Inside Electrify America’s plan to simplify electric car charging

Discussion in 'Tech: Batteries, Charging, Alternative Energy' started by EyeOnRivian, May 6, 2019.

  1. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    One of the beauties of regenerative braking is "one-pedal driving", and you cannot have that unless regen engages whenever pressure on the accelerator pedal is lifted.

    One-pedal driving never factored into my decision to buy a Tesla, but it instantly became one of my favorite features. In fact, I quickly opted for the max regen setting. Using just the accelerator pedal I can slow down and speed up to adjust to traffic, go over speed bumps, troll for parking spots, and delay applying the brake pedal when coming to a full stop. I got used to it in about 5 minutes, and it works intuitively and seamlessly with the friction brakes. In fact, one of the most annoying things when I drive my ICE minivan is how frequently I have to go on the brake pedal -- something I never noticed before I got an EV; and I find it particularly annoying to have to keep my foot on the brake pedal at a stoplight -- something I do not have to do with the Tesla. (For people who miss the torque converters that cause stopped ICE vehicles to crawl forward when you release the brake pedal, Tesla has a "creep" feature one can engage to mimic that crawl, but I've never talked to a Tesla owner who uses it, and I have only seen one poster on the Tesla forums over the years who opted to engage it.)
     
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  2. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    One-pedal driving is not for everyone. And it's more than a matter of driving preference when it affects the potential safe handling of the vehicle in emergency scenarios that can lead to such things as over-steering or under-steering thus exacerbating the emergency. (Northern climate drivers not only contend with hydro-planning on wet/rainy roads but also with fish-tailing on snowy roads.) ICE drivers develop after decades of driving a skill, a sensitivity to handling a vehicle in emergency situations. One-pedal driving can seriously compromise that skill without the proper training. This article explains it much better than I can - "Why Regenerative Braking Belongs... On The Brake Pedal"

    Excerpt - "there is a serious error in the way regen is being controlled in some vehicles. A growing number of car makers put heavy regen on the throttle. This is a serious mistake. Putting heavy regenerative braking on lifting off the throttle violates some important principles of safety, ergonomics, human factors, driveability and vehicle dynamics."

    Plus, if safety isn't enough of a reason, I would think any EV manufacturer would want to help ease the transition of that ICE driver to that of driving an EV and not give them another excuse to not drive one. Giving the driver the option to regen on the braking not only provides familiarity but most importantly allows them to feel confident they will be able to use those skills they developed in handling their vehicle in emergency situations.
     
  3. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    #23 Hmp10, May 21, 2019
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
    I agree that it might be a good idea for Rivian to give buyers a way to control how they want regenerative braking to engage. But that choice should also include the ability to use one-pedal driving. Having driven a Tesla for four years, I would not buy an EV without it.

    As for that article, its source is not identified, but the writer seems to be a competitive driver. For instance, he's an advocate of left-foot braking for general driving, although it is something that almost no one deliberately uses outside of extreme performance driving. He also incorrectly claims that almost no EVs other than Tesla put any regenerative braking function in the accelerator pedal. The Chevy Bolt, for instance, puts even more regenerative braking into the accelerator pedal than Tesla. A Bolt enables one-pedal driving and, with the use of a column-mounted stalk, can actually bring the car to a full stop without ever using the brake pedal -- something Tesla does not do.

    Also, this driver claims that Tesla drivers are often thrown off their game in using one-pedal driving when at or near full battery charge, because a full battery cannot accept regenerative energy. I almost always leave my home with a full charge and often drive the car deep into its range before returning home. I notice absolutely no difference in the braking behavior of the car. Perhaps that is because Tesla's software begins to engage friction braking using accelerator inputs when the battery is nearly full; or perhaps it is because, in order to increase battery life, Teslas are seldom charged above 85% except when charging for a long trip between charging points, so there is almost always plenty of battery capacity to absorb regenerative energy. Even if starting with 100% charge, a few miles of driving will open up enough capacity to absorb regenerative braking energy. (I often wonder how many people who hold forth about driving Teslas have actually driven one. I certainly know most of the people who trash Teslas on the internet have never driven one, much less owned one, and get most of their "information" from each other.)

