Plug & Charge

Discussion in 'ID.4' started by WA7S, Nov 17, 2022.

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  1. WA7S

    WA7S New Member

    Six days ago, while poking around in my Electrify America app, I found an invitation to activate Plug & Charge for my 2022 ID4 Pro S AWD (made in Germany, delivered about a month ago).
    That seemed nice, that EA was helping move us all into a smoother charging experience. So I tapped and swiped to activate it.

    "Activation usually takes a few minutes, but may take longer . . . If you are unable to use P&C within 24 hours or if you have additional questions, please call 1-833-632-2778."

    Today while trying to charge at an EA station, P&C was still not working, so I called. After liberal time to listen to hold music, a courteous helper came on the line. On the plus side, she was skilled at reading out rote responses, and proud to be able to recite them repeatedly, but unfortunately she was less adept at finding ones which actually responded to my questions. Here's the short version:

    Plug & Charge "is being worked on by the dealers". She can not tell whether my repeated efforts to activate it (thru the EA app, as invited by EA) were successful in signing me up for P&C with EA at their end. But she is pretty confident that it's the dealers who are at fault, for not having done what they need to do at their end.

    Bottom line: P&C does not work on my ID4. Perhaps this upgrade will fall into the dreaded delays known to affect VW software updates in general.



    As a side note, with several thousand miles on this ID4, I am extremely pleased with the vehicle. It's all I hoped for, and more, so long as I charge at home. But last week's 1,000 mile trip to Idaho forces me to acknowledge that the VW & EA combo is not ready for prime time. Too many EA stations fail; too many are too slow (even after ruling out all the vehicle-related issues).

    With all those uncertainties and delays, yesterday I had to fall back on our ICE to get the spouse to the Seattle airport (173 miles distant) on time. The ID4 would have needed two charging stops (cold weather, mountain passes) coupled with EA uncertainties (will it charge full speed, or take three to four times longer for no known reason?). That pair really shoots down the ID4 (despite full size battery) as reliable timely transportation. We'd have had to leave home an extra 4 hours earlier (than with the ICE) just to ensure she'd probably get on the flight. (Only "probably", since sometimes EA stations don't work at all, and sometimes they could be full.) Boy, did that make my choice of an EV look bad.

    Still, it's a wonderful car for local use on a home charger, and even for longer trips if you have absolutely no timeline commitments and are happy with sitting at EA stations for unpredictable times (maybe an hour, maybe two), several times a day. Presumably this will improve some if EA gets their act together; but I fear two other constraints (ID4 battery size and charge rates) are pretty much locked in for this car.
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  3. papab

    papab Member

    How much range, or mi/kwh are you getting with the car? It seems like with a 250 mi EPA range you should have been OK w no stops or a short recharge stop?
  4. WA7S

    WA7S New Member

    250, that would be sweet. But in reality: while EPA city is 246, EPA highway is only 208. Both of those are only if you charge all the way up to 100 %, and discharge all the way down to zero. The preferred operating range is 20 to 80%, which means you are only using 60% of the battery, which drops the 208 to 124 miles of range.
    Then factor in that charging stations are pretty spaced out here, so you have to compute a drive/charge plan that fits them. For instance, you often will have to charge above 80% and up to 100%; which is harder on the battery and charges even more slowly.
    Also factor in that some of those miles are over mountain passes, and while you pick up some regen on the downhill side, you run some risk of running dry on the way up (before you pick up the regen). So, you may need to recharge before starting up that mountain pass.
    Also factor in that I see significant variability in miles per kWh during cold weather: between 2.2 and 3.1 last week, and despite careful record keeping (distance, kWhs, temps, elevations, speeds) and spreadsheets, I still can not predict accurately ahead of time what the rate will be for the next leg. So to be safe (avoid running dry), I have to compute based on a low figure (say 2.2), and also add in a margin of safety (aim to have 20% left at the end of the leg, in case a counted-on charging station is not operational).
    Once all those reality based factors are applied, you need to plan for more stops and hours, if you want to be relatively sure of arriving at your destination. And remember: all those highly advertised charge times and rates are Extremely misleading hype when in comes to real world performance if your car sits overnight in anything under 60 degrees F. All that's fine if your drive style includes lengthy naps en route; but not so good if you prefer to drive thru without adding hours of extra time.

    Charge Rates versus Temps.jpg
  5. papab

    papab Member

    I had overlooked the highway penalty, but where do you see 208 EPA highway range? I see some real world highway tests even lower (190) at 75 mph. EPA looks like 232 (245*90mpge/95mpge). How fast do you drive? Is it parked inside at home?
    I agree though, practical BEV's are years away from being capable of cross country travel without planning for a lot of extra time.
    I hope EA get's there act together
  6. WA7S

    WA7S New Member

    Good point about the EPA highway range, I can't locate my original source for that data. But twice last week I actually charged my ID4 to 100%; with outside temp at 34F the indicated range was 181 miles; and a few days earlier at 100% and 28 F the predicted range was 188 miles.

    Here's one positive angle. Another user posted the temp vs. charge rate chart that I referred to above:
    Charge Rates versus Temps.jpg
    Generally this matches up with my experience at EA chargers, and I tend to agree with him that the previous night's low temp was more relevant than daytime air temp since the massive battery is slow to warm up. But here's the good news: last week, after starting a drive at 11 F air temp, and after then driving almost 300 miles at highway speeds (often at a sustained 80 MPH), and then beginning a charge from 10%, by 15% the ID4 reported a charging rate of 134, even though the air temp had only risen to 44 F. That suggests that hours of sustained fast driving, even in pretty cold air temps, can actually raise the battery temp to 68 F or so.

    However, here in WA we don't have the 80 MPH highways like Idaho; so I typically see actual winter charging rates in the 28 to 49 kW per hour range, when using the EA 150 kW fast chargers. So if you want to know you'll for sure get to the airport on time for that flight, you better run the math assuming a 30 kW charge rate. Which means an EV takes hours longer en route than an ICE, for us.
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  8. ericy

    ericy Well-Known Member

    Well driving 80mph is a good way to reduce the range of any car. Even ICE cars.

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