sv650john
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:55 pm

San Diego - Need more than 82 mile range?

Mon May 04, 2015 1:39 pm

Hey all,

I just picked up a 2015 Spark EV however the 82 mile range means I can't make my weekly trip to LA/OC/IE and back in a day.
It's possible to charge up halfway, but it really isn't convenient to stop somewhere and wait 7 hours.

I've decided to keep my old Prius for road trip duty.
I don't think I'm alone in this predicament, so I'm offering up my car for any Spark EV owners facing the same problem.

I put the Prius up on RelayRides so if anyone's interested in renting it you can find it at this link:
https://relayrides.com/car-rental/san-d ... us-c/64872

It's parked at my office in Liberty Station and always available for use 24/7 (unless someone else has rented it). The keys are in a lockbox.
There's also two Blink stations (with 10+ available L2 chargers) next to where the Prius is parked.
I usually leave my Spark at the charger for the day, take the Prius to LA, and come back to a full charge.

Hope this will help someone out!
Last edited by sv650john on Wed May 13, 2015 1:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

xylhim
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:12 pm

Re: San Diego - Need more than 82 mile range?

Tue May 05, 2015 6:55 am

I did this trip when I was in So. Cal, with DC fast charging it's no problem at all. Check out www.plugshare.com and under the options, check the SAE combo connector. You can make it up to Mission Viejo for a quick charge coming up, and there are plenty of quick charge stations throughout the LA area now. On the way back down, Carlsbad would be a great stop to make. In about 30 mins, you'll be fully charged and ready to go!

SteveC5088
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 10:35 pm
Location: Fresno, CA

Re: San Diego - Need more than 82 mile range?

Tue May 05, 2015 7:40 am

sv650john, you'll have to report back how the RelayRides works out.

If you have the FastCharge option, it sounds like xylhim may have the solution for your drive north.
2013 Chevy Volt, 2014 Spark EV

sv650john
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: San Diego - Need more than 82 mile range?

Tue May 05, 2015 9:35 am

I've thought long and hard about the economics of the Fast Charge option.

My weekly work trip usually involves the following stops:
Start in San Diego in the morning
Drive to San Clemente for a meeting (65 miles)
Drive to Hollywood & Pasadena to meet vendors (80 miles)
Drive back to San Diego (130 miles)

I'm aware there are fast charge stations along the way.
I'd be looking at minimum 4 FC stops to make my trip = 2 hours spent charging which is time wasted when I have meetings to get to during the day, and a wife to get home to at night.
On top of that, the eVgo DC rates are $4.95/charge + $0.2 per min. So a 30 min charge = about $10.
x4 FC's in one day = $40.

By comparison, the Prius gets 400 miles out of an 8 gallon tank that takes all of 5 mins to fill.
To make my trip I'd burn 5 gallons of gas, about $20 worth at today's prices.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Spark and I think it's excellent for what it is.
I also think fast charging is the future, except for eVgo's silly pricing model. For more people to adopt EV's we need to have fast charging everywhere, available 24/7 and free (ie. Tesla supercharger).
You know when you pull into a gas pump that 99.9% of the time you'll be able to gas up and be on your way (arguably the same for Tesla stations). I'm just not that confident of the eVgo network. I'd hate to make the call to my wife one night to tell her that the DCFC is down, ICE'd, or any other situation which would leave me stranded 100 miles from home and spending the night in the Spark lol.

My conclusion for now - any trip over 80 miles, it simply makes more $ sense to drive with a gas car.
Last edited by sv650john on Tue May 05, 2015 10:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

sv650john
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: San Diego - Need more than 82 mile range?

Tue May 05, 2015 9:54 am

SteveC5088 wrote:sv650john, you'll have to report back how the RelayRides works out.
My 2 cents on Relayrides - I've had the Prius on there for a few months now.

Relayrides takes 25% off the top to cover insurance, admin costs. So at $29/day really means I pocket $21/day, $130/week.
I've been seeing 2-3 rentals a month, for simplicity lets say 2 weekends and a weekly rental... which nets out to about $200-$250 a month in income.
The car's costing me about $320/mo payment, plus my own insurance, maintenance, tires, car washes. So let's say $400 in expenses.

