The Plug Problem

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A reader brought up a problem with EVs that I’d overlooked – that I think is at least as important as the location problem I recently wrote about.

It is the plug problem.

He pointed out that unlike gas pumps – which pump gas into any make/model car ever made, including models made (literally) 100 years ago – EV “pumps” (that is, plugs) are different.

They are specific to the make.

He explains:

“There are at least 3 main EV connectors right now and it’s a crap shoot if you can charge at any that aren’t built for your specific plug with an adapter. Tesla is the 800 lb. gorilla; then there are 3 other major types. CHAdeMO, CCS, and J1772. If this sounds absurdly confusing, that is because it is!”

In other words, Teslas have their kind of plug; other EVs have theirs. They are not all the same. Consider the implications of this lack of standardization.

If you have Model X – not necessarily Tesla’s Model X – and your wife has Model Y – not necessarily Tesla’s Model Y – you may not be able to use the same receptacle to charge them both.

It may be necessary to have one installed for each.

In my earlier column, I brought up the problem of a typical two-car household that replaces these with two EVs. This would require at least two “Level II” (240V) outlets to charge them both at the same time, in time enough to allow them to be useable every day – assuming the household isn’t going to be reduced to owning just one vehicle. Without those two “Level II” chargers, only one EV could be recharged at home in less than a day or two of being tethered to a standard (120V) household outlet.

But the problem here is that while many home electrical panels can handle one more 240V circuit (and the additional 30 amp breaker it would require) few can handle adding more than one more.

At least, not without a major upgrade of the existing service. One that might cost as much as another car.

This will serve to winnow down the two-car household to just one – because many people will decide it makes no sense to buy two EVs when they’re only able to realistically drive one every day. Especially given how much each costs.

The Plug Problem will add to this problem.

Or rather, this solution – to the problem of the multi-car household. How many people will want to pay twice – to have two different types of outlets for two different makes of EV?

Put another way, how many people will be able to pay twice – in order to be able to charge a second EV? How about being effectively forced to buy just one make of EV – e.g., Teslas – because their home is set up to charge only Teslas?

Of course, there are such people.

Just as there are “Ford” people – and “Chevy” people. But most people like having choices – and will not like it when they find out that their choices are being further winnowed by such problems as having to have the right kind of outlet in their home for the EV make they’ve just bought – that may not be compatible with other makes of EV.

This one top of the realization – when it dawns – that having more than one “Level II” 240V outlet may not be financially feasible, rendering the ownership of more than one electric vehicle unfeasible.

This is how they solve the problem – as they see it – of average people owning too many cars, which they define as each person owning his own car. What is wanted is for most people to not own a car – and one way to see that “transition” through is to render owning more than one car very costly and (effectively) useless for the purpose people buy cars.

That being to drive them.

Of what use is a vehicle that can only be driven every other day. Or every third day? The latter being how many days it can take to instill even 60 or so miles of range into an EV using a standard 120V household outlet. As the hillbilly in Deliverance quipped, why don’t you try it and see?

I have.

Multiple times, with more than half-a-dozen different-make EVs. It makes no no difference. All of them take days to recover a partial charge on 120V. And that is how long it will take to charge your second EV at home, if you don’t have a second “Level II” 240V outlet – which you probably won’t because you probably can’t.

If you can, it will need to be the right kind – for that EV. Which will tether you to that make of EV. You will probably not be able to use it to charge any other make.

And by the way, the same issue face you at those commercial “fast” chargers touted as the means by which you can partially charge an EV in only half an hour or so. So it is literally like a scenario in which only certain gas pumps work for the car you have – and one of those may not be near when you run low.

Such fun!

Actually, such malice.

If the people pushing EVs as the supposed replacements – plural – for the vehicles we have were not malicious, they would have seen to it that there was a single/universal way to charge them all – so as to make it easier to charge them all. They would have recognized that almost all private homes are not capable of charging more than one of them at a time – and recognized the threat that poses to the ability of people (as in plural) living in private homes to drive where they each need to go, on their own schedules.

