Saturday, December 31, 2016

Unplanned Stops: Thanks a lot heat and rain

Originally I had planned to go another 140 miles for the second leg of the trip but the weather had other ideas...

After I left the first charging stop it began to rain and continued to do so for the whole next leg of the trip. Being 45F outside and raining the windows quickly started to fog up so I was forced to use the heat in the car to keep everything safe. Needless to say this destroyed my range and reminded me why I wanted the 100 kWh battery in the Tesla. Previously I was managing around 275 Wh/mi and as soon as I turned the heat on it, coupled with the rain, jumped 375 Wh/mi. Based on this I would not make my next charger so I had to cut the trip short by around 30 miles and stop in Chowchilla to power up.

So far everything is working and the drives great but I can see how a 50 kW charging network will not allow for real long distance travel compared to the performance of a SuperCharger. Having to stop and charge for 1.5 hours each time really is not a viable thing unless you like sitting in Walmart parking lots. I could see how with SuperCharger like speed it might be passable though 30-45 minutes to wait is not that bad, time to maybe eat, walk the dogs, etc. I definitely do not see myself making this trip again!

Performance of this EVgo charger is also slower than my last stop, only pulling down 32 kW according to the car (100A, 366V according to the charger). The 30 minute time limit on the charger is also really annoying, this is something EVgo should look into removing!

New plan is to go another 120 miles and stop in Pleasanton for the final charge to get to SF. It stopped raining so hopefully the weather holds!!

Temp: ~45F
Speed: 65-70 mph
Wind: None
Cabin heat: On, 71F
Miles: 115.9
Total kWh used: 43.2 (83%-11%)
Efficiency: 372 Wh/mi or 2.69 mi/kWh
Charging start: 2:40pm, 19mi range, 11% SoC
Charging finish: 4:17pm, 139mi range, 81% SoC (Also includes 12 minutes on the phone with EVgo)

I left the last stop thinking I was good to go with 188 miles, little did I know the MIN was going to be more  inline with real performance!

Not my most efficient driving

Where my 50kW at?!


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  2. Thanks again for another good data point. Your results on this 100A charger are consistent with my charging model and your previous leg charging at 125A. That is to say, my model was equally over optimistic on both charging cycles but the car is behaving as expected.

    I wish PlugShare would indicate the max charger amperage on each station listing. A 100A charger will add 25% to your charging time versus a 125A charger.

  3. Yeah this was a non ABB charger on the EVgo network, it looked fancier than the ABB and provided more data but at a slower charge.

  4. Just as a tip in my 2017 Volt to keep the windows clear I set the HVAC to fan only - windshield (defog) - outside air (re-circulation off). And adjust fan speed as needed to keep the windows clear. For the most part it works great. The odd time I need to give a little heat the clear the windows. I mostly use the heated steering wheel and seats to keep me warm while wearing a good jacket.

  5. Thanks for all the data and reports on your real-world driving and charging experiences. I'm planning on getting a Bolt when it becomes available out East, and your notes are going to help me manage the experience and expectations.
    Keep it up. I look forward to reading your ongoing experiences.