TheMagster
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:59 am
Delivery Date: 24 Aug 2018
Leaf Number: 328283

Resources for EV roadtrip planning

Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:21 am

I'm curious if anyone knows of a project for mapping out EV-friendly spots for extended roadtrips? Here's the few I know of:

Plugshare - app for finding public charging stations, seems to be the best option I've found. Relies heavily on community input. Specifies Level 1, 2, or 3 charging, and allows for filtering of the level you prefer.
NissanConnect formally CarWings - official app by Nissan that includes a route planner, which takes into account the current state of charge of your vehicle and maps out your path with suggested charging stations and charging times. The route you choose can also be sent to your Leaf's nav system, which is very convenient. Major downside is that it is very slow to calculate a route and clunky to use (doesn't even remember your home address!).
evtripplanner.com - Website that helps you plan your route to hit various charging stations, based on Google Maps. Nissan Leaf support is still in beta and not very fleshed out...it will show you charging stations and calculate charging times as you manually select charging stations, but it won't suggest a route for you, and it doesn't discriminate between Level 2 and Level 3 charging.

What other resources do you use that aren't on this list?

The above tools can help you get by well enough, but they are effectively just tools for finding charging stations along your route. What I'm really interested in is a project that maps out EV-friendly cafes, diners, motels, campsites, and so forth. Places that won't bat an eye if you want to plug into an external 120V outlet, for example.

Anyone know of such a thing? Or should I start one? :D
Last edited by TheMagster on Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
2015 Leaf SV, 25k miles, 12 bars

Astros
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:21 am
Delivery Date: 28 Apr 2018
Leaf Number: 306739

Re: Resources for EV roadtrip planning

Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:11 am

PlugShare does route planning now, too. I’d say that’s a very good fit for your project of mapping out cafes and such that don’t mind if you plug in to a 110V outlet. I’ve seen quite a few entries like that.
The main advantage the official Nissan route planner has is that it takes elevation changes into account. But, as you say, it is also really slow, requires you to log in and click through lots of screens to get to it, and it’s inflexible. You can’t tell it to charge to, say, 90% before a long stretch without chargers, it doesn’t know about nearly as many chargers as PlugShare, and you can only use the battery stats of your Leaf — you can’t even experiment to see what the trip would be like if you upgraded to a larger battery.

User avatar
paulgipe
Gold Member
Posts: 216
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:23 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Oct 2014
Leaf Number: 311200
Location: Bakersfield, CA 93305
Contact: Website

Re: Resources for EV roadtrip planning

Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:58 pm

TheMagster wrote:I'm curious if anyone knows of a project for mapping out EV-friendly spots for extended roadtrips? Here's the few I know of:

Plugshare - app for finding public charging stations, seems to be the best option I've found. Relies heavily on community input. Specifies Level 1, 2, or 3 charging, and allows for filtering of the level you prefer.
NissanConnect formally CarWings - official app by Nissan that includes a route planner, which takes into account the current state of charge of your vehicle and maps out your path with suggested charging stations and charging times. The route you choose can also be sent to your Leaf's nav system, which is very convenient. Major downside is that it is very slow to calculate a route and clunky to use (doesn't even remember your home address!).
evtripplanner.com - Website that helps you plan your route to hit various charging stations, based on Google Maps. Nissan Leaf support is still in beta and not very fleshed out...it will show you charging stations and calculate charging times as you manually select charging stations, but it won't suggest a route for you, and it doesn't discriminate between Level 2 and Level 3 charging.

What other resources do you use that aren't on this list?

The above tools can help you get by well enough, but they are effectively just tools for finding charging stations along your route. What I'm really interested in is a project that maps out EV-friendly cafes, diners, motels, campsites, and so forth. Places that won't bat an eye if you want to plug into an external 120V outlet, for example.

Anyone know of such a thing? Or should I start one? :D


I've written extensively about trip planning, trip estimators, and driving EVs. You can find the articles on my web site under EV Trip Reports. Several are on this forum.

My experience is none are suitable alone. You need to incorporate info from several. For the Bolt you can use the energy estimates in the Chevy app. However, you still need to do your own planning and not rely on the app for that.

