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ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/17/22 7:46 p.m.
cdowd (Forum Supporter) said:

We need some details on the 124.  Did you trade it or is it for sale?

I traded it in to the dealer. Suburban Ford of Ferndale (Michigan). I refuse to look for it on their website because I don't want to know what they are asking for it (edit: of course upon reading that sentence, Mrs. ShawneeCreek had to look. Their price is reasonable.). My build thread for the car is here on the GRM forum if you want to look through it. But the overview is:

  • 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso
  • 1.4L Turbo four cylinder engine
  • 58,000 miles
  • 6-speed manual transmission
  • Bronze Titanium paint
  • All the luxury options (heated seats, navigation, Bose sound system, etc.)
  • A few custom touches (see build thread)
  • Does not include the aftermarket wheels or exhaust. I removed them from the car before trading it in. I plan to sell them separately soon to help cover the cost difference between the Fiat and the VW.

- Sean

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/17/22 7:50 p.m.

My mom has a 2018 Sportwagen. I was driving it today and realized it's a really good size. I like the Golf package. 

acheron64
acheron64 New Reader
10/17/22 8:52 p.m.

So you wouldnt enjoy fuel @ $9.20 AUD a gallon... with my daily 140km commute...

Patrick
Patrick GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/17/22 9:09 p.m.

So I looked at the fiat and tbh it's listed reasonably? Not sure how much you got in trade but looks fair for current market 

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
11/7/22 2:28 p.m.

Alright, it's been a bit. Life got busy. The drive home from Toledo consisted of three stops at ChargePoint DC fast chargers, plus a short stop at the level 2 chargers at work. A little math to compare the trip with the e-Golf to what it would have been with the Fiat. Sorry, EV owners, like mid-90's Honda owners love fuel efficiency math. And I've now been both.

With the Fiat it would have been a 3 hour trip (2 hours 35 minutes of driving with 25 minutes into bathroom stops). The trip with the e-Golf took 4 hours (the same 2 hours 35 minutes of driving, but with 3 required charging stops of 19 minutes, 21 minutes, and 24 minutes and the 15 minute stop at work). Not bad for something with such a short range. At 162 miles and 35 mpg the Fiat would have used 4.6 gallons of gas, for a total of $25.46. The e-Golf used 35.7 kWh of energy from the DC fast chargers at a cost of $12.90, or almost exactly half the cost of the Fiat! Nice. I don't think it's quite worth the time trade off, but this is meant to be a local car, not a long distance one.

​​​​

So, how is the e-Golf working out? Great! I'm averaging 4.1 miles/kWh. I can do all my charging through the week for free, at work. And I've now got a ChargePoint Home Flex level 2 charger installed in the garage at home for the weekends. The window tint is going to have to go. I can't see to back into my driveway without rolling down the window. And the replacement fuel door mechanism is on its way to me.

- Sean

mfennell
mfennell HalfDork
11/7/22 5:12 p.m.

I loved my '15 e-golf SEL.  IIRC, my 3 year lease was $9100 all-in.  Buyout was about 12k.  I had every intention of buying it but someone ran a red light and tagged it less than a week before end of term.  The repair was good but not perfect.  I knew I could never unsee the slight tint change so I turned it in.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/24/22 10:07 a.m.

I'm now two months and more than 2,000 miles into my ownership of this e-Golf. Things are going well. I continue to learn more about EV ownership. And I've made a few upgrades and repairs to the car.

Last month I spent all of $15 on electricity at home to charge the car. The majority of my charging is still done at work. I still plug in at home though, mostly to take advantage of the scheduled interior preconditioning in the mornings. It is really nice to climb into a 72 degree car on a 30 degree morning. It costs all of 15 cents each morning I use it. Unfortunately, I can't get the same function to work properly at work for my drive home. I think after an extended time plugged in but not accepting charge, the Clipper Creek chargers at work turn themselves off. Then the e-Golf doesn't think it's plugged in anymore and won't warm up the car. No worries though. The heated seats are quick acting and keep me warm.

