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Positive EVGo experience

I was out and about the other day and knew I needed to charge. I could make it home without charging, would probably be around 10%, but I wouldn't have time to get meaningful charge before heading back out to take kids to stuff which would make it pretty tight. The nearest supercharger would add 25 minutes of driving. Just out of curiosity I opened up plugshare to see if there were any L2 chargers at any of the stores I had to hit on my way home and it was showing a Tesla Level 3 plug, and it was in a shopping center that had the type of store I needed to visit (grocery, hardware, etc). I wasn't aware that EVGo had started offering Tesla connectors so I figured it was an error, but since I could make it home if it was wrong, I tried it out.

Long story short, it worked great. I got 50kw, which I understand isn't as fast as superchargers, but was plenty fast for my needs. My battery is 70kwh so that's theoretically over an hour from empty to full, but I rarely fast charge for more than ~30 minutes so in my case it gets me a good 35-40% so that I can keep on rolling.

It was only a single plug, though, so it won't be great for wide adoption, but was a nice surprise. The initial account setup was a little buggy and I had to ultimately call someone to get the first session started but I was charging within 5 minutes of pulling up to the station. After getting the EVGo app I see that there are lots of these stations around me, pretty cool.
 
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The Tesla navigation can find them. Tap on the screen and then tap on lightning bolt icon on the right to bring up charging locations. Then make sure the "two lightning bolt" filter is enabled - same as for Urban Superchargers. The EVgo sites with the Tesla cables connected to CHAdeMO boxes should show up. If you select one for navigation, it will even turn on battery pack preconditioning as needed.
 
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smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,535
2,574
CA Bay Area
The Tesla navigation can find them. Tap on the screen and then tap on lightning bolt icon on the right to bring up charging locations. Then make sure the "two lightning bolt" filter is enabled - same as for Urban Superchargers. The EVgo sites with the Tesla cables connected to CHAdeMO boxes should show up. If you select one for navigation, it will even turn on battery pack preconditioning as needed.
Pack pre-conditioning isn't really needed with 50kw chargers.....
 
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Pack pre-conditioning isn't really needed with 50kw chargers.....

Often true. But Tesla does it anyway.

Bjorn has a video where he was charging with a low power CCS2 charger at a testing facility. IIRC it was like 15 kW. He noted that due to the battery heating overhead, it was actually slower than L2 charging.
 
Interesting- I couldn't find this one in the Tesla map but it could be that I only had three bolts selected (thinking 2 bolts meant L2/240v, clearly I was wrong). I'll give it a try next time I'm in the car, that would be a really helpful feature!

The filters seem to be as follows:

* One lightning bolt: L2 Destination charging
* Two lightning bolts: Urban Superchargers and most EVgos with the Tesla capabilities (72 kW and 50 kW respectively)
* Three lightning bolts: V2 and V3 Superchargers
 
The Tesla navigation can find them. Tap on the screen and then tap on lightning bolt icon on the right to bring up charging locations. Then make sure the "two lightning bolt" filter is enabled - same as for Urban Superchargers. The EVgo sites with the Tesla cables connected to CHAdeMO boxes should show up. If you select one for navigation, it will even turn on battery pack preconditioning as needed.
I tried this yesterday and it was not successful. Maybe because I'm in an older car, but when I selected the 2 lightning bolts, it showed me very, very slow L2 chargers and didn't even have this 50kw EVGo. The two that popped up under the 2 bolts were the one near my train station and the one at my office, both of which I've been to and can confirm are not even 6kw. When I select 3 bolts it's only Tesla superchargers.

Guess I'll keep using Plugshare until they get it fixed, must still be early in development.
 
I tried this yesterday and it was not successful. Maybe because I'm in an older car, but when I selected the 2 lightning bolts, it showed me very, very slow L2 chargers and didn't even have this 50kw EVGo. The two that popped up under the 2 bolts were the one near my train station and the one at my office, both of which I've been to and can confirm are not even 6kw. When I select 3 bolts it's only Tesla superchargers.

Guess I'll keep using Plugshare until they get it fixed, must still be early in development.

Perhaps you accidentally also had the "one lightning bolt" filter enabled? When I ONLY have the "two lightning bolt" filter enabled, all I see in the charging list are the 72 kW urban Supercharger and the 50 kW EVgo sites. (I live in Silicon Valley. So there are lots of both.)

I know of one local EVgo site w/Tesla capabilities that doesn't show up. It is an older two stall site that has stock CHAdeMO adapters tethered to steel cables - rather than being enclosed in metal boxes with the long Tesla cables.

