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Just nitpicking here, but a couple of things. First, I don't think the chemistry was format dependent. GM and other automakers could have gone with similar NCA chemistry as Tesla; however, that chemistry is more flammable and volatile, something they wanted to avoid for automotive use. Second, the Ultium cells would reduce the number of cells required for the Bolt EV, but only by 1/3. The cells in the 2020 Chevy Bolt EV are over 60 Ah, so you'd need two Ultium 100 Ah cells to replace three Bolt EV pouch cells (essentially 96s2p).

Also (and this is why I'm so critical of cylindrical cells for automotive use), despite each cylindrical cell being individually packaged and self-contained, the battery pack still has to serve as a structural component for the car. So the cylindrical cell casing is basically wasted mass at that point.
Back in the day, lower volatility was given as one reason the metal cylinder could be dispensed with. This is somewhat of a red herring since there was no standard way of comparing volatility. Certainly using a flexible plastic pouch was less explosive then a sealed metal can. Either type will burn so it may be a somewhat moot point. Either way, I believe the goal was to reduce the mass, improve the packing density and keep the safety more or less the same. The end result was hopefully lower cost, easy scalability and better overall energy density at the pack level.

My bad on the math. My main point was that fewer connections are better with this line of reasoning. I actually look at Ultium as a tweak to the design that the Bolt EV already uses.

As for structure, there really are major differences. GM's approach on the Bolt EV is to largely isolate the cells as a structural element. The Bolt EV uses a very robust bottom "cover" that is built like a battleship. I believe that I saw that it weighs some 190lbs. This structure bolts to the car structure to form a very robust steel box to mount the cells in. This struck me as overkill but why not. This may or may not add as much mass as is saved by not having cylindrical cells.

Tesla definitely does use the cells as a structural element. The cells are built up as more of a matrix of cells and "glue" to form a very solid brick. These bricks are enclosed in a rather light weight housing. The reduced housing mass helps offset the mass of the cylindrical cells. It sort of looks like the overall energy density works out to be similar to pouch cells when mounted in a strong box. Obviously the differences in the details of the construction are what can help make or break the direction chosen. Is the Bolt EV overkill? Is the Tesla solution actually adequate? We have no objective tests to compare the two approaches.

As a retired power system designer, My response to the Tesla design was that it was complete rubbish that would set back the cause of the EV decades. The Tesla solution was completely counter to the direction of the entire battery industry over decades of R&D.

I continue to be amazed that this rube Goldberg contraption actually seems to work. I continue to be convinced that Tesla will need to switch to pouch cells at some point but who knows. I'm also in the "never Apple" camp. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #82
Tesla definitely does use the cells as a structural element. The cells are built up as more of a matrix of cells and "glue" to form a very solid brick. These bricks are enclosed in a rather light weight housing. The reduced housing mass helps offset the mass of the cylindrical cells. It sort of looks like the overall energy density works out to be similar to pouch cells when mounted in a strong box. Obviously the differences in the details of the construction are what can help make or break the direction chosen. Is the Bolt EV overkill? Is the Tesla solution actually adequate? We have no objective tests to compare the two approaches.
I believe that Sandy Munro during an Autoline interview (possibly before his current, unabashedly pro-Tesla position) called out the fact that Tesla had overbuilt the chassis on the Model 3 because they seemingly didn't account for the structural rigidity provided by the battery pack itself. So to your point, the added weight and redundancy might not be apparent in the pack itself.

Also, as you said, Tesla's approach (and the sycophants that support it) are actually causing a lot of harm to the EV auto industry. Dyson literally quit on their EV plans because they found that replicating Tesla's approach to batteries was simply too expensive and would lead to unprofitable cars. If Dyson were smart, they wouldn't cancel their EV plans but rather reach out to GM to see if they could also license Ultium batteries in the same way that Honda is doing.

Rivian, however, is also mimicking Tesla's cylindrical cell approach. They might have more funding than Dyson, but because Rivian has no fallback, they (unlike Dyson) are pot committed. Now, Rivian's approach is slightly different than Tesla's in that they are using chiller plates to cool the entire pack rather than rows of cylinders. This allows them to pack more energy into pack, but they are still going to have an overweight, overpriced pack by industry standards because they're stuck on this cylindrical cell mentality. But hey, with Jeff Bezos picking up the tab, who cares, right?

