Posts: 572
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:23 pm

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

Thu May 21, 2015 12:45 am

Trying to do real traveling with an 80-ish mile range car and a third tier fast charging standard, even in SoCal, is tough.

It's been almost three years since I had two Nissan LEAFs in San Diego, and I absolutley do not miss the 80 mile range. Thankfully, in that time, charging stations have really popped up, particularly for Tesla Supercharger equipped cars and CHAdeMO ones.

I've been driving a loaner BMW i3 for three months (also an 80-ish mile car like LEAF and Spark EV). The owner called yesterday and wanted to know if I'd like to keep it longer. "Nope", I said, "my days of 80 mile cars are over. Come and get it."

Recently, I was able to drive my Toyota RAV4 EV (140 mile range at 65mph) from San Diego to Santa Rosa, and return in a weekend. This car was equipped with our company's JdeMO accessory that allows access to the 1,000 CHAdeMO chargers in the USA.

I was able to drive the first 600 miles there in one day, being the first person to do so using only CHAdeMO charging. In June 2012, I was also the first person to cross both Oregon and Washington in one day each using only CHAdeMO chargers on the then newly opened West Coast Electric Highway.

A robust AND dependable infrastructure AND cars that have 150-200 mile range is really what will allow "typical" inter-metro area California driving.

Until, that day arrives, guys like the OP will Just-Drive-The-Prius(TM).

Contrary to many folks here, I do NOT own a LEAF.

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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:55 pm

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

Thu May 21, 2015 7:14 pm

TonyWilliams wrote:Until, that day arrives, guys like the OP will Just-Drive-The-Prius(TM).
DCFC infrastructure is expensive. I'm guessing $50-$100K each unit?
To cover SD to LA via the I-5, probably be looking at a minimum of setting up maybe 3-5 sites. Each with 4-5 charger units to combat ICEing, dead chargers, etc. Cost of land, cost of charging units, installation, maintenance... easily runs into the millions. And double that to cover SD to Riverside via I-15. So say we spend $20 million (minimum) to achieve the goal of driving from SD to LA.
It's no wonder NRG stations cost so much to use.

Oh, and that's before adding the cost of developing and building 150-200 mile EV's, the cost of buying those cars and the environmental impact of building 40-50kwh packs that realistically won't see more than 20-40 miles of daily use.

The alternative?
Setup a station at the SD side, setup a station at LA side.
Each station has a row of 110v plugs, and a row of 10 Prius' available 24/7. Total cost? Maybe $500K for renting the parking lots, buying the Prius', installing a row of 110v plugs is negligible cost. Even the cost of gas for the Prius' is relatively cheap (electricity costs money too), and most of the variable costs such as gas can be paid by the user.
Leave your 80 mile EV at the station plugged in to 110v (bring your oem charge cord), and it'll be charged by the time you get back.

If the goal is to achieve 100% gas-free driving then this is not the answer.
If the goal is to get from point A to point B in the cheapest, most efficient and effective manner - then this is it. There's no denying that a gas engine with 6-speeds or a CVT is far more efficient than a single-speed electric motor at freeway speed over long distances.

Zipcar could do this. Any Enterprise location could do this easily as well.
A couple of Chevy dealers (one in LA and one in SD) could setup a few 110v plugs in an unused part of their lot and keep a couple of gas Sparks on hand to rent. It might even make the dealership a few bucks.
If I owned a dealership and I had trouble convincing people to buy EV's due to range anxiety, that would be my solution for them. Buy the 80 mile EV from me, and any time you want to take a road trip just come by and switch cars, leave your EV and charge for free. Range anxiety gone!

Unfortunately, I think there are not enough EV owners to make it feasible. But who knows, things always change in the future.

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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:55 pm

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

Thu May 21, 2015 7:40 pm

Another thing to think about regarding the concept of an 80-mile EV.

I think that we're never going to see more range than the Model S (~300 miles). There's just no use case for it.

