Sunday, March 25, 2018

2018 Fast Charge Rates; Regen = Fast Charge... NOT! Part One

Well, hoped to have more data than I do but I am having issues keeping LEAF Spy focused when car is off. I am guessing its combination of phone (Galaxy 4) and Dongle (V 1.5) so have ordered the new fangled $35 version that has yet to arrive (Amazon's way of forcing me to get prime for  free 2 day delivery...which BTW, will NEVER happen!)

But a lot of people (all European) have posted several bits of data about their charging experiences so have to wonder; "Are all LEAFs created equally?"  cause up till now, that has not been the case.  There have always been minor differences from country to country.  One guy who charged and logged extensively posted a chart which is a "bit" lower than what I have seen.  His youtube vblog details what and how he came about these conclusions.

He made a good chart but suspect SOC played a part in some of his data??

Ok, I will admit the extra range has made it a rare day so far that I would need to charge more than once a day so I had to "generate" situations to make it happen. The easiest way was to leave home on a 200 mile day with 30% SOC!   But on the days I have done two QC's I have yet to do the charge to drive to charge back to back on a hard day other than maybe one time.

Either way, I have scattered, somewhat incomplete data so here is some observations I have up to this point.   SOC is formatted to have 4 significant digits starting at 1/10 of one percent.  So the first data line, SOC is 74.3339%.   KW is Volts * amps and is NOT the true measure of charging speed due to overhead that is deducted from this.  On 2018 LEAF Spy logs,  OBC output is not working so power the car is using takes a bit away from this when its on which is most of the time.  2016 had "some" focus issues but they were minor.

Speaking of which, I posted a sample of my 2016 and the charging profile I used to enjoy.  There is a significant difference.

2016 LEAF  AV Charge  Mar 2017
SOC         Volts            amps    KW       
743339 390.72 -126.749    49.475 
765774 391.87 -120.036    47.038
802357 393.41 -110.457    43.454
836190 394.75 -101.745    40.162
846726 394.94 -94.897      37.478
865690 395.04 -83.337      32.921
885260 395.14 -70.867      28.002
939476 395.42 -42.886      16.957 

2018 LEAF  EVGO Charge (displayed 119 amps) 3/22
SOC        Volts       Amps         KW       Pack Temperatures
89401    339.84  -117.393 39.894     69.6    68      63.4
578176 376.51   -117.301 44.165   101.8   101.5   93
595356 377.09   -109.458 38.803   102.9   102.7   94
     2nd Charge
275267    346.66 -87.676 30.393     101.5 99     86.2 
542876    366.43 -82.244 30.136     111.2 108.1   94.4
637635    374.3 -81.389 30.463     114.8 112     97.5

     2018 LEAF EVGO 2nd Charge   3/3/18
556532 364.42 -83.709   30.505    102     101.1   92.8
768545 387.36 -77.575   30.049    110.7  109.7   99.6
835595 393.98 -65.307   25.729    112.5  111.2   100.8
879584 396.77 -57.433   22.787    113.3  111.7   101.3

Later this week, I will post a 3 charge day with higher temps  but one thing to take away from this; My first charge on 3/22 ended  over 40 KW which is not as good as my 2016 (See above where it was charging just under 50 KW at 74%?)  The session at the slower (120 verses the AV running at 126 amps)  EVGO station still netted me 22.3 Kwh  or  85 miles of travel at 3.8 miles per kwh which would be the middle low range for Winter.  Since heat seems to play a part, I will hold judgment on Summer range until Summer time.

Still charging at 40 KW. Easy to do if starting SOC is low! 
Notice charge rate at 35ºC is significantly higher than
vblogger's chart? 

Have NO idea why this happened but here we see the ramp down happening at 60% SOC. Highest I have seen and this is with warmer pack so temp "can be" a good thing?? 

Now I think we were all spoiled a bit by the 30 kwh's ability to go full speed to a very high SOC but the reality is, it was receiving the same amount of charge.  My highest ever charge received was on the 2016 where 4 times I received over 23 kwh in a 30 min session but I also did it on the 2018 March 3 at the EVGO (the faster one which runs at 124 all chargers are NOT created equally)  Granted, the 2018 has be pretty low to get that much, but even when charging at a "normal" SOC  in the 20% range, I am still pulling 20-21 kwh.

