SeaGeo

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I thought I had heard that VW had already sold their stake in EA.
Maybe with more EVs, the profits will come but you can tell by the general poor maintenance, that they aren’t getting a lot of upkeep.
I'd push back here. I think EA is trying to maintain their equipment, but they've had issues being able tell when maintenance is needed and (obviously) actually getting parts for the last two years. I've seen them be pretty responsive locally to complaints, and the one charging station I encountered that clearly needed work was under construction for a full replacement a few weeks after I had a less than ideal charging experience.

They definitely have some chargers that seem to get stuck in limbo for whatever reason. I'm truly guessing here, but based on some interactions with them I suspect it's because they can't seem to actually tell when stations aren't providing the power that they should in some circumstances.

They're not perfect, but they do seem to be trying to maintain and improve their equipment. People need to remember how fast they've build that network out from scratch, and that they sourced multiple suppliers to start. I expect that they'll get better with this next generation of charger they announced as well.

One benefit Tesla has had is their chargers are much simpler. There is no HID, there is no credit card charger. So EA has to deal with other maintenance issues that Tesla hasn't had.

 

dzmconstr

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Right, I wasn't assuming *you* were. Just that people do.

Tesla seems to have sunk at least part of the costs of their network into the cost of the cars as well (that's my best guess) to support lower charging fees. And I'd guess they have some lower capital costs as well. Don't forget that Elon/Tesla has hinted at higher costs for non-tesla vehicles if they ever open it up in the U.S.

If you compare the EA cost to other DCFC providers that aren't subsidized by a manufacturer I think the comparison becomes cleaner. EVGO charges 0.30/kWh but the stations I see in VA are almost all 50kW stations with 2 plugs, and then a couple of stations with a pair of 200kw chargers. So EVGO is able to manage likely cost average down their demand fees compared to EA stations with 6 plugs that have two 350kw chargers there. Plus the lower powered chargers are less expensive to install generally. EVGO has also been significantly slower to expand and has focused on installing chargers in urban areas where demand is likely more regular and higher.

At the end of the day, my point is mostly that I haven't seen anything suggesting EA is raking in tons of money. It's pretty easy to walk into costs similar or higher than what they are charging. The stations just cost more than people think they do.
Appreciate first part, and agree on that - most do as they don't understand how regulated the industry is with the crazy schedules and rules and tariffs etc...as for second part lets not forget EA came about as part of a billion dollar settlement and they "HAD" to sink money into it - so while not subsidized monetarily they were subsidized by the Dept of Justice in my eyes sort of.

Again sorry for de-railing and this is my last post on the subject to let the OP get back to his/her/they trip
Dzm
 

SeaGeo

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Appreciate first part, and agree on that - most do as they don't understand how regulated the industry is with the crazy schedules and rules and tariffs etc...as for second part lets not forget EA came about as part of a billion dollar settlement and they "HAD" to sink money into it - so while not subsidized monetarily they were subsidized by the Dept of Justice in my eyes sort of.

Again sorry for de-railing and this is my last post on the subject to let the OP get back to his/her/they trip
Dzm
They were forced to provide funds to startup EA basically. But they don't have a recurring source of revenue to sink costs into like Tesla does.

Really we should all just be happy we aren't paying the rates I've seen in some Europe videos.

I doubt Timesinks minds too much. It's good conversation. :)
 

kylealden

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Gas stations make their $ from snacks, not gas. Why DCFC stations don't at least have vending machines (or taco trucks?) is beyond me. I think there's a huge opportunity for a fast food chain or grocery store to commit to DCFC at all their locations. Can you imagine if finding charging were as simple as hitting an In n Out?
This will happen organically over time (see Superchargers are Fred Meyers everywhere), as will adding amenities to existing chargers and putting them in places like truck stops.

But right now, especially for CCS, demand is low and unpredictable relative to gas. If you're a big freeway gas station, why give up a gas stall that might get you ten customers an hour, in favor of an EV stop that might get you one customer an hour?

