Fred Meyer Stores in Oregon Deploy 24kW DC CCS Fast Chargers

1 year ago by Charles Bonville 34

24 kW DCFC CCS

24 kW DCFC CCS

Station (via Google Maps)

Station (via Google Maps)

In late 2015, Fred Meyer stores in Oregon began installing ChargePoint 24kW DC fast chargers with CCS plugs. A worker associated with the project, but not authorized to speak publicly, indicated that chargers are currently being installed at Albany, Roseburg, Grants Pass, Medford, South Medford and Klamath Falls. The worker also indicated that this project has the corporate backing of the CEO, and that nearly all Fred Meyer stores in Oregon will eventually have chargers installed, though some locations in cities with multiple stores will be among the last to have chargers installed.

At the Albany, Oregon store, one CCS charger is installed and operational as of January 1, and the site is pre-wired to support two additional chargers at a future date once customer demand warrants the installation of additional plugs.

At that same time, the ChargePoint app also indicated that Roseburg and South Medford are operational, and Grants Pass appears online about a week later.

Pricing is presently $0.15 per kWh “all day.” One wonders if pricing structures might roll out in the future to adjust demand during hours of peak usage. Unlike other QCDC stations, Fred Meyer stations presently do not charge for parking, or time plugged in. Described as providing 100 miles range per hour, quick charging a BMW i3 to 80% would cost less than $2.70 and could be expected to take less than 45 minutes.

The CCS chargers are currently marketed on ChargePoint as being compatible with BMW i3 and VW Golf. The Spark EV has optional CCS fast charging and photos of the recently debuted Chevrolet Bolt indicate it will utilize CCS fast charging.

Fred Meyer Locations (via Googlemaps)

Fred Meyer Locations (via Google Maps)

Chargepoint DC Fast Station

Chargepoint DC Fast Station

Looking to the future, what might the Fred Meyer “network” of fast chargers look like? See the map of Fred Meyer locations in Oregon to envision where the “West Coast CCS Highways” (not an official name) could be built out.

The map illustrates that Fred Meyer stores in Oregon are primarily located on three north-south corridors: Highway 101 on the Oregon Coast, Interstate 5 in the western inland valleys and Highway 97 on the east flank of the Cascade Range. Of the three, the Highway 97 corridor is would only be passable with a 200+ mile EV, if relying solely on Fred Meyer CCS chargers, and presuming that all stores eventually have chargers installed.

As a side note… Update on Northern California

The EV charging scene in Northern California is improving (for all those not driving Tesla’s), thanks to Carl’s Jr restaurants deploying 24 kW DC fast chargers, with CCS plugs, in Williams, Yreka and Redding, CA.

These chargers are on the ChargePoint network and all three charge $0.14/minute for station parking and an energy charge of $0.25/kWh.

With a first generation EV, the 80 mile jump from Yreka to Redding is difficult, but the 100 mile jump from Redding to Williams is nearly impossible until second generation EVs begin arriving in late 2016. For now, any EV driver not in a Tesla, or a BMW i3 Rex, will still find it difficult to cross the expanse between Sacramento, CA and Ashland, Oregon.

As far as CHAdeMO fast charging, there’s still a 203-mile gap between Chico, CA Nissan and Ashland, OR. Additionally, the climb to the 4310’ elevation Siskiyou Summit is achieved just 10 miles before reaching Ashland, and this author estimates the power requirement at close to 250 miles of range.

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34 responses to "Fred Meyer Stores in Oregon Deploy 24kW DC CCS Fast Chargers"

  1. MTN Ranger says:

    $.15/kWh is pretty much residential cost for most people. Not a bad deal.

    Seems like they are following and improving on Whole Foods, who has a lot of corporate L2 charging.

  2. jdbob says:

    If they market 24kW as “fast”, what do you call 50kW? Seems like 50kW should be the minimum for “fast”.

    1. jelloslug says:

      I call those 24kw units “medium speed charging”

    2. BraveLilToaster says:

      I call that faster than 7.7 kw.

    3. Ed says:

      I agree it’s time to stop calling any DC charging “fast charging”. It’s only fast compared to the usual underpowered AC charging. 24kW is slow for DC charging, so it should be called “slow DC charging” or at most “medium speed charging”. Anything but fast charging.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Instead of DCFC, we should call it DCSC.

        =)

      2. John says:

        I think we should ditch the L1 L2 L3 DCFC altogether and just call it by the capacity and the type of plug.

        Pretty simple that way.

    4. jh says:

      It has to do with minimum requirements from legal perspective. To be called fast is must exceed 23 kw. These units are on the whole pretty useless.

  3. Brandon says:

    That’s good that some of the locations are pre wired to install additional chargers. Good planning ahead, and if planned accordingly with enough grid capacity, those additional chargers could be 50 kW or 100 kW as demand increases and the cars are there to use them. IMO the charge networks will be rolled out only as the vehicles that need them are available.

  4. mustang_sallad says:

    Definitely better than nothing, 50kW would be ideal for these longer highways stretches. But I suppose Fred Meyer is probably happy for you to have a reason to linger in their stores a little longer.

