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Discussion Starter #1
I never thought I would, but with a pandemic I drove from Mesa,AZ to Branson, MO and back rather than fly.Things actually went smoothly for the most part.
I upgraded my EA plan and used EA almost exclusively. Going through Oklahoma I used a couple to locations provided by Francis Energy, the app was a bit crude, but everything actually worked quite well. Francis Energy seems to have some deal with Oklahoma, who knew Oklahoma would one of the best states for charging infrastructure.
When I got to Branson, there were 2 chargepoint locations at the landing(shopping area) where I got a FREE charge within walking distance of my folks who I was visiting. I even used that level 1 cord that came with my Bolt to top off for my return trip.
I did have a couple of issues on my return trip. My first stop was at Mt Vernon, MO and I was completely unable to start a charger using my app. I had bad cell coverage, so maybe that was the issue. I was able to call customer support and EA representative restarted the charger and manually started my charge session. In Bristow,OK the EA site went down but Francis Energy had a location near so I just headed that way. Before I got there the EA site was back up, so I went to the EA site. I thought one of the units was ICE'd by this pickup, but the guy in the truck turned out to be there to check the site. He said 2 units would be down until he could get a fuse and the other 2 must have went down on my app when he shut them down to check everything out. I asked if he had a service contract with EA, he said he was contracted to the manufacturer.
On my 2900 mile trip I had all the sites to myself besides 2 people I met on the way. I met a nice man in a Porsche Taycan at a couple of sites on my way there, and a gentleman in another Bolt on the way back.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yeah, as I see it there's a tipping point. The user base isn't sufficient to support the infrastructure and the infrastructure isn't sufficient to promote growing the user base. Building infrastructure has to be subsidized in the short run, but once people see road trips are supported by infrastructure things should really take off and I would expect the Petro companies and others to jump in to build out infrastructure.
 

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Yeah, as I see it there's a tipping point. The user base isn't sufficient to support the infrastructure and the infrastructure isn't sufficient to promote growing the user base. Building infrastructure has to be subsidized in the short run, but once people see road trips are supported by infrastructure things should really take off and I would expect the Petro companies and others to jump in to build out infrastructure.
Petro companies have gas stations because gas is a petro product. The natural driver of charging stations should be electric companies. We have this here in Georgia where Georgia Power has nearly 100 charging sites spread all over the state.

ga2500ev
 

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Yeah, as I see it there's a tipping point. The user base isn't sufficient to support the infrastructure and the infrastructure isn't sufficient to promote growing the user base. Building infrastructure has to be subsidized in the short run, but once people see road trips are supported by infrastructure things should really take off and I would expect the Petro companies and others to jump in to build out infrastructure.
Exactly, I think I read somewhere DCFC station utilization (outside CA) is an abysmal sub 5%. However, without these people would pass on buying EVs. Sort of a chicken and egg thing. The good news for operators is demand charges are minimal with the low use. The bad news is, the revenue is insufficient for an ROI.

I have seem an incredible growth of DC stations in CO in the 2.5 years since buying my Bolt. Rarely do I see others charging at these, but the fact that they are in the ground and running now makes it possible to go virtually anywhere in the state. Post COVID, I expect we will see more EVs (and ICE) on the road. But I am confident the current infrastructure will enable a growing number of EVs to hit the roads of my state, and reassured that the state has long term plans for expanding DC charging further.
 

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Yeah, as I see it there's a tipping point. The user base isn't sufficient to support the infrastructure and the infrastructure isn't sufficient to promote growing the user base. Building infrastructure has to be subsidized in the short run, but once people see road trips are supported by infrastructure things should really take off and I would expect the Petro companies and others to jump in to build out infrastructure.
Great point you bring up here. One of the challenges, to build on the thoughts you've shared, is how road trips such as yours could best be communicated to the skeptics who need to hear it in order to rid themselves of that barrier to EV adoption.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The more the merrier. Petro companies are massive corporations with massive resources and networks of travel centers. Corporations have growth goals, and the larger they become they are increasingly driven to diversify as increasing market share becomes more difficult.
 

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Great point you bring up here. One of the challenges, to build on the thoughts you've shared, is how road trips such as yours could best be communicated to the skeptics who need to hear it in order to rid themselves of that barrier to EV adoption.
You can preach to choirs on EV forums, or you can talk to the skeptical public.

Things like NDEW events are the latter, people who are curious about EV drop by to hear stories from EV owners, ask questions, etc. They come in with the typical skepticism, and walk out informed. Die hard gear heads will resist vehemently and be hard to convince, so focus on those who are less entrenched. Eventually, the snowball will catch up to the gear heads.

The key is challenging expectations and assumptions.