They would not be insisting, on the one hand, that there is a crisis afoot – because there is too much carbon dioxide about – while on the other hand subsidizing EVs that are specifically designed to be high-performance and for exactly that reason cause more carbon dioxide to be generated (to produce the extra – the beyond-the-necessary – electricity electric vehicles burn through to deliver that performance).

All of these are known problems – and known fatuities. It begs the question – as it did during the “pandemic” – why then are they continuing to push that which they know is a problem, that is the embodiment of fatuity?

And the answer is: Because they do know. Because it is the solution to the problem – of each of us owning our own car and driving it as often as we like.

. . .

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  1. There is one receptor pictured here that accepts all types of plugs with a smile. Preferably after it’s been used elswhere.

  2. Over in China it is a prug in automobile.

    Brack Rack, also known as Black Jack in the US, cards, in a Chinaman’s word, cawds.

    Super chargers might cause your EV to end up super-charred.

    What could have been a very sad situation for a local business now has employees with smiling faces and happy hearts all for the reason by the quick action by my son.

    Makes me cry, could have been far worse, only by the Grace of God there go I, it is what it is. A peaceful feeling for sure.

    • Tesla’s NACS plug is more compact than the CCS1 plug it replaces, because its two big Line 1 and Line 2 pins can transmit either DC or AC current … unlike the kludged CCS plug, with its redundant AC and DC connectors.

      Of course, NACS requires some intelligence on both the charger and vehicle sides, to handshake on what kind and how much current is to be transmitted.

      My steampunk retro version of NACS will feature cables with resin-impregnated cloth insulation, a Bakelite plug body, and knob-and-tube wiring back to the transformer. When EeeVee-ers sadly get zapped, Reddy Kilowatt appears on the Clownscreen and cackles, ‘AH ha ha hahhh … THAT’S ALL, FOLKS!!

    • Better late than never! It only makes sense since Tesla has a -vastly- larger infrastructure than the others. Also good business sense for Tesla since they can now tack on fees for other cars in addition to the already exorbitant charging fees for using Superchargers.

      For anyone who is still dumb enough to buy the “you save money on gas” line about EVs, no, not really. At least not enough to matter unless you drive the car a REALLY long time. Level 2 charging at home is very cheap, but that is after the initial investment. But charging at superchargers is not all that cheap. Is it as expensive as gasoline, no? But it’s at least half that price and possibly more depending on location.

      20% to 80% at a supercharger is about a $12-15 affair from say 5% to 100% at a SC you are looking at more like $20. I did 93% of my charging in June on superchargers because I was on a cross country trip in the Tesla. I paid $300 for 828kWh of charge.

      This equates to about 2,484 miles total. Now you can easily do that math. If you had a car that got 25 MPG (very average) you’d have bought 99 gallons of fuel to travel that distance. Let’s use $4 a gallon. So it would have been $396 to travel that same distance. I paid $300. Whoopee! There is your big ‘gas savings’ that they constantly tout as being one of the main selling points for EVs. It’s all horsesh-t.

      IF you have the 30 amps and the 240V copper available, and IF you can install that in your garage, and IF you can afford the electrician, the L2 charger, and the install then yeah, you save some money. But IF you don’t meet all those variables and are reliant on superchargers you aren’t saving much. Doubly so now that I’m certain Tesla will be taking their ‘cut’ on top of their already fairly steep SC fees for 3rd party vehicles that use their charging network.

      • My solar inverter has the option of adding a car charger. The idea is that it can be set up to only charge when there’s enough sunshine. That sounds like free power, but anything that doesn’t go back to the grid or for normal use takes away from the solar payback. And of course in winter I don’t get much production, I probably won’t get enough to charge the car enough either.

      • Screw Tesla.

        Update the code to require a bog-standard 220V twist-lock plug you can buy anywhere.

        Maybe publish a DIY conversion guide too.

        No one gets any royalties. Everyone has to retrofit

        Throw sand in the gears.

        Problem solved.

  3. I think it’s just a matter of time before the National Electrical Code puts requirements where ev chargers/manufacturers have to use standardized NEMA plug/outlet configurations common in North America for charging stations to pass inspection.

    Ironically or not, the only artistic license most of these EVs have allowed for is their unique charging connection. Much like the cell phone subscription based model they intend to become.

