On 12/25/2017 06:20 AM, brucedp5 via EV wrote:

Very different driving once I left CA. Over hundreds of highway miles, speed
limits kept going up and up, while the qualty of the I-10 & I-8 road
surfaces kept going down (mainly from heavy semi-truck use, & the amount of
repair funding).

I haven't recently been on IH10 west of ElPaso but I believe you will find highways in Texas to be in generally good condition. Stay off of IH35 between San Antonio and DFW.

The IH40 route is very nice driving and scenic. However, it can be a challenge in the winter. IH10 is much lower.

To keep from being run off the road, I stuck with the speed limit in the
right lane. But it is a little tough trying to be a high-mpg,
less-polluting, ice-driver when 85mph is the (TX) speed limit. At those
speeds, the (brutal) rough roads are really hard on my front end (I made
need to see Willie's ice mechanic about work on my front end, wheels, tires,

I'm testing my new 300 mile AP2 (auto pilot, version 2) car. "Normally" a trip from my home near Austin to Amarillo requires at least two charging stops. Yesterday, I charged only at Sweetwater. Two legs of nearly 300 miles each! I did not see heavy truck traffic until I hit IH40 at Amarillo. South of Amarillo, there was not enough truck traffic to make drafting worth the effort. With heavy truck traffic on IH40, I adopted the strategy of: setting cruise to about 5 mph below my target speed until I was passed by a truck going about the target speed. Then, pulling in behind and setting cruise to 5-10 mph above target. Then, the car would just follow the truck with very little driver intervention. "Lane keeping" makes things even easier. I think we are near the point where one can travel interstates while napping or reading. I've had no problem with pressure to go faster than I desired. In my experience, there is a lot of truck traffic going 5-10 mph below the speed limit. Especially for a trucker, travel speed is a trade off between money (time spent) and money (fuel cost). Contrary to most ICE drivers, most truck drivers realize the terrible efficiency penalty of speed. Depending on SuperCharger spacing, my target speed may be as low as 60 mph.>
When passing through El Paso, TX, I stopped at the (northern) Rudy's BBQ and
was surprised to find they have superEVSE, see the image I took

Earlier this year, I took some photos of that SuperCharger under construction. Now, the western IH10 SuperCharger chain is complete, at least for 300 mile cars, except for Van Horn to Ozona (Ft Stockton has some construction glitch). That gap is bridgeable using a 70 amp charge station in Iraan.

A Rudy's BBQ store rep said the superEVSE have brought in a-lot-of (mucho)
(eco-tourism) business for them. They liked that and the prestige of having
those chargers on-site

I'm pleased that they feel that way. I have noticed little host enthusiasm for SuperChargers in my travels. Collin Street Bakery hosts at least three and they do offer some Tesla driver perks though. They have sold me a lot of fruit cakes that they would not otherwise have sold.

This trip has been hundreds of miles of nothing as far as one can see. Which
make me more appreciative of-what the pioneer cover wagon drivers had to

Driving through desolate west Texas is one of life's great pleasures for me. I relish such trips.

You failed to mention west Texas wind. The past few years, we've had nothing short of a revolution with wind power from west Texas. Wind generators and construction all over the area. Now, they have the infrastructure required to get the power to the demand. That sets the stage for PV development since PV has supply mid-day and wind is mostly not mid-day. We will see MUCH more west Texas PV in coming years since the infrastructure to transport the power is in place due to the wind.

~10-15 years ago, it was forecast that the grid could handle no more than about 5% of total power from renewables. A year or two ago, we had periods of 15% wind production in Texas; it was handled gracefully. I think we are well on our way to 50%!

Yesterday night, Deming, NM was 28f (below freezing). This early Van Horn
(west) TX morning it is 29f. Today, I will be heading to stay the night at
Junction, TX which is currently at 26f ... enjoy.

I both envy and pity you having all that "waste" ICE energy to keep your cabin warm! I have my first heated seats car; that goes a long way to reducing cabin heating needs. Generally, no need for cabin heat if the sun is out.

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