EV Road Trip - Benton Harbor to Muskegon, Michigan

EV Road Trip Plan - Day 3

Benton Harbor to Muskegon, Michigan

Holland, Michigan Charging Locations
The night before Day 3 should have been spent in Benton Harbor, Michigan.  That will put me only 90 miles from my home of Muskegon.  I plan to make a quick stop in Holland, which is 55 miles from Benton Harbor.  With multiple charging sites in downtown Holland, I should be able to stay on the highway on the approach, grab a short charge and a coffee, then cruise on home.  Unfortunately, the one quick charge station at a car dealer is CCS only, which is a different DC Quick Charging plug format.


CHAdeMO Receptacle
Image Source - FleetCarma
If you're old enough to remember VCRs, you'll recall the VHS vs. Beta format war.  Aside from the Tesla quick charging standard, this is the situation DC Quick Charging finds itself in.  Without getting into too much detail (Reuters article) and history, Japanese cars like the Nissan LEAF tend to have CHAdeMO plugs and European cars tend to have the CCS plug.  Many DCQC stations in the US have both plugs, so it's not yet an issue.

CCS Plug
Image Source - FleetCarma
Chevrolet has gone with the CCS standard for the Chevy Bolt EV and therefore the Holland Chevy dealer DCQC station is not usable by my LEAF.  Let's hope the manufacturers can agree on a standard before too many more cars and stations are built.  For now, at least the new stations being built by Electrify America have both major plug types.

Final Thoughts before Departure

Route Refinements

As I wrote this, I had completed my flight to Kansas City the day prior.  Reviewing my final drive plans, I had considered some final tweaks to the original route.  For example, I decided that I won't stop at the Richmond Walmart, but rather downtown Lexington.  I certainly don't need both stops, Lexington has a McDonald's in walking distance and gets me a few miles further towards the I-70 hospital stop.  The latter charging doesn't have much in terms of services, so I prefer to minimize that.

I had considered alternate routes through Missouri that involved going way off the I-70 corridor.  Since that will add 20 miles to the leg from Sweet Springs to Columbia, I decided that's not worth the extra miles and time.  Also, there's a promising stop before Columbia in Boonville at Rick Ball Chevrolet.  That means I don't have to be nearly as careful with range on that leg, but I will likely still trace the highway on access roads.

Bird Scooter; Image Source: www.bird.co/

Passing the Time in Columbia

My charging stop in Columbia will likely be fairly lengthy, so I was looking for something to do rather than just drink more coffee.  Since Columbia is home of Mizzou, I found a movie theater that has flexible show times.  Also, it appears Columbia has Bird electric scooters.  I downloaded the app in case that works out, since it will be interesting to explore that "last mile" solution for EVs while charging.

Weather Considerations

It's hot.  As in Midwest hot.  High temperatures for Day 1 are in the mid-90s, so I doubt I'll want to do without climate control.  Day 2 may be cooler but have rain.  Rain tends to introduce more tire resistance and thus reduce efficiency.  More factors to keep in mind...

Range Test

60.4 Miles Driven with 52% Battery Left
Since I was in Kansas City a day before my departure with access to the LEAF, I did a partial range test driving around town.  Using the air conditioner about half the time and driving at 35-45 MPH around town, I managed to get 60 miles of driving with a remaining battery of 52%.  That means I was on track to get around 120 miles of range.  Even using A/C continuously and bumping the speed to 45-50 MPH, I should be able to get 100 miles of range and thus the more realistic 80 mile easily.  

In the next episode, the rubber literally hits the road. 


If you are in the market for a Tesla Model S, Model X, or Model 3 Performance, feel free to use my referral code to a year's worth of free Supercharging.  http://ts.la/karl5062


  1. I look forward to reading these the next few days!


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