It's definitely not a money making enterprise. But since my Prius sits 90% of the time it's nice to have someone else cover half the expenses.
Also the warm fuzzy feeling inside that you're "helping the environment" by reducing the need for more cars to be on the road, helping out the community etc...
And in relation to my above post, if I needed to rent a car every week for my trip, I'd end up spending a couple hundred bucks a month on that. So the costs would be similar either way.

I haven't had any real problems with people abusing my car. That said, as with anything that gets used it suffers from more "wear and tear" and it isn't in pristine condition. Wheels get curb scratches, scuffs, small door dings etc are to be expected.
I've also received a couple parking tickets / toll tickets in the mail that Relayrides paid for immediately (and charged the renter's credit card).

Any more questions, let me know!

Jedi2155
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:05 am
Location: SoCal

Re: San Diego - Need more than 82 mile range?

Fri May 08, 2015 5:32 pm

sv650john wrote:I've thought long and hard about the economics of the Fast Charge option.
I'm aware there are fast charge stations along the way.
I'd be looking at minimum 4 FC stops to make my trip = 2 hours spent charging which is time wasted when I have meetings to get to during the day, and a wife to get home to at night.
On top of that, the eVgo DC rates are $4.95/charge + $0.2 per min. So a 30 min charge = about $10.
x4 FC's in one day = $40.
If you make regular fast charges then they offer a different rate for you. Their "On-the-Go Total" seems pretty reasonable for regular users.

Its' $14.95/month (12 month contract though), but there's no $4.95 access fee and its $0.10/minute. That makes your 4x30 minute charge only $12 each day much more reasonable. You only need to do this twice a month to make it break even with the Prius cost
+$12 for 120 minutes
+$14.95/2 = $7.48
= $19.48 for each drive.

http://www.nrgevgo.com/los-angeles-basin/

I think their rates are reasonable compared to the crazy $2/hr charging for some L2 charging stations. I only wish I had a fast charger on my vehicle but I didn't want to pay the extra $3-4k for a 2015 model that had the option.
Tesla Model 3 Performance (9/28) | Blue | White Seats | 20" | Full Self Driving
2014 Spark EV 2LT - Summit White - Sold as of 8/11/18
http://www.voltstats.net/SparkEV/Stats/Details/6330
My previous 2012 Volt
http://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/578

xylhim
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:12 pm

Re: San Diego - Need more than 82 mile range?

Mon May 11, 2015 6:59 am

sv650john wrote:I've thought long and hard about the economics of the Fast Charge option.

My weekly work trip usually involves the following stops:
Start in San Diego in the morning
Drive to San Clemente for a meeting (65 miles)
Drive to Hollywood & Pasadena to meet vendors (80 miles)
Drive back to San Diego (130 miles)

I'm aware there are fast charge stations along the way.
I'd be looking at minimum 4 FC stops to make my trip = 2 hours spent charging which is time wasted when I have meetings to get to during the day, and a wife to get home to at night.
On top of that, the eVgo DC rates are $4.95/charge + $0.2 per min. So a 30 min charge = about $10.
x4 FC's in one day = $40.

By comparison, the Prius gets 400 miles out of an 8 gallon tank that takes all of 5 mins to fill.
To make my trip I'd burn 5 gallons of gas, about $20 worth at today's prices.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Spark and I think it's excellent for what it is.
I also think fast charging is the future, except for eVgo's silly pricing model. For more people to adopt EV's we need to have fast charging everywhere, available 24/7 and free (ie. Tesla supercharger).
You know when you pull into a gas pump that 99.9% of the time you'll be able to gas up and be on your way (arguably the same for Tesla stations). I'm just not that confident of the eVgo network. I'd hate to make the call to my wife one night to tell her that the DCFC is down, ICE'd, or any other situation which would leave me stranded 100 miles from home and spending the night in the Spark lol.

My conclusion for now - any trip over 80 miles, it simply makes more $ sense to drive with a gas car.

