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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody,
I post this message to share my experience and also get your feedback.

This weekend, I went for a tour on the Pacific coast (Monterey to be exact).
The Niro behaved magically, 62 mpg on the way and 54 mpg on the way back through HWY 1 (gusty wind) for ~200 miles each way.

When I was at Monterey, I reactivated the EV mode and spent my whole afternoon from one site to the other one in 'green' mode.
Then I wondered how to charge my car to get a second 'green' day. But this is where it started being difficult.
Finding a level 2 charger in the city is pretty easy, 2 parking lots with 2 level 2 charger each (one free at Downtown West Garage and one non-free at Parking Lot 7).

I thought "Good", but that ended up there, because 4 chargers for a city like Monterey is far from enough, all spots were occupied!

What I found a bit disappointing is that there are multiple Tesla charger at Monterey, but half of level 2 charger where occupied by Tesla owners. I like Tesla, they opened the way to electrical cars, but they created a Tesla dedicated charger network closed to others and they are now occupying other's chargers too.

So I thought that the best option is like at home, I need to charge on a regular plug for the night at the hotel. But I could not. Even if the Hotel's owner showed me the garden's plug and authorized me to plug-in there, the plug was not reliable enough and the 110V charger went "Faulty" each time I tried. So I ended up my 'green' weekend at this time and came back on dirty ICE for the next day.

This is a shame, because we have the technology to stay greener than usual but can't use it simply because : no level 1 or level 2 charger available ....

I had a talk with the manager of the Hotel the next day explaining that Plugin and Electrical are going to be more and more common and they should get prepared to welcome it for the sake of the city. He agreed with me and said that he would talk to the owner about that. (I also mentioned that they could have rebates on installation costs).

But my main concern is that if I had an electrical car (which sometime I'm thinking about, especially knowing that Kia Niro EV is close to come out), I would have been in serious trouble ...

So my question to all of you who owns a Niro PHEV, do you charge it outside from home ? How easy do you find available level 2 chargers ? And finally did you ever charge it at any Hotel ?

Christophe.
 

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We charged for free at Legoland while at the park and I have seen chargers at a hotel before (San Diego), but for the most part we just charge at home. I will use EV mode until we get on the freeway, then HEV mode for the rest of the trip pretty much. I like to keep as much charge in the battery as possible for going up big hills at freeway speeds. (IE coming up the Grapevine even in HEV mode will eat up pretty much all of your battery range when driving 65-85 mph.

When on shorter trips around town, I can usually use EV before AND after exiting the freeway, it just depends on the nature of the trip. And if it does "run out" of battery, the nice thing is the PHEV will get you home on gasoline alone!
 

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I've only ever charged at home. There was a grocery store parking lot in northern California that I visited over the past Christmas holiday where I could have plugged in if I had an account with the service that ran the charger, but I didn't expect to be in the grocery store long enough to get much of a charge, so I didn't bother trying to figure it out. There were also a few charging locations where stopped along the highway from southern CA to northern CA on that trip, but the spots were all occupied.



As I understand it, there are two plagues that affect public charging: non-EV vehicles parking in those spots, and EV vehicles parking in those spots for many hours after they've absorbed a full charge. Metering the spot, rather than the electrical usage, might go a long way toward solving both problems, but only if there is parking enforcement to back it up.
 

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I've had fair to middling luck charging up while on the road. Living in Washington DC there are a fair number of chargers around but like deltasmith said unless you're going to be there for a while it really doesn't make much sense to plug in. On longer trips I've never considered charging as it just takes too long unless you're at an overnight stop and the benefits are so marginal. I've noticed that at rest stops where they have chargers they tend to be BEV focused, which makes sense. In my Niro I can just fill up the gas tank and go about my merry way. If you have a Tesla or especially a Leaf, you need to plug in. Not much demand for topping up PHEVs on the highway.

I've never tried charging at a hotel, but I've seen people who have. I think most hotels would let you use an external wall socket if you asked, but as you discovered, the quality may be iffy. I've charged at big shopping malls and even once at the MGM National Harbor Casino (for free even!) but that can be frustrating as there are several companies that manage the stations and invariably you have to install yet another app in order to use them.

