Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Storing My 2018 LEAF

I'm baaacccckk!!!

Well for those who didn't know, I was out of town a few weeks for a family reunion back east, returning yesterday.  As always, when out of town there are things that we must consider when our LEAF sits patiently waiting our return.

Of course, you could elect to have someone drop you off and pick you up.  That was not as easy as I thought it would be since some of my options were headed the same place and weren't available.

A shuttle is also a consideration but I didn't even consider the option.  A quick search on Way.com found me a parking lot willing to do 12 days for $65 so I was in!


Pack Hibernation 

Finding a place to stay was done so the next thing was making sure the charge level on the LEAF  was enough to drive the 45 miles to the lot and have enough on the return to make it to a charging station for the ride home.  Although, the amount of charge lost would be unknown, I was confident it would be minimal.  I picked a 70% charge which worked out well putting me at 42% SOC. Not bad at all.



Protecting the 12

The trip was a two parter with the family reunion in Michigan. After that, I rented a car (gasser... ick!) and drove to see my Son who lived in the Cincinnati area.  In either case, its a 3 hour time zone difference.  Going there is ok but the return? Not so much.  Realize more than a third of us claimed to be affected by the single hour time change so 3 hours was going to be a challenge.  Selecting a 6:45 AM departure from Cincinnati (The airport is actually in Kentucky BTW...)  with a 47 mile drive to get there meant getting up at 3:00 AM to make sure I had enough time to drop off the car, go thru TSA, etc.  I did all that to get to the gate 52 minutes early only to have the flight delayed 20 minutes.  Realize that 3 AM Cincinnati time is MIDNIGHT Olympia time!

So I wanted my return to Olympia to be issue free.  IOW, I had to take steps to insure the car would start after sitting over 12½ days.  Unlike SL and SV LEAFers, disabling telematics I don't have to worry about so I only had to unplug my LEAF Spy dongle. 

Filler Completely Unrelated To EVs :)

Well, the vacation went very well exceeding my expectations.  Tons of food, family and old friends. It was awesome!  Monday, I had a full day with nothing planned which allowed me to explore Cincinnati and wouldn't you know it? The World Club Championship Tournament was in town!

Like the World Cup, this is held every 4 years and involved  WFDF (World Flying Disc Federation) teams from 36 countries playing Team Frisbee; A cross between Soccer and Football.  The tournament was held in 3 different locations around Cincinnati and the one I visited in Lebanon, Ohio was a huge place with a lot of fields so I was able to walk around among the players. Very cool experience!

Lebanon, Ohio Sports Complex

Seattle Riot; A women's team with a great
2-0 start to the tournament

The Return

Well, all good things must come to an end (hopefully before the bank balance!) so on a plane I went back to Seattle. With the exception of a few days and locations, the humidity was high and the temperatures were just as hot as the Pacific Northwest. I did see on the news where Puget Sound (and my car) had a string of days in the 90's. 

Although the parking lot was described as a "self park"  the cars were packed into the lot like sardines which meant they had to be shuffled around when people returned to pick them up so my car was in a different spot so it was moved at least once. I didn't do an odometer check so not sure how much but guessed it wasn't much since I only lost 6 GID of charge. 

LEAF Spy reading after 12½ days

This I was happy with and right inline with my expectations. If you remember, (I would have been amazed cause I had to look it up!) in 2015 on my trip to Michigan, I parked my 2013 LEAF for over 22 days and only lost 9 GID. 

So off I went pleased my batteries were cool despite the 90+ temps of the previous few days and plugged into the Blink at Tahoma Market and noticed I had lost a good chunk of battery capacity losing .6 ahr and .5% SOH.  Well, that was a bummer. I was hoping the pack was still not quite awake and I would regain something this morning but that was not the case. In fact, I lost another chunk!

Pre  Vacation;  6 July;  112.89 ahr, 97.79 % SOH,  115.17 Hx.
Post Vacation;18 July  111.70 ahr,  96.76 % SOH,  115.05 Hx. 

Granted its all very early and still holding out hope that the numbers will go up. (They have NEVER gone up always remaining the same or dropping) 

Right now, I am busy planning a road trip of 800 miles down the OR Coast so not a lot of time to think about what happened but did make a note to myself to select "covered parking" for my next vacation. 


