Best EV Charging Options for Rideshare and Personal Use?

In this more difficult present life, we confront the problems caused by human-forced climate change on a daily basis. And over the past week, midwest flooding resulting in more than a billion dollars in damages with multiple communities disrupted is just the most recent example.

It’s the same kind of persistent extreme weather pattern that many scientists warned was likely to emerge as the Earth warmed into the present range of around 1-1.2 C above 1880s averages. And it’s just one aspect of a crisis brought about by fossil fuel burning that we are all presently called to fight.

(According to NASA, February of 2019 was the third hottest such month in the 139 year climate record. Global temperatures ranging around 1.14 C above average are presently tipping the scale toward more extreme climate change related events. This situation keeps getting worse if we continue to burn fossil fuels. Image source: NASA.)

My personal project in response to this crisis at present is to transition to clean transportation and to share it with others through rideshare technology. And last week many of you helped me to make a first step toward that response. Thank you! The votes are in and most of you appear to favor the Tesla Model 3 vs Nissan Leaf Long Range, the Chevy Bolt, and the Hyundai Kona/Kia Niro (see the results of last week’s poll here).

Before I make my final choice, I’d like to take a look at one last criteria — available charging infrastructure. For my part, I’ve got an added challenge. I do not presently have the ability to charge at home. So I need to be able to access a public or work charging station in order to charge my clean ride. I think a good number of people are probably in the same situation.

(A video walk-through of clean vehicle charging options for climate change response.)

For the work piece, I work at home. So no dice. But luckily for me the sweetie (my wife — Cat) works at the Humane Society of the U.S. which does provide a work charging station. Use of that charging station during her work hours alone would enable me to charge the Tesla for both rideshare and personal use through a level 2 charger (240 outlet and J1772). To practically use this I would probably have to rotate use of my ICE — giving me about 2/3 clean ride coverage. That’s doable, but not ideal. A more perfect method would be to purchase two electric vehicles and rotate those through Cat’s work charger. But, at present, we don’t have the funds for such an endeavor.

As a result, I’m going to have to access public charging infrastructure to fill the gap if I want to maximize my clean riding time. Thankfully, there’s an app called Plugshare which provides a great deal of information about charging infrastructure across the U.S. and around the world. If you’re interested in getting an EV but are anxious about charging — I encourage you to check it out. Very helpful!

According to Plugshare, here in Gaithersburg, there’s a huge number of public chargers. Many of these are nearby.

(My home community of Gaithersburg supports numerous electric vehicle charging stations. Level 2 chargers are shown in green and fast chargers are shown in orange [not origin ;)]. Image source: Plugshare.)

If you look at the above image you’ll see a map of the Gaithersburg area covered in green and orange images. The green images indicate level 2 charging stations which are capable of providing between 15-30 miles worth of vehicle range per hour. The orange images indicate fast chargers which are capable of near full recharge in between 35 minutes to one hour and fifteen minutes. Thankfully, my home location in Gaithersburg is within 1-2 blocks of three level 2 charging stations. Two of these stations cost around 45 cents per kilowatt — which is comparable to present gas prices. Not ideal, but decent in a pinch. One of these stations is free.

So, already, looking at both Plugshare and work options, I have potential access to two free charging stations and two pay stations in rather convenient locations. Pretty cool. Now for the next step — fast charging. And here is where we start to differentiate between electric vehicles. For this evaluation, we will compare between Tesla Model 3 and all the rest. The reason? Chiefly that Tesla has its own massive national network of Superchargers.

The rest — Bolt, Leaf, Kona, Niro — are presently beholden to 50 kW charging in my area. This is due to internal vehicle fast charging ability and due to rated chargers nearby. Networks like CHAdeMO, EVgo, and Charge America, provide 5 such fast chargers within five miles of my home location. Pretty wide coverage and much better options than I’d originally anticipated. But not the same as…

(The Tesla Supercharger network of 12,888 chargers at 1,441 stations across North America provides a major, high tech support for clean energy drivers. Image source: Tesla.)