We need more EVs and faster chargers for businesses to want to swap out prime real estate to support them instead of ICE; combined with federal and state incentives and infrastructure projects (installing chargers at state-owned rest stops would be a great one).
 

R1T7777

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This will happen organically over time (see Superchargers are Fred Meyers everywhere), as will adding amenities to existing chargers and putting them in places like truck stops.

But right now, especially for CCS, demand is low and unpredictable relative to gas. If you're a big freeway gas station, why give up a gas stall that might get you ten customers an hour, in favor of an EV stop that might get you one customer an hour?

We need more EVs and faster chargers for businesses to want to swap out prime real estate to support them instead of ICE; combined with federal and state incentives and infrastructure projects (installing chargers at state-owned rest stops would be a great one).
Agreed on the demand levels. However, charging stations have a couple distinct advantages for businesses. They require less infrastructure than gas pumps. They cause customers to stay longer (can sell them a full sit down meal vs snacks). They can be placed in existing parking spaces.

I agree that changes will come organically over time, but some foresight from a company like Whole Foods, or Chipotle or whatever, could pay off. Walmart and Target have been smart about this with EVgo and EA stations in their parking lots.
 


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What a great drive. I’m from Issaquah so I’ve done this one many times.
Great to see the range is reality unlike Tesla's haha
 

pc500

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Overview

Today, we drove from south Seattle over Snoqualmie, Blewett, and Stevens passes, charged with EA and EVGo, and found a little mud, ice, and snow for good measure.

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We drove 289 miles, generally at the speed limit (70 on I-90, a bit slower on the secondary highways). We left home with 69% state of charge (SoC) and 188 miles on the range meter.

No significant wind, mostly sunny, temps in the 40s ish. A little rain as we descended Stevens on the way home and rainier once we were in the lowlands.

Range

Our first leg was 139 miles to Leavenworth via I-90 and US-97 in All-Purpose mode. The Rivian nav initially said we would arrive with 39 miles on the range meter, but after a few miles at freeway speeds, it adjusted this projection down to 28 miles. After the initial adjustment, it moved between 28 and 30; and we arrived in Leavenworth reading 29 miles on the range meter.

So 139 miles of driving, probably half at 70mph, including two mountain passes and ending 1100' higher than starting, used 159 miles from the range meter.

From Leavenworth, we drove up to Lake Wenatchee and found an icy, muddy dirt road. We didn't take detailed interval logs here, but it is worth noting that when we returned to the highway, our efficiency had dropped to below 0.8 miles per kWh. We were going slow, stopping for photos, running the dogs, and running the climate the whole time. But yikes.

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Once back on the pavement, we decided we'd try Conserve mode, and we started interval logging: 43% SoC, 126 miles on the range meter, and 107 miles to home. Rivian nav tells us we should charge, albeit briefly, so we target the EVGo at the Bellevue Whole Foods 97 miles away and head out. This time, Rivian nav said we'd arrive at EVGo with 39 miles of range remaining. It continued insisting on this even when we were only a couple miles away and the range meter had dipped below. We arrived with 34 miles on the range meter.

97 miles of driving, mostly at 65mph, one mountain pass, some rain (increasing in intensity toward the end of the drive), and ending about 1800' lower than starting used 92 miles from the range meter.

We plugged in, ran in to grab some food, came out, and drove the rest of the way home. This was just a top-up to keep out of the bottom 10% on the final stretch.

My general impression is no big surprises here. The range-meter-on-arrival estimate from the navigation app is pretty much spot on. Aside from that, going 70, trending up hill, and crossing passes really wasn't that big of a hit on the first leg.

Charging

We used two DC chargers for our trip. The first was the EA in Leavenworth. We already have EA accounts (set them up for the free charging when we bought the ID.4). Plug in, tap, it went. No drama.

We arrived at this charger with a 10% state of charge and stayed for 30 minutes, adding 119 miles and 43% SoC. Peak rate was 194kW.

