Saturday, July 13, 2019

June 2019 Driving Report; Things Are Looking Up?!!

Summer is her...umm, coming?  It has actually been a bit of a slow start to Summer or at least I thought it was but apparently I have become jaded to the change in the climate here during my past 30ish years here.  When I first came to Olympia in the late 80's, the average high for July was 78º. It is now 80º so our colder, rainier weather is really not all that far from what it used to be.  Now, rain is rare here (isn't that a shocker!) during Summer so if we have any more rain besides the  we have had so far, it will go down as one of the wettest July's ever.

But this is the "June" report so enough of July! (We will get back to July in a bit!) due to several vacations, driving was very light for the month amounting to 599 miles and only 56.11 free kwh received from public charging. As you can guess, total cost was quite low or at least would have been if not for a stint at EA Lacey. More on that later.


A company has developed a CANBUS intermediary type device that promises to allow various pack sizes to fit into a 24 kwh LEAF.  This is promising and provides some possible competition with Fenix Systems but it would appear Muxsan is limited a bit geographically and does require a LOT more DIY skills. But its options and the interest (if any) gained will go a long way towards encouraging other 3rd party companies to investigate the battery pack upgrade market.

Public Charging

Electrify America

The 6 station Lacey Walmart from EA finally came on line and due to CCS issues, I was the first to get a successful charge on June 2nd.  The $7.19 I paid almost doubled my total outlay for public charging on my LEAF but those are the drawbacks of being first!

Naturally, the next morning EA announced subscription pricing that would have dropped my cost to roughly  $3.18 if signed up for the $4 per month subscription service.

Now EA pricing is attractive but their practice of only one Chademo plug is not sitting well with me. There have been 4 documented cases of a SINGLE CCS vehicle charging at the lone dual format station while the other CCS stations sit idle. It only takes a glance to understand why. In 3 of the 4 pix, its quite clear the driver simply took the station closest to the front door of the business.

This scenario I predicted months ago.  Although there has been growing awareness of the issue, we still need to do more. EA needs to understand that Chademo is not dead and there are still more Chademo plugs on the road than CCS.

Another thing about EA is their tiered pricing which quickly gets out of control. Level 2 pricing is supposed to start for anything over 75 KW but a 2020 Soul was billed the higher level 2 rate despite never exceeding 71 KW.  Apparently EA does not bill on what you actually get but on what you "could" get.  That is messed up!

Supercharger Coverage in the South Sound

Tesla Model 3

As if we didn't have it bad enough, Tesla announced last week that the T3 will now be able to use the chademo adapter. This probably means more traffic at Chademo stations.  Right now the general consensus is that no one will buy the adapter because the SC network is cheap but in my area, its not convenient.  I am in the process of polling my "plug competition" and its only been this week that the Bolt finally pulled into first place passing Tesla. So the statement that Tesla's won't use Chademo is simply not working for me.

Now, Auburn will soon have an SC so that will help but until we get one in BOTH Olympia and the Tacoma area, I will likely continue to see Teslas charging.


Its always darkest before the Dawn and that was very true but then on the 26th of June,  the long awaited EVGO station in DuPont opened and....the clouds came out.

We had long known a station was being located in DuPont and it being a small town, there was many conjectures as to where it would be but the large  parking area that serves several restaurants, a hotel and fast food joints seemed the best place and that was the original plan but new construction across the street made putting the stations there much cheaper since the cost of trenching, etc. was already paid for by new host Ace Hardware.

And as I tend to do, I was the first to get a charge at the new location and... one of the last.

Because EVGO is the fastest (by far!) DCFC on the market today, I generally take off all 5 seconds to get the charge going which means I did not see any screens that might have clued me into the fact the stations were not fully online.  Pure luck got me charging on the right side.  15 minutes later someone else pulled up, plugged into the left station and his card was not recognized so he used the credit card option and it worked but...

It was expensive!