For Tesla we have the nearby Rio Supercharger which provides up to 120 kW charging at 12 stalls. Such chargers are about 1.5 to 2.5 times faster than the other fast chargers. And soon these chargers will be upgraded to the version 3 — which is rated at 250 kW. It’s worth noting that I couldn’t use this Supercharging station while ridesharing. However, fair use would let me Supercharge my clean energy vehicle 1-2 times per week here at the going rate of 28 to 32 cents per kilowatt. About 40 percent less than gas. Impressive, most impressive!

It’s worth noting that different vehicles are charged by different plugs. And, in total there are at least five plugs available. So any electric vehicle will probably need adapters to access the wider EV charging network. In general, though, most non Tesla vehicles can access non Tesla fast chargers without an adaptor. With an adaptor, Teslas can access both Superchargers and Fast Chargers while non Teslas cannot access the vast Supercharger network.

Overall, there are good charging options in my area. But the most potentially versatile EV for charging, among Bolt, Leaf, Model 3, Kona and Niro is again the Model 3. So it looks like we have a front-runner here.

****

Thanks for joining me again! I hope this most recent blog was helpful and informative to you. If it was, please share widely! In addition, if you are interested in participating in clean rideshare to help fight climate change please consider using my Uber referral code ROBERTF3028UE. For the next blog, I’ll be making a big announcement. Hope to see you then!

 

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11 Comments

  1. Rik Appleby

     /  April 13, 2019

    Dear Robert,

    Your trying to walk the talk! Good Man!

    Thanks for the news, I’ve been reading your posts in Ireland for the last 4-5 years. I hope the break in posts recently wasn’t for anything too dramatic. I’m hoping it was for you to write a book or something along those lines.

    All the best Rik Bhavatu sabba mangalam – May all beings be happy!

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  2. eleggua

     /  April 13, 2019

    Good to see you posting , Robert; youTube isn’t an option here.

    Looking forward to regular posts, and a return of the very active, healthy, vibrant dialogue shared here in the commnets section.

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  3. eleggua

     /  April 13, 2019

    Fun Twitter take-down of Rep. Thomas Massie’s self-congratulatory denier boasts.

    “Do you think there’s any chance Massie sees this tweet and says, “you know, I am making a giant cheesecake out of my head and eating it on these twitters, maybe I should stop”?”

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  4. eleggua

     /  April 14, 2019

    If you’re not already familiar with Project Drawdown, founded by Paul Hawken, and its accompanying book, edited by same, please check them out.

    https://www.drawdown.org

    The Project:

    “Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming. We did not make or devise the plan—the plan exists and is being implemented worldwide. It has been difficult to envision this possibility because the focus is overwhelmingly on the impacts of climate change. We gathered a qualified and diverse group of researchers from around the world to identify, research, and model the 100 most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change. What was uncovered is a path forward that can roll back global greenhouse gas emissions within thirty years. The research revealed that humanity has the means and techniques at hand. Nothing new needs to be invented, yet many more solutions are coming due to purposeful human ingenuity. The solutions we modeled are in place and in action. Humanity’s task is to accelerate the knowledge and growth of what is possible as soon as possible.”

    The book:

    “Drawdown maps, measures, models, and describes the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming. For each solution, we describe its history, the carbon impact it provides, the relative cost and savings, the path to adoption, and how it works. The goal of the research that informs Drawdown is to determine if we can reverse the buildup of atmospheric carbon within thirty years. All solutions modeled are already in place, well understood, analyzed based on peer-reviewed science, and are expanding around the world.

    The subtitle of Drawdown—The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming—may sound brash. We chose that description because no detailed plan to reverse warming has been proposed. There have been agreements and proposals on how to slow, cap, and arrest emissions, and there are international commitments to prevent global temperature increases from exceeding two degrees centigrade over pre-industrial levels. One hundred and ninety-five nations have made extraordinary progress in coming together to acknowledge that we have a momentous civilizational crisis on our earthly doorstep and have created national plans of action. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has accomplished the most significant scientific study in the history of humankind, and continues to refine the science, expand the research, and extend our grasp of one of the most complex systems imaginable—climate. However, there is as yet no roadmap that goes beyond slowing or stopping emissions.