EDIT

Back from trip and didn't make the 800 miles as planned as the Webasto QC station upgrades to cover the 2018 incompatibility stopped at Newport OR. I even went south to check both Yachats and Florence and neither worked.  I had called tech support and they did say 6 stations were upgraded and the rest were on hold due to wildfires in the vicinity so my trip was a more normal 650ish miles. 

But the reason I mention it in this entry is the battery declined continued and I have to blame it on the storage of the car in an open lot. Without more evidence to the contrary, I can find no other suspects. 

Here is a chunk of my log;



For clarification; The date listed is the date the mileage was driven but batt stats are taken on the next day.  So the key takeaway here is the July 6th reading was taken on July 17th when I returned and was taken immediately when I started the car to check to see how much charge I had lost which BTW was very minimal. (The only good news here)

Now, as you might guess, the driving on the last two days shown here was done mostly with a "warm" battery at least on day one of the trip.   Interesting that despite 12 QCs in two days, the battery seemed to hold up fine but in storage at a supposedly near perfect 42% SOC trashed it?? 

I guess I can possibly assume that I have simply taken readings too soon after the trip and the degradation from the 122º will simply show up tomorrow or something?  After all, after sitting in a 63º garage for the night, the pack was still in the mid 80's this morning.  But I have done this scenario several times and it didn't happen before and I strongly doubt it will happen this time. If it does I will edit the post again. 

We are a day away from another heat advisory for the area with temps in the 90's for as much as the next 9 days before cooling back to the high 80's.  I will be keeping car in garage or shade as much as possible!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

June 2018 Drive Report; Charge On!



This review of the Bolt, Tesla Model 3 and the LEAF is fairly balanced and like any good review, the results was a bit of a surprise which means each reviewer basically talks about the good points of each car right up to the end but the decision was unanimous so if you are not sure who should win, check it out!

Truth be told, in a general "use fits most" mode, it is a good review but its all about what you want to use your car for and if that involves a lot of 100+ mile trips from home then public charging options have to be part of the equation.  I did a review of the same 3 cars coming up with the same conclusions last Thanksgiving after having test driven the Bolt and LEAF and only reading about the Model 3.  I did get an up close look at the 3 and I will admit, I had the plan of getting the 3, accepting as much overtime at work as I could and using the mileage reimbursement to pay for the car, but...

Working on the road is tough. Much tougher than dealing with congestion, idiots on the road and far flung clients.  Eating on the road simply became much bigger challenge than I was up to and my blood tests were simply insane.  Over a year ago, I started taking meds to reduce my blood fat. The acceptable range was 25-125 or something and I was testing at TWO THOUSAND. All this was happening despite the fact that my job has a relatively high level of activity and I was not gaining weight.   So I did the meds for a year and rechecked my blood and although better,  450 was hardly anything to brag about. It was then I realized I might not survive long enough to pay off the car.

Then the accident happened and forced me into a decision that took out the #1 choice since getting a Tesla was out of the question.  So it was LEAF or Bolt but Bolt feel short on comfort and cargo space.  It was simply not doable with my work needs so LEAF it was. It was, after all, my true first choice anyway.    You see, part of my Tesla plan involved spending all my "Zombie Apocalypse" money, cashing in some stocks, etc.  At the time, it seemed doable but on retrospect, I was relying on an income from a company that guaranteed no hours, had no benefits and REALLY crappy healthcare plans.  My script cost me $160 for a 90 day supply. My current employer pays ALL the cost while my out of pocket did go up slightly but only because I added my Son to my Dental (RGIS didn't offer it since WA State does not require them to) and selected orthodontia coverage.  Basic Dental coverage for me only would have been like $6 a month. UNREAL!

So I took a 40% pay cut to do a job that is a lot more physical but has a TON of benefits, paid time off, etc.  But the real benefit?  In 2½ months my blood fat levels are now 118. IOW, I AM NORMAL!!  Well, high normal but at least I might live a few more years!  😊

So Summer is here so we should be concerned about heat, right?  The World is suffering thru a major heat wave of epic proportions setting eye popping records on several continents and its still (or was) only June. IOW, the real heat of Summer has yet to arrive.