I think the opportunities for charging your PHEV on the road will increase a bit over time. However, I think in the end PHEV owners are in a weird niche, we'd love to be able to plug in and take advantage of the EV range we have, but it probably makes more economic sense for communities and providers to focus on the needs of BEV owners, as they are completely dependent on being able to charge when they need to and are more likely to make travel decisions based on if they can plug in when they get there.

I guess the ultimate answer is to buy a BEV Niro. :D
 

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Hello everybody,
I post this message to share my experience and also get your feedback.

This weekend, I went for a tour on the Pacific coast (Monterey to be exact).
The Niro behaved magically, 62 mpg on the way and 54 mpg on the way back through HWY 1 (gusty wind) for ~200 miles each way.

When I was at Monterey, I reactivated the EV mode and spent my whole afternoon from one site to the other one in 'green' mode.
Then I wondered how to charge my car to get a second 'green' day. But this is where it started being difficult.
Finding a level 2 charger in the city is pretty easy, 2 parking lots with 2 level 2 charger each (one free at Downtown West Garage and one non-free at Parking Lot 7).

I thought "Good", but that ended up there, because 4 chargers for a city like Monterey is far from enough, all spots were occupied!

What I found a bit disappointing is that there are multiple Tesla charger at Monterey, but half of level 2 charger where occupied by Tesla owners. I like Tesla, they opened the way to electrical cars, but they created a Tesla dedicated charger network closed to others and they are now occupying other's chargers too.

So I thought that the best option is like at home, I need to charge on a regular plug for the night at the hotel. But I could not. Even if the Hotel's owner showed me the garden's plug and authorized me to plug-in there, the plug was not reliable enough and the 110V charger went "Faulty" each time I tried. So I ended up my 'green' weekend at this time and came back on dirty ICE for the next day.

This is a shame, because we have the technology to stay greener than usual but can't use it simply because : no level 1 or level 2 charger available ....

I had a talk with the manager of the Hotel the next day explaining that Plugin and Electrical are going to be more and more common and they should get prepared to welcome it for the sake of the city. He agreed with me and said that he would talk to the owner about that. (I also mentioned that they could have rebates on installation costs).

But my main concern is that if I had an electrical car (which sometime I'm thinking about, especially knowing that Kia Niro EV is close to come out), I would have been in serious trouble ...

So my question to all of you who owns a Niro PHEV, do you charge it outside from home ? How easy do you find available level 2 chargers ? And finally did you ever charge it at any Hotel ?

Christophe.
I only charge at home. I tried a L2 charger once just to see it it worked. It did.

When I'm on a road trip I just use HEV mode and use EV mode to run the AC when I sleep at rest stops.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think the opportunities for charging your PHEV on the road will increase a bit over time. However, I think in the end PHEV owners are in a weird niche, we'd love to be able to plug in and take advantage of the EV range we have, but it probably makes more economic sense for communities and providers to focus on the needs of BEV owners, as they are completely dependent on being able to charge when they need to and are more likely to make travel decisions based on if they can plug in when they get there.

I guess the ultimate answer is to buy a BEV Niro. :D
Hi,

I agree with you and all the previous comments.
PHEV are kind of a 'plus' on top of the Hybrid principle and therefore it is often seen as: "I do EV as much as I can where it makes sense".
Of course, with the PHEV, using EV on freeway does not really make sense (except if you have a short few miles of freeway).
I also agree on the fact that charger should remain available to BEV in priority because they can't rely on gas when the battery is depleted.

But I also consider that if you spend multiple days in a city hopping around, we can also be considered as BEV with 24 miles autonomy and therefore charging, like the other BEV, makes sense to me.

I think that hotels should start having some infrastructure ready for EV and plugins vehicles.
No need for DC fast charger as it will be used overnight, but level 2 chargers will be handful.
PHEV can be completely recharged in around 2h30 which can be handled by plugin on arrival and then freeing the charger after this time (no need to occupy the charger overnight).
BEV can be complete recharged in around 9h which makes it doable overnight.
And I don't think that lvl2 charger plugged on 240V plugs (in the US) is that complex to install for an hotel compared to the added value.

