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Cars Leaving the Sunshine State i3 Cynthia Shahan CleanTechnica.com

Published on September 21st, 2019 | by Cynthia Shahan

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2015 BMW i3 REx Goes Long Distance To Find The Heart Of America — Florida To The Appalachians, Day 1

September 21st, 2019 by  


To begin, I want to thank my personal patron saint of long-distance small-EV travel, Zachary Shahan. He plotted my trip for me from charger to charger since my MacBook Air took a hiatus and blacked out on me the morning I left the Sunshine State for the Appalachians in a small 2015 BMW i3 REx. My travel log lost, Zach kept me abreast of each charging location on my phone, and updated them as the trip went along and plans changed. I also found some extra stations with the navigation on the dash of the i3.

Leaving the Sunshine State i3 Cynthia Shahan CleanTechnica.com

Starting point: a reliable ChargePoint charging station at an Earthfare supermarket in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Photo by Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica.com

I set the navigation on Eco and also started to take the back roads for the time being. Slower, smaller roads to save range and avoid traffic are my choice regardless of car or bicycle. Trains would be a first choice — but this is Florida and car culture prevails. What I found is that even the gaps in PlugShare did not present a problem. I found chargers with the GPS on the i3 dash — at Comfort Inn, for one — and other places that did not appear otherwise.

So, back to the beginning, the slow trip to chargers began ever so pleasantly, and I was able to use only electricity from Lakewood Ranch, Florida, to Jacksonville, Florida. As much as I was longing to bid adieu to the Sunshine State and the 100 degree temperatures of the week, going slower was preferred — and I found myself feeling more profoundly that I was going to the heart of America on these slower roads and rolling up to somewhat-out-of-the-way chargers.

Slower off-highway route. Duke Energy fast charging at a Comfort Inn. Photo by Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica.com

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I saw lovelier inland fields and horses in central Florida than I would have on the Interstate. The green, green, green of lush Florida is a wonderful sight.

Although I had not heard the song for years, I started hearing Paul Simon’s lyrics,

“They’ve all come to look for America
All come to look for America
All come to look for America.”

My gentle EV, the i3, led me off the beaten trail — and at each stop, I talked to people of diverse persuasions about modern life in America.

Leaving the Sunshine State i3 Cynthia Shahan CleanTechnica.com

Headed out of the Sunshine State in an i3. Photo by Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica.com

Super efficient Electrify America fast charging second time around — just like first. Photo by Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica.com

The key to travel in my southern neck of the journey — Electrify America. There are many good things to say about this network: the technology is superb, the chargers are so fast (by the time I stretched, walked a bit, and had a bathroom break, there was no time to plug the computer in and work), there are multiple stalls at each station, and the stations are highly visible and easy to find. Electrify America supplied the fastest chargers I have ever used in an EV — I felt this was what Supercharging was about!

The other fortunate EV charging enabler — Clipper Creek. I have always felt Clipper Creek creates wonderful level 2 chargers. To drive up to one at your hotel — tired and weary from a long, hot day — is a wonderful sight. You know it will be working and is easy to use.

Leaving the Sunshine State i3 Cynthia Shahan CleanTechnica.com

Still on the way out of the Sunshine State in a BMW i3 — Clipper Creek charger welcomes me after a long day! Photo by Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica.com

Leaving the Sunshine State i3 Cynthia Shahan CleanTechnica.com

Leaving the Sunshine State i3 Cynthia Shahan CleanTechnica.com

Leaving the Sunshine State in an i3, from a different view. Photo by Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica.com

Leaving the Sunshine State i3 Cynthia Shahan CleanTechnica.com

We’re not quite out of Florida, but the first day was as easy and smooth as could be hoped, aside from the issue with the MacBook Air. Stay tuned for more insight and pictures from the journey. 
 
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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing by doing research as a social cultural and sometimes medical anthropology thinker. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education. Eventually becoming an organic farmer, licensed AP, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)



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