    Although I am not a race driver, I have done some hard acceleration runs in my car and brought it down hard from high speeds and searched out a few hard corners to test its handling prowess where mid-corner braking was necessary. (I have owned Corvettes, Mercedes SL55's, and traded an Audi R8 V10 Spyder for the Tesla and wanted to compare the two. I was shocked at how stable the Tesla was even when pressed hard.) There is nothing about the regenerative braking that unsettles me or the car. In fact, when braking from high speed, one travels quite a few feet in the brief moment it takes to get your foot off the accelerator and to press the brake pedal to the point of engagement. With regenerative braking in the accelerator pedal, the car is already braking during that time. I have sometimes wondered if that's why a car as heavy as a Tesla on relatively skinny tires posts such extraordinarily short 60-0 braking distances.

    The author claims that ergonomics dictate that no slowing function should be incorporated into an accelerator pedal, as its function is only to speed up the car, and putting any slowing function in it will throw drivers off. First, I would like to know an authoritative source for such a claim. Second, I find his attempts rather lame to explain why ICE cars, which also slow down when your foot comes off the accelerator pedal, do not also unsettle the drivers. Also, he gives no consideration to how differently an ICE car behaves when backing off the accelerator depending on whether one is driving a manual or an automatic transmission car. I suspect the real reason his ergonomics argument falls apart is that drivers very quickly get used to how their cars respond to accelerator inputs, both going on and coming off the pedal.

    Drivers intuitively adapt to the braking characteristics of their cars, even if they don't realize it. Even in ICE cars, a car's response to its friction brake pedal varies widely from brand to brand and even from car to car. Some cars engage the brakes deeper into the pedal travel than others. Power brake assist varies widely. Braking in some cars is much more linear than in others. Forward weight shift during braking varies widely between cars. All of these things can critically affect performance in emergency braking an ICE car and get a driver unfamiliar with the particular car in serious trouble.

    Also, these days a growing number of ICE cars have an emergency braking function that sometimes engages before the driver is even aware of the situation and then increases the haul-down rate of the car beyond what the driver can achieve with the brake pedal, thereby taking much of the control away from the driver in emergency situations. I would argue this creates far more problems for driver control during emergency maneuvers than anything regenerative braking does.
     
  4. cllc

    cllc Member

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  5. cllc

    cllc Member

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    Hmp10,Well said, The only condition that I can think of that regen braking is not desirable is in icy conditions as I found out the first day I drove my brand new model 3 to work in February and there was glazed black ice on the highway. Otherwise I can vouch that regen braking makes the vehicle safer to drive in all other conditions that I can think of.
     
  6. Feathermerchant

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    I expect that EV mfrs will in time add anti slip/skid to the regenerative braking routine. It should be fairly easy. Then there should be no question.
    I agree with the other EV drivers here. Once you have experienced one pedal driving you'll not want to go back. It makes you lazy.
     
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  7. DocTwinkie

    DocTwinkie Well-Known Member

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    Regarding charging. I was curious so decided to plot some routes using PlugShare to Disney and Bar harbor. Two places in my list of possible car trips.

    My conclusion was that I still need an ICE. 400mi or 200mi makes little difference. I was looking at multiple stops st fast chargers. Hotels near the end of range didn’t have chargers meaning I’m stopping someplace before the hotels. There’s also very few multiplug stations outside of electrify American. What I mean is maybe your charge station is a Chevy dealer but it has literally one plug. So if someone is charging you’re waiting and if it’s broke you are screwed.

    Electrify America spots had 4-8 stations but are rare and super expensive. Up to $1 a minute. And for a big battery that’s a lot of cash.

    My conclusion is that with the current infrastructure long range EVs don’t make a ton of sense since the range doesn’t really help a ton. If I can charge at home great. If I have to rely on chargers not good. You’re still super limited where to charge and might be waiting on a single plug or if it’s broke a tow truck. Slower chargers just aren’t an option for big batteries. I think if I had to drive beyond 200mi we are taking the Acura.
     
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  8. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    That is exactly my experience after having owned a Tesla for four years. For local trips (which is 95+% of my driving) it's the best car I've ever driven and the least expensive to operate. With its instant acceleration and regenerative braking, driving it in traffic is the smoothest driving experience I've ever had. I sometimes drive it across Florida from Naples to Miami, where there are a plethora of superchargers at the Miami end, but that's about as far as I've been willing to take it on a road trip. And just as the supercharger network expanded in the Miami area, so did the number of users. I've twice arrived at the most convenient supercharger (with 8 stations) to find only one open . . . and the more people who are plugged in, the slower the charging.

