Long Distance Cat-and-Mouse: PA to WI, e-tron vs. ICE

One of the most common concerns with an electric is range. In day-to-day driving with a home charger, range is effectively a non-issue. However, where range and charging do become a challenge is on long trips. Knowing this, and knowing Electrify America has been expanding their high-speed network quite quickly, we decided to put our Project e-tron to an all-day multi-state race of sorts.

Two of us from the Audi Club team have to head to Oconomowoc, WI from Hershey, PA in order to empty out Audi Club’s storage unit and move it east. We’ve got an F-150 booked for 3-days to carry the bulk of the load, but we don’t think the pickup will fit everything. Since rental cars are expensive lately, because rental F-150s aren’t allowed to tow and because this would be kind of boring without a competition, we’ve decided to have our own Project e-tron haul the rest.

The idea is to hit the road early Thursday the 24th and be home by the 26th. That means Thursday will be Hershey, PA direct to Oconomowoc, WI in one day… normally a 12 hour and nearly 800 mile drive.

While the e-tron will be leaving Hershey, the F-150 will be picked up at the airport in Allentown, PA – about 1 hour east of Hershey, making it an estimated 13-hour drive for the Ford. Beyond that, the difference between the two will entirely be downtime either recharging, refueling or food and lavatory needs for the driver. We also want to get out there in one day, meaning the plan is to leave early enough to make that happen.

By our estimation, the e-tron will need to make six stops to Milwaukee, largely due to placement of Electrify America. The spacing of their new charging stations along the route ranges from 72 miles in between to 130 miles. With a 185-200 mile range expected on a full charge in those temps, we project we’ll only be able to skip one charging station en route. That said, this means our charging stop times will be shorter because we’ll be coming in on partial charge.

We plan to run stock wheels and tires for efficiency reasons, and will take a roof box and hitch mount extension but will carry those inside while running empty out to Wisconsin for the competitive portion of this trip. Running solo in a relatively empty e-tron carrying no external gear, we think we’ll have range closer to 200 miles.

Loose estimate of 20 minutes per stop puts us charging downtime at two hours and twenty minutes. The office in Allentown with the F-150 opens at 8AM, so for the sake of this competition the e-tron will depart Hershey one hour early, with the Ford leaving from a destination one hour to the east and headed due west . The question then is whether the trailing F-150 can catch the e-tron before Milwaukee where we’ll bed down for the night.

Here are our estimated Electrify America stops. Of course, if any of them are down then it’ll be a mad scramble to find other charging stations or options.

Charging Station LocationDistance from Last Charge
Bedford, PA112 miles
Cranberry Twp., PA119 miles
Elyria, OH130 miles
West Unity Ohio144 miles
Mishawaka, IN98 miles
Glenview, IL117 miles

Look for live updates on the Audi e-tron connect Facebook Group on the day of the trip, then recaps on Youtube and in future issues of Audi Club’s quattro Magazine.

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