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  • G. David Felt
    G. David Felt

    Reader Rides: Our EV Editor Buys a Kia EV9

      The impressions of my first EV, electric vehicle for the wife to replace an ICE or internal combustion engine auto.

    20191218_074529.jpg2008-SS-AWD-Trailblazer-drivers side.jpgBack in December 2023, my wife mentioned to me that she was getting a little tired after 15 years of the Voom Voom Voom of her SS. The sound of the Borla factory exhaust was not what she wanted to hear in a daily driver. I had originally bought this in 2008 for her when, after our kids had finished college, she wanted to fulfill her life dream of getting an advanced education. She started her college career driving our Escalade ESV to the University of Washington campus and finding that a full-size SUV was hard to park in the garages of compact parking spaces with minimal regular parking spaces.

    Let's put this all in perspective: the Escalade ESV has 345hp, 380 lb.-ft of torque with V8, 14 mpg average, a curb weight of 5,911lbs, 10 inches of ground clearance, 79.5 inches wide, 75 inches tall, 221.4 inches long and a wheelbase of 130 inches. A comfy, quiet auto that is just big but makes driving very comfortable. 0 to 60 mph of 6.2 seconds.

    I replaced it with a Trailblazer SS, Corvette-inspired powertrain that makes 390hp, 400 lb.-ft of torque with V8, 12 mpg average, curb weight of 4,496lbs, 7.8-inch ground clearance, 74.7 inches wide, 67.8 inches tall, 191.8 inches long and a wheelbase of 113 inches. An auto designed for performance with a Borla exhaust that lets folks know you are here. 0 to 60 of 5.9 seconds.

    20240426_141116.jpgKia EV9 Land AWD Long Range edition with relaxation package has 379hp, 516 lb.-ft of torque electric, 80 MPGe average, curb weight 5,886lbs, 7.8 inches of ground clearance, 77.9 inches wide, 70.1 inches tall, 197.1 inches long and a wheelbase of 122 inches. 0 to 60 of 4.4 seconds. The relaxation package adds heated and cooled seats to the second row along with calf leg support on both the first and second-row seats, allowing for lazy boy reclining comfort.

    20240427_115105.jpgThe differences of the EV over the SS are as follows: 11hp less, 116 lb.-ft of torque more, 1,400 lbs. heavier, 3.2 inches wider, 2.3 inches taller, 5.6 inches longer, wheelbase is 9 inches longer along with 1.5 seconds faster. The EV comes with the following driving modes: eco, normal, sport, snow, and custom. You can clearly tell that the suspension tightens up in Sport mode, much tighter than the SS ever was even though both had 20-inch rims with identical size tires. The longer wheelbase here allows the EV to have a very comfortable ride still while spirited in driving; back in Normal mode, it rides on par with my Escalade with a Magna ride.

    What does that give me? A more comfortable ride with a roomy interior with space for 6 adults compared to a tight fit of 5 adults. The relaxation package, which I did not realize it had till I was being taken over the auto after the deal closed, is nice as it goes from just having the heat and cooling of the front seats to the middle row of seats having heat and cooling plus all 4 captain chairs have the lazy-boy approach of cafe support that comes up, chair will straighten out and give you a very comfy sleep capable setup.

    20240429_091909.jpgThe wireless Android Auto is great. While the system has a high-encryption security system, when you get in based on your fob, you would have to punch in a pin to actually get the EV started. If you have Kia Connect on your smartphone and place it on the wireless charging pad, it will allow you to start the auto without having to enter your pin.

    20240429_091605.jpgI am pleasantly surprised by just how much bigger the interior is of the EV9 over Kia's Telluride, which is very nice for an ICE auto, as my son traded in his Jeep Grand Cherokee on one. They are pretty much the same width, length, height, and ground clearance, and yet the interior space is so much more on the EV9, especially behind the 3rd seat for storage.Yes, the EV9 has a Frunk, and while some might consider it not useful, it is bigger than many out there but not as big as a Mach e. It can hold 44lbs @ 1.8 cubic feet of space.