Driving range continues to be a point of consideration, but isn't as anxiety inducing as when I first bought the car. I'm growing more comfortable with the accuracy of the car's range estimation, the distances I normally drive, and the locations of public chargers in my area. Once I even saw the car with an estimated range of 93 miles at full charge, well over it's rated range.

Having said that, I have recently discovered just how much the range and driving efficiency are effected by temperature. That 93 miles of range was at 68 degrees. At 53 degrees the range drops to 84 miles. At 30 degrees exterior temperature I get 52 miles of range. And with this recent winter storm and temperatures around 14 degrees Fahrenheit I'm getting only 45 miles of range at 1-2 miles/kWh. It is still enough to get me round trip to work with some safety margin, but I'm probably going to do some charging at home to be safe. According to the owner's manual, the car will refuse to turn on if the temperature is before -15 degrees Fahrenheit. Thankfully this only happens once or twice a year where I live.

Several new EV specific discoveries with the snow storm and low temperatures. The car charges much slower in the cold. I stopped at the Electrify America DC fast charger in town to get a little more range against the cold. The car was only charging at 10-11 kW, well less than the 44 kW maximum DC charge rate. What was going to be a 5-10 minute charging stop took 30 minutes. I'm sure this is less of an issue in newer EVs that will warm the batteries ahead of time to prepare for charging. Also, the EV charging parking spots had not been plowed free of snow, forcing me to avoid one spot that was drifted in enough that I might have gotten stuck.

The electrically heated windshield and exterior mirrors work well and have come in handy. I have unfortunately discovered that the rear window defroster doesn't work at all. I'm hoping that it's just a burned out fuse or something unplugged, not something more serious like damage to the grid on the window. I'll figure it out. I just haven't had time to troubleshoot that yet. 

Let's see, upgrades and repairs... I removed the window tinting from the side and rear windows. I had to disassemble the doors and remove the glass. Then I could take it inside and use the steamer to release the film and adhesive. It took most of an afternoon at a relaxed pace.

100% worth the effort. Driving at night went from sketchy blind spots everywhere to normal. And I can now back into my driveway in the dark without lowering the windows. Driving during the daytime the interior went from cool and cave-like to bright and airy. It doesn't look as car show cool on the outside, but functions so much better.

I noticed the heads of the lug bolts looking rusty. Some searching revealed that I was missing all of the black plastic covers that finish them off. I got them purchased and installed. It's a small thing, but helped improve the look and function.

While doing this I noticed I was missing 3 of 4 valve stem caps. I got one of my stocking stuffers early, a set of VW branded valve stem caps. A normal set would have worked fine, but the subtle branding makes me smile. 

I added a GRM sticker (before the window tint was removed). It fits nicely.

Thanks for following along.

- Sean

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/24/22 11:49 a.m.

Thanks for the update! You're definitely exploring the lower end of this car's temperature range - IIRC, they were built/sold for California, not Michigan :) The slow charging is almost definitely due to a cold battery - a Tesla will pre-heat the battery fairly aggressively to prep for a high speed charging session.

I'm interested in those gauges. Big dial for battery state of charge and - charging speed? Little dial underneath for level of acceleration? I can't figure out the small gauge under the speedo.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/24/22 3:29 p.m.

Big dial on the left is power/regeneration usage in 10% increments. It functions kind of like a tachometer, but different. More like the output of how the car is interpreting the accelerator pedal sensor.

The little dial on the lower left is maximum available power. It drops from maximum when the car switches to Eco Mode at 18 miles of range remaining, then gradually decreases as battery charge continues to decrease. At 10 miles of range remaining (around 20% state of charge) it had limited me to 80-90% of maximum power. I haven't let it get any lower than that yet.

Big dial on the right is the speedometer.

Little dial on the lower right is the battery state of charge. Major increments are eighths, so the battery is just under half full in the picture below.

Range is permanently displayed in the bottom right of the screen. It can also be pulled up as the major item on screen. I usually leave that as Average Consumption, Since Charge.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/24/22 7:44 p.m.

Ah, thanks. The "available max power " one is interesting. 

GTwannaB
GTwannaB GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/24/22 9:19 p.m.