Doing so would be, in my opinion, a huge advertising for PHEV and BEV and it would show to everyone that actually PHEV and BEV are viable solutions for city driving and help to decrease air pollution in cities.

(After all, we all charge our smartphone overnight without wondering if we will find a plug or if we will need to stop by the grocery to charge it, don't we?)
 

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I've had my PHEV for 7 months now, and in all that time I have charged it away from home precisely 2 times. The parking garage at my airport has "free" (if you don't count the $20/day cost of parking there) level 2 chargers (plus they're very convenient parking spots!). Those are the only ones I've used.


I suppose if I had an EV, I'd constantly be scouting out all the public charging stations, using the apps, and memorizing all the best ones, etc... but since I don't have to, I don't. Also, I refuse to use the not-free stations, because a full charge is only worth about $2 (gasoline cost equivalent) so it's really just not worth it for me unless it's free.
 

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Just read that Google Maps will now show you if the charger is open. Haven't looked into it since I only charge at home. Hubby will park blocks away to charge for an hour so he'll probably start using it.
 

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I've had my PHEV for 7 months now, and in all that time I have charged it away from home precisely 2 times. The parking garage at my airport has "free" (if you don't count the $20/day cost of parking there) level 2 chargers (plus they're very convenient parking spots!). Those are the only ones I've used.


I suppose if I had an EV, I'd constantly be scouting out all the public charging stations, using the apps, and memorizing all the best ones, etc... but since I don't have to, I don't. Also, I refuse to use the not-free stations, because a full charge is only worth about $2 (gasoline cost equivalent) so it's really just not worth it for me unless it's free.
I agree with you that cost is also part of the equation. As you said, full charge is about $2:
- Electrical ($0.22/kWh * ~9kWh ~= $1.98)
- Gas ($3.60/g * 24miles / 47mpg ~= $1.83)
Therefore, some parking are reasonable like Monterey with $0.75 / hour (it is just over but green side of the force win 0:) ) but some other like a parking lot I saw in SF with [$1.50 activation + $0.5 per kWh] on top of expensive parking rates !! no way :)
Of course, there are free chargers available right and left but having them available is like tossing a biased coin :)

I will go to the conclusion that these difficulties to charge a PHEV are equivalent to a NO GO for an BEV. And people are not ready to sacrifice their day of vacation running after a charger available.
This is why, on top of these sporadics lvl2 chargers in cities, Hotels need to move forward to create a better future for PHEV and BEV with overnight (and 0 stress) charging while sleeping.
 

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More out of curiosity. If your hotel did offer you free charging for your vehicle, but the charging stations were at the far end of the propery rather than right beside the building where you say, would you still use them?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
More out of curiosity. If your hotel did offer you free charging for your vehicle, but the charging stations were at the far end of the propery rather than right beside the building where you say, would you still use them?
Yes, I would use it. The standard plug that Hotel's manager offered me to plug-in was at the opposite location of my room, and I went there to try and came back to my room after realizing that the plug was not reliable enough.
I fully understand the question, but I'm not lazy and I accept to walk to the far end of the parking to find the plug if it's there :)

If I go to Monterey, it is (like SF) because I can park my car and walk the rest of the weekend (I usually walk ~10 miles around in the day).
The hopping with the car is just to optimize my walk around the light-house on all the coast and then driving back to Monterey's downtown to walk around the pier up to the cannery rows in the same day.
 

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More out of curiosity. If your hotel did offer you free charging for your vehicle, but the charging stations were at the far end of the propery rather than right beside the building where you say, would you still use them?
I would, no problem. One of the few times I was able to use a public charger while out and about I ended up parking ~2 blocks from my destination just to be able to use the charger. I love maximizing my EV usage and am willing to walk a little farther to be able to do it.
 

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Thanks for responding. I know when I have talked with hotel management, their concern was disruption to the hotel as construction running new ports and parts near the building can cost more in lost revenue than the cost of the install.