    I am looking at what Kia recommends the ChargePoint+ 80amp hardwired Level 2 charger for my garage. This gives a 10% to 80% charge in 3hrs and 45 min. I will be trying at the end of the week the 110 Volt charger that came with the EV9.

    20240429_091727.jpgWhile I still have plenty to learn about this EV, I will say that I love the lighting of the auto inside; the layout of the dash is great. Turn signals have a circle that pops up on the dash, showing you the side of your auto so you can make sure not to hit anything on the side. The 360-surround camera system is outstanding and clear, even in heavy rain, I have ended up leaving it set to have the rear-view mirror run in camera mode all the time as it is better than a traditional mirror.

    Ask any and all questions. I'll be happy to answer them.

    For all pictures, check out my garage entry - Members Garage: 2024 Kia EV9


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    So did my first high speed charging at the Electrify America charging station near my house. Was very easy to use with the account on my phone. Pretty much, I backed into the open spot, plugged in the charging cable and then tapped my phone to the NFS point and it did the handshake and started charging.

    20240502_212402.jpg20240502_212346.jpg20240502_213900.jpg

    Since this station is near a Target, I went and did our grocery shopping while it charged, got back with a few minutes left on charging and then disconnected and drove away. Easy Peasy.

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    18 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    Congrats!

    I can't wait to only hear the good things about this vehicle! Hahaha

    I promise to point out the bad as well.

    I actually have hit one thing that is bizarre, their printed owner's manual if very much behind their software update interface, as such there are features that has no instructions on using. I get that the printing happens early, but even Kia Connect, their online presence does not cover some of the stuff that has been updated with the latest OTA update we got this week.

    Another weird issue is that when you setup the Kia Connect software on your smartphone and invite the wife in this case, it links your two accounts and as such the setting 1 and setting 2 for seat positions, mirrors, environment settings, etc. get merged and you have to unlink your accounts to then have individual settings. Again, nowhere documented. 

    Kia Connect online community is a good thing as plenty of folks have posted in it to help each other out on how to do things since the existing documentation from the company is not there. I can see where this would be frustrating for a non-tech person to use the advanced features successfully. 

    The EV otherwise drives like any other auto and the wife already did her first trip to the south end to deal with her side of the family and was very happy at the efficiency of the EV in power used.

    OTA process is very slick and smooth. You can do it at the time it prompts you, do it when you go to turn off the auto, it will process in the background after you shut off the EV or schedule a time to have the OTA applied.

    Have to say the Dealership experience has surpassed anything I have experienced in the shopping process at any other auto company.

    I have a Leasing/Buying an EV in 2024 story coming documenting the experience of getting this EV.

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    On 5/3/2024 at 1:56 PM, G. David Felt said:

    So did my first high speed charging at the Electrify America charging station near my house. Was very easy to use with the account on my phone. Pretty much, I backed into the open spot, plugged in the charging cable and then tapped my phone to the NFS point and it did the handshake and started charging.

     

    Since this station is near a Target, I went and did our grocery shopping while it charged, got back with a few minutes left on charging and then disconnected and drove away. Easy Peasy.

    I thought this had plug-n-charge?

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    46 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I thought this had plug-n-charge?

    My EV9 came with a 110/240 plug in charger with 9ft cord. Wife was going to see a family member, so since we only have 110 in the garage right now, and you get 1000 kW hours of free charging with Electrify America, I ran over to do a fast charge.

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    1 minute ago, G. David Felt said:

    My EV9 came with a 110/240 plug in charger with 9ft cord. Wife was going to see a family member, so since we only have 110 in the garage right now, and you get 1000 kW hours of free charging with Electrify America, I ran over to do a fast charge.

    That’s not what I was asking. I think there’s a way to set up your EA profile, either through the car or on your app, that all you do is plug it in and go. You don’t even need to tap.

