Novice to EVs but a question?

Discussion in 'Tech: Batteries, Charging, Alternative Energy' started by Colosaleen, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Colosaleen

    Colosaleen Member

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    A novice to EVs and charging but charging times seem to be a big concern for many (me included). I only ever see one charging port on any EV vehicles, is there not a way to design a system on the vehicles for dual charging ports solution on these trucks and cut down charging times in 1/2 by charging two halves of the battery at the same time. Complex circuitry would be required to split, yet tie charging together the batteries on the skate to make it all happen in concert. Again maybe a dumb question or suggestion but I remember Ford trucks having dual gas tanks with two nozzles and gas doors. Rivian would have a charging port on each side at box. Just a thought I had.

    Anyone much smarter than me explain why this could not be done? Get a full charge down to under 10 mins and that really removes some more stigmas of EVs.

    As well as come up with a removable stand-alone generator option (for camper use, wink, wink) that fits snuggly and perfectly in small part of the bed or cubby with a small gas tank on it for emergency, longer trips and to help people learn how to manage driving their EV without fear of being truly stranded. Kick on automatically when driving if needed. Yes I know that it seems to go against the philosophy of all electric but even the facilities of the world have backup Gennys running on ICEs as emergency backups. Part of early or mass adopters is lack of understanding the charging network, feeling of being completely stranded, lack of backup and emergency options. If people knew they had guaranteed emergency movement ability of say 25-50 miles where only the stereo and heater worked along with lights and drivetrain maybe max speed of 55 mph to conserve, they may make the plunge. I know this would remove my concerns on our longer road trips. If people were retired and got there when they get there, then no issue, but in today’s society when people are losing it because their McDonalds drive up window takes and extra 2 mins, Rivian needs to come up with simple solutions like this to remove complex reasons for not buying their EV. Hell mount it in box cubby and just ventilate that box cubby so it is completely out of sight and mind. I am not one that would care about a campstove in that cubby, but Emergency Extender (EE) is a must for who I am. EE could be a high selling option I believe.

    Again just a question and thought as I try to justify a future purchase and remove my own stigmas. Maybe dumb suggestions but things rolling around in my head.
     
  2. skyote

    skyote Well-Known Member

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    There are existing capabilities to charge a battery extremely fast using a single outlet; some of the newer chargers include cooling for the cable itself. The fastest chargers are 350kW, and max charge for Rivian is 160kW.

    The constraint is damage/degredation caused to the lithium ion batteries from fast charging, not the chargers or outlets on the vehicles.

    There are companies working on new charging tech to reduce battery damage, as well as companies working on new battery tech that will safely allow faster charging.
     
  3. Alan Burns

    Alan Burns Well-Known Member

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    A gasoline generator back up sort of defeats the whole idea of an electric vehicle and it would not be small and compact.

    High speed charging systems are now 400 volt systems but EVs are built to handle 800 volt charging which will drop charging times notably.

    Why do you think every charge will be a full 400 mile charge? Charger locations and destination will determine whether you will be charging for 400 mi, 300 mi or 200 mi range.

    Alan
    Missoula
     
  4. Colosaleen

    Colosaleen Member

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    Alan, when you go way out in the middle nowhere Colorado or Wyoming, you are going to want a full charge in reserve. You just never know what you will encounter.

    IMHO, this is part of the EV problem. It is not an all or nothing, not an it has to be all EV or Gasoline or whatever. It is about ability and freedom to do and go where I want. I see nothing wrong with a gas generator for emergency purposes. Personally I am not in it for the cause of saving the planet.

    For me, would be buying for performance and build size/configuration. I am not buying because it is EV. Can’t get this Rivian performance in a current truck with ICE so a Rivian EV it is.

    Not buying a truck for a pure city driving experience or to be tied to every charge station within a certain range like an umbilical cord. That is a limiting factor for me. I can get over it, if I can calm my own anxieties about range, etc.

    Hope that helps frame my concern or question that a further solution needs to be delivered but again it is IMHO.
     
