LarryKaplan
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:02 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Sep 2019
Leaf Number: 021236

Frustrations with Public Charging Stations

Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:37 pm

I hope this is the correct forum. I am a recent Leaf buyer -- bought a used 2012 and it's wonderful. I am semi-retired and work from home, so range is not an issue 95% of the time.

Public charging facilities -- not so wonderful. I am in the heart of Los Angeles, so would imagine that we have the best availability of just about anywhere in America. But the network of public charging options here reminds me of pay phones and public water fountains -- half of them don't work. So that's one problem -- there would be enough of them, but only if they all work and are available.

Second problem is inconsistency and lack of transparent standardization. You gas up a carbon-powered car pretty much the same way everywhere and at every gas retailer. But every charging station I encounter has a different way to operate, and my phone is loaded with apps I used only once. I have also come across a situtation where a charger will work for one car, but not for another (happened today -- a station at a city golf course would not work for me, but easily turned on for a woman with a plug-in Prius who tried afterwards). They really need some standardization.

If our public officials want to encourage EV's, they need to step up and build the infrastructure.

SageBrush
Posts: 4907
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: Frustrations with Public Charging Stations

Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:51 am

Welcome to the world of grant money, which attracts start-ups willing to build something new but does not provide for ongoing profitability or improvement.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

User avatar
Nubo
Posts: 5399
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:01 am
Delivery Date: 31 Oct 2014
Location: Vallejo, CA

Re: Frustrations with Public Charging Stations

Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:51 pm

With longer range EVs quickly becoming the norm, I suspect the existing Level2 charging infrastructure is going to wither. If you've got 250 or 300 miles of range you're far less inclined to need or even want to use a slow charging point away from home. To follow the gas-station analogy, nobody wants to sit for 4 hours at a gas pump that's dispensing a drop at a time. A longer-range EV driver wants some place to get an appreciable fraction of their "tank" refilled quickly when needed, and then move on. A ubiquitous Level 2 network is a dream of short-range EV folk, but just isn't going to apply going forward. They may still have applicability at workplaces, airports, perhaps motels, and the like. The ones that were scattered about willy-nilly when 80-mile EVs were the expected use case, will slowly fall victim to disrepair, vandalism and neglect.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

Oilpan4
Gold Member
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Leaf Number: 004270

Re: Frustrations with Public Charging Stations

Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:17 am

With electric vehicles that can easily really go over 100 miles between charges becoming standard it seems likely.
2011 white SL leaf with 2014 batt.
Chargers: Panasonic brick moded for 240v, duosida 16a 240v and a 10kw setec portable CHAdeMO
Location: 88103

cwerdna
Posts: 9735
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Frustrations with Public Charging Stations

Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:00 am

Did you check scores and recent check-ins on Plugshare for any of the locations you wanted to use/you wanted to charge near first? If not, then it's really a roll of the dice.

If you plan to use ChargePoint stations, it's also helpful to see (via their app or web site) if there are any recent comments for their stations.

I tend to agree w/Nubo and Oilpan4 here. I have a Bolt now (238 mile EPA range rating). I mostly charge for free on L2 at work and I tend to use public L2 less than I did w/when my '13 Leaf was my primary car. It hit 11 capacity bars in Nov 2017 and these days, Leaf Spy SOH ranges from 81 to 83%.

If I charge my Bolt to 85+% on Friday at work, that could more than last me the entire weekend if I don't drive a ton. If I charge to 100%, I have enough to go home, drive around on the weekend, go to San Francisco and back (round trip of about 120 miles, almost all highway) and still have enough to make it to work on Monday. My work also can be on the way home from some places north (e.g. SF), so I can swing by work to L2 charge for a bit. There are also 2 (as of last check) free 62.5 kW max DC FCs near my work + some paid ones (24 kW and 50+ kW) + some paid probably ~37 kW EVgo units 5 miles from home.

If I need juice to make it to work and I really want to pay Pacific Gouge & Extort prices at home, well... work's under 13 miles away, so I guess if want to charge at home on L1, a few hours on L1 is enough.