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    31 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    That’s not what I was asking. I think there’s a way to set up your EA profile, either through the car or on your app, that all you do is plug it in and go. You don’t even need to tap.

    Oh, very interesting, will have to look into that. I have been so busy with work, I got my wife setup and have not had much time to learn since she drives it 99% of the time.

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    That's an exciting purchase, EV is tempting to me, but I still think all these current Gen EV's are too expensive compared to ICE cars.  If they can cut weight and cost 15% then I think the flood gates open on EV sales.

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    On 5/7/2024 at 7:01 PM, smk4565 said:

    That's an exciting purchase, EV is tempting to me, but I still think all these current Gen EV's are too expensive compared to ICE cars.  If they can cut weight and cost 15% then I think the flood gates open on EV sales.

    Let me put it this way, The amount of money I saved with the interior having more room inside than my current Escalade and the silent comfort, It is a win to me with not having to deal with any of the ICE maintenance or gas trips. My leasing / buying story should help enlighten you on why leasing an EV is a good thing right now. I am also putting in a Level 2 charger at the house that will be another story on the research, cost, etc. So you can follow up on that story too.

    UPDATE: Realized a BIG BIG Benefit to having an EV on a Hot day, Seattle yesterday and this weekend is in the 80's. I live in a Split level home, meaning that the two car garage is under the upstairs bedrooms. I have a gas furnace in the garage so the garage is always warm, but with ICE you bring in the Hot Engine with the auto when you park so the Garage gets really HOT. With EV, no heat generation like an ICE and the Garage stays much cooler.

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    On 5/7/2024 at 10:13 AM, Drew Dowdell said:

    That’s not what I was asking. I think there’s a way to set up your EA profile, either through the car or on your app, that all you do is plug it in and go. You don’t even need to tap.

    So have looked all over the EV9 interface and have not found it there nor have I found it in the Kia Connect App or Electrify America App.

    UPDATE:

    Ugly, if you are wanting to top off the battery pack, it can take way longer than if you drive it to say 20% battery left. Example of this is that my wife was wanting to go down south last week and was going to run around for the whole day so I went to top off the battery as it was at 69%, this took 44 minutes of charging, lucky for me I was at the mall so got my steps in walking around. This compared to last, the wife had the EV9 at 18% battery, stopped by a Walmart where Electrify America has 350 kW chargers also and it only took 33 minutes to charge back to 100%.

    Lesson Learned is that it is faster to run the battery down low than to try and top off.

    Having had the EV9 now for 20 days, we have put on 1,000 miles and it is very clear, the EV9 is more comfy and has way more interior room for 6 passengers than our Escalade. Yes the Escalade has almost triple the storage behind the 3rd row of seats, but everything else is way better in the EV9 for comfort and space. Kia really packaged the interior well.

    20240514_154622.jpg

    UPDATE 2:

    Kia Connect has reached out to us to setup a day to answer any questions we may have and to help with features/functions we may have not figured out yet. 

    Weird issue, my wife's cell phone seems to keep getting unpaired with the system, not sure why.

    Seating is funky, I suspect you have to set Seat position 1 and 2 for each profile. I have not had a chance to test this yet as my wife is busy helping our son and daughter in-law with our new grandson. So by the time she gets home at night, we are both tired and just crash to get sleep. 

    Have my companies tradeshow in Vegas next week so will be away and will find out more from Kia the week after.

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    9 minutes ago, G. David Felt said:

    Ugly, if you are wanting to top off the battery pack, it can take way longer than if you drive it to say 20% battery left. Example of this is that my wife was wanting to go down south last week and was going to run around for the whole day so I went to top off the battery as it was at 69%, this took 44 minutes of charging, lucky for me I was at the mall so got my steps in walking around. This compared to last, the wife had the EV9 at 18% battery, stopped by a Walmart where Electrify America has 350 kW chargers also and it only took 33 minutes to charge back to 100%.

