Electrify America charging issues - More RAN stations because I don't want to deal with this nonsense.

ajdelange

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Well there it is! An accounting of an EA charging session where everything worked as it should including Plug&Charge. This is what I think you should expect when on a road trip, that is, charging stops of about half an hour to 40 minutes. If you are really pressed for time this will be a bit of a nuisance but if you are on a more leisurely (adventure) trip I don't think you will be bothered by it at all (once Covid is beaten back),
 

888tom888

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Charging infrastructure anxiety is something that really concerns me. I've owned both a BMW i3 and my current Tesla. Tesla by far figured out early on that you build out your infrastructure along with selling your cars. EA and Chargepoint are tiny players in this ever growing market. I've had really terrible experiences charging my i3. Tesla has been smooth as glass. Its my main concern about Rivian. Love the R1S design. I'm thinking that the majority of my charging will be done in my garage overnight. Therefore, I"m really hoping the range comes in over 300+ miles.
 

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There was a good Youtube video expanding on the charging concern with such a large battery pack. It made me at least curious to what Rivian's home charger option was and hopeful that RJ takes some of VC and starts building our the Adventure Network soon. The DC fast charge they have in CO was level 3.
 

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I have some of the same concerns since I live in rural Alaska. I'm not concerned with home level 2 charging but the rest has me still on the fence. I want to convert my reservation!
 

ajdelange

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The charging problem has nothing to do with the battery pack size. It has to do with the fact that these trucks are big and heavy and thus use almost half a kWh to go a mile. If you need to add 100 miles range to your CT or Rivian (and that's how you charge - you never fill 'er up) at 500 Wh/mi consumption that means you have to add 50 kWh whichever of the 3 battery pack sizes you have chosen. With your Tesla MX LRP which uses about 282 Wh/mi you'd only need to take on 28.2 kWh. For any given size charger that means almost twice as long. This is something to be aware of but not something to be concerned about unless you need to replace 400 miles with a Level 1 charger.

With respect to Level 3 charging: We aren't getting the Tesla SC network. That is not as nice as if we were getting the Tesla network but I don't think it's a concern. umlaut (sic) recently did a survey in which they gave EA 691 out of 1000 points readily admitting that there was room for improvement (especially in getting charging to kick off on the first try) but these are in areas that might lead to annoyance rather than concern.

With regard to repair, reliability etc,: If you have ordered anything with a low serial number you clearly aren't concerned about such things.
 

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I have some of the same concerns since I live in rural Alaska. I'm not concerned with home level 2 charging but the rest has me still on the fence. I want to convert my reservation!
Same here with sharing his concerns. I’ll add two related ones - (1) being the guinea pig / beta tester on a completely new design from a completely new company that’s never built vehicle at scale before, and (2) the service and support infrastructure. Still some big unknowns and risks for us early adopters.
 

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Call me an idiot, but are you saying the length it takes to charge isn’t related to the amount of batteries it takes for a large truck?
 

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The battery size, charging rate and efficiency are all nice to analyze in great detail. But in the end the number that really matters is how many miles can I add per minute when fast charging. That is the equalizer for the various vehicles. If you have 100 miles to the next charger, which is typical on a long trip, then how many minutes to add those miles.
 

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The battery size, charging rate and efficiency are all nice to analyze in great detail. But in the end the number that really matters is how many miles can I add per minute when fast charging. That is the equalizer for the various vehicles. If you have 100 miles to the next charger, which is typical on a long trip, then how many minutes to add those miles.
This is true, but folks need to understand that it’s a relative metric specific to your particular vehicle.. If it takes 20 minutes to add 100 miles of charge in my Tesla, that really doesn’t mean much for a Rivian. The Rivian will be far less efficient, so that 20 minutes (assuming the same power output from a charger) will get me far less in my Rivian. Miles per minute of charge is going to be dependent on what that particular charger’s output wattages is, and can be variable if there are multiple charging stations feeding off of a common source that has a maximum output.

So... unfortunately it’s going to require people to do a little math. What is the miles/kWh consumption of your particular vehicle in the environmental conditions you are in (temp, payload, elevation changes, etc). What is the power output of the charger you are charging at. Only then can you calculate the amount of time required to add “real” miles. This is highly variable.

Thus, to me the “equalizer” is really the power output of the charger, with the caveat that it’s capped at the max the vehicle will accept. And it seems to be the last thing people actually consider. If I can charge a Rivian at 200kW vs. a Tesla Supercharger that’s limited to 150kW, then that could completely offset the efficiency difference between the two vehicles and I’d get a similar miles/min of charge. But if the charger only outputs 100kW, then my mile/min of charge would be reduce by half.

