Field Trial Level 3 QuickCharging Two EVs KickingTires

18 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Field Trial Level 3 QuickCharging Two EVs KickingTires отключены
Toyota i-Road EVs Electric Cars

Field Trial: Level 3 Two EVs

After more than a with our 2011 Nissan we finally got the opportunity last to charge it using one of the first Level 3 quick-chargers installed in We purchased our Leaf with a quick-charge port (then a option, now standard on the SL trim but with the exception of an experimental unit from Real that visited us last the high-voltage quick chargers were part of the promise of life with an electric easier, failed to appear.

resulted mainly because struggled to get the hardware certified and to manage billing. It was a day of firsts for us, this was also the first we paid to charge an EV publicly. 2, or 240-volt, public charging has free for us until now.

We a quick-charge location at a cellphone lot by Chicago s Midway Airport. s where you sit and wait for your one to arrive instead of double in the arrival lanes, generating the ire of security. This is where one of confirmed, operational Level 3 QCs the has installed on its way toward a planned 73 — with 207 Level 2 installations —

The second option was at a tollway where most quick will appear, and the third in a pay structure — the latter a strange since you end up paying to park as as paying the charging fee, the city has set at $7 per session. We headed to with our Leaf and a 2012 i — the only other current EV a quick-charge port.

These chargers are on a network different our usual one. (Can you say versus VHS?) We ve been at Level 2 for more than a on the ChargePoint.net network. Fresh the mail, our prepaid CharJit card (http://350green.com/card/) was loaded $21 dollars, and when I tapped it on the I was instructed to plug in the car and press

Unlike the regular pistol-grip on Level 1 and Level 2 charging (designated J1772), quick use a larger-diameter connector, called Rather than a single release, this one has a button a separate trigger lever. I using this connector is to use when you know how — and I clearly t. Co-workers likened it to getting an hedge trimmer to start.

After a couple of false I removed it from its dock and it into the Leaf.

When I the start button, the charging as reflected by the blue indicator atop the Leaf s dashboard. We the stopwatch. In theory, a Level 3 can provide an 80% charge within 30

Our Leaf s battery-level meter with one bar out of 12, or just over 8%, a predicted range of 12 miles. The increased by two to three miles for minute of charging. For comparison, we re to see our Leaf add 10 miles of range for hour of charging at Level 2.

As the passed, the charging slowed. By the mark, it was adding two miles of every minute instead of After about 20 minutes, it was one mile per minute most of the After 30 minutes and a predicted of 79 miles, the session ended. The meter showed eight out of 12.

This being a 67% state of we clearly hadn t reached our

Rather than spend $7 for one to two more bars, we gave the i a turn. The only difference this car was the sound of a loud fan accompanying the charging process. Leaf has no fan.) The Mitsubishi with its battery half and doesn t allow range while it s charging, but within 10 the session had ended. According to the s bar graph, it had hit roughly 75%, I ll accept as good enough.

Why the between the two? It s partly the Mitsubishi has a smaller battery, so it from 50% to 75% requires less I m more concerned by the Leaf and the way we were billed.


There s a lot of print to owning an electric and now that Level 3 is available, we see s fine print for quick-charging, As with Level 2, the quick-charging depends on temperature. A recent to our Leaf owner s manual that quick charging can up to 90 minutes or longer, depending on

The optimal battery temperature, on a gauge on the instrument panel, is or eight bars out of 12. Here s the our Leaf s battery-temp gauge has been below four or above six through Chicago s seasons.

During our field it was a pleasant 52 degrees F. Does mean it would charge more slowly if it were 42 or 32 Our Level 2 experience suggests that s likely.

Knowing the much-marketed 30-minute quick-charge is actually a loose guideline, the of Chicago s 30-minute timeout be a problem for anyone who wants to a Leaf to 80%.

Toyota i-Road EVs Electric Cars

Our second also ended automatically the Mitsubishi hit the target charge Presumably, because we pay per session than per minute, the 20 remaining from that session lost. So, for one car we paid $7 and didn t get the charge, and for the second car we paid $7 and got 24% of a charge.

Had we started a second for the Leaf, to top it off, we would used a partial session and $14 total for an 80% charge.

Obviously, this payment isn t a good one, but you can t necessarily the operators. It seems logical to pay for you use, but in most states, regulated public utilities are to bill by the kilowatt-hour — something s being challenged. Until changes, public-charging providers bill by session or time.

just one attempt it seems would be the better way to go.

If we were billed by the minute, we could kept our Leaf connected it was full and then topped off the and we still wouldn t have for a full 60 minutes. With arrangement, EV drivers could and charge for five to 10 minutes to their range rather running the battery perilously low to be and get their money s worth at a session.

Let s look at cost of The best-case scenario is we pay $7 and leave our Leaf s battery 80% full. The EPA the Leaf s range at 73 miles for a battery, so the 80% range is 58.4 on that $7. Even with at almost $4 per gallon, a Toyota rated 50 mpg combined, can travel twice as far for the same money.

A less efficient gas-powered car also be in the ballpark.

Quick is a convenience, but at this rate, you wouldn t want to make a of it. The electric car advantage comes charging at home, which less than $3 for a complete Another question is how much a 2 public charge will

We ll analyze that in a future

All photos by Evan Sears for

Toyota i-Road EVs Electric Cars
Toyota i-Road EVs Electric Cars
Toyota i-Road EVs Electric Cars

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