Now I do not have good data on how much range can be gained on the 2nd charge because I have yet to do a 2nd charge with a significant amount of driving between charges. The best I can tell you about is the 2nd charge on the 22nd where I drove from North Bend to Tacoma.  Now the drive started slowly as it took FOREVER  to exit I-90 to Highway 18. But as soon as it went two lanes, It was 75 + nearly all the way to Tacoma (It was after 8 PM when I hit EVGO) So SOC was still pretty high but it was 45 miles of reasonably spirited driving where I gained 16.2 kwh or  62 miles of range.   But my 75 mph run (realize a 3rd of it was coasting downhill while applying some major regen at 167 amps!)  failed to add some heat to the pack so the 2nd session started warm and stayed that way.  The reality was the slog to Highway 18 dropped the pack temps about 7 º showing the pack has a good heat shedding ability and the high speed regen did help to gain a tiny bit back but was only a tiny bit.

So ok, the charging speed is less, that is obvious so the big question becomes  "when" is the additional range of the 40 kwh LEAF hampered by slow charging better than the 30 kwh LEAF  with its balls to the wall charging?

That question is valid here IF and when  AV fixes the compatibility issue with the 2018's.   For many, its simply going to be 40 kwh due to its range.  But for me, its a different question simply because we have enough chargers around here that 30 kwh works 95% of the time.  So best idea of a drive in 30 kwh LEAF was my 300 mile trip last March.   Here was 4 QC stops totaling  81 mns of charge time that collected about   60 kwh.   Now there is time to add for each stop as its a detour off the route and a few are considerable. Castle Rock is not a super quick detour by any means.

On my 2018 LEAF, the best I have done was 238 miles and... well that was only a one charge day... But lets extrapolate a day where I spend 90 minutes charging.   First off I would start off with 150 miles of range. With reserve, and a properly placed station, I may actually be able to go more than 150 miles before stopping to charge.   But say I only go 148 miles (as in the above 238 mile day. FYI; had an estimated 20 miles left but the charger was a convenient one and I had to pee!)  So, I stop, collect my 85 miles of charge and head off back down the road.
Now I stop 75 miles later. Trip meter; 223 miles.   Using previous data on the North Bend trip, I am likely to start charging at 100 amps as opposed to 120 and will drop to 85ish in less than 10 minutes.  result;  62 miles gained.   Now if doing a 300.5 mile trip, I likely have enough to get home but saying I don't and this time I go 65 miles,  Trip meter; 287.  By rights, I only get to charge 21 mins to match plug time on my 2016 but the 2016 did 4 stops and I am only doing 3 which means I can probably get away with doing a 30 min charge because of the time saved by doing 3 stops over 4.

But this is "breaking even."   I thought I was getting more with my 40 kwh LEAF?  I don't want to break even!


I have to consider this although I felt like the 30 kwh LEAF "issues" were manageable but if this tweak in the BMS means my LEAF's battery pack will last a lot longer, than I have to say I am ok with the change.  The reality is that I rarely need to go much more than 100-200 miles and on the times I do go farther, I am simply not in that much of a hurry. I generally fly for anything longer. 

But the hard facts are that the 40 kwh LEAF now covers 100% of my normal driving needs where the 30 kwh LEAF only covered about 95%.  What is that 5% worth?  About $1000 a year.  That is what the Corolla cost me in gas, insurance and licensing for the roughly 3,000 annual miles it contributed to my life.

I guess now the conversation goes back to "Does my car have to work for every situation "perfectly" and if it doesn't, what level of compromise is acceptable?"

Well,  now the conversation will go back to tax liability, disappearing credits, and deals that are no longer available.  Right now the internet is rife with people touting deals on other EVs that are not now nor have they EVER been available to me.   So everything I say below is applicable to me.  If you have tax liabilities, etc that makes a purchase a viable one, then you need to do the math for your self.

2016 LEAF
I only had it 14 months and just under 30,000 miles but it did EVERYTHING  I asked of her and more. I might have had 2-3% degradation so the "issue of the day" simply did not apply to me in anyway.  Some will say, its climate which would be NOT TRUE.  There is a growing handful in my area who are seeing the degradation issue.

Some would say, "Didn't have it long enough"   NOT TRUE.  Several, also in my area saw noticeable degradation within the first year.

