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I did my first long day-trip in a couple months yesterday. San Jose, CA to Fort Bragg, CA and back (450 miles, round-trip). The roads were pleasantly uncrowded for a nice Saturday in June. It took one fast charging session to make the trip work - a 1 hour stop in Laytonville at a 62.5kW ChargePoint (20%-80%).

Everything worked smoothly, but it got me thinking again about how fragile the DCFC network is. There were only 2 DCFCs there (vs. 8 Tesla SCs). Within 80 miles of Mendocino/Fort Bragg, there are just 3 more DCFC units (1 near Garberville, 2 in Cloverdale). EA has sites in Willits and Garberville that are not yet live, so that'll add 8 more chargers but still - 13 DCFCs for an area of coastline that gets thousands of visitors a day during peak season, and many more traveling through on to Humboldt. I can't really imagine how it'd work if non-Tesla EVs were more than a handful.

I guess my point is that as much as I like EVs, when they start selling in significant numbers, I suspect I'll have to go back to using my ICE for longer trips. The likelihood of getting severely delayed due to the limited infrastructure is just too high. With a gas station, the throughput is high enough that if you wait, it's usually just for a few minutes. But with a 50-60kW DCFC, we're talking potentially several hours, never mind what happens if the units go down altogether. Even Tesla during big holidays has seen this a bit (2+ hour waits in San Luis Obispo last Thanksgiving) and they have much higher numbers of chargers and much faster charging overall.

Now if ranges were expanded to 400+ miles, that would help a little (especially if people can charge overnight before/after their drive), but overall, absent a huge expansion of the network, I don't see how it's going to work. And the time/cost to expand the network is massive.

In the meantime, I think we better enjoy things as they are. When EVs do take off, things are going to be a lot more complicated.
 

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X2, and then take into account the worst cases of climate, distances and speed limits out here in the intermountain west. A road trip we make a couple of times a year is 723 miles with 80 MPH speed limits about 50% of the time. With an ICE, it's one stop for fuel and then as bladder and hunger require. Done in less than twelve hours. It's probable there isn't enough infrastructure to make it at all in the Bolt and definitely not in near zero degree winter through mountain passes.

Since the ICE is long paid for, but never gets driven, the challenge is keeping the battery charged and service current for the few times a year it is the way to go. If it ever becomes undependable, it won't be replaced; we'll just rent whatever ICE is ideal for that trip.

jack vines
 

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I find that MANY BEV owners also have a non-BEV (ICE, HV, or PHEV) car in the family. We do (Kia Niro Hybrid). Of the four factors affecting adequacy of infrastructure (# of EVs, range of those EVs, # of EVSE, and max charging speeds of those EVSE) I think that the latter two are the most significant. As long as DCFC charging is decremental, which it always will be, charging faster, for shorter periods of time, at much less than max range distances will be the most effective means of long-distance travel. It is only for that first leg, when you have charged to full at home (AC Level 2) that max range matters much. But I agree, increasing #s of EVs is a two-edged sword!
 

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I have thought about getting rid of my ICE and trading my Bolt for a Tesla. Then I would only have one car which is all we need. BUT the thought of even driving a Tesla 860 miles is not what I am ready for. With the ICE there is no concern. So I drive the ICE once per week to keep the battery charged, etc. If I ever need to replace it I will probably go the rent an ICE when I need to take a long trip.
 

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A market to support charging a growing fleet of EVs will rise as the number of EV sales go up. There will be tons of restaurants and stores along the highway that will salivate at getting a captive audience for 30-60 minutes while charging. It's not realistic to think that the EV fleet would grow to 20% of the total without high speed charging stations growing at a similar rate to support that fleet.

Eventually EV charging along highways will get to a level of saturation that mimics gas stations now. On a 500 mile trip, there's generally only two or three gas stations I actually use. But there are dozens and dozens of them along the road. The same will happen for EV charging as the fleet grows.

