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Chevy Bolt EV, Hyundai Ioniq show slow, confusing state of 'fast' charging today


When you drive into a U.S. gas station to pump gas, every pump works exactly the same way. The only choice to make is which grade of gasoline you want.


If you want diesel fuel, of course, you may have to find one of the six out of 10 stations that offer it.


DC fast charging for electric cars isn't nearly that simple, and it hasn't been since the start.
It's by far easiest and most seamless for owners of Tesla electric cars, presently costing $70,000 or more.


They have access to the widespread Supercharger network for road trips.


Tesla, in fact, has built the model of how a fast-charging network should operate to enable all-electric cars to travel long distances on highways.


For any other electric car capable of fast charging, there's a hodge-podge of charging networks, locations, prices, and charging speeds.


That's always assuming, of course, that a novice electric-car driver understands the difference between the two incompatible standards for non-Tesla electric cars: CHAdeMO and Combined Charging System or CCS.


A recent 800-mile road trip undertaken by the new owner of a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV underscores the challenges still facing drivers of those cars who want to travel long distances.


The Bolt EV, with its rated 238-mile range, really brings the challenges of today's DC fast-charging infrastructure into sharp focus.


Before 2017 and the Bolt's arrival, only costly Teslas had range ratings of 200 miles or more; every other EV ranged from 62 miles to 107 miles.


Traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles in an 84-mile Nissan Leaf would be an arduous trek, and few owners even attempted it.


Their Tesla brethren could knock off the trip with a couple of half-hour Supercharger stops en route, assuming no lineups waiting to charge at peak-travel times.


But with the Bolt EV, now the owners of at least one mass-priced battery-powered car should be able to match their Tesla counterparts.


Except ....


Interstate 5, the most direct route between the San Francisco Bay Area and the LA Basin, has no CCS fast-charging sites that a Bolt EV can use.


Instead, DC fast chargers sit along Highway 101, which takes longer.


Those fast-charging sites are operated by two different companies, ChargePoint and EVgo. Each one requires a separate membership card.



Their pricing structures vary; EVgo has a monthly usage price and a one-time fee, roughly $10.


ChargePoint's pricing is all over the map, though, from free to high, because it doesn't own the stations.


It just provides the access for drivers, and record-keeping for site owners.


Worse yet, though, the networks charge at different rates.


Most electric cars fitted with CHAdeMO (e.g. Nissan Leaf) or CCS (several vehicles from U.S. and German makers) max out at 50 kilowatts.


Some "fast" charging stations only deliver 24 kw, however, enough to recharge an 84-mile car to near 80 percent within half an hour.





That's nowhere near enough for a Bolt EV with its 60-kilowatt-hour battery, however, and the ability to charge at up to 80 kw.


The 124-mile Hyundai Ioniq Electric tops that; it can charge at up to 100 kw.


Bolt EV driver Dawn Hall hadn't known about the varying CCS recharge speeds when she set out on her 800-mile road trip.


She learned when she had to pay $10 each for two successive 30-minute fast-charging sessions to get sufficient range.


Many electric-car advocates seem to expect that new buyers will somehow acquire all of this knowledge before embarking on their first road trip.



Owner Dawn Hall before 800-mile road trip in 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car



It remains entirely unclear where that education comes from: the carmaker? the franchised dealer? the charging network(s)? government entites?


We'd suggest mass-market acceptance of longer-range electric cars may remain problematic until those challenges are solved.
 

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As I mentioned in another post recently, the Ioniq EV absolutely kills the Bolt when it comes to recharging on a long trip (trips over 200 miles per day) with existing infrastructure. In fact, adding a fast charge ability to the Bolt (still only 80% that of the Ioniq) costs extra (another $1,000 US I think I remember).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
but if you don't have the fast charge infrastructure it is a moot point if you can't charge either car on the highway for a road trip


there you have the original chicken and egg,


no need for chargers if not enough EV's and no sales of EV's if not enough chargers are available


telsa had an easy job of working out where to put the chargers as they only had 1 car with a known range, so they knew exactly how far to place them apart


other infrastructure companies need to cope with EV ranges from 50 - 200 miles per charge and many different charge rates
 

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but if you don't have the fast charge infrastructure it is a moot point if you can't charge either car on the highway for a road trip


there you have the original chicken and egg,


no need for chargers if not enough EV's and no sales of EV's if not enough chargers are available


telsa had an easy job of working out where to put the chargers as they only had 1 car with a known range, so they knew exactly how far to place them apart


other infrastructure companies need to cope with EV ranges from 50 - 200 miles per charge and many different charge rates
Correct. The nearest Level 3 DC fast charging station is over 770km away from me. That's over 480 miles.

There are no plans to build any fast charging by anybody in for the vast majority of this country. My country's first priority is subsidizing big oil. I'm a little surprised they haven't banned EVs yet.
 

