First QuickCharger
In My Area

July 7, 2017

Mark D Larsen

There’s a First Time for Everything
(click to enlarge)

I received a pleasant surprise this morning. A member of our EV group texted me to say he had seen a QuickCharger at a Maverik station just off the I-15 interstate in Washington. I immediately jumped in my LEAF and drove the 16 miles to the station to check it out. Sure enough, ChargePoint had installed a Level 3 unit for both CHAdeMO and CCS charging, as well as a Level 2 EVSE, as shown below:

Level 3 Dual CHAdeMO and CCS
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Level 2 J1772 EVSE
(click to enlarge)

Many of the parking spaces around the chargers were being ICE'd, but luckily the one spot in front of the QuickCharger was open. Years ago I acquired a ChargePoint access card so that I could plug in to their EVSEs while participating in the National Drive Electric Week activities in Las Vegas. Now, for the first time in over 5 years, I would finally be able to give my LEAF a quick charge through its CHAdeMO receptacle!

Hits the Spot!
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Pluggin’ Along!
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In truth, I didn’t need to plug in, since I had charged the battery to 80% the night before, but I nonetheless wanted to see if my CHAdeMO port really worked. I tapped my access card on the unit’s “hot spot” to initiate a session, the charger communicated with ChargePoint, which authorized the session, and the quick charge began. Below are readouts of the process.

When I started charging,
the battery was at 73%...
...and the QuickCharger
was putting out 45kW.

After this much time...
...the battery was now
at this percentage...
...and the kW had
dropped to this level.

After this many minutes...
...the battery percentage
was almost full...
...and the kW had dropped
way down to only... I stopped the charge,
which cost this much.

I assume that the charge was free simply because the accounting for this particular QuickCharger has yet to be set up. For all I know, perhaps ChargePoint and Maverik are still negotiating the rates. The session had performed as I expected: steadily lowering the kWh as the battery percentage climbed above 80% and approached a full charge, which of course lengthens the time needed. My guess is that topping up like that takes just as much time as charging a nearly empty battery to 80%. Hey... I’ll take it!

By pure chance, I happened to spot an inspection certificate from Washington City tucked behind the hardware, which stated that the unit had passed muster for public use on June 29. I also glanced inside the electrical box, and could see that the QuickCharger was on an 80A breaker, and the EVSE on 40A:

It’s Official
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r'AMP'ing up
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I felt utterly smug to sign on to PlugShare, comment that I was the first EV driver to plug into this charger on its map, and upload a couple of the above photos. Later, when I checked my e-mail at home, I saw that NissanConnect had sent me an odd notification that the session had ended, but at... 0 of 12 charge bars!?! Weird. The software doesn’t recognize CHAdeMO connections?

Sharing the Plug on PlugShare

0 of 12 Bars?

I also signed on to my ChargePoint account to see if the session had been recorded. Sure enough, the report indicated that I had put nearly 5 kWh into the battery. As you can see, my previous sessions on its network had occurred only once per year during those National Drive Electric EV’ents in Las Vegas in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Few and Far Between

I am delighted to see that there is now a QuickCharger up-and-running in the greater St. George area. I only wish ChargePoint would now also install one between here and Las Vegas, so that I could drive there more easily for the next National Drive Electric Week celebration in September.

July 22, 2017

I feel it only proper to point out that Maverik and ChargePoint have now initiated a fee schedule for using that QuickCharger. In my not-so-huumble opinion... the costs are ridiculous. Here is what users can expect to pay:

For example, if I needed to charge my LEAF to 80%, I estimate that it would cost about $19 to use that fast charger. Yet if I’d kept my old Subaru, and paid for gasoline to drive that same distance, it would only cost... $9! Less than half! I can’t help but wonder if the State of Utah, Maverik, and Rocky Mountain Power and trying to thwart the transition to EVs instead of accelerate it.

September 12, 2017

I suspect that my complaints to ChargePoint and Maverik must have had an impact. They have now reduced the fees to charge from this DCQC station. The new amounts are much more reasonable:

Rather than $19, it would now cost about $11 to fully charge a LEAF, i.e., not too much more than gasoline to drive an average MPG car the same distance.