We just got back from our trip to Albany this WA day long weekend. Last year's EV long weekend was off to Esperance in a Zoe, but this was something a little more manageable at short notice. The Ioniq is very comfortable, and all the cruise control features are pretty good. Dealing with a car slowing down in front was interesting, as it wouldn't quickly get back up to speed when they turned off. Otherwise it was way easier than a noisy, smelly 5-speed 100 mm from the bitumen.
We left home with a full charge of 335 km and got to Williams (155 km away, with a 200 m drop and 200 m rise in elevation). We still had an estimated 150 km left on the guessometer (GOM), but plugged into the Tesla destination charger at the Woolshed anyway. Being a single phase onboard charger it delivered a whopping 3.5 kW while we got takeaway coffee. It has been turned down to 16 A due to wiring limitations, so not that useful. If it was three phase it would be a fairly useful rate.
Pushed on a further 40 km south to Arthur River
where the GOM was suggesting 20% battery remained, and about 50 km of range. Jon Edwards had just serviced the Chargepod so it was ready to roll. It's a simple idea - a 60 kVA generator and a Tritium Veefil charger. Start generator, charge car, turn off generator, pay at the counter and drive off. Of course, you need to be ready to answer inane questions from too-smart-by-half bystanders about diesel and EVs. But in the absence of a decent power supply in the bush, it worked great.
Our Ioniq at the Chargepod, Arthur River Roadhouse.
The 2020 Ioniq charges s l o w l y
. From 20% it starts off around 32 kW, then hits a bit of a high water mark at 43 kW, but as soon as it hits 50% SOC, it drops back to 30 kW, then 22, then 14 kW... And stays at 14 kW until you're sick of waiting. We must have charged for about 40 mins to get to 85%. That was 22 kWh. Figuring Albany was just 208 km away, an estimated 226 km range would leave a safe buffer.
We briefly stopped in Kojonup for a toilet stop, and I tried the newer Tesla destination charger. No dice. @MDK
, Ali and I installed the 32 A socket there some years back, but I didn't bother bringing any adaptors. We know the bush standard works at least. Kojonup is exactly 250 km from home, so it would be possible to drive in a single hit at 100 km/h and no heat or AC. Since the Ioniq charges faster at the bottom end of the battery capacity, you would actually make good time charging to 80% in Kojonup and then pushing on to Albany. Hopefully by the end of the year we'll see a charger there.
It was all looking pretty good till we got to Mount Barker (50 km from Albany). The GOM was saying 70 km remained, but by the time we got to Narrikup (just 26 km past Barker) it was now saying 40 km remained. Then as we passed my old work, the Sandalwood factory (15 km from Albany) the GOM went to its nebulous (--)
The amber turtle showed up on the lower right of the dash, but we weren't being held back at all. Perhaps acceleration might have been limited because speed certainly wasn't. Finally we pulled in at the motel where a Tesla destination charger was waiting for us. Just 4% remained on the GOM. It seems the Ioniq's ability to guess range is OK until you get to the sweaty end of range anxiety, and then it gets overwhelmed and gives up. It took a solid 6 hours at 7 kW to bring it back to a full 311 km the next morning.
We did some noodling around the town we once called home for a bit over a year. It's like an aged care home with streetlights, except the COV-19 restrictions are making look even more desolate. I remember reading a US sailor once remarked "Albany is one third the size of New York Cemetery and twice as dead" while Charles Darwin lamented on an extended repair stay in the port city - "We staid (sic) there eight days and I do not remember since leaving England having passed a more dull, uninteresting time."
Obligatory photo of the EV at the windfarm:
I had hoped to catch up with several old acquaintances and friends, but only a couple made the effort. A very Albany thing to do I've found. We hadn't been back since the afternoon we drove back up the highway, just over 3 years ago. Not only had nothing materially changed, the main street was even more desolate. Shops were sort of going through the motions of what life used to be like before the virus, and nobody seemed to be enjoying themselves. The shops weren't making any money, but felt the need to open just to get some life back in the town. It's not a good time for regional retail, but it's also not a good time in general. Depression and anxiety is written all over people's faces as they wait outside take-out windows, where they once sat at tables for a night in. My friend informed me that a former colleague's husband had taken his own life, leaving her with a mortgage and a heart full of sorrow. And that more or less set the tone for the trip. We couldn't wait to get home.
After a very lousy night's sleep, we caught up with some friends in town who are thinking of getting a Kangoo ZE van for their fresh produce business. It would be a great fit for their ethics and the nature of the work. At 10:30 we set off north again, stopping briefly at Mt Barker in the hope we might get a delicious pie or two. Well every traveller in the the south had the same idea, and I'm pretty sure the 1.5 m spacing rule was well ignored. Abandoning that idea we pushed on to Kojonup where a couple of salad rolls were bought before pushing on up to Arthur River for our mid-point charge. Again, with 20% SOC and about an indicated 50 km range remaining it took 60 minutes to add 26.8 kWh. At these sorts of rates, a 22 kW onboard charger would be better value than a fast charger. At least we had a solid 60 km range buffer for the second leg. I daresay we could have made it to Williams on a single charge (250 km) but you would be rolling in on stray cations being evicted from their anode apartment.
We got home at about 4:30 pm. Not bad considering we'd dithered around in Mt Barker and Koji looking for food and toilets, while the leg from Williams to Home was at 110 km/h when we weren't behind the 'Douth Long Weekend Conga line'.
So in short the car is very comfortable to drive, and the range is almost perfect. I say almost because I'd feel better about a genuine 275 km highway range, rather than the 250 km it probably has. And the two towns worth stopping at are both 250 km from the starting point. The charging is frustratingly slow if you're after a full charge for the next leg, but if you were comfortable doing most of your driving in the red zone, you could probably get most of a charge in by 45 mins. After squeaking it into Albany with 4% left, we decided charging to 90% was a safer bet.
AEVA National Secretary, WA branch chair.