It's why, as someone who has owned, worked with and on, and lives in an area with a large number of actual work trucks, I'm not holding out hope for anything that comes out of Rivian or Tesla. I think our best bet for basic, affordable, capable work trucks is still Ford and GM. If you live in the suburbs and your idea of "off roading" is driving up to Mammoth Lakes Resorts, the Cybertruck and R1T will do fine. But a 300+ mile, full size, light duty EV work truck for under $40,000? You're going to need to wait for Ford and GM.
 

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I believe that Sandy Munro during an Autoline interview (possibly before his current, unabashedly pro-Tesla position) called out the fact that Tesla had overbuilt the chassis on the Model 3 because they seemingly didn't account for the structural rigidity provided by the battery pack itself. So to your point, the added weight and redundancy might not be apparent in the pack itself.
Well Sandy is another story entirely. I really don't know why he threw GM under the bus on his Bolt EV review. He has been very anti GM and pro Tesla for quite some time. Personally I take anything he says about the electronics with a grain of salt. I think even he seems to have a problem with what he says from time to time. For example, it seemed like he almost choked when he said he did not care about serviceability. What! This is the new normal I guess. Cars are like cell phones. Just throw the old one away every 3 years.

Of course I'm just the opposite. My Bolt EV replaced my 1991 Plymouth Laser as my daily driver.

As for Rivian, I find it interesting that Ford drop out of the partnership. It made me wonder if they had a falling out on batteries. Not following Tesla might be hard for a startup. I mean how could an incumbent automaker know what they are doing?

Given Fords history, I would not be surprised if they were working with GM. They did a collaboration on the 10 speed automatic that is used on trucks, Camaro and Mustang.

Of course in this day and age there is no best solution. It's all about what someone will buy. I also would not doubt that you can make a lot more money on YouTube promoting Tesla than GM. Then again, I guess Tesla is a pretty crowded field now.

What I really find disheartening is that there is almost no objective analysis available on the WEB. Anyone that actually knows anything is keeping a low profile. What's left is an echo chamber filled with the same half true stuff. Humm, that sounds like a lot of stuff today!

Eric, just refrain from any more Mr P.... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #84
Well Sandy is another story entirely. I really don't know why he threw GM under the bus on his Bolt EV review. He has been very anti GM and pro Tesla for quite some time. Personally I take anything he says about the electronics with a grain of salt. I think even he seems to have a problem with what he says from time to time. For example, it seemed like he almost choked when he said he did not care about serviceability. What! This is the new normal I guess. Cars are like cell phones. Just throw the old one away every 3 years.

Of course I'm just the opposite. My Bolt EV replaced my 1991 Plymouth Laser as my daily driver.

As for Rivian, I find it interesting that Ford drop out of the partnership. It made me wonder if they had a falling out on batteries. Not following Tesla might be hard for a startup. I mean how could an incumbent automaker know what they are doing?

Given Fords history, I would not be surprised if they were working with GM. They did a collaboration on the 10 speed automatic that is used on trucks, Camaro and Mustang.

Of course in this day and age there is no best solution. It's all about what someone will buy. I also would not doubt that you can make a lot more money on YouTube promoting Tesla than GM. Then again, I guess Tesla is a pretty crowded field now.

What I really find disheartening is that there is almost no objective analysis available on the WEB. Anyone that actually knows anything is keeping a low profile. What's left is an echo chamber filled with the same half true stuff. Humm, that sounds like a lot of stuff today!
Yes, Ford is a bit of an odd duck. I feel like I discounted them in the EV space a little too prematurely (this coming from someone whose family has primarily owned Ford vehicles). I think that Ford's pulling out of a partnership with Rivian probably played out similar to Toyota's partnership with Tesla. After seeing the results of their partnership, they seemed to say, "What? This? We could have done this ourselves!" Especially in the case of Ford, it would look really bad if they needed help building a truck, EV or otherwise.

Ford has a lot more competence and experience in the EV space than a lot of people realize. Yes, they've outsourced a lot in the past, but they have a lot of internal talent as well. Frankly, I think their move to name the Mach-E a "Mustang" was brilliant. Yes, you're going to tick off some traditional Mustang fans, but from an internal perspective, Ford employees, managers, and leaders are saying, "Mustang? Oh, crap. We have to make this thing good!"


