Clarification about EV Charging and Electrify America

Discussion in 'General' started by David Green, Jun 10, 2018.

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  1. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    It is interesting how many "EV" people on this and other forums never take the time to really dig into the details or plans for Charging and Growth of the infrastructure for EV adoption. As many here know I am buying an I-Pace and wonder how I will charge it and what the real range will be, etc.. I think all EV buyers have these same thoughts. Of course we plan to charge our I-Pace at home in the garage, for all local driving. The real dilemma is when we head out on the highway what do we do?

    So I have been following this pretty close, and even scouting out current charging locations we can use. What I found is there are quite a few EV charging stations currently, but its a mixed bag as to the quality and speed of the chargers. There are some good ones in convenient locations, and some are not worth stopping for. What about the Future, both long and short term? Long term I think CCS is going to be the way to go, as all the major manufacturers are going that way, but what about now?

    About 4 months ago I heard about Electrify America, and like most I briefly looked at their illustrations, and noticed the words by 2027 at the bottom and immediately stopped reading. My car is coming in October 2018, so a network in 2027 is no help. So I called Electrify America to ask some questions about their deployment, and offered to help them in WA state, since I own an excavating, and infrastructure company here. I told them I would do the work for cost, just to speed it up.

    Wow, I got escalated right up the chain in one phone call. What I found out is the long term plan is 2027, but in the short term, they are moving on many locations including in WA state, some are already awaiting permits. I was amazed how far along they are already, and was pointed back to their website. For phase 1 here is their schedule description taken directly from the website. The way I understand this they will have a real network completed in 1 year... Wow... Of course there is more to the plan then Phase 1, but a viable option within a year of today is awesome. Talking to Electrify America, it looks like phase 1 in WA state will be complete before the end of this year, with some of the more remote locations taking slightly longer.

    • Highway sites will be located along high-traffic corridors between metropolitan areas, including two cross-country routes, and will include between four and ten 150kW and 350kW individual DC fast chargers at each location before June 2019.
    • These sites will be located no more than ~120 miles apart and on average just 70 miles apart. Many shorter range EVs will benefit from 50kW DC fast charging on the Electrify America highway network, including any CHAdeMO equipped vehicles.
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  3. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    I got a better and more detailed map.... Electrify America Detailed.png
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  4. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's naive of me, but I really hope Electrify America "primes the pump" for a movement towards a true nationwide network of standardized EV chargers, a network with EV chargers placed at regularly spaced in between cities, where they are really needed for supporting long-distance travel.

    Tesla's Supercharger network is great for Tesla owners, but doesn't help those driving other BEVs one bit. We really need universal plug-in EV chargers that can be used by all plug-in EVs, and they need to be for-profit chargers so that the company which installs them will have an incentive to maintain them. (And also, they need to be for-profit to discourage "free charging" freeloaders who are too cheap to charge at home or at work!)

    The current situation, with three competing charging formats, CCS vs. CHAdeMO vs Tesla, is IMHO one of the things holding back the EV revolution. :(

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  5. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Thats exactly right, This map just shows the Electrify America phase 1 plan, that has to be completed by June 2019 per VW agreement with the USA government. Then the next phase will start, Electrify America, when complete, will be much more comprehensive in the USA then the Tesla Supercharger Network. VW will gain from this when they bring their EV's to market, there will be an established network, so VW will not have to deal with the charging pushback that Jaguar is likely to get. Phase 1 is 484 charging locations, with up to 4000 chargers.

    Long term CCS is the way to go, and Tesla's will end up on their own Island (Betamax)... Tesla is not CCS compatible even with adapters. Automakers need to get the word out that buying a Tesla, limits a persons long term ability to use the network, and being stuck with Tesla's supercharger network in 3 years will be a negative, and less convenient then CCS. Several other companies are also full speed ahead with CCS chargers... Its going to get very interesting in the not too distant future.
  6. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    Here is the WSDOT information.

    According to Tonia Buell of the Washington state DOT they are suppose to have one site up and running by the end of spring.

    What I don't get is why so many sites in the TriCity area.
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  8. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    This system is really meant to help long distance highway travelers, and will do so... Tri-Cities is a great place for me to charge, because we have a cabin in Cle Elum, and often we go to Walla Walla for wine tasting, and Tri Cities is a good charge point.

    It is really amazing, in less then a year, owning a Tesla in WA state, will be the worst way to get around charging wise, because on all these new locations which vastly outnumber Superchargers in WA state, Tesla's can charge, but only at 50Kw... Slow... Audi E-Tron, and Jaguar I-Pace will blow past those slow charging Tesla's. CCS is the wave of the future!
  9. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    Well the DC chargers are suppose to have CHAdeMo and CCS hookups. It's my understanding that a Tesla owner can buy an adapter for CHAdeMo charging.

    Tesla also has multiple destination chargers located at many hotels like the one at the local Best Western.

    "Tri Cities is a good charge point."

    For one charger, yes, but not more then one while there are none in Bellingham or Mt. Vernon.

