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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just ran across this article in Forbes that talks about EVgo's perception of different charging needs in the future as it relates to trucks, ride sharing drivers, AVs, etc. I found it interesting to read their point-of-view, but I'm not sure exactly how to process their take in terms of Chevy Bolt owners needs and would be interested to hear forum members views.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterd...cle-charging-executives-at-evgo-weigh-in/amp/
 

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Yes, I read that story a while ago. It seems like the bulk of EVgo's usage right now is coming from private taxi/ride share services, and that aligns with my observations as well. As often as not, the vehicles I see using the EVgo chargers have Lyft, Maven, or Uber stickers.

That being said, I feel that EVgo is doing the best job of any public charging provider. Their reliability is great compared to the other charging providers. EVgo is expanding their network, which is the most extensive public charging network nationally (though, it will soon fall behind Electrify America's build out). Evgo is also upgrading many of their sites by replacing CHAdeMO only units with dual-standard chargers, and they are upgrading slower chargers with faster 200 A DCFC. Jeff at Electric Revs did some good coverage of those upgrades that I hope we see more of in the near future: https://electricrevs.com/2019/01/20/evgo-opens-first-upgraded-200a-charging-site-in-san-jose/

The one area where I want to see EVgo get more actively involved is in building highway (travel) charging locations. These chargers need to be built away from major retail businesses or shopping plazas. Rather, I'd like to see them near restaurants or highway service style stops. They already have a good model with what they did in Baker, California, and I'd like to see if EVgo can get funding to build similar sites every 75 to 100 miles of major freeway corridor nationally. Ideally, I think those travel charging sites should include two 100 kW chargers (the non-liquid cooled, 200 A chargers described in Jeff's article), two 150 kW units, two 350 kW units, a solar canopy, and grid-tie battery system. EVgo could start in the most EV populated areas first and expand outward from there.

My review of EVgo Baker's site:

https://youtu.be/WtGdBeZrY94
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As an EV owner, my thought was that EVgo, and other charging providers, may not always make decisions/direct their resources in directions that will benefit us. Its not that I dislike EVgo, my experiences with them have been positive, but glimpses like this into their corporate decision-making process suggest they are considering business opportunities in sectors related to electric vehicles other than those that are privately owned, hence the speed or comprehensiveness with which they respond to our needs might not always be optimal. I'm not complaining, just trying to put their behavior within a context that makes sense.
 

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Pulled into the Catonsville, MD EVgo this morning hoping for a bit of a top-up to enable a stress-free round trip from WV to Baltimore. My arrival made it 4 Bolts lined up for a charge at the pathetically under-equipped location (didn't think to take a picture). One was using the lone DCFC, another (a Lyft driver) was waiting for it, and the third was hooked up to the L2. So I had to wait for the L2 as there was no chance I'd get to the DCFC within at least an hour--I had 45 minutes to spare. Finally put on a few miles at the L2 (first hookup died after 7 minutes so had to reconnect using second cable) but had to make another stop in Hagerstown for more juice to make it home.

Another convenient EVgo location down the road from Catonsville (in Ellicott City) was out of service. Since that one would have been more convenient for me I checked on it the night before. Seeing its status as out of service, I called customer service only to find they had no idea; I was the first to report it. Apparently the company doesn't monitor its equipment and relies on us to report outages. This was an all around disappointing experience. EVgo really needs to add more DCFC units to its existing locations and figure out some way to make sure they are operative.

I couldn't help but be envious as I passed the Tesla station in Hagerstown: three vehicles charging with three or more empty spots waiting for customers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Those kinds of waits could easily take the wind out of one's sails, I would think. I take it that there weren't any working options. I always try to think of what an alternative would be, but luckily, I haven't the kind of serious wait at a charger. Hope your experiences get better! A build out of chargers might be a few years away, depending on our area. Even in California, there are gaps in certain areas that make travel difficult.

Without a doubt, the non-Tesla charging network has gaps in its coverage and adequacy of availability, although if Tesla builds Model 3s in the volume like they say, the days of empty spots might soon go away!

EVgo seems to have focused more on local travel, as far as I can tell. Maybe somebody with more experience with them could speak to this, but I've had positive experiences with them on my limited number of road trips. Just wish they hadn't raised their prices in California.

The Bolt is a great car and hope that your future travels can be stress-free!
 

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Pulled into the Catonsville, MD EVgo this morning hoping for a bit of a top-up to enable a stress-free round trip from WV to Baltimore. My arrival made it 4 Bolts lined up for a charge at the pathetically under-equipped location (didn't think to take a picture). One was using the lone DCFC, another (a Lyft driver) was waiting for it, and the third was hooked up to the L2.
We have some charging locations like that in California. They are typically at high-traffic or make-or-break locations (i.e., the only DCFC site connecting different regions). EVgo has been doing an okay job of expanding those sites, but it's slow going.

Apparently the company doesn't monitor its equipment and relies on us to report outages. This was an all around disappointing experience. EVgo really needs to add more DCFC units to its existing locations and figure out some way to make sure they are operative.
I'm not sure why they aren't getting that information. It's definitely something that EVgo should consider. So should Electrify America. When their networks get big enough (they really are already), these public charging providers should have a full-time employee whose job it is to systematically review their chargers for issues. Really, it shouldn't be hard for the chargers themselves to trigger an error, but right now, it seems like no news is good news for these providers.

When I was speaking with an Electrify America representative, he was able to tell what chargers were down, but only after he opened the site and started bringing up the individual chargers. So they either need someone proactively seeking out issues, or they need a system that automatically issues a ticket if any error occurs or a charger hasn't been used in X days.

Even in California, there are gaps in certain areas that make travel difficult.

Without a doubt, the non-Tesla charging network has gaps in its coverage and adequacy of availability, although if Tesla builds Model 3s in the volume like they say, the days of empty spots might soon go away!
Believe it or not, even California still has gaps that make it difficult for Tesla EV owners, though Tesla does have plans to build Superchargers in those areas (I believe by the end of this year).

To be fair, public charging providers also have plans for most of the gaps in California (but not all, from what I've seen), and it looks like they've learned their lesson. If you look at most of the original plans for the California Energy Commission (CEC) grant-funded sites, they were only listing one or two DCFC per location. It appears that ChargePoint, EVgo, and Recargo have all increased that to a minimum of three to four chargers per site.

That's still not as impressive as Tesla's larger, 20 to 40 stall sites, but outside of extremely high-demand locations, I'm not sure that those "megasites" are necessary. And even if you did need 40+ chargers along a route, I don't like the idea of having so many at a single site. Based on my experiences traveling (and the ever increasing number of other long-range EVs on the roads), I think the magic number for chargers per site is somewhere between six and twelve. After that point, rather than adding more chargers at that site, you would create far more value by adding another six to twelve charger site up or down the road a few miles.
 

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...Believe it or not, even California still has gaps that make it difficult for Tesla EV owners, though Tesla does have plans to build Superchargers in those areas (I believe by the end of this year)...
For anyone who follows Tesla's buildout plans with any regularity, their targeted opening dates for all announced future charging locations are always "By the end of 20XX" with "XX" being the current year. Any unopened sites as of December 31, 20XX, simply roll over to "By the end of 20X(X+1)".
 
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