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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed today that the Subaru Solterra has now been added to the vehicle list in the A Better Route Planner app. Its reference consumption is shown as 2.99 mi/kWh, which is considerably better than the 2.83 mi/kWh shown for the AWD bZ4X. Makes a big difference in trip times and charging times.
 

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Tried a few trips with default settings and it seems like it's just taking that 100 kW rated charge speed on faith. That seems overly optimistic given what we know about the bZ4X. I don't think ABRP can be considered anywhere near accurate yet. Looking forward to some real world test results some day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tried a few trips with default settings and it seems like it's just taking that 100 kW rated charge speed on faith. That seems overly optimistic given what we know about the bZ4X. I don't think ABRP can be considered anywhere near accurate yet. Looking forward to some real world test results some day.
It's about efficiency, not charging speed (per se). I haven't seen a proper range test from a reliable source yet on the bZ4X or Solterra from which highway efficiency can be determined.
 

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It's about efficiency, not charging speed (per se). I haven't seen a proper range test from a reliable source yet on the bZ4X or Solterra from which highway efficiency can be determined.
For accurate estimates you would need both. Efficiency for "can you get there" / "how many charging stops", charging speed for "how long will the trip take". I've been trying to defend the bZ4X / Solterra in forums where people are dismissing it entirely due to the slow DCFC, and it would be nice to have some accurate comparisons with its competitors. Not that it really matters anyway I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For accurate estimates you would need both. Efficiency for "can you get there" / "how many charging stops", charging speed for "how long will the trip take". I've been trying to defend the bZ4X / Solterra in forums where people are dismissing it entirely due to the slow DCFC, and it would be nice to have some accurate comparisons with its competitors. Not that it really matters anyway I guess.
Charging speed only matters in terms of miles added/min, not kWh added/min. To know that, you need to know the efficiency (mi/kWh). Anyway, I suspect once highway efficiency is determined (from a credible source), the Solterra will be considered a decent road tripper for those who properly charger-hop.
 

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In either case, the model must reflect the charging rate (as it varies based on SOC level) to get anywhere near a reasonable estimate of the time to be spent charging. From a driver (and passenger) point of view, for anything other than overnight or lengthy meal or other breaks at/near the charger, the time wasted at the charger makes a difference to them, especially as the length of time increases.

Remember that nearly all drivers (and passengers) are starting with a model of re-fueling which is petroleum based and quite efficient in terms of additional range added, per unit of time spent re-fueling, and petroleum products are added at a near constant rate, which is definitely not the case with the charge curve we've seen for bZ4X so far (especially the US AWD model which pretty much going to be identical for the Solterra).

Overnight home L2 chargers probably won't care, but I guarantee you everyone else does.

But it's best thought of as miles added per minute, as @StevenH said, or as miles added in the time period you had to waste at the DCFC, since it's not a constant rate.

Recharge at lowest reasonable SOC and stop as soon as you have the desired number of miles of range added to make it to the next charger, plus any additional reserves which might be needed to make it to a further down the route charger and to allow for variances between expected and actual range depletion on the segment. Otherwise you (and your passengers) will be wasting time at chargers, instead of enjoying the trip (or the destination).

Separately, I was reading a couple of pages from AAA about what charging/towing services they provide for BEV. Worth knowing before you are stuck on the side of the road somewhere.

It's a brave, new world.
 

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Very well stated!

It occurs to me that, at some point, we will begin to see more typical convenience store/gas station combinations start to install charging stations on the perimeter of their property. Having a captive audience for 30-60 minutes while they’re charging their vehicle should help in-store food/beverage sales considerably. And, these places are already well-situated in prime transportation corridors…

I suspect we might have already seen some of that if it weren’t for the federal infrastructure incentive package in the works… no one wants to pay the full ride on a charging point installation, only to find out if they had waited a few months or a little longer, the federal government would be picking up the tab and paying the lion’s share for charge point installations.
 

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Charging speed only matters in terms of miles added/min, not kWh added/min. To know that, you need to know the efficiency (mi/kWh). Anyway, I suspect once highway efficiency is determined (from a credible source), the Solterra will be considered a decent road tripper for those who properly charger-hop.
I hope so. Efficiency won’t matter if the range sucks and charging speed is worse. Give me range and charging speed as I’m not worried about the cost to fill-er-up. Never once calculated the mpg in any of my vehicles and not about to start because it’s electric.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I hope so. Efficiency won’t matter if the range sucks and charging speed is worse. Give me range and charging speed as I’m not worried about the cost to fill-er-up. Never once calculated the mpg in any of my vehicles and not about to start because it’s electric.
The efficiency is what gives you the range per minute of charge. Charging speed in terms of kWh added is really meaningless, since the point is to add miles. I haven't seen any range test or charging test on the Solterra. I'm not assuming it's the same as the bZ4X in those regards until proven. Also, I haven't seen (or read about) a range test on the bZ4X I can trust. I suspect ABRP had a reason to indicate significantly higher highway efficiency for the Solterra than the bZ4X.
 