'19 Bolt Premier
'13 Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium packages (lease over, car returned)

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

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paulgipe
Posts: 308
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:23 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Oct 2014
Leaf Number: 311200
Location: Bakersfield, CA 93305
Contact: Website

Re: Frustrations with Public Charging Stations

Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:29 am

Larry,

Were you using Level 2 or DCFC stations. Maybe I missed that. The others commenting here have assumed you meant L2.

DCFC stations are certainly not as reliable as they should be. We have an EA station near here that has had 50% of its kiosks down since it was activated. If you follow Plugshare, EV connect are notoriously unreliable. EVgo and ChargePoint are somewhere in the Middle.

For now, we need a lot of redundancy because the stations are not always working when we need them.

Paul
Bakersfield, California
2017 Bolt LT with DCFC, leased 11/09/17
2015 Nissan S with QC, leased, returned
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, used 10/3/16, sold
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; Jesla; JDapter Stub
http://www.wind-works.org

WetEV
Posts: 3146
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 8:25 am
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2014
Location: Near Seattle, WA

Re: Frustrations with Public Charging Stations

Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:59 am

Nubo wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:51 pm
With longer range EVs quickly becoming the norm, I suspect the existing Level2 charging infrastructure is going to wither. If you've got 250 or 300 miles of range you're far less inclined to need or even want to use a slow charging point away from home. To follow the gas-station analogy, nobody wants to sit for 4 hours at a gas pump that's dispensing a drop at a time. A longer-range EV driver wants some place to get an appreciable fraction of their "tank" refilled quickly when needed, and then move on. A ubiquitous Level 2 network is a dream of short-range EV folk, but just isn't going to apply going forward. They may still have applicability at workplaces, airports, perhaps motels, and the like. The ones that were scattered about willy-nilly when 80-mile EVs were the expected use case, will slowly fall victim to disrepair, vandalism and neglect.
Even an 80 mile EV driver would rather have a 15 minute QC than a 2 hour L2.

Where there is no infrastructure, L2 is first as L2 is easier and cheaper to install as well as more reliable. That is why it came first, not 80 mile EVs. Will always be cases like this, in less well traveled areas. Alternative would be tow truck. Many L2 stations are clearly pointless, agree. Many were pointless or nearly so when installed.

I expect L2 to become common at motels, hotels and such. Overnight L2 charges are more convenient, cheaper and more efficient. One of the comforts of home, while on the road.
WetEV
#49
Most everything around here is wet during the rainy season. And the rainy season is long.
2012 Leaf SL Red (Totaled)
2014 Leaf SL Red
2019 eTron Blue

DaveinOlyWA
Posts: 14151
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:43 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2018
Leaf Number: 314199
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Frustrations with Public Charging Stations

Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:12 am

Plugshare, Plugshare, PLUGSHARE!

Its really quite essential for any on the road charging. Make sure you filter it to only show plugs you are interested in using. This can be as little as 2 (J1772 and chademo) or you can add random things like campground plugs, wall plugs, etc. to match your adapters kit.

Networks are important especially if price conscious. I have NCTC so I concentrate on Blink, Webasto and EVGO since I can QC free on those but I still show everything simply because a quick boost I pay a few bucks for is better than nothing.

But comments on Plugshare is what you want to be looking at. I just spent a few mins checking EA only and this is what I found.
Peter
Hyundai Kona Electric
Did charge my EV for 24 min at 55kw of total 22kwh and paid 17$. This is an unacceptable price for me. I will never use these stations anymore. The future is not welcome here.

BMW i3
My i3 would not initiate on any but the combo charger. One refused to read my card. The rest save one reported a charging fault. The last one worked.

NOTE Red flag here. This means the One chademo plug here is much less likely to be available!!

Doug
Toyota RAV4 EV
Horrible EA chargers. Processing payment loop using app. Phone support rebooted. Then 4 failed attempts with “charging Error” using cc card while phone support waited patiently. BYE Heading to AV down the street. Watch out.... my bank fraud department called me after seeing 4 $50 charges from EA. They were my 4 Failed attempts to charge. EA says they should drop after 2 business days. Worst $200 bucks I’ve ever not spent...