    This sounds like a difference in KWh in chargers more than what percentage you started at.  Plus, you also need to make sure you always use the NAV to tell the car you are heading to a charger. This preconditions the batteries so they will accept the charge faster.  You should always enter the charging station into the NAV even if you know the way there. 

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    34 minutes ago, G. David Felt said:

    Lesson Learned is that it is faster to run the battery down low than to try and top off.

    I thought this was pretty common knowledge amongst the EV community..? 

    This is why you'll read the 10-80% or 20-80% charge times, because beyond 80% they slow down a lot, regardless of brand. 

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    On 5/15/2024 at 8:49 AM, Drew Dowdell said:

    This sounds like a difference in KWh in chargers more than what percentage you started at.  Plus, you also need to make sure you always use the NAV to tell the car you are heading to a charger. This preconditions the batteries so they will accept the charge faster.  You should always enter the charging station into the NAV even if you know the way there. 

    Both chargers were 350 kWh and the battery system in both cases responded that no conditioning was needed as I was heading to the charger. So very interesting observation and will continue to watch the charging.

    23 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    I thought this was pretty common knowledge amongst the EV community..? 

    This is why you'll read the 10-80% or 20-80% charge times, because beyond 80% they slow down a lot, regardless of brand. 

    Yes, this is pretty common knowledge, but the difference is that depending on what the level of charge affects how it charges up.  Starting lower is faster overall than having the battery higher. I get that the last 20% will charge much slower but was surprised how slow charging was from 69% compared to 18% and how the last 20% finished. Will be interesting to see how it goes, and I will report back on the updates as I learn.

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    38 minutes ago, G. David Felt said:

    Both chargers were 350 kWh and the battery system in both cases responded that no conditioning was needed as I was heading to the charger. So very interesting observation and will continue to watch the charging.

    Yes this is pretty common knowledge, but the difference is that depending on what the level of charge affects how it charges up.  Starting lower is faster overall than having the batter higher. I get that the last 20% will charge much slower but was surprised how slow charging was from 69% compared to 18% and how the last 20% finished. Will be interesting to see how it goes and I will report back on the updates as I learn.

    You need to watch the charger from the app or when you're in the car to see the charge speed you're getting. And, it is odd that it would say "no conditioning needed". Even in 80 degree weather in Florida, the Tesla would condition the battery on the way to the supercharger. 

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    2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    You need to watch the charger from the app or when you're in the car to see the charge speed you're getting. And, it is odd that it would say "no conditioning needed". Even in 80 degree weather in Florida, the Tesla would condition the battery on the way to the supercharger. 

    Temps here have been in the mid 50's both times I charged. While the Charger did not show anything, if your sitting in the EV9 you can monitor it on the screen and it shows you in real time the charging speed as well as in the Kia Connect App and the Electrify America app.

    I did notice that the two apps were off by a couple kW but over all were close enough. Kia app was Identical to the EV9 screen monitoring the speed of charging.

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    23 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    This sounds like a difference in KWh in chargers more than what percentage you started at.  Plus, you also need to make sure you always use the NAV to tell the car you are heading to a charger. This preconditions the batteries so they will accept the charge faster.  You should always enter the charging station into the NAV even if you know the way there. 

    This is really good to know. 

    On 5/9/2024 at 7:05 PM, G. David Felt said:

    Let me put it this way, The amount of money I saved with the interior having more room inside than my current Escalade and the silent comfort, It is a win to me with not having to deal with any of the ICE maintenance or gas trips. My leasing / buying story should help enlighten you on why leasing an EV is a good thing right now. I am also putting in a Level 2 charger at the house that will be another story on the research, cost, etc. So you can follow up on that story too.

    UPDATE: Realized a BIG BIG Benefit to having an EV on a Hot day, Seattle yesterday and this weekend is in the 80's. I live in a Split level home, meaning that the two car garage is under the upstairs bedrooms. I have a gas furnace in the garage so the garage is always warm, but with ICE you bring in the Hot Engine with the auto when you park so the Garage gets really HOT. With EV, no heat generation like an ICE and the Garage stays much cooler.