Unlike the past few years, Olympia is experiencing... well, normal weather.  Despite seeing temps 10-15º above normal earlier in June, since the first day of Summer we have only cracked 80º a few times with most days at or below the average June high of 75º.  So the "local" concern with high temps has not been a common thing but nevertheless, I am sticking with my plan of no or very rare full charges until ambients drop below 60º consistently which means not till October and even then, they will be rare.

So for the month of June, 2018 I went 1490.7 miles with 196.196 kwh of public charging. This month there were no additional charges mostly because I didn't do any Blinks.  My real cost was  .86 cents per mile or $12.90 of home electricity.   Oh did I mention NCTC was also a consideration when selecting the LEAF over the Bolt?  To date; my charging costs of both home electricity and public charging fees were $63.01 at the end of June.  Not too bad!

Another benefit of the job change was commuting.  Yesterday I worked since it was 2.3 times pay and the holiday traffic or lack thereof did have an effect. Normally my drive times run 36-39 minutes with only a handful exceeding 40 minutes. Mind you this is "roundtrip" totals and the timer runs all the time so its not all even "drive" time so yesterday on the 4th, I set a new "speed" commute record.


The benefits of such a short commute are literally priceless. It will be tough managing finances with less income but I am willing to try!

With a commute that short combined with my 4 day 10 hour per day work week, I also had the liberty to take road trips without an overriding concern of exceeding my lease mileage.  So half the mileage for the month was for the two I took to Central WA.  There it was warm!

Webasto

For those that don't know. AV is no more...well at least in the public charging sense. They sold that division to Webasto and so far, I am liking the new owners!  Within a few weeks, they updated the stations so now my 2018 is compatible with their quick chargers.  They are rolling the update out in stages but the speed has been very impressive.  I will be out of town for a reunion but when I return, I will be doing a multi day road trip down the Oregon coast to test those Webasto stations

Remedial Math Class

If you have a 30 kwh LEAF and have not yet heard (I received my notice in mail 2 days ago) there is a SW update that corrects an issue where the LBC (Lithium Battery Controller) is incorrectly calculating parameters of the pack which is possibly causing the BMS (Battery Management System) to restrict full access to the good usable range the pack has to offer.  As we know, some are experiencing CAAARAAZZEEE degradation on their 30 kwh packs even in the super cool (not temps mind you, just a measure of awesomeness we are drowning in! 😍) Pacific Northwest and this is probably why.

So should you run on down and get the update? Sure, why not?  The very early and limited info received from people who have done the update is mixed but generally positive.   Now there is ONE report of someone seeing greatly restricted fast charging speeds after the update but need a lot more collaboration before I will make that claim although that was a concern for me.  Since I live with the "heat penalty" without choice, I have to say, it does appear that the throttling of the charging speed can be inconvenient if you are not prepared for the additional charge time but it will likely extend your pack's life so that is a good thing, right!  In the end, its all about having the correct expectations.

But most have reported back that they had missing capacity bars restored, more range, etc.  Realize that any software update almost always requires the BMS to reset which means it loses everything it knew about the pack (which since it was based on erroneous info anyway is probably a good thing, right!) so bars restored could easily disappear soon.  I don't expect that to happen.  For all you guys out there who have done the update, let me know how it goes. If you have LEAF Spy data for capacity, QC charge rates, etc. that is even better.

Public Charging

All my road trips have been primarily illustrating the benefits of well placed public charging.  Although VW has yet to show up in our region,  Washington State is rolling out their new stations and most of them should be in this year. Ellensburg was one and soon, the tri-cities will have theirs along with Yakima making a trip to Eastern WA almost... easy!

Sadly, two neighboring counties; Mason and Grays Harbor, continue to be ignored.  I am beyond surprised this continues. Grays Harbor County has crazy demand fees so I can sort of see why anyone would be hesitant to put any fast chargers there but Mason County power is CHEAP! They also have front porch access to a huge variety of recreational activities.  Now, my 40 kwh LEAF has the range that most of the county is easily reachable for a day trip but elevation challenges of say a hike and picnic to Lake Cushman (105 miles RT) makes even a 30 kwh LEAF trip out of the question without several hours of charging "somewhere."

Battery Report

The pack continues is gradual loss and I have to report that the road trips that included 125º+ temps did cause a bigger drop of .06- .07 verses the .01 normal nearly daily drops.  Despite all that, my first full charge since May 19th on June 28th for the Webasto Central WA trip still had good numbers.


