of course, I know people with gasoline powered cars that love to get as near to the E on the gas gauge as possible. Sometimes, they don't guess right. I suppose that also happens with EV owners.

That said, one reason I don't have an EV and won't consider one to replace my current vehicle is just that - getting it charged in out of the way areas. I'm still a big fan of hybrids for people who don't live in Jackson, Mississippi where gas is under $2.20 a gallon.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:33 PM   #8
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Next time she should pack a gas generator in the trunk, then she could have filled it up and ran it grabbing 240 volts off it ??


An EV burns as much as 20kW at highway speed. You need to tow this trailer if you want to do it while driving.


With the biggest Tesla S with a 100kWh battery, that's 5 hours of charging using this generator trailer to charge up an empty battery.

This generator trailer has enough power to let you drive while charging, if the car lets you. I suspect that the car will not let you drive while there's a cable attached to its charging port as an appendage. EV makers do not want absent-minded drivers to drive off without unplugging, and yank the power post off its base.



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Old 09-13-2019, 04:34 PM   #9
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Avis, Hertz and National all have a number of gas powered solutions that are readily available. Optionally you could rent a truck from UHaul and some tow bars.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:46 PM   #10
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The Tesla owners I know that travel cross country map out their routes and know where every charging station is and plan accordingly to match their rest stops for food, etc. My friend covers 6 states as a technical salesman and he has never had an issue. He leaves on a full charge, tops up at lunch and drives home... its not that hard.

Taking it to a campground is just silly and not plugging it in is also just not something a Tesla owner should do, if they got the the campground and plugged in immediately, then they wouldn't be with just 8 miles left.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:51 PM   #11
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Or perhaps she thought she would be going downhill, and the regen will even recharge the battery?
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:52 PM   #12
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The Tesla owners I know that travel cross country map out their routes and know where every charging station is and plan accordingly to match their rest stops for food, etc. My friend covers 6 states as a technical salesman and he has never had an issue. He leaves on a full charge, tops up at lunch and drives home... its not that hard.

Taking it to a campground is just silly and not plugging it in is also just not something a Tesla owner should do, if they got the the campground and plugged in immediately, then they wouldn't be with just 8 miles left.
Exactly this. Most T owners seem to enjoy plotting out their routes around stations and such.

The drive you encountered might have been just as likely to be the type to set out on a long trip with no gas in the tank.

No car can overcome a twit.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:59 PM   #13
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How about skipping the generator and just putting a cold fusion reactor in the trunk?

Or better yet a Quantum Zero Point generator?
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:01 PM   #14
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Is it possible that Tesla doesn't approximate mileage left well in the mountains? She might've thought she had enough, but a long climb up to the parkway left her with very little. About the same as making that climb with 1/8 tank of gas.

The AAA truck could've brought her a couple gallons of gas to get her going again without towing, but on the other hand she could've gotten out on her own after 5 hours or so of charging, so I don't know what's better. No matter what you are driving, you should be more aware of miles left when you are in a remote area.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:03 PM   #15
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Exactly this. Most T owners seem to enjoy plotting out their routes around stations and such.
She's probably just someone who liked the idea of an electric car, rather than being a true Tesla enthusiast.

Enthusiast enjoy plotting out their routes and such - regular people, not so much. I expect this will become more of a problem as more "regular" folks buy electrics.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:03 PM   #16
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Perhaps she thought she would be OK charging at the campground, but then got impatient and just took off. She might never charge before off a 15A outlet, and was expecting too much?
I can’t imagine owning a Tesla and not knowing the basics of charging one, but maybe that’s just me. It’s an expensive car and transportation is a fundamental need. Somehow I imagine there’s more to this story...
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:06 PM   #17
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OP here, the lady with the Telsa said she had been in a campground the night before and charged the car all night and it barely charged at all and then she started driving to the closest charge station and she could not make it. She was from NJ and I don't think she realized that the Blue Ridge Parkway has very few commercial facilities.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:07 PM   #18
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I can’t imagine owning a Tesla and not knowing the basics of charging one, but maybe that’s just me. It’s an expensive car and transportation is a fundamental need. Somehow I imagine there’s more to this story...

Well, judging from the number of drivers who sleep at the steering wheel because they believe that their car is truly SDC, I would not bet that all of them are technically savvy.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:07 PM   #19
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Maybe there were more hills than expected. Our lithium powered electric bikes were supposed to have 37 miles assistance but if there were any hills on the multiuse trail the distance would Actually be less than ten miles and the bikes were too heavy to ride without assist. After 2 years the batteries weakened to a point they needed to be replaced at $600 each.
We got rid of them and bought some more regular bikes.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:12 PM   #20
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Ummm, I find the charging station that I will use before I leave. There are several apps for this. If there isn't a charging station(s), then I don't drive my electric car. Pretty simple actually...
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