    That's interesting. I use my garage as a workshop, it hasn't seen a car in fifteen years. 

     

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    On 5/9/2024 at 6:05 PM, G. David Felt said:

    The amount of money I saved with the interior having more room inside than my current Escalade and the silent comfort, It is a win to me with not having to deal with any of the ICE maintenance or gas trips.

    How much money did you save because of the interior size? I'm confused by that statement. 

    You're publicly charging right now. You're actually spending more time at a charger than you would with any ICE vehicle at a pump. Until you have a home charger, you're spending more time "filling up" than you were before. I'm sure your app or the infotainment screen(s) has charging details. Do you have the number of times it's been plugged in and how long each charge has been? 

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    6 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    How much money did you save because of the interior size? I'm confused by that statement. 

    You're publicly charging right now. You're actually spending more time at a charger than you would with any ICE vehicle at a pump. Until you have a home charger, you're spending more time "filling up" than you were before. I'm sure your app or the infotainment screen(s) has charging details. Do you have the number of times it's been plugged in and how long each charge has been? 

    So with the price we agreed on for the EV, IRA Rebate and my SS trade in, I dropped the amount that would go in for Leasing by $15,500 from the agreed upon price giving me a reasonable lease rate.

    Yes, charging takes longer when you out, but other than the one day that I went and got my walking in so did not go to the gym to work out or jump on the treadmill at home, the other few times I have chartged was all when I needed to do family shopping such as groceries, Amazon returns, new cloth shopping so the time spent charging was nothing as I got other things done I needed to get anyway.

    You cannot gas up an auto and shop at the same time. The change in habits is time saving over all as while the auto charges, I was doing other needed things, so I did not loose any time at the pump. 

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    14 hours ago, G. David Felt said:

    You cannot gas up an auto and shop at the same time. The change in habits is time saving over all as while the auto charges, I was doing other needed things, so I did not loose any time at the pump. 

    You just said you still had to wait a few minutes after you were done shopping. That few minutes is all it takes to go from E -> F in an internal combustion vehicle. Until you're charging at home, overnight, there is no real savings or convenience involved. Once your free trial period of public charging has expired, it costs about the same to charge publicly at those fast chargers. 

    At home charging is really the only way to save money and time with an EV, when it comes to fuel costs. 

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    5 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    You just said you still had to wait a few minutes after you were done shopping. That few minutes is all it takes to go from E -> F in an internal combustion vehicle. Until you're charging at home, overnight, there is no real savings or convenience involved. Once your free trial period of public charging has expired, it costs about the same to charge publicly at those fast chargers. 

    At home charging is really the only way to save money and time with an EV, when it comes to fuel costs. 

    FUD - Unless your driving a subcompact, 5 minute fueling is not true. Compacts to Midsize to Full size can take from 8 to 22 minutes to fuel. If the filters of the gas station are dirty, it can take longer. Yes I realize not everyone drives an Escalade ESV, but that is 22 minutes of standing and fueling at Costco, longer at other stations it seem to be.

    Yes, I spent a few minutes waiting, but over all I got all my shopping done, so a few minutes was no different than at a gas station.

    I charged this morning for the wife, was 52 degrees outside and the 350kW Electrify America charger did the 80% charge from 14% in 15 minutes and then I left to go get the grandkids and drop them off at school, so the 10 to 80% charge is fast as my Escalade.

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    2 hours ago, G. David Felt said:

    FUD - Unless your driving a subcompact, 5 minute fueling is not true. Compacts to Midsize to Full size can take from 8 to 22 minutes to fuel. If the filters of the gas station are dirty, it can take longer. Yes I realize not everyone drives an Escalade ESV, but that is 22 minutes of standing and fueling at Costco, longer at other stations it seem to be.