FYI; part of the good numbers was the charge went to 98.5%  which is not the highest but higher than most of the others that only hit the high 96's or low 97's. 

Either way, I finished the month with  112.92 ahr (May 113.19) SOH 97.82% (May 98.05%)

Normally I would be posting charts extrapolating degradation out to a specific date like...day 500 or July 1st, 2019 but I am short of time. Right now I have to get things together for a plane ride so stay tuned!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Changing Of The Guard; Webasto Road Trip.

Way back in the middle ages of EVdom, we had little in the way of options while road tripping. Most were simply not "day" trips.  I ventured far with my 2011 LEAF but all of them were at least one night due to lack of charging options.

Even trips as close as Ocean Shores a mere 77 miles away was considered "risky" back in the day.  If you didn't live it, you will be laughing right now and I don't blame you. Times have changed and that change has been accelerating. 

Recently I did two trips to Ellensburg, WA. Mostly went for the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Project  for the first trip but the 2nd trip was to illustrate the HUGE difference a single DCFC station can do for our road trip wants.   You see, Ellensburg is the best of both worlds; its a QC AND a destination.  Win Win!

Now all of this was made much more dramatic by two things; 

Rapidgate.  Yes, as the pack heats up, the charge rate slows down.  So managing your charging stops is much more critical than the previous 30 kwh LEAF which charged at full speed up to 80%.  The 40 kwh pack now only charges to full speed to 55-63% SOC but is also slowed by battery temperatures starting with temps in the mid 90's º F. 

CompatibilityGate;  What you say??  Well, it took all of 2 days for me to realize that one of our earliest road trip enablers, Aerovironment had DCFCs that simply would not charge a 2018. I communicated with AV tech several times as a parade of EVs including LEAFs charged happily as I sat there getting error message after error message. 

That was only the beginning. My bank Olympia Federal  offered free charging during business hours (never really go there much since all my banking is online but still cool, right?)  but they have Eaton level 2 stations that are ALSO incompatible with the 2018s!   I mean what good is long range if I can't recharge???  Even 400 miles ain't enough range if that is all there is!

Webasto

AV was never heavily into the EV charging game.  They are a weapons contractor so not even sure how they got the WCGH (West Coast Green Highway) contract to install DCFCs from Canada to California.  Well, they never made it quite that far south as the California leg got derailed but from Blaine (Washington/Canada) border to the California/Oregon border, AV did a fine job of putting in stations close enough that even the lowly 24 kwh LEAF could easily make it from station to station. I generally only hit every other one as it was possible most of the time.  This all started in 2012 and they were free for a few years before they started THE greatest deal in public charging history; $19.99 a month for all you can eat!

And that was the last station installed in Washington. Oregon was able to get more private funding and greatly expanded the AV network covering its coast, the river and into several areas of Central Oregon like Detroit Lakes; a favorite of mine for camping. 

Since AV was a member of NCTC (No Charge to Charge) Nissan's free 2 year charging program AND that it has no time limit, the AV stations were a favorite of mine.  In my previous job, the stations were essential for a visit to the very SW corner of the state where due to lack of quick charge options in Grays Harbor County,  for me to do a job in Washington State (Ilwaco), I had to go to Oregon to get there.  

So it was with great anticipation when I heard Webasto had purchased AV's public charging business. New owners means new hope of network expansion. Well, the network isn't any bigger but less than a month after taking over, they have fixed the incompatibility program which brings me to the real reason for this blog;  ROAD TRIP!!

As we all know, I HATE doing full charges at home (since I have to pay for that) and with the extra range, I really don't need to for a lot of what I want to do anyway.  But it was a cool day followed by a cool night so why not? 

Departing Olympia



183 miles of range sounds impressive, right. Well it was surprisingly rather close but first off; the full charge.  Last full charge was May 19th so have to think my top end balance aint so great. 

May 19th;  489 GIDs, 37.9 kwh available,  SOC 97.6312%
June 29th; 492 GIDs, 38.1 kwh available,  SOC 98.5413%

I tried to plan my timing to miss the morning rush and did a GREAT job...until someone decided to have an accident on the 405 just north of I-90.   If I had known this was going to happen, I would have looped it in reverse but I was already on the 405 making great time averaging.... uh...hmm?? I yi yi!!

