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Discussion Starter #1
Electrify America just announced their Dateland, AZ charging site is now online. Several Bolt EV owners have commented on the difficulty of traveling from Tucson to San Diego along I-8, but with this site, the longest gap between EA charging sites between San Diego and Tucson along I-8 is now only 113 miles with five sites distributed along the 420-mile corridor.

What is more, with this site online, the I-8 to I-10 cross-country corridor connecting San Diego, California to Jacksonville, Florida is now open. To the North, the Quartzsite Electrify America site (when opened) will likewise open a direct cross-country corridor on I-10 from Los Angeles/Orange County to Jacksonville.

 

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Good to see them filling in the gaps but really need to add 2 locations, so that one charger is down the next one say 5 miles away is working. Right now there is little margin for error. even in Metro areas. I was about 8 miles from empty yesterday, had 21 to get home but a stated 20 mph wind knocked range down hard and no chargers around.


I keep going back and forth on what we need..more range or more chargers ..in the end, I guess it's both
 

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I am just glad other networks exist to fill in some gaps EA is ignoring. There is an emphasis on "coast to coast" with very little thought to North / South travel. A truck stop in Hayti Missouri just added some ChargePoint stations, so now I can get from where I live to St Lois by highway at 80+ mph (speed limit just got raised to 75 here) instead of by taking back roads at 55 mph. This takes about the same amount of time over all (just under 4 hours) but with the highway route I have a 45 min break while charging in Hayti, MO.... with the back roads route it is 4 hours of driving without a break unless you want it to take even longer than 4 hours.

These are huge improvements over the conditions when I purchased my Bolt, mostly due to EA :)

Keith
 

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Good to see them filling in the gaps but really need to add 2 locations, so that one charger is down the next one say 5 miles away is working. Right now there is little margin for error. even in Metro areas. I was about 8 miles from empty yesterday, had 21 to get home but a stated 20 mph wind knocked range down hard and no chargers around. I keep going back and forth on what we need..more range or more chargers ..in the end, I guess it's both.
I vote for more EVSE for this reason. 90% of average daily driving is within the range of nearly every EV made. My Bolt EV's range lets me charge once per week, but I could plug-in much more frequently if I needed to. Greater range is achieved by larger (heavier) battery capacity {and "some" small amount by better efficiency of battery use}. But for 90% of my driving I would be hauling around about 250-350 more pounds of battery. For those two long trips per year, I would rather stop every 3 hours (210 miles) than every 4 hours (280 miles). I don't mind that inconvenience for the better overall range of a lighter EV. {I would, though, like to see max DC charging rates in the 100 kW-120 kW range instead of 55 kW!}
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good to see them filling in the gaps but really need to add 2 locations, so that one charger is down the next one say 5 miles away is working. Right now there is little margin for error. even in Metro areas. I was about 8 miles from empty yesterday, had 21 to get home but a stated 20 mph wind knocked range down hard and no chargers around.


I keep going back and forth on what we need..more range or more chargers ..in the end, I guess it's both
I'd be a little more worried about EA's 60 to 100 mile gaps between chargers if I didn't have 100% success with them at the site level. Especially in the short term, I'm more interested in seeing other charging providers getting involved in supporting interstate corridors. Even if a second ChargePoint or EVgo site was off the same exit, it would add the redundancy we're looking for right now (i.e., being unable activate or gain access at Electrify America doesn't require another freeway stop, additional planning, etc.).

Middle term, of course, I think we'd be best served by having several travel plaza type charging sites every 40 to 50 miles of interstate with a smattering of destination chargers (much like what we see from providers today). Both are important in my opinion, and both would facilitate travel for 200 to 400 mile EVs.

