GM Volt Forum banner

How Important is Charging Station Infrastructure in Your Decision to Purchase a BEV?

  • Won't Buy Until Infrastructure is Robust

    Votes: 8 18.2%
  • Important, But Not a Deal Breaker

    Votes: 15 34.1%
  • Somewhat Important

    Votes: 5 11.4%
  • Could Care Less - My Charging Station is My Home

    Votes: 16 36.4%
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How Important is Charging Station Infrastructure in Your Decision to Purchase a BEV?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,677 Posts
Right now only Tesla offers any reasonable chance for a family to pile in the family truck'ster and head off on a multi-state road trip to grand ma's without much thinking/planning/effort. While not perfect it's improving daily. Right now for my family their is only one gap that needs to be filled on I-64 between Mt Vernon and Louisville Ky, then even the smallest Tesla battery (60) could make safely even in the winter. That hole will be filled this year.

So I'm out shopping for a CPO MS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
I purchased a Bolt EV over the Memorial day weekend. My 2011 Chevrolet Volt went to my daughter who upgraded from her 2012 Mitsubishi i-miev. My wife got the daughter's SE premium i-miev, and now the wife's ES i-miev will be going up for sale. The Bolt EV was the right choice for me. It has plenty of range for my local driving, and I was really wanting a vehicle that sits a little taller than the Volt making it easier for me to get in and out.

The big question about EV's that people always ask is "What about when you are traveling long distance?" My answer is "Don't". I have other vehicles for that. Plus like most people that is such a small percentage of my driving. Vacations are rare, 99.99% of the time my driving is local and I suspect most people are the same.

Here's a good way to look at it. For traveling an EV is always going to be less convenient than a gasoline powered vehicle. A Tesla would be the most convenient EV with their supercharging network, but even still you can't replenish your battery in 5 minutes and although they have a very good network there may be some places you can't get to easily. However for the 99.99% of driving you do most often an EV will always be more convenient than an ICE car. Because your re-fueling station is also your home. and it only takes about 5 seconds to plug-in and go to bed. And you're fuel is billed to you once a month.

So for vacations, I have a vacation machine. A 31 foot Forest River Sunseeker class C motorhome which allows me to travel from the comfort of my second home. Carry my bed and my kitchen and my living room, and most importantly, my potty with me everywhere I choose to roam....no supercharging stations required. All I have to do is buy the amount of gas that i didn't buy all year because I drove an EV for the other 99.99% of my driving. That expenditure for gasoline would be about the same if I bought airfare and hotels for 4 adults.

So why the Bolt and not a Tesla. Well the Bolt is lighter than the Tesla and the Bolt is front wheel drive. Do you see where I'm headed? The Bolt can be towed on a Dolly behind my vacation machine for local driving when I' m traveling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
My kids are teens and we've done out of state road trips maybe a dozen times, or about once a year. Usually these are places that can be reached in single day.

More common for us is an in-state 150 mile (one way) trip to the Northern part of the state where my wife's father lives. We tend to do a fair amount of driving while we're there and there's limited fast-charging options. None of them would be very convenient. It could be made to work but I think it would be far easier to take or rent a gas engined vehicle.

The trip I'm talking about is from Minneapolis to Duluth, MN on I35. Heading to the Northern part of the state out of the cities on I35 during the Summer weekends is very common. There's a town called Hinkley at about the halfway point that has 3 large gas stations right off the freeway. They are very busy during this time of year. I can't imagine that it would ever be practical to make the same kind of infrastructure work for EVs if they ever represented 50% or more of the vehicles.

You can fill up with gas in about 10 minutes which frees up the pump for the next car. If it takes 30 minutes, now you need 3 times the number of pumps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I purchased a Bolt EV over the Memorial day weekend. My 2011 Chevrolet Volt went to my daughter who upgraded from her 2012 Mitsubishi i-miev. My wife got the daughter's SE premium i-miev, and now the wife's ES i-miev will be going up for sale. The Bolt EV was the right choice for me. It has plenty of range for my local driving, and I was really wanting a vehicle that sits a little taller than the Volt making it easier for me to get in and out.

The big question about EV's that people always ask is "What about when you are traveling long distance?" My answer is "Don't". I have other vehicles for that. Plus like most people that is such a small percentage of my driving. Vacations are rare, 99.99% of the time my driving is local and I suspect most people are the same.