Paul


I also summarized a series of recent trips at Energy Consumption Estimators, Trip Planners, and the Chevy Bolt EV.

GreenRace is one you should consider along with the others.
Bakersfield, California
2017 Bolt LT with DCFC, leased 11/09/17
2015 Nissan S with QC, leased, returned
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, used 10/3/16, sold
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; Jesla; JDapter Stub
http://www.wind-works.org

TheMagster
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:59 am
Delivery Date: 24 Aug 2018
Leaf Number: 328283

Re: Resources for EV roadtrip planning

Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:00 am

Astros wrote:regarding PlugShare


You're right, now that I've played with the PlugShare trip planner a bit more, it does seem pretty good for what I want it to do. Not accounting for elevation is a big issue, I hope they address that in the future. In my area I've seen hotels that are listed as having outdoor 120V outlets, but it isn't clear if the hotel actually condones using them (since they are often on the backside of the hotel, not in the normal guest parking area), or if you even need to be a guest of the hotel to use them (I'm guessing you do, but Plugshare just lists them as 'free'). I think if you are staying at a hotel/motel anyway, charging overnight at Level 1 makes total sense. It would also be nice if Plugshare had some way of tying into the Leaf's built-in Nav, but I understand that will probably never happen. Navigating by Google Maps on the phone is somewhat better anyway.

paulgipe wrote:I've written extensively about trip planning, trip estimators, and driving EVs. You can find the articles on my web site under EV Trip Reports. Several are on this forum.


Paul, thanks so much for your feedback! You have a great website, I'm starting to dig through it and glean your knowledge. It is definitely interesting to see your comparisons of the Leaf and the Bolt...I like both cars, I would consider the Bolt for my next one. Also considering the Volt. Although I think the one I'm most impressed with is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, since it could be a realistic replacement for my current SUV (2008 Toyota RAV4 V6).

I played around with GreenRace a bit based on your recommendation...it seems pretty clunky to use, especially if you don't know the exact address of where you want to go. It is nice that it takes into account the elevation, and that it displays the remaining battery SoC when you arrive at the destination (similar to the Bolt app, I gather). If the functionality of Plugshare and GreenRace were combined into one app, that would be just about perfect.
2015 Leaf SV, 25k miles, 12 bars

User avatar
paulgipe
Gold Member
Posts: 216
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:23 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Oct 2014
Leaf Number: 311200
Location: Bakersfield, CA 93305
Contact: Website

Re: Resources for EV roadtrip planning

Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:03 am

paulgipe wrote:I've written extensively about trip planning, trip estimators, and driving EVs. You can find the articles on my web site under EV Trip Reports. Several are on this forum.


Paul, thanks so much for your feedback! You have a great website, I'm starting to dig through it and glean your knowledge. It is definitely interesting to see your comparisons of the Leaf and the Bolt...I like both cars, I would consider the Bolt for my next one. Also considering the Volt. Although I think the one I'm most impressed with is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, since it could be a realistic replacement for my current SUV (2008 Toyota RAV4 V6).

I played around with GreenRace a bit based on your recommendation...it seems pretty clunky to use, especially if you don't know the exact address of where you want to go. It is nice that it takes into account the elevation, and that it displays the remaining battery SoC when you arrive at the destination (similar to the Bolt app, I gather). If the functionality of Plugshare and GreenRace were combined into one app, that would be just about perfect.


Thanks.

My experience is that even if a plug (120 V, 240 V NEMA 14-50) is listed on Plugshare you should absolutely call first. We tried a motel in Lone Pine that was listed for 120 V. It was a bogus entry. They'd let you charge once you explained what you need but you'd have to lay the cable across the sidewalk. That's a trip hazard and not worth the risk for what little charge you get.

Of course, there are places that cater to EVs like the expensive resorts in Mammoth Lakes. But there are also low-key, cheap places like the Independence Inn in Independence. Jim installed a NEMA 14-50 outlet just for EVs. He doesn't get many these days since the Tesla supercharger went in at Lone Pine, but we use it.