Long term, I think most of these will be unnecessary. As we start to see 400+ mile, self-charging EVs, these charging sites will really be reserved for older generation EVs, possibly entry level EVs, DIY EVs, etc. We're also likely to see a reduction in interstate travel as ICE vehicles go away. Without fossil-fuel lobbyists to block public transportation projects, we'll likely have a nationwide highspeed rail system in place by the time >50% of new cars are EVs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I haven't looked at EA's plan for future installs, but I sure hope it includes WV and other gaps.
Based on the email I just received (and upcoming webinar invite), I think you'll be pleased. It appears that Electrify America is reassessing what EV owners are actually looking for from their network. I expect the Dakotas, Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia, and Wyoming to all see EA infrastructure going in within the next year. Hopefully, this includes connecting highways and not just Interstates.
 

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But for 90% of my driving I would be hauling around about 250-350 more pounds of battery. For those two long trips per year, I would rather stop every 3 hours (210 miles) than every 4 hours (280 miles).
I like your logic, but it's not shared by the vast majority of the public. We need large batteries that allow for 400+ mile range, high fast charge speeds and better acceleration, to have any chance of convincing the general public that EVs are worthy of buying.
 

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Good to see them filling in the gaps but really need to add 2 locations, so that one charger is down the next one say 5 miles away is working. Right now there is little margin for error. even in Metro areas. I was about 8 miles from empty yesterday, had 21 to get home but a stated 20 mph wind knocked range down hard and no chargers around.


I keep going back and forth on what we need..more range or more chargers ..in the end, I guess it's both
It’s one thing to ask for redundancy for EA locations which have multiple units per location, and quite another where EA doesn’t have a presence (upper midwest), and the current providers only have 1 dispenser per location. Add reduced off season range, and you end up with significant barriers to adoption, other than use as a city car.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It’s one thing to ask for redundancy for EA locations which have multiple units per location, and quite another where EA doesn’t have a presence (upper midwest), and the current providers only have 1 dispenser per location. Add reduced off season range, and you end up with significant barriers to adoption, other than use as a city car.
Yup. I think it's important to distinguish between adding a charging site to a corridor without any other coverage (Dakotas, Northeastern California, West Virginia, Wyoming, etc.), filling a difficult but passable gap (what happened here with the Dateland charger), and adding a charging site to an already supported corridor in order to add convenience, resiliency, and redundancy. To me, the last one is simply a nice to have. I'd much rather have Electrify America spend their time and energy improving and building upon the sites that are already in place (increasing charger count, adding covering, improving reliability, adding L2 AC where appropriate, adding full-pull-through parking where possible, etc.).
 

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I like your logic, but it's not shared by the vast majority of the public. We need large batteries that allow for 400+ mile range, high fast charge speeds and better acceleration, to have any chance of convincing the general public that EVs are worthy of buying.
I still think the general public needs to see lots of charging sites available without the need to use an app to find them. That is the biggest concern I hear when I talk to non-EV owners. Gas stations are everywhere, charge stations are rare, and the public notices.
 

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I still think the general public needs to see lots of charging sites available without the need to use an app to find them. That is the biggest concern I hear when I talk to non-EV owners. Gas stations are everywhere, charge stations are rare, and the public notices.
I'm not sure I completely agree. Yes, there's the perception that charging stations aren't everywhere like gas stations, but new cars such as EVs go hand-in-hand with new fangled technology, such as navigation, online maps, and smart phones. So prospective EV owners don't necessarily need to see the chargers; they just need to know they are there. That's really the beauty of the GM's plan with EVgo. Yes, the 2,700 chargers they are installing will be in cities rather than along travel corridors, but their presence at the places ICE car owners frequent will do enough to address those perceptions about sufficient charging infrastructure.

Ultimately, laggards aren't going to be open to new technology, regardless of actuality or perceptions. There's no amount of convincing or proving you're going to do. I hate to say it, but the laggards need to be ignored. When >60% of the population is driving an EV and the laggards are paying $10 to $15 a gallon for their specialty gasoline fuel, they'll fall in line naturally. Until then, I'm only interested in the people who are willing to honestly consider the possibility of an EV. I think the next question I'm going to start asking prospective EV owners is:

"How many times have you filled up at a gas station that's more than 100 miles from your home in the last year? Because that's how often you might have to think about finding a charger in an EV."
 

