Nearly 500 Miles in an EV Across Texas - Are We There Yet?
This video is as much a statement on the car as it is about the infrastructure. You cannot talk about electric vehicles without someone mentioning the infrastructure. It is like starting CrossFit and not telling everyone you meet.
For this road trip down to the HTX area, we drove the 2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron quattro. We charged it to 100% at home using our Lectron home charger, used A Better Route Planner to see when/where to stop, plugged those coordinates into Waze, and set off.
Joining me on this trip is Greyson Devendorf. This whole trip was basically his idea, minus the EV part. He is doing a video series on his channel highlighting some famous and not-so-famous spots around Texas. Visiting a new location each week for 52 weeks. He had spied that Texas was home to the world’s longest car wash and suggested we go as a collaboration. I told him I had this Audi coming and an EV would make for a fun narrative on my end as I have not road-tripped an EV since last summer.
Now would be as good of a time as any to tell you, got subscribe to his channel:
Along our route, we covered fun topics that are explored further in his version of this trip, but overall we had a good time catching up. We had just over 12 hours together if that foreshadows how this trip went.
If you plug in the Buccee’s in Katy Texas, you will see it is approximately 230 miles away from Tyler, and with our Audi’s 257 miles of range as we set off, we knew we would be charging at least twice (more on that in the video). In this part of Texas, we have Electrify America stations as our primary DC fast charger of choice (if you are not in the Tesla crowd). We found two EA stations along our route and learned that not all stations within the same brand are made equally.
We have discovered in our previous road trips that not all brands are the same experience, and not all chargers are working when you arrive. As we learned on this trip, someone can be actively charging alongside you as you arrive and the app will still tell you 4/4 chargers available…what gives?
We also met some new friends in Huntsville making their first big EV road trip in their new Volvo. (Enjoy your new ride!)
As with all other EV road trips I have made, they all start out hopeful. I make plans, check my math, and approximate my return time. This time I was only off by 5 hours, but I did not factor in filming for Greyson at the car wash or eating dinner…so, that one is on me. After our first stop, I was still hopeful and full of exuberance that perhaps the EV world was catching up to our expectations as consumers. However, in my excitement to film and get on the road, I did not even notice that we were charging much slower than the vehicle was capable of at all three stops. Womp womp.
Audi claims the Q4 can charge at up to 150 kW and go from 5% battery to 80% in 36 minutes. We did not see that. Not sure if it was the car or the chargers, but as Electrify America and Audi are both owned by Volkswagen, why should the consumer have to figure it out? Shouldn’t it just work?
In total, we were on the road for just over 12 hours, 9 of that was in the car moving while the other 3 hours included charging, filming, and eating. The adventure cost us $28.27 in electricity and added approximately 304 miles of range to our vehicle. We averaged about $0.09/mile purely on the EA charges alone, but it came out much cheaper when you factor in total mileage and our home charging. My 2013 Chevrolet Cruze Eco could have made the trip at about $33.36 using the fuel prices we saw while charging in Huntsville. In theory, the EV was cheaper overall.
Yes, there are a lot of factors to consider when looking into buying an electric vehicle. Long-distance trips like this are typical here in Texas, so this was just as educational for me as I hope it is for you. Ultimately, I would still want an EV with more range. My sweet spot would be something with 300 miles of “usable range” which is what I call the range when the battery is charged to 80%. That would be 375 miles of advertised range at 100%. This Audi was over 100 miles short of what I would really want in a vehicle if I were to buy one under the current infrastructure limitations.
Our nearest fast-charger on this route was that Huntsville stop that was 131 miles away. That is just too far in a vehicle with 165 miles of range at 80% when we topped off heading home. Arriving home with warning lights and a single-digit of overall range is not calming or reassuring when planning a trip like this.
My summation, we aren’t there yet. The infrastructure is still not there. We need more chargers, a longer range, or both before I could recommend someone in my situation jump into an EV purchase with an estimated range of fewer than 300 miles. We are getting close though, and it should only improve with time.
If you want to know my thoughts on the vehicle as a whole, filmed after the completion of this trip, check out my 5 Likes/Dislikes video.
2022 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron quattro Specs:
339 lb.-ft. of Torque
Dual-Motor quattro AWD System
0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds
Top Speed of 121 mph
241 EPA-Estimated Miles of Range
82 kWh Battery
DC Fast Charging Capable up to 150 kW
5-80% in 36 Minutes
Adaptive Regenerative Braking
Glacier White Metallic Paint
235/50R20 Bridgestone Alenza Sport A/S Tires
LED Headlights and Taillights w/ Sequential Rear Turn Signals
Heated Front Seats with 2-person Memory Setting for the Driver
10.25-inch Audi Digital Cockpit Instrument Cluster
10.1-inch Audi MMI Touchscreen Infotainment
Adaptive Cruise with Stop & Go
26.1 Cubic Feet of Rear Cargo Space
54.4 Cubic Feet of Cargo Space with the 40/20/40 Split Rear Seat Folded
Starting Price: $52,700
Price as-tested: $60,790
***This video is sponsored by Lectron EV chargers.***
If you would like to purchase a charger like the one we used in this video through our Amazon Affiliate page, click the link below:
Direct product link:
#GTGarageTalk #AudiQ4 #AudiQ4Sportback #AudiQ4Sportbacketron #Audi #Audietron #etron #Q4etron #quattro #AudiQ4Sportbacketronquattro #ElectricVehicles #EVs #CarReview #NewCar #TXAutowriters #ElectrifyAmerica #EACharging #EVCharging #EVRoadtrip #AreWeThereYet