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telsa had an easy job of working out where to put the chargers as they only had 1 car with a known range, so they knew exactly how far to place them apart

other infrastructure companies need to cope with EV ranges from 50 - 200 miles per charge and many different charge rates
You know, now that I think about it, EVs with less than a 200 mile range are just not suitable for long road trips, at least not in the US. Can you imagine going cross country for 3,000 miles each way (something I often do twice a year) and charging every hour to hour and a half? Not practical. So the IoniqNiro EVs (and all other non-Bolts or Teslas) are really only suited for local use within its single charge range.
 

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You know, now that I think about it, EVs with less than a 200 mile range are just not suitable for long road trips, at least not in the US. Can you imagine going cross country for 3,000 miles each way (something I often do twice a year) and charging every hour to hour and a half? Not practical. So the IoniqNiro EVs (and all other non-Bolts or Teslas) are really only suited for local use within its single charge range.
You've summed up the main reasons I went for the Hybrid rather than EV . Apart from 3000 mile road trips that is . I really don't think they are practical enough yet in many cases
 

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The issue of chargers fast/slow, different providers etc is exactly why I didn't go full EV. Here in the north east of England, it appears to be quite good coverage as it was/is a pioneer area for EV.

It's just my life extends beyond the NE though.
 

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Here in Ontario, we're supposed to be getting a DC charger network installed this year. Electric Vehicles Chargers Ontario

(Only a few of them are built so far, but hopefully!)

Those chargers should allow an Ioniq owner to travel across Ontario. Neighbouring Quebec already has a well developed network, so that's already an option here.

Personally, I think I'm ok with the Ioniq's limited range (compared to Model 3 and Bolt) as the extra km it has on the Leaf seems to put it in range of making cross province trips. We don't do those trips that often anyway, and when we go on vacation camping we just rent a minivan, so our daily EV wouldn't need to be able to do that either.

And when we're on a trip, I don't usually mind having to stop every 1.5 hours or so, and there's usually someone who needs a bathroom break anyway.
 

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One of Bjorn Nyland's latest videos showcases a multi-story car park in Oslo that has 102 EV charging points - only two of those being fast DC though.

Norway is definitely ahead of the pack in terms of numbers of EV's sold, and infrastructure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
problem is to put more than 10 fast DC chargers in could the local power grid cope?


this is one of the issues I see with EV's at the moment, until we get something like a local solar farm into storage(battery ?) then the chargers drawing power from that I am not sure how power grids will cope with the amount of power required


10 x 50kw = 1/2 megawatt, that is a lot of power, and little return, what is it about £5-£6 f a 30 min charge? do say 10 a day assuming people don't hog he charger for longer than required, assuming a lot of use that probably £200-£300 / week (before deducting cost of the electricity supplied) per charger, so how long to see a return on the investment?


so without some form of subsidy charging infrastructure will be slow to grow limiting EV adoption unless you can complete all your travel on a single charge


that is what I think a present, sad but I think a fair assessment,


the other option is something like the BMW i3 rex, which has a little 900cc generator to top up the battery on the move if required


I would love to go full EV but range and charging infrastructure just aren't there yet, and I don't think it will be for the next 5-10 years
 

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As "mainstream" as EVs are becoming, they just aren't there yet. The case of range anxiety is the biggest factor when shopping around and according to some articles I've been reading, when going on really long trips with an EV, the extra time you need to set aside to wait for charge and how much you have to pay, at a certain extent, utilizing a fuel efficient ICE can sometimes even be better.
 

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Talking about the chicken and the egg: In the Netherlands, there is a company (Fastned) that has installed about 60 fast chargers (50kW) along the Dutch highways. For a small country (roughly 150 km x 400 km) it is pretty well covered. With the range of the Ioniq EV, you can skip many fast chargers on a long trip. This company is not making profit (yet), and did a lot lot of investments. It's investors count on the growing population of electric cars in the coming years. However, people with home chargers (like me) don't use their network very often. It appears that currently, on a single day only one or two cars per station stop by for charging. I wonder whether they will make it to make profit in the near future....
 

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The CCS standard does not support more than (500 V & 125 A) = 62,5 kW pr now.
And that is why chargers are "only" 50-62kW pr now.
The ioniq can charge faster than 62,5kW, the day the CCS standard is increased and chargers with that spec is build.

(CCS standard is comming to 200A & 1000V = 200kW, but ist not built yet...

In norway, the standard is, to put up 2 fast chargers pr location, both chargers have Chademo and CCS plugs. + 2 22kW outlets (where the ioniq can get max 6,4? or 7,2kW(?) )
(or more, but 2 is the standard)

Vulkan, the 102 chargingspots, is a parking garage, and the fast charger there, is ment to top up for those needing it (i.e. having to leave earlyer than expected but have low battery).
In Oslo, around Vulkan, there are plenty of other fast chargers close by.
the point of Vulkan, is to get all those EV's off the streetparking and in to parking-garages, giving the street parking back to everyone who needs em for short stops. EV's and Fosils


Setting up fast chargers, can the local grid handle it?
Fastchargers are not put up on the existing 110/230/400V...
Those building chargers, tap innto the High-Voltage line and get their own transformer, size of transformer depending on the number of fast chargers needed/wanted.
This does not affect the local grid on its existing transformer. As the high voltage lines should have plenty of juice to coupe.

