Electric Currents

EV Charging May Become Too Expensive

Jan 02, 2019

Albert Lierz recently tested two new Electrify America public charging stations near Omaha and in Lincoln, Nebraska and made a disappointing discovery.

CORRECTION: Albert Lierz resides in Omaha and drives a Chevrolet Bolt electric car. The following is his email to Professor Don Cox, owner of several Teslas including an early edition of the Roadster and two Model S.

Thanks for the EV info emails. Keep them coming. I recently tested the Electrify America (VW) DC charging stations in Council Bluffs and Lincoln. I received a real shock at the slow charging speed of my Chevy Bolt and the high cost @35 cents a minute when a car charges slowly. Since Electrify America has no memberships to lower costs, it costs about $10 for every 20% of battery charging - $30-40 for a good charge. Based on this data a trip from Omaha to Denver and back could easily cost $250+ for charging fees and add 10-12 hours charging time to a trip. Below are the stats of my charging at these two charging stations.

I went to the web to see if my experience could be accurate. So far my research suggests that Bolts really do charge that slow (about 30K) and Nissan Leafs are even worse (about 25K because of battery cooling problems). I understand Teslas charge about 100-120K or 3-4 times faster.

Please provide me with some feedback on this. Am I on the right track?

I notice that KIA and Hundai are both bringing models to the USA this year that have the same range as the Chevy Bolt but charge at around 100K and sell for under $40,000. Do you know how these compare to a Tesla 3? It seems they would be a better purchase than a Bolt or Leaf.
Electrify America Lincoln Casey's DC Charging Station (CSS 350kw)
12/06/18 5:41 pm
$0.35/minute + $1/session
Vehicle: 2017 Chevy Bolt
Beginning State of charge: 61%
Ending State of Charge: 76% (difference = 15%)
Charging time: 26:35 minutes
Charging cost: $10.30 + tax(5.5%) = $10.87
Energy Delivered: 10.305 kWh
Max charging rate: 26.29 kW

Added only 1 mile/minute (165 mile range in cold)
My estimate time for 60-70% charge = 2 hours
My estimated cost for 60-70% charge = $40

Cable/Hose was so stiff it was very difficult to use (Temp was only 20F). Had to reposition my car several times to plug in. Could not unplug after charge. Had to phone Electrify America. They said to apply brute force to rip it off. After many tries I mustered the strength to pull it free.

Electrify America Council Bluffs (Lake Manawa) DC Chargin Station (CSS 150 or 350kW)
12/13/18 1:07 pm
$0.35/minute + $1/session
Vehicle: 2017 Chevy Bolt
Beginning State of charge: 46%
Ending State of Charge: 87% (difference = 41%)
Charging time: 71:5 minutes
Charging cost: $26.02 + tax(0.0%) = $26.02
Energy Delivered: 26.198 kWh
Max charging rate: 33.44 kW

Added only 70 miles in 70 minutes (1 mile/minute)
My estimate time for 60-70% charge = 1.5-2.0 hours
My estimated cost for 60-70% charge = $40-45

Trip Omaha to Denver example - 2 long stops and 2 short stops
Charging time: 5-6 hours (round trip: 10-12 hours)
Cost: $125-150 (round trip: $250 - $300).

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