One of the many reasons why I like EVGO is their quickness. As mentioned, they are THE fastest at getting the charge started but also provides immediate notifications when anything happens on my account.  Normally, I would have noticed that the usual email (usually arrives within 2-3 seconds after the charge starts) didn't happen but I was set upon immediately by the Construction Boss, Ace Hardware Regional Rep and the EVGO contractor all congratulating me on being the first to charge.

The EVGO contractor did say that the station was wired for future speed upgrades already which was a good thing and that new construction savings made it possible. Remember this station is part of Washington State's WCGH project that our hard earned EV tabs fees are partially paying for.

Well, during all this, I lost track of time so when I checked the status of the car, I knew immediately that there was something wrong.

My NCTC account only allows for 30 mins of free charging and the station generally shutdown between 29:45 and 30:15.  It was then I realized I had not gotten a charge start notification. I unplugged and didn't think much of it.

But a few days later, others were unable to get a charge on either side with their EVGO accounts getting the message that their cards were blocked.  A few days after that, the credit card option stopped working and the EVGO station was removed from Plugshare.  I guess thinking a station could go live in less than 3 days from install was a fantasy not quite realized.  Since we know the station works, not sure why its not on?  I have a sneaking suspicion the State is planning an opening and the station will be live then.  WSDOT; Please keep in mind that as a paying customer, I do have some expectation of expediency.

Despite the hiccups at DuPont, EVGO stands out as the public charging leader. Their pricing isn't quite as good as EA but their subscription charge of $7.99 a month is actually reimbursed back to you by allowing the first several minutes to be free.

Degradation Or... Regurgitation?

If you have been following my blog, you know every 3 months, I post the monthly summary late because my pack has had large drops every 90 days that start happening between the 8 to the 12th of the months of January, April, July, and October.   I have had 5 events and those 5 events have accounted for  6.2% of my total of 7.86% loss since delivery.

Using previous experiences and science has failed to explain the losses. My biggest loss came in Jan 2019 which included my shortest driving distance. My smallest loss came in July 2018 which included a longest (more than double) driving distance. So I was expecting the same, hoping for a smaller adjustment of 1% and...


I gained .95% SOH.  Now, we all know that battery measurements are hardly exact so a bit of bouncing around is to be expected but in the entire history (17 months tomorrow) of my LEAF checking and recording stats EVERY morning before the day's drive, I have never seen the stats go up. Not one single .01% rise until this past Monday.

All in all,  a great month. To finish, a dedication to my Dad from my nephew Steve Campbell who we visiting on a trip to Michigan last month.


  1. Glad to see that you're still doing a good job keeping up your blog Dave. This month was a bitter sweet milestone for me. My beloved 2012 LEAF Lucy sold about 10 days ago. The good people at Platt Auto arranged the sale via a consignment for me and with Oregon's actually being paid out charge ahead rebate program the buyer may be able to qualify for $2,500 used electric vehicle rebate. A purchaser only gets it buying it through a dealer. With this arrangement I got slightly better conversation that I likely would have to a private sale, way less hassle, and the dealership which is a really good mission-driven dealership that specializes in selling a lease return electric vehicles, got to add a little something on the superaffordable end of their EV spectrum.

    So now the household is Chevy bolt EV all the time. Our 2017 will be at least end in November of 2020. Who knows with the practically affordable EV world will look like then.

    Yesterday, a good friend of mine a previously leased a 2017 leave that was totaled in an accident about a year ago got into a 24-month lease on a leaf SV with tech package. I have to drive a little bit tonight and it sure is a smooth vehicle. Appreciate how big the hatchback area is. I am getting him hooked up with your blog. I think you will be very useful to him. One more thing I heard that you might be interested in was that apparently the Nissan dealers in the US or now, upon request, stolen a software fix for some of the rapid gate issues. I was wondering if you had heard about it yet. Keep up the good work and keep on charging on. :-)

    1. Definitely heard about the Rapidgate fix. I was contacted by my LEAF tech last week about it and have it scheduled to be updated on the 1st of Aug. Can't wait to road test it!