I'm sure we *could* build a 500+ mile EV that can drive LA to SF on one charge.
But who actually wants to drive 8 hours LA to SF, when you can fly Southwest for $69 and get there in an hour? Or spend $200 to upgrade Business class and fly in comfort.

How often do people actually make these trips? At what point does the consumer say "I'd rather drive than fly"?
I make this trip maybe 3-4 times a year and I don't want to drive, even tho I could (and I have in the past).

On a regional level. How often are people driving SD to LA?
I believe GM's been gathering data on Volt drivers for a while, and they've determined that the average commuter does not drive more than 40 miles in a day. Hence the Volt's 40 mile range.
Also as a side note - without making any upgrades to household wiring, every 110v outlet can charge ~5 miles per hour. If the car sits 8 hours a night = 40 miles recharged for the next morning.

If we can collect data on commute patterns, I think we'd see GM's 40-mile number to be quite accurate, and an 80-mile EV is more than capable of handling most peoples' daily commute, and then some.
For those longer-range trips (inter-city, inter-state) there are other, more efficient methods - ie. renting a car for a road trip, flying, even Amtrak?

I believe the 80 mile EV has a place, and is capable of fulfilling 90% of our urban/suburban commute needs.
To spend the $$$ to chase that last 10% and solve it by using EV's seems a bit foolish IMO. Especially when alternatives currently exist that are operating at maximum efficiency / lowest cost.

Of course all this is just theoretical - actually changing consumer needs, demands, and perceptions is quite difficult.

I could easily make the same case that the Spark is my daily driver, and when I feel like going to the racetrack and driving 200mph that's when I'm going to rent a Corvette for the day. Therefore; there's no need for anyone to buy a Corvette because we're all driving the speed limit anyway, and many Corvettes end up being a garage queen and only taken out on the weekends which seems a waste... But the Corvette sales numbers will disagree.

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Joined: Sat May 02, 2015 9:46 pm

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

Thu May 21, 2015 8:03 pm

Besides the range issue, who in their right mind wants to drive 200 miles in any of these cheap EV's? The seats are uncomfortable, blind spots are bad, ride is bumpy...

Posts: 575
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:47 pm

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

Thu May 21, 2015 11:39 pm

I've leased my car for over a year and a month now and already have almost 18,500 miles on it. I get over 100 miles a no 80 mile charges for me.

It's plenty. Would I like more? Sure. But don't need it and most others don't either. Lived in LA for over 30 years and I can count on one finger how many people I know who drive over 80 miles a day.

Posts: 499
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 12:19 pm

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

Mon May 25, 2015 2:49 pm

sv650john wrote:It's no wonder NRG stations cost so much to use.
Why do you say NRG costs so much to use? DCFC at $0.1/min and 0.01kWh per second (about 36 kW), that works out to $0.16/kWh. SDGE base rate is $0.17/kWh, so eVgo fast charge is cheaper than charging at home (up to about 82%). ... harge.html

If you add $15/mo fee, how cheap you can get depends on how many times you use DCFC per month. If I only use DCFC (no home charge) with lease miles, I get $0.26/kWh. This is much cheaper than SDGE's $0.37/kWh tier 3 rate. If you use DCFC 3 times a day all the time, your cost could get below $0.20/kWh, less than SDGE's tier 2 rate. In fact, if you factor in DCFC efficiency, and you're below $0.21/kWh, it's cheaper to use DCFC than home charge even at SDGE's base rate. ... socal.html

Now if you want high cost, look at Blink with their $0.49/kWh (or $0.59/kWh DCFC) or $5 per DCFC session at some shopping malls!

Posts: 479
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:35 am
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

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

Mon May 25, 2015 3:54 pm

sv650john wrote: DCFC infrastructure is expensive. I'm guessing $50-$100K each unit?
Per ... c5#p329641 "At the Plugin 2013 conference, it was mentioned that the average cost for hardware and installation of a DC FC specifically at a Nissan dealer is $49K and change..."

Almost all Nissan dealers installing a CHAdeMO DC FC back then were installing the $15.5K ...

So, yeah... and there are numerous DC FCs that are more costly than the above.

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