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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First DCFC charging experience......Not quite what I expected.

Made an overnight trip to PA and ended up doing some more local driving than initially planned, so I needed to hit a CCS station before heading home. Luckily there were 2 in the city I was in, so I headed for the closest one to me, an EVgo unit that I found out was a 100 amp one.

It was a streetside unit, which are very rare, but luckily it was open and so I parked, used my EVgo card and started charging.

HOWEVER, for the first 15 minutes or so the charge rate was limited to 18-24 kW and 60-80 amps. It was so slow I thought I had ended up with one of those 24 kW CCS stations.

It spent the first 10 minutes at 60 amps (350V), then slowly ramped up to about 80 amps the next 5 minutes, then after a couple minutes around 80 amps, it finally did a slow ramp to 100. I think the last 9-10 minutes I actually experienced 100 amp charging (~360V), with 35 kW as the highest observed charge rate.

Not sure why it took so long to ramp up to 100 amps (the station's max output)? My SOC was 16% when I started charging. Only charged 30 minutes because all EVgo stations cut off after 30. I ended at 33% SOC. Went from 32 to 65 rated miles in 30 minute.

I juuust had enough charge to make it home. Funny thing is the first few miles driving after charging on the way to the highway, my ranged actually INCREASED and inched up to 69 miles before ticking back down.

Temps were in the high 30s most of the day. My initial conclusion is that DCFC station just sucks?


 

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And it's that sort of results that will scare folks from wandering too far from home. The uncertainty of what charging they will find when they get there and few options short of a Level I or II plug.
 

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So the question: Is the Bolt or the DCFC station doing this ramping? And WHY?

When I DCFC my Spark EV at Efacec 50kW rated chargers it's slam-bam-thank-you-mam.
A solid 48kW is shown on the car and station displays almost immediately. Then a quick taper to 24kW at 80% SOC.

Hang in there! These are still the early days of this Brave New World of cross-country EV cars (with CCS, that is...)

What's the latest with Brand T "sharing" its technology? Maybe marketing considerations?
It wouldn't be fun for them to see a lot of Bolts buying electrons at SC stations with NO Model 3's anywhere to be seen...:p
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Tesla superchargers in the area I was in
 

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So the question: Is the Bolt or the DCFC station doing this ramping? And WHY?
That's a really good question, and we probably need more experience to figure it out. Teslas with cold battery packs do ramp somewhat like this, but I don't know if the Bolt does. It also looks like the image was taken in the evening, presumably right after the driving around, so why would the pack be cold?
 

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What's the latest with Brand T "sharing" its technology? Maybe marketing considerations?
It wouldn't be fun for them to see a lot of Bolts buying electrons at SC stations with NO Model 3's anywhere to be seen...:p
Not a terrible idea...Imagine if the MY18 Volt gains a DCFC option...Now you have all GM vehicles that can use SCers which can clog them up and make it inconvenient for Tesla owners...

GM has been using Volts for their car sharing service for months, it was reported that they're bringing online Bolt EV soon and both vehicles will be available to renting at Lyft...I'm really curious to hear what they're doing about charging at those sites and believe the MY18 Volt will gain 7.2KW charging and/or DCFC but who knows, could be an internal GM-fleet option...I think GM is more interested in DCFC than we give them credit for...
 

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The Leaf had a similar pattern. When the SOC was low -- and 16% is definitely low -- it charged at a lower power. Then it would ramp up. Then it would taper. Ambient never seemed to matter. So my guess is this is the Bolt EV in particular and battery chemistry in general.

Not a terrible idea...Imagine if the MY18 Volt gains a DCFC option...
Can't imagine this happening for all sorts of reasons.
 

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GM may have opened up the upper and lower SOC limits from the overprotective ones on volt, but I doubt they dropped all pampering completely.
Likely ramps up from extremely low SOC and ramps down towards extremely high SOC. Those levels are probably the same 'no use zone' of the volt battery (<20% and >85-90%)
 

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First DCFC charging experience......My initial conclusion is that DCFC station just sucks?
Yeah, that's certainly possible. But considering that this is your first DCFC experience, what's more probable is that your expectations are off.

With ~30F ambient temps, the battery needs to heat up before it will take higher amps. How long and hard did you drive the car before the charging session?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
First DCFC charging experience......My initial conclusion is that DCFC station just sucks?
Yeah, that's certainly possible. But considering that this is your first DCFC experience, what's more probable is that your expectations are off.

With ~30F ambient temps, the battery needs to heat up before it will take higher amps. How long and hard did you drive the car before the charging session?
About 8 minutes and not very hard. Was sitting for a couple of hours in upper 30s temps before the trip to the DCFC.
 

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From what I understand (from the fb group), this seems like a DCFC station issue. It is possible that the battery needed to be warmed up, but based on my recent experiences charging in colder climates, this doesn't seem normal. Of course, I haven't had the opportunity to test cold soaking the battery and then immediately hooking it up to a fast charger (my battery is likely warm from driving).
 

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Quote Originally Posted by bro1999 View Post
First DCFC charging experience......My initial conclusion is that DCFC station just sucks?