Here's a good way to look at it. For traveling an EV is always going to be less convenient than a gasoline powered vehicle. A Tesla would be the most convenient EV with their supercharging network, but even still you can't replenish your battery in 5 minutes and although they have a very good network there may be some places you can't get to easily. However for the 99.99% of driving you do most often an EV will always be more convenient than an ICE car. Because your re-fueling station is also your home. and it only takes about 5 seconds to plug-in and go to bed. And you're fuel is billed to you once a month.

So for vacations, I have a vacation machine. A 31 foot Forest River Sunseeker class C motorhome which allows me to travel from the comfort of my second home. Carry my bed and my kitchen and my living room, and most importantly, my potty with me everywhere I choose to roam....no supercharging stations required. All I have to do is buy the amount of gas that i didn't buy all year because I drove an EV for the other 99.99% of my driving. That expenditure for gasoline would be about the same if I bought airfare and hotels for 4 adults.

So why the Bolt and not a Tesla. Well the Bolt is lighter than the Tesla and the Bolt is front wheel drive. Do you see where I'm headed? The Bolt can be towed on a Dolly behind my vacation machine for local driving when I' m traveling.
Almost exactly my situation with one exception - for my 1% of the year when I need to travel long distances, I rent an ICE car - I would rather put large amount of miles on a rental car anyway. The rest of the year my round trips are 80 miles or less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Almost exactly my situation with one exception - for my 1% of the year when I need to travel long distances, I rent an ICE car - I would rather put large amount of miles on a rental car anyway. The rest of the year my round trips are 80 miles or less.
And I think that may be the more sensible way to do it. If you want to make long trips with a BEV it will take more planning and I think you'd have to be able to reserve charging stations in advance so you'd know they'd be available. Taking a 30 minute break from driving is not necessarily a bad thing and we might have fewer inattentive drivers on the road if everyone was forced to take a 30 minute break every few hours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,517 Posts
As much long distance, non-interstate driving as I do I must have a recharging infrastructure in place. This is why I went with the Volt and not any BEV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,230 Posts
I will not buy a BEV until they can fast charge to full in under 15, have 300+ mile range in the worst conditions, and do all of that under 30k. If you don't think we will get there, well think nicer thoughts
 
G

·
I will not buy a BEV until they can fast charge to full in under 15, have 300+ mile range in the worst conditions, and do all of that under 30k. If you don't think we will get there, well think nicer thoughts
You can have lunch in under 15 minutes? Maybe if you eat at McDonald's (which I do when I'm on the road). If you're like my sister you stop at a restaurant, blow an hour, ordering, waiting for it, eating it, pay the cashier. More than enough time to charge the car. Don't do any +600 mile trips these days (at least not lately). Battery technology has a long way to go and we'll get there yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
Before I buy a BEV over the volt I would want it to have at least 300 mile range just so that I can at least get to somewhat 1 day long trips even if I have to stop to quick charge each way because if I travel longer than that I would just fly. So driving to Louisville KY from home is about 800 miles and if I could get there in 1 and at most 2 extra charges each way that would be great. Traveling any longer than that I would fly. 13hr trips is long enough without stopping but now charging. With the volt, just filler up and keep driving at least.
 
G

·
You can have lunch in under 15 minutes? Maybe if you eat at McDonald's (which I do when I'm on the road). If you're like my sister you stop at a restaurant, blow an hour, ordering, waiting for it, eating it, pay the cashier. More than enough time to charge the car. Don't do any +600 mile trips these days (at least not lately). Battery technology has a long way to go and we'll get there yet.
Pure EV owners must be some of the move obsese drivers on the road with all the eating they do while waiting for their car to recharge. At 75 MPH one can burn through the Bolts 328 mile range in a little over 3 hours. That means stopping every three hours to grab something to eat.
 
G

·
I will not buy a BEV until they can fast charge to full in under 15, have 300+ mile range in the worst conditions, and do all of that under 30k. If you don't think we will get there, well think nicer thoughts
This! It's not so much the range but rather the time to recharge. With an ICE vehicle I can "recharge" 400 - 500 miles in approximately 10 minutes. With a Bolt, using DCFC, it would take, theoretically, two hours to get half that range. The problem with EVs, IMO, is not range but slow recharge times.
 