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What you think people need is not the point. It is what they think they need to be comfortable. As long as people don't casually see them they won't be comfortable trusting their travel security in an EV. People know they can find plenty of gas stations. They don't know that they can find a place to charge wherever they might want to go, and often they can't. That will continue to be an impediment to adoption. Not every place is like California. Indeed, NO place is like California.

EVs have barely penetrated the market. We are no where close to bringing along the laggards.
 

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What you think people need is not the point. It is what they think they need to be comfortable. As long as people don't casually see them they won't be comfortable trusting their travel security in an EV. People know they can find plenty of gas stations. They don't know that they can find a place to charge wherever they might want to go, and often they can't. That will continue to be an impediment to adoption. Not every place is like California. Indeed, NO place is like California.

EVs have barely penetrated the market. We are no where close to bringing along the laggards.
Pot meet kettle, only I'm not doing what it is you accuse me of, even though you're doing it yourself. Yes, I actually do know what most people need; however, my interactions with most prospective EV owners start with questions, so I'm able to learn what they expect and want. You, on the other hand, are assuming you know what other people think they need.

I understand that we are speaking in generalities, but my point is, people who are not seeking information about EVs in earnest are not worth wasting time on at this point. To your point about people not knowing that they can find a place to charge wherever they might want to go, that's exactly why I do what I do: To educate those people who are interested in learning. I've literally had dozens of EV owners reach out to me to thank me for giving them the confidence and knowledge to purchase an EV and travel with their EVs. That was done through conveying knowledge and demonstrating what's possible.

You are free to attempt to dismiss my experiences because of whatever you believe about California's infrastructure; however, large tracts of California are, to this day, impassable on DCFC, even for Tesla owners. And even if that weren't the case, I was already over those dismissals in 2017, when I was making regular 1,000+ mile trips that others claimed weren't possible in the Bolt EV or on the public charging infrastructure, including driving to the Grand Canyon, driving from the Inland Empire to Las Vegas without a charging stop, driving to Bryce Canyon in winter, etc.

Yes, EVs have barely penetrated the market, and that is mostly due to supply. When millions of EVs are made for the U.S. market, millions of EVs will sell in the U.S. market. And again, that's all the more reason to ignore the laggards. Embrace those who are considering an EV, and when they have questions about finding charging stations as easily as they find gas stations, point them PlugShare, Android Auto, Apple Car Play, Google Maps, etc. Don't just say, "Oh, well. There isn't a charger at every gas station, so you're screwed!"
 

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Pot meet kettle, only I'm not doing what it is you accuse me of, even though you're doing it yourself. Yes, I actually do know what most people need; however, my interactions with most prospective EV owners start with questions, so I'm able to learn what they expect and want. You, on the other hand, are assuming you know what other people think they need.

I understand that we are speaking in generalities, but my point is, people who are not seeking information about EVs in earnest are not worth wasting time on at this point. To your point about people not knowing that they can find a place to charge wherever they might want to go, that's exactly why I do what I do: To educate those people who are interested in learning. I've literally had dozens of EV owners reach out to me to thank me for giving them the confidence and knowledge to purchase an EV and travel with their EVs. That was done through conveying knowledge and demonstrating what's possible.

You are free to attempt to dismiss my experiences because of whatever you believe about California's infrastructure; however, large tracts of California are, to this day, impassable on DCFC, even for Tesla owners. And even if that weren't the case, I was already over those dismissals in 2017, when I was making regular 1,000+ mile trips that others claimed weren't possible in the Bolt EV or on the public charging infrastructure, including driving to the Grand Canyon, driving from the Inland Empire to Las Vegas without a charging stop, driving to Bryce Canyon in winter, etc.

