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Why EREVs might still be a better option for some.

3741 Views 28 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Ladogaboy
I found this video pretty interesting. Personally, I think most of this experience is owed to poor trip planning by the owner, but it is an example of how someone with a busy schedule and long trips can be impacted by owning a BEV.

Ironically, he might have saved himself time by backtracking west and recharging at the Burbank Supercharger, but oh well. First world problems.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't know that more range would help, but in his case it might. It sounds like he has a Model S60, so he was only able to get 150 miles of range after over an hour of charging. An 85, 90, or 100 would all have added that much range in about a half hour.

I think the bigger issue is the free charging, and not just that it is over-crowded but also that Tesla owners have become overdependent on it. When I bought up the map of Superchargers in the area where he was, they were quite sparse. If he was where I think he was (Rancho Cucamonga), he was facing a huge gap in the Supercharger network, and I can see why those Superchargers would be overcrowded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Daytime charging while enroute makes no sense to me and it will fairly soon be obsoleted by longer EV range and standardized battery exchange. (EREV will similarly be obsoleted, but is currently the way to go for many of us.)
I disagree. I think that stopping en route is actually preferable. You're going to do it with a gasoline vehicle (even if you aren't stopping for gas), but you're going to do it for the convenience and health of your passengers.

I think the bigger issue is charge speed. This has been a hot topic for a while, so I started timing my stops for gasoline, food, and restroom breaks. What I found was that I (without a discernible hold up... long lines, poor service, etc.) was spending about 20 minutes at any one stop. Tack 10 minutes onto that, and you've got nearly 100 miles of charge... and that's in a Bolt.

IMHO even a Tesla MS60 should still be considered an urban vehicle, same as the Bolt. Even with their SC network many MS60 owners think they can easily travel cross country.

I was going to buy a Tesla CPO but could only afford a MS60, after playing with EVTripPlanner.com for the three destinations/routes I'd want/need to take during the year proved one was totally undo able and the other two could only be done in temps above 45 degrees, unless I was willing to stop at EVERY SC along the routes.
I think the newer S60 that is a software restricted S75 is a better option, and for road trips, it is ironically every bit as effective as an S75. The reason for that is you are able to accept higher charge rates up to 100% charge, so in this guy's situation, he would have had 200 miles of range in less than an hour.

That is no different than what Motor Trend uncovered when they tried to charge the Bolt to 100% on a DCFC charger and it took over two hours. People are going to need to start changing their mentality. An EV isn't a cell phone. You don't need to wait for it to hit 100% before you unplug it every time. In fact, it will be better for your time and the battery's life if you unplug it at 80% every time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Add a half hour for each car in front of you if there was a line. Fortunately there aren't that many BEVs out there yet. If charge stations were as common as gas station and BEVs as common as ICE cars, the situation would be miserable at the current charge rates.
I believe that is partially Tesla's fault. First, it's an issue of free charging. When it's free, people will use it whenever possible and for longer than needed. Second, it's an issue of placement. Tesla seems to favor urban areas, which increases the likelihood of local opportunists. I recognize it is a balancing act because you need enough businesses in the immediate area to make charging for 30 minutes convenient, but to put the chargers in city centers was a mistake.

How many folk travel over 500 miles at >=85 mph? Outside urban areas, when traffic is light, 85 is normally the slowest I go. Especially in areas with speed limits of 75mph or higher.
Well, I don't. I don't want to be among the 1 in 50 people I see pulled over with speeding tickets. One traffic stop and you've effectively negated the time savings from speeding on multiple trips. Tack the increased cost of insurance on, and I'm just not interested in saving a few minutes over 500 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't think Tesla's free superchargers is responsible for much of anything yet. I'm imagining that the vehicle population is mostly BEVs and charging stations are as common as gas stations currently are. Granted charging at home will moderate the situation to some degree. Stopping at a gas/rest stop on the highway it's not unusual to have 2-3 cars in front of you at the pump. That means may 10-25 minutes waiting? At current charging rates that's 1-1-1/2 hours of waiting before even plugging in. So it's an 1-1/2 to 2 hour stop to charge. It looks even worse if you compare the range acquired to the ICE car during the stop.
I'm not sure where or when you typically travel, but I rarely have to wait in line at a gas station. Usually, I'm waiting for the bathroom, or I'm waiting in line to buy coffee or food while someone is counting out coins.

