Hello and welcome to the Electric Vehicle Experience
In the previous episode, I talked about a report that confirmed a generalized idea, that the Tesla Supercharger network is the most reliable.
I also talked about my experience using it and also with the non-Tesla networks.
Today I want to briefly talk about a situation that on its own can be quite a pain for someone who isn’t confident with public charging, especially if it’s one of your first experiences charging.
As the title says, I tried to charge 3 times and all of them had their issues. In fact, on two of them, the charging didn’t even start.
I couldn’t even charge.
This was more than a year ago but it shows a situation which is quite unpleasant. I had 28% and I wanted to charge a bit before going to sleep.
That was kind of ok and what happened wasn’t too bad.
Here you can see a photo of the car at the time when it started charging.
And then the print screen of my phone while getting 45 kW. This was at 22:56 minutes.
I was planning to be away from the car for about 10 minutes but I was expecting 100kW.
By the time the car had charged 2 kWh, it was getting only 36kW.
This photo was taken at 22h59, 3 minutes later.
If I remember correctly, at this point I interrupted the charging and then started over.
After 1 minute and 9 seconds (at 23:02:59). I was now getting 46 kW again but still far from what I was expecting.
I only needed to go to the supermarket fast so I just let the car charge like that for a few minutes.
These chargers deliver 100kW and being in a shopping center is very convenient. They also have 22kW chargers. I charged for a bit and then I moved on.
So, on the next day, I went to the exact same shopping center and I was only expecting to charge without any issue.
I was wrong.
The charging process didn’t even start.
I’ve charged on these chargers quite a few times and they generally work flawlessly. But in a matter of a few hours, it was not delivering the optimal speed at first and then it didn’t even start.
I knew there was a Lidl supermarket nearby which had a charger. Although I could only get 50kW, at the time I just wanted to get the car charging so I could plan my trip home. And I went there.
Guess what? Again, the charging process didn’t start. I remember the charger recognized my cards, I tried with two different ones a few times, but it just failed to start.
Now, let’s take a look at what had just happened.
Here I was with the car at 30%, with the air conditioning running because it was a hot day and I wanted to get home, which was 300 kms away.
Imagine when this happens to someone new to public charging
Again, I opened Miio, a Portuguese app that shows you chargers in Portugal and more recently, Spain and France, too, and I searched for a nearby charger.
The area I was in had quite a few of them, luckily.
I found another one very close by and I went there. Again, 50 kW.
By 14h48 minutes I started charging, and it worked, in a few seconds, I was getting about 43-44 kW.
About 15 minutes later the battery had gone from 31% to 44%.
I set my destination to Santarém’s highway service station where I had a 150kW charger. Just a few minutes from there is a Supercharger station so if I had any of these issues again I’d just go to the Supercharger.
In the image, you can see that if I left at that moment I’d get to the service station with 10% (on the right of the screen). When I started charging I was supposed to get there with 1% or something like that. It was possible to do it but something I wouldn’t recommend.
5 minutes later I had 49% and I was supposed to get to that highway service station with 14%. By that time I had enough safety buffer and I got going.
Here you can see a photo of the trip planner during the trip. The estimation was that if I went to the Supercharger I’d get there with 15% but that highway station was a bit before that, and I’d get there with 25%.
By the time I got there, I had to wait because 2 cars were charging.
One of them was a Kia eNiro. By the time the driver got there, we talked a bit and it was his first time on a public charger, so he was waiting for the car to reach 100%.
I told him that on long trips it was best to charge to around 70-80% depending on a few circumstances, like where he was going and the charger availability on that route.
He was thankful because all of that was new to him.
A few minutes later you can see that my car was already charging and a Porsche was waiting nearby. He was coming from another country and got there with 3%.
By this time I was about 240 kms away from home and charging here also went well, getting around 70kW, not super fast but it was ok.
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Thank you for watching and I’ll talk to you soon