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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
***I want to start off this post by saying that this whole issue was created by owner oversight/plain bad trip planning. The Bolt itself performed exactly like it was supposed to.***

This weekend my family took a trip to the Philly area to go to a Lego Brickfest Live event (tip: don’t buy the weekend pass if you ever plan to go to one of these things, a 1 day pass is more than enough…unless you are a Lego fanatic that just can’t get enough). When looking up the hotel we were staying at (at least I thought it was the hotel we were staying at….more on that later), there was 1 L2 station along with a couple of Tesla destination charging stations at the hotel, according to Plugshare. In addition, I was under the belief that there was also a couple of fast charging stations in the area we would be in during the weekend (also according to Plugshare).

For the route I planned, it was 125 miles from central MD to Philly, and combined with local driving, I would need to charge at some point during the trip. As I thought charging would not be an issue, I actually departed from home with only about a ~85% charge (this was mistake #1 ). GOM stated I had 233 miles of range (I knew that was over-enthusiastic due to the fact that number was achieved mainly through local driving). During the drive up to Philly, it was raining pretty much the whole way, and I also had to use the defroster, so both of those factors ate up some range (along with mainly highway driving of 60-70 mph.

We arrived at the Brickfest location with about 60 miles of range displayed on the GOM. After the event , which was fun overall, especially for the kids, but a lot of the items being sold were overpriced compared to the normal brick and mortar stores. Most Legos I’ve ever seen in one place by far though!

After the event, we drove to our hotel, which was 10 miles away. After checking in to our room, we relaxed a little while trying to figure out dinner, it was then I realized that this hotel did not have any onsite charging stations! It turned out I had looked at the hotel I originally was going to book, but decided not to at the last minute. Both the original hotel and hotel we ended up booking were Hilton properties, and I had mixed them up. Doh!

But no problem! I had seen a handful of fast charging stations listed on Plugshare, so I could still just charge at one of those before leaving for home the next day, right? Eh, nope. While looking at Plugshare, I had inadvertently left the CHAdeMO setting on, so those stations were listed (mistake #2 ). It turned out all those DCFC stations in my area were CHAdeMO-only Blink stations! So no fast charging options, and no hotel L2 option. Not even a 120V outlet, after chatting with the hotel staff. Nearest CCS-compatible station is over 20 miles away, and even then it’s operational status is questionable. I was certainly in a pickle!

Mind you, the whole time I am humming the “Everything is Awesome!” Lego movie song in my head, and do not let my wife in on the fact I’m actually mini freaking out inside my head. The last thing I want is to give her an impression the Bolt is not suitable for a road trip. She then asks me “Hey, where is the nearest Lego store? Let’s go get some new Lego sets for the kids”. I look up the nearest Lego store and it’s at a mall about 10 miles away. Then I look at Plugshare and see there is actually a L2 station at that mall! It’s a Blink station though (****!), but Plugshare rating is 7.6, so it may actually be a working station.

After agreeing to get dinner and shop at the Lego store at that mall, we drive the 10 miles and I find the station (2 plugs total) empty. After downloading the Blink app (and noticing the 39 cents/kWh pricing…..bleh), I start the charge session. But the Bolt’s charging light indicator stays yellow. You gotta be kidding me. I restart the session a couple of times, but still no go. I then try the other station, and luckily I get it to start charging. Whew! GOM stated 37 miles of range when it started charging.

After chowing down on some Shake Shack and getting the Lego sets, we come back to the Bolt 2 hours later, and I see it has taken in 10.88 kWh of juice, and the GOM states I have 79 miles of range. This Blink station must have been a 6.6 kW/208V setup, so due to the limitations, the Bolt was likely not able to charge faster than 6 kW. I drive back to the hotel (carefully) and parked the Bolt for the night with 72 miles of range on the GOM.

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I wake up the next day, still realizing I’m gonna need to find about 70 more miles of range to make the trip back home. But first, we head back to Brickfest after grabbing some breakfast to check out a couple of things we didn’t get to the day prior. 60 miles on the GOM when we get there. After Brickfest, the wife decides we should head back to the mall to grab lunch and do some shopping (and to get some much needed charge!).

