On the Road… Part One

I would have sang ” On the road again…” but today I began my very first roadtrip using the Focus Electric. Nothing monumental about 180 miles round trip. I initially thought I would have to rent a car to go to my Diocese annual Priest Convocation in Effingham, IL. I have had the Focus a little less than a month and really enjoy driving it, but 90 miles one way with no level 2 charging in Effingham made the journey seem out of “Sparks” range. I never really gave up on the idea of driving there in my Focus. I used a number of tools I have found online to see if there was anyway of driving the route using my EV.

Using the EV Distance Calulator (Thanks Jamie of the Some Spare Electrons blog)I figured I could just about make it from Brighton, IL where I live to Effingham, IL on a single charge. If only there was a place in the middle where I could get an “insurance charge”. That and a hotel willing to let me charge overnight and I might just be able to do it. Problem was though there are no L2 charging stations on that route. I just about gave up, and I even went about renting an ICE for the 2 days of the conference. Not willing to let the no charging station circumstance win I started to look for alternatives.

I first thought to bring a portable generator and charge at a rest area. This is prohibitively expensive and petroleum dependent so it was tabled immediately. I had read on some of the forums I frequent of RV parks that would be willing to let someone charge for a fee.  Indeed I found a RV park that was willing to let me charge and it was well within the range of the Focus. Most RV parks provide electricity to their clients using a 240v 50 amp service. Only problem was I did not have an EVSE (Car Charger) that could plug into such a source. My EVSE at home can plug into 240V 30 amp service and has the required plug for that. Well EVSE upgrade sells a specially modified Leaf EVSE that can support 110V and 240V charging. They also sell adapters that mate with the EVSE and RV power supply. So I took a leap of faith and ordered the EVSE and the adapter plugs.

I am sitting at the RV park charging as I write this post, currently the car is showing 66%. I will post again after I get plugged into at the hotel.