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1000 mile road trip in a non-Tesla EV. With predictable outcome. It's all about charging and range.

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by e-FTW, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    This is with a Leaf.
    tl;dr taking his Leaf instead of his Prius doubled his trip time because of the charging stops.

    1,000-mile Nissan Leaf electric-car road trip in the Northeast: are we there yet?

    Tier-1 problems:
    • They all charge too slowly. 50kw is not even close enough.
    • Battery size matters... Which reinforces the above point.

    Tier-2 problems:
    • Chargers are often broken, or non-functional: yes, that will happen since you have multiple third-parties involved in each implementation. Tesla cannot allow such a situation, since its name is on the chargers, and the cars using them.
    • Dealing with multiple charging networks, and their rate plans is a pain.

    "Once we have both 200-mile electric cars and a large, reliable, network of 100-kw-plus DC quick charging sites along highway rest stops, we'll really be there.

    At the moment, we are not there yet.

    Unless, of course, you're lucky enough to have a Tesla badge on your car—and you are already enjoying those benefits."


    Yup, exactly. We cannot do this outside of Tesla-land right now. And Chevy's decision to not work on the charging network shortcomings clearly highlights the fact that the Bolt will be what I call an "EV for the range anxious commuter".
    Nothing against the Bolt per se, as competition can only help this market. But I would not get one if I planned to ever take a road trip beyond its real-world, single charge range. You can do it, but you will make way more concessions to your choice of transportation than we have to with a Tesla.

    Overall, a good article, but not forceful enough on the charging speed challenge (which will require an overhaul of already expensive stations).
     
  2. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Member

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    Agreed, what was Chevy thinking? Why make the car before building out the charging network? It's not like they didn't have the opportunity to observe Tesla's successful strategy. They could have easily put charging stations at every GM dealership, they don't even need to acquire new locations like Tesla had to. I am really dumbfounded as we watch GM, Nissan, BMW et al. flounder in a market that has an obvious role model to emulate. The mainstream automakers are making the transition to EV's agonizingly and embarrassingly slow. Sigh...
     
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  3. Boourns

    Boourns Member

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    This is why the Bolt won't be the magic-bullet Tesla killer that GM hopes. For most people, the Leaf's 80-mile range is sufficient for their daily commute. There are few for whom the difference in the Leaf and the Bolt will matter for their day-to-day driving. Without the infrastructure, there's virtually no difference. People who need the long range will still not be satisfied.
     
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  4. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    the leaf is not a long distance road trip car, having owned one I can say that it is a fine little car as long as you can live within in it's severely limited range capabilities. IMHO a trip like this is a foolish endeavor.
     
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  5. xmetal

    xmetal Member

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    I have a Leaf and it's a great little car for around town. I've taken it on a 60-mile one way journey, but I knew that there was a Chademo available AND that we'd be at a museum for hours that also had a regular charger as a backup. That trip was basically no risk, but I would never take it on longer and unknown destinations.
     
  6. vinnie97

    vinnie97 Member

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    There's some guy who's been agonizingly driving his Leaf all over the country...I pity him.
     
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  7. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Chevy is not trying to sell the Bolt to people that want long-distance EVs. If you want to drive long distances, they already offer the Volt and a whole mess of ICE cars (their long-distance strategy is gasoline). They are making the Bolt for in-town commuters that don't want to have to worry about range or looking for opportunity charging - some LEAF drivers have trouble even just around town. Target owners will likely only charge in their garage, and have another vehicle for long trips. I think people in the target market will be very happy customers.

    In the long run I think Chevy is putting themselves at a serious disadvantage, and I'd really like to see them help build out DC infrastructure. But I have to admit that for now when they are just brand-building and trying to get some ZEV credits, this is a reasonable strategy that doesn't require a lot of work or thought on their part.
     
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  8. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I completely agree that 80-mile cars could perfectly suffice as one car in most 2-car families. If they would consider one.

    However, most gas drivers don't seem to think 80 miles is nearly enough. I think 200-mile EVs, even without good long-distance capability, are going to greatly expand the number of gas drivers willing to consider an EV. (Of course they would be even better WITH long-distance capability!)
     
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  9. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    Yeah, but will they be willing to pay ~30k for the Bolt, including that limitation. If 80 miles isn't enough simply from a perspective angle, the Volt seems like a better buy.
     
  10. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    That's because 80 miles isn't really 80 miles. It's less in winter, less when not fully charged, and less after a few years when the battery is degraded. Also no one wants to drive their car down to 10 miles of range or less, except for those who are comfortable driving an ICE with the fuel light on.
     
  11. OlderThanDirt

    OlderThanDirt Member

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    Everyone but Tesla still has that "compliance" mindset. Their cars and attitude toward infrastructure show it.

    We just returned from vacationing in the western US with our Model S. The most enjoyable 6,000 miles we've ever put on a car.

    We had a Volt, we certainly don't consider that a long distance car either. The "Buzzing Third Dozen" gets old pretty fast.
     
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  12. Boourns

    Boourns Member

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    A bit off topic, but I was talking to a TDI Jetta owner while our cars were being tinted on Friday. He said he won't own an EV until they offer 400 miles of range on a charge because he "takes road trip to Florida." I thought that was a bit extreme.
     
  13. HookBill

    HookBill Member

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    He probably wears Depends and has no need for a "relief" stop.
     
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  14. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Member

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    It is fairly common knowledge that Chevy will be losing money on each Bolt they sell, so there is probably not a whole lot of incentive for them to sell many. I would guess they are rather conflicted about the whole EV thing, I bet a bunch of folks at GM don't really want the Bolt to be successful since its success would create a paradigm shift that runs contrary to their entire portfolio of cars. I agree they most likely will use the Bolt to tout their engineering prowess in order to sell more ICE cars. That is the same strategy they used initially with the Volt.
     
  15. cpa

    cpa Member

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    I have a feeling that the Bolt will find its preliminary niche as a fleet vehicle for municipalities and the like. City and county employees on official business generally will not put more than 50-125 miles per day on these cars. Plug in at the city yard at the end of the day. Lower maintenance and fuel costs make a car like the Bolt attractive for fleet purchases.

    That is just me talking off the top of my head.
     
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  16. Pluto

    Pluto Member

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    Something that would probably be beneficial for non-Tesla electric car owners in the future would be a comprehensive service like this one: Pay with PlugShare. Still, with that service there isn't good quality control for the chargers because each location is managed by different owners (which the author of the article spent time going over).

    Of course you'd want enough range so that your charging sessions can be fast enough to not be waiting around a ton.
     
  17. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    I don't think that paying for the charges is the issue I think the issue is that the limited range that necessitates long charging sessions is the issue. people who live in very spread out areas who do not have set daily driving patterns will find the limitations on their daily travels tedious.
     
  18. gene

    gene Active Member

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    We have a TDI in this family (thankfully to be bought back and crushed), but we always take the Model S, especially on very long road trips. Roadtrips are sooo much more pleasant and fatigue free in the S. Another point, our TDI was by far the most unreliable car I have ever owned in 45 years of cars. By the time it had 60,000 miles on it, out of warranty repairs already cost almost 20% of the price of the entire car! Some expensive items such as the DP Filter, which fails on a huge number of TDI's was not warrantied as VW called it a "maintenance item".
     
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