Let's talk about charging on long distance travel?

ajdelange

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Now I am goin g to throw another wrinkle back into the mix based on my extremely limited understanding of BEVs and lithium battery care. If we say the range for the 180kWh R1S is 410 Miles as is currently stated it is my understand that to take the best care of the battery you typically want to drive in the 15% to 85% range
Yes, the wise BEV shopper when confronted with an EPA range of 400 immediately reduces that in his mind to a "working range" of 300 miles or so.

rarely charging to 100% (especially with a DC charger) and also don't want to drop below 15% as both of those ranges "hurt" or shorten the life of the battery. Would those of you with BEVs today agree that 15%-85% is the sweet spot for battery care and longevity?
Tesla's guidance is to not discharge below 20% nor charge above 90% on a regular basis. They also advise not using Super Chargers unless it is necessary. They taper charge rate when SC are used (might start at 2.5C and taper to 0.4C or less) so that it is actually faster to stop twice and charge to 55 - 60% than to charge once to 90 or 100%. Now this is not a problem for daily use. You set the charge limit to 80% and plug in each night when you come home. You leave the house every morning at 0.8C. A long trip is a different matter. It is perfectly OK to charge a Tesla to over 90% in preparation for a long trip and discharge below 20% if necessary. It is doing this repeatedly that decreases battery life.

Take all that as an example of what you might expect to encounter. Rivian is not using the same battery technology as Tesla and they may have a different set of instructions for us to follow but I don't imagine they will be too much different.


I realize just like with an ICE vehicle fuel economy is not completely linear. IE: Uphill, Downhill, headwind, heavy foot all affect absolute range.
All true. The big difference with BEV is that you get much (but not all) of the mass related energy consumption (acceleration, ascending hills) back but you don't get any of drag loss, which is proportional to the square of airspeed (groundspeed ± windspeed) back.

But if I take 410 max range as a best case scenario and I attempt to keep the battery between 15% and 85% as much as possible then my best possible range shrinks to 287 Miles between charges(shaving off 15% of range on either end of the battery).
That is true but keep in mind that on a road trip you don't typically shave 15% - 20% off the ends. I start most road trips at 0.9C (90% SoC) and have finished legs with as little as 0.11C left in the tank.

A more important consideration is as to what your actual consumption is per mile. If the EPA rating is 410 miles and you drive at a rate that mimics the EPA test conditions you will get 410/C miles or 4.1 miles per percent SoC taken. In the Teslas you tell the autopilot where you are going and a graph connecting current (departing) SoC at the left side and estimated SoC at the destination on the right. As you make the drive a second line appears on the graph indicating the actual SoC at your current location and an updated estimate of what will be left at the destination based on the drive so far. This is your most powerful tool for managing battery. If it looks as if you won't have enough margin at the destination you can take corrective action as by slowing down, turning off HVAC or stopping for a supplemental charge. I will be absolutely astonished if Rivian does not offer a very similar tool.

Part of what these tools do is show you the average watt hours used to travel various distances. On of the first things you want to do is figure out what your number is under various sets of driving conditions. I have seen, for example, nothing more dramatic than heavy rain increase consumption from 300 Wh/mi to over 400. The implications of this are abviously a decrease in range to 3/4 of that attainable without rain.


Today if I leave Austin Tx at noon I can be at Disneyland in Anaheim by 5pm the next day with an overnight stop at the Hampton Inn in Deming, NM which is about the halfway point. I typically make that drive with 2 stops each day but I don't think that would be possible in the R1S especially if I am trying to take the best possible care of the battery.
My advice at this point is always the same: Plug it into ABRP and see what it tells you. If I do that it says 20 hours of driving with 2:39 charging spread over 6 charges i.e. it would have you making an extra stop each day. The longest stop would be for 38 minutes. In no case would SoC be larger than 87% (except for the departure from home which would be done at 90%) and in no case would you arrive at less than 20%.
 