If it weren't for Covid and Carvana jacking up used car prices I would be driving an eGolf. Any suspension/tire upgrades on the way?

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/25/22 8:01 a.m.

No plans for suspension upgrades. And the most that I'm going to do with wheels and tires is buy a second set for summer and then put winter tires on the current wheels. Maybe something in the 17" range from another VW. But that can wait until the current tires wear out in a year or two. They are Michelin CrossClimates, which are a winter-biased all season tire. I think Tire Rack calls them "All Weather" tires. They should be good enough.

- Sean

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
12/25/22 8:26 a.m.

This thread is giving me real bad ideas... I love everything about my Mk.7 Golf GTI Project Car except the fact it will eventually leave me stranded. perhaps I should swap the suspension over to one of these when I'm done with the project. laugh

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/25/22 10:19 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Ooh, that is a bad idea. I like it. Should you actually do it, I recommend saving for a later model with the increased range. Fifty percent more range from the same size battery pack. They made a battery chemistry change to make it happen.

I've had my own bad idea every time I see a coworker's Mk.7 Golf Sportswagen. I want to pick up one of them and swap the e-Golf drivetrain over. Extra luggage space. Minimal increase in weight. Same frontal area. It should mean only a small decrease in range.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/25/22 11:57 a.m.

I'm in for seeing that :)

mfennell
mfennell HalfDork
12/27/22 7:28 p.m.

It looks like you're charging to 100%.  I'd give some thought to charging to 90%, at least when the weather is warmer.  The battery will last longer.

Erich
Erich UberDork
12/27/22 7:59 p.m.

The one thing that kept me from considering the eGolf was that they were never sold in Michigan, and at the time I doubted any VW dealer would touch them. I wonder if that's changed now with the ID.4 being sold locally now - have you chatted with the service folks at the local dealer at all? Obviously you hope it never needs electric powertrain work but in the event it does...

I didn't know they bumped the battery up mid-cycle! Looks like 2017 got a 35 kW battery, good for about 120 miles. The BMW i3 had a similar bump in 2017, and another bump to ~150 miles in 2019. 

Great color and thanks for sharing your story!

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/28/22 12:59 p.m.
mfennell said:

It looks like you're charging to 100%.  I'd give some thought to charging to 90%, at least when the weather is warmer.  The battery will last longer.

I'd like to charge to just 90%, but there isn't a really easy way to do it. VW didn't leave me a "maximum charge point" setting for general charging. The only way I can do it is set a departure time, where I can set a target state of charge. It would just mean having to change that departure time every time I need it.

....or I could set the overall minimum state of charge to 90%. But that would mean charging at home or having to change that set point every time. I'll have to look into this a bit. 

While the e-Golf works well as a normal car, it does lack a lot of the features and customization possibilities that the newer EVs have. For instance, it doesn't tell me charging rate. It only estimates when the car will reach full charge. And there used to be an app from VW that could communicate with the car and set things up, kind of like OnStar. But much liked GM and OnStar, VW built these cars with 3G network modems... right before the cell phone companies shut down the 3G wireless networks. .. facepalm..

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/28/22 1:03 p.m.

In reply to Erich :

I did think of this and talked to my local VW/Audi/Mazda dealer. They have sold several etrons, have a couple level 2 chargers out front, and said that they can handle any maintenance work needed on the high voltage electronics in my car. I expect parts would be special order, but I should be good to go.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/28/22 1:14 p.m.
mfennell said:

It looks like you're charging to 100%.  I'd give some thought to charging to 90%, at least when the weather is warmer.  The battery will last longer.

I think this is one area the various EV manufacturers treat differently. Some - like Tesla - allow you to charge to 100% of the battery's capacity when you request it. They recommend you use a lower max charging level for daily use, somewhere between 80-90%.

Others will leave some margin in there, so "100%" is really less than that. Good for long term battery health because the owner can't override the recommendation of the engineers, but it does limit the maximum possible range a little. It also means the car appears to charge faster, as that last 20% goes in much slower. If the car is really only charging to 80% of the actual capacity (but reporting it as 100%), it will reach "full" with a higher charge rate. You can really see it on the Tesla, the rate slows waaaaay down as you get over 80%.

