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Discussion in 'General' started by KY_EV, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. KY_EV

    KY_EV New Member

    Hello everyone! I am in the process of getting a Hyundai Kona Electric over the coming months and having this forum and others has been a HUGE wealth of knowledge!

    A few questions regarding Electrify America if I may? I live in Kentucky and surprisingly we have 5 locations across the state with EA access. I do see a rather large chunk from Lexington (center of the state) eastward and practically all of West Virginia without EA coverage. Does anyone have any insight or inside knowledge if anything will be planned for the I-64 East corridor from Lexington over to West Virginia?

    Also, more of a curiosity question, why is Alabama and Mississippi have zero chargers in their states (similar to WV) with exception along the gulf coast?

    As of this message, my EA app shows a total of 463 chargers nationwide. Does EA have a target number they are trying to reach once they complete all 4 cycles of their rollout?

    Again, thanks everyone!

  2. gooki

    gooki Active Member

    Can't answer your questions, but welcome to the forum.
  3. KY_EV

    KY_EV New Member

    Thank you!
  4. marshall

    marshall Active Member

    I don't have any inside information. But EA has stated on their web site that they are data driven company. Sell enough EV's to make installing the charging stations sustainable and they will build out the charging network.
  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    If you get to Huntsville AL, we have a free, 50 kW, CCS-1 and CHAdeMO charger downtown. During the business day, $0.25/30 min. parking meter.

    Bob Wilson
  6. ericy

    ericy Active Member

    To some extent, they are installing the things along major interstates, which would allow people to make long trips.

    I had noticed the lack of charging in Montana, Dakotas, WV, and Alabama.

    I should add that I once had a conversation with a Tesla owner who described the difficulty getting to Yellowstone from the DC area. A lack of charging meant they couldn't take the most direct route that you might use with an ICE. I played with Plugshare - it seemed like all EVs have a hard time with this one.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
  7. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    This is not a black and white question. EA is in a slightly different position from other networks. Tesla Supercharger has been built with objective of improving Tesla sales by providing a service to its buyers. EvGo and others are like a oil company, trying to set up a network from which they can make profit. They will put chargers where they can make money.

    EA has multiple objectives. EA's owner VW got into a scandal (diselgate) and agreed to create a network of chargers across the country. So as per the agreement they will work with each state and spend money on various activities including setting up electric stations. Now some states have forced EA to spend the money on electric charging stations. Others states have taken the money and diverted it somewhere else. Some states are proactive and insist where stations go. Others do not care. So if a state does not care, EA will spend not spend money there, unless there is a big demand.

    Now EA is also to VW as Tesla Super Charger is to Tesla. VW makes EVs (VW eGolf, Audi eTron, Porsche Taycan etc. ) and they want to improve the sales of the EVs like Tesla does. EA has also to make a profit, so they want to sell to others.

    So if there is not too many people in West Virginia and Mississippi and Alabama and Montana and Dakotas etc who own EVs. EA will not set up stations unless forced by the state. I think the states you mentioned are not states which will push EV usage.

    Similarly, if the EA felt that there was demand for Audi EV or Porsche Taycan in that that state, they would set up chargers. If not they won't. I do not anticipate that too many people in North Dakota care about a Porsche Taycan.

    So that is the long answer.

    Short answer: Supply and demand for charging, profitability, demand for VW electric vehicles and state regulations. You want more EV chargers, talk to your state authorities.
  8. ericy

    ericy Active Member

    Yeah, but...

    Most of the need for chargers is mainly to enable long trips since most charging is done at home. People in some of these areas might not own many EVs, but others might need to pass through on the interstate. You could argue that rural VA is not that much different from rural WV, but I-81 has all kinds of EA chargers.

    The one thing EA is doing that I like is future-proofing. They are pushing 150 and 350kW stations to support faster charging rates. This in turn incentivizes EV manufacturers to support faster charging. These new stations are undoubtedly expensive, and they need to defray that cost. If they just stuck to pushing out 50kW stations, they could push out a whole lot more. But even now 50kW is starting to seem antiquated. It works in a pinch if that's all you have, but in a year or two newer cars will support better than this.

    Another possibility is that the local utility simply isn't interested in providing support for the EV charging stations.

    I would note that the Dakotas and Montana are just as bad for Tesla as they are for any other kind of EV. I guess this would support the idea that either the state of the local utility (or both) aren't cooperating.
  9. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    Yes based on the agreements with the state

    I am not sure why a utility would push back, unless it was question of price and investment. Utilities have to make investments to get power to the charger, and if the infrastructure is not available, they may want the charger owner to pay for part or all of it.

    I-81 is a more highly traveled corridor than routes immediate west of I-81. I am going to imagine that there would be a lot more EV traffic. Also, the state of Virginia could have dictated where the chargers are. EA can be dictated to (to a limited extent), others cannot.

    Yes there are large swatches of area (especially in the west and mid west) where you do not have chargers, from any network. Simple economics of supply and demand, if there is less demand there will be less supply. That said, Tesla may be the best and most committed to filling these gaps, but even they would acknowledge that their coverage has gaps. @bwilson4web as pointed out in several posts, you need to plan your EV journey carefully and it may not be the shortest or the most optimum route. This is not going to change until there is increase in demand for chargers in those areas i.e. lots of users.