Fuzzy Math!!

Well, this picture would have been much more dramatic if snapped about 10 seconds earlier when I was at 59 minutes and 50.2 miles (yeah, traffic was THAT bad!) and still only averaging 49 mph. If you remember the old days when "portable" calculators first came out, there were operations you could do that would result in "4" becoming 3.9999999, etc.  This "could" be one of those examples but never seen Fuzzy Math be this far off before... Only Nissan! 

Anyway, the accident caused a 54 minute delay which is how long it took to cover the next 10 miles.  So the pix above is only "slightly" slower than my average speed during this part of the trip.  But notice my driving distance (50.4 miles) plus my estimated remaining range?  Ok, so the the traffic played a part but just before this, I was in the 177 to 179 range and that was with less than 5 minutes of congestion thru Tacoma. 

Arrive Sultan

Range on car which is bloated by the slog thru Bellevue but the distance I thought wouldn't make that much of a difference since it was barely 10 miles was 92.7 elapsed plus 85 GOM or 177.7 miles. 170 miles is which is pretty much how it goes if keeping it 65 mph or less.  LEAF Spy however actually "looks" at the battery pack so its 92.4 mile estimate is what I would believe in if I needed to. That makes a range of  185.1 miles.  Guess that accident made a much bigger impact than I thought!

First station test was awesome and worked like a champ.  It was here I realized that the super slow startup of the Webasto stations are likely due to the comm going to sleep.  It takes a good 2 minutes or more to authenticate the card swipe when I got there but Brian Henderson who was also roadtripping showed up and started his charge right after mine. took all of 5 seconds to authenticate him!

Charge curve #1; Sultan  15 mins, 126.15 amps peak, 47.775 KW peak, 
Ramp down @ 65.04% SOC  10.52 kwh received

Since this was  test and had places to go (plus Brian showed up) A long charge was not needed (love that luxury!) so 15 minutes was plenty long enough and a good thing to preserve pack temps! Still managed to reach 48 KW. Nice!

Depart Sultan

Another reason I like Webasto is they simply charge faster.  I hit over 126 amps. On my 30 kwh LEAF; because it charged full rate longer, I was able to exceed 49 KW!  IOW; my 50 KW charger actually charged at 50 KW!! (Well, close enough!) 


Arrive Skykomish

As we head east, the elevation game starts in.  Notice the drop from 4.9 miles/kwh to 4.6?  It will go as low as 4.1 before the day is done but what goes up, must come down eventually, right?

If you have not done the Highway 2 drive, do so. It is a very pleasant drive and a lot to look at. 

Charging at Skykomish with Brian Henderson

Had a chance to try out the food from the new owners. Pretty much like 7-Eleven food. It seems they all get their food from the same place. The gas station/deli's that do their food in house are the ones to treasure!

 Charge Curve #2; Skykomish.  6 minutes, 3.685 kwh received

Because the pack was heating up but under 100º, the charge rate is still pretty decent. Despite the relatively high starting SOC, the rate is still temperature controlled but 32 KW is pretty decent! Notice the SOC ramp down curve did not kick in? 


Depart Skykomish

Short charging session means not a lot of change here. Small bump in temps. Ahead a VERY steep climb before dropping down into Leavenworth for lunch. 

Elevation map; Skykomish to Leavenworth

If you thought fast charging heats up the batteries, check my 2nd Ellensburg trip blog.  Climbing then regenning back down the hill works WAAAAY better if you want to do some cooking!  FYI; the above map is from the trip planner in Plugshare. Just another reason why the app is the ONLY thing I would recommend over LEAF Spy if you could only pick one.  Luckily on this leg, the rise is steep, brief and early into the trip.  Temps hit 105º but the gentle slope into the valley did wonders for cooling the pack down. 


Arrive Leavenworth

Well, now for the "real" reason for the trip.  Lunch time!  If you have never been here, you gotta do it and  now that there are places to charge, you no longer have any excuses!  



Then again, Leavenworth is no secret and despite it being an early Friday afternoon, the town was packed with tourism!

Within a  block of the charging station there is literally a dozen options to eat so we took the place 2 blocks away because it was a place that nobody knew about...

