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Re: EVgo DC chargers were horrible up until the beginning of 2018. They're still not perfect, but improvement is being m

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2021 6:39 pm
by BoltEV
SparkE wrote:I am not for revisionist history. It is what it was.

So let's review "what it was" so that new readers of this thread can get the correct history:

EVGo was born out a settlement of a 10-years long lawsuit between the NRG energy company and the State of California. Newly elected Governor Jerry Brown's administration resolved the outstanding lawsuit with a requirement that NRG spend about $110 million on California DCFC fast chargers within the state of California.

Irrespective of some "commentators" personal opinions, a settlement resolves none of the underlying issues of the lawsuit, but just provides the financial settlement. So it is conjecture to "punish" EVGo for the purported "sins" of NRG!

The State of the Art of EV driving at the time of this settlement, were EVs with a range of 80-100 miles per charge. The only exception to this were the Tesla's which had their own proprietary SuperCharging system.

EVGo made agreements with Nissan and BMW to favor low capacity vehicles in this range: The chargers would stop charging after 30 minutes, requiring a manual restart.

While this was a PITA for Bolt EV starting in January of 2017, GM elected to NOT make any deals and for years let the marketplace decide where to build fast chargers, while EVGo grew and grew (at least in Southern California, where my primary use was centered and my driving up the coast to Santa Cruz).

The fact of the matter was that if one joined EVGo's monthly subscription plan, their rates were highly competitive and let us not forget that fast charging at a high price is better than no fast charging availability at all!

Further, a method of remote manual restart of the EVGo's 30 minute limit posted on this very forum, opened up the ability to use EVGo and still go get a meal and use the bathroom!

Now maybe in Northern California, your experience was different, but as an early Bolt EV adopter, I was happy to subscribe to EVGo's monthly plan and take advantage of their growing network.

They were nothing close to "horrible" up to 2018, but in actuality the lifeblood of many Bolt EV drivers ability to take long drives from here in Southern California then AND now!

I even used them to drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back in days when the ONLY DCFC on that route was the EVGos in the Mall of Victorville!

Surprisingly you have no bone to pick about Electrify America and its birth from the VW diesel scandal and its current high prices?!?

And BTW: which ones ARE perfect?!?

Re: EVgo DC chargers were horrible up until the beginning of 2018. They're still not perfect, but improvement is being m

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2021 6:12 pm
by SparkE
EVgo was a subsidiary of NRG (cute name, 'energy'). They started as a subsidiary of a very large power (electric) company that was accused of market manipulations, price fixing and gauging during the ~2000 Calif energy scandal. They were going to be sued by the state, but they came to an out-of-court agreement that instead of paying fines, they would set up EV charging stations throughout the state.

I didn't like this because :
it gave them a dominant position in the EV charging market, basically for free (i.e., instead of paying a fine)
they missed every single deadline on how many stations would be installed by certain dates
they never actually met the conditions (under former ownership)

I have the same issue for point #1 with the EA agreement ("dieselgate"). What I would have done (and this holds true for EVgo as well), because I am a reasonably competent and intelligent person and not a stupid effing politician, is to have made both companies pay fines into a 'pot' of funds, and then use that to finance a "request for bids" from all existing charging network companies, those with working DCFC chargers and proven technologies. Set 'floating' zones every 35-55 miles apart on travel corridors and ask for bids. The more units installed (min 2, but up to 6) the higher % 'match' from the fund to set up the site. Also set up large sites (6-10) near major freeway intersections in metro areas (L.A. , SF Bay area, Fresno, San Diego, Sacramento, etc.) and in areas with a density of apartment complexes. This would have avoided the total f-up the first year of EA installs (broken materiel from new vendors, having to swap out cables, credit card readers not working, having to reboot units before they would work, didn't charge certain vehicles, etc.). BTW, somebody intelligent finally figured this out because the 2016 CEC grants to install DCFCs along travel corridors worked in a similar manner to what I always thought should have been done.