Yeah, that's certainly possible. But considering that this is your first DCFC experience, what's more probable is that your expectations are off.
There's the problem - he was expecting it to not suck!:p
 

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My first DCFC experience was in and around Atlanta. Key points I learned: better to be deeper into the SOC for more efficient charging, as they charge by the minute, not by KWh received. Be prepared for non functioning machines. Cannot be in a hurry. Need to be adventuresome. Must have Internet access, a smartphone, and Plugshare app, or you will be in a lot of trouble. Not sure how much help the MyChevrolet app would have been at finding charging stations.

Charge Point affiliated with Georgia Power at a Chick Fila in Peachtree City: 50 kw machine, 38 minutes, 16.28 KWh received, (about 60 miles range) $9.67. Highest rate seen 36 kw
Greenlots in Cobb County....machine broken, left and drove to another Charge Point.
Charge Point at Georgia Power office in Smyrna, GA: 50 kw machine. Leaf plugged into ChaDemo....CCS side would not seem to connect. Waited until the Leaf left, tried again, did not work. Called the number, and finally got someone to turn it on. 33 minutes, 15.18 kwh received, $8.37. Mostly 25 kw rate.

So on my 270 mile round trip, I paid $18.04, over an hour total charging time, and received an additional 31.46 kwh x 3.9 miles/kw = about 122 miles. Almost twice as expensive as gas if you get 30 miles per gallon, and much more time consuming. Was at over 50% SOC when started each session. My first session was not really needed, but I wanted to try out the location. Would have been less expensive if I had waited until was less than 50% SOC, and received more electrons/minute.

Going to Atlanta area and back home again today, will see if I learned anything. This time going to try some FREE fast chargers. Will not be the most direct route, but will have plenty of time. Going to be about 260 miles total with some cabin heat needed, mostly interstate driving, so will likely be getting around 190 miles of range. Need about 100 miles from chargers to avoid that RANGE ANXIETY. Would feel a lot better rolling into my garage with 50+ miles of range remaining to account for the what if's...

NEED to take the Bolt anyway, sold my 2012 Volt, and 2016 Volt is at dealership because they broke the front camera system doing my recall work, and still waiting on a new camera module to arrive.
 

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Be prepared for non functioning machines. Cannot be in a hurry. Need to be adventuresome.
I concur with the above, went 0 for 3 yesterday but my objective was only to try some out and see if I could maybe count on them for a longer trip in the future.

- First station (no network, no card needed) had screen dead, moved on
- Second station (EVgo) started the charge and said it would reach 80% in about 45 minutes (I was at about 30%), I walked maybe 1/2 mile to Subway and Starbucks, checked MyChavrolet app while at Starbucks and it said "not charging" - walked back and charge only went for about 5-10 minutes before encountering a charge fault
- Third station (Greenlots) got as far as "communicating with vehicle" and then gave big red stop sign on charger's screen and said "Error Code 54"

So I entered those comments in PlugShare and definitely keeping a list on my laptop about the good and bad.

And BTW, here is a quick 5 second clip of getting to the last bar of range, which I think occurs at about 10 miles left (but in 2 times yesterday it was at 19 miles left that the number changed to "Low" so that 10 is only a guess).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdHGZMaOEF4
 

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...So on my 270 mile round trip, I paid $18.04, over an hour total charging time, and received an additional 31.46 kwh x 3.9 miles/kw = about 122 miles. Almost twice as expensive as gas if you get 30 miles per gallon, and much more time consuming.... This time going to try some FREE fast chargers. Will not be the most direct route, but will have plenty of time. ...
I concur with the above, went 0 for 3 yesterday but my objective was only to try some out and see if I could maybe count on them for a longer trip in the future.
.....
Dang, these are discouraging looks at the Clean Energy Future.

I only have experience with 'FREE DCFC and I haven't run into a dead unit in a while.
The Chargepoint app is supposed to display units that are not working.
 

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And BTW, here is a quick 5 second clip of getting to the last bar of range, which I think occurs at about 10 miles left (but in 2 times yesterday it was at 19 miles left that the number changed to "Low" so that 10 is only a guess).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdHGZMaOEF4
That matches my experience. When the range estimator hits about 10 miles, you no longer have the range, just "Low."
 

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Dang, these are discouraging looks at the Clean Energy Future.

I only have experience with 'FREE DCFC and I haven't run into a dead unit in a while.
The Chargepoint app is supposed to display units that are not working.
For whatever it's worth, the 2 EVGo CHAdeMO units I charged at last year both worked perfectly, and no one had to wait for charging.


I think it's just very hit or miss except for Tesla's Supercharger network right now.
 

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Trip from Columbus, GA to Atlanta, and back again, 265.2 miles, 70.4 kWh used. Stopped to charge on I-85 near West Point, GA....a little out of the way, but it is a Georgia Welcome Center, and they have a Kia sponsored Greenlots charger, supported with a solar array. The attendant says it is not often used, and the solar array more than pays for what electricity is used. Only had gone 38 miles on my trip, but wanted to try it out, and worked great. Still took about 30 minutes to get those 38 miles back due to the high SOC. Nobody waiting to charge, so then on my way to baseball practice in Atlanta.

Finished practice, then went about 6 miles north to Cobb County Kia, and used another Greenlots charger. Still had about 60% SOC, so took about 40 minutes to get to around 90%. Again, nobody waiting to use the charger on a Sunday afternoon, and had plenty of charge to make it back home.

So this experience was much better. Rolled into garage with 85 miles of remaining range, 3.8 mi/kWh on the trip, and all charging was free thanks to Kia and Greenlots.
 
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