Roadtrip: charger follies

Discussion in 'Hyundai Kona Electric' started by hobbit, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. hobbit

    hobbit Active Member

    Well, I took my first significant roadtrip last weekend. Boston down
    to the Philadelphia area for a weekend event, and back. Other than some
    traffic the drive itself was quite mellow, but range and recharging was
    kind of a pain in the arse.

    I had a wicked west headwind most of the way down, only made about 200 miles
    [which I had planned for], so one EVgo stop was enough to get me the rest
    of the way. There was another EVgo at the event hotel, which was one
    motivational component for doing the event in the first place... what's
    profoundly annoying is how EVgo limits every session to 45 minutes. That
    is *not* reasonable for today's higher-capacity batteries, especially at
    46 kW going in -- that's only ~ 33 kWh max deliverable per.

    When I tried to call their support center and verify that that had been why
    the charger had just suddenly stopped with no warning, all I could get out
    of the call center number was "sorry, we are having system problems". That
    was *not* the cell network, it was EVgo's phone infrastructure, just plain
    dead and offline. Yeah, real supportive.

    I tried a GougeAmerica site on the way back; their credit-card readers take
    chip cards so I figured that was a good enough equivalent to the tap-cards I
    have for EVgo and CP. The first station I tried couldn't sync up; fortunately
    the next one I moved over to could. It only delivered about 42 kW at peak,
    for a 50k unit. No idea why. $16.56 total for 44 kWh delivered, effective
    37.5 cents/kWh or about 9c/mile. I can do *way* better than that in the
    Prius, so you see why I call them what I do and will continue to do so until
    they change their broken business model. While reporting the charger that
    couldn't sync up to their support I made sure to emphasize the stupidity of
    time-based sessions again. They keep offering this apologetic party-line
    about how they "take all the customer feedback very seriously because they
    want to develop the best service", but I'm not seeing any productive changes
    fall out of that.

    The EA didn't give me *quite* enough to get home, even though I waited a bit
    longer past the power ramp-down point, so I had to divert slightly to a
    Chargepoint somewhere east of Worcester before I could finish my trip. That
    was two stops -- one to look up where to go on Plugshare, because I'm not
    going to dork with a map while driving, and then at the charger. I was
    hoping to get home before midnight, but that didn't happen. The whole
    return trip could have been a no-stops milk run in the Prius, modulo any
    "coffee rental".

    Non-Tesla rapid charge infrastructure in the US is clearly *not* ready for
    real prime time yet. It is too unreliable, too sparse, and not supported by
    people who actually understand real-world distance driving. I fear that too
    much of the Dieselgate funding that is supposedly building those networks is
    simply going into various pockets, instead of being properly applied to truly
    compete with what Tesla is doing with the superchargers. Maybe in another
    year or more we'll starting having resources we can actually depend on?

    I had some long conversations with a long-time Tesla owner over the course of
    the weekend. He believes that Tesla knows there are big problematic obstacles
    in the other types of networks and sympathizes, because they'd like to see
    more EV adoption ... but is not willing to fund themselves competing as part
    of the general public charging network at this point. If Tesla *was* willing
    and able to start putting CCS heads and (reasonable) billing systems on the
    supercharger networks, they would probably bury CP and EVgo in six months.
    EA might survive due to an installed base of higher-power facilities by now,
    but would have to radically alter their pricing model to stay viable.

  2. ericy

    ericy Active Member

    If you are using a 50kw EA charger, you should have been charged the lowest rate.

    The navi on an ultimate does a decent job of showing nearby chargers, but it doesn't distinguish between L2 and L3. If the one I want shows up, I can easily add as a waypoint.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Inside EVs mobile app
  3. hobbit

    hobbit Active Member

    EA was a 50 kW at $0.21/minute. It was still unreasonably expensive.

    This is energy, not long-distance phone calls. All of these networks
    need to learn their units.

  4. hieronymous

    hieronymous New Member

    Re your 42kW from a 50kW QC, @KiwiME has somewhere posted about the effect of battery temperature on the charge rate - something like if the battery is below about 15-16C, then the Kona runs a battery heater to raise it, so while charging the net rate drops back from about 45kW to 42kW.
  5. Tony M.

    Tony M. Member

    Amen! A million Amen's! I live in Albany, NY and cannot for the life of me understand why every rest stop on the Thruway doesn't have a charging station. It is so damn frustrating to have to stop at the rest stop that has the charger versus the one that would be most convenient and efficient. It's just plain stupid. And the part of the Thruway in western NY is a joke. Only EA and only two locations and most of their chargers don't work. And NO high speed chargers anywhere in Syracuse. Seriously this is so messed up.

    So, yeah, it sucks.
  6. BlueKonaEV

    BlueKonaEV Well-Known Member

    I would recommend using the app for the Electrify Chargers. Even on EVgo, the credit card readers often don't work and neither the EVgo RFID cards.. I never had issues activating with the app on both, EVgo or Electrify. On the Electrify 50kw chargers, I get exactly 45.83 kwh peak rate which isn't bad compared to the 38 - 39 kwh I get on EVgo. However, nothing gets me more kwh on a 50kw charger than Greenlots. I always get 48 to 49 kw on those (if they work as many of them are broken). Greenlots also has a reasonable rate of $12 per hour. $12 per hour at Greenlots @48kwh is better than the $21 per hour at EVgo @38 kwh
  7. ericy

    ericy Active Member

    0.20$ per minute is close to the best you will get unless you have access to a free L3 charger.

    Still, I would stop as soon as the charge rate tapers at around 72%.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Inside EVs mobile app
  8. hobbit

    hobbit Active Member

    I finally more-or-less-finished my detailed section on fast-charging:


    It's mostly about the tech behind CCS, but reviews the roadtrip experience
    and links to this thread.

    I'm trying to find more info on the "PilotShark" product, but the company
    that produces it is being balky.

    eastpole and davidtm like this.
  9. apu

    apu Active Member

    Thanks, I enjoyed your article.

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