    You might want to join me in contacting your local state representatives and see about an EV vanity plate and a voluntarily donation solicitation box in the vehicle registration notice to go for funding DC charging stations and grants for L-2 hookups at employer locations.
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  10. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Yes, you are correct the stations have CHAdeMo, however they are limited to 50Kw charging rate, which sucks with a 100KWH battery.

    Yes, many hotels are adding EV chargers in general, Wineries too. But these are level 2 for guests, no help for someone passing through.

    I am already working on the politics side locally (I am a developer/contractor, involved with city/county government every day), and have contacted Electrify America to open a line of communication. I agree.. We need a big fast charger in Bellingham for sure... Brings Vancouver BC into safe range for us. Electrify America Phase 2 should catch that, so we may be looking at 2 to 3 years. What I want to see, and will push for is one primary network (Electrify America) that charges enough for their service that they make a profit, and keep up on expansion and maintenance of their network. If they are underfunded, like so many are now, the service level is not good. We need to make the charging network a viable business so that others will join in, and we see real growth. I am happy to pay a premium when I need to charge outside, but primarily charge at home. What any of these networks have to do is discourage they guy that bought a used leaf and is loitering at the stations plugging up the charging slots on a daily basis. Thats not what the stations are for. Tesla even cuts off users that Supercharge too often.

    Are you in Washington? Are there groups here to join, that are organized to push these things?
  11. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that info! I learned something today. (And I'm surprised I hadn't run across that bit of info already, given my deep interest in Tesla and its cars.) Discussion at the Tesla Motors Club forum on that subject here.

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  13. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Yes. Discussion at the TMC forum says that it's easier to make a Tesla adapter for CHAdeMO, and Tesla now offers one as optional equipment. CCS is less compatible, so making an adapter would be more complex and more expensive. According to the discussion, there may also be licensing problems, which I find odd since Tesla has joined the European CCS consortium.

    But Tesla actually has two charging protocols; one for the U.S. and one for Europe. (Well actually, China has its own protocol, so it's really three for Tesla cars. :( ) So my guess is that Tesla's European charging protocol is more compatible with CCS than the U.S. Tesla charging protocol.

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  14. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    This is my point, as CCS expands which will be fast, Tesla's Supercharger advantage kind of disappears, and becomes more of a business disadvantage for Tesla as most of their regular users currently are non paid users. I guess Model 3, customers can generate some revenue, but not near enough to maintain, and expand the system. All this charging comes online about the same time frame of Tesla running out of tax credits in the USA... Tesla is right to focus in China, as the USA without tax credits, and without a charging system advantage is going to be an uphill battle.
  15. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Yes, I've been saying the same for years. At some point in the future, when there is a good nationwide* network of for-profit DCFC stations operating, Tesla's Supercharger network is going to become a legacy system which will be a drain on Tesla's income, rather than being a very cost-effective sales promotion, as it is now.

    But I don't think that will happen for some years. Electrify America is a good start, but unless it is actually spun off as a truly independent company, then it's going to fold its tent and steal away into the night just as soon as the funding from VW's fine runs out. The website for EA claims it's an independent organization, not controlled by VW, but I'm rather skeptical of that claim.

    *Nationwide in the mainland USA, and continent-wide in Europe.

    I'd be interested in seeing a fact-based analysis of that question. As it is, it looks like just another case of you expressing your oddly extreme anti-Tesla bias coupled with what appears to be an extreme personal jealousy of Elon Musk.

  16. Cypress

    Cypress Active Member

    Need some along the coast on the Olympic Peninsula, and placed also so people with EVs can get to our beautiful parks. Like Rainer and Mt Baker. All the State Parks should have at least L2 charging.
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  17. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think I saw Highway 101 on the Electrify America phase 2 plan, they have an upcoming online forum to discuss phase 2, I will check in, and ask, I know the Highway 2 corridor is part of Phase 2. In a 200 mile BEV, Mt Rainer is already reachable by 70% of Washington's population, round trip from home. Phase 2 is due to be completed in 2021, or again Electrify America gets fined. With all of my understanding that is when the non Tesla charging network will truly exceed the Tesla network. I just hope that Electrify America prices the charging at a profitable level, so it becomes a viable business, and can continue to grow, and maintain high quality after VW spends their required 2B. This may seem bad for users if the electricity is 2 or 3 times home charging prices, but in the long run, making charging networks a viable business will help everyone. Tesla is already charging Model 3 customers 2X local electricity rates, I think Electrify America should go slightly higher on the price... The CCS network of charging is not to live on, but for opening long trip abilities to BEV. If we have people who charge an old leaf or volt there all the time, people who need the charger for real travel are going to be waiting and not get the level of service they need to make a BEV trip efficient.
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  18. Cypress

    Cypress Active Member

    Haven’t seen maps or details yet on phase 2. I signed up for a webinar they are having in a couple weeks.
  19. Cypress

    Cypress Active Member

    I’m not entirely convinced focusing effort and money on supporting the occasional road trip is the best use of funds. People that don’t have access to Home/work charging seems like it would be a better focus initially.
  20. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Awesome, same for me... on the webinar If you and Marshal are in WA state we should combine forces to push on the state...