I guess one thing no one will say is I didn't drive it or charge it hard enough.  Uber drivers probably top me but betting few others will. I had nearly 300 QCs and saw batt temps over 110º daily from May to September last year.

Now initially I, along with everyone else thought the accident was THE perfect thing to happen to me.  It was a zero down lease with 14 payments of $245 a month of which $1500 was refunded back to me from the insurance claim. For 29,413 miles and nearly nothing in "fuel" costs, that works out to a TCO that would be tough to beat with any car.

So for few dollars more, I am starting with new car, new mileage lease clock, etc.  Everything was golden!   Then the "QC Charge" issue emerged.

2018 LEAF
Ok, so is this where I talk about deals that are not available to anyone else but me?  I don't think so. I am still seeing people taking home their LEAFs with prices similar to mine.

My first thought was putting a down payment on the car to reduce my rent charge but the way the lease it set up, it wouldn't have had much of a reduction so I just went with the zero down thing again.  Unlike my 2016,  Car dealers are smarter. They now realize (like I did 4 years ago) that new EVs do not pay the $150 EV tab fee. Its only tab "renewals" that pay that.  So instead of getting a $148.75 refund like I did with my 2016 LEAF, I had to pay this time because they underestimated my fees by like... uh... don't remember. I think it was around $50.   But my payments went up to $382.94 from $245.99 or  $136.95 a month or  $1643.40 a year.  Full lease terms

Well, that is a BIG jump in anyone's book, right?   Well, maybe...

1999 Corolla
Originally I bought the car for my Son who ended up never driving it. This also coincided with my expanding work role and now I needed a car that could do what my 2011 LEAF could not.  In the early days, the TCO was not too bad as I was doing 7,000 miles a year on it.  It was old so had a bearing disintegrate driving to Bellingham one day which was aggravated by the fact that I knew something had happened but didn't understand the gravity of the situation until I received a phone call which required me to turn off the radio which allowed me to hear the racket my car was making. This happened as I was passing Du Pont on my way home! 

When my 2013 LEAF came along, despite the sameness, it simply did a better job of getting places so the role of the Corolla was reduced ever so slightly. A growing public charging network helped.

But then the 2016 came along and I quickly saw it was only a matter of time. The first year of 30 kwh, saw the Corolla's role drop to 3791 miles.  Probably half those miles were times I simply drove it because it had sat too long. Most were 45 mile round trips to the office and back.  The accident happened so I drove a rental for  12 days  (max estimate for time the other insurance company would pay was 2 weeks) then the Corolla the rest of the time. This resulted in the Corolla's final year netting 5089.7 miles.  Take off the "accident" miles and it would not have made 3500 miles.

Needless to say, the Corolla will no longer be part of my monthly drive report. She is now with someone who needs and appreciates her.

2018 LEAF  Part Two
Back to the  $1643.40 additional expense of the 2018.  Well, first off,  the Corolla cost me  $501.36 in insurance last year,  $374.22 in gas, $68.75 in tabs, plus a random amount of maintenance that added up to just under $100.  Besides oil changes, my bulbs decided to go on strike enmasse.  Now that does not add up to $1643  but then we throw in the $1526.69 the insurance company refunded me and  that DOES take care of my additional expense this year along with pretty hefty chunk of next years!

Brian Henderson loaned me his dongle and the first prelim data capture it would appear that the focus issue may be solved.  Only was able to log 2nd charge with his dongle but the prelim results are very promising!

As we can now see, the rate drops in steps. Notice how the temperature rise flattens out?  Hope to have a much better picture soon!

Regen verses Charging Speed
Ok, so they do the same thing but aren't the same, right?  Regen is short bursts of electrons to the pack while charging is an extended continuous flow.  So regen should be higher or is it simply the LEAF has the ability to charge faster and its software limited?  I am thinking the latter!

As mentioned, I was doing the coasting to build up speed to 80 mph and shifting to E-Pedal to slow it down to 65ish and repeating on my trip home from North Bend and guess what?

I was seeing 167 amps to the pack resulting in a regen rate of 60 KW!!  All these events happened with batt temps over 100º F.  Granted these regen stints were only 30-90 seconds at a time but still.... It is POSSIBLE!!

Finally;  I saw a Bolt charging at 130 amps at EVGO EV2 at Tacoma Mall and was impressed until it hit about 55% and the rate dropped to 60 amps or about  22 KW...

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