    To be clear, our organization did not create or devise a plan. We do not have that capability or self-appointed mandate. In conducting our research, we found a plan, a blueprint that already exists in the world in the form of humanity’s collective wisdom, made manifest in applied, hands-on practices and technologies. Individuals, communities, farmers, cities, companies, and governments have shown that they care about this planet, its people, and its places. Engaged citizens world over are doing something extraordinary. This is their story.”

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. eleggua

     /  April 14, 2019

    Radical solutions for radical problems. Return to the root.

    “radical (adj.)
    late 14c., in a medieval philosophical sense, from Late Latin radicalis “of or having roots,” from Latin radix (genitive radicis) “root” (from PIE root *wrād- “branch, root”). Meaning “going to the origin, essential” is from 1650s.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/10/glaciers-arctic-ice-vanishing-radical-politics

    ‘Glaciers and Arctic ice are vanishing. Time to get radical before it’s too late’
    Bill McKibben April 10, 2019

    “Forget “early warning signs” and “canaries in coalmines” – we’re now well into the middle of the climate change era, with its epic reshaping of our home planet. Monday’s news, from two separate studies, made it clear that the frozen portions of the Earth are now in violent and dramatic flux.

    The first, led by the veteran Greenland glaciologist Jason Box, looked across the Arctic at everything from “increased tundra biomass” to deepening thaw of the permafrost layer. Their conclusion: “the Arctic biophysical system is now clearly trending away from its 20th century state and into an unprecedented state, with implications not only within but beyond the Arctic.” To invent a word, the north is rapidly slushifying, with more rainfall and fewer days of hard freeze; the latest data shows that after a month of record temperatures in the Bering Sea, ocean ice in the Arctic is at an all-time record low for the date, crushing the record set … last April.

    The other study looked at the great mountain ranges of the planet, and found that their glaciers were melting much faster than scientists had expected. By the end of the century many of those alpine glaciers would be gone entirely; the Alps may lose 90% of their ice. From the Caucasus to the South Island of New Zealand, mountains are losing more than 1% of their ice each year now: “At the current glacier loss rate, the glaciers will not survive the century,” said Michael Zemp, who runs the World Glacier Monitoring Service from his office at the University of Zurich.

    One could list the “consequences” of these changes in great detail. They range from the catastrophic (Andean cities with no obvious source of water supply once the glaciers have melted) to the merely bitter (no one is going to die from a lack of skiing, but to lose the season when friction disappears will make many lives sadder). For the moment, though, don’t worry about the “effects”, just focus on what it means that some of the largest systems on Earth are now in seismic shift.

    What it means, I think, is that no one should be shocked when Extinction Rebellion activists engage in mass civil disobedience. No one should be annoyed when school kids start leaving class en masse. No one should be surprised that Green New Deal advocates are now calling for dramatic overhaul of American society. In fact we should be deeply grateful: these activists, and the scientists producing these reports, are the only people on the planet who seem to understand the scale of the problem.

    Not our political leaders. Obviously not Trump, but even most of the theoretically engaged premiers and presidents let themselves constantly be distracted by much smaller questions. (Brexit would seem like a silly charade at the best of times; at the moment it seems actively obscene). Not our business leaders, who make occasional greenwashing noises but continue passively belonging to organizations like the Chamber of Commerce that continue to fight serious change. Not those pension fund trustees still clinging to fossil fuel stocks even as they lose money.

    The respectable have punted; so now it’s up to the scruffy, the young, the marginal, the angry to do the necessary work. Their discipline and good humor and profound nonviolence are remarkable, from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Greta Thunberg. They are what’s left of our fighting chance.

    The biggest physical features on the planet are now changing in ways they haven’t since long before the dawn of human history. On the most distant poles, and on the highest peaks, we see almost unfathomable shifts. The only question is whether a similar shift is possible in our politics. Planet Earth is miles outside its comfort zone; how many of us will go beyond ours?”

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  6. eleggua

     /  April 15, 2019

    “enough is enough…what have they done to the earth…what have they done to our fair sister?”

    “In support of Extinction Rebellion’s International Rebellion we proudly present this new screen print by our own artist, iconoclast, anarchist, punk, hippie, shit-stirring rebel & romantic Jamie Reid.”