    I do disagree though on the charging, if people do not have a private way to get level 2 charging on a daily basis, they do not belong in an EV yet... The charging infrastructure is nowhere near robust enough for that daily type usage, and that was my point for the CCS (fast charging ) network is to price those users out, so fast charging is for people who really need it, on a road trip, as least with phase 1 and 2 of the infrastructure plan... As the network fills in then it opens up more for daily users, but we are a decade or more from that time. Tesla has done the same thing, cutting off what I call leaches on the network that plug up the charging stations for people that really need it. Elon has mentioned multiple times to Tesla customers that the supercharger network is for people to be able to travel, not for daily users. Tesla also does destination chargers which are level 2 and can help the daily EV user, but this is phase 4 or later in the charging plan. Tesla had the right idea putting all of the 1st phase Supercharger rollout in remote locations and inconvenient for leaches. My wording might sound harsh to some, but to get people to replace ICE cars with BEV's on a large scale, they have to know that when they want to make that 200-500 mile trip it is convenient, and the local apartment building full of daily charge network users aren't plugging up the network access. My hope is that electrify america sets their CCS charger price high enough (especially in remote locations) that the daily chargers cannot afford to use it, that way economics solve it before it is a big problem for people making the decision whether to buy or not on an EV's.

    Its the same, I will not go to a gas station that has a line (other then Costco, if I am going shopping), and if all gas stations had lines, where it was inconvenient, I would store my own fuel at home. We already do that on our job sites. We have a fueling and service truck come every night and top everything up, and do any servicing, so there is no lost time during the day.
  21. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    I understand your point on VW and Electrify America, but dig into it deeper, and you will see this is not a flash in the pan, and run away. I expect VW will be one of the top sellers of EV's in the USA by 2023, and having a legitimate charging network actually benefits them when they are introducing their BEV cars. You see Electrify America is a good deal for them because they would have paid the 2B in fines anyway, but instead are building an infrastructure that will benefit them in the long run, and they are doing it with "house money" so to speak. This is totally making lemonade out of lemons long term for VW. I have talked with people in charge, and they really are motivated to build the Shell of USA fast charging...

    As for your second comment, you really should give up! I am not a fan of Elon Musk because I believe he is a blow hard... Way more talk then action! And I do not like the quality of Tesla cars... I am very consistent on that. If I wanted to buy a Tesla, its mere pocket change, but I just don't like them. If I was given an X P100D I would sell it, and give the money to charity. If I could have my dream position to run a company ... hmmm maybe Boeing, but many of the top execs that run BCA are already close friends of our family (they are all smarter then me). For the record I operate my business just the opposite of Tesla, we never miss our schedules, or go over budget. My business is A+ on the BBB, 5 stars on Yelp, Facebook, and every other place you can get rated. In over 20 years of business, I have never been sued, never had a serious injury, and never paid a bill late in my life. Its all about management and leadership... Poorly managed companies always struggle, no matter what their project.
  22. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Okay, but I'm not sure throwing money at that is the best solution. For the average new car buyer, the approx. $500-$1500 cost of installing a L2 EVSE at home isn't going to be much of a barrier. Subsidizing that might make sense for those on a limited budget, those people who buy only used cars because they can't afford new ones, but there aren't a lot of used EVs on the market yet, so again I question the value of throwing money at that, yet. Maybe circa 2023 it will make more sense, when units of some of the new models of EVs which will appear in 2020 start coming off a 3-year lease.

    But there's a much more fundamental need for a cultural shift towards support for slow charging of EVs. Right now, even most EV supporters can't imagine a time in which it will be expected that L2 charge points will be installed beside every place that people park overnight or long-term. We expect that paved roads will be put in, every new housing development that's built. We expect that the city or county will maintain those roads. We expect the city to maintain streets in residential areas, and to support parking on the street in residential areas where most people don't have garages and driveways.

    In 1906, two years before the debut of the Ford Model T, probably few of even the most visionary motorcar enthusiasts envisioned a time when paved roads and parking spaces and parking lots would be built to support motorcar travel. It simply wasn't part of their world. Similarly, even EV fans and enthusiasts on this forum doubt the day will come when we will see L2 charging points for EVs almost literally everywhere people park. Apparently most of them doubt that, because when I talk about that happening, pretty much nobody agrees with me.

    There will come a time, perhaps a decade or two from now, when it will be just as expected for L2 charge points to be installed quite literally everywhere people commonly park cars for more than a couple of hours at a time. But that change will come only with time, and only with growing acceptance of EVs by the public as being "normal". Throwing money at that probably isn't going to help a lot.

  23. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    What are we going to do about these slow charging Bolts?

    Big battery with terrible charge rate and tapering are recipes for disaster. It's like the old days with Leaf and EvGo, but twice as painful.

    Edit: Nevermind, Electrify America charges by the minute punishing those slow chargers.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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