The Munchen Haus

well that is except the people in line ahead of us... But the line moved quickly. They were very efficient in getting our orders and the wait for food was under 5 minutes. 




Building The Proper Brat;

 Start with IPA Ale Brat
 Get your condiments ready
 Sweet and Sour, Champagne, Backyard Brat Mustards;  REQUIRED! 
Topped off with Cucumber Relish and Sauerkraut 

And EAT!

Since this was the meal break, it would be a longer charge for me and the fact that it was 80º here meant the pack would be warm...er. 

Charge curve # 3; Leavenworth  41 mins,  20.86 Kwh received. 

Notice charging rate still managed to hit 31 KW. Not too bad but the extended charging along with the rising temperatures of Eastern Washington will see charging no higher than the low 20's here on out. 

Depart Leavenworth

LEAF BMS was doing a good job of keeping me below 120º. I had anticipated seeing something above 125º with the high SOC but that did not happen.  Guess we need to find some hills for that!  But it was now on to Wenatchee and Apple Country!


Elevation Map;  Leavenworth to Wenatchee



After the short gentle drop into town,  Brian needed a charge and I hadn't really been here before other than passing thru so he plugged in and we went walking.  Conveniently there was a bridge to a park next to the Columbia so off we went. 

Wenatchee

 The Bridge from the charging station 
Bridge entrance
 The charging station from the bridge. Notice left center, you can just see 
Eaton level 2 stations. Free but again, useless to me. :(
 The Upper Columbia; Supposedly the less impressive half but still pretty awesome in person!


After returning, I plugged in failing to get initial readings... 

Charge curve # 4; Wenatchee

As you can see, the temps didn't really change since I didn't really charge much. The downhill drive from Leavenworth simply didn't use much of a charge. Being below 125º still meant charging at 22 KW so not super slow yet. 

Departing Wenatchee

Having been to Ellensburg a lot lately, I decided to veer off the beaten path, take a VERY scenic drive down 97 and across highway 970 to Suncadia; A very pleasant drive. 

Elevation Map  Wenatchee to Suncadia in Cle Elum WA

FYI; Don't rely on Google Maps to do this. It would not recognize the route no matter what I did so I simply winged it enough until I was close enough that Google had no choice but to realize there was only one route left.   In reality, there is no real way to get lost as other than forest service roads, there were very few wrong turns available.  FYI; there is no cell service enroute so its all GPS. Near the peak, we got rain and temps dipped into the 50's but other than that, it was a perfect day weatherwise for a drive!

Suncadia

Arrive Suncadia

My last visit here was on the Wild Horse trip and it was WINDY.  So much so that I did not venture from the car for fear of literally being blown away. It was a struggle to open the car to plug into the level 2.  This time it was still windy but not nearly as bad and I had to charge. Didn't really need a lot but I decided I would see what was here. My plan to charge 10 minutes quickly dissolved. 

I hit the bathroom inside the lodge and then saw "the view"



View from Suncadia Lodge

Believe it or not, there is a river at the bottom of the valley.  The lodge lobby has an all glass back and its easy to see why. The view was stunning but the stairs... Before I could look away, my Fitbit spotted it and I was committed!


Well, this looked easy enough and it was.  Each landing had footprints in the cement with plaque of each. Very cool!


 We now have proof they exist!
Saving the worst animal for last... :(

At the bottom of all this was the Cle Elum River.  Very nice and I have 4 K video of it but its taking forever to load so... might have to wait a bit for that.  But now it was time to return and according to sign at the river, it was only 1000 steps back to the lodge. 

 The Lodge from banks of Cle Elum River
The "not so easy" half of the trip

I am proud to say, I did the ascent all in one go. The benefits of changing jobs. I am simply in better shape!

Charge curve # 5; Suncadia; 41 mins, 15.56 kwh received

Depart Suncadia.

Well, it looks like it took 5 charging sessions and a few hills to exceed the dreaded 120º.  So now it was on to North Bend.  Now I would be passing Snoqualmie on the way but it was not listed as an upgraded station and it was also occupied and didn't feel like waiting so off I went but used Plugshare to monitor the status of the station and as luck would have it, less than a mile from the turn, it became available so I figured why not? 