ICE drivers are programmed to think 100-10-100 cadence WRT fuel stops. As such, the 100% SOC mid-route is indeed an unacceptable sacrifice. But EV drivers think along the lines of 100-10-70 cadence. A 10-70 charge stop will cover a casual meal time, a 30-70 will cover a restroom, stretch, snack break. And, understanding 1-2x per year your travels will be slightly less convenient than if you did them in ICE is not such a huge inconvenience when you balance it with the daily convenience of home charging. If traveling with the kiddos, planning activities like frisbee, catch, playground, or even sightseeing diversions will completely mask the charging time and will often be the highlight of the journey. Not to mention the relaxation for the driver.

In CO, we have a lot of Suburu drivers who go to the ski resorts a few times every winter. The rest of the time, their AWD gassers are overkill for the daily driving needs. The resorts are typically within range of a Bolt, and most have L2 to top you off while you spend the day on the slopes. With decent snow tires, you are really not sacrificing much, and could find these trips infinitely easier than in the old Suburu.
 

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Yeah, as I see it there's a tipping point. The user base isn't sufficient to support the infrastructure and the infrastructure isn't sufficient to promote growing the user base. Building infrastructure has to be subsidized in the short run, but once people see road trips are supported by infrastructure things should really take off and I would expect the Petro companies and others to jump in to build out infrastructure.
Yes, that's pretty much where the early adopters come in. I actually think there are enough early adopters with all the CCS vehicles sold to justify private investment in public charging infrastructure; however, the problem is as much qualitative as it is quantitative. Most people buying a sub $40,000 EV typically don't have the freedom of finances or time to travel long distances frequently, so even with the current population of CCS EVs, chargers outside of city centers still see very little use.

That being said, I think help is on the way. VW's releasing the ID.4 with three years of free Electrify America charging is going to go a long way. VW wants to sell as many as 500,000 ID.4s each year, and even if a majority of those owners have the same typical use case as the average Bolt EV owner, that would represent a 10-fold increase in charger usage. With the additional incentive of "free charging," we should see a massive uptick in charging, and it should be enough to spur a decent amount of private investment in charging infrastructure.

Unfortunately, because there could be a lag in response, it could actually make travel a lot more difficult for EV owners in the short term. Tesla owners have already felt these growing pains with the Supercharger Network, which has grown slower than Tesla EV sales in many regions. From my experience in California, I can say that freeway charging sites are still relatively unused (maybe 20% to 30% usage at most); however, for trip planning purposes, sites with three or fewer DCFC are unreliable in terms of charger availability, especially on peak travel times. Within a year of the Ford Mustang Mach-E and VW ID.4 going on sale, I expect to start seeing regular reports of EV owners arriving at four-charger Electrify America sites to find all chargers occupied (and possibly one or two EVs queued).
 

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Being your first long trip (I've yet to take my first trip requiring a charge), I'm curious what you thought of the wait times for charging. Did you feel you were able to use that time to eat, use the restroom, etc. and it didn't hamper the trip much? Or did you feel it was a pain waiting?

Mike
 

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In CO, we have a lot of Suburu drivers who go to the ski resorts a few times every winter. The rest of the time, their AWD gassers are overkill for the daily driving needs. The resorts are typically within range of a Bolt, and most have L2 to top you off while you spend the day on the slopes. With decent snow tires, you are really not sacrificing much, and could find these trips infinitely easier than in the old Suburu.
Up in the frozen ass-end-of-nowhere, the ski/snowmobile crowd drive quad-cab 4WD F250/Ram pickups; overkill for twenty trips to the office for one to the hill.

jack vines
 

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Unfortunately, because there could be a lag in response, it could actually make travel a lot more difficult for EV owners in the short term. Tesla owners have already felt these growing pains with the Supercharger Network, which has grown slower than Tesla EV sales in many regions. From my experience in California, I can say that freeway charging sites are still relatively unused (maybe 20% to 30% usage at most); however, for trip planning purposes, sites with three or fewer DCFC are unreliable in terms of charger availability, especially on peak travel times. Within a year of the Ford Mustang Mach-E and VW ID.4 going on sale, I expect to start seeing regular reports of EV owners arriving at four-charger Electrify America sites to find all chargers occupied (and possibly one or two EVs queued).
You think so? How many do you expect them to sell in the US in that first year? My benchmark at this point is the Bolt, which has sold ~40-50k in California and is clearly not enough to saturate the infrastructure, but clearly a lot of people treat the Bolt as a city vehicle, which helps. I guess assuming they start shipping in volume at the middle of next year, sounds like we should be okay at least until end of 2022 or so.
 

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You think so? How many do you expect them to sell in the US in that first year? My benchmark at this point is the Bolt, which has sold ~40-50k in California and is clearly not enough to saturate the infrastructure, but clearly a lot of people treat the Bolt as a city vehicle, which helps. I guess assuming they start shipping in volume at the middle of next year, sounds like we should be okay at least until end of 2022 or so.
I think VW's plan is to sell 500,000 ID.4 globally per year by 2025, so I expect a bit of a ramp up. I'm expecting them to have sold at least 50,000 in the United States by the end of 2021.