    (Jamie’s the artist responsible for the infamous, icono-graphic art album cover for the Sex Pistols’ “God Save The Queen” LP. More on Extinction Rebellion below.)

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    • eleggua

       /  April 15, 2019

      https://rebellion.earth/the-truth/about-us/

      “Extinction Rebellion (XR) is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience to achieve radical change in order to minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse.”

      Our Story

      On 31st October 2018, we assembled on Parliament Square in London to announce a Declaration of Rebellion against the UK Government. We were expecting a couple of hundred people. Instead, 1500 came to participate in peaceful civil disobedience. The energy was contagious! The next few weeks were a whirlwind. Six thousand of us converged on London to peacefully block five major bridges across the Thames. We planted trees in the middle of Parliament Square, and dug a hole there to bury a coffin representing our future. We super-glued ourselves to the gates of Buckingham Palace as we read a letter to the Queen. Our actions generated huge national and international publicity and, as news spread, our ideas connected with tens of thousands of people around the world. The XR project was resonating with a deeply felt need for community and solidarity. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” we chanted! Dozens of countries now have groups springing up, from the Solomon Islands to Australia, from Spain to South Africa, the US to India.

      So what’s next? We are working relentlessly, building our movement in preparation for phase two, an international rebellion that will begin on 15th April 2019. So come and join us. Rebel for life. For the planet. For our children’s children’s futures. There is so much work to be done.

      At the core of Extinction Rebellion’s philosophy is nonviolent civil disobedience. We promote civil disobedience and rebellion because we think it is necessary- we are asking people to find their courage and to collectively do what is necessary to bring about change.

      We organise in small groups. These groups are connected in a complex web that is constantly evolving as we grow and learn. We are working to build a movement that is participatory, decentralised, and inclusive.

      Our Principles and Values

      All are welcome who want to adhere to our principles and values

      we have a shared vision of change
      Creating a world that is fit for generations to come.
      we set our mission on what is necessary
      Mobilising 3.5% of the population to achieve system change – using ideas such as “Momentum-driven organising” to achieve this.
      we need a regenerative culture
      Creating a culture which is healthy, resilient and adaptable.
      we openly challenge ourselves and our toxic system
      Leaving our comfort zones to take action for change.
      we value reflecting and learning
      Following a cycle of action, reflection, learning, and planning for more action. Learning from other movements and contexts as well as our own experiences.
      we welcome everyone and every part of everyone
      Working actively to create safer and more accessible spaces.
      we actively mitigate for power
      Breaking down hierarchies of power for more equitable participation.
      we avoid blaming and shaming
      We live in a toxic system, but no one individual is to blame.
      we are a non-violent network
      Using non-violent strategy and tactics as the most effective way to bring about change.
      we are based on autonomy and decentralisation
      We collectively create the structures we need to challenge power. Anyone who follows these core principles and values can take action in the name of Extinction Rebellion.

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    • eleggua

       /  April 15, 2019

      Peaceful Global Revolution!

      “All Rebels are asked to follow our basic agreement during the Rebellion. It provides a basis for trust so we and the public know what we can expect of each other.

      1. We show respect to everyone – to each other, the general public and to the government and police.

      2. We engage in no violence, physical or verbal and carry no weapons.

      3. We wear no masks – we hold ourselves accountable for our actions.

      4. We bring no alcohol or illegal drugs.

      5. We take responsibility for ourselves, we are all crew.

      We are here together until the Government acts on our three demands for necessary action on the climate and ecological crisis. This code enables us to attract the many people we need to make this possible. Anyone breaking these agreements will be asked to leave.

      Let’s get to it!”

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  7. “It’s worth noting that I couldn’t use this Supercharging station while ridesharing.”

    I don’t understand this. Can you explain why? Thanks!

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    • So the Tesla policy is that ridesharing drivers can’t use the Supercharger while engaged in rideshare driving. I asked a Tesla rep to clarify and they stated that they didn’t want Uber and Lyft drivers continuously cycling through a network that was designed primarily to support long distance travel for business or pleasure. They consider fair use to be in the range of 1-2 times per week. So you could do this while not ridesharing.

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