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 Post subject: Road Trip: Menlo Park (CA) to Carmel (CA)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:29 am
Posts: 14
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I took my first road trip with my RAV4 EV this past weekend from my home in Menlo Park, CA down to the Monterey/Carmel area. The trip was about 98 miles, so I knew I would have to charge down there to get back home. My wife was game, so there was no reason not to go electric.

After completing an extended charge at home (40A/240V Leviton), my range showed 110 miles. My presumption was at reasonable speeds (70mph or less), I should be able to make it down there with no problem (I used Tony's range chart to confirm this). That was the case, as I had about 18 miles left of charge upon my arrival.

In advance, I scoped out a few different charging options. My first choice was a Blink charger, installed by the the city of Carmel in 2011 (http://ci.carmel.ca.us/carmel/index.cfm/residents/city-services/environmental-information/), and two blocks from my hotel. It was supposed to be free charging, and the photos I had showed a swipe card on a chain hanging from the charger. In preparation, I also downloaded the Blink app to my iPhone, just in case. As a backup, I found multiple Chargepoint chargers in Monterey, just a few miles away, but I hoped they wouldn't be needed.

As it turned out, the BLINK charger worked perfectly. The pay lot where the charger was located was free after 6pm, so I figured the charging might not cost a thing. Upon arrival, I noticed that the provided swipe card was actually cracked/broken and didn't work. I reverted to the BLINK app on my smartphone, entered my CC info to request a guest charging code, received the code a few seconds later, entered it into the charging station, then started charging. Nice! (No, my CC wasn't charged.)

From the hotel, I monitored the charging with the Entune app. At about 11pm, the charging was done, so I went over to the charger, unplugged, and parked on the street. The next night, I did an extended charge to get enough juice to get back home... again, no issues.

Here are a few photos:
Image
Image

Got back home today with about 14 miles to spare. I'm not sure why I was so pleased with the experience, but I was. I saved a whopping $40 in gas and didn't pollute the environment, but there was more to my enjoyment than just that. I don't think I can put my finger on WHY this was so satisfying, though. Sure, my wife thinks I'm a bit loopy, but she appreciates being green.

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Woody
Menlo Park, CA
2012 White RAV4 EV


Last edited by RavTesla on Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Road Trip: Menlo Park CA to Carmel, CA
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:06 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:03 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Sacramento, CA
Cool story and pics! Love to hear success stories like this...

Thanks for sharing.

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2012 Classic Silver Rav4 EV (Sam)
2012 Honda Pilot
2011 Volkswagen GTI
2018 Mercedes GLC63


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 Post subject: Re: Road Trip: Menlo Park (CA) to Carmel (CA)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:50 pm
Posts: 4072
Location: San Diego
Hey, that my car!!! Oh, wait, I haven't put the HOV stickers on yet. Just got them in the mail today.

Great planning and execution. I recommend http://www.PlugShare.com (and their app) for finding a charging location. It tends to be the most up to date, since its "crowd sourced".

My wife hated both our LEAFs, with the crazy GOM and limited range. She actually steals my Rav4 (over her Infinti convertible) regularly. She even did a 90 mile trip to Riverside, charged for 4 hours while at court, and returned home 90 miles. Very brave for her.

I did my first ride in an air suspension equipped Tesla Model S on Saturday (we had two at the gathering of mostly LEAFs, and both Model S owners were former LEAF drivers). I have to say that the "wheel barrow" suspension on the Rav4 leaves a bit to be desired in comparison !!!

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Tony Williams
QC Charge
1780-104 La Costa Meadows Drive
San Marcos, California 92078 USA
tony@QCcharge.com
www.QCcharge.com
Twitter: QCPower
1-844-EV-PARTS
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 Post subject: Re: Road Trip: Menlo Park (CA) to Carmel (CA)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:50 am
Posts: 1213
Location: San Jose, CA
From your pictures RavTesla, it looks like that Blink charger has two cords coming out the chargeport connector. What's up with that???

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Owner of 2012 Classic Silver RAV4 EV, 2012 Silver VOLT & 2008 Red C6 Z06
EMW JuiceBox Basic (fully optioned & customized) EVSE L2 charging station
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/TRVh161550


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 Post subject: Re: Road Trip: Menlo Park (CA) to Carmel (CA)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:29 am
Posts: 14
Dsinned wrote:
From your pictures RavTesla, it looks like that Blink charger has two cords coming out the chargeport connector. What's up with that???


Heh. Yeah, the photo does look like that, but it's an illusion. Looking at the closeup photo, the cord comes out of the BLINK unit from the small hole below the handle, then gets routed down and to the right of (then behind) the base. Eventually, it comes back up from the left and goes into the handle. It looks like two cords from the chargeport connector, but I promise you it was only one cord.

It was a long cord, which is always nice. It was raining the nights I was charging, but that didn't cause any issue. I normally charge in my garage, which is why I mention this.

Woody

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Woody
Menlo Park, CA
2012 White RAV4 EV


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 Post subject: Re: Road Trip: Menlo Park (CA) to Carmel (CA)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:11 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:01 am
Posts: 26
Location: San Jose, CA
RavTesla wrote:
Fellow members:

Got back home today with about 14 miles to spare. I'm not sure why I was so pleased with the experience, but I was. I saved a whopping $40 in gas and didn't pollute the environment, but there was more to my enjoyment than just that. I don't think I can put my finger on WHY this was so satisfying, though. Sure, my wife thinks I'm a bit loopy, but she appreciates being green.


Enjoyed your post. We had a similar feeling after driving from San Jose to San Francisco and back without charging. The round trip mileage was 88 miles, and we had about 20 miles left after an extended charge, and driving in sport mode. It was such a pleasant experience we drove back to SF again a few days later to try some new restaurants.

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Classic Silver 2012 Rav4 EV, VIN 1054
LED interior lights, and LED turn, backup, and license plate lights; ceramic window tint; Fiamm horns
Leviton 240V-40A
Solar Panels


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 Post subject: Re: Road Trip: Menlo Park (CA) to Carmel (CA)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:50 am
Posts: 1213
Location: San Jose, CA
I think we are rapidly proving that any perceptible "range anxiety" in an EV that can conservatively be driven 100 miles on a single charge should definitely NOT be the reason for avoiding a BEV as practical to drive everyday as the Toyota RAV4.

_________________
Owner of 2012 Classic Silver RAV4 EV, 2012 Silver VOLT & 2008 Red C6 Z06
EMW JuiceBox Basic (fully optioned & customized) EVSE L2 charging station
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/TRVh161550


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