  4. Now imagine if you have your L2 charging plug installed, use it for the life of the vehicle as intended. Now 5 years later you decide to get a new car, different manufacturer… and new charging port. You think you’re pissed that you have to buy new cables now that Apple switched from Lightning to USB-C on your snazzy new iPhone? How about calling out the electrician for a new charging point in the garage? My advice: If you were to have an L2 charger installed, just have a 220V dryer or 30A twist-lock outlet installed and make up your own plug going to the mains. Much easier to replace when the time comes.

    As far as fast charging networks… Even if the plug fits, there’s another issue of everyone using the “correct” pylon. See, some pylons will support very high current DC fast charging, some won’t. Becuase there’s a limit to how much power the charging station can pull from the utility they don’t make all the pylons equally able to supply current. There’s a label on the pylon stating max current and if you look at the pinout you’ll see the difference, but who’s going to do that? Most of the mid-range EVs can’t intake electricity at that current so even if the plug fits, they do a little handshake to figure out the max current. The high end EVs can pull as much current as the pylon can put out. So you check the app, and huzzah! You can crazy-fast charge your Taycan and be back on the road in 20 minutes! Except you pull up and find the hoi-poli charing his Leaf using the high current pylon (becuase the plug fits), when he should be using the “regular” one. Now, do you take a moment to educate the philistine, risking being called out as a capitalist douchebag? Or do you just accept that you’re going to be delayed for “a few” more minutes than planned?

    Modern problems.

  5. What cable….

    There is a lot of copper in that cable….the thieves chop them off and sell them…..30% of these chargers are defective…inop…broken…..and some have chopped off cables….then the one that works has the wrong plug….EV`s are fun….

    someone said people like cars because they cause them more grief then anything else…..with EV`s the government has turned that up to 11….lol….their purpose is to make people hate cars….then ban them all…

    cause them more grief then anything ….actually the fake….fraud…..government is number one

    • cause them more grief then anything ….actually the fake….fraud…..government is number one….

      time for a slave revolt…..

  6. From a Consumer Reports article posted below — photo of an EQE’s digital display:

    Dontcha just love that tawdry DIY, velcro’d to the dash look? Like you could just yank off that iPad-shaped Clownscreen and whack yourself over the head with it, for being such a gelded soy boy to pay six figures for this aesthetic atrocity?

    I was a butcher slicing up seats
    My hands were bloody from smashing EeeVees
    I was a surgeon ’til I start to shake
    I’ve gone Luddite; can’t put on the brakes

    — Rolling Stones, You Got Me Rocking

  7. With CDC Director Mandy Cohen having put out a PSA recently touting the “new and improved” COVID jabs, and spouting obvious bull crap about COVID, myocarditis, and the “vaccines”, it’s a wonder the Biden Thing’s Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, hasn’t made a similar PSA touting electric vehicles and spouting off bull crap about EVs & how they’ll “Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave the planet”.

    Other PSAs the regime could run include one touting consumption of bugs and frankenfood to “Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave the planet”, one touting any McFarms Bill Gates starts up as “Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaving the planet”, or perhaps even one touting ALL Americans living in an itty bitty apartment as “Sustaaaaaaaaaaaaaaainable for the planet”. I’m sure there are other sick PSAs the Biden regime could run to manipulate Americans.

    • The marxist…satanist control group are pushing the vegan diet…it makes the slaves weak and stupid…..they are banning beef and all protein replaced with ground up bugs….with that choice the slaves will all eat vegan….

      • Hi Anonymous,

        In Oregon, there are efforts to get something on the ballot next year called IP3, which would effectively force Oregonians to be vegans if passed as it would essentially ban raising animals for food. There are so many lies surrounding IP3.

        • Please. Oregon would just import meat, eggs, and dairy products from the neighboring “red” states like they do with coal-fired electricity now.

          @Eric – ask Bill Meyer to share the web site he sometimes references on the Wednesday calls, the one which tracks the origin of Oregon’s electricity supply in real time … if the site is still available.

      • The marxist…satanist control group are pushing the vegan diet…it makes the slaves weak and stupid…

        Unfortunately this policy….which will be jammed down everybody`s throat….comes from the new marxist one world government central government running everything now….the same one banning all ice cars and forcing EV`s on everybody……

        You will comply……a slave revolt is needed ASAP….