Often fast chargers come to same location as Tesla chargers if they are already there, as the transformer may be able to deliver more than tesla uses.
Other than that i think teslas chargers are a big ego-trip and a waste of public ground. the charging networks shold be awailable for all...

(The above statements is how its done in norway.) (Edit: so many typing errors, hope its understandable)
 

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I don’t blame Tesla for the way the have implemented their charging structure.
They knew if they were going to succeed in selling 100% EVs, their customers would need to be able to charge en-route - they didn’t want their vehicles to be perceived as city cars.

Tesla charging locations always seemed to have more than required - most, if not all are empty if you pass one in the UK. This is because the take-up is slow in the UK, but in Norway you will see near Oslo sometimes the odd Tesla waiting for an available charger.

In the UK the public charging network was all but non-existent when Nissan brought their Leaf to market. Enter stage left, the green energy company Ecotricity who slurped up large chunks of funding from Nissan in order to build their ‘Electric Highway’ network of chargers located at motorway service stations. Without them, no doubt the Leaf would not have sold in such numbers.

Unfortunately, the number of new public chargers appearing in the UK doesn’t seem to match the uptake of EVs, so today's EV driver might find themselves all too often playing the waiting game if on a longer road trip. That is of course, unless you drive a Tesla!
 

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In Ontario where I live there are plans with the government working with various different companies and organizations to build out 200 Level 3 and nearly 300 Level 2 charging stations by the end of this year. A lot of them by the various highways through out the province. Not sure how many of those already exist, although looking on a locator map shows quite a number of charging stations already.

That said, I doubt I'll use any of them for the foreseeable future, as I'll mainly be using my Ioniq for city driving. My wife drives a gas powered car that we can use for long distance driving, or we could switch cars if for some reason I need to travel far that there aren't any stations.

The province of Ontario has done just a great job in encouraging electric vehicles. Both in getting the framework of charging stations, plus offering $14,000 rebates for full electric vehicles and a sliding scale for plugin hybrid vehicles depending on how big the battery is. They also will pay 50% of the cost to install a level 2 charger in your own garage, with a max of $1000.

I likely wouldn't be looking into getting a pure EV just yet without all these incentives. I might be going for a plugin hybrid instead.
 

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In Ontario where I live there are plans with the government working with various different companies and organizations to build out 200 Level 3 and nearly 300 Level 2 charging stations by the end of this year. A lot of them by the various highways through out the province. Not sure how many of those already exist, although looking on a locator map shows quite a number of charging stations already.

That said, I doubt I'll use any of them for the foreseeable future, as I'll mainly be using my Ioniq for city driving. My wife drives a gas powered car that we can use for long distance driving, or we could switch cars if for some reason I need to travel far that there aren't any stations.

The province of Ontario has done just a great job in encouraging electric vehicles. Both in getting the framework of charging stations, plus offering $14,000 rebates for full electric vehicles and a sliding scale for plugin hybrid vehicles depending on how big the battery is. They also will pay 50% of the cost to install a level 2 charger in your own garage, with a max of $1000.

I likely wouldn't be looking into getting a pure EV just yet without all these incentives. I might be going for a plugin hybrid instead.
LOL, I check the plugshare.com map all the time. Looks like a lot of new chargers have been popping up recently. With a proper charger infrastructure, the Ioniq's range is perfectly useable. The only thing I can't use it for is camping trips. (maybe with a big roof box or a small trailer, but that might cut into the range too much.) I'm currently thinking about trying to lease an Ioniq and then when that's up see what's available, especially what can tow a small trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
currently the EU spec Ioniqs or Niro's are not rated for towing, but I believe the US spec Niros are so it will be interesting to see if US /Canadian spec Ioniqs are rated for towing


also EU spec Ioniqs are not currently rated for roof loads, but I believe they are going through the process to get that changed from posts I have seen on here for Norway etc for roof bars for skis etc
 

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I hope they get rated for roof loads, as that would be very handy. I thought the Niro needed larger brakes and radiator / transmission cooler for a towing package, so I'm kind of doubtful that they'll add that on to the electric versions. It would be great, obviously, but I kind of doubt they'll do that.
 

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currently the EU spec Ioniqs or Niro's are not rated for towing, but I believe the US spec Niros are so it will be interesting to see if US /Canadian spec Ioniqs are rated for towing


also EU spec Ioniqs are not currently rated for roof loads, but I believe they are going through the process to get that changed from posts I have seen on here for Norway etc for roof bars for skis etc
According to Toyota its not necessarily just down to getting them rated, there are design differences too

Toyota Hybrid towing questions - Toyota
 
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