Right now we just have to get to possible. Then we can start talking about scale.

ga2500ev
 

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I have thought about getting rid of my ICE and trading my Bolt for a Tesla. Then I would only have one car which is all we need. BUT the thought of even driving a Tesla 860 miles is not what I am ready for. With the ICE there is no concern. So I drive the ICE once per week to keep the battery charged, etc. If I ever need to replace it I will probably go the rent an ICE when I need to take a long trip.
I assume you live in Arizona whereas I live in upstate NY where temps dip below zero in the winter. That’s the biggest handicap a Tesla has over ICEV’s IMO. However, I only have the Tesla now, of which a deciding factor was I planned to do plenty of road trips and much preferred it over my BMW545 since sold.
I have access to ICEV’s if I chose to take one for trips but I’ve never even considered it as the driving experience is so relaxing not just because if the superior drivetrain which you are well aware but also because of TACC, autopilot, and the Tesla Network Integration.
Plan some of your more aggressive hypothetical road trips with ABRP with the Tesla model you plan on getting and see if you think you can live with it. My driving conditions I assure you are more restrictive and I would guess my super chargers less dense and I have no regrets.
 

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I find that MANY BEV owners also have a non-BEV (ICE, HV, or PHEV) car in the family. We do (Kia Niro Hybrid). Of the four factors affecting adequacy of infrastructure (# of EVs, range of those EVs, # of EVSE, and max charging speeds of those EVSE) I think that the latter two are the most significant. As long as DCFC charging is decremental, which it always will be, charging faster, for shorter periods of time, at much less than max range distances will be the most effective means of long-distance travel. It is only for that first leg, when you have charged to full at home (AC Level 2) that max range matters much. But I agree, increasing #s of EVs is a two-edged sword!
I agree with SurgeonFWW. This is a race against time. EA now has 350kW charging stations. What if the Bolt had a charging rate of 350kW? Eventually charging would take as much time as an ICE fill up. Couple this with more range and more stations and the problem (if any) is at least much less. Eventually ranges of EVs will reach the daily self imposed limit for drivers. After that, free L2 charging overnight at a hotel (yes, I know included in the cost of the hotel room). This also takes the load off DCFC chargers. Time will tell.
 

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A market to support charging a growing fleet of EVs will rise as the number of EV sales go up. There will be tons of restaurants and stores along the highway that will salivate at getting a captive audience for 30-60 minutes while charging. It's not realistic to think that the EV fleet would grow to 20% of the total without high speed charging stations growing at a similar rate to support that fleet.

Eventually EV charging along highways will get to a level of saturation that mimics gas stations now. On a 500 mile trip, there's generally only two or three gas stations I actually use. But there are dozens and dozens of them along the road. The same will happen for EV charging as the fleet grows.

Right now we just have to get to possible. Then we can start talking about scale.

ga2500ev
I really wish this was true but I think you are being overly optimistic. I was fooled to believe this two years ago when I bought my Bolt and now where I need to travel not much has improved unless you consider one EVgo(six stations) and one EA (one station) that often don't work. I don't regret the bolt for trips from home in it's range but color me unimpressed if the rate of growth is as spotty as it is now. Normal drivers who are not EV nerds will reject them as impractical or just buy a Tesla. At Tesla's rate of growth, they may get into trouble too.
 

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Its a little counterintuitive because a lot of stories, websites, Youtube videos tout the MAX people get out of whatever EV they have. I am kinda doing the opposite (lots of HVAC idling etc) due to boredom & for my own understanding and to get a better idea of what the "ideal product" is. By ideal I mean it goes from a niche to usable by close to 100% of the population. My personal 2 cents is everything must DOUBLE to make it work in a reasonable manner similar to ICE (talking about refueling and range aspects only). If bolt had 100-120kwh battery and 100+ KW DCFC I know I would be happier with it. I am not complaining just pointing out my experience after about 2 Years but not a lotta miles. Also I realize that due to battery costs and technical aspects what I consider ideal can't even be made yet. I sure can hope it will for the future though! If that happens I will certainly upgrade if I can afford it or keep the old Bolt for in town use.