I don't know how the VW is set up.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/28/22 1:54 p.m.

Let's take a detour through electric present for a post or two.

I started my current job about 4 years ago and was completely dedicated to one project: helping my boss design, test, develop, redevelop, retest, and launch the rear axle disconnects for the Rivian R1T and R1S. It was incredibly intense, fast-paced, and frustrating at times. I saw everything from early prototypes with other OEM bodies on them in the prototype shop to the early production trucks moving down the assembly line at the old Diamond Star Motors plant in Normal, Illinois. But in all that time I never got to go for a ride in one, let alone drive it.

That all changed last month. My boss had moved to a new role in business development and managed to rent a R1T Launch Edition for a couple of weeks to show off our technology to other potential customers. That went well enough, but what to do with the truck on the weekends? It would be a shame to just leave it parked at work on the level 2 charger. devil My boss took it home for the first weekend and he said that I could have it the second weekend. Oh, and there was not a mileage limit on the rental.

I immediately started making plans. I wanted to take my family and a couple of my friends for rides and show them around the truck. But my family is in Toledo, Ohio and east of Indianapolis, Indiana, and my friends in Mount Vernon, Ohio, while I live near Bay City in east central Michigan. This was going to be a lot of driving, and charging. I convinced my family to meet me in Dayton, Ohio at an Electrify America station 300 miles away from home. This saved us several hours of driving and avoided the charging desert near their home. Then we could drive over to Mount Vernon for my friends and back to Toledo for the other side of the family before driving home. Based on research with apps from A Better Route Planner, ChargePoint, and Electrify America it could be done in a reasonable time across Saturday and Sunday. Best of all, Mrs. ShawneeCreek was game to be navigator for this adventure.

So, first impressions when I got the key? It's a really nice truck. I'm used to my used 4-cylinder compact and mid size cars and station wagons that cost less than $30k new and are lucky to have 160 hp. Or well used V8 pickups used on the farm. Of course the $85k, 850 hp truck is going to be nicer. I like that the center screen is in the landscape orientation, instead of portrait like Tesla and Ford. Personally, I really like the look of the truck, but I've had years to get used to it and see it in person. It manages to look distinct, modern, and like an electric vehicle without the look-at-me weirdness of something like a BMW i8. I was not a fan of the launch edition green though. It just said glossy olive drab to my eyes. The size being larger than a Ranger but smaller than an F150 felt just right to me.

Ok. Let's split this up a bit.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/28/22 2:04 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
mfennell said:

It looks like you're charging to 100%.  I'd give some thought to charging to 90%, at least when the weather is warmer.  The battery will last longer.

I think this is one area the various EV manufacturers treat differently. Some - like Tesla - allow you to charge to 100% of the battery's capacity when you request it. They recommend you use a lower max charging level for daily use, somewhere between 80-90%.

Others will leave some margin in there, so "100%" is really less than that. Good for long term battery health because the owner can't override the recommendation of the engineers, but it does limit the maximum possible range a little. It also means the car appears to charge faster, as that last 20% goes in much slower. If the car is really only charging to 80% of the actual capacity (but reporting it as 100%), it will reach "full" with a higher charge rate. You can really see it on the Tesla, the rate slows waaaaay down as you get over 80%.

I don't know how the VW is set up.

I'm pretty sure the VW is set up in the "the engineer is smarter than the owner" configuration. What I have seen online that the battery capacity is 24 kWh, but the usable capacity is only 20 kWh, aka about 80%. Also, there is no mention in owners manual about not regularly charging to full capacity. The only mention of not fully charging is if you start at the top of a mountain. Here's a nice review somebody did of a used e-Golf of the same year as mine: Inside EVs link. Looks like ~6% degradation over 6 years and 30k miles.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/28/22 3:09 p.m.