    Yes, I spent a few minutes waiting, but over all I got all my shopping done, so a few minutes was no different than at a gas station.

    I charged this morning for the wife, was 52 degrees outside and the 350kW Electrify America charger did the 80% charge from 14% in 15 minutes and then I left to go get the grandkids and drop them off at school, so the 10 to 80% charge is fast as my Escalade.

    I've literally timed myself AND posted it here at one time. I don't know if your PNW nozzles are the size of a drinking straw, but it never takes more than 5 minutes at a pump. 

    You have lost your mind if you think you'll convince any human that you've stood at a pump for TWENTY-TWO MINUTES just filling up an Escalade. There a 100% chance you're lying if you're saying it took you 22 minutes to fill-up an Escalade from E every time. 

    Damn. 14 minutes. That's a good 9-10 minutes longer than it would take to fill-up most anything with a gasoline engine. 

    @Drew Dowdell, your Avalanche probably has the same or very similar size gas tank of an Escalade, right? Do you stand there for 20 minutes or more regularly? 

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    3 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    I've literally timed myself AND posted it here at one time. I don't know if your PNW nozzles are the size of a drinking straw, but it never takes more than 5 minutes at a pump. 

    You have lost your mind if you think you'll convince any human that you've stood at a pump for TWENTY-TWO MINUTES just filling up an Escalade. There a 100% chance you're lying if you're saying it took you 22 minutes to fill-up an Escalade from E every time. 

    Damn. 14 minutes. That's a good 9-10 minutes longer than it would take to fill-up most anything with a gasoline engine. 

    @Drew Dowdell, your Avalanche probably has the same or very similar size gas tank of an Escalade, right? Do you stand there for 20 minutes or more regularly? 

    Yeah, it doesn’t pass the sniff test at all. No vehicle, not even a full size SUV, takes even 10 minutes to fill up much less 22. That doesn’t even qualify as making sense to believe it takes 22 minutes to fill up ANY vehicle that only has four tires on it. 

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    • Yeah, it doesn’t pass the sniff test at all. No vehicle, not even a full size SUV, takes even 10 minutes to fill up much less 22. That doesn’t even qualify as making sense to believe it takes 22 minutes to fill up ANY vehicle that only has four tires on it. 
    • I've literally timed myself AND posted it here at one time. I don't know if your PNW nozzles are the size of a drinking straw, but it never takes more than 5 minutes at a pump.  You have lost your mind if you think you'll convince any human that you've stood at a pump for TWENTY-TWO MINUTES just filling up an Escalade. There a 100% chance you're lying if you're saying it took you 22 minutes to fill-up an Escalade from E every time.  Damn. 14 minutes. That's a good 9-10 minutes longer than it would take to fill-up most anything with a gasoline engine.  @Drew Dowdell, your Avalanche probably has the same or very similar size gas tank of an Escalade, right? Do you stand there for 20 minutes or more regularly? 
    • FUD - Unless your driving a subcompact, 5 minute fueling is not true. Compacts to Midsize to Full size can take from 8 to 22 minutes to fuel. If the filters of the gas station are dirty, it can take longer. Yes I realize not everyone drives an Escalade ESV, but that is 22 minutes of standing and fueling at Costco, longer at other stations it seem to be. Yes, I spent a few minutes waiting, but over all I got all my shopping done, so a few minutes was no different than at a gas station. I charged this morning for the wife, was 52 degrees outside and the 350kW Electrify America charger did the 80% charge from 14% in 15 minutes and then I left to go get the grandkids and drop them off at school, so the 10 to 80% charge is fast as my Escalade.
    • You just said you still had to wait a few minutes after you were done shopping. That few minutes is all it takes to go from E -> F in an internal combustion vehicle. Until you're charging at home, overnight, there is no real savings or convenience involved. Once your free trial period of public charging has expired, it costs about the same to charge publicly at those fast chargers.  At home charging is really the only way to save money and time with an EV, when it comes to fuel costs. 
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