G

·
They didn't factor at all in my purchase decision. IMO EVs are great for around town and short distance driving. Anything that requires more than a few hundred miles is out of the question. Life is too short to be hanging around charging stations for hours.

I love the idea of a pure electric vehicle. However recharge times need to come down substantially before they can be a consideration for a single car household.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
21,115 Posts
My two cars are a 2011 Volt PHEV and a 2017 Bolt EV. I'm very well covered for any scenario in our family. I'm essentially gas-free except for rare very long trips.

As a result, I'm in the nice to have but not a deal breaker camp regarding public charging.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
After 20+ years in diesel cars, the recent 15 of those running on biodiesel, it took some time for me to even consider electric vehicles.
When the fuel tank holds 1000+ miles of fuel, AND you fill twice in one day, you wonder how others can bear a mere 300 mile range.
When you tow your newly aquired 3500 lb. car home on a 900 lb. dolly with your old 3500 lb. car you don't understand the need for a truck.
When you safely and legally store a year's worth of non-toxic, biodegradable, biodiesel sourced from post consumer waste sources in your home, you can't imagine trips to a re-charge or fuel station.
When the time to put the equivalent of 900 kWh of energy into your storage media is 20 minutes, you question the relative slowness of even "fast" chargers.
When the total well-to-wheels emission of post-consumer biodiesel, even including the incidental land use cost (soil run-off, fertilizer production, etc.) is less (barely) than nuclear (concrete has a high carbon emission), or photovoltaic (glass and silicon production emissions, and a 20 year or so life), one wonders about the wisdom of any other vehicular fuel.

So why'd I go electric now? The diesels able to run on 100% biodiesel are 10+ years old now. Age and attrition have finally pushed me to look for newer. The emission controls implemented to clean up volatile petroleum diesel aren't compatible with low volatility, high flash point biodiesel. The so-called "clean diesels" now available can't be run on clean biodiesel fuel.
So I've had to settle for second best, but in a purchase price range I choose to afford (used Volt, not even used Tesla), and at that only because my municipal owned electric utility gets 75% of it's power from renewable, non-fossil, energy sources, and the off-peak rate is super low, too.

Oh, yeah.... charging infrastructure.... Nope, I didn't consider it. I'm accustomed to replenishing my energy supply at home, but on maybe a once-a-month basis with my diesels, not daily as with the Volt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,677 Posts
My kids are teens and we've done out of state road trips maybe a dozen times, or about once a year. Usually these are places that can be reached in single day.

More common for us is an in-state 150 mile (one way) trip to the Northern part of the state where my wife's father lives. We tend to do a fair amount of driving while we're there and there's limited fast-charging options. None of them would be very convenient. It could be made to work but I think it would be far easier to take or rent a gas engined vehicle.

The trip I'm talking about is from Minneapolis to Duluth, MN on I35. Heading to the Northern part of the state out of the cities on I35 during the Summer weekends is very common. There's a town called Hinkley at about the halfway point that has 3 large gas stations right off the freeway. They are very busy during this time of year. I can't imagine that it would ever be practical to make the same kind of infrastructure work for EVs if they ever represented 50% or more of the vehicles.

You can fill up with gas in about 10 minutes which frees up the pump for the next car. If it takes 30 minutes, now you need 3 times the number of pumps.
Need to take a peek at the Tesla SC map, there is a SC at Hinckley Supercharger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,544 Posts
If they ever put up DC charging on the highways in South Jersey, I can get away with a Leaf or Spark EV. Until then, it's the Volt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,349 Posts
I put in no factor, because I bought the Bolt as my runabout town and hot hatch funmobile. It's hard to beat an ICE for long distance travel. I did a trip to LA a few weeks ago and covered 1020 miles day 1 in 16 hr.
Clicking along at 75-80 mph to stay with the flow of traffic in a Bolt you'd be optimistic to get 150 miles on a charge, and a top off from the resulting uncomfortably low SOC would take 2 hrs. Not practical for real road trips that aren't EV centric adventures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Don't really see the point of this poll in the volt gen 1 forum. Charging infrastructure is not of any good use for this car. You can't charge it at tesla superchargers, which is the only decent charging infrastructure currently. I have a reservation for a tesla model 3 - sure i could get a bolt today, but why? You can't road trip with it, realistically speaking. You can with a tesla. And I'll probably hold on to my volt after getting the tesla anyway.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top