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EV vs ICE Fueling Speed Argument

One of the biggest negatives raised about owning an electric vehicle, is how long it takes to fuel vs an ICE. The next time someone raises that point, here’s something that you can throw back at them…

Local Driving Scenario:

People say that it only takes them maybe five minutes to refuel their ICE vehicle, but that number is actually incorrect. What they need to consider is that they need to start their stopwatch the second that they deviate from their drive towards their home or work and then how long it takes to then resume that path to their destination after fueling.

Once they count in how long it takes them to reach the gas station through stoplights, stop signs, traffic, and perhaps waiting in line at the pump/counter, and then getting back onto their original path, it’s going to be a heck of a lot longer than that stated five minutes. I would suspect it’s probably two or three times that at a minimum.

With an EV, you never deviate from your path to reach home or work, etc. in order to refuel. When you get home in an EV, it takes at most six seconds to grab the plug and place it in the charge port of your car. So after 10 days, you’ve spent at most one minute refueling your EV.

Long Distance Driving Scenario:

In this scenario, an ice vehicle certainly does have the advantage as far as fueling time in general. However, the majority of long-distance drivers are going to stop to take a break after typically between 2 to 4 hours of non-stop driving. And during that break, they’re probably going to use the restroom and possibly get something to eat and or drink. The duration of that can vary greatly of course, and regardless, they can typically get back on the road earlier then someone who owns an EV.

However, it’s not that uncommon for the EV owner to equal or even beat an ICE when the EV charges only enough to reach the next charging stop or their destination. Consider that when you plug in, you can walk away to do whatever is wanted while the car charges, whereas with an ICE you will typically stay by your car while refueling and only afterwards complete your errands.

Another point, the EV fuel cost will be less than 1/2 the cost for the equivalent miles in gas/diesel, and in some cases supercharging can be free. So a longer time spent refueling can be well worth the wait.

Additionally, with the latest vehicle upgrades such as the Model S with its 370 miles of range, refueling time almost becomes a non-issue.


So hope you will remember and raise these points next time you have a discussion in this area.
 
I did a quick calculation factoring my time driving to and pumping fuel to my truck driving about 8-10k a year.. 15-20 hours a year. I was like, wow that sucks, It only takes 5 seconds to plug my MS as I'm walking in the house.
Then I remembered ha, I don't even do that. I ask my 8 year old 9/10 times to plug the car in while we walk in to the house.. Winning!
 
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But do you offset the time spent waiting at a supercharger? One 40 minute charges the averages quite a bit.
I might be the minority but per year, I would guess I am "inconvenienced" 1 or two hours a year from my supercharging trips, the car is usually done by the time we need it, but to be fair I Supercharge 10 times a year max (waste of free supercharging?)
 
Most of that is time I would have spent stopped anyway...

I have one place I drive regularly on business(1-4 times a month) that is far enough away that I would have to at least top off.

I my ICE vehicle, I usually stop at a gas station that is right on my route. I usually stop, gas, and get some caffeine for the drive home. Depending on traffic, it takes me 2.5-3 hours to get home.

Now if I had an EV, I would have to drive about 10 minutes out of my way, and then charge for some period of time, drive back to the freeway, and drive home. So the drive home would now be about an hour longer.

So overall, I would lose 10-40 hours a year just on fueling following this one trip to this one destination.

So overall, I do not look at fueling as something that favors the EV.
 

doghousePVD

My grandfather’s car
Dec 3, 2018
691
637
New England, USA
I have one place I drive regularly on business(1-4 times a month) that is far enough away that I would have to at least top off.

I my ICE vehicle, I usually stop at a gas station that is right on my route. I usually stop, gas, and get some caffeine for the drive home. Depending on traffic, it takes me 2.5-3 hours to get home.

Now if I had an EV, I would have to drive about 10 minutes out of my way, and then charge for some period of time, drive back to the freeway, and drive home. So the drive home would now be about an hour longer.

So overall, I would lose 10-40 hours a year just on fueling following this one trip to this one destination.

So overall, I do not look at fueling as something that favors the EV.

The're lots of driving uses. Almost everybody has a use case that EVs are sub-optimal to nearly impossible. EVs are not the perfect vehicle for every scenario.

You need to balance off the 10-40 hours against saving time with home charging, or maybe you keep an ICE vehicle for some uses. We still have a Prius for those cases, but now it hardly gets any mileage since we both use the Tesla whenever we can.

Some trolls (not accusing you) will rant how today's EV don't work for their specific use, and therefore never will work for anybody anywhere. Silly.

You mention needing a top-off, yet that is rarely a 40 minute stop. You might want to look at abetterrouteplanner.com to see if you can optimize your route and charging stops. It is a lot more flexible and creative than the Tesla app. Remember you only need to charge enough to get home or to the next SC, not fill the battery.