  5. Mjhirsch78

    Mjhirsch78 Member

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    #5 Mjhirsch78, Dec 1, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
    Rivian will likely have an optional backup battery option. They have the patent for it and know it will be something customers want.

    https://www.greencarreports.com/new...s-auxiliary-batteries-truck-to-truck-charging

    The range concern is a creation of the folks unfamiliar with EVs trying to cover them. ICE vehicles also have limited ranges, yet we never talk about them. An ICE needs someone else to provide the gas. An EV will largely be charged at home. The exception being renters, who the industry will have to find solutions for. So shifting to EV is more of a mind thing. There are always exceptions. However for the vast majority of vehicle owners, the range thing will be an issue around the holidays if you are driving 300 or more miles. For those times there will be manufacturer (Rivian’s backup battery option) and third party solutions (a tiny number in existence that will grow as more EVs hit the market) in case you are nervous about it.
     
  6. Alan Burns

    Alan Burns Well-Known Member

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    I am buying a road vehicle. My first trip will be from Normal, Il to Missoula, MT via Duluth. That means driving the length of the Dakotas and 2/3 the length of Montana were there is a dearth of charging stations. I expect in 18-24 months it will be a different situation. Some of the chain gas stations will inevitably add EV charging stations to make up for lost petroleum revenues. Most of my travels avoid Interstate highways wherever possible. Tourist traffic will affect EV charging demand on these routes more than across 4 lane highways. With an ICE rig running on fumes you can drive into a ranch and buy a few gallons of gas from their outside tank and maybe get a free piece of apple pie to boot. I don't see that as an EV option.

    The patented Rivian auxiliary battery needs a fork lift to load it into the bed. That's going to be a lot of dead weight to be hauling around which will reduce range when not needed. The same will be true of an ICE which will be mostly shut down and reducing the battery range of the vehicle. A gasoline engine large enough to effectively charge the Rivian will be closer to the size of a riding garden tractor than a lawn mower. That will require 2-3 people to load it even with a ramp. The motor may need to run the full distance between charges to be effective. It may run while you are parked while in eating breakfast.
    Perhaps it will be like a Prius and cut in when needed for steep grades.

    Neither the ICE nor the auxiliary battery appeal to me one bit. Things will get better over time.
     
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  7. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    This could, of course, be done. I'm a littl shaky on recall but I think Rivian has a patent for 800V charging which uses switches to split the battery pack in half and connect the halves in series for 800 V charging and in parallel for 400 V charging. I do remember seeing the patent but I can't swear that it was Rivian.

    Shouldn't be too complex. The controls would require additional sophistication of course but modern power semiconductors are amazing.


    Many of the "stigmas" of EV's disappear once you start actually driving an EV and find that things like charging aren't at all the way you feared they would be. Much of the "stigma" is residual from the early days and there are forces out there working hard to keep the fear alive. As others have noted higher power chargers are coming on line every day and charging times are going down. If you are running around town charging isn't a problem at all. You just plug in when you get home each night and start each day with a full tank. Road trips are a different matter. In a Tesla, generally no problem because Tesla was wise enough to build the SC network. I say "generally" because not all the super chargers are the really high speed ones, some of them are in areas so busy that you may have to wait for a charge, and in some places they are pretty thin. Beyond that, some people manage to run out of juice (just as they do in ICE cars) despite plenty of warning that they need to fuel up. With a Rivian the situation is going to be a bit different as the non-Tesla "network" is not as fully developed - but it is coming along. A good thing to do is look at trips you contemplate taking with ABRP to see how often, for how long, and where you might have to stop.


    A vehicle that does this is called a "hybrid". There are several on the market.


    It's pretty easy to do a little math in order to get an idea about carrying a generator. The Rivian is going to take 1 kWh to go 2 miles. Thus 50 miles will require 25 kWh and mean that a 2 kW generator would have to run 12.5 hrs to provide it. One could clearly carry a genny and some jerry cans around with him and, if, for example, he were going camping for a week and wanted power at the campsite this seems a reasonable thing to do. Otherwise, totally impractical, IMO. But if it made you feel "safer" you could do it.





    The simplest solution to "range anxiety" id=s to get an EV and drive it for a while. Range anxiety will go away.

    I doubt they would sell many. For some special situations it could, of course, be useful but the vast majority of users would have no use for it. Plus, as others have noted it would take a forklift to install and remove, would increase consumption and, of course, add to charging time.

    I think it's going to take a priest or a medic to do that.