Eric, just refrain from any more Mr P.... :)
I'll do my best, but no promises. :)
 

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I really need to apologize to Professor John Kelly as far as my remarks about EV content on YouTube. He has really done an outstanding job of tearing down various EV's and his videos seem quite accurate. He did a very professional job with the Bolt EV. I was amazed that he was able to obtain various special tools from Chevrolet to support his teardown. This stuff is supposed to be available to everyone but it was pleasant to see none the less.

Professor John Kelly

I really hope he publishes more.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
I really need to apologize to Professor John Kelly as far as my remarks about EV content on YouTube. He has really done an outstanding job of tearing down various EV's and his videos seem quite accurate. He did a very professional job with the Bolt EV. I was amazed that he was able to obtain various special tools from Chevrolet to support his teardown. This stuff is supposed to be available to everyone but it was pleasant to see none the less.

Professor John Kelly

I really hope he publishes more.
Yes, he's been a great resource. Unfortunately, with the way things are right now, he might not be back at the school for a while. It's unfortunate, too, because his content is great for distance learning.
 

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That's not the sentiment I see on a number of Tesla owner groups. There's still a lot of room for improvement to the Supercharger Network beyond just opening it to non-Tesla owners. For obvious reasons, I don't do site reviews for Tesla Supercharger sites, but if I did, most of the sites wouldn't score particularly well compared to the best public charging sites.

Also, one of the biggest improvements might be the exact opposite of what you're suggesting. Michael might have been brought onboard to help Tesla owners leverage the public charging infrastructure, which is more diverse (and in many areas faster) than the existing Supercharger Network. This could include integrating those charging sites into Tesla's built-in navigation as well as providing a CCS adapter and integrated billing service similar to what Ford and Mercedes are providing to their customers.
Is there a good objective site that ranks supercharger sites or even compares them to CCS sites? I'm wondering if I have just been assuming that they are much better (in terms of reliability) than the CCS networks. I'd love to understand reliability as well as how crowded they are...or maybe even amenities. I used to think EA was stupid for locating at Walmarts until I did a cross country drive overnight at 4F and was glad to have a place where I could go inside and get on line.
 

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Is there a good objective site that ranks supercharger sites or even compares them to CCS sites? I'm wondering if I have just been assuming that they are much better (in terms of reliability) than the CCS networks. I'd love to understand reliability as well as how crowded they are...or maybe even amenities. I used to think EA was stupid for locating at Walmarts until I did a cross country drive overnight at 4F and was glad to have a place where I could go inside and get on line.
Unfortunately, not that I know of. Kacey Green does some cool videos where he checks out charging sites, but unfortunately, it seems like a majority of Tesla owners don't really even know what to look for when assessing a public charging site (outside of maybe the venue itself). I will say that some Supercharger sites are notoriously bad, though generally, Tesla fixes them quickly. Other chargers can be a gamble during peak charging times. For the most part, Kyle from Out of Spec motoring does a fair assessment (though not completely perfect) of the infrastructure he uses, whether it be the public charging infrastructure with the Hyundai Kona Electric or the Supercharger Networks with his Model 3.

One of the biggest questions that would need to be answered when comparing public charging sites to Supercharger sites is what metrics should be used, and how those metrics should be assessed (i.e., how would the average EV owner value them). Frankly, some metrics are too difficult to assess. When I do my site reviews, I purposely avoid issues of price and reliability because those can shift so quickly. I've seen Electrify America sites go from horrible to near perfect with a single visit from a tech. I've also seen sites go from near perfect to completely unreliable for seemingly no reason whatsoever.

Also, some metrics matter more to some than to others. For my site reviews, I focus on Accessibility, Amenities, Concentration, Location, and Speed. My reviews are slanted toward charging sites that support long distance travel, which is mostly reflected in the Location and Speed scores. For Accessibility, one of the factors I consider highly is full-pull-through parking. That's not a huge issue for some EV owners who will never tow or drive long-form EV (e.g., RV), so the fact that so few sites (public or Supercharger) facilitate that might not matter to most people.

