EV Charging Challenges

I saw an article on the state of EV charging and what Ford is doing. First, I think it’s great that Ford (and others) are trying to tackle this. I don’t love the idea of each manufacturer doing this, though if they have interoperable stations, that’s not bad.

Second, this is one of the reasons I got a Tesla. Before I had an EV, I worried about needing to charge when I was driving around. This “range anxiety” had me stop considering the Polestar and Mach-E because I worried about finding a compatible, working charger.

This is part of a series that covers my experience with a Tesla Model Y.

Stats

Now that I’ve had the Tesla for over a year, this what my charging stats have been:

2022-09-15 09_17_36-Charging Stats - Grafana — Mozilla Firefox

I’ve tried two non-Tesla chargers and gotten no charge from them. They showed:

  • incredibly long charging times
  • never got through the handshake to start charging in 5 minutes.

In both cases, I moved a bit further away to a Tesla Supercharger. Neither was a crisis, but it was inconvenient.

However, since those experiences, I’ve only rarely needed Supercharging and those were on trips to the mountains. The Silverthorne charger was needed, but the Idaho Springs one was for peace of mind. I’d likely have gotten home, but didn’t want to chance it and had time.

A New Mindset

Perhaps the most interesting thing about owning an EV is that I essentially have a full tank of fuel every morning. I plug in and charge at night, and I’m full. That means I have my 300miles of range every day.

That’s unlike a gas car where I often wouldn’t think about range because if I started the day with 1/4 tank, I’d just get gas somewhere. Rarely was my tank full, though we usually try to stay well above a 1/4 tank at the ranch.

Now I have a full set of fuel every day (well, usually 80%, so 250miles) and I really never drive further. And I drive all over the Denver area on a regular basis, especially during coaching season. I’m never really concerned about range anymore, though I do keep an eye on it, same as I do for gas fuel.

That’s still slightly strange to me.

Battery Degradation

Some people have worried about battery degradation. In fact, I’ve seen lots of posts in the Tesla groups I’m a part of about people seeing some low degradation. There are also no shortage of random FUD complaints from people who don’t have EVs, but hate them

In fact, I ran things down deliberately the other day to 11% ( I was hoping for sub-10) and then charged to 94%. I’ve heard that it’s a good idea to periodically do this and then recalibrate the battery. This is supposed to help with range.

2022-09-15 09_41_23-Charges - Grafana — Mozilla Firefox

I don’t know if this helps because the random watching I do of estimated range still seems to be what I had last year. When I got the Tesla, I believe the range was 315miles. If I look at today, I have the charge at 81%. If I switch to mileage, I see 254 miles. If I take 315*0.81, I get 255, so all seems good.

Just to test, I charged to 100%. When I do that, I see 328 miles of range. No degradation for me.

Overall, I think electric cars will dominate in the future, but not everywhere. That makes me wonder if fuel will start to become a challenge at some point and people needing fuel find themselves in the place where people struggling to find a working charger are today.

About way0utwest

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2 Responses to EV Charging Challenges

  1. m60freeman says:

    For now, I’m sticking with my 2012 Prius hybrid although an EV would take care of my needs about 49 weeks per year without ever having to charge outside my own garage. Several times in the past couple of years I have had to drive 20+ hours on little notice, and it was very nice to not have to worry about charging stations or rental car availability or pricing. Once my Prius gets too old (or I can no longer avoid the siren call of all the new features – about all I have are anti-lock brakes 🙂), I will definitely consider an EV. Everyone should at least consider a hybrid for their next vehicle, if not a full EV.

    Gas stations are starting to add chargers, and I suspect that as most of their business gradually shifts to charging, pump by pump, they will convert completely.

    Like

    • way0utwest says:

      My wife loved our 2010 Prius (kid wrecked it). I think we might consider a new one (plugin) instead of another BEV, depending on cost/finance. I think the hybrid thing is good. Anything to up the mpg is good.

      Like

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