Understanding Public Charging - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Understanding Public Charging

I charged my car for the second time publicly yesterday. The first was at SF Zoo last weekend. Level 2, super quick, great and free!

Yesterday was at a local community center where you have to pay.

I didn’t really understand the kwh stuff and didn’t want to work out what the cost would be so I plugged it and let it charge.

It charged all fine but I was amazed at the cost. It was basically $4 to charge as I had to take the charger out after 5 mins and move the car a little closer so I had two transactions totaling $4.

Where’s the savings in this?

This won’t be my home rate right?

That’s the price of a gallon of gas so wasn’t too happy with that...

Obviously using only free chargers is key but not always possible.

What do you do? Just drive and charge at home? What about on road trips? Always nice to get the electric range but not at $4 for 33 miles?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 06:08 PM
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I skip the public chargers unless they are free. The pay chargers generally cost more than the equivalent amount of gas would cost per mile.

Your results at home will be entirely dependent on your electric utility rates. Here in Phoenix I pay about 7 cents per kilowatt hour during off peak hours. That works out to about 93 cents for a full charge which is about a third the price of an equivalent amount of gas (currently about $2.60). I believe electric rates in California are much higher. Check if your utility offers time of use rates. They are often quite a bit cheaper during off peak hours.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:43 PM
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One of the joys in the hybrid is never having to use a public charger.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 09:38 AM
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In my opinion, home rates are usually cheaper than the rates charged by the public chargers. However, that depends a lot on where you live! In addition to local utility rates, state laws may regulate how public chargers work (free, charge by KwH, charge by time connected, etc.).

I am in Georgia and have time-of-use rates for my home electricity, which my utility provider says ranges from $0.02/KwH in the middle of the night to $0.20/KwH in the afternoon during the summer... that ranges from $0.27 to $2.72 to to charge 13.6KwH.

I can't make the round trip to work on a single charge, but the EVSE at work charges by the hour and it's $2/hr for the first two, then $20/hr afterwards because they want you to move your car and free it up... so it's at least $4.00 to fully charge there. I usually just drive home on gasoline since it's significantly cheaper (plus refilling the tank every 6-8 weeks means I never get the "fuel and oil refresh" mode that makes the PacHy drive on gas even if the battery is charged).
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AZBean View Post
I skip the public chargers unless they are free. The pay chargers generally cost more than the equivalent amount of gas would cost per mile.

Your results at home will be entirely dependent on your electric utility rates. Here in Phoenix I pay about 7 cents per kilowatt hour during off peak hours. That works out to about 93 cents for a full charge which is about a third the price of an equivalent amount of gas (currently about $2.60). I believe electric rates in California are much higher. Check if your utility offers time of use rates. They are often quite a bit cheaper during off peak hours.
Thanks. I did check.

Apparently my rates are $0.33c per KWH? WTF...I've just learned about the EV Rate through our electric provider. All household applainces + my Pachy are now on the $0.15c KWH. Thats better for sure but it does change my off peak/on peak so just need to train the wife then we should be all good.

Still, the pacifica is 16 kwh battery right? So $0.15c X 16 kWh = $2.40c for 33 miles. I do tend to get 35 miles from the pachy so far and a gallon a gas is nearer to $4 here so good savings I guess. although I did expect more.

Free public charging it the way to go then
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 04:25 PM
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Still, the pacifica is 16 kwh battery right? So $0.15c X 16 kWh = $2.40c for 33 miles. I do tend to get 35 miles from the pachy so far and a gallon a gas is nearer to $4 here so good savings I guess. although I did expect more.
Although the total battery capacity is 16 kWh, PHEVs typically use only 65-70% of that capacity. Avoiding full charge or discharge maximizes battery lifetime. So you're probably only putting 11 kWh into your battery. The charger isn't perfect, so consumption may be around 12 kWh or more.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Still, the pacifica is 16 kwh battery right? So $0.15c X 16 kWh = $2.40c for 33 miles. I do tend to get 35 miles from the pachy so far and a gallon a gas is nearer to $4 here so good savings I guess. although I did expect more.
Although the total battery capacity is 16 kWh, PHEVs typically use only 65-70% of that capacity. Avoiding full charge or discharge maximizes battery lifetime. So you're probably only putting 11 kWh into your battery. The charger isn't perfect, so consumption may be around 12 kWh or more.
Good to know. Great point.

How does one avoid a discharge though? I like that the PACHY doesn’t charge fully like you said but it does that automatically for us.

For discharge, when driving, I can I stop using the battery? I can’t right? It discharges to 0 every time I use car most days as I drive over 30 miles daily.

I guess I could only charge for trips around town where it won’t go to 0 by the time I’m home?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 08:09 AM
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It's not really discharging all the way when the battery says 0%... just like it isn't charging all the way when it says 100%. The 13.6 KwH that I used in my calculations was from some other early adopters who have installed a charger that tracks their usage.

And while you're using gasoline, it's regenerating some charge back to the battery every time you brake (like most other hybrids)... but it may use that stored energy to boost the gas engine, so it rarely shows as an increase in the battery's percent stored.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 08:45 AM
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I only use public chargers if its free or cost no more that a gallon of gas. In hybrid mode I get approximately 32 mpg and some places charges 99c per hour so that is still relatively cheaper than gas if I can get a full charge in two hours. However, I have yet to find a public charger that can fully charge the van in that two hour time frame which means gas normally comes out cheaper.

"For discharge, when driving, I can I stop using the battery? I can’t right? It discharges to 0 every time I use car most days as I drive over 30 miles daily. "

Yes, the battery depletes first and then the ICE engine kicks on. Even then though, with regenerative breaking, you get back some electric, not much but some. Personally, I almost always drive with the gear in low to maximize regenerative breaking, I seldom use the break. Doing that though can create problems for drivers to your rear that get too close, because low gear slows you down fast once you take your foot off the gas, and there is no warning break light for the car at your rear.

As for battery degradation, history will tell. The more you charge and discharge (Charge Cycles) the battery, the quicker the battery will degrade. I personally don't mind charging mine up all the time, however, I do understand that my battery will likely degrade sooner rather than later. With the built in buffers that stops the battery from being discharged completely and does not charge it to true 100%, I think I'll be mostly okay, I hope.
Thankfully its a hybrid, so no big deal either way.

Ian

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Today, 07:12 PM
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I got charged over $10 at Disneyland but then the parking location was much better at the charging station. Agree that free is the only sure way to not pay more than gas equivalent. At home I have 17 solar panels so like to think I am producing my own electricity for the pachy!
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