Besides plugshare, you can also use the EVgo app and website. EVgo owns plugshare nowadays. So plugshare should be equally up to date.
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
854
964
Sunnyvale, CA
Oddly, most of EVgo's stations of this type are not that far from superchargers, giving minimal reason to visit them. I am pleased to see the station you found was not close to any supercharger. My wish is that people look an see what DC Fast stations are far from superchargers, and adapt them first with Tesla adapters and plugs. Later they can adapt the close ones and compete on price or amenities.
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,835
2,475
Durham, NC
Oddly, most of EVgo's stations of this type are not that far from superchargers, giving minimal reason to visit them. I am pleased to see the station you found was not close to any supercharger. My wish is that people look an see what DC Fast stations are far from superchargers, and adapt them first with Tesla adapters and plugs. Later they can adapt the close ones and compete on price or amenities.
Sometimes a good reason for the existence of these is the amenities they serve.

For example, one of the only stations of this type near me is located at a grocery store--a prefect site for someone that might own a Tesla and lives in an apartment without an opportunity for home charging. Even the lower charging speed of the station is better suited to a grocery store visit than a Supercharger that may be done before the shopping trip is.
 
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bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
854
964
Sunnyvale, CA
Sometimes a good reason for the existence of these is the amenities they serve.

For example, one of the only stations of this type near me is located at a grocery store--a prefect site for someone that might own a Tesla and lives in an apartment without an opportunity for home charging. Even the lower charging speed of the station is better suited to a grocery store visit than a Supercharger that may be done before the shopping trip is.
Absolutely. A charging station must have amenities or I will almost never use it, though since I don't use chargers in my home city (like most people who can charge at home/work) the main amenity I want is food. And there is a cheat, which is that the only amenity I need to eat at a supercharger is a table if I bring take-out picked up on the way, and I can bring that table in my car.

I realize there are people who have bought EVs and can't charge at home. That's still a good thing compared to buying a gas car, but it retains gasoline thinking and thus is, by comparison, "doing it wrong." We should make our infrastructure plans and charger siting based on making charging available at homes and offices so nobody fast charges in their home city except very rarely. The use of fast chargers like gas stations in your home town is necessary today, but should be treated as a temporary anomaly, a growing pain.
 
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RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,835
2,475
Durham, NC
Absolutely. A charging station must have amenities or I will almost never use it, though since I don't use chargers in my home city (like most people who can charge at home/work) the main amenity I want is food. And there is a cheat, which is that the only amenity I need to eat at a supercharger is a table if I bring take-out picked up on the way, and I can bring that table in my car.

I realize there are people who have bought EVs and can't charge at home. That's still a good thing compared to buying a gas car, but it retains gasoline thinking and thus is, by comparison, "doing it wrong." We should make our infrastructure plans and charger siting based on making charging available at homes and offices so nobody fast charges in their home city except very rarely. The use of fast chargers like gas stations in your home town is necessary today, but should be treated as a temporary anomaly, a growing pain.
I don't disagree that long term we need to enable home charging for all, but I also think there is a middle ground between "gasoline thinking" and "full home charging". Grocery store + workplace charging is one example. In my opinion, waiting for everyone to have access to home charging before encouraging transition to EV ownership for those in apartments is an example of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Plus, there is a chicken & egg thing going on as well. How are we to get people to motivate their landlords/property managers to support EVs if there aren't a good number of residents ready to take advantage of home charging at apartments?
 
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bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
854
964
Sunnyvale, CA
I don't disagree that long term we need to enable home charging for all, but I also think there is a middle ground between "gasoline thinking" and "full home charging". Grocery store + workplace charging is one example. In my opinion, waiting for everyone to have access to home charging before encouraging transition to EV ownership for those in apartments is an example of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Plus, there is a chicken & egg thing going on as well. How are we to get people to motivate their landlords/property managers to support EVs if there aren't a good number of residents ready to take advantage of home charging at apartments?
I don't think we wait, but we don't lose sight of the goal.

There are lots of ways to motivate. Do you realize what the government has spent in subsidies on DC Fast stations? Average of $100K for each one in California, I know and similar amounts elsewhere.

So you do this
  • No new construction of commuter or residential multi parking lots without enough charging for current tenants with EVs plus a forecast.
  • Subsidies for that construction (instead of for DC fast.) Or rather loans since I don't like subsidies as they pervert the market too much
  • Track number of EVs without a home charging base and make just enough DC Fast to support them
 
Oddly, most of EVgo's stations of this type are not that far from superchargers, giving minimal reason to visit them. I am pleased to see the station you found was not close to any supercharger. My wish is that people look an see what DC Fast stations are far from superchargers, and adapt them first with Tesla adapters and plugs. Later they can adapt the close ones and compete on price or amenities.
Yeah they seem to only be in higher density areas. No doubt easier to make money in those places but I what I need is more chargers in out of the way tourist areas in the western us. Rivian adventure network?
 

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