Electric car and amateurs in dissolution: what LA7 went wrong (52 hours for 700 km)

It is called Piazza Pulita, nomen omen due to the lack of training in approaching the most talked about news report on the topic of electric cars, probably made by disregarding the basic rule of this profession: to study and learn about the topic you are talking about . about.

This is how LA7 is broadcast with the story of a trip by electric car: a Renault Zoe, which many real customers use to move themselves over medium distances. Result? 52 hours to travel 710 kilometers.


Let’s try to see how long it would take, by bike and non-stop: 38 hours. Is it possible that none of the authors could have jumped at the thought that this comparison could already be a wake-up call?

Did we do anything wrong by approaching this journey? The question did not flash in the minds of those who followed the report.

DO NOT KNOW THE TECHNOLOGY

Renault Zoe is a car that recharges in direct current with the CCS Combo2 connector (here a guide that the authors should have read). Of course, it is not the fastest to charge in DC and as a city car must deduct the limit of the theoretical 50 kW as the maximum peak.

Regardless of the Zoe generation and the equipment we want to investigate, she has never been prevented from recharging at the 22 kW AC columns.


Apart from the obvious ignorance about recharging technology, the second issue that has not been the subject of a minimum of research is. charging applications… and here we need to open a separate chapter to answer those who are already sharpening the keyboard to type that:

THEY WANTED TO PUT IN THE COMMON USER’S SHOES

Yep, LA7 might have configured the service for demonstrate that an electric car culture does not yet exist todaythat we are still in an embryonic phase (which is partly quite true), and that there is some training both with those who sell the car and with the end customer.

It is a pity that this obstacle, the lack of knowledge about new technology, is very reminiscent of what the Internet pioneers had to face, those who did not have an ISDN network infrastructure available and who had to settle for sparse 56K. The same people who back then enjoyed the first upgrades to ADSL when the time was right and now have fiber.

Notwithstanding these considerations, the journey in LA7 led to this result due to started from the wrong premisesfrom the absence of minimal knowledge that everyone has access to and which are within the reach of a Google or YouTube search. If the pioneers of the Internet yesterday were to improvise and solve the problem by banging their heads, the pioneers of the electric car today have a very easy life finding information.

THE WORST CASE

We continue to try to be the devil’s advocates, without extremes of “electric fanboys” and let the data speak for itself. Zoe in the video is a model with a 52 kWh battery, if we trust what we saw in the video.

However, it may be possible to purchase or rent an older version without the CCS Combo 2 connector for fast charging. In any case one thing is for sure: it has a 22 kW charger standard that can reload much faster than what appears in the video.

However, let’s try to assume the worst situation: Below is the simulation without recharging in direct current and only by using alternating current through 22 kW three-phase columns (remember: the most common type in Italy).


We add one night in the middle, 10 hours of car stoppage without recharging: we are still far from the situation described in the video, where it seems that the authors have focused on the columns that are less fast, less accessible and less practical. use.

Given the step-by-step approach, perhaps deliberate, perhaps forced by the poor choice of columns, it is also obvious another mistake of LA7, that of do not make the slightest effort to take advantage of night charging. Even a very slow charge with the Schuko plug would have been enough to completely change the face of the trip, a plug that is not difficult to pick up from a hotel with parking space or from a landlord.

10 hours of charging at 1.8 kW means storage of 18 kWh (we neglect the spread): about 34% of the battery. At least 100 km autonomy. Without extra accessories and with the basic home charger that plugs into any household outlet

Charging in an accommodation is not obvious, but neither is difficult: On the occasion of a colleague’s wedding this summer, the house chosen for the Milan editorial staff was not booked with the intention of recharging an electric car. And I did not choose it personally. But once on the spot, the owner willingly went out of his way to find an outlet that I could use for a night to fill up.


The choice to stop in Mondragone is also curious. It could have been a must for business or personal needs, but looking at the map it is clear that it is a black hole for electric mobility, surrounded by cities that are much richer on pillars. Was it really necessary to stop there for the night?