When we arrive back at the same Blink station, I see a Porsche SUV plugged into one of the units. First time I’ve ever seen the Porsche SUV plugin (turns out it only has 14 miles of range). I plug into the other unit, and while we are gone, I get 20.56 kWh during the 3 hours, 40 minutes we are at the mall. GOM now says we have 133 miles of range, and since our drive is only 121 miles, we should be good to go!

I drive around the speed limit (55-60 mph) during most of the trip to try and preserve that 12 mile buffer, and by the time we are about 40 minutes from home, I’ve built that buffer up to 19 miles. That’s when I decide that we have enough to make it home comfortably, so I then up our speed to 65-70 mph the last 40 miles or so. We end up stopping at the local Whole Foods (GOM is now blinking “Low” by this point), and I find a Bolt is plugged into the only working station! Cool since it is my first Bolt sighting (besides my own) in the wild, but also not so cool because I wanted to “top off” my Bolt.

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During the 5 miles drive back home, in propulsion power reduced mode and the Bolt’s GOM still blinking Low, I drive gingerly and make it back home on e-fumes. SOC% according to Torque Pro was 5.7% when I parked the Bolt and I got the GOM to tell me I had 5 miles of estimated range left. Plenty to spare!

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So lessons learned during this trip:
#1 – ALWAYS start out with a 100% charge before any trip you will need to charge to get back home, even if you think you are in a charging station heaven at your destination
#2 – triple check that the place you think you are staying at is actually the hotel you are staying at
#3 – don’t be a [email protected] and leave the CHAdeMO filter on while checking DCFC stations on Plugshare
#4 – Check items 1-3 again

As I said in my opening, the Bolt itself performed just fine. I ended up averaging 4.1 kWh over 318 miles. Majority of the driving (260+ miles) was highway driving (probably averaged 60 mph). Definitely appreciate the Bolt’s 7.2 kW onboard charger (even if some stations can only put out 6 kW). If it had the ’17 Volt’s 3.6 kW unit, I would have been truly screwed!
 

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An interesting and harrowing story. From a Volt owner who doesn't have to worry about charge anxiety ever. I forgot to plug in my Volt night before last for some reason. Ho-hum, so what.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
An interesting and harrowing story. From a Volt owner who doesn't have to worry about charge anxiety ever. I forgot to plug in my Volt night before last for some reason. Ho-hum, so what.
That's usually not an issue for the Bolt either, since it only needs to be plugged in roughly every 4-5 days for local driving. :p
 

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I wonder how long it will take for the various charger service companies to change-out their legacy Chademo-only chargers to dual-head? The CCS market will very shortly be their biggest market opportunity, with the Bolt and i3 now and other soon-to-arrive long-range EV's with CCS charging like VW. Already, as you can attest, they are missing a lot of revenue opportunities and will be quickly "filtered out" in the future.
 

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King of Prussia mall eh? That one Blink charger has been broken for MONTHS. It has been reported by several people. That coupled with the fact that i have yet to get my blink card, i'm wondering if they are going out of business or something?
The other one works fairly reliably. I charge up my volt there often.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
King of Prussia mall eh? That one Blink charger has been broken for MONTHS. It has been reported by several people. That coupled with the fact that i have yet to get my blink card, i'm wondering if they are going out of business or something?
The other one works fairly reliably. I charge up my volt there often.
Yep. I actually saw the old charge cord and plug just laying on the ground of station #2. And it's still broken. Luckily the Porsche owner was using unit #2. Probably didn't even realize he wasn't getting a charge till he got back.
 

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That cord is still sitting there today :(
Looks like the parent company of Blink is loosing money left and right:

Net Loss decreased by 7% or $0.54M from $8.24M for the year ended December 31, 2015 to $7.70M for the year ended December 31, 2016 due to reductions in operating expenses offset by increases in other expenses.
 

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Being a historian by nature, I find this sort of thing fascinating reading especially when you can compare and contrast to the early days of motoring (the 1908-1920 period) before you could rely on a decent road from "A" to "B" and getting fuel was a haphazard proposition not to mention how badly tires sucked back then.

