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I finally used my $750 option.

7670 Views 36 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Fivedoor
I took a trip this last weekend up to Sacramento with my wife to visit friends. We took the Bolt and I had confidence because I have done this trip before and there was enough range before. However my confidence was misplaced. I failed to account for my wife's desire to use the heater, I failed to leave with a full battery, only hilltop and I failed to account for a 24 mile round trip side jaunt to a nice restaurant.

When it was time to go home, the GOM showed exactly the range available that I would need. I did suggest no use of the heater and hypermiling and likely would have worked, but my wife actually said no. She did not want to experience first hand range anxiety and there a dangerous 18 mile stretch of highway at the end of our route home that you don't under any circumstance want your car to konk out. She said let's do plan B and find a place to charge.

So I used my Plugshare app that I also have never used to find a CCS station with DCFC. It was located at a SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utilities District) office building downtown Sacramento. It was not easy to spot, or obvious in any way. We did find it though. The station was provided by Green Lots and I did not have a Green Lots account.

The good news is, we got a charge and we got home easily. Now the bad- The unit was supposed to except credit cards, but the unit's credit card reader completely failed to function at all. Totally dead. So I decided to open an account with Green Lots with my phone and thumbs after trying all sorts of cards and ideas to get the reader to activate. Once I got all signed up (it takes a while as you might imagine to go through all that over a phone) was able to activate the charger, but it prompted me to then insert my credit card for payment. Again the credit card reader was a total failure.

As the last resort, I put money on account with Green Lots. The minimum is $25. This actually got the electrons to flow. My charging session cost me $3.06. Now I have my remainder of the $25 floating in the ether somewhere. I'm not sure how soon, if ever I will use that up.

There was frustration and my wife was a trooper and read her Kindle while I flailed outside. It's OK because I still consider myself an early adopter of a new technology (even though I'm not that early compared to some of you guys). The point of this story/rant is, the charging infrastructure for non-Teslas is pretty poor so far IMO. Much work needs to be done. It should have been as easy as gassing up my old car, but it wasn't.
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I suppose I should sign up with the VW thing too now. I guess those will be around as well soon.
So far, no app or RFID with Electrify America chargers, you have to pay at the charger with a credit card. This means that if the credit card reader isn't working you are SOL. They have future plans for an app.

Please enter the info into plugshare that the station credit card reader did not work. For now its up to us to inform each other on these issues!
I comment in plug share with each charge outside of my home, L2 or CCS.

"Coal burner"?
My Bolt is Coal powered, still cleaner than a gasoline car, but not as clean as a nuclear or renewable fueled Bolt.

From the comment about charging at IKEA (I have charged at a Blink station at the Memphis IKEA) and driving a coal burner, I think ZoomZoom lives near me, perhaps in TN? If not, somewhere else in the fly over states where coal power plants are common.

I had to use my $750 option immediately after rolling off the lot a few weeks ago -- the dealership did not have their L2 charger functional, so they just had my Bolt plugged into a regular outlet all day. Left the dealership around 10pm with maybe a 30% charge and didn't feel comfortable using that to get to the hotel I'd booked about 45 minutes outside of Nashville (had to drive from Memphis to pick up my Bolt). There was a fast charger at a YMCA about 15 minutes from the dealership, so I spent an hour sitting there, reading the manual, while waiting for it to top off. Amazed at how quickly it charged, not so amazed at the cost ($22). I will probably rarely use it, but it is nice knowing it's there if I need it.
I have used that EVgo several times now, Nashville is the gateway to the rest of the country from where I live. Now that Electrify America has put a CCS station in Memphis it will be a lot better to charge for 45 min or less than charging for 3 hours at the L2 at the Memphis IKEA to shoot the Gap over to Nashville for the trips East. I really could have used the Memphis EA station for my October trip to Coco Beach Florida, or my Thanksgiving trip to North Carolina coast, but the station didn't come on line until the day after I got back from the NC trip. Now we just need a fast charger at Jackson TN and everything will be fantastic!



PS: Enjoy the new Bolt!
Thanks, enjoying it a lot so far :) I especially like the bit where I pull up to a red light, and a person about to pull up behind to me sees my little hatch, does the math, and then pulls beside me to avoid getting stuck behind it. It's childish, I know, but I get a kick out of hitting the "gas" once in a while to show them what an EV can do.

Glad to see that charger at Wolfchase is finally up and running. I especially like that it's got four stations -- that is my biggest fear on road trips, planning to use a charger I've never been to and arriving to a full house. I make the trip from Memphis to Dallas a few times a year, looking forward to the fast chargers going online along the route so I can take the Bolt -- I think there's a couple already functional, but I'm waiting for one more to go online (in Hope, I think?) before I feel comfortable making that trek.
The Hope AR station is now on line, when the Little Rock AR, and Mt Pleasant TX stations come on line the trip to Dallas will be easy... as long as they are all working. The station in Forrest City AR is pretty unreliable at this point... not sure about the others on that trip.

Have you read up on the best strategies for long distance travel? You want stations that are around 100 miles apart, so you can keep the SOC between 10% and 70% for fastest charging speeds. Using 60% of the battery will get you over 100 miles of travel at high speeds in summer time good weather. For bad weather or winter driving you need to charge higher to make the same distance adding to your charging time and expense.

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