    My brother in Atlanta got a Tesla Model 3 last year and was planning to use it on road trips. He drove it down to Naples once and found that the several lengthy recharging stops just added too much time to the trip, although there were plenty of well-placed superchargers along the way. Now he flies down. Recently he wanted to take the Tesla on a trip from Atlanta to Savannah but found the only supercharger in Savannah was so far away from where he planned to be tooling around that he drove his Accord instead. There were several destination chargers around Savannah, but who can sit eight hours at a restaurant while a destination charger does its business?

    I'm convinced electric cars are going to be the way of the future for most consumers. However, a lot of ground still has to be covered in battery development and charging infrastructure before they can completely supplant ICE vehicles for most drivers.

    As much as I like what Rivian is doing (I have an R1S reservation), all the back-and-forth on this forum about long trips into the wilderness, while a lot of fun, is a long way from what the reality of owning a Rivian will be for some years. I think the people who are really going to extract the greatest benefit from owning a Rivian are contractors and tradesmen who buy the pickup to handle local jobs and people who buy the SUV because they feel more comfortable driving around town in a tank than a sedan.
     
  9. DocTwinkie

    DocTwinkie Well-Known Member

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    #29 DocTwinkie, Jul 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
    Yeah I was pretty surprised when I looked at the routes I might take. What really got me was when I filter fast chargers just how few there would be and how few outlets at the stations.

    Each trip I’d get to at least one spot where if that charger was broke I’d be stranded. 400mi didn’t really matter much. There’s still be rural spots or towns that just didn’t have anything.

    Opening it up to non fast chargers there’s more but they aren’t at hotels so really who is going to spend a day sitting at a slow charger at the Nissan dealership.

    Tesla certainly had more fast charger though for my routes there was not enough to use them solely. I’m sure you could get from point a to b using them but you’d add so many miles to the trips.

    I agree. Around town or even my state it’s fine. Beyond that we just aren’t there yet. Seeing as how a regular gas station can have a line some days I wonder if we really ever will be. Maybe hydrogen makes more sense in the long run for a country as large as ours.

    It’s also a pretty good argument for the 200mi model
     
  10. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    All the Tesla owners here will know A Better Routeplanner but others may not. It's a website on which one can enter his car's details and where he wants to go and it will lay out a route based on where chargers are located. It's just been updated to include the R1T and R1A and so we can see what doing familiar trips in one of those might involve. Using it for my annual Virginia/Quebec/Virginia migration was very revealing. It seems that with respect to the Rivians there is good news and bad news. The good news is that it has a bigger battery and thus you can go farther between charges. The bad news is that it has a bigger battery so it takes a lot longer to charge it at least with the chargers that are out there today. Elon has his customers covered with the SC network that has high capacity chargers thoughtfully placed in interstate service areas, in locations not far off interstates... Rivian does not have this. All they have is the hodgepodge of Electrify America, EvGO... which seem to pop up here and there randomly. Those that are in interstate rest areas are by and large limited to 50 kW at this time. I know that EA's chargers are supposed to go up to 350 kW but if I check out the ones that are available on the route I drive they are, while new, limited to 50 kW at this time.

    As an example. I leave Virginia in an X 100D, drive 3 hours and arrive at East Brunswick NJ where I charge 40 min and then proceed to Kingston NY where I charge 20 min., proceed from there to Bennington Vt where I charge 45 minutes and then on to the destination. In the R1T I would do the same but would have to charge 1:30 using the 50 kW CCS station in NJ and 3:00 at the station in Bennington. I would skip the Kingston charge. The reasons for the longer charging times are
    1)The Rivian, according to Teslafi, gets just under 2 miles/kWh whereas the X get about 3.3
    2)The CCS chargers Teslafi knows about are limited to 50 kW whereas the Tesla chargers deliver, on average for this trip, 75 kW.

    At the prices charged at the CCS stations, the cost of energy is about the same as it is in my Lexus SUV.

    People need to realize that they are not buying a car or truck. They are buying a transportation system which has three major segments
    1)The vehicle segment
    2)The fueling segment
    3)The repair/maintenance segment.

    Elon Musk has covered Nos 1 and 2 admirably (but has, perhaps, not done so well with respect to No. 3). Looks as if R.J. is going to give us something pretty nice for No. 1 but nothing for No. 2 so that we are reliant on what VW, EvGo, ChargePoint... give us which, at this time is wanting. And WRT 3 we know nothing. If the man wants his company to be a success he had better start thinking about Nos. 2 and 3 or rather, as I am sure he has been thinking about them a great deal, give his potential customers some idea as to how they are going to be handled.