Here's our graph of Charge Rate (kW) vs State of Charge (%):

Screen Shot 2022-03-12 at 8.41.02 PM.png


Session info from EA: 30 minutes, 19 seconds; 66kWh @ $0.43/kWh = $28.38.

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Not impressed. 30 minutes for 119 miles during the optimal part of the curve is far short of 140 miles in 20 minutes (I supposed you can adjust to 85% of 140 for the ATs, but that still means I'd expect my 119 miles in 20 minutes not 30 -- it takes 50% longer than the marketing text promises). I really hope this improves as they gather data and confidence.

Our second stop was just a top-up at EVGo. Their iOS app did not make account creation easy (no password manager integration, no quick sign in with an existing account, weird redirect through web page to set up payment method). We eventually just paid with a card on the reader (initially, this didn't work, but the app setup took so long, we tried it again). We didn't gather detailed charge curve data this time because we were hungry. We left after just 5-10 minutes and had lots more miles on the range meter. More than enough to arrive home with plenty to spare.

Driver+ and Adaptive Cruise Control

It has potential. It does much better with detecting the actual lane lines than our ID.4 (and not getting confused every time there's a seal seam or they're faded or whatever). I think we're going to have to use it more before I have a whole lot to say about it.

One thing we tested is what happens if you don't touch the wheel. After progressively getting more insistent, it will begin stopping the vehicle (at this point, I intervened because I was on an active freeway). After getting that level of scolding, Driver+ will not re-engage until your next drive. :oops:

We did spend a fair bit of time today on secondary highways, which meant lots of time in adaptive cruise control without Driver+ support. There were several unpleasant phantom braking events. In curves, the vehicle sometimes slows down then speeds back up, seemingly in response to sharpness of steering input. Nowhere near traction limits or anything. We couldn't quite figure out which curves would and wouldn't cause it to behave that way. It would be one thing if it just disengaged ACC because you were near stability limits. But it is a bit odd/surprising/unnatural how it just slows down a bit then speeds right back up.

Drive Modes

The biggest finding today is that in Conserve mode, with the lowest ride height setting, pot holes and bumpy pavement are unpleasant. Do not recommend the lowest setting unless you're on smooth, well-kept roadways. We eventually decided it wasn't worth it and raised up to standard height while remaining in conserve mode.

At crawl speeds below 5mph in off-road mode, the visualization changes and shows the vehicle proximity sensors.

A big miss in drive modes is that there isn't a snow mode with low- and no-regen options on throttle lift. It would be nice if the off-road modes also had low- and no- options. I wouldn't want these options in all-purpose by any means, but there are road conditions where they would be warranted.

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I have some very specific questions about this trip, because the road you drove on will answer them very well for me. I'm talking about specifically the section from roughly gold bar to Leavenworth: As defined by a relatively high speed limit road with curves and two lanes.

I'm writing this from comparing driving the same road with a 2021 Nissan Leaf and a 2009 Dodge Ram.

(1) When engaging cruise control on that road, at roughly 60-65mph or so, does the cruise control remain engaged when entering a corner normally signed for 50-55mph ish or does it cut back? The leaf will "slow" down because it thinks the turn is too sharp, but while aggressive, it was well within limits. It's annoying because you have to mash the accelerator to override it. The pickup of course does nothing, it just works.

(2) Does the autopilot work on this type of non-highway road? The Nissan leaf largely drove itself for that entire curvy two lane road with few exceptions.

I'm really concerned about #1. I drive it regularly, and I want to use cruise control.
 

SeaGeo

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(2) Does the autopilot work on this type of non-highway road? The Nissan leaf largely drove itself for that entire curvy two lane road with few exceptions
Not currently. Highway assist (Lane centering) currently only works on oremapped highways. Which are primarily interstates at the moment as far as anyone has reported.

No. Rivian doesnt have a map available for people to see where it currently works.
 

pc500

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I heard it also requires cell coverage. Which sucks.
 

 
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