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Checked Solterra AWD and 10 % - 80 % was shown on one charger as +-45 minutes which I think doesn't exactly match any battery. Am I right?
CATL should be 10 % - 80 % "in under an hour"
Panasonic in about 30 minutes.
 

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Checked Solterra AWD and 10 % - 80 % was shown on one charger as +-45 minutes which I think doesn't exactly match any battery. Am I right?
CATL should be 10 % - 80 % "in under an hour"
Panasonic in about 30 minutes.
Yeah we need real world tests. For another data point, this is from the Canada dealer training, supposedly from 0%.

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Checked Solterra AWD and 10 % - 80 % was shown on one charger as +-45 minutes which I think doesn't exactly match any battery. Am I right?
CATL should be 10 % - 80 % "in under an hour"
Panasonic in about 30 minutes.
45 minutes isn't inconsistent with Panasonic's "30 minutes" if there was any kind of throttling (hot battery pack, shared DC chargers...). It's but one more data point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
45 minutes isn't inconsistent with Panasonic's "30 minutes" if there was any kind of throttling (hot battery pack, shared DC chargers...). It's but one more data point.
Correct. But, doing a sample road trip with ABRP, and picking out a leg in Missouri, it's saying the Solterra charges 6-76% in 38 minutes. And that takes you 1 h 57 min (125 miles) before you're down to 7% SOC. If I have a couple of hours (125+ miles) range on 38 minutes charge, that's not bad. Of course, elevation changes, temperature and wind speed would affect it. And a real world test needs to be done.
 

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Correct. But, doing a sample road trip with ABRP, and picking out a leg in Missouri, it's saying the Solterra charges 6-76% in 38 minutes. And that takes you 1 h 57 min (125 miles) before you're down to 7% SOC. If I have a couple of hours (125+ miles) range on 38 minutes charge, that's not bad. Of course, elevation changes, temperature and wind speed would affect it. And a real world test needs to be done.
I'd like to volunteer.... but it's obviously going to be "a while".

I've found ABRP to be pretty reliable with my 2019 i3S. Sometimes I beat its predictions, sometimes not. The greatest deviation is usually the actual charging rate (which varies with factors ABRP can't/doesn't take into account), not the car's actual efficiency. So, if trips take longer than expected it's usually because the charging speed was lower (than expected), not because the car was less efficient (than expected). In fact, sometimes greater efficiency at least partially offsets lower charging speed.

With the Solterra, that could be a problem, with its wonky charging rate curve, because you'd be arriving at a DCFC with a higher than expected SOC meaning the charging rate would be lower than hoped for, so even though you'd need fewer kWh you'd be getting them slower. With the i3 it's pretty moot because it maxes out at 50kW (and holds that rate up into the high 80s/low 90s).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'd like to volunteer.... but it's obviously going to be "a while".

I've found ABRP to be pretty reliable with my 2019 i3S. Sometimes I beat its predictions, sometimes not. The greatest deviation is usually the actual charging rate (which varies with factors ABRP can't/doesn't take into account), not the car's actual efficiency. So, if trips take longer than expected it's usually because the charging speed was lower (than expected), not because the car was less efficient (than expected). In fact, sometimes greater efficiency at least partially offsets lower charging speed.

With the Solterra, that could be a problem, with its wonky charging rate curve, because you'd be arriving at a DCFC with a higher than expected SOC meaning the charging rate would be lower than hoped for, so even though you'd need fewer kWh you'd be getting them slower. With the i3 it's pretty moot because it maxes out at 50kW (and holds that rate up into the high 80s/low 90s).
Higher efficiency effectively increases the charging speed on a miles added per minute basis, which is really all that matters. The charging curve, assuming it's the same as the bZ4X, is not a bad shape. Just lower than I'd like. I plan to set my charger arrival SOC to 5% to begin the charge at the low end of the sweet spot of the charging curve. There's also the chance that the Solterra charging curve could be different than the bZ4X via software tuning.
 
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