        • Its kind of like planting a tree- the best time to have that slave revolt was thirty years ago, the next best time to plant that tree is right now.

  8. ‘Tesla is the 800 lb. gorilla; then there are 3 other major types. CHAdeMO, CCS, and J1772.’ — eric

    ‘In order to qualify for a slice of the $7.5 billion earmarked for EV charging network expansion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Tesla will open up 7,500 chargers from its network to non-Tesla vehicles by the end of 2024. Of these, at least 3,500 will be 250-kilowatt (kW) Superchargers along highways; the rest will be slower Level 2 chargers located at businesses such as hotels and restaurants.

    ‘To enable non-Tesla EVs to use its chargers, the company has developed an adapter called the “Magic Dock,” which incorporates the popular Combined Charging System (CCS) charging standard into the existing Tesla plug. It will work with nearly all EVs but the Nissan Leaf, which uses a different plug standard.’ — Consumer Reports

    In the top image, the CCS1 plug applies to most EeeVees in North America, other than Teslas. (CHAdeMO is an Asian standard; CCS2 is a European standard for 240V AC).

    So, CR tried connecting a Lucid and an EQE to a Tesla charger. Ultimately they succeeded, despite stupid, head-smacking issues (involving parking spots, cord length and the vehicle’s plug location) which don’t apply to gas pumps. DUH!

    Then this freak showed up:

    ‘Scotty Olson, an EV enthusiast from New Jersey, drove more than 180 miles round trip with his wife to try out the Magic Dock in Brewster, New York, the closest to their home.’

    Busman’s holiday! One is disappointed that the Jersey jerk didn’t show up wearing a covid mask, a codpiece, and a furry tail plug (not to be confused with a CCS1 plug, mind you — saaaaaafety first!)

    • So you’ll have a bunch of adapters rolling around the trunk, under the seats, or in the glovebox. And that “Amazon’s choice” bargain will fry itself after 10 uses. Or it will get a nice green patina on the pins when it gets in the slush puddle on the floor mats, increasing resistance and heat. Then, when one melts down and shocks the driver, the NHTSA will ban adapters because they’re unsafe.

    • A covid mask, a codpiece, and a furry tail plug?

      Nah, not in Jersey, but I imagine he sported an Amiga Forever t-shirt.

      A Furry tail plug would be an Austin thing.

  9. Like most things the state puts its hand to, they made it worse. That way they can get credit for fixing what they made worse.

    • I think we are way past the point of them wanting credit for fixing anything. Government seems to have moved on to the here is our policy and you plebes can just deal with it phase!

  10. This plug issue reminds me of when the first star wars movie was released and either Mad or Cracked magazine painted a picture of what happened when young Luke needed to use the washroom in that alien bar scene, comically different looking plumbing fixtures on everything from the floor walls and ceiling as Luke looks around not knowing which one to use.

    Looking at all the different plugs out there and I’m not seeing much difference from what young Luke had to put up with. Looking on the Interweb I see adapters available for Ev’s and I’m wondering if any one has tried using one? As for me I’ll stick with ICE for as long as I can.

    • Yes, I have. CCS adapter to Telsa = doesn’t work. This is related to my car’s age apparently. There is some hard-coded stuff in the firmware on Teslas as they are basically giant iPhones you sit in which precludes 2020 and older Teslas from utilizing CCS adapters to charge. Not sure this will ever be fixable so if you have an older car, tough luck. J1772 adapter did work but as ReadyKillowatt pointed out, it is not as simple as “plug & play” yet. There is some ‘negotiating’ that goes on for how much current can be put through the system when the adapter is in play. My charge speed was reduced but at least it functioned.

      It is just absurd that you are releasing this supposedly ‘game changer’ technology and not a single person sat down and went, “Gee, maybe we should standardize the plug?” USB has been a thing for 20+ years in PCs now, EVs have been around for 10+ years too. That is plenty of time to have hammered this sh-t out but the truth is, they don’t really care. Its all virtue signaling by the scientifically illiterate midwits in charge.


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