Another area where my opinion might be a bit controversial is on Site Concentration. A sentiment that I hear echoed by Tesla owners a lot is that public charging sites have too few chargers per site. In general, I would agree. For me, a perfect score at this point is 12 chargers per site. Many Supercharger sites have more than that, but I wouldn't score them higher because, in my opinion, having too many chargers per site is counterproductive. If you look at Tesla's worst backlogs on holiday travel days, it's not at their chargers with 12 to 20 stalls. It's at their charger with 40 stalls. Why? They've created a siren along their route that draws a lion's share of their owners. Surely, the site with the most chargers will be most likely to have an open charger, right? What if hundreds of other people on the road with you at the same time think the same way? That's why I would much rather have five 4-charger sites covering a 200-mile gap than a single 20-charger site in the middle of that gap.

Also, Speed as a category is a bit of a trap because not all charging speeds are equal. I rank Electrify America and EVgo's 350 kW charging sites as a 10/10 because, in a literal sense, no other current charger is faster. Right now, outside of the Porsche Taycan, there's no appreciable difference between 150 kW and 350 kW charging sites, but I still rank the 350 kW sites faster. Tesla adds an interesting complication to the mix because, in North America, it doesn't matter how fast the public charger in question is, it will only be 50 kW for a Tesla owner. And that pales in comparison to even the slowest "Urban" Superchargers, which are 72 kW. Ironically, those same 72 kW "Urban" Superchargers would actually charge a Hyundai Kona Electric or KIA Niro EV at ~77 kW if they were open to the public. Also, while Tesla's most common V2 Superchargers max out at 150 kW, were Tesla to make an unrestricted CCS adapter, those 350 kW public charging sites I score at a 10/10 would charge a Tesla model at ~180 kW. That's still slower than Tesla's 250 kW V3 Superchargers, but those V3 Superchargers are slower than the 270 kW that the Porsche Taycan charges at on 350 kW chargers. So really, the only fair way to assess speed is by the placard rating.
 

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Is there a good objective site that ranks supercharger sites or even compares them to CCS sites? I'm wondering if I have just been assuming that they are much better (in terms of reliability) than the CCS networks. I'd love to understand reliability as well as how crowded they are...or maybe even amenities. I used to think EA was stupid for locating at Walmarts until I did a cross country drive overnight at 4F and was glad to have a place where I could go inside and get on line.
That's a great question and it would be great if there were but there's enough differences between the two that's it's hard to get a truly objective comparison. The closest you can get is to talk with someone with extensive experience with both. I've reached out to a former member here who would be a perfect source for such an analysis. He drives a Bolt and loves it so it would be unbiased in regards to the car. He also drives a Tesla so I find his opinions honest and unbiased. He is not averse to bashing both. I PM'd him so he may chime in. He recently posted in another forum a trip and how it went which I hesitate to post until I get his permission but I'll put it here to lessen the stepping on toes.

I did battle with EA today - OMG - they are sooooo bad

visited 5 stations - 150 kW - too different site (blossom hill San Jose near meridian & blossom hill San Jose near Oakridge mall)

Blossom Hill, San Jose - 3 stations not a single one would work - all timed out trying to talk to the car to initiate the session - 1 hour wasted

drove 2 miles to Oakridge mall

2 stations - first station worked for 10 minutes, then mysteriously stopped - and could not restart claiming a communication problem
2nd station worked for 10 minutes - same problem - could never get them restarted - 1 hour wasted - some partial success charging…

Visited a near by EVGo station (50 kW) plugged in and it worked for over 30 minutes NO ISSUES - ran in a small problem attempting to unplug - but eventually the CCS connector came free…

40 minutes on the phone with EA - multiple station reboots, no idea what they are doing or how to run a charging network - compared to Tesla this is simply awful and 100% unreliable - which means nearly useless

also the ergonomics of CCS plug are horrendous - hard to plug in - hard to unplug - heavy and just simply a terrible design with virtually no thought given to how people actually use it...

attempting to insert a CCS plug, launch the EA app, and find the charger number, and get the app to actually start the session before the station things you're never starting a session in 98F heat in the sun where the screen is hard to read…OMG I've rarely done something so difficult...

vs. Tesla Super charger - pull up - plug in - charging session starts and the plug can actually be handled by a human…