    The answer is a Tesla to CCS adapter. It exists but a deal with Elon is required too.
     
  11. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    In the early days, Musk offered to make Tesla superchargers available to other manufacturers in the hope the EV industry would quickly move to a uniform standard. No one took him up on the offer.

    I had high hopes for Electrify America, given its ambitious rollout plans. It's one of the reasons I've put a deposit down on a Lucid Air as well as a Rivian R1S. However, your comment is the second mention I've seen of very high charges for using EA stations. (I have free life-time charging on my 2015 Tesla. My brother has to pay for supercharger use with his Model 3, but he has driven it from Atlanta to Naples and been charged less than $30 for the ~650 miles.)

    When charging my Tesla at home, my energy costs for driving it are about one-third of an equivalent ICE vehicle. It it's going to cost as much to drive a Rivian on trips as an ICE vehicle, one begins to wonder what's the point. Yes, there are other advantages of driving an EV but, as you pointed out, there are trade-offs with things such as less availability of dealer support and repair/maintenance. Taking lower fuel costs out of the equation changes the cost/benefit analysis somewhat.
     
  12. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    I happened to be poking around A Better Routeplanner (ABR) a couple of weeks ago and also saw the same thing - Rivian's R1T and R1S vehicles were added in addition to the 3 battery pack options for each EAV. This was my take away.
    * The six Rivian selections were all marked "alpha". So this is about as new as you can get which implies to me a few things. ABR has not done much testing yet; they're working with pre-production Rivian specs which could change; no empirical data yet that represents real-world charging and range performance for each EAV and kWh BP.
    * By the time Rivians roll off the assembly line, and even later by the time one would roll into my driveway, I can only imagine the charging station landscape will have changed/improved. And like you said, we'll have a better picture of how Rivian addresses the fueling and service/maintenance segments.

    So at this time I'm not putting too much behind what ABR comes up, though it is interesting to see some of the differences / pitfalls of a given road trip given what we and ABR know today. Thanks for providing your trip scenario. I think your 3 major segments is very on point.

    BTW, wouldn't the answer be a CCS (Rivian) to Tesla (charger) adapter vs Tesla to CCS? :)
     
  13. Feathermerchant

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    The amount of time you spend charging has nothing to do with your battery size. That's right. It all has to do with the efficiency of the vehicle you are driving. The Tesla model 3 uses about 1 kWh for 4 miles traveled. Rivian says 180 kWh pack will take you 400 miles. That's about 1.8 times the energy use as the Model 3 and so about 1.8 times as much time charging. Now a larger pack can be charged faster because it is larger but you need to have a charger that's capable. The Model 3 long range (75 kWh pack) can be charged at up to 300 kW. The Rivian may be able to be charged faster but will require more than a 350 kW charger to make a real difference.
     
  14. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    #34 ajdelange, Aug 9, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
    Roger the comment on alpha version. But we can look at what Rivian advertises at the moment which is 400 miles range on a 180 kW battery and deduce from that that the mileage us going to be something in the neighborhood of 400/180 = 2.2 mi/kWh. ABRP has uses 1.97 mi/kwH as the default @65 mph but you can change it if you want to try other values to see how that might change things. Clearly there are lots of other things they do not know such as drag coefficient, effective frontal area, rolling resistance etc. But I feel certain that the ABRP people came up with as good or better guesses at these than I could and so feel quite confident that what ABRP predicts will be a pretty good approximation to what actually will happen with a Rivian.

    Of particular significance to the charging time calculation is that we/they do not know how Rivian will taper charge. If it takes 3 hours to charge at the 50 kW chargers available today that suggests that it will take 0.5 hours to charge at 300 kW but that assumes no taper or that a 350 kW charger tapers exactly the same on a percentage basis as a 50 kW charger which I doubt. It may be that the charge starts at 300 kW but drops, as it does with the Tesla cars, as SoC gets above 50%. A big part of the Tesla charging strategy is based on this such that one tends to make more frequent charges from low to moderate (20 - 60% SoC for example) charges than higher final level charges (above 80%). This will very probably be the case with the Rivians too but right now the Rivian network does not make that as convenient as the Tesla network does. I too hope that will change by the time they deliver my R1T but I can't help thinking over and over that the only thing that will get me to quit worrying is that Tesla to CCS adapter by which I mean one that plugs into the CCS connector on the car and into which one can plug a Tesla charger.