A good example of this exists near me in Salt Lake City. The Tesla Supercharger happens to be one that is 150kW. However, it’s a busy station and I seldom get that level of output. In comparison, there’s a commercial CHAdeMO/CCS charger nearby that is only 50kW. So even though both are consider DCFC chargers, their output is very different and therefore my miles/min of charge is very different for the same car.

So what I really thinks needs to happen is that that manufacturers need to stop talking about mile/min of charge since that is 100% dependent on the charging station output, and instead they focus on consumption (similar to mpg in an ICE vehicle) which is kW per mile of drive. Then you know how much you vehicle uses. The combine that with how much any given charger outputs, and you can easily calculate the number of minutes you need to charge. Without knowing the charger output, min/charge ratings from vehicle manufacturers are somewhat meaningless.
 

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I don't think there is a number that makes it easy...

You've got the following variables:
- different charger max outputs
- different charger real world outputs
- different vehicle battery capacities
- different vehicle battery charge curves
- different vehicle efficiencies

And that's without getting into how things like weather and battery degradation can impact all of this.

For now, I'm just content to know that the Rivian network will do 140 miles in 20 minutes. I can easily visualize a weekend road trip with that knowledge. Drive for 2 hours, stop for 20 minutes.
 

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I don't think there is a number that makes it easy...

You've got the following variables:
- different charger max outputs
- different charger real world outputs
- different vehicle battery capacities
- different vehicle battery charge curves
- different vehicle efficiencies

And that's without getting into how things like weather and battery degradation can impact all of this.

For now, I'm just content to know that the Rivian network will do 140 miles in 20 minutes. I can easily visualize a weekend road trip with that knowledge. Drive for 2 hours, stop for 20 minutes.
So long as you verify that the output of the charger equals
whatever output was assumed in the Rivian calculation. Which is nowhere near a given since much of the existing non-Tesla DCFC chargers are only 50kW. If Rivian estimates are based on 200kW output, then it could take up to 4x longer.
 

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For now, I'm just content to know that the Rivian network will do 140 miles in 20 minutes. I can easily visualize a weekend road trip with that knowledge. Drive for 2 hours, stop for 20 minutes.
Is that 140 EPA rating miles, or real world miles? I'm guessing the former. My BEV motorcycle has a rated 100 mile range; I get 50 real world miles. I take all these stats with lots of salt. We just have to wait and see what the real world mileage and charging rates will be like. Where are the vaccines?
 

ajdelange

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Call me an idiot, but are you saying the length it takes to charge isn’t related to the amount of batteries it takes for a large truck?
No, I'm not going to do that. The statement was made to get the knee jerk reaction it gets with the hope that the second reaction will be to ask yourself "Am I nuts or is this guy nuts? Let's think about this for a minute."

So let's do that. You are on a road trip and it's time to stop to charge. Your destination is 100 miles off thus you need to take on enough charge to go 100 miles. If you are in the short range Rivian (105 kWh battery) you need to take on 100*.450 = 45 kWh because the 105 kW Rivian requires 0.450 kW (450 W) to go 1 mile. Now if you are in the 120 kWh battery pack model you must take on 100*0.450 = 45 kW because the 120 kWh model also takes about 450 Wh per mile. And if you are in the 180 kWh model you must also take on 100*0.450 = 45 kWh. Thus the charging time does not depend on the size of the battery but on the distance you must go the consumption of the car and the rate at which the charger can furnish those 45 kWh. Q.E.D.

The reason this seems strange is because you don't fuel a BEV the way you do an ICE vehicle. What's the point in filling it up if you can get home by adding 45 kW? Electricity is cheaper at home so why waste time and money at a charger?

The battery size, charging rate and efficiency are all nice to analyze in great detail. But in the end the number that really matters is how many miles can I add per minute when fast charging. That is the equalizer for the various vehicles.
The "equalizer" (the parameter you should be looking at) is the vehicle's consumption i.e. it's watt hours per mile just as in comparing ICE vehicles you compare miles per gallon.


If you have 100 miles to the next charger, which is typical on a long trip, then how many minutes to add those miles.
No need to do any detailed analysis. You should know the Wh/mi for your vehicle. When you sit down in a Tesla there will be a screen (if you have selected it to be displayed) that shows you how many Wh/mi you consumed on your last trip, since your last charge and during the travel recorded by two odometers (many Tesla owners never reset one of these so that it shows you average consumption for the entire time you have had the car). So even if you don't know your car's consumption it will be shown to you. In addition to that, as you drive, there are displays that show you consumption as you go so that you can easily detect unusually high or low consumption caused by winds or stuff on the road bed. Upon arriving at a charger you simply multiply the miles you want to replace by the rate you estimate and divide by the charger's capability.

Now of course the problem is that you don't know what the delivered charging rate will be other than that the charger is labeled as 50, 150 or 350 kW unit. With a little experience you will learn what to expect of each of these. Without ever having to even think of things like taper you will know that a 150 kW charger tends to deliver 80 - 90 kW on average, a 50 kW charger 40 -45 etc.

