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Decided to drive from LA area to SF Bay area without using Superchargers...

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by Petra, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Petra

    Petra Member

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    Last weekend, I decided to drive from the Antelope Valley (just East of LA) to the San Jose area and I chose to make the trip without using Tesla's Supercharger network--sounds stupid, I know, and I already made a post talking a little about the experience here... but I thought that the experience could be valuable and it turned out that it was. I returned home via I-5 and the Supercharger network in order to compare the experience to taking CHAdeMO/CCS on the way up.

    Given the interest that some people seemed to have in my previously mentioned post, I figured that I'd share the final video of the trip here--enjoy!

     
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  2. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    Sorry dude. I was mistaken about the Chowchilla site. I should have known because it's a Save Mart location. They pull the 208V 3-phase power from the store's existing utility transformer for those BTC 100 amp stations. The more powerful stations require the same 480V 3-phase power that the Superchargers use. I discovered my error a week or so ago but didn't post about it.

    If you had a Bolt and was going to use the NRG network regularly, you would pay the $15/month fee. That would eliminate the $4.95/session fee and drop the per minute fee from $0.20/min to $0.10/min. If you used it more than two sessions per month, every month, it would be cheaper that way. Also, if you are going from SF to LA and back, you could initiate the $15/mo plan, use it for that one trip and then pay the ETF and still come out ahead.

    Also, you should be aware that the California Energy Commission has already issued grants for Corridor Fast Chargers. However, none of these sites are active yet. The best news is that ChargePoint was awarded a bunch of these sites and they have already stated that they will be installing their new ChargePoint Express Plus system chargers at their grant sites. These stations output 156 amps per pedestal and can share charging modules from other pedestals when they're installed in pairs or more at one site. That is up to 125kW per plug when there's only one car charging. So, the future looks brighter than you let on in your video. See below for the map I made of all the sites revealed in the CEC's public documents regarding these grants. If you click though the link you can use the check marks to turn off existing sites and show only one grant or the other.

    CEC Fast Charge Sites.jpg
    Future CEC Corridor DC Fast Charge Sites
     
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  3. hatman4731

    hatman4731 Member

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    I believe Tesla's Chademo adapter is only rated to 50kw -- somebody did a tear-down and confirmed that it was a component limit as opposed to a firmware limit. So until Tesla comes out with an updated adapter you would still be stuck with slow charging speeds even with the updated infrastructure.
     
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  4. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    #4 Jeff N, Apr 14, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
    Petra didn't even mention VW's charging plans? :)

    During the same 2-3 year time frame as the new CEC chargers (mentioned by miimura above), VW's Electrify America subsidiary will be additionally installing about 250 charging stalls at 50 highway locations inside California that are all 150 kW or 320 kW.

    Together with the existing and future CEC sites shown on miimura's map plus some unstated number of VW 150 kW "community charging depots" in the 5 largest CA metro areas that will more than match today's Tesla Supercharger network in CA by mid-2019.

    Of course, Tesla will have further expanded by mid- 2019. It's all good!

    VW also released their non-CA national charging plan today which calls for another 150 highway sites at 150+ kW outside CA with between 4-10 stalls each by mid-2019 and an additional 90 for a total of at least 240 by mid-2020. Add the CA 50+ to that and you get ~300 highway sites by mid-2020. Tesla nationwide has about 360 Supercharger sites today but some of those are used as community charging sites in metro areas.

    Basically, VW's network will be ramping up at least as fast as Tesla ramped up their Supercharger network but is starting later and will be running 2-3 years behind Tesla for awhile in charging sites and stalls.

    See the following for details on the California angle:

    VW Reveals Tesla-like EV Charging Plans - HybridCars.com

    I will have an updated article about the full nationwide VW plan available by Monday.
     
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  5. CT200h

    CT200h Member

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    very well done. I think it highlights limitations in both networks.but shows the adavantage of the Tesla system.
    Having a cardless system is also a huge bonus for Tesla.

    I hope significant expansions occurs in the supercharger network as the model 3 rollout gets going.
    I'd like to get a chance to travel the network a bitt unclogged.
     
  6. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    The new CCS specifications include support for cardless charging so that may well be the norm going forward.
     
  7. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    It appears that Petra's point in doing the demonstration was to show the difference between Tesla SuperCharger network and the network that a Chevy Bolt EV has available to it. The limitation of the Tesla adapter is not relevant to that comparison. The Bolt EV can supposedly take up to 80kW, by some measure. Whether that is 80kW / 500VDC = 160 amps (station rating based on maximum voltage) or 80kW / 400VDC = 200 amps (car's rating based on actual pack voltage) remains to be seen. In any case, there are no public stations in California that can do more than the 125 amp rating of the Tesla adapter anyway. So, these future stations to be installed with CEC funding or VW funding will charge a Bolt EV faster than the existing stations, but will not charge a Tesla any faster through the existing adapter.

    One more point that I will bring up is that there is an outside chance that ChargePoint will use the third output on their Express Plus stations to directly fast charge Tesla vehicles without an adapter. It remains to be seen whether Tesla will make it possible for them to do that. Their station architecture has the capacity to meet and exceed the performance of the existing Superchargers.
     
  8. hatman4731

    hatman4731 Member

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    While the supercharging network is a distinct competitive advantage I can see Elon preferring to encourage other manufacturers using the spec so Teslas can charge at the same full speed. I remember Tesla opened their patents to encourage EV adoption -- does anyone know if that includes the supercharging spec?
     