     
  15. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    A less efficient car requires that you take on more energy to drive a given distance. This requires more frequent charging unless you install a larger battery. Installing the larger battery means you can charge less frequently but you must charge longer. You still have to take on the extra energy required of the less efficient car. This is illustrated in the example in No. 30. I can skip a charge but I must charge longer. Of course in that example a large part of the extra time is required because with CCS I have only chargers of limited capacity available.
     
  16. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    Tesla superchargers do an electronic handshake with the car being charged to be sure the car is authorized to use the charger and on what terms (unlimited free charging, limited free charging, billed charging . . . or blocking charging if privileges have been revoked). Tesla superchargers don't have credit card readers and bill any charging costs to a card on file with Tesla. Unless the car is authorized by Tesla to use the supercharger, I doubt that an adapter will be of much use. Since other automakers declined Musk's invitation to help make Tesla superchargers the industry standard, I believe Musk has since decided that only Teslas can use them. Also, as the use of superchargers has neared capacity in some regions (with waiting lines occasionally forming), Tesla no longer wants other brands to use its charging network.
     
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  17. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    An adapter would be useless without an agreement between the two companies. I take the existence of the J1772 adapter as proof that charging Rivian on the Tesla network is technically doable. It's a matter of the companies working out an agreement. There are no problems with the communications protocol and no problems with credit cards that can't be solved by linking a couple of computers together. An agreement certainly would solve Rivian's Fueling Segment problem and at the stroke of a pen. Would it be in Tesla's best interest too? Only they know. And while it is true that Elon Musk has said he will allow any OEM to use his network as long as they share the costs the way he determines cost may be unacceptable to other manufacturers. That has been the case to date. Part of Elon's genius was that he knew that he would have to swallow the cost of charging his would be customer's cars, at least initially. Others should learn from his example. I see tremendous advantage to Rivian in a cooperative scheme but if I were privy to the details of what Tesla actually would demand of participants in such an agreement I might well change my mind.
     
  18. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    If Rivian is thinking about striking a deal with Tesla for charging, it's getting late in the game. Questions about charging are one of the biggest worries that confront people who are on the fence about whether to jump into EV's or into a particular brand. I think one of the smart marketing plays Lucid Motors made was to announce an alliance with Electrify America near the time they started taking deposits. People who were deciding whether to put down a deposit already had one of their biggest questions answered.

    Given that some Tesla superchargers are already operating near capacity, I doubt Musk would be interested in taking on additional users until Tesla had time to build out the network further to accommodate added traffic, and I suspect he would want some capital contributions from other EV makers to do that. Also, supercharging has not thus far been operated as a profit center for Tesla the way Electrify America is planned as a profit center for Volkswagen (hence the big difference in the rates they charge), so the question would arise as to whether Tesla would charge other cars on a not-for-profit rate structure, charge other cars at a higher rate than Teslas, or raise the rates for all users.

    If all the manufacturers had gotten on board with Tesla charging at the outset and worked out a unified pricing structure, the landscape would be much simpler. Now that a major player has turned charging into a profit venture with the involvement of the U.S. government (EA's creation and business plan was the result of a plea deal whereby the government refrained from criminal prosecution of VW for its emissions scandal), the landscape has gotten more complicated.
     
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  19. Feathermerchant

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    The Tesla Supercharger does handshake with the car to identify it to it's database to allow charging and calculate $ charges but it also handshakes to determine the electrical charge rate requested by the vehicle. Any car that uses the Supercharger network must be able to do both things. A simple adapter will not work.

    As far as charge tapering (reducing charge rate) that is determined by the vehicle maker based on many things such as battery temperature and state of charge. There are also other limitations. Once the cell voltage reaches 4.2V the charge rate MUST be reduced or cell damage will result. How much depends on cell chemistry and temperature among other things.
     
  20. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    A CCS/CHAdeMo Supercharger does handshake with the car to identify it to it's database to allow charging and calculate $ charges. It tells the car how much current is available (the Telsa SC's do this too but - Feather left that out) and then handshakes to determine the electrical charge rate requested by the vehicle. If the charger needs to reduce or can increase the current available to the car it must signal that to the car (the Tesla SC does this too but this also was left out by Feather). Any car that uses the Supercharger network must be able to do all 4 things. A simple adapter that supports the hardware AND software ICDs will work.

    Thus a Tesla SC and an EA SC are functionally the same. A Tesla SC is capable of charging any car that can charge from a CCS SC as long as there is a hardware adapter available and the necessary software changes are made, both to the charger and the network.
     

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