Yes, EVs have barely penetrated the market, and that is mostly due to supply. When millions of EVs are made for the U.S. market, millions of EVs will sell in the U.S. market. And again, that's all the more reason to ignore the laggards. Embrace those who are considering an EV, and when they have questions about finding charging stations as easily as they find gas stations, point them PlugShare, Android Auto, Apple Car Play, Google Maps, etc. Don't just say, "Oh, well. There isn't a charger at every gas station, so you're screwed!"
It is not what I think that people need, it is the concern that people reveal during casual conversations that I have. They might ask about a number of things, but charging really does come up, and it only comes up because it is not obvious to them. It is not obvious because they are not seeing charging stations in their normal driving. Then I have to explain how I plan a trip, the realistic limitations that might be involved and the fallback positions that might be needed, which I don't stress but I feel I have to mention to be honest. Those fallback positions never go over well, nor does the normal trip planning. Planning implies scarcity and risk and that is not what most people want on a trip. As you stated, people are basically uncomfortable with the whole charging thing and need to be convinced otherwise, by you. Thank you for converting people to EVs! But you cannot be everywhere talking to everyone. I would say that outside of California most people don't know anyone who drives an EV and never has those conversations, and their charging concerns persist. But if charging stations were common, that wouldn't be the case and you wouldn't need to be convincing or educating anyone.

As you stated, you can't find a charging station wherever you go, not in California and not elsewhere. EVs can go many places, but not everywhere, not without some creative charging that most people will not want to do, and not some places no matter what. California is different because there are many charging stations in populous areas and many more EVs on the road. The more EVs people see the more they are likely to think that charging isn't a problem and that owning an EV is just normal. In most other areas an EV driver is a bold maverick, venturing out in a way that most people are not brave enough to do. That is not the image that sells a lot of EVs.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It is not what I think that people need, it is the concern that people reveal during casual conversations that I have. They might ask about a number of things, but charging really does come up, and it only comes up because it is not obvious to them. It is not obvious because they are not seeing charging stations in their normal driving. Then I have to explain how I plan a trip, the realistic limitations that might be involved and the fallback positions that might be needed, which I don't stress but I feel I have to mention to be honest. Those fallback positions never go over well, nor does the normal trip planning. Planning implies scarcity and risk and that is not what most people want on a trip. As you stated, people are basically uncomfortable with the whole charging thing and need to be convinced otherwise, by you. Thank you for converting people to EVs! But you cannot be everywhere talking to everyone. I would say that outside of California most people don't know anyone who drives an EV and never has those conversations, and their charging concerns persist. But if charging stations were common, that wouldn't be the case and you wouldn't need to be convincing or educating anyone.

As you stated, you can't find a charging station wherever you go, not in California and not elsewhere. EVs can go many places, but not everywhere, not without some creative charging that most people will not want to do, and not some places no matter what. California is different because there are many charging stations in populous areas and many more EVs on the road. The more EVs people see the more they are likely to think that charging isn't a problem and that owning an EV is just normal. In most other areas an EV driver is a bold maverick, venturing out in a way that most people are not brave enough to do. That is not the image that sells a lot of EVs.
Which, again, is why I'm starting my conversations with non-EV owners with a question: "How many times a year to you fill up at a gas station that's more than 100 miles from your home?"

If the answer is all the time, an EV might not be the right choice for them. If the answer is, "not often" or "I can't remember the last time," an EV likely is something they want to consider for their next car.

When 300-mile EVs can be had for an average new-car MSRP, I'll bump it up to "150 miles from your home." And when 400-mile EVs can be had for average new-car MSRP, I'll bump it up to "200 miles from your home." All of this, of course, can lead into discussions about specific trips they make, routes they take, driving and traveling habits, etc.

I do think we mostly agree on the basic concept that most non-EV owners don't know what they don't know, which means they likely aren't even asking the right questions. The burden on us as innovators and early adopters is reframe and redirect their questions based on their needs and expectations.

I think that one of the most toxic things I see from EV owners at this point is feeding into the narrative that DC fast charging is essential. Tesla owners might be the worst about this, especially because they're doing it specifically to stifle non-Tesla EV sales (or promote Tesla sales -- however you want to look at it). The truth is, any EV owner who says that DC fast charging is essential is projecting their needs, expectations, and values onto others. It's every bit as bad as an EV owner saying that DC fast charging is unnecessary because they've never had to use it.
 

