CNN story on electric cars and fast charging

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by MNSteve, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I wonder how long it will be before battery technology matures to make this feasible.

    The line I found most interesting was at the end, an effect I hadn't considered: "A service station with 20 charging stations would use about six megawatts of power — the same amount as a typical small town." Twenty is a big number but it does raise an interesting point.
  2. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Personally, I think 15 minutes is still too long; I expect commercial competition to drive charging times down to 300 miles in 10 minutes or less.

    When you compare the power needed for ultra-fast EV charging to residential power needs, it looks like an impossible or at least unlikely goal. But when you compare to industrial power needs, it looks much more likely to happen. For example, a single electrical induction furnace may draw as much as 42 MW.

    Over time, the amount of power that humans use has risen exponentially. The day will likely come when most people will find it rather silly that people of our era doubted ordinary EV chargers would be able to deliver sufficient power for 300 miles of range in 10 minutes or less.

  3. Ray B

    Ray B Active Member Subscriber

    Perhaps in the distant future, but I think getting MW level power to a single car multiplied by the number of cars that need to recharge at any given time will cause extreme chaos to the management of power in the grid. Perhaps someday the grid will be modernized and can handle that kind of extreme on-off spikes, but I think that is a long way off (as mentioned in the article). I think the only way to get such a fast recharge in the near/mid term future (10 - 25 years) will be in swapping batteries. The only way that could happen with current battery technology would be to shift towards solid electrolytes that could survive handling in the swapping process.

    Just thinking out loud. I see the quest for faster and faster vehicle recharges is something for the record books and publicity, but not easily adopted by a large population of cars and infrastructure, except in very limited areas.
  4. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Seems to me like unnecessary worrying. It's not like everyone will suddenly start driving plug-in EVs tomorrow, and it's not like auto makers will start making BEVs which can be ultra-fast-charged tomorrow. The change will be gradual, and the grid will be upgraded gradually.

    Look at the history of what happened to the power grid when people in the USA started installing central air conditioners in their homes, in the 1960s and 1970s. That caused a substantial increase in demand for electricity. Was there chaos at electric utilities? Heck no. Utilities reacted then just as they are now: By looking at the near-future of power demand, planning accordingly, and building upgrades where needed.

    And let's not forget that most EV charging will continue to be slow L1 or L2 charging overnight, not ultra-fast-charging. Less than 10% of EV charging uses fast-chargers; I doubt that's going to change much in the future. Ultra-fast charging will involve paying a premium for the convenience, and people will avoid that where possible by using slow chargers.

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
    insightman likes this.
  5. Ray B

    Ray B Active Member Subscriber

    Not worrying - lol. Just thinking about what is a realistic scenario in the next 25 years.
  6. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Active Member

    I know everyone says PHEVs are just short term "bridges" to full EVs, and that GM all but said it would never build another PHEV. But I can't help but think that if everyone drove PHEVs with about the range of the Clarity, we would get to 80% equivalent of a world with all EVs, without all the infrastructure problems.
  7. clarityplugin

    clarityplugin New Member

    There is a point when PHEV becomes less useful as non ICE cars become more common. Gas stations will start closing and it will be inconvenient to fill the tank. But we are probably decades from that point and PHEV is a good compromise during that time.
  8. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    Hmm, I can tell you don't live in NY. ;)

    Here in NY, with extended heat waves, we've often had brown outs and reduced current output in rotating areas. Utilities here still haven't fully acclimated to the increased power demand of AC and such. I believe that many don't fully take into account, as power demand increases, even if not at a breakneck speed, the strain that a greatly increased EV fleet would cause.

    The power demands that will be generated from all this charging will have to come from somewhere. Compounding this is that with all the environmental requirements and studies necessary for additional power plants, new power plants are beyond rare.
  9. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    And some report that electricity rates in certain areas of NY can be as insanely high as 35¢/kWh, altho perhaps that's only with a summer surcharge.

    But is all that due to any failure on the part of the local utilities? Or is it a result of stupid and counter-productive State or local regulations and/or corruption?

    I know that the situation in California several years ago, with electricity prices spiking far beyond any rational cost, were a result of counter-productive and frankly stupid policies on the part of California politicians; policies which I think were meant to promote "green" power but wound up being so restrictive and non-competitive that local utilities were forced to buy much or most of their power from out-of-state, at ruinous costs.

    The EV revolution isn't going to force people to make stupid decisions. It's not going to save them from doing that, either.

    * * * * *

    A relevant article:

    "Why Is Electricity So Expensive in NYC?"

    Okay, but if what is explained there are the only reasons, then why isn't electricity very expensive in every megacity? No, I don't think this article really gets into why electricity prices are significantly higher in NYC than they ought to be.

    And don't get me started on a rant about how refusing to invest in upgrading infrastructure is one of the most flagrantly stupid cases of being "penny-wise and pound-foolish" in the history of the human race.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  10. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Nothing has astonished me more about the EV revolution than how BEV sales have grown faster than PHEV sales. With BEVs limited to less than 250 miles of range on a good day -- far less in very cold weather -- and requiring ~45 minute (or at least 30 minute) charge times, I would think that most people choosing to buy a PEV (Plug-in EV) would choose a PHEV over a BEV. I expected BEV sales to be a minority of PEV sales until the day comes when you can ultra-fast charge a BEV for 300 miles of range in 10 minutes or less, with an expansive nationwide network of ultra-fast chargers to support that; a network with stations far more closely spaced than the Supercharger network is in most States.

    Yet that's not what is happening.

    Just guessing here, but my guess is that most people (please note I did not say all!) who buy a PEV also own a gasmobile, so they can use the gas-burner whenever they are going on a trip beyond the comfortable range of the PEV.

  11. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member Subscriber

    The move to cars powered by something other than gasoline is driven by many factors. Cost is a driver; if the price or availability of gasoline rises substantially it will nudge the market towards smaller cars and electric cars. But convenience is also a driver. Our current society wants to get in their vehicle and go; they want zero hassles about anything like having to actually plan ahead or bother to plug it in. If electric cars become the norm, they will need to fit in with this mentality, and that includes being able to be "refilled" quickly. To say this in reverse, if electric cars replace gasoline-powered cars, the current norm on charging overnight will have changed to charging while you wait.

    So I do think that in the long-term future the numbers will flip and most charging will be fast, not slow. But there's plenty of time for the electric utilities to react to that trend; it won't happen quickly.

    And one last comment . . . don't judge the attitude of the driving public based on what you see in this forum. We are far from typical. We enjoy discovering what makes our cars tick and tend to care about the environment. Neither of those is common in the general driving public.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  12. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I completely disagree. EV forums are filled with EV owners praising the convenience of being able to plug in (and unplug) at home in 15 seconds or less, rather than having to drive to a gas station once a week or so.

    Charging at home will be a positive factor driving the EV revolution forward. One can argue it's also a negative factor holding it back because many people live where they can't install an EV charger for their own use; but that situation will change as more EVs create demand for places to plug in EVs everywhere people park overnight.

    You're correct to point out that people find convenience worth paying for. But on the flip side, those of us old enough can remember when there were no self-service filling stations. The reason self-service gas stations became the norm, rather than full service, is because people preferred to save a few cents per gallon by pumping the gas themselves.

  13. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member Subscriber

    And for the other 99.99% of the driving public?

    Yes, I figure that "we" in EV forums represent about .01% of the general population. One of the things I learned in an ancient Marketing class is the danger of drawing conclusions for the general public based on the opinions of a small group that doesn't match the opinion of the group you're marketing to.

    That's a factor. Perhaps a bigger factor is the staff reduction enjoyed by the seller of the gas.

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