ElectrifyAmerica - aka What Am I Missing

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by leehinde, Oct 30, 2018.

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  1. leehinde

    leehinde Active Member


    This is VW's penance for mucking with emissions tests. They're installing chargers all over the country and Sacramento, near where I live, is an initial market.

    But looking at what they're offering, I don't think they do much for Clarity owners. They seem to be offering only fast charging, which I don't think the Clarity supports. And, some have said isn't that great for the long-term battery health.

    AND THE COST! $.30-$.40 per minute... You're paying for some serious convenience, I guess.

    Insights are welcome.
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  3. lessismore

    lessismore Member

    clarity does not have DC fast charging connection (as we all know). but we have a gas tank! I wouldn't worry about it. If I take the Clarity out of town, I just fill up with gas. Even with fast charging, you are still looking at 30 ~ 40 mins, which may be fine if you stop at rest area and feed the family. but if you have to keep going, that 30 min frequent charging on a highway/freeway is a deal breaker for me.
  4. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    You can't plug in either of our Insights (just kidding).

    The Clarity Electric and the Japanese Clarity Plug-In Hybrid can use fast charging, but that's a steep price to pay to help VW move beyond Dieselgate!
  5. ClarityDoc

    ClarityDoc Active Member

    I think what's needed is Clarity, not an Insight. :)
    tom kirshbaum, chris5168 and leehinde like this.
  6. lordsutch

    lordsutch Member

    If you read Electrify America's settlement reports you'll see that VW is doing more than installing DC fast chargers, although certainly that is an important part of the settlement since range anxiety is a real barrier to "pure" BEV adoption that will only be overcome with much more ubiquitous DCFC availability. A lot of the other stuff they're planning and starting to do is going to be less visible, such as workplace and multifamily Level 2 charging, which will help people who don't have a garage or dedicated private parking place adopt plug-in cars generally, including PHEVs as well as BEVs.

    So in the grand scheme of things, DCFC is one part of what EA is doing; yes, it doesn't help PHEV owners like us Clarity PHEV folk, but that doesn't matter since we already have perfectly good gas stations so we can get from A to B pretty much anywhere in the U.S. where there's a road, even if we can't find a plug on the way. We'll benefit from a much more comprehensive DC charging network when it comes time to replace our cars with BEVs and won't have to suffer the early adoption pains that people driving BEVs are facing now.
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  8. lordsutch

    lordsutch Member

    Speaking of Electrify America, if your home or workplace is in one of the following metro areas, VW is paying to install workplace and multifamily chargers in partnership with SemaConnect:
    • Chicago
    • Denver
    • Houston
    • Los Angeles
    • Miami
    • Philadelphia
    • Portland
    • San Diego
    • San Francisco
    • San Jose
    • Seattle
    • Washington, DC
    Info here: https://www.semaconnect.com/workplace/

    If you're elsewhere, Tesla has a similar destination charging program that apparently will pay for ClipperCreek J1772 level 2 chargers as long as some Tesla level 2 chargers are included too. https://www.tesla.com/charging-partners
  9. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Electrify America is strictly a fast-charging network, yes. But unfortunately, only part of the funds for VW's massive fine are going to EA. Much of it is being frittered away on "educating the public about EVs" and other ephemeral spending.

    Holy cow! That would be $18-24 per hour! :eek:

    Good thing you can burn gas in your Clarity PHEV instead.

  10. leehinde

    leehinde Active Member

    I assume since you're fast-charging that you'd wrap up a lot quicker? Because otherwise, why would you do that?
  11. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    You mean, never spend an hour charging? It depends on how fast the car can charge and how fast the charger can charge it.

    The primary factor for pricing on a public charger shouldn't be minutes; it should be kWh.... altho there ought to be a time-based surcharge for charging above 80%, or for letting the car sit for an extended time at the charger after the charging session is finished, to discourage one car from hogging a charger.

    But from most of the reports I've read of EV owners charging, once they hook up they generally don't stop charging until they have reached the level of charge they want, even if the price is outrageous. If you're in a BEV and you're about to run out of juice, then you don't have much choice.

    I know that a lot of PHEV drivers do stop to charge (see report here, for example), but I confess I don't understand why. If someone buys a PHEV, which can use either electricity or gas, then why would they choose to pay for charging at a public charger, when it's so much more convenient to gas up and go? Furthermore, gasoline is often or usually cheaper per mile than electricity from a public EV charger, unless it's a free charger.

    Contrariwise, if someone is that determined not to use any gas, then why didn't they buy a BEV in the first place?