Again, though, I'm not looking at only California. It appears that VW wants to sell the ID.4 everywhere, and it's those regions and states that haven't spent the last 10 years building infrastructure that will be affected the most. A perfect example is New York state, where I think VW will sell a number of ID.4s. New York sat on funding and neglected the public charging infrastructure for the longest time, so now we have an area and population the size of Southern California that has a fraction of the public charging infrastructure found in Southern California.

People in those regions are going to jump from not knowing what it's like to have public charging infrastructure to having backlogs and queues at public chargers (something EV owners in Southern California have dealt with for years).
 

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I'll be giving the VW a look considering it still has the federal (and Oregon) credits available. If my bottom like price can be somewhere around $20k then I'm interested.

... and success stories of charging are valuable because the difficult stories are the ones most often posted. I'm among those that would not DCFC with my family due to the extra time wasted and unreliability. If that improves to say 95% reliability and 15 minutes to get 200 miles, I might change my thinking.
 

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In CO, we have a lot of Suburu drivers who go to the ski resorts a few times every winter. The rest of the time, their AWD gassers are overkill for the daily driving needs. The resorts are typically within range of a Bolt, and most have L2 to top you off while you spend the day on the slopes. With decent snow tires, you are really not sacrificing much, and could find these trips infinitely easier than in the old Suburu.
Don't count on those L2s though. Here in the East, many of the big mountains in VT and NY have L2s which are typically all in use before the mountain even opens. Great if you can get one, but if you need one to get home you are SOL.
 

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A perfect example is New York state, where I think VW will sell a number of ID.4s. New York sat on funding and neglected the public charging infrastructure for the longest time, so now we have an area and population the size of Southern California that has a fraction of the public charging infrastructure found in Southern California.

People in those regions are going to jump from not knowing what it's like to have public charging infrastructure to having backlogs and queues at public chargers (something EV owners in Southern California have dealt with for years).
Yes, but NY at least has put a plan in motion to somewhat catch up. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has a $250M program under way which includes installing DCFC every 40-50 miles along the major interstates. Each location has 4x 150kW chargers, similar to EA (minus the 350kW peak power - so they will look the same to an ID4 driver but not a Taycan driver).

They opened the first station in LaGrangeville (halfway between NYC and Albany), with at least one more under construction and a few dozen locations identified.

It won't catch them up to So Cal, but it just might be enough to stay ahead of the upcoming wave of ID4/EUV/MachE/Ariya/etc.
 

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Yes, but NY at least has put a plan in motion to somewhat catch up. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has a $250M program under way which includes installing DCFC every 40-50 miles along the major interstates. Each location has 4x 150kW chargers, similar to EA (minus the 350kW peak power - so they will look the same to an ID4 driver but not a Taycan driver).

They opened the first station in LaGrangeville (halfway between NYC and Albany), with at least one more under construction and a few dozen locations identified.

It won't catch them up to So Cal, but it just might be enough to stay ahead of the upcoming wave of ID4/EUV/MachE/Ariya/etc.
I certainly hope so. I'll also be interested to see how many of the GM-funded EVgo sites are built in the greater NY area. The combination of Electrify America, EVgo, and EVolve NY should cover most EV owners' needs for the next four to five years.
 

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It's a shame that the U.S., if not the world, is dominated by big oil. The perfect solution to charging stations is to locate them at gas stations ! Much of the infrastructure is there already. Since gas stations make only a few cents at best per gallon of gas sold, why not make sure they get equivalent profit from charging sales? They woudl also benefit from in-store sales by waiting charging customers. Sorry for being soooo rational...
 

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It's a shame that the U.S., if not the world, is dominated by big oil. The perfect solution to charging stations is to locate them at gas stations ! Much of the infrastructure is there already. Since gas stations make only a few cents at best per gallon of gas sold, why not make sure they get equivalent profit from charging sales? They woudl also benefit from in-store sales by waiting charging customers. Sorry for being soooo rational...
The simple answer to that question is that no one would really want to spend the amount of time charging sitting at a gas station. It's simply the wrong venue.

On highways, a better choice would be truck stops. Typically they have a convenience store, a restaurant, decent facilities, and somewhere to actually sit. I'm hoping that ChargePoint's committment with the National Association of Truck Stop Operators comes to fruition where every truck stop on the highway will have charging stations.

Locally, we need to think of places that people go. Grocery stores, gyms, strip malls, restaurants, and the like. Put charging stations where people are going to be, not at a gas station where the only reason to go there is to refuel.

ga2500ev
 
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