I love the Taycan as a car, but the charging network gets a D- grade…it is simply awful and barely functional - you'd almost think these gas car manufactures were not serious about EV's and really don't care to make this EV stuff actually work…

I had to use the fast chargers because after picking up the car from the dealership - I couldn't bear to wait to charge anymore at the dealers "fast charger" - 17.5 kW - LOL…and it kept shutting down after 20 minutes and you had to unplug and replug in to get the next 20 minutes…car was delivered with 8% battery - so I spent 90 minutes at the dealer get to get to 25% to get to another "fast charger" - I put fast charger in quotes because silly me I thought they would work - I mean how bad can the problems really be?

the fast charging situation for the Taycan SUCKS is 3rd rate, and it doesn't matter how fast the charge rate is if you have to spend 40 minutes on the phone and keep moving the car among charging stalls to find that might work…

oh and my car was delivered with a scratched glass pano-roof - dealer has ordered a new one - I'm confident they will fix it - but yeah 180k EV that can't be charged at it's premier charging network cause the network is quite frankly non-existent from any functional point of view that you can rely on…

1. EA network - 5 stalls - 2 sites - barely functional
2. car delivered with buggy software
parking assist keep complaining it's needs service then disappears
I had the charge port release problem at an EV go station - I've owned the car less than 6 hours and had to use the manual release to release the CCS plug
charging screen rebooted multiple times during a charging session - it would lose % battery setting and expected time to finish (-- displayed) and then go blank and come back up
3 the home charging profiles/timers UI is the most complex piece of charging software sh*t I've ever seen
4. the Porsche mobile connector keeps trying to download a software update and failing and I can't get it to stop
5 the Porsche mobile connector is NOT mobile - it's heavy big and 4x the cost of competitive chargers with more functionality.

The Taycan is a great car, but wow oh wow they've got a long ways to go to make it a decent EV…

I have a pretty good take on about 20 superchargers in the northeast that I've used but for me to say the ease of use or payment is so much better than the public fast charging would be disingenuous as my only experience with public chargers has been free level 2's. And of those, I can't count on them as I've had as many failures as successes. The problems stem from ownership. When I call the number on the box to report one inoperative, they typically refer me to the property owners. When I report it to the property owners, they say they aren't qualified to fix them and will need to work with the suppliers. It's just a bunch of finger pointing but hey, it's free and I've learned to just look at it as a bonus if it works.

The TMC forum has a thread of about 2500 topics focusing on Superchargers and charging infrastructure. There may be members there that use both and could provide some insight. I know they aren't shy about complaining as that site is generally the source of ammo for non-Tesla flame throwers. There's a few that have bought e-trons and i-paces so they know the drill.
 

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Discussion Starter #91
That's a great question and it would be great if there were but there's enough differences between the two that's it's hard to get a truly objective comparison. The closest you can get is to talk with someone with extensive experience with both. I've reached out to a former member here who would be a perfect source for such an analysis. He drives a Bolt and loves it so it would be unbiased in regards to the car. He also drives a Tesla so I find his opinions honest and unbiased. He is not averse to bashing both. I PM'd him so he may chime in. He recently posted in another forum a trip and how it went which I hesitate to post until I get his permission but I'll put it here to lessen the stepping on toes.

I did battle with EA today - OMG - they are sooooo bad

visited 5 stations - 150 kW - too different site (blossom hill San Jose near meridian & blossom hill San Jose near Oakridge mall)

Blossom Hill, San Jose - 3 stations not a single one would work - all timed out trying to talk to the car to initiate the session - 1 hour wasted

drove 2 miles to Oakridge mall

2 stations - first station worked for 10 minutes, then mysteriously stopped - and could not restart claiming a communication problem
2nd station worked for 10 minutes - same problem - could never get them restarted - 1 hour wasted - some partial success charging…

Visited a near by EVGo station (50 kW) plugged in and it worked for over 30 minutes NO ISSUES - ran in a small problem attempting to unplug - but eventually the CCS connector came free…

40 minutes on the phone with EA - multiple station reboots, no idea what they are doing or how to run a charging network - compared to Tesla this is simply awful and 100% unreliable - which means nearly useless

also the ergonomics of CCS plug are horrendous - hard to plug in - hard to unplug - heavy and just simply a terrible design with virtually no thought given to how people actually use it...