Another time a cheap hotel in Grover Beach allowed us to plug in. Next morning I didn't have a charge and the ice machine was nothing but water after the circuit breaker tripped. He then let me use an outlet on the second floor and drape the cable over the railing. To use that I had to park in the handicapped spot. After that we just didn't attempt to charge there.

Paul
Bakersfield, California
2017 Bolt LT with DCFC, leased 11/09/17
2015 Nissan S with QC, leased, returned
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, used 10/3/16, sold
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; Jesla; JDapter Stub
http://www.wind-works.org

TheMagster
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:59 am
Delivery Date: 24 Aug 2018
Leaf Number: 328283

Re: Resources for EV roadtrip planning

Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:26 pm

Oof! Yeah, those are the types of experiences I'm trying to avoid! We stayed at a nice inn recently, and I called ahead asking if I could charge overnight. They said that they had no problem with it, but the layout of the parking lot wouldn't really allow it. As it turns out, our parking spot was right next to our room, and close enough to the outlet inside the motel room that the EVSE cable could reach (I was going to run it through a window overnight, and there was plenty of slack in the EVSE cable). I was also going to plug it into the outlet that was otherwise feeding the minifridge and microwave - I figured this circuit would at least be able to handle the load. I got everything all set up, and...no go. The motel had 3 pronged outlets that weren't actually grounded! The EVSE detected this and refused to charge (I'm glad it has this safety feature built in!). That experience made me think that if there were a motel in that town that listed EV charging options, we probably would have gone there instead. Plugshare has no entries whatsoever for that town.
2015 Leaf SV, 25k miles, 12 bars

User avatar
IssacZachary
Forum Supporter
Posts: 837
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:57 am
Delivery Date: 15 Nov 2016
Leaf Number: 420789
Location: Gunnison, CO, USA

Re: Resources for EV roadtrip planning

Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:40 pm

For me, I was using PlugShare and EVTripPlanner.

With PlugShare you have to look at the rating and comments about each charging point. Some are bogus entries. If there hasn't been any activity reported on PlugShare chances are you really can't charge there. So you can either call and find out or just try somewhere else.

I haven't used PlugShare route planning, but EVTripPlanner does a pretty good job. The important thing to know is how much capacity your battery has and then aim for less than that. I always tried to keep within 80% and that worked pretty good. I once did a 700 mile trip with no problems other than planning charging next to sites that were closed. (Like one mall I thought my wife would like to look at that had been damaged by a hail storm and was closed.)
2013 SL SOLD :cry:
1972 VW Beetle SOLD :cry:
1984 VW Golf diesel CURRENT :x
2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid CONTEMPLATING :shock:

User avatar
jlv
Posts: 844
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:08 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2014
Leaf Number: 424487
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Resources for EV roadtrip planning

Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:30 am

I moved from evtripplanner.com to abetterrouteplanner.com. It makes planning long trips with multiple types of charging really easy. I don't generally use it for trips that just use the SuperCharger network -- it's unnecessary there; for those trips just get in the car and go. But when I want to figure out different charging optimizations, it makes it really clear.

Like evtripplanner, abetterrouteplanner it is primary for Tesla's; but it also supports the Bolt at this point.

For instance, it looks like we're going to go to Cedar Point this month. 700 miles each way. We'll stop overnight at family in Buffalo and level 2 charge (at a station found on PlugShare), and we'll be able to charge at CP's RV park overnight. This cuts off a bunch of supercharging. That planning was important, as my wife was pushing to take the ICE, not wanting to add to what will already be almost 23 hours of driving. But showing that that the total road charging time would be about 2 1/2 hours convinced her that the EV "overhead" was reasonable.
Image
(the planning includes a stop at the Cleveland Airport each way to pickup/dropoff someone who is flying in to go with us)

It also details the planned consumption, speed, and elevation changes along the way:
Image
'13 SL+Prem (mfg 12/13, leased 4/14, bought 5/17) 32K miTesla S 75D (3/17) 25K mi
Model 3 reservation (still undecided)

Return to “General / Main Owners Forum”