Another thought that I had.. Most hotels now use the plastic cards to get into the rooms. Those could also be used to enable a charger outside. Now it is apparent that cars charge at different speeds and people will plug in a car and walk off leaving the car plugged in but have no way to know when it is charged. The charging point then becomes a parking space and no other user can charge their car. But if you tag the charger use to an actual room key, then you gain the ability to notify. The hotel could send you an SMS message letting you know your car is charged. It could be that you get to the hotel and all the ports are in use, so not you can get informed when a plug is free so that you can get your turn. If you get people who just want to plug and walk away, there could be a charge penalty for leaving you car plugged in but not charging to help co-operation between multiple customers needing to use a limited resource.


I think it is discussions like this that hotel owners need to think about to monetize the cost of adding charge stations so they work not just now but going forward when electric becomes more of the norm.
 

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Thanks for responding. I know when I have talked with hotel management, their concern was disruption to the hotel as construction running new ports and parts near the building can cost more in lost revenue than the cost of the install.


Another thought that I had.. Most hotels now use the plastic cards to get into the rooms. Those could also be used to enable a charger outside. Now it is apparent that cars charge at different speeds and people will plug in a car and walk off leaving the car plugged in but have no way to know when it is charged. The charging point then becomes a parking space and no other user can charge their car. But if you tag the charger use to an actual room key, then you gain the ability to notify. The hotel could send you an SMS message letting you know your car is charged. It could be that you get to the hotel and all the ports are in use, so not you can get informed when a plug is free so that you can get your turn. If you get people who just want to plug and walk away, there could be a charge penalty for leaving you car plugged in but not charging to help co-operation between multiple customers needing to use a limited resource.


I think it is discussions like this that hotel owners need to think about to monetize the cost of adding charge stations so they work not just now but going forward when electric becomes more of the norm.
Even easier, if the hotel installs a charger like those managed by ChargePoint then the app will notify you when your car is completely charged. The charger can be configured to continue billing after the charging cycle is complete to discourage squatting.
 

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Even easier, if the hotel installs a charger like those managed by ChargePoint then the app will notify you when your car is completely charged. The charger can be configured to continue billing after the charging cycle is complete to discourage squatting.
Another idea would be to always put charger between 2 parking spots.
This way you allow temporary overlapping during switching without blocking a charger for nothing.

Concerning an app like ChargePoint, this has pros and cons. The main cons I see is that each network tends to have its own app, ending up with dozens apps installed just for charging network ;)
I think that it is also up to the user's responsibility to look at the charging time estimation and go back to your car when it is done (you can even use your UVO status to check if you are not sure).

At anytime, the Hotel's desk would be aware of who is the last to check his card on the charger and whose car it is in case of problem.
 

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I charge every place I can. I find in Northern California north of SF a plethora of charging locations. I find a blend of free and cost effective locations that I’m averaging less than a $1 for a full charge from close to 0 miles EV. The important thing for me is this blend is environmentally motivated. I’m finding in my almost 3 months and 4,500+ miles that my fuel costs have decreased significantly. My average mpg blended exceeds 100 mi per gallon. I find chargers at all kinds of office buildings and schools and professional and medical buildings. I use almost all the apps to correlate the locations available. You just need to be looking and reporting when you find them. PlugShare and ChargePoint are the most widespread in this area of Northern California.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
FWIW, Tesla provides FREE destination chargers to hotels and restaurants.
Hi,
I verified on Tesla website and yes, they provide FREE destination chargers but most of them are Tesla plug .. and we can't use these.
Therefore, once again, Tesla plays solo where other ones try to play generic and Tesla's drivers get Tesla AND generic chargers.

Christophe.
 

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In my neck of the woods, SW VA, plug in vehicles are very rare. Gas is cheap, $2.43, and so is electricity, $.11 KWH. Tesla has a supercharger (5) close but I've never seen even 1 car there.

Though I mostly charge at home, I have become bolder just plugging in to a 120v outlet when I can. More are available than I thought. Most all parking lot lights are equipped with 120v outlets and though most have covers over them, some don't. Many hotels have outdoor plugs. Bottom line, though is that there is very little dedicated infrastructure for BEV or PIHEV's in this area. At $.99 and 7 hrs for a full charge, I don't feel bad just plugging in when I can but that's not often.

If we were serious about renewable energy, there would be one standard and businesses would make it a part of their business to provide charging. Tesla seems the only company serious about renewable energy. I applaud them but can't afford them in $'s and range.
 
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