attempting to insert a CCS plug, launch the EA app, and find the charger number, and get the app to actually start the session before the station things you're never starting a session in 98F heat in the sun where the screen is hard to read…OMG I've rarely done something so difficult...

vs. Tesla Super charger - pull up - plug in - charging session starts and the plug can actually be handled by a human…

I love the Taycan as a car, but the charging network gets a D- grade…it is simply awful and barely functional - you'd almost think these gas car manufactures were not serious about EV's and really don't care to make this EV stuff actually work…

I had to use the fast chargers because after picking up the car from the dealership - I couldn't bear to wait to charge anymore at the dealers "fast charger" - 17.5 kW - LOL…and it kept shutting down after 20 minutes and you had to unplug and replug in to get the next 20 minutes…car was delivered with 8% battery - so I spent 90 minutes at the dealer get to get to 25% to get to another "fast charger" - I put fast charger in quotes because silly me I thought they would work - I mean how bad can the problems really be?

the fast charging situation for the Taycan SUCKS is 3rd rate, and it doesn't matter how fast the charge rate is if you have to spend 40 minutes on the phone and keep moving the car among charging stalls to find that might work…

oh and my car was delivered with a scratched glass pano-roof - dealer has ordered a new one - I'm confident they will fix it - but yeah 180k EV that can't be charged at it's premier charging network cause the network is quite frankly non-existent from any functional point of view that you can rely on…

1. EA network - 5 stalls - 2 sites - barely functional
2. car delivered with buggy software
parking assist keep complaining it's needs service then disappears
I had the charge port release problem at an EV go station - I've owned the car less than 6 hours and had to use the manual release to release the CCS plug
charging screen rebooted multiple times during a charging session - it would lose % battery setting and expected time to finish (-- displayed) and then go blank and come back up
3 the home charging profiles/timers UI is the most complex piece of charging software sh*t I've ever seen
4. the Porsche mobile connector keeps trying to download a software update and failing and I can't get it to stop
5 the Porsche mobile connector is NOT mobile - it's heavy big and 4x the cost of competitive chargers with more functionality.

The Taycan is a great car, but wow oh wow they've got a long ways to go to make it a decent EV…

I have a pretty good take on about 20 superchargers in the northeast that I've used but for me to say the ease of use or payment is so much better than the public fast charging would be disingenuous as my only experience with public chargers has been free level 2's. And of those, I can't count on them as I've had as many failures as successes. The problems stem from ownership. When I call the number on the box to report one inoperative, they typically refer me to the property owners. When I report it to the property owners, they say they aren't qualified to fix them and will need to work with the suppliers. It's just a bunch of finger pointing but hey, it's free and I've learned to just look at it as a bonus if it works.

The TMC forum has a thread of about 2500 topics focusing on Superchargers and charging infrastructure. There may be members there that use both and could provide some insight. I know they aren't shy about complaining as that site is generally the source of ammo for non-Tesla flame throwers. There's a few that have bought e-trons and i-paces so they know the drill.
Yup. You can cherry pick a number of terrible experiences, and I'm sure there are more to come considering the Porsche Taycan's primary conquest vehicle is the Tesla Model S. There's a larger learning curve with the public charging infrastructure at this point because, for whatever reason, plug-and-charge functionality has been taking longer to activate than expected. Other than that, the story is reflective of fairly common, subtle nuances that Tesla owners and new EV owners don't know when they first start to use the public charging infrastructure.

In some ways, the more valuable experience is those who relied on the public charging infrastructure from early on (either concurrently with the Superchargers or prior to buying a Tesla and experiencing the Superchargers). Good examples include the well-known Bjorn Nyland (whose primary experience is in Europe -- where perhaps the public charging infrastructure can inform what we're doing in North America) and the lesser known Dave Drives Electric (who has told me that his cross country trips towing with his Tesla Model S have been made far easier and more convenient thanks to the Electrify America network). These individuals have watched the public charging infrastructure and Supercharger Network evolve over the years, so they are really the most authoritative sources.