Elmer's 1921 trip to California
 

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As always, thanks for sharing...I believe the core issue isn't "range anxiety" but rather "charging station anxiety":

Is the SOURCE telling the charger location accurate?
At the location, are the chargers operational?
Are the operational chargers vacant?
How do you pay for the charging session? (CC reader or membership requiring you to download an app, register, confirm identity and add a credit card)
How is the pay structure? (Is there a separate CC fee? Is there a "connection fee" that's waived with a membership?)
What are the overall costs and is it cheaper than gas?
How long will it take?
Is there a time limit?
Will you encounter drama from someone who follows your level of "charger etiquette"?

For the most part, Tesla has eliminated or greatly reduced all of the above with superchargers despite there being recent changes of both the superchargers being free (they still make it easy to use your already linked "master" Tesla account) and recently added occupied/vacant of the individual stalls...Yet the fundamental issues are, you still have to plan your trip, there can be freak issues of SCers being offline due to power outages, vandalism, etc, long waits and long charging times...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Also saw this thing at Brickfest. 1.21 jigawatt onboard charger!
 

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That coupled with the fact that i have yet to get my blink card, i'm wondering if they are going out of business or something?
I requested a Blink card at the beginning of last December and it never came either. I then requested one again in mid-January and it came in a few days. Not sure what that tells us except that you have to be persistent.
 

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For future reference if you come back this way, they recently put in a Chargepoint CCS-only station at the royal farms that's right off of I-95 at Stewart Ave/exit 8, by the big Boeing plant south west of Philly and I'm thinking probably on your route. Boeing also installed some J1772 Chargepoint stations, but they haven't been entirely set up right.

Because it's CCS only (the only one of those I've seen, actually,) I haven't verified it is operational (no Tesla-CCS adaptor yet,) but Plugshare comments suggest it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
For future reference if you come back this way, they recently put in a Chargepoint CCS-only station at the royal farms that's right off of I-95 at Stewart Ave/exit 8, by the big Boeing plant south west of Philly and I'm thinking probably on your route. Boeing also installed some J1772 Chargepoint stations, but they haven't been entirely set up right.

Because it's CCS only (the only one of those I've seen, actually,) I haven't verified it is operational (no Tesla-CCS adaptor yet,) but Plugshare comments suggest it is.
I saw that one, and probably would have used that one if the Blink charger had not been available, but it's the 24 kW variety. Yuck. Those can be pretty much ruled out except for emergency situations.... which is what I was almost in. :p
 

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I can't get over the $0.39 per kWh -- that's insane, I pay 8 cents at home.

Assuming 3.5 miles per kwh -- compared to say a Volts 35mpg in gas mode.... you were paying ~$4.00 a gallon gas equivalent. Ouch.

Here in Texas -- public charging is here and there, I've never seen a free charge station in my life, and I've actually never hooked my car to any public charging.
 

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I can't get over the $0.39 per kWh -- that's insane, I pay 8 cents at home.
And that's another problem with chargers and their rate structure, wild swings all throughout a 24 hour period like regular electricity at home...That's a separate debate, keep the rate fixed regardless of time (off peak pays more while peak pays less) or have rates fluctuating rates throughout the day...
 

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I can't get over the $0.39 per kWh -- that's insane, I pay 8 cents at home.

Assuming 3.5 miles per kwh -- compared to say a Volts 35mpg in gas mode.... you were paying ~$4.00 a gallon gas equivalent. Ouch.

Here in Texas -- public charging is here and there, I've never seen a free charge station in my life, and I've actually never hooked my car to any public charging.
Arbitrary high prices are a hallmark of a lot of the charging networks right now, with monthly fees and per session charges being other favorites. It'll be interesting to see how much Tesla's decision to charge ~20% over the residential power prices with no time variation, monthly fees, or session fees influences the other networks over time. I suspect it'll drag the others into line eventually to try to get a piece of the Tesla pie; otherwise the charging costs will stay a competitive advantage for Tesla.
 
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