Your bio says you are an engineer. This should all be second nature to you.

Now it is apparent to me after explaining this dozens of times in this and Tesla forums and the results of a study posted here that the level of math it requires to understand what I have written in the previous paragraphs far exceeds the abililities of the average American to understand. For those of you in that category this is all going to remain a mystery until the OEMs figure out a way to dumb it down to the level of what an ICE car tells you. My wife, for example, will sell my Tesla the day after my departure from this sphere. I fear that this may have an effect on the adoption of BEVs. BEVs are sophisticated engineering accomplishments. The study found that the populace can't distinguish between kW and kWh.


This is true, but folks need to understand that it’s [how many minutes to add those miles] a relative metric specific to your particular vehicle.. If it takes 20 minutes to add 100 miles of charge in my Tesla, that really doesn’t mean much for a Rivian. The Rivian will be far less efficient, so that 20 minutes (assuming the same power output from a charger) will get me far less in my Rivian.
Ja sure. But there's no mystery here. If your Rivian sucks twice as much energy per mile as your Tesla it's going to take twice as long to load 100 miles from the same size charger into the Rivian as the Tesla. That's why the most important parameter descriptive of what your car does is Wh/mi under various driving conditions.



Miles per minute of charge is going to be dependent on what that particular charger’s output wattages is, and can be variable if there are multiple charging stations feeding off of a common source that has a maximum output.
Ja sure again but as your bio says you have an S you should know what to expect, on average, from V2 and V3 SCs You should also know that EA chargers don't share power the way the old Tesla V2s did and that the Tesla V3's don't either.


So... unfortunately it’s going to require people to do a little math.
Well it's hardly rocket science but it is, as noted above, going to be much easier for those who regularly deal with the world on a quantitative basis that it is for your average professor of Italian renaissance literature.


Thus, to me the “equalizer” is really the power output of the charger, with the caveat that it’s capped at the max the vehicle will accept.
There are two factors of equal importance: the amount of emergy you must take on and the expected rate at which the charger will give it to you. The amount of charge required depends on the distance which needs to be added and, the cars most important characteristic, its Wh/mi. Other than that a higher rated charger will do the job faster than a lower rated on most of the time you can't say too much until experience tells you what to expect from the given levels. For example, a CharIN 350 kW charger won't ever deliver more than 300 kW to a Rivian because the Rivian won't accept more than that. Remember that the car is in charge (no pun intended) and the rate at which it accepts charge depends on things like temperature, charging history and SoC.

If I can charge a Rivian at 200kW vs. a Tesla Supercharger that’s limited to 150kW, then that could completely offset the efficiency difference between the two vehicles and I’d get a similar miles/min of charge. But if the charger only outputs 100kW, then my mile/min of charge would be reduce by half.
Just as you should have learned the consumption characteristics of your Tesla you should have learned its charging characteristics so that for planning charges at a 150 kW charger you should use 80 kW as the anticipated rate (if that's what your charging habits actually give you). Similarly, when you get your Rivian you will learn what to expect it to take from an HPC350 charger.


So what I really thinks needs to happen is that that manufacturers need to stop talking about mile/min of charge since that is 100% dependent on the charging station output, and instead they focus on consumption (similar to mpg in an ICE vehicle) which is kW per mile of drive.
The miles added per hour represents an attempt to "dumb it down" and it also presents opportunities for the marketing types.

Clearly if I didn't appreciate that Wh/mi is the most important parameter I wouldn't have written paragraphs and paragraphs trying to show people how to use that number. Tesla, at least, displays consumption in many places in many formats so that people that are aware of how to interpret it can do so and "fuel condtion" is easily monitored with nothing more than the SoC gauge, knowing how far you have to go and how far you go in 1% SoC.
 

ajdelange

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For now, I'm just content to know that the Rivian network will do 140 miles in 20 minutes. I can easily visualize a weekend road trip with that knowledge. Drive for 2 hours, stop for 20 minutes.
Is that 140 EPA rating miles, or real world miles? I'm guessing the former. My BEV motorcycle has a rated 100 mile range; I get 50 real world miles. I take all these stats with lots of salt. We just have to wait and see what the real world mileage and charging rates will be like. Where are the vaccines?
None of the above. It is based on the "facts" that the truck will consume about 450 Wh/mi (the actual number will be based on EPA testing - 450 is my guess as to what that number will be) and that, evidently, the charger will, in a typical cycle, deliver an average power of 189 kW. Thus in 20 minutes it can load 63 kWh useable charge into the vehicle. 63 kWh divided by 0.450 kW/mi = 140 mi/hr. It represents a nominal number which you can use for planning purposes just as the first quote suggests.
 

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