  9. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    Probably less than that but more than what a Bolt EV can get on today's chargers.....

    Yes, ChargePoint can support at least 3 cables on their new DC charging hardware but has not yet confirmed if they will support Tesla plugs natively.
     
  10. dhcp

    dhcp Member

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    Great video Petra, thank you - your video production quality is so good, that alone makes it worth the time to watch it. Thanks for taking a hit for the team, I keep an adapter in my trunk "just in case" but didn't realize I should also get an evgo account as well, else I'm touring Nisson (or is it Toyota?) dealerships...

    Is there any other accounts besides EVGo people recommend to have, especially in California?
     
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  11. Petra

    Petra Member

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    Oh, it's no big deal--I was just having a bit of fun. My original plan of stopping in Madera would have put me at a 100A charger just the same.

    It's true that the trip would have been less expensive if different situational factors were taken into consideration... I should have done a better job making this clear. That said, I made sure to include session count and time spent charging at the end of the video so that people could use the information to compare rate schedules.

    I am aware of the various infrastructure rollout plans and acknowledged in the video that things can and will get better with time and money (which said plans work to provide). However, since none of these plans/programs have resulted in stations going live yet, I decided to take a 'snapshot in time' approach to the video. From my experience in forums and comments sections, I feel like the most common answer from EV enthusiasts like ourselves to the question "What's the charging infrastructure like?" is usually along the lines of "It's getting better!" But for the average car buyer looking to make a decision, talking about what the network will look like by 2019 or thereabouts doesn't necessarily help them with a decision they have to make now about a car they'll have to use between now and said point in the future.

    Obviously, this approach will require me to revisit the video in various ways as infrastructure improves and I realize that the CHAdeMO adapter won't necessarily be useful for those future updates--I'm going to have to get a little more creative, but that's a problem for future Alex.
     
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  12. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    Chargepoint and possibly Blink.

    And its always best to have their RFID cards even though you can supposedly activate using the app. I have had units that wouldn't activate with the app, but did with the RFID card. I keep all my cards in my kangaroo driver's seat pocket. :)
     
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  13. Petra

    Petra Member

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    #13 Petra, Apr 14, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
    That's a great idea! I keep forgetting that pocket is even there.
     
  14. dhcp

    dhcp Member

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    Good advice - I keep forgetting about that pocket too. I have the Blink account just via the app but good to know that the cards might be more reliable.
     
  15. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    Been there, done that. Good advice!
     
  16. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    Wouldn't an actual Bolt driver have charged just once (perhaps at Madera or wherever halfway is) instead of the two stops you made?
     
  17. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    Wouldn't an actual Bolt driver have charged just once at around 180 miles instead of twice?
     
  18. Petra

    Petra Member

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    In ideal conditions, maybe... but the EPA range ratings for the Bolt and 70D are basically the same (238 vs 240) and the Bolt is only about 8% more efficient on the highway according to the EPA (Range Mode on the S may close this gap a little). Taking into consideration typical freeway speeds in CA, the unpredictable nature of the wind situation on the first half of the trip, and elevation changes, that's not a gamble I'd take. Remember, I rolled into my first stop 10% under target SoC due to wind alone. Also, a single stop route plan would screw you if there was a problem at the charging station because you likely wouldn't have enough charge to make it to the next DC station.
     
  19. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    #19 miimura, Apr 14, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
    In addition to what Petra said above, you have to consider where the fastest chargers are and how fast you want to drive. Delano and Selma have the only 110+ amp chargers on that stretch of CA-99. If you're driving 70-75mph, you would probably only get about 180 miles on a full charge in the Bolt, maybe 3.0-3.5 mi/kWh because the aero on the Bolt is poorer than the Model S. So, making it all the way from Palmdale to Selma without charging would be really tricky in a Bolt EV at that speed. Anyway, you could probably stop for 30 minutes each at Delano and Selma, adding ~60 miles at each of those stops. In Chowchilla, you would need to charge for a full hour to get enough charge to be sure to make it over Hwy-152 at normal speed. If you don't have enough range to make it all the way to San Jose, charge one more session at the Gilroy Outlets. So, that's the same 5 sessions that Petra did, but distributed out slightly differently.

    I've heard that the Bolt has pretty severe tapering, so you don't want to charge on a road trip above like 75%. I haven't seen any actual tapering curves for the Bolt yet, but I haven't gone looking for them either.

    Also, some may say you should slow down and push the range longer, but if the chargers are there and they add miles back at 120 miles per hour of charging, why slow down? The more frequent but shorter stops are less tiresome and it keeps the battery in the SOC band where it can charge the fastest without giving up your safety buffer.
     
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  20. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    Here's a somewhat low-res spreadsheet that captures how the Bolt EV charges today on 125A CCS. This is a screen capture from a recent YouTube video:


    IMG_3171.PNG

    He speculates on the video about charge rates if his Bolt were plugged into one of the next generation chargers being installed by VW etc. Based on what I've heard, my best guess is that it will look this this alternative case:

    IMG_3171.PNG

    In other words, the peak charge current will go up to about 150A from today's 125A. Not a big jump but every little bit helps. Many people think this is pathetic versus an initial charge current of 300-370A on a Tesla at a Supercharger. I agree that it seems oddly low.

    As a practical matter, however, 125A seemed adequate to me during my last couple of long road trips in the Bolt when combined with the relatively long battery range. The charging time did not typically exceed the time I spent eating, using the restroom, or doing minor shopping etc.
     

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