    Hence, if you are planning a lot of long distance EV driving, be flexible on your route and travel times or have an ICE/PHEV alternative, rather than BEV.
  10. hobbit

    hobbit Active Member

    I-81 is my preferred north/south route by far, to stay out of the I-95 corridor
    mess until much farther down the coast. Unfortunately EA seems to be
    the only game in town along there so far, with all its attendant problems.

    I'd love to see another network start competing with that, and install DCFC
    in places that actually make sense like the big travel plazas. Y'know, with
    the *blue* kWh price numbers added to the huge signs looming over the
    highway that we could dream about, and sensible billing policies to match.

  11. Gsbrryprk8

    Gsbrryprk8 Member

    I’m a Kona driver and love the car. I’ve only done short to medium distance driving but plan to take long distance trips in the future.

    I don’t rely on a single supplier for charging. I use PlugShare to locate all J1772 and CCS in an area. Also, I carry a portable EVSE with NEMA 14-50 plug so that I can use campgrounds and RV parks to charge in remote areas without dedicated EV chargers. There are camping apps showing where those are located.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
    KY_EV and Domenick like this.
  12. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    You may need a NEMA 14-30 plug too. Also, use "". They have stations at truck stops, NEMA 14-30, for $2 the first hour and $1 every hour thereafter:
    If (when) you use them, make sure to add an entry into PlugShare with how it went. I've used the station at the Tennessean Truck Stop on I65. I tried to use the one at Workman's Travel Center, Ozark AR, but had left my NEMA 14-30 EVSE at home. Getting 30 miles of range per hour is great at a truck stop.

    Bob Wilson
  13. DanWheeler

    DanWheeler New Member

    Congratulations on the Kona!

    Have you tried looking at other networks? PlugShare is showing 63 EV Chargers in Lexington, 333 EV Chargers in West Virginia, 668 EV Chargers in Alabama and 291 EV Chargers in Mississippi.

    Hope this is helpful!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2020
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  14. ericy

    ericy Active Member

  15. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    EA is the largest non-Tesla network for on-the-go EV fast charging, but it's not the only one. You would be well advised to look at the PlugShare website and/or app, and play around with it until you can use it easily. That will be your best friend for long distance travel in a non-Tesla BEV.

    I think you've just named the three States with the lowest per-capita EV adoption: West Virginia, Alabama and Mississippi. WV has an economy heavily dependent on coal mining, and EVs are the antithesis of that. So owning a BEV in WV would likely make you pretty unpopular, at least in most social circles!

    Alabama and Mississippi are two of the poorest States in the union; States where few people are buying new cars. There aren't yet a lot of BEVs available on the used car market, so it's not surprising that few people in those States are buying BEVs. The lack of EV fast chargers in those States is a reflection of how few BEV owners there are there.

    BTW -- Welcome to the InsideEVs forum!
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
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  16. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    The Dakotas and Montana have very low population density. They are also almost entirely rural, and rural areas in general are not where BEV owners live. It's a chicken-and-the-egg situation: With little support for BEV charging outside urban areas, there is little incentive for rural residents to buy a BEV. And so long as very few people in sparsely settled States own BEVs, there is little incentive for for-profit EV charging companies to install chargers in such regions. They won't get enough business to justify the installation in most areas.

    Consider the case of rural electrification and rural telephone service: Build-out of those systems had to be subsidized, because those areas were too sparsely populated to make it profitable for the electric utilities and the phone companies to install the infrastructure. That had to be subsidized with taxes and/or fees tacked onto monthly electric and telephone bills.

    It's entirely possible that the Federal and/or State governments will, in a similar fashion, eventually have to subsidize build-out of rural EV fast charging stations.

  17. ericy

    ericy Active Member

    Nebraska and Kansas are also sparsely populated, and both I-70 and I-80 have appropriately spaced charging stations. Nothing on I-90.

    Some of the users of the stations aren't locals - just people passing through. I don't know what percentage this would be.
  18. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    • 25-50 kW - CCS1 chargers, doesn't matter if car is limited to <50 kW
    • 120+ kW - SuperChargers, all new Tesla are +120 kW, older one can be slower
    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
  19. It most likely doesn't have to do with the local population density. As mentioned it is mostly for long distance travel.

    The problem EA (and Tesla) have is soft costs, meaning permitting issues and land owner rights for the locations of the chargers.

    That is actually one of the biggest reasons for the slow pace of new charging locations being built.
  20. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Kansas has population centers in Wichita, Topeka and Kansas City, KS. I happen to know that because I live there!

    Kansas, along with Missouri, is also on the major East-West travel corridor along I-70. We get lots of semi freight trucking here. In fact, I once counted traffic when traveling along i-70 from Kansas City, MO, to St. Louis. About 1 in 5 vehicles was a semi tractor-trailer! Rather mind-boggling to see so much freight being moved by highway instead of by rail. Kansas City, MO is also one of the biggest distribution centers in the U.S.; we have the 2nd biggest rail center, after Chicago.

    Or to put it another way: We have a lot of traffic moving through our area, but most of it doesn't stop for long. :cool:

    Nebraska also has a couple of population centers, altho smaller than those in Kansas. None of the other factors attracting traffic to the Kansas/Missouri region applies to Nebraska.

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020

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