    Sort of but we all start out dumb. I surely did. I had every bit as much anxiety about this as you are having. It's quite normal. I now laugh at my naivete. Experientia optima doctor est. Look forward to enjoying your truck and try not to worry so much.
     
  8. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    Put your trip into ABRP. It will take you through MO, KS, CO and UT where there are plenty of chargers. Try it with a R1T and a Tesla in order to appreciate the power of the SC network (more direct routing is possible saving 10 hours).
     
  9. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    You are suggesting splitting the battery pack into two halves and charging each half from its own charger. This would require electrics (second charging port), electronics and, most significantly, two chargers. This could be done but what a kluge! It makes more sense to parallel two chargers and connect them through a single connector to your car and thus this is the approach that has been taken. The pedestal you connect to at at Telsa or EA station doesn't actually contain any chargers. The chargers (rectifiers) are in cabinets behind the fence and they are modular. To charge a car at double speed the system assigns twice as many modules to the pedestal to which that car is connected. Thus what you are suggesting is what is actually being done but the switching is done in the charger, not the car.
     
  10. JackA

    JackA Member

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    #11 JackA, Dec 3, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
    I have an actual experience here in Washington State where an EV driver did just that. Nearly every building in America has 120 VAC so nearly all highway capable EVs can in fact charge. My story is about a Leaf driver who ran out of charge on Highway 20, in the Methow Valley. They were on a detour from the main highway because of construction and the Leaf stopped on a county road in a location with no cellphone service. Within a few minutes a local stopped and asked what was wrong. Upon hearing that the driver needed electricity he said he knew the owner of a shed that was about 200 feet away from the Leaf and that there was 120 VAC there. The local said he would return within a few minutes, he did with enough extension cords to reach the Leaf. He then gave the Leaf driver a lift in his pickup truck to where they were able to use their cellphone to call me. Because it was nighttime we left the Leaf to charge there overnight and picked it up in the morning. No apple pie was exchanged however.
     
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  11. Alan Burns

    Alan Burns Well-Known Member

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    A second option might be to drive north into Canada then drive west on the transcan to Calgary and swing south into Montana.
     
  12. Colosaleen

    Colosaleen Member

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    Thanks guys;

    This is helping! I do realize most is all concerns are in my head for some of it right now as far as my own mind limitations on what it can be or should be for expectations.

    I have never owned an EV. It is really no different that overcoming buying a different brand for what they have been critical of in a way (Mercedes / Range Rover for bad electronics, Viper for being hot and snake bite, Alfa for poor QA or whatever) It is just justifying it and rationalizing it that is all.

    When I was thinking back up generator, it was not mini car sized but like the Honda gas generator I carry in the truck when we go camping. Just ANYTHING to provide some piece of mind or charge even if I am limping it to a plug in somewhere at 15 mph. I am still moving forward and not totally stranded, that is my rationale in my head anyway. With my wife and tow little kids in the car, I just don't want to put myself in that situation if that helps to get my point across.

    I do appreciate the better understanding on the charge portal and how they work. My thought on the dual port on the truck was it could maybe only handle so much current per port which is why I mentioned it. Kind of like how you parallel out XMAS lights on the outside of the house and keep paralleling the extension cords so you don't just have everything on one series that blows a fuse right away.

    I realize that this is probably child's play for most with the experience but even having a BSEE degree, and 25 years in the automation and power distribution solutions space under my belt, i still struggle with understanding the automotive side of who they set these cars up now so if I am not seeing a clear picture, imagine what the picture looks like for people without any technical understanding. Like a lot of industries, the manufacturers and industry needs to do a better job of explaining it to remove the stigmas with very simple but detailed explanations.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the help. My next purchase needs to fulfill my needs and not be boutique in its effectiveness. I already have a lot of toys in the garage filling those special needs. :)
     
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  13. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    Your questions, concerns and even potential solutions are all reasonable if not necessarily practical or necessary in normal circumstances. You will probably conclude after operating an EV for a while that you don't need a generator on board. The only way to get your questions and concerns answered is to drive an EV. So why not do that? For a couple of hundred bucks you can rent a Tesla for a couple of days. Go to Turo.com. You certainly won't develop a complete appreciation in a few days but you will doubtless learn a lot.
     

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