My first 650 miles with a BEV

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woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,776
SE PA
For CCS charging stations found by ABRP, I then also check PlugShare to get their uptime stats, nearby retail and food, etc.

I also recommend that anyone thinking of getting an EV download ABRP, and put their most common trips in it to see what charging is like.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,530
SE North Carolina
ABRP is what everyone uses. The free version is great. The pay version takes things like weather into account. Overkill IMO.


Download the app, running it in a phone browser sucks.

I think the Tesla has that all built in to the infotainment (never played with a Tesla). Don't know if there is an app equivalent.
Ok I though I got Abrp last night but it was plug share. Ok. Seems like this is way to solve.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,312
South Puget Sound, WA
Knowing the location of charging stations is one thing. Knowing their current status is another really important data point. There's nothing like driving 10 miles out of your way in unfamiliar territory only to find out that the charger is broken, or occupied for the next 4 hrs.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,530
SE North Carolina
Knowing the location of charging stations is one thing. Knowing their current status is another really important data point. There's nothing like driving 10 miles out of your way in unfamiliar territory only to find out that the charger is broken, or occupied for the next 4 hrs.
This is where I think Tesla has an advantage. I’m sure they get full but with 8+ chargers is per location I don’t expect to wait long. At least in Rockingham NC. I pop over to my local super charger once a month and have never seen all 10 stalls full.

Ran the route through ABRP. For 400 mile trip I’m charging a total of 58 minutes. Probably will charge to more than planer lists not sure how much driving at the destination we will do. And the wedding chose the hotel that does not have chargers.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,776
SE PA
Knowing the location of charging stations is one thing. Knowing their current status is another really important data point. There's nothing like driving 10 miles out of your way in unfamiliar territory only to find out that the charger is broken, or occupied for the next 4 hrs.

BG, this sort of thing has become MUCH less of a problem in my experience. The new stations (along say I-95) usually have 4-10 stalls (making it more likely that one or two offline stations are not a problem) and this means congestion is less of a problem (I have never had to wait, even when there were 4-5 other vehicles there already charging). Also, a lot of the new vehicles charge at 150kW or higher, and are stopping for just 20 minutes or even less.

Also, there are plenty of stations within a couple miles of the route. Oddly, the stations at the rest areas on 95 (in New Jersey) are older, slower and smaller. I usually drive 2 miles off 95 to a Walmart that has a huge bank of new chargers.

When I did this one Sunday evening, it was a 'party' of a dozen different high-end EV's and their owners hanging out and eyeing each others' hot rods like something out of American Graffiti.

Three tricks I have learned:
1. All DCFC take credit cards. But do NOT use a credit card. Many of the (unattended) readers have been hacked and your number will be stolen. Use the network app on your phone to pay.
2. Sometimes a unit is offline, and the app will tell you that, but the unit itself will not (there is no attendant to put a sign on it). I have seen people pull up to a (offline) unit plug in, get frustrated, etc. And then I tell them the app says its off line. Check the app.
3. Sometimes a unit will be working, but will only charge at 25 kW or so. Just switch units or the cable on the unit you're on if it has two. These cables (for 150 or 300 kW) are liquid cooled. If the coolant flow is blocked, the unit derates to 25 kW. This is better than 0 kW and keeps a user from getting stranded (so you can see why they do that), but not what you need.

EBS-P will be using Tesla stations, so I suspect none of this will be an issue.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,312
South Puget Sound, WA
Main freeway corridors are improving, but not everyone travels on the interstate system. That's where it gets dicier. In eastern WA, OR, NV one is more likely to take a US highway instead to travel. ABRP shows nothing for these routes that cover hundreds of miles.

Just for yuks I looked at ABRP for a trip from Seattle to Lewiston, ID in a Chevy Bolt. The first recommended place had 2 out of 3 chargers out of service. The second stop if you made it this far was listed as "unknown". Not confidence inspiring considering one could be stranded. And few options if one is. I love driving electric, but the charging network is not robust unless one owns a Tesla, and that is not going to happen for me.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,530
SE North Carolina
I wonder what Tesla opening their chargers to everyone will do? I could see some premium membership club with a monthly fee that allows you reserve the 250 kw chargers.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,776
SE PA
I wonder what Tesla opening their chargers to everyone will do? I could see some premium membership club with a monthly fee that allows you reserve the 250 kw chargers.

If I recall, they are opening to capture some govt $$ that rewards them being open. I think that they will only open a subset of the DCFC at each station, so there can still be haves and have nots.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,530
SE North Carolina
If I recall, they are opening to capture some govt $$ that rewards them being open. I think that they will only open a subset of the DCFC at each station, so there can still be haves and have nots.
Yeah but I think there is a third class that sees Tesla as a premium luxury brand and wants treated accordingly. The number of Tesla owners really upset that they don’t get a a loaner car when they go in for service is a lot.
 
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tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
1,139
Northwest Lower Michigan
I wonder if there is some app, with network of homeowners with an EV charger installed who are willing to let others use it. They could show their charger type, fee, and status. So someone could arrange something with them either in advance or in a pinch. Maybe even some good samaritins where helping someone in a bind is worth more than the charging cost. When the commercial charging network is spotty and unreliable, or in some places nonexistent.

Yeah there’s always risk but no worse than uber, or any other service.

If there’s legality with the power company, it might have to be limited to folks who generate their own power like solar or wind. Could get your system paid for faster.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,216
Long Island NY
You'd have to talk to your insurance first. And given the exclusions for e.g. Uber in car insurance policies, I expect to have the same thing with opening your charger for *paid* use.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,776
SE PA
I wonder if there is some app, with network of homeowners with an EV charger installed who are willing to let others use it. They could show their charger type, fee, and status. So someone could arrange something with them either in advance or in a pinch. Maybe even some good samaritins where helping someone in a bind is worth more than the charging cost. When the commercial charging network is spotty and unreliable, or in some places nonexistent.

Yeah there’s always risk but no worse than uber, or any other service.

If there’s legality with the power company, it might have to be limited to folks who generate their own power like solar or wind. Could get your system paid for faster.
The Plugshare app did just this at the dawn of the EV age, and still does. Its just that most folks are not interested in L2 speeds.

What is needed is for hotel/motels to install more L2 (which are cheap) as destination chargers. Few do.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,685
Northern NH
Level 2 chargers are not cheap with commercial electric account. A building electrical system has to be built to supply the worst case power demand and adding multiple 240volt 20Amp circuits that could be engaged at the same time means a serious upgrade to the incoming electric meter and gear. I think they would much rather lease a conrer fo the parking lot to some third party to let them deal with hassle and power demand charges.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,776
SE PA
Level 2 chargers are not cheap with commercial electric account. A building electrical system has to be built to supply the worst case power demand and adding multiple 240volt 20Amp circuits that could be engaged at the same time means a serious upgrade to the incoming electric meter and gear. I think they would much rather lease a conrer fo the parking lot to some third party to let them deal with hassle and power demand charges.

There are a number of outfits/arrangements that do just that, including Tesla.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,530
SE North Carolina
Traveling out of town I would only ever want level 2 over night.

You could always charge 15$ For a palm reading. Charging could be a friendly gesture;)