One of the most anxiety-inducing parts of EV ownership is finding somewhere to charge up while you're out and about.
And once you find a place to plug in, it's nowhere near as fast as filling up at the pump.
To deal with it, you could use bigger battery that allow less frequent flow charging.
Or with newer 30 minute DC fast charging stations, you could charge faster but more frequently.
But which is better?
We're testing to see if the convenience of the more widely available level two charging outweighs the significant speed advantage of the much more rare DC fast charging option that's available on newer EVs.
To find out, we're racing around the San Francisco bay on a 300 plus mile route that I chose for a variety of terrain and availability of charging station types.
Mark and I are in the Chevrolet Bolt with its 240 mile range, and Emmy and Evan are in the 120 mile Hyundai Ionic Electric.
Team Ionic will try to make up for its range disadvantage by using fast charging.
Team Bolt will have to rely on slower standard charging.
To be clear, the Bolt is available with fast charging, but we're only using level two today to keep things interesting.
And if my math is right, this should be a close one.
So we're leaving 235 2nd Street, Rocho Headquarters.
And we will be heading south first, right?
We will be heading south.
Okay, so I'm leaving this car in eco mode.
We're not turning on the air conditioner.
I'm not turning on heated seats.
We're not turning on the radio.
We are keeping this thing all energy He going to the wheels.
Cuz I am not gonna lost to those suckers.
Hello, you may be winning.
We are currently winning, or definitely, undeniably.
No, why did you just admit that they may be winning, I mean you have to have complete confidence.
I mean I think it's quite good really cuz I don't want you guys to
stop thinking about, you can win this.
You should get comfortable with the idea of losing early on, I think.
Why does he, why?
Who knows what to say to this dude.
Already pulling away, increasing our lead.
You're going super fast.
I'm not going to do that.
Conserving my miles.
So the things you want to do to be an efficient driver are be smooth, you don't want to go faster than you need to, because EVs typically have really poor fuel economy over around 50 miles per hour.
You also don't want to use any accessories that you don't need to.
So if you don't need to use air conditioner turn it off.
If you don't need Heater turned it off.
You'll see impact on your range there.
So we have the volt right?
which has a range of like 232 miles and we have the Hyundai Ioniq which has a range of a 124.
The idea is which one can get around a lap of the bay faster the thing is that we're gonna have to charge more, right?
Because we have a lower
But they're gonna have to do one big charge
Right, they're gonna have to do one big charge except we're doing, like, 293 miles, so when they get to their charge point they actually only have to charge up like 60 miles.
Yeah but how long does it take.
I don't know
Well how long do you think we're gonna have to charge for?
I know I haven't done that math yet but I'm thinking since we're not using fast charging, we're looking at two hours at least.
I think the limitations is going to be infrastructure.
Because while I have a charge point account, I don't have the card with me
I think we're still good right?
Well, as far as like the highway and stuff.
[BLEEP] we filmed wrong.
Ten miles wrong.
We should have gone to the 238 earlier on.
We now have a tight race.
We should have done this with Gooley.
We should have done it with Gooley.
He'd be able to rattle off all of the stats and everything.
Nearby charging station.
Is 9.6 miles.
We're 12 miles right now.
Okay, what's one like one closer?
We should do the 3.9 one.
I don't really want to.
I'm doing this for you.
I don't want you.
You don't want to?
Do you wanna keep going?
Well what if we?
This could be it.
I mean it could be it.
We can't mess it up on the very first charge.
Okay, all right.
All right let's go to the closer one.
Early in the day and Mark and I have already missed a turn.
You'd think I know the route better since I'm the one that picked it but I'm gonna go ahead and blame Mark for slipping On his navigation duties fortunately it only cost us a few miles and a few minutes and we're back on track.
Meanwhile Emmy and Evan are approaching their free charge of the ionic already.>> [LAUGH]
What the hell>> [LAUGH]
This is where it says it is.
This is not what we were looking for.
Charge point, this is what we've been looking for
So I don't actually have my swipey card for charge
But I do have an account.