Reliability is another issue, and Electrify America's window for sorting it out is closing quickly. Given they haven't even completed their Cycle One sites in California (yes, they are that far behind), I can somewhat understand EA's reliability issues because they have installed hundreds of charging sites and still have a hundred or so more to go in that area. Many of these sites use hardware that's never been used before and was not designed to be used together. So I give EA a small pass only because they are building out that charging infrastructure at a far faster pace than any other network, ever. That being said, the lack of ribbon cutting ceremonies and cold openings with on-site techs has led to dismal reliability ratings on freshly opened sites. Had Recargo been given EA's funding for building a public fast charging network, dare I say it, we would be looking at an individual public charging network that on its own would rival the Supercharger Network.

There are still some other glimmers of hope, though, that in my opinion don't get talked about enough. ChargePoint, for instance, has been doing great work. In the sites where they've ditched the Tritium chargers and started to use their own, proprietary CPE 250 units, the charging speeds are faster and the reliability is better. As far as I know, they are also using their own proprietary plugs, so when they do start rolling out 400 to 500 kW chargers, the cords will be far more manageable than the heavy, cumbersome Huber+Suhner cords that Electrify America contracted for their initial build out.

I mentioned Recargo earlier, and they are another. To date, their Prunedale site is one of the most compelling charging sites built, with only a few small tweaks needed to make it easily the best. Unfortunately, Recargo hasn't moved as quickly as we've wanted (their parent company was purchased midway through their CEC grant funded build out -- possibly sabotaging an entire charging corridor that will no longer happen), but they still have one more CEC funded corridor to prove themselves. With adequate funding and a higher sense of urgency, Recargo could do great things.

Another company that doesn't get mentioned nearly enough is Francis Solar. Sure, they happen to be in Oklahoma, but for a regional network, they're one of the most compelling I've seen. I don't know if they have aspirations of expanding to a national network, but if they do, the other major public charging providers (ChargePoint, Electrify America, EVgo, etc.) need to watch out.
 

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I don't think Dave's experiences are cherry picking but you can debate that with him. To be fair to his comment, it seems as though the Taycan was just as much at fault as the EA network.
Regardless, you've been singing this tune about the "improving" experience for 2 years now. There is only one person on the planet that feels the EA/public charging infrastructure is even worthy of comparison to the Supercharger network.
 

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Discussion Starter #93
I don't think Dave's experiences are cherry picking but you can debate that with him. To be fair to his comment, it seems as though the Taycan was just as much at fault as the EA network.
Nope, I mean focusing on Dave's negative experiences to prove your point rather than looking at EV owner experiences as a whole. I try to avoid that by focusing on my own experiences, so I shy away from picking and choosing which story matches a particular narrative.

Regardless, you've been singing this tune about the "improving" experience for 2 years now.
Yes, because I haven't ignored those improvements as they've happened. Whether it be Electrify America's changing their fee structure, providing an app to bypass an issue-prone Nayax payment reader, reassessing their fee structure for Hyundai and KIA owners, etc., or EVgo's upgrading to higher power chargers, retrofitting older charging sites to have multiple dual-standard chargers, and changing their session time limits to account for larger battery EVs.

There is only one person on the planet that feels the EA/public charging infrastructure is even worthy of comparison to the Supercharger network.
Who? Ben Sullins? Fred Lambert? I see a number of EV "news" sites making that comparison, over, and over, and over again. Unfortunately, most are disingenuous about how they do so (e.g., comparing Tesla's global Supercharger Network count to individual national and regional public charging networks).