Back to the Rivian. The main first impression I got: holy cow can this thing accelerate quickly!surprise Zero to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds is absurd. Doing so in a 7,000 pound crew cab pickup with three coworkers riding along is even more absurd. But most absurd of all is how drama free the experience is. There is no down shifting. There is no clutch dump. No squealing tires. No turbo lag. No gear shifting. No screaming engine noises. The most you get is a little electric motor whine. Just smash that accelerator pedal to the floor and hold on. You get thrown into the seat back, the weight of the truck transfers to the back end, and the R1T just accelerates. Very similar to the launch portion of the Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster at Cedar Point and so much more fun!

I got the truck home after work and immediately plugged it in and set it for 100% state of charge, which was going to take most of the night. Yeah, I suppose it's going to take longer to charge a 135 kWh battery than the 24 kWh battery in my car. Interestingly, the truck was comparably sized to my 1976 Chevy single cab, long bed parked next to it. Unfortunately, the wheelbase are drastically different, so my dreams of swapping a R1T drivetrain skateboard under the camper truck died on the vine. sad

I woke up the next morning to a fully charged truck and we began our journey to Dayton, Ohio, 298 miles away. This was going to require one charge stop, despite having 310 miles of range. This was mostly due to the cold weather (mid 30s), high winds, and traveling at highway speeds. But it gave me lots of time to get comfortable with the truck and try out the bells and whistles. Some random thoughts:

  • Every review of the R1T mentions the lack of physical buttons and switches. The only ones in the truck are for the windows, two stalks behind the steering wheel, and two scroll wheels and switches on the steering wheel. I agree with the reviews that it is really annoying to need the touchscreen to adjust the position of the mirrors, steering wheel, and even the HVAC vents! But in the long run, you rarely ever need to adjust any of these. The truck remembers the right position based on the key you use and off you go.
  • Adaptive cruise control doesn't feel lower stress than normal cruise control. It just feels like a different kind of stress. By the end I got better at working with the adaptive cruise control instead of against it.
  • Rivian's "Highway Assist" is their bundling of adaptive cruise with lane keeping. It only works on interstates and interstate-like highways. On clear days and nights with a well maked road it works well. Nice, relaxed adjustments to lane position. Steers through corners. And will even slow down if the corner is tight enough. However, it cannot handle gusty side winds. Real example: the wind comes along and blows the truck left. Truck steers right to get back to the middle of the lane. Good. Meanwhile the wind suddenly disappears due to us driving past a stand of trees, so now the truck suddenly veers right to the side of the road. Bad. It catches itself and steers back to center. Good. The truck then throws a warning message on the dash along the lines of "Highway Assist unavailable in current conditions. Retake control of the vehicle now." Even better. I agree with you truck.
  • The interior is very nice and is comfortable for long drives. The glass roof looks nice, but I can't see it from the front seat while driving. I'd much rather have a normal metal roof.
  • As we neared our destination the truck wanted us to detour to a GMC dealer to charge for a few minutes. I'm not sure the correctness of stopping at a competing dealer to charge my Rivian (or my VW) and tend to avoid it. I slowed down by 5 mph and we made it to the Electrify America chargers with range to spare.
  • Interestingly, since I put the chargers as the destination into the truck's navigation it notified me that it was "preparing the battery pack for fast charging". We plugged in to a 350 kW DC fast charger and took my dad's car to lunch while it charged.

We got back and I showed my dad around the truck. Then took a couple of blasts between interstate exits to play with the acceleration. "Accelerates like nothing I've ever driven" according to my dad. We said our goodbyes and started the 2 hour drive to Mount Vernon. Random R1T picture to end the long, text heavy post.

Yes, you can turn off the Rivian logo puddle lamps and the green "I'm busy charging" lights front and rear. But come on, they are fun.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/28/22 3:32 p.m.

Cool!

About the battery preconditioning - that's warming the battery so it can take a big slug of power in a hurry. Otherwise it has to do it while plugged in, which extends charging time.

My theory on the glass roofs is that it's less "expensive" (energy wise) to cool a sun-warmed interior than warm one. But I know there are pop-in screens available on the aftermarket for Teslas (we use them) and I expect this also the case for Rivians.

Rear axle disconnects - you mean the connectors for the HV power to the axle?

onemanarmy
onemanarmy Reader
12/28/22 3:36 p.m.

Folllowing....

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