    I realize I'm in danger of falling into the trap of believing that everyone thinks like I do -- obviously many people don't -- but this behavior puzzles me.
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  13. lanb

    lanb Active Member

    That article is from 2012 when PHEV's first came out and people didn't know better :)

    I don't think PHEV owners use paid chargers any more [ unless it is less than your residential electric rate ;) ]
  14. DVoran

    DVoran Member

    Pushme-Pullyou has a very good point. Those of us with PHEV don’t really have to worry about running out of power. My workplace does have a L2 charger and charges around $0.20 per kWh inclusive of taxes and fees. It’s about 23 miles from my house to work (18 miles on highway) and I use about 8 kWh on the trip. Gas prices are hovering around $2.85/gallon and I get about 42 mpg on ICE so using gas is about the same as electricity. I rarely used the public charger until the lot I parked in started getting too full. Solution? Whip over to the 6 public charging stations that were rarely used, plug in and never have to worry about parking. Have been seeing a few other cars doing the same thing; a Chrysler Pacifica, a Nissan Leaf and a Kia Niro now are there on most days and we’ve gotten to know each other. Have a few others with Teslas that don’t usually use it as their batteries are too large. One of them wasn’t paying too much attention to his battery level and at the end of the day paid $22 to park whereas I’ve never paid more than $2.
    At the end of the day having a relatively small battery (< 20 kWh) and a gasoline engine gives you all sorts of options that otherwise aren’t available or have unintended consequences.

    Sent from my iPad using Inside EVs
    Domenick likes this.
  15. $.30 to $.40 per minute is pretty outrageous, especially since the charging network is supposed to foster plug-in vehicle adoption. Having these sorts of prices doesn't bode well long-term, because people will use more affordable alternatives and/or put off buying an EV.

    Seems like a stand-alone charging network isn't a great business proposition. Like gas stations, which rely on the sale of soda and cigarettes to make money, networks need to have another revenue stream to subsidize expenses. Drivers wouldn't mind paying a slightly higher percentage of electricity costs at the fast charge retail level, but charging this kind of rate by the minute (instead of kWh) isn't going to fly.

    Fast charge stations in many locations can have a pretty captive audience, so advertising and services seem like a pretty obvious 2nd stream.
  16. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    That's true.

    People have learned better in the intervening years? :D ;)

    Well, I have noticed a slight decline on the statistics for EV miles % (as opposed to gas-powered miles %) at VoltStats.net. When I first visited the site, some years ago, the fleet average was about 71%. Now it's down to ~66%, this despite the fact that the EV range of Volts has increased over the years. It seems that the earliest adopters of the Volt PHEV, on average, were a bit more dedicated to never burning gasoline.

    The good news, of course, is that the total number of people driving Volts has significantly increased over time, so that's avoiding the use of a lot more gas than is indicated by the slight decline in average percentage of EV miles.

  17. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    The price is cheap considering 350 kW charging and reasonable for 150 kW. At 350 kW you are using almost 6 kWh/min of electricity, so $0.40/min works out to about $0.07/kWh, which is much less than I pay at home.

    At 350 kW, this works out to about $0.40 for 20 miles range for efficient vehicle, or 2 cents per mile. Even at 150 kW it is much cheaper than gas.

    The price is set for quick charging vehicles. This is great as it will discourage slow charging vehicles from camping on the charger. We just need those quick charging vehicles now :)

    Clarity uses gas, which is way faster and more practical than L2 charging for long distance. If the Model 3 MR was out when I bought the Clarity I would have bought it instead. Next time.
  18. If a car can actually charge at 350 kW, that would indeed be great. The problem is, there aren't any cars out there that can charge at that speed, or even close.
    And, if there was, then EA would be losing money on the cost of electricity. I dunno. Just makes more sense to me to charge by the kWh.

    Can you imagine charging people by the time spent at the gas pump rather than by the gallon? (as I typed this, I thought a compound of the two would actually be nice. At the gas station, that would help combat the behavior of some to leave their car blocking the pump while they go in to pay or buy something, and at fast-charge stations help keep people from treating it as an all-day parking spot.)
  19. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Hmmm... I wrote a reply, but I like Domenick's response better. Thanks, Domenick! :)

    Someday I expect the average BEV will charge even faster than 350 kW, hopefully eventually reaching a charging rate of somewhere around 1.0-1.2 MW for passenger cars, and even more for larger vehicles.

    But that's not gonna happen today or tomorrow.

  20. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    In many states selling electricity by the kWh makes them a reseller of electricity that will run into legal issues so they have to do time based.
    Domenick likes this.
  21. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Porsche Taycan can (not to be confused with can-can). Obviously not available yet, but soon.

    These chargers are for long distance travel, need to keep them open for fast charging vehicles. There are plenty of other chargers for slower charging vehicles.

    I strongly suspect the costs are more about the time in use then the actual electricity used, so seems very reasonable to me. Would I ever charge my i3 REx at one? Probably not.
  22. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Right. Stupid laws which need to be changed ASAP.

  23. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    As I said, I prefer time based charging to prevent slow or not charging vehicles from hogging chargers.

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