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Kansas City CHAdeMO experience

Discussion in 'Midwest/Great Lakes' started by efusco, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Location:
    Nixa, Missouri, United States
    Back in January KCPL announced that they would be installing 1000 EV chargers in and around the Kansas City area. Over the past few weeks I was very pleased to notice that multiple CHAdeMO chargers as well as a number of J1772 chargers began showing up on PlugShare.com. My wife and I drove up yesterday for the Maroon 5 show (don't judge) so I was really excited to have a chance to charge at my first ever Tesla Supercharger in Independence, but was even more pleased to find that had I chosen not to, there was a new CHAdeMO station at the Town Pavilion Parking Garage, just 2 blocks from my hotel and 1 block from the Sprint Center!

    Finding it was easy with PlugShare. As advised by a comment from someone who'd used it, I entered from Walnut street and the charger was obvious as I paid my $20 "Event Fee" since the concert was going on. The sign said that the usual "Over Night" fee was $15 (would have been $22 at my hotel to valet anyway) and I confirmed with the attendant who called the manager and confirmed that if I paid the $20 "Event Fee" that that would qualify for the "Over Night" fee as well. Good enough...

    I pulled into the stall which was still marked on the ground and with the signage as "Handicapped". I confirmed that they did not know when the people would come paint it and change signage. Again, I verbally confirmed that I wouldn't get towed or have a boot put on for parking there while I charged.

    I was pleased to get 49kW when I plugged in with my brand new adapter, but I only needed about 20 miles of range or so to get to a 90% charge level since I'd topped up to about 210 miles at the Independence Supercharger, so that happened very quickly. In hind sight I found out that KCPL had very recently installed some J1772 chargers in parking garages closer to my hotel that I would have rather used, esp. since I ended up having little choice but to leave the car on the charger all night. All of these appear to be ChargePoint chargers, btw.

    Anyway, the next morning I walked the 2 blocks to restart the charger and top up to a max charge while having breakfast with my wife. Upon trying to leave the garage I handed over the "Event Parking" slip to the same guy that was in the booth the night before only to be informed that to qualify for "overnight" that I had to be out of the garage by 6am...yes, even on a Sunday Morning in an otherwise completely empty garage (literally maybe 2-3 other cars in the entire structure). Since it was 9:15 am I had to pay an additional $15 "daily max" rate on top of the event fee!

    So, I took around a total of 35 miles of charge from the CHAdeMO, I did need overnight parking as well, but the entire experience cost me $35!

    I'm not sure how KCPL decided where to place the chargers. I certainly hope they remain free if they're going to be in a garage that is this expensive. I would have hoped they would have placed them in more reasonably priced locales. There are about 10 other new CHAdeMO chargers around the city. At least one is in a spot that is just as well located as the one in the garage I used above, but it doesn't have any markings at all, so it is routinely ICE'd, I suspect those ICEing it have no idea they're even doing so. Seems that KCPL needs to expedite the painting and signage process to accompany the installs, or at least make a nice green "EVs Only" cone to block the spot from those who might otherwise pull in but don't need to charge.

    Ok, long story, and I'm thrilled to see the rapidly expanding charging infrastructure in a metropolitan area that is important to me. But there are and will be growing pains.
     
  2. wcfinvader

    wcfinvader Member

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    Soo is it worth getting the adapter? We drive through there about once a month to Jefferson City, MO. We have debated on getting an adapter just as a safety net but haven't yet because I thought it was more expensive but just looked again and $450 isn't too bad depending on what they charge for the quick charge.
     
  3. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Nixa, Missouri, United States
    I can't say, really. If you stay in KC, then it's probably worth it to save the trip out to Independence and back to the city, but the Independence Supercharger is on your way and super easy and accessible. I would just look at other areas you tend to travel to and see what sort of supercharger access they have and if CHAdeMO might be more beneficial. If the Nissan dealers in Columbia and/or Jefferson City get CHAdeMO you'd probably get good use from an adapter since it'll likely be quite a while before they get a supercharger.

    I'm glad to have it, though I suspect I'll rarely use it in reality.
     
  4. wcfinvader

    wcfinvader Member

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    Location:
    Aurora, NE
    We are just concerned with the range in winter time. We might get it still deciding. It would be nice to be able to do 70-75 the entire way with climate control and not have to worry about range. St. Joseph has one so maybe...we're soo indecisive.
     
  5. basf_audio

    basf_audio Member

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    Town and Country, MO
    I'd be all over getting one if a station opened up in Columbia. :) Who knows when or if we'll ever find SuperChargers in the middle of Missouri... Once St Charles is open in hopefully a few weeks it's going to be a huge glaring black hole of connecting I70.

    I'm liking your write-up here for Kansas City. I've used several of the J1772 for overnight charges and they've worked out for me as long as I could get a full charge before heading back to Saint Louis. Still too much planning - but that was before the SC opened up in Independence.
     
  6. Fluke

    Fluke Member

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    Stilwell, KS
    OT:
    I was surprised yesterday to see that they are installing 12 new Chargepoint pedestals that should accommodate charging 24 cars (Only L2, not CHAdeMO) in two locations of the parking lot at my workplace as part of the KCPL program. This is on top of the 8 spots that were already installed. I am hopeful that the airport will get chargers installed as part of the program.
     
  7. wcfinvader

    wcfinvader Member

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    We went ahead and bought the adapter and got to try it out for the first time last night and it was a horrible failure at the first station in St. Joseph. Got the vehicle problem dtc 20001 error. We only charged to 80% before leaving Council Bluffs and needless to say we were counting on it working. We traveled to the northern most hyvee in Kansas City and tried the charger there and guess what? Another failure this time charger failure! Getting frustrated I restart the charge and finally SUCCESS! Charged just for 10 mins at a rate of 43kwh before leaving for the Supercharger. Is this normal? We had it all plugged in before starting the charge each time.
     
  8. glenhurst

    glenhurst Member

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    Minneapolis, MN
    I haven't tried any of the chademo chargers in KC (yet), but here in Minnesota I've run into one or two where the charge wouldn't initially start, had to unplug and then replug to get it to respond, and other twiddling. But it's always worked out, and then I've typically gotten 150mph of charging. From what I have read, that's fussiness is part of the reason it took Tesla so long to release the chademo adaptor because while there are specs, much of the time it seems to be "Tell the charger the attached car is a Leaf" which can be a challenge. So, yes, they can be a bit fussy sometimes, but I think most are reliable enough. It does point out the value in checking in on Plugshare every time you charge so there is a detailed record of when each charger last was successfully used, if there were problems, etc.
     
  9. KCMOP85D

    KCMOP85D Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    As a LEAF owner in the KC area (MS on order and slated for delivery end of June), I can say the new ChaDeMo stations are working for the most part, but there are still growing pains. Some of them have parking spots that are not painted, some worked for a while but then apparently have infant mortality (Libery MO is currently down), some have yet to work (St. Joseph MO). The one at the Country Club Plaza has worked every time for me, even if the spot is odd and has a high ICEing probability (not painted). The one near Zona Rosa (at HyVee just south of the MCI airport) is working and KCP&L is now installing L2 chargers so us locals can leave the high-power charging to those passing through.

    Cheers,

    Karl
     

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