Now, I do realize that EA has made non-Tesla travel across the U.S. feasible - even easy. That is a good thing. And that fact has caused an explosion of new installs by other charging providers, to compete. Also a good thing. And EA wasn't that late with setting up sites (the main delay i believe was due to power companies not installing transformers or hooking up sites for up to 6 months after the DCFC install was complete). However, VW (well EA) now has a dominant position in the charging market, and they set up their stations to cater to their plans for their EVs coming out (800V , 350 kW charging). AND there are rumors that they are trying to get an investment partner to buy out a portion of their company - basically making money off what should have been a fine in the first place.

Back to EVgo. I don't have much of a problem anymore with EVgo ; they have been sold TWICE, so it is no longer the power company as owner. However the whole "making money off what should have been a fine in the first place" is true, since NRG sold the company - and never made good on their time or unit promises before selling.

Re: EVgo DC chargers were horrible up until the beginning of 2018. They're still not perfect, but improvement is being m

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:14 pm
by BoltEV
You write a wonderful short story, but it is primarily fiction.

First a review of the history of the California electricity market back when this dispute occurred:

A company named ENRON, later to have a spectacular bankruptcy, was found to have intentionally manipulated the California energy market for their ill-gotten gain.

But before these facts were known, California was suffering from "rolling blackouts" and in an attempt to stabilize the situation, then Governor Grey Davis had his administration purchase long-term electricity contracts from several established electricity providers at the then high cost established by the then unknown manipulation, and then resell this fixed price electricity to the California electricity utilities, such as PG&E and Southern California Edison.

This step indeed stabilized the marketplace ending the chaos.

When the manipulation was discovered and the marketplace dropped back in price, the State of California was faced with long-term contracts that required California to continue their purchase of higher priced electricity, only to have to resell it at a loss.

California wanted to end this practice and approached all of the companies with whom they had contracted.

All of these companies replied in effect: "Hey; we are not responsible for the manipulation. You made an arms length contract to purchase electricity at this price for the long term and California should be held to these contracts."

California settled with EVERY company to end these contracts except one, NRG, who decided to litigate the issue, as is their right.

This litigation was ongoing for 10 years when Jerry Brown became Governor.

So for 10 years California had been in effect "overpaying" for electricity only to resell it at a loss, while incurring the additional costs of litigation.

Brown determined to settle and NRG agreed to the settlement that would require NRG to build out EVGo for about $110 million which was a win-win for the future of California.

Now, anybody can claim just about anything in a lawsuit and their ability to do so is privileged; so California claimed everything including the kitchen sink in its lawsuit against NRG. In the settlement nothing was ever "admitted" so we have no idea what, if anything, NRG did that was wrong, other than agreeing to Governor Davis' request to provide high cost electricity for a long-term.

"Fines" have nothing to do with this situation; this is NOT a criminal action! It was civil: California requested the court to break the contract and perhaps award it damages.

Even if it could have prevailed at trial, the "damages" awarded to California would only serve to reduce the loss that California suffered by buying high cost electricity and selling it at a loss. The State of California would have had no obligation to use these received "damages" to build out an EV charging infrastructure.

There is no "fine" from which to structure anything, let along your dream of how EVGo should have been funded and administered!

The original name of this thread was "Do not use EVgo fast chargers. No, seriously. Just don't" as originated by the OP.

The complaint, as I posted before, was primarily due to the 30 minute limitation on each charging event and higher prices. Of course 30 minutes for a long range Bolt EV was very problematic, but remember in context to 2017, the Bolt EV was the first long-range non-Tesla EV on the market selling to the broad public.

YOU even suggested in the 3rd post that purchasing a subscription would lessen the cost, saying:
"Now, I really dislike EVgo for many reasons (the first post outlines one of them) - but if you know that you are most likely going to be using one of their DCFCs about once a week for about 30 mins each time, then you should just sign up."

Yet, 11 hours later, something caused you to change your position to:

"No apologies necessary, IMO. EVgo *are* fuckers - total, complete fuckers."

So it is clear that you cannot be objective about EVGo’s history.