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ajdelange

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I don't think I'm dumb but I sure have had a hard time wrapping my head around all this... but I'm trying.
A sure sign of an intelligent man is that he is smart enough to understand how dumb he is (paraphrasing Socrates there). You are asking all the right questions. Nevertheless there is no question in my mind that you won't really come to grips with the realities of operating a BEV until you actually do it so I often suggest that people find one of the agencies that specializing in renting Teslas, renting one for the weekend and doing a road trip with it. If you don't want to do that another thought is to go to a nearby SC and ask some questions of the people charging there. Some may be grumpy (especially with COVID-19 afield) but it shouldn't take too long to find someone who will talk your ear off if the subject is his car. You could obviously go to an EA station as well if it is more convenient.
 
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I often suggest that people find one of the agencies that specializing in renting Teslas, renting one for the weekend and doing a road trip with it.
Thanks... That's actually on my to do list sometime this summer.
 

Jmiller929

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1. I use Plugshare as well as the built-in navigator in my Tesla. I just did a quick route check on Plugshare and it showed about 8 CCS/SAE/Chademo (high speed) charging stations between Austin and Uvalde. There are also quite a few J1772 charging opportunities along the way too, albeit at a much slower charging rate. You might have to pay for some of these, but the point is- the charging infrastructure is there. There does seem to be a lack of any charging stations between San Antonio and Uvalde though. I like to use the Plugshare app as a good overview of my intended route because I can filter out only Tesla superchargers or include any type of combination I think I might need. I also use it for our road trips when booking a hotel. A lot of hotels offer free charging while you're a guest, so if the hotel is close to where I want to be or has the right amenities, then why not, right?

2. Personally, I'm surprised more gas stations don't have charging stations. I'm sure the old-school thinking of electric vehicles and coal-burning vehicles shouldn't mix is prevalent, but to me it seems like another stream of income for the station. It could also be a lack of real estate available too, but I seem to lean more towards the high cost in initial investment is limiting a lot of owners/operators from installing these.
Since your are familiar with electric charging, Are Telsa superchargers available for any electric vehicle. Also, are the plug all the same?
 

Billyk24

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Since your are familiar with electric charging, Are Telsa superchargers available for any electric vehicle. Also, are the plug all the same?
Telsa superchargers only work with Tesla cars. Telsa cars can use CHAdeMO chargers (limited to 50 kW speed) with an adapter. All other cars but Nissian in the USA use CCS ports for charging.
 

Jmiller929

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I wrote a very long post about range anxiety and long distance traveling but then I realized it really boiled down to 2 questions.

1. What apps or utilities do you use when planning a long distance trip?

2. Do you ever think charging stations will be installed at actual gas stations?

As we reach (hopefully) a tipping point where there are going to be more and more electric cars on the road I am thinking this has to be inevitable at some point right? My quick example for these questions is this. If I drive from Austin to Uvalde in Southwest Texas ABRP (A Better Route Planner for all the other newbies out there so you don't have to google it if you see it here first) tells me I will make it there with about 45% battery remaining. For the return trip I have to make it all the way back to San Antonio before ABRP has a usable charging station. I am wondering if there are other apps that would show different usable charging stations along the route. I personally think that a charging station or 2 at every gas station would go a long way towards easing range anxiety. I realize West Texas might be the perfect example of "sparse charging opportunities" but it is a reality for me.
 

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Telsa superchargers only work with Tesla cars. Telsa cars can use CHAdeMO chargers (limited to 50 kW speed) with an adapter. All other cars but Nissian in the USA use CCS ports for charging.
To expand on this, Teslas come with an adapter kit so you can not only use the Supercharger network, but also J1772 (220/240volt outlet) and even a typical 110volt for your charging needs. You can purchase additional adapters (CHAdeMO) for even more options, but I've found that the included kit serves me just fine.

With respect to Rivian, I was told by multiple employees that the vehicles will include an adapter kit as well, so finding a charging option should be a non-issue.
 

ajdelange

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The Rivians have CCS connectors. That means they can charge from any charging station that has a J1772 or CCS adapter. That includes all stations out there except
1)Tesla Super Charger stations
2)CHAdeMO only stations (i've never seen one of those - all the CHAdeMO stations I have encountered have CCS as well as CHAdeMO. CHAdeMO is disappearing).

Note that they will be able to charge from Tesla Destination Chargers with an adapter.

