|Charging up at Hampton Inn in Turnersville... but for how long?|
|Once I got to see my car in person I realized how much I really do like the Laurel Grey|
Designer Wraps in Millville, NJ. It's about a 130 mile trip from my house and while there are closer wrap shops, I want to get it done somewhere that has a great reputation and has been doing wraps for a long time and Designer Wraps fit the bill. So I plotted the trip and since the wrap takes 3 or 4 days to complete, I told my wife I'd need her to drive down with me separately so I could drop off the car and we'd drive back together. The funny thing about it is she initially said, "How long will that take? Is there a charging station along the route where you can stop and charge?" She momentarily forgot I have the range extender on the i3 so she was thinking this would be an all day road trip. After driving pure EVs for five years now, she had been conditioned to think a long trip meant 80 miles or so of driving, and then four or five hours of charging in order to continue. After staring at her and smiling for a few seconds, she realized her error and we just laughed. Only two days of ownership in and the REx is immediately a game changer.
Then I realized I had also overlooked something, but not anything with regards to the car though. We were planning on driving down early on the morning of Saturday, May 24th, and that turned out to be the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. If you live in New Jersey, you know how bad traffic is going south on the Parkway or the Turnpike during either Memorial Day or Labor Day weekends, as tens of thousands of people migrate to the Jersey Shore for these two weekends that bookend the summer. A two and a half hour drive could easily take five hours under these traffic conditions. So we came up with plan B. We would drive about 100 miles late Friday night which would get us passed the major traffic areas, stay in a hotel and continue on the next morning.
Since we would be spending the night, I figured I might as well find a hotel that would let me plug in 120v while we were there. After all, the goal is to drive on electric as much as possible, even with the REx and an overnight stay would give me enough range to make the final 40 miles or so without the REx kicking on. After making some calls, I found an Hampton Inn in Turnersville, NJ that said I could plug in and it was just about perfectly along our planned route. The hotel was about 100 miles into the trip and we would then be 40 miles from Designer Wraps. An overnight charge would give me just enough to complete the trip the next day without the range extender. If I really wanted to, I could have probably found a hotel that was only halfway there, and tried to complete the entire trip without the REx, but then I would have needed to find a L2 240v EVSE, as overnight charging on 120v wouldn't have been enough to fully replenish an empty battery. It just wasn't worth the trouble, and if everything worked out, the 140 mile trip would end up with me using only a little more than a half a gallon of gas and without any inconvenience.
|I drove nearly 90 miles before the REx came on|
|Plugged in at Hampton Inn|
|Will Hampton Inn honor their guarantee? I'll find out soon|
|Charging at Camden County College|
|Giving a quick i3 seminar!|
|Final stats of the trip|