Inside Electrify America’s plan to simplify electric car charging

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

  1. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    Porsche and Electrify America are both owned by VW, so this wasn't really a partnership as much as an in-house cross sell. However, Electrify America has partnered with Lucid Motors for charging, but I believe that Lucid buyers will just get discounted pricing from Electrify America unless Lucid elects to cover all charging fees for a certain amount of time.

    With VW and its Porsche and Audi subsidiaries all bringing out new EV's, they may want to keep free charging at Electrify America stations as a perk exclusive to buyers of those brands.

    And of course, no charging is really free. Tesla and everyone else buries it in the upfront cost of the vehicles. Even when Tesla was still offering lifetime free use of superchargers for the Model S, there were limits on its use that escaped the notice of some buyers. Some Tesla buyers who lived near superchargers did all their charging, even for local driving, at those stations instead of at home. They were surprised suddenly to get letters warning them that free supercharging was intended to facilitate long-distance travel and was not a substitute for in-home charging. If these buyers didn't stop using superchargers for local travel -- and Tesla was tracking where they charged and where they drove -- they were told their charging privileges would be revoked.
     
  2. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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  3. kumarczar

    kumarczar Member

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    I recently saw a tweet from Rivian's main twitter account about their presence at the upcoming Overlanding Expo, in the tweet very casually slipped in was the statement "...its batteries recharge on descent & it plugs into America's fastest growing charging network." Does this possibly hint at Rivian using Electrify America as their provider or another source?
     
  4. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    Electrify America is an open charging platform that almost any electric vehicle, including Tesla, can use with the proper plug or adapter. In fact, each EA station is equipped with CCS, CHAdeMO, and J1772 connectors. So Rivians will almost certainly be able to charge at EA stations without the need for any specific agreement between Rivian and EA. The only way Rivian would not be able to charge at EA stations would be if Rivian decided to use a proprietary charging system that was compatible only with Rivian chargers, and that is inconceivable to me. Tesla went that route only because there was virtually no fast-charging infrastructure available when they entered the market. The situation is very different today.

    By the way, Tesla and Electrify America have entered an agreement to install Tesla battery power packs at 100 Electric America stations. (Tesla is also doing the same thing at some of its own high-demand stations.) The power packs will be able to store electricity purchased at off-peak rates for charging during peak times and also to increase the power available for ultra-fast charging when the station is experiencing high demand.
     
  5. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't this be basic regen? Speaking of regen, I'm curious if Rivian will engage regen when the accelerator pedal is depressed or when the brake pedal is pressed or provide both allowing the driver to select between the two? In addition, will Rivian provide settings for how much regen will occur with either method? E.g. I believe the Volt has settings for how much brake regen is to occur when accelerator pedal is depressed.

    Very much inconceivable. Rivian has indicated at multiple events and articles they are using CCS for both of their EAVs. Short of some huge technology discovery, and even then, if Rivian changed to a proprietary charging system it could potentially sabotage new and even existing pre-orders.
     
  6. 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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  7. 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.
     
  8. 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.
     
  9. cllc

    cllc Member

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  10. 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.
     
  11. Feathermerchant

    Feathermerchant Active Member

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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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  12. 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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  13. 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.
     
  14. 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
     
  15. 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.
     

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