OmegaOmega
Jaguar I-PACE
Nice facility. All of them appear to be online. Prices are RIDICULOUSLY expensive. Even as a member I’m pulling 24kw but getting charged $.50/min.

piekas
Jaguar I-PACE
Slow, but it worked. Maxed out at 34kw on a 350kw charger. Car’s limit is 100kw. Was charged $0.69/min but should have been $0.25/min.
Ok so I only showed negative ones but I also don't make it a habit of stopping at ones that don't have recent successful charge events unless I have time and range to investigate.
2011 SL; 44,598 miles. 2013 S; 44,840 miles.2016 S30 deceased. 29,413 miles. 2018 S40; 15,000 miles, 478 GIDs, 37.0 kwh 109.81 Ahr , SOH 94.61, Hx 120.15
My Blog; http://daveinolywa.blogspot.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

LarryKaplan
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:02 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Sep 2019
Leaf Number: 021236

Re: Frustrations with Public Charging Stations

Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:55 pm

Paul, yes, I meant level 2. I have yet to even come across a quick charger. We are getting a level 2 charger in our condo garage thanks to a full rebate from the LA city utility. But charging overnight is never a problem for me -- it's the once or twice a month that I need to drive around town all day and put on in excess of the 60 mile range. 95% of the time, the range is adequate. I complained to a friend, who is a high-ranking official with the state of CA, and here is what she told me:

"We are very aware of both the charging problems you mention. The lack of public charging will be turning around fast, between utilities and private companies like Electrify America, the product of VW's diesel cheating scandal. The demand is there and companies are scrambling to meet it. The biggest problem is the time it takes to permit and install a new charger, even after the site has been secured. I have seen evidence that it takes at leat 50% longer in CA than elsewhere, even with laws that essentially make EV charging a legitimate use in any local zone. At every step from the building counter to the inspector to the fire marshal signoff, our folks just routinely take longer. A few places are doing better. And we are looking at how to speed up the process but I can't say a big breakthrough is in sight.

As for standardization. this is just a slow process but I hear the main obstacle--lack of an SAE protocol--is close to being resolved. Meantime it will continue to be frustrating and annoying for drivers and an obstacle to faster growth. Feel free to complain loudly to those who have an interest in fixing the problem: your city council member, the mayor, Nissan. You are a stakeholder! Plug in America is an excellent advocacy group for EV owners BTW."


I'm not sure you can dismiss the issue by saying that in a few years all the EV's will have longer ranges and it won't matter. The longer range models are expensive, and there may be a market for people like me who cannot afford them (I bought what I could afford -- an older Leaf with a lower range; if I could afford a Tesla or even a new Leaf, I would have bought one). That said, the chargers on the street, hanging off a power pole like a pay phone, may not be the way to go -- in a place like LA, there are enough commercial district garages and parking lots to do the trick (for example, having a bunch of chargers outside of a gym, or a big box retailer, where you can recharge for an hour).

Trick I learned -- car dealers. They are often friendly and will let you charge, especially if you are driving one of their brand!

DaveinOlyWA
Posts: 14151
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:43 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2018
Leaf Number: 314199
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Frustrations with Public Charging Stations

Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:29 am

Greatest myth in EV History; Public charging demand drops in direct relationship to the growing range of their vehicles.

This is COMPLETELY false. There remains, and this will always be true, two types of EVers; the ones who will never venture beyond the range of their EV and those who simply accept public charging as part of the EV adoption process. This first group has home charging.

The 2nd group are EVers that don't have home charging.
2011 SL; 44,598 miles. 2013 S; 44,840 miles.2016 S30 deceased. 29,413 miles. 2018 S40; 15,000 miles, 478 GIDs, 37.0 kwh 109.81 Ahr , SOH 94.61, Hx 120.15
My Blog; http://daveinolywa.blogspot.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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