Regardless, we could probably calculate the balance between public EV charging and gas stations. EVs need to use public refueling far less often than ICEVs, but the time EVs spending refueling is longer. In the end, my guess we'll need about a quarter as many public EV chargers as gas stations to support the same number of EVs on the road as ICEVs.

As a thought experiment, let's just assume that all EVs are Tesla models with Supercharger capability. The average freeway exit along the routes I drive will have about four gas stations. If we put one Tesla Supercharger station (8 to 12 stalls?) at every freeway exit, it would easily support the same number of EVs on the road as we currently have ICEVs. During high traffic periods (probably the type you were referencing when waiting for gas), you might have to wait for a stall, but apparently, that is a problem with ICEVs too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Maybe that's true where or when you're travelling, but it's not uncommon to have one or two cars in front of me. I've driven by a wholesale stations full of cars waiting to gas up. My point is still at the current state of the art, two or three cars ahead of you at the pump is a much smaller chunk of time than two or three cars in front of you at a charging station. Each charging station has the capacity to serve fewer cars per day than a gas pump. I think BEVs still account for less that 1% of the cars in the US. Still some places are already having issues with charging stations being backed up. I think it's going to be quite some time before things are sorted out and BEVs are as convenient as ICE cars for mobility. That doesn't mean that they don't work well for many drivers.
It's possible. I tend to stop at larger "pit stop" locations, which usually have 8-10 different gas stations. I do so because of cost competition, but I guess I also benefit from better than average throughput.

And I agree with your comment about each charging station servicing fewer vehicles per day than a pump, but I feel that could play nicely with a calculation about how many chargers would actually be needed to support a population of X number of EVs.

Also, the 1% number sounds right, but the number I'm interested in is percentage of new car sales and percentage of sales increase. Those numbers will give a better idea about trends, and where we need to be in the future.

In the meantime, you're right that ICEVs are still more convenient for long-distance mobility, but they are less convenient at all other times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I filled up today a about 3:00 pm at a station with 16 pump locations and four more stations within a half mile of me. There were still 3 cars ahead of me (shortest line). The wait was less than 1 BEV doing a half hour rapid charge.
It is what it is. Clearly, our experiences refueling at gas stations are very different. The experience of fast charging publicly could be different still, but we won't know until people start doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I think people with EVs in cold climates need to post more about their experiences: Range hits, waiting to charge in the cold with little battery left. Turning off heat to make it somewhere or to a charger. Not situations that I want.
Other than the slight (~10%) bonus ICEVs get from scavenging waste heat, ICEVs and EVs suffer almost identical losses during cold weather. The difference is, when you can go 400 miles on a tank that you can refill in five minutes, you don't notice the losses as much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
In fact, Tesla has been toying with the marketing trick that the car's advertised range is adjusted to only 80% of the actual so that they can claim super fast charging of their cars without degradation. Of course, many people would also love to hack around such restriction.
That is how their current Model S60 works, and it is why the S60 is every bit as capable of long-distance trips as the S75. Nobody wants to sit around for an extra hour to get the last 15 kWh of juice into the battery, so you would be leaving about the same time the Model S60 hits 100%.

I'm not a fan of using gimmicks or software locks to control that aspect of the car's battery; I think that should be left up to the individual driver. I do, however, think that it should be considered when sizing the battery. Realistically, the Bolt is a 45-50 kWh EV in terms of long-distance driving. During long trips, people will want to stop for no more than 1 hour, and after 85% SOC, fast charging runs into an issue of diminishing returns.

The basic standard I think manufacturers should be shooting for in terms of "everyday" EVs (cars to completely replace the standard family ICEV) is 120 kWh battery with 150 kW charging. Over 400 miles on a full charge and stop for 20 minutes to regain about 200 miles of range. When that can happen for average car MSRP, ICEVs as daily drivers are finished.
 
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