Photo examples of high temps and low avg mi/kwh (range is about 200 miles city )
 

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I really wish this was true but I think you are being overly optimistic. I was fooled to believe this two years ago when I bought my Bolt and now where I need to travel not much has improved unless you consider one EVgo(six stations) and one EA (one station) that often don't work. I don't regret the bolt for trips from home in it's range but color me unimpressed if the rate of growth is as spotty as it is now. Normal drivers who are not EV nerds will reject them as impractical or just buy a Tesla. At Tesla's rate of growth, they may get into trouble too.
Tesla has isolated spots of supercharger overcrowding during a few of the peak travel holidays. To combat that they have set up temporary fleets of powerwalls which I think on the most recent overloaded holiday at one of the more crowded sites cut the wait down to 10 minutes.
The roll out of V3 supercharger and the upgraded battery specs allowing 250Kw charging for current cars should alleviate some of the congestion. This faster charge rate is one of the criteria that other BEV manufacturers must meet in order to join the network for exactly the reason of quick turn around. This is probably one reason why GM was never intending to join in as they still can’t meet the minimum charge rate threshold (and of course there’s that pesky issue of validating Tesla made the right call).
They also are continuing a frantic pace of supercharger build out, with a focus on highest need. North Dakota just opened its first supercharger which now completes at least one in every state to give you an idea of how they’ve prioritized locations.
I would be concerned as to who will pick up the ball after the EA funds dry up especially as the numbers of non-Tesla EV’s fail to take off. Not a lot of profit IMO, especially when considering demand charges.
 

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A market to support charging a growing fleet of EVs will rise as the number of EV sales go up. There will be tons of restaurants and stores along the highway that will salivate at getting a captive audience for 30-60 minutes while charging. It's not realistic to think that the EV fleet would grow to 20% of the total without high speed charging stations growing at a similar rate to support that fleet.

Eventually EV charging along highways will get to a level of saturation that mimics gas stations now. On a 500 mile trip, there's generally only two or three gas stations I actually use. But there are dozens and dozens of them along the road. The same will happen for EV charging as the fleet grows.

Right now we just have to get to possible. Then we can start talking about scale.

ga2500ev
I agree. The beauty of markets is, where there is demand, supply follows.

My state (CO) wants to be a ZEV state like CA, WA, MD, etc. They charge all BEV a $50 fee on top of registration and most of that money, added to VW settlement funds goes to a program that awards grants that pay up to 80% for businesses to install public EVSE (L2 or L3). Money goes to hotels, businesses, retail locations, government agencies, schools, and multi-unit housing locations etc.

Is it effective? When I bought my Bolt 2+ years ago, there were two 20kW CCS sites on I70 between Denver and Grand Junction. Today there are 6, with most being 50+ kW. I25 between COS and New Mexico had none, there are now 3 with a few more just a few miles off the freeway. Same trends in the Denver metro area and points north and east. The number of L2 is probably 3-5x what it was two years ago. That is not optimism speaking, it is reality.

CO EV trends are nothing like CA, but the movement is picking up steam. The infrastructure is vastly better now, and the money keeps getting directed towards expanding with most scenic routes on tap to get DCFC in the next few years. I rarely see cars charging at many of these sites, so perhaps there is a bit of an oversupply at this point, but I also expect EV ownership to trend upwards and have little doubt more sites and plugs will come with more EV owners.

Similar things are happening in NM, AZ, NV, UT making trips to most destinations in the SW states possible, or very soon with a couple of critical projects already underway. I know this is not true everywhere, and some may get the sense nothing is being done to improve in their areas. But it is happening in a lot of places.
 

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I really wish this was true but I think you are being overly optimistic. I was fooled to believe this two years ago when I bought my Bolt and now where I need to travel not much has improved unless you consider one EVgo(six stations) and one EA (one station) that often don't work. I don't regret the bolt for trips from home in it's range but color me unimpressed if the rate of growth is as spotty as it is now. Normal drivers who are not EV nerds will reject them as impractical or just buy a Tesla. At Tesla's rate of growth, they may get into trouble too.
Minimum installation for an Electrify America location is 4 units... what happened to have them make an exception in this case?

Keith
 

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Minimum installation for an Electrify America location is 4 units... what happened to have them make an exception in this case?

Keith
I was having a really bad day. Sorry. EVgo has one station and EA has six. Just noticed another EA six station further down the road on PlugShare. Must be new. Yippee! Still drivers reporting some units not working. Boo!
 

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Dream on. The pace of BEV progress is slow, but it bends toward sufficient charging for road trips . . . . someday.

