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Why EREVs might still be a better option for some.

3727 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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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.
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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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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.
Maybe. As a SWAG that's reasonable. It might be close to what happens eventually or it might be way off. Time will tell.
 

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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.
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.
 
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