Yet, YOU, as Moderator, later changed this thread's title to the present name: "EVgo DC chargers were horrible up until the beginning of 2018..."

The fact of the matter is that many people found EVGo charging stations acceptable and in some cases the only ones available!

So, yes, this thread was a continuing debate and then NRG sold EVGo and the rest, as they say, was history!

But every time someone triggers a new post on this thread we have to read your biased new title that up until 2018 EVGo was horrible. That may be YOUR opinion and perhaps one or two others after they read your factually incorrect history of NRG. But it is just not accurate to continue to say that EVGo was horrible up to 2018 time and time again.

I would prefer to let sleeping dogs lay, but every time I read a new post in this thread, it reminds me that the modified title is NOT a proper representation of the history of EVGo and to those who posted in this thread.

Re: EVgo DC chargers were horrible up until the beginning of 2018. They're still not perfect, but improvement is being m

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:10 pm
by SparkE
BoltEV wrote:Yet, YOU, as Moderator, later changed this thread's title to the present name: "EVgo DC chargers were horrible up until the beginning of 2018..."

Actually, no. OP changed the subject/title of the first post on the thread. When I noticed that, all I did was change the title on the (then) most recent posts to reflect the OP's new title (as "Replies" copy the title/subject from the post to which one is responding, and not the title/subject of the first post on the thread).

I simply tried to make sure that the OP's wishes on the new thread title would carry forward.

Re: EVgo aren't so bad anymore. In fact they are now one of the least expensive

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:12 pm
by SparkE
And you can change the title of any of YOUR posts anytime you wish.

Example : this post.

Re: EVgo aren't so bad anymore. In fact they are now one of the least expensive

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:42 pm
by SparkE
I just looked at the map of EVgo fast charging installations in the Western US.

Bizarrely, there are zero in OR and almost none in NV or AZ. 12 or so in Las Vegas, 5 or so around Reno -Carson city, just 8 in Phoenix, 2 in Tucson, and 1 about halfway between those two cities. Nothing east of Palm Desert until you reach Phoenix.

One would think that they would like to extend their network to hook up AZ and NV to the rather large number of DCFCs in California. so that people in AZ and NV would use EVgo when travelling to CA in EVs. I guess if they aren't forced to do it, they aren't interested.

It isn't complicated. A 3 or 4 unit install near New Hope, and a 3 or 4 unit site near Blythe (both on I-10) would be all it would take.

Re: EVgo aren't so bad anymore. In fact they are now one of the least expensive

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:58 pm
by SparkE
ChargePoint aren't much better along that route. A little, as you can get to Blythe (a dual unit install east of Palm Desert and a dual unit site in Blythe) but you can't get from Blythe to Phoenix just on ChargePoint. They also should install a 3-4 unit site near New Hope. (Or maybe near the junction of I-10 and US-60, so one could get to Prescott.)

But at least with CP you can get to LV and then to St George UT (not far from Zion Natl Park) and then up to Fillmore (i-15) or Richfield (I-70).

But their network in Oregon sucks, mostly (there are a few 50+ kW DCFCs, but for travel they are mostly the old crappy 24 kW units).

Better to use EA.

Once you hit Portland and then WA, the situation improves drastically. (True of EVgo network as well).

Re: EVgo isn't so bad anymore. In fact they are now one of the least expensive

Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:47 pm
by BoltEV
Holiday Greetings from EVGo!


Like you, EVgo is committed to sustainability. That’s why, in 2019, we became the first EV charging network to commit to being powered by 100% renewable energy.

All of us here at EVgo are grateful that you choose to charge on our network. So far this year, EVgo drivers have consumed more than 18 million kilowatt-hours—all powered by renewable energy —making the air cleaner for our friends and family across the country.

Together, we’re making a difference that will impact generations to come. Thank you for driving electric.

With gratitude,

Your Fast Charging Friends at EVgo
11/25/21, 10:36 AM

Re: EVgo isn't so bad anymore. In fact they are now one of the least expensive

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 8:39 pm
by BoltEV