But I was a science fiction nerd in the 1950s and 1960s, reading about space travel between planets and some faster-than-light jumps between galaxies. Only sixty years later, it now seems the very, very rich will be someday be able to buy a trip into the upper reaches of earth's gravity. That's pretty slow progress to the stars.

jack vines
 

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Its a little counterintuitive because a lot of stories, websites, Youtube videos tout the MAX people get out of whatever EV they have. I am kinda doing the opposite (lots of HVAC idling etc) due to boredom & for my own understanding and to get a better idea of what the "ideal product" is. By ideal I mean it goes from a niche to usable by close to 100% of the population. My personal 2 cents is everything must DOUBLE to make it work in a reasonable manner similar to ICE (talking about refueling and range aspects only). If bolt had 100-120kwh battery and 100+ KW DCFC I know I would be happier with it. I am not complaining just pointing out my experience after about 2 Years but not a lotta miles. Also I realize that due to battery costs and technical aspects what I consider ideal can't even be made yet. I sure can hope it will for the future though! If that happens I will certainly upgrade if I can afford it or keep the old Bolt for in town use.

Photo examples of high temps and low avg mi/kwh (range is about 200 miles city )
I have to agree, doubling of current would make it much more convenient for long trips. This will allow maybe starting the road trip late morning, 1 DCFC session late afternoon for supper, and then checking in at night for some Z's and L2. Much better than having 3 one-hour DCFC stops.
 
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Are the reports current? EA had issues early on, with Credit Cards readers and other issues. Most should be resolved by now.
Every new station that comes on line has a significant risk of having problems... this is not just EA, any newly installed charger is less reliable than one that has had the bugs worked out. Then you have a few years of reliable service with few if any problems... Then as chargers get old they start having issues again due to time / wear and tear.

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Every new station that comes on line has a significant risk of having problems... this is not just EA, any newly installed charger is less reliable than one that has had the bugs worked out. Then you have a few years of reliable service with few if any problems... Then as chargers get old they start having issues again due to time / wear and tear.
I like this theory, but my admittedly anecdotal experience has been that newly opened stations are actually the most reliable, whereas those in regular use start to fail. Certainly, the EvGo and EA locaition nearest where I live were quite good a year back and in the past 6 months seem to have had a number of issues (judging by PlugShare). Same goes for the ChargePoint I use going to/from Yosemite. It's disconcerting because you assume that because something worked well the previous time, it should work fine again, and that's not necessarily the case.
 

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This premise has certainly crossed my mind. Yes, infrastructure will grow as demand for chargers grows. But that's just it - supply will lag demand. Most trips are possible today in a Bolt. Not convenient mind you, but possible. The situation will improve slowly, but it will likely get worse before it gets better.

I've been driving EVs since 2012, and have spent a lot of time on the Leaf forums. Now THOSE were EV nerds. Many people drove 73-mile-range Leafs from Baja California Mexico to British Columbia Canada (BC-to-BC) just to prove they can. Now on the Bolt forum, people complain because their twice-a-year 800-mile trip takes a few hours longer in a Bolt. Clearly many people here are not EV nerds. And that's a great sign. The Bolt has done what it promised, and opened up the market just a little more to the non-enthusiast crowd.

As for Tesla, I think of them like Apple. They have a solid product and full control of their ecosystem. Things "just work". Other EVs (namely CCS-based EVs) are more like Android. Based on a common (non-proprietary) standard, they hold the promise to draw in many players into a bigger market. At first, the android phones were an objectively worse experience than the iPhone. Over time, as the market reached critical mass, it really took off. Now iOS is a shrinking market share (although still significant). One can reasonably walk into a store and compare two phones on their actual merits, not just their "app store".

I am hopeful that CCS cars will really take off this decade. Between GM and VW, we should have a wide range of options. With more cars on the road, EA, EVGo, ChargePoint and others can start to be profitable and really work on their user experience. Tesla will most likely be successful with or without my support. I'm still enough of an "EV nerd" to want to support CCS if I can. It's not the sole criteria, but it is actually a strong consideration for me when shopping EVs.
 

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If you categorize DCFC station failures into: a) vandalism; b) mechanical component; c) electrical component; and, d) software, which do you think is the most prevalent? Are there other categories you would suggest?
 
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