Depending on the relationship and situation to the business you are visiting, you may be able to get some charge from them. If you have a long visit, even a 120 V charge may give you enough charge to comfortably make it to a different SC than the closest. Since you do this trip repeatedly, it would be worth exploring various creative options.

The majority of my Supercharger stops are just about exactly the time it takes me discharge coffee and refill. Sometimes the car is faster. While fueling an ICE car may be quicker, I have stay with it, pay, then move the car to use the bathroom and wait in line for coffee.
 
The're lots of driving uses. Almost everybody has a use case that EVs are sub-optimal to nearly impossible. EVs are not the perfect vehicle for every scenario.

You need to balance off the 10-40 hours against saving time with home charging, or maybe you keep an ICE vehicle for some uses. We still have a Prius for those cases, but now it hardly gets any mileage since we both use the Tesla whenever we can.

Some trolls (not accusing you) will rant how today's EV don't work for their specific use, and therefore never will work for anybody anywhere. Silly.

You mention needing a top-off, yet that is rarely a 40 minute stop. You might want to look at abetterrouteplanner.com to see if you can optimize your route and charging stops. It is a lot more flexible and creative than the Tesla app. Remember you only need to charge enough to get home or to the next SC, not fill the battery.

Depending on the relationship and situation to the business you are visiting, you may be able to get some charge from them. If you have a long visit, even a 120 V charge may give you enough charge to comfortably make it to a different SC than the closest. Since you do this trip repeatedly, it would be worth exploring various creative options.

The majority of my Supercharger stops are just about exactly the time it takes me discharge coffee and refill. Sometimes the car is faster. While fueling an ICE car may be quicker, I have stay with it, pay, then move the car to use the bathroom and wait in line for coffee.

Thanks for your polite response.

For the record, all other things being equal, I would be driving a Tesla right now. I just had some concerns about the local service center (which is presently overwhelmed.) I renewed a 3 year lease on an ICE vehicle, simply because I think in three years the EV market will be a lot different, and I hope that Tesla will add more service centers.

My overall point is that when it comes to fueling ICE and EV vehicles, it is often a "6 of one, half dozen of the other argument." Both have benefits and drawbacks.

One point you raise: can I charge where I stop? Theoretically, yes. But there are only three charging stations in a large garage, and they always seem to be taken.

I think in 3 years, batteries will have a little more mileage, so a lot of my concerns will be alleviated. I also hope there will be more charging stations at my regular stop. Nonetheless, regardless of the drawbacks of fueling an EV, I expect I will be driving one in about 35 months.
 

doghousePVD

My grandfather’s car
Dec 3, 2018
691
637
New England, USA
I wrote SC to mean Superchargers. I hear that congestion can be an issue in California, but not where I live (East Coast). I have never had to wait for a SC slot, with many dozens of SC stops driving from Florida to Maine to western Ontario

If you meant SC for Service Centers, yes, there are a lot of complaints on these boards. However, most Teslas have very little need to go to Service Centers. The vast majority of the complaints here are mostly about initial delivery items, which is in need of improvement. I think the vast majority of drivers (not posters) do not have a serious problem with service centers once they get the car and register it.

I have had two minor services done remotely which worked out well. One was while the car was parked at an airport in Maine (nearest service center is in Massachusetts) and I didn't even have to be there. The other was in RI (another SC in Mass). I never had an ICE dealer offer to come to my house to do a repair, ever. Same price as if I had driven to the SC. BTW, both these visits were due to my car having an "argument" with an icy snow drift and some plastic trim needed replacing. Nothing that prevented driving.
 
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These over the top comparisons declaring th vast superiority of EVs in all circumstances DO NOT convince anyone, all they do is paint you as unreasonable to the people you are speaking to.

I tell folks day to day it is a couple second plug and unplug and that on a 3-400mile drive with 1 meal I don't lose much time since a wife and two young girls means even a gas stop would be 20minutes.

Point out that the more relaxed pace might be seen as a benefit.

I do tell folks I find my monthly gas station trip for yard equipment fuel to be a hassle.

Honesty will get you further than telling someone what they are used to is terrible.

I made a trip to Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula, would have been a lot less planning and hassle with an ICE, but was entirely doable with my P85 and some planning. I share that story too.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,151
10,405
Boise, ID
These over the top comparisons declaring th vast superiority of EVs in all circumstances DO NOT convince anyone, all they do is paint you as unreasonable to the people you are speaking to.
[...]
I made a trip to Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula, would have been a lot less planning and hassle with an ICE, but was entirely doable with my P85 and some planning. I share that story too.
Yes. I still have to tread carefully on this where I live. The Bermuda Triangle of Charging still exists here at the Idaho/Oregon/Nevada border. So there are two very common routes from Boise that are quite a hassle, and I have to be real about that. And I'm even going to be taking our gas car on a trip on one of those routes next month because my wife is not very patient with long slow 40 amp charging stops. But other routes are perfectly fine with Superchargers, like my trip last week.
 
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