Monday, April 15, 2024

Supercharging Non-Teslas With out Being An EV-Gap

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Once I first heard that Ford had launched adapters and opened entry to the Supercharger community, I seen some individuals getting offended about that. Supercharger stations have lengthy been designed to achieve the port on the rear-driver facet of the automobile, and everybody is anticipated to again in to get all of it lined up. The uniform nature of this meant shorter cables have been wanted and the whole lot labored out superb. However when the barbarians confirmed up in F-150 Lightnings and Mach-Es with the charging port in a unique spot, this created a doable situation.

To get the plug shut sufficient to the dispenser for the cable to achieve, Ford autos (and since then, Rivians) have needed to park within the subsequent spot. This works out superb for the Ford or Rivian driver, but when a Tesla driver reveals up, they will’t cost up. If a station is full, because of this at the very least one particular person can’t cost, and presumably extra.

Tesla clearly doesn’t care an excessive amount of if there are some points with this, as the opposite automakers all paid a good-looking sum (billions in all) for entry. This cash might be used to improve chargers to V4 (with longer cables), construct new Supercharger stations, and add extra stalls to current stations. However, within the quick run, Tesla drivers on the busiest stations will undergo some inconvenience.

Being a usually well mannered particular person, I made a decision to look into some doable methods to alleviate the issue. It seems, I’m not the one one that thinks this fashion, and different individuals have been experimenting with this, too. Right here’s one doable resolution a Rivian driver got here up with:

Clearly, not each EV can do that with out scraping or one thing. So, pulling over a curb to get right into a place to not block a stall for others isn’t an answer for each driver. I requested some mates on-line, and acquired this batch of images that present another strategies:

As you may see, discovering a spot with some additional house to the facet is usually key to charging in probably the most well mannered means when the station is busy or could quickly develop into busy. At my native Supercharger, I discovered a spot form of like this throughout from the others.

This can be a “cost final” spot, so if the others aren’t all taken up, you’d need to pull to the facet like I did to depart an area open for a disabled particular person to make use of it. If they’ve an EV, you may need to unplug for them. This technically nonetheless means taking on two spots, however the entire row of chargers throughout the best way is saved 100% open for different drivers. The following spot would have labored out effectively, too.

Right here’s what it appears like throughout the best way if I cost in a spot within the different row:

Sadly, there wasn’t fairly sufficient cable to cost within the “proper” house with out backing in over the curb, and there was a fairly good dropoff there as a substitute of a sidewalk or fill filth, so the Bolt would have seemingly acquired hung up. So, the one different resolution could be to take up the 2 areas anyway.

However, in actuality, this in all probability doesn’t matter that a lot as a result of I used to be actually in the one automotive on the complete station with all of its stalls. I may have discovered a approach to take up 3 or 5 stalls (had I introduced a trailer alongside) and it wouldn’t have inconvenienced anyone in any form of automotive.

However, if the stations had include about one other 2 toes of cable, I may have backed in like a Tesla and charged up, as these stations are located between the areas.

With my Bolt, there’s one other good resolution simply up the road that’s about to open:

In spite of everything, probably the most energy I can pull is about 55 kW, so these 62 kW stations might be simply nearly as good as a Supercharger to me. If I used to be coming in alongside the freeway from out of city and located the Supercharger station full or close to full, these would in all probability nonetheless be empty and solely one other half mile from the exit.

I do know many individuals who personal a Bolt or one other EV that isn’t a Tesla are simply itching to make use of the Superchargers, with some even saying that all the different networks are lifeless to them (that’s a bit hyperbolic, however it’s social media, in order that’s regular). However I’d personally wish to assist these different networks and hold them round to stop a monopoly from forming. So, I’m in all probability going to make Superchargers a “Plan B” in most locations, or use them if there’s nothing else in an space in any respect.

However, if you happen to’re in my sneakers, you may really feel otherwise and actually need to use Superchargers on a regular basis to really feel good or one thing. So, let’s speak some extra in regards to the situation.

Are There Any Low cost Fixes To This?

In the long term, we’ll in all probability see V4 chargers in every single place and this gained’t matter. Within the meantime, one other publish I got here throughout reveals us that there is perhaps one other non permanent resolution afoot:

This under-construction station in Ozona, Texas, has some stations located on the heart of areas and others straddling the road between areas as normal. This raises an apparent query: can a number of the stations on the market be made extra workable for various EVs by merely shifting a number of the stripes round? With just a few black paint or tar and a few white paint, some Supercharger stations on the market might be redone to place the stalls on the heart of extra areas, making for much less battle after they’re busy.

Clearly, portray some stripes or parking over the sting of curbs isn’t the reply for the long term. So, we want to consider different issues like extension cables (which might be costly!), placing longer cables on the V3 chargers, and even placing some longer cables on just some of the stalls at every station for now like they did with the Magic Dock stations. I’d by no means pores and skin a cat, however I hear there’s multiple means to try this ought to I ever change my thoughts.

However, what I’m actually hoping to see is a lot growth of charging alternatives — each at Supercharger stations and elsewhere — that we don’t see a lot battle. A station with spare capability might be one of the best consequence!

All photographs (besides these in embedded Tweets) by Jennifer Sensiba.

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