Elevation Map Suncadia to Snoqualmie

Arrive Snoqualmie

I pulled into the gas station deli with minimal hopes of it working and the place was packed! It was overrun by people going in and out. I can't remember a time when I saw a gas station that busy. It rivaled Costco on a Sunday afternoon and only a few were getting gas. I thought, wow the food must be awesome, right?  So if I could charge, I would eat here.  I didn't need much since it was literally downhill all the way home.   Success!!

Charging at Snoqualmie

So the charge was going so I went inside and...well, was not hungry enough to risk it. The place was so busy, I feared it would be a long wait to get something made and what they had displayed was not "a visual enticement."   So outside I went, I did a quick 2 block tour to realize not a lot of options. There was a pancake house but decided to nix it and head for home. 

Charge curve #6; Snoqualmie  24 mins,  7.828 kwh received. 

Since we are above 120º, the charge rate is now below 20 KW. Here it squeaked out 18 KW.  

Depart Snoqualmie. (Any of you 30 kwh LEAFers notice anything familiar here? 😀)

So I am just under 100 miles from home and the GOM is reflecting the recent climb so I have plenty of range to make it with about 18 miles to spare so I load Google Maps and it say over 2½ hours to home including 41 minutes of traffic delays.  Well, I decided I wanted to eat instead so changed destinations to North Bend. 

Elevation Map  Snoqualmie to North Bend

Arrive North Bend. Whoops, wrong screen... 

After coasting (literally all the way in neutral!) into town, I now had double the estimated range I needed to get home making a charge less important but I was here and it was free but it would be slow. So I plugged in and power walked just over a mile to get food making it back with 4 minutes to spare.  The 2nd bump on the heart rate graph? That is my proof.   

Charge Curve # 7; North Bend.  30 mins 17 seconds,  9.1 kwh received.  (EVGO is so precise...) 

Well, not much gained but at least it did not charge at 16 KW and the car would have just sat there anyway. Now one "will" say, you could have drove and got food and been on your way.  But that would not have worked.   Granted, I am closer now (but still before ALL the traffic slowdowns) but now I google home and it claims a total of 9 minutes of traffic delay so my arrival home time changed by roughly 10 minutes. 

Depart North Bend

Needless the say, the rest of the trip was done... quickly.  The threatened 9 minute slowdown didn't really happen and due to an accident on I-5 I was rerouted to 167 from Highway 18 thru Puyallup so might have seen about 2 minutes of congestion? 

Home

So it was 6 stations tried and 6 successes. Can't get better than that. Using Plugshare to monitor each station's usage is just another of the things that is working better now that Webasto has taken over. The thought of them authenticating faster probably won't happen without a major hardware upgrade.  As mentioned, each station took at least 2 minutes to authenticate before I got the "plug it in" message with the one exception when Brian plugged in immediately after my session and it only took a few seconds like EVGO does to authenticate.  Removing the requirement for the 2nd button push would solve a lot of the issues allowing one to leave the car immediately without having to wait. Normally, I don't have a problem waiting (when its not raining) but at Sultan, my "doable" 1 hour and 43 minute drive became 3 full hours of a bladder control test so the extra minute or two waiting to push the start button the 2nd time seemed like forever. 

This won't be faster ultimately but a better system is scan card, plug in car, and hit start to signify that everything is ready to go with no more interaction required from the user.  Either way, I am very impressed at how Webasto has been proactive in handling the 2018 compatibility issues. 

Another thing less touched on is the issue of fast charging verses "how fast will it be this time?" issues.  Having a lot of charging stations in reach like Webasto does in Central WA allows me to plan charging sessions with other needs like bathrooms, leg stretching and food. It is clear that barring very hot temps and sustained speeds above 70 mph, the batteries won't be cool but still able to take a charge in the 25-32 KW range.  A quick glance shows that battery temps under 100º won't get you 45 KW but 32 KW is very doable and since many stations only provide 100 amps or 40 KW, you would be just about max'd out anyway.

Things to note;  This is the first trip East of Snoqualmie I have made where I did not have to designate the direction of travel on my North Bend data. Think about that... Let "that" sink in.  It is a VERY important distinction. 

I am leaving next week for Michigan so no road trips for a while but stay tuned as I will be "Doing the Webasto" again on the Oregon Coast edition.  That one threatens to be an overnighter!