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I think that one of the most toxic things I see from EV owners at this point is feeding into the narrative that DC fast charging is essential. Tesla owners might be the worst about this, especially because they're doing it specifically to stifle non-Tesla EV sales (or promote Tesla sales -- however you want to look at it). The truth is, any EV owner who says that DC fast charging is essential is projecting their needs, expectations, and values onto others. It's every bit as bad as an EV owner saying that DC fast charging is unnecessary because they've never had to use it.
I agree that DCFC, charging, and road trips are all way overblown in EV discussions. However, it's in that sticky spot where it's both generally rare, but absolutely necessary. While most folks do not do long road trips on a monthly, or weekly basis, virtually everyone does them with their cars. So, that infrastructure has a level of importance. As such, we cannot be dismissive of those concerns.

Fortunately Electrify America has done an excellent job of creating the skeletal charging infrastructure to demonstrate that this type of travel can be done. In short, now that DCFC that needed to be 100 or 125 miles away from home is there in generally every direction from most places in the US. That eliminates one more barrier to EV adoption.

Just personally, the rest of I-20 from Atlanta to Dallas through Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana needs to be filled out. But even there it's generally passable now.

ga2500ev
 

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I think that one of the most toxic things I see from EV owners at this point is feeding into the narrative that DC fast charging is essential. Tesla owners might be the worst about this, especially because they're doing it specifically to stifle non-Tesla EV sales (or promote Tesla sales -- however you want to look at it). The truth is, any EV owner who says that DC fast charging is essential is projecting their needs, expectations, and values onto others. It's every bit as bad as an EV owner saying that DC fast charging is unnecessary because they've never had to use it.
Day to day use. No, DCFC charging is not essential. Heck, even just going into Boston I don't even need L2 charging. I certainly don't say no if it's offered at a parking garage there though. We could argue DCFC isn't required for a road trip, but it certainly makes the road trip, >200 miles, easier. I've gone to northern NH plenty in my Bolt in the summer and winter. There is really no DCFC up there (that needs to be fixed). You don't need it and there is L2 charging up there to top off if you want, but DCFC would make going up into those mountains easier.
 

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I've been following this thread but have chosen not to jump in due to the amount of contentious debate it has generated. I think the problem is, just about everyone posting here is "right." We don't really "need" DCFC sites for normal, everyday EV operations, except that their presence will likely enhance the growth of EV adoption, if only by making people feel "better" about the possibility of going greater than usual distances.

I will note that when engaging non-EV owners in conversation (when they see me with either our Bolt or model Y), and I mention having driven from Cape Cod to Tucson this past October in the Bolt, the question just about each asks is (and I paraphrase here), "But where did you charge the car during the trip?"

Non-EV people are completely oblivious to the DCFC chargers around their area (or anywhere else for that matter). Somehow the public will have to be made aware of these resources in order to give them the peace of mind that would permit them to consider purchasing an EV.

I do like Eric's question; "When was the last time you drove over 100 miles in a day?" and plan on "stealing" it when speaking to non-EV owners when the question of practicality comes up.

Rich
 

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Day to day use. No, DCFC charging is not essential. Heck, even just going into Boston I don't even need L2 charging. I certainly don't say no if it's offered at a parking garage there though. We could argue DCFC isn't required for a road trip, but it certainly makes the road trip, >200 miles, easier. I've gone to northern NH plenty in my Bolt in the summer and winter. There is really no DCFC up there (that needs to be fixed). You don't need it and there is L2 charging up there to top off if you want, but DCFC would make going up into those mountains easier.
I don’t disagree with this at all. However it made me realize that, ironically, I do find DCFC to be too fast sometimes and have turned it down when offered. For instance, EA is available at a our local Targets and it’s too fast for our shopping needs. So I turn it down lest I run into idle fees. I almost prefer a Level 2 sometimes. Odd.
 
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