The Rivian has to come with what Tesla calls a Universal Mobile Connector which allows plugging in to various receptacles. If it is like the UMC it will have several types of plugs which not only interface to the building wiring but program the car to charge at the appropriate rate for the particular plug used. How many or what type of adapter will be supplied with Rivian's kit remains to be seen. Obviously there will be an adapter for a standard 120V outlet though that will be pretty useless. The most useful would be the NEMA 14-50R which is found in many homes and is very common in RV parks.

To call what Tesla now offers an "adapter kit" is a bit of a reach as it now only includes the J1772 adapter (goes between a J1772 hose and the car) and an adapter for the UMC that allowed plugging into a standard household outlet which is pretty useless. They used to supply a true adapter kit which had, at least, a NEMA 14-50R adapter for the UMC. There is still an adapter kit made but it's about $250. You can also buy individual adapters.
 

thrill

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I think many now refer to a portable 120v wall charging unit as an adapter kit. I know my sales guy did that when I got my i3s, which we use just enough that the wall outlet is sufficient as is.
 

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EA has put some chargers at gas stations, example is Lordsburg in NM. They are also installing a new one in Quartzsite AZ at a Loves truck stop. Charge Point has installed both CCS and L2 at many gas stations, at least in CA and AZ, Charge Point has 50KW and 62 KW only, not the big boys like EA. EVGO claims to be making 350KW installations, but only in CA so far.
 

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I still have my Rivian reservation, but I am wavering. I posted this in another thread, but it is probably better suited here. The justification of the Rivian for me (other than its list of cool features) was that it would be my commuter vehicle - except that my "commute" is a 700-mile round trip, typically done in one day, once a week.

I recently used a popular EV route planning app to look at a one-way trip from a spot in southern Utah to a location near the SLC Airport (roughly 325 miles). Driving a Tesla Model S (standard), leaving with 90% SoC and ending with 90% SoC, and using Tesla charging stations, that trip takes 6 hours and 52 minutes (including charging time), and costs $34.03 in charging costs.

In my current Audi A6 TDI, I can travel that same route in 4 hours with gas stops and a fuel cost of $17. I get the impression that long-distance driving is not the EV sweet spot and that I may need to find a different justification for buying a Rivian.
 
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bajadahl

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I recently used a popular EV route planning app
If I had to guess you used ABRP and hit several Electrify America charging stations. Electrify America seems really really expensive right now. I am hoping for some competition to get their prices down.

You didn't say which battery you were planning to buy. With the 180kWh pack....If I had the commute you described I would consider getting a jerrycan battery pack (depending on cost when it's announced) and see if I could make the trip with no paid charging stops.

For the record I am hoping to using my R1S mainly for long distance travel so I am thinking of every possibility for how I can make this happen without too much headache or unexpected costs associated with charging.
 

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I still have my Rivian reservation, but I am wavering. I posted this in another thread, but it is probably better suited here. The justification of the Rivian for me (other than its list of cool features) was that it would be my commuter vehicle - except that my "commute" is a 700-mile round trip, typically done in one day, once a week.

I recently used a popular EV route planning app to look at a one-way trip from a spot in southern Utah to a location near the SLC Airport (roughly 325 miles). Driving a Tesla Model S (standard), leaving with 90% SoC and ending with 90% SoC, and using Tesla charging stations, that trip takes 6 hours and 52 minutes (including charging time), and costs $34.03 in charging costs.

In my current Audi A6 TDI, I can travel that same route in 4 hours with gas stops and a fuel cost of $17. I get the impression that long-distance driving is not the EV sweet spot and that I may need to find a different justification for buying a Rivian.
If you are starting at a 90% SOC and end at 90% SOC, then you are including the charging time at your destination and the electricity cost as well. So, you aren't comparing apples and oranges.
 

kccougar

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I did that on purpose so that I would be comparing apples to apples. Leave with a full tank of gas, end with a full tank of gas.
 

CappyJax

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I did that on purpose so that I would be comparing apples to apples. Leave with a full tank of gas, end with a full tank of gas.
Why wouldn't you just charge it at your destination where it is much much cheaper, isn't including the time in your driving, and better for the battery.
 
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