But, because you like to straw man so much, I'll be clear and precise about how I think the public charging infrastructure compares to the Supercharger Network, and which is favored based on each category:
  • Access: Public Charging Infrastructure (Clearly.)
  • Charger Count: Supercharger Network (This is closer than some make it appear, but I'm giving Tesla credit for their split-power chargers.)
  • Cost: Tie (This might come as a surprise to some, but the cost difference between the Public Charging Infrastructure and the Supercharger Network isn't significant. It's also dependent on individual network, region, and vehicle type. Not to mention, many Tesla owners paid a premium upfront for the privilege of accessing the Superchargers.)
  • Coverage: Tie (Tesla does a better job of covering travel corridors, but their coverage is not as robust as the Public Charging Infrastructure outside of that. Both have significant gaps that require addressing.)
  • Ease of Use: Supercharger Network
  • Growth: Public Charging Infrastructure
  • Reliability: Supercharger Network (However, this is network dependent, and some public networks are every bit as reliable as the Supercharger Network.)
  • Site Concentration: Supercharger Network
  • Site Count: Public Charging Infrastructure (This isn't even close. Whether you look at Tesla's 2,000 sites globally or assess it region by region.)
  • Speed:Tie (The Superchargers have a more consistent speed across sites, but they aren't the fastest chargers overall. Note: If this was a direct comparison between Electrify America and the Superchargers, I'd give the nod to Electrify America. Same for Ionity.)
Let me know if there are any other individual categories you think I should compare them on. Again, my assertion has always been that Electrify America will provide functionally equivalent service to the Superchargers in the United States. What that means is, traveling to similar places in similar amounts of time given the capabilities of the vehicle. That's not an assessment of cost, ease of use, reliability, etc. I'm speaking purely of functional equivalence. There are a couple of corridors where EA has fallen short, yes, but they appear to be listening to feedback. Considering the speed that they are bringing new sites online, it's forgivable. It sucks to be in those regions without coverage, but with hundreds of charging sites currently under construction, it's not reasonable to say Electrify America is just sitting around not doing anything.
 

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Another company that doesn't get mentioned nearly enough is Francis Solar. Sure, they happen to be in Oklahoma, but for a regional network, they're one of the most compelling I've seen. I don't know if they have aspirations of expanding to a national network, but if they do, the other major public charging providers (ChargePoint, Electrify America, EVgo, etc.) need to watch out.
so I’ve just used Francis chargers twice on a road trip. Having a legitimate state wide network covering rural highways is super great, so props for that. Beyond that I don’t know that EA etc need to be shaking in their boots. They partnered with a software company for their app and it’s functional but not a good experience at all. (Poor grammar in their communications, no Apple wallet integration and so on) That said, it worked at the first charger I visited. At the second charger, there was no QR code to scan and I couldn’t get the manual entry to work. The cc reader did work after a couple of tries though so no harm no foul. We really need universal roaming and plug and charge. At that point you’d have a better experience than gas pumps instead of one that is incredibly inconsistent and always worse...
 

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so I’ve just used Francis chargers twice on a road trip. Having a legitimate state wide network covering rural highways is super great, so props for that. Beyond that I don’t know that EA etc need to be shaking in their boots. They partnered with a software company for their app and it’s functional but not a good experience at all. (Poor grammar in their communications, no Apple wallet integration and so on) That said, it worked at the first charger I visited. At the second charger, there was no QR code to scan and I couldn’t get the manual entry to work. The cc reader did work after a couple of tries though so no harm no foul. We really need universal roaming and plug and charge. At that point you’d have a better experience than gas pumps instead of one that is incredibly inconsistent and always worse...
Yes. It might have been your snapshots of the Francis Solar app that I saw. Also, if I recall, they are a bit on the expensive side (about the same as EVgo, it appears). There are some aspects of their site layout and configuration that are a bit more difficult to correct after the fact, which is one of the reasons I've like what I've seen (observed) so far. It would take a complete rebuilding of a site for EA to correct some of those issues (e.g., charger configuration). I agree, though, that Francis Solar probably doesn't have aspirations to expand beyond serving that region.
 

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Ford has a lot more competence and experience in the EV space than a lot of people realize.
They partnered with Toyota on the Prius drive train, and the Fusion hybrid/plug-in are superb. They are well positioned to leverage technology once batteries stop sucking.
 

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They partnered with Toyota on the Prius drive train, and the Fusion hybrid/plug-in are superb. They are well positioned to leverage technology once batteries stop sucking.
I'm even going back to their Ford Ranger Electrics from 20 years ago. These are real modern EVs minus (as you noted) the modern batteries. It's borderline ridiculous to me that I could slap a Hyundai Kona Electric battery and charger/harness in one of these Ford Rangers and have a 20 year old EV truck that could travel about 200 miles on a charge and drive 1,000 miles in a day.

Sure, Ford partnered with Ballard Power Systems, Getrag, Siemens and others, but who cares? The vehicle they put together is a Ford. And that's part of what's making it so hard to work on them: They have integrated systems designed from the ground up to work together. Changing one component has downstream effects on everything else. It's quite remarkable for a 20 year old EV.
 

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