So I'm gonna have to call this 1-800 number and see if I can get them to accept my account, accept my card and turn on the charge point.
So let's see what happens.
Do you have the ap?
Yeah, I do have the ap.
Yeah, we're actually like a little bit of a race against a Chevy Bolt right now.
So, we're doing a whole day long race to see which car can do 293 miles the fastest.
I get it.
I get it.
See, Mark even the charge point lady wants me to win [LAUGH].
I came wrong again.
What do you mean?
We're heading towards, we should have gone to the 80, we're on the 580 going across to Richmond.
[NOISE] You would think that I put the map together, I would know where we're supposed to go.
We can't stay here at this one because it says that it's gonna take us five hours to charge.
It says 4 hours and 45 minutes.
We have to find a different level.
We are just at a normal charging station.
We need to find a fast charging station, it's a different connector.
And that will take us 30 minutes,
Just [SOUND], if we lose now I'm gonna [BLEEP].
It'll be fine.
What just happened?
My God, I have no idea.
We're getting kicked out of this charging place.
Of this public charging place.
The charge point is on their app as being a public charging space.
And they're getting kicked out, they're calling security on us, and all we're trying to do is charge the car.
People are so weird.
I cannot believe that we're getting kicked out of here.
And, he wouldn't even let me kill him with kindness.
What a joke.
If you don't want other people to come to your charging station then don't put it on charge point.
My question is, do we play it safe?
And do we charge somewhere between here and Antioch before we have to head north and we reach an area where there's no real stations until we get to Napa?
Or do we,with 74 miles left we could definitely make it to Napa,and at least maybe have a nice meal before we charge.
Do I, choose a nice lunch and possible defeat or [BLEEP] fast food and certain victory.
That's a tough one.
We decided to stop for coffee and a short recharge in a small town before heading onward.
Despite Mark's continued failure to actually navigate, it's been fairly smooth sailing.
Meanwhile, team Ionic is having the hardest time actually finding a DC fast charging station.
And now, must find yet another bump recharge before their first actual rapid recharge of the day.
I'm gonna try to charge again.
We're gonna be here forever.
So we just gotta get enough to go to the level two then?
The level three.
But the level three is like super out of our way.
All right, so now I'm using the app to start the charger.
I don't know how it knows what charger I'm at.
Or I could just go to Arco and put some gas in my god damn car and I would be on my way.
There's only one.
This could have ended terrible.
It said two on the app, so.
Okay, so we have been kicked out of a place and now we've gone to a bus station and we've gotten ourselves a few more miles out of this level two charger.
And there is a level three charger in Richmond.
So we're gonna backtrack to that.
Spend the 30 minutes, fill all the way up, and we think that's gonna give us enough juice to go all the way around on Antwon's route to the other fast charger that's in Napa.
And so how long are we gonna leave it for?
You wanna come back in an hour, see what it looks like, and then- > Yeah.
The problem with these charging stations, too, is they're
They seem like they're in random spots.
They need to be next to a gas station so I can go to the bathroom or I can get a snack.
Well, a lot of places they're at Whole Foods, or they're at a grocery store, or they're at a mall or a restaurant or something like that.
We haven't necessarily been filtering them for that Purpose.
We been filtering them just by distance.
Yeah, that's true.
There it is.
It's the [INAUDIBLE] thing right there.
Please visit a nearby charging station.
I'm trying lady.
Please, let this work.
Come on, authorize my account.
Press start, thank you baby Jesus.
Okay, 30 minutes.
We only gave it 30 minutes because we're bored and we're ready to get moving again.
So, we've been plugged up to this charger and let's see how much range we've got.
It was on about 48 before
It was on about 48, we're firing that bad boy up, 63.
Which is pretty crap for half an hour.
It's like 15 miles?
But it's enough to get us to the next spot where we charge for a longer period of time.
We'll actually grab some lunch at somewhere that we wanna eat.
Eat.>> Yes.>> So I'm ready to hit the road.
How about you?>> Okay, let's go.>> Alright.>> Cool.>> Will it be smooth sailing from here on out?
Find out in part 2.>>