I think you can make it three stops: https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/San+Dieg ... m0!1m0!3e0

Stops:
The Shops at Mission Viejo
Fresh and Easy in Rosemead
Carlsbad Premium outlets

If you also do some Level 2 charging while your having meetings it would make things quicker as well.

I'm not saying this is the most practical thing, but I think you're overestimating the trip a tad.

sv650john
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: San Diego - Need more than 82 mile range?

Wed May 13, 2015 1:25 pm

xylhim wrote:I'm not saying this is the most practical thing, but I think you're overestimating the trip a tad.
Maybe I am, although I think it's hard to disagree that driving with an EV is something that requires a bit of planning ahead of time - just not the same as driving a gas car.
Also finding that my driving style doesn't quite get the claimed 82-mile range. With the AC running and on the freeway I'd estimate closer to 65-70 miles max. You just can't convince me to drive 55 or 65mph on the freeway lol.

I get the feeling that most Spark EV owners aren't relying on it as their only car. Most of us here probably have 2, if not 3 cars in the household that we can take for a road trip. That's a lot of idle cars just sitting in driveways.
I'm personally planning on keeping the Prius as long as I need it, not to mention my Spark is on a 10K mile lease, not exactly ideal for road trips.

So with that said, I believe there could be a use case for what I'm proposing here.
Maybe someone who owns an EV and is in my local area might sell their gas car(s), pocket that money, and only spend a little bit to rent mine as needed.
Or perhaps someone that's on the fence about buying an EV as a local commuter might be able to without worrying about what to do when taking a longer trip.

sv650john
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: San Diego - Need more than 82 mile range?

Fri May 15, 2015 1:13 pm

Here's why fast charging doesn't work: I tried making my trip in the Spark. Got to Carlsbad Outlets at 9pm last night on reduced power. This is the sign that greeted me.
Image

3 hours of 3.3kw L2 charging later - made it down to the DCFC near Qualcomm Stadium.

It's now midnight. At least I can get a charge right? NOPE. Denied.
Plug car in - error. Says car's done charging. It's not, there's 6 miles of indicated range left.
Get on the phone with NRG for 30+ mins. Reset charger, tried plugging, unplugging, everything. Can't get the car to charge.
NRG guy says they are showing that it's charging, but I'm getting nothing.

Ok, I still gotta get home. Find an L2 and plug in for a couple hours.

By the time I get home it's 2am, I've been messing around with getting a charge in the rain and I'm soaked. Only to get a royal ass-chewing from the wife for being home so late.

What should've taken a hour, maybe an hour and a half to drive ended up taking me close to 6 hours. Most of it sitting in a cold car in the rain (don't want to turn the heater on while charging on L2, I'd rather have the power go to the battery instead of heat)

Thanks NRG for the great infrastructure (not!) Thankfully I don't have the monthly subscription, what's the point of paying for something I can't use?


FWIW, I'm optimistic on the future of DCFC. It sounds great in theory, and if there were as many DCFC's as there are L2's or even CHAdemos it might be tolerable.
The reality is, at the present time, DCFC is simply not a reliable way to make a trip >80 miles.

Jedi2155
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:05 am
Location: SoCal

Re: San Diego - Need more than 82 mile range?

Sat May 16, 2015 3:38 pm

That's very unfortunate to hear. While I was upset that my vehicle doesn't have DCFC, part of the reasoning that led to me being okay with it was that its still a very new technology while ChaDemo has been in standards form for probably over 20 years, but wasn't deployed until 2008. The Spark EV was the very first EV equipped with CCS in 2013 add to the fact that NRG/evGO was publicly forced to deploy fast chargers means that there are bound to be issues. A first model EV, with a new unproven charging standard, and a utility that was forced to deploy fast chargers than actually really believing in the technology. All these things were going against it.

On the flip side of all of that, when it works....its awesome to charge superquickly. I think we'll just have to wait another year or 2 before the growing pains really stop.
Tesla Model 3 Performance (9/28) | Blue | White Seats | 20" | Full Self Driving
2014 Spark EV 2LT - Summit White - Sold as of 8/11/18
http://www.voltstats.net/SparkEV/Stats/Details/6330
My previous 2012 Volt
http://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/578

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