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Larger Batteries Demand Larger EV Chargers

The GMC Hummer EV could possibly be seen as the present zenith of EV expertise, as its large 200-kilowatt-hour battery pack supplies an EPA-estimated driving vary of 350 miles. This made the monster truck the right candidate for an EV highway journey to probe the practicality of driving regular combustion automotive journeys in an EV.

Alongside the best way, we discovered that even with an enormous battery there are nonetheless lodging to be made. Truly, due to the massive battery, there are nonetheless lodging to be made. That’s as a result of we discovered that whereas a giant battery supplies a superb driving vary, it additionally takes a very long time to recharge.

Driving the $108,000 GMC Hummer EV on a highway journey, we began with a 75 p.c state of cost and a predicted driving vary of 250 miles. After 234 miles of 60-mph journey on principally two-lane highways in gentle mid-50s temperatures, we reached an EVgo 50 kW DC charger displaying 30 miles of remaining vary with the truck averaging a paltry 1.6 miles per kWh. Nonetheless, by avoiding the upper speeds of Interstate driving, we’d exceeded the forecast driving vary.

Picture courtesy of Dan CarneyIMG_2270.JPG

It wasn’t actually off-roading, however our Hummer EV did get a bit soiled delivering us to the path head.

However that is the place we found the pitfall of that giant battery. A 50 kW DC charger is ostensibly a “quick” charger, nevertheless it added juice to the massive pack at an interminable tempo. In 26 minutes, it boosted the driving vary by simply 27 miles with an added 17.2 kWh!

From there, we went to our lodge, which had a Tesla Degree 2 AC charger. Charging in a single day on that, we discovered the Hummer within the morning displaying 216 miles of vary. To make use of the lodge’s sole charger (which is able to certainly grow to be an issue sooner or later), they required that we use the $20 valet parking service. However self-parking there was $15, so the cost value $5 web.

Leaving the lodge, 81 miles of Interstate driving took 118 miles off the Hummer’s forecast remaining vary, prompting a top-up at a 350 kW Electrify America charger. Plugging within the truck, at first, the cost station mentioned that the “automobile timed out.” Unplugged and reconnected, the cost station then declined the bank card. Unplugged once more and it once more mentioned the automobile had timed out. The fourth time by way of this and after greater than 5 minutes wasted, it began charging.

It appeared to attempt to make up for misplaced time, including 73.5 kWh in 17 minutes and returning the forecast driving vary to virtually precisely the identical distance as we’d began again on the lodge. One other 132 miles down the highway however utilizing solely 110 miles of the driving vary on rural highways, we reached the following lodge. This lodge additionally had a Tesla Degree 2 charger, however no adapter to be used with the Hummer’s SAE cost plug, so we took it to a close-by industrial 6.4 kW Degree 2 charger. This one wanted 24 hours to carry the Hummer to a full cost, costing $50.

One other day of driving and in a single day at a lodge with no charging services led us to cease for lunch the next day and attempt to enhance the battery on a Blink Degree 2 cost station whereas consuming and sightseeing. This charger was sluggish, nevertheless it appeared like we’d be there lengthy sufficient for it to make a significant distinction. It didn’t as a result of the cost station crashed and stopped working after including 12 miles of driving vary.

The Hummer’s enormous battery meant that we may nonetheless drive till dinner, however there wasn’t sufficient juice to get residence. The Hummer’s navigation system noticed no 350 kW quick chargers alongside our route however Electrify America’s app mentioned that there have been some at a Walmart, so we stopped there shortly earlier than meal time.

This charger added 105 kWh in 24 minutes, offering us with loads of vitality for the remaining drive residence. Though this charging station, which was an ItalDesign-supplied charger, charged the truck flawlessly, its show display screen failed to indicate the Hummer’s charging progress through the cost. An adjoining cost station had the identical drawback with the Mini EV it was charging. Software program issues at the moment appear inescabable. 

Picture courtesy of Dan CarneyIMG_2337.JPG

Throughout our 900 miles of electrified driving, the Hummer EV averaged 1.6 miles per kWh. So, whereas we appreciated the big battery pack and the lengthy driving vary it allows, the Hummer is handicapped by the lengthy charging instances its battery capability, and vitality urge for food demand.

All automobiles will profit from a charging community that’s not solely bigger, however that can also be extra dependable, with fewer hassles connecting and fewer probability of prematurely terminating the charging session, which had been each issues we encountered.

However primarily the charging community must get sooner, with 350 kW chargers as the usual, in order that drivers could be assured that they’ll shortly add the ability they want and that if another person is occupying the obtainable charger that they’ll end shortly. An enormous battery simply supplies a giant demand for electrical energy that the majority of immediately’s charging stations can’t shortly fulfill.

Extra environment friendly EVs with big-enough batteries and an improved charging community that’s sooner and extra dependable might be wanted for road-tripping in EVs to grow to be hassle-free sufficient for many drivers to think about using electrical energy for visits residence for Thanksgiving.

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