I DISCONNECT THE MOBILE PHONE TO SAVE THE BATTERY

The second sign of naivety deals with the phrase that is clearly audible in the video and which gained some relevance during the editing phase:

so to save energy I take the phone out of the recharge

Let us now absurdly assume that it is the traction battery that provides the energy to recharge the mobile phone, not the 12 V service battery. A smartphone uses hundreds or thousands of kWh, insignificant orders of magnitude compared to those on the air conditioner on board, which, when it has to work a lot, absorbs 1 kW. This means that with a 52 kWh electric car you can stand still with the air conditioning on for at least 50 hours.

disconnecting the mobile phone on an electric car is equivalent to not recharging it on a petrol car, and thinking that by doing so we would spend less on the next filled tank

Scroll through the minutes LA7 servicethen we go deeper and deeper into what it seems to be the theater of the absurd: which electric motorist would dream of going on a long journey with a 65% charge with a Zoe? I understand those who have a car equipped with fast charging such as Tesla, IONIQ, e-Tron GT and so on, but it is impossible that those who have to face a journey of 700 kilometers, have not planned it at all, either not for vacations, or for work.

NO APP, NO PARTY?

This cat has more experience with electric cars than many who write and talk about electric cars … he has at least traveled on them

Electric drivers are today familiar with charging applications. The electric driver has at least two tools: the app from the most popular charging provider in his area, such as Enel X or BeCharge for daily charging, and another generic application such as Nextcharge or evway.

Unforeseen events can occur and the update is not always immediate, but the aforementioned apps always have an indication of the access times to the column, which indicates whether it is located in a private property and whether it is a station that is available 24/7 .

In support, the community has therefore completed these applications with photos and feedback, which represents an additional indication to provide a quick feedback on the situation in the column, which may highlight the issues. An example?


Apps like Nextcharge have agreements with the major charging providers, thus solving the “problem” of installing and configuring more dedicated applications, a practice that the electric user who is more aware of saving applies just like those who have a smartphone with two SIMs, made to save on data packets or calls over the years.

In addition, almost all electric car manufacturers now offer a card with a single account that solves the problem of the lack of connection on the mobile phone. On the one hand, it is true that the navigators in many cars are inaccurate with the columns and do not help the driver in the planning at all.

On the other hand, a minimum of studies is really enough to understand how to remedy this deficiency. And study was needed with each new technology: when the first computers came, when we switched from mobile phones to smartphones with apps, when we switched from cassette camcorders to digital media …

I DON’T KNOW HOW LONG I HAVE TO WAIT

With a tight and captivating montage, the protagonist of this epic journey adds another gem for the necklace that appears to have become a flagellant’s rosary. Let’s call Khaby Lame for help answering her:


The electric cars’ built-in computer shows, when charging has started correctly, an estimate of the waiting time on the display. It will not be accurate to the second because the columns may vary the power delivered for various reasons, but it may be a first reference that still provides a realistic estimate.

In the absence of indications, the calculation of the charging times is the result of a simple operation, for which it is sufficient to learn an equally simple formula.

TALK, SORRY PEOPLE …

We can look at the simulated travel plans in the pictures of this article and we can all agree what to do Rome-Reggio Calabria – with an electric car and the current state of the network – both longer than any thermobile. We would all be objective in saying that.

Can we drive Rome-Reggio Calabria in less time with another electric car? Yes, just get one made to travel. And I prove it with numbers that are so inevitable that they would make Thanos look like a beginner:


The above route, with a Model 3, is not quite the same as on Piazza Pulita, but it is perfectly comparable. Forgive me if I do not cut it precisely at 710 km: it gives the idea, and I have already wasted too much time refusing those who go on TV, with a large audience and less knowledgeable than online, without even doing that a minimum of effort.

Look at the numbers: 8 hours for a distance equivalent to Piazza Pulita, only on the highway and at an average speed that … forget it. I’m shutting this out of the blue. Let’s clean up and move on to criticize when necessary and condemn what’s wrong. And by not constructing an untenable thesis ad hoc.

The electric car today is not for everyone. True, even talking about electric cars today is not for everyone.

Leave a Comment