  5. Zukidrvr says:

    Hopefully these will perform better than the Blink chargers they invested in first. Although they are double headed, they can only charge one car at a time – when they work. Throughout the region, Blink chargers are rife with problems: touch screens that don’t respond, chargers that won’t communicate, vandalism and poor upkeep. Anything would be an improvement. I’m a CHADeMO user, so the chargepoint units won’t help. At least it is a move in the right direction for the region. Aerovironment seems to have the most reliable and dense network in the Northwest. They also offer unlimited fast charging for only $20 a month. I like that.

    1. CBonville says:

      I made a suggestion to Fred Meyer that it would be worthwhile to put in chargers with CCS and CHAdeMO. I am hopeful that future installations will have dual plugs. I would encourage anyone reading this, who shops at Fred Meyer, to reach out to the company to voice a request for dual support, and to thank them for investing in electrified transportation solutions.

  6. Assaf says:

    Thanks for the update Charles. Now with the Bolt information, I can sense the hidden hand of GM playing a major role behind all this…

    The lingering 203-mile ChaDeMo gap is a shame to the state of California, and also to Nissan which has a dealership in Redding.

    1. CBonville says:

      “the hidden hand of GM”… just GM?

      How about the hands Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, GM, Porsche, Volkswagen… who all have current for future EVs that support CCS?

      You know… if all of these manufacturers want to “answer” the competition of Tesla’s Supercharger network, I think a pretty good way to do that would be to incentivise the installation of CCS chargers to the tune of $100 from each auto manufacturer towards each charger installed, and to do so in conjunction with a strong network operator like ChargePoint seems like the ideal arrangement.

  7. Ocean Railroader says:

    Fred Meyer is owned by Kroger Stores in fact they are such close allies to one another that the Fred Meyer and a Kroger Card will work in both stories. What this makes me wounder is will Kroger start using it’s massive size to put in DC Quick Chargers for electric cars. in that if Kroger and it’s friends put in quick chargers there would be one every 20 miles in the US.

  8. Nashco says:

    24 kW is a good balance of speed and installation costs for a store like Fred Meyer. A typical stop would be at least 15 minutes, and it’s easy to spend an hour there if you are doing a lot of shopping. I definitely appreciate having chargers at businesses where I can accomplish some tasks that I was probably going to do anyway (eat, shopping, exercise, movie theater, etc.).

    Good work Fred Meyer! I hope this pays off for them. I know when the early Chademo chargers were rolling out, we started shopping much more frequently at Fred Meyer than we had before that, so it worked on us!

    1. Tech01x says:

      How is ~$8k per plug for a destination charger a good balance? That’s about 3x the price of 80A J1772.

  9. Speculawyer says:

    Are these OEMed versions of the BMW charger?

    That is a very low charging price, I guess they are doing as a service for the customers. Nice of them.

    1. CBonville says:

      Fred Meyer is installing the ChargePoint Express 100, designed to provide 100 miles of range per hour. ChargePoint also offers the Express 200 model that supports CCS and CHAdeMO. The Express family of chargers is intended to “Make Your Business a Preferred Destination.”

      Visit http://www.chargepoint.com/express/ to learn more about these two commercial chargers.

  10. JimGord says:

    Not CCS and CHAdeMO – Shame!

  11. Evdrive says:

    Nice, I’ve always liked Fred Meyer stores.

    Yes, as others say, these should be dual standard fast charge stations. Yes again, these should be wired for faster charging in the future. I’ll do my part and let Fred Meyers management know I appreciate their efforts.

    Grocery stores are the new electric car gas stations. Feed people and a car in one stop. Cool!

    1. Skryll says:

      Charge at home or at destination – and only when doing long trips and need higher charge speed you would go to a supercharger. The gas stations of today may be the ones that get the 150kW chargers in the future.

    2. CBonville says:

      My guess is that Fred Meyer opted not to put in CHAdeMO chargers for a few reasons.

      First, the WCEH network of AeroVironment DCFCs with CHAdeMO plugs is quite robust nearly everywhere that Fred Meyer has a store, to say nothing of the other CHAdeMO chargers in Salem and Portland.

      Second, the Express 100 chargers must be a more cost-effective option than the Express 200.

      Third, for CCS EVs, this is tremendous news… as Oregon is otherwise devoid of CCS, and I have to think someone guiding this Fred Meyer project knows this.

      Fourth, the “100 MPH” rate of charge is probably about right for most customers of a grocery store… 50 kW might be nearly too fast, potentially charging even a very “thirsty” Bolt in just an hour.

      Fifth, a higher power charger will cost more to operate, due to 3-phase power requirements.

      1. CBonville says:

        Whoops! Scratch #5, as both need 3-phase power. Of course, 3-phase service tariffs typically specify a demand charge per kWh, so the 200 will be able to incur higher demand charges.

      2. These were provide to Fred Meyer for FREE by BMW & VW. They are part of the West Coast Express Charging corridor from San Diego to Portland. BMW & VW are footing the bill to install them every ~50 miles. Fred Meyer didn’t choose not to have a dual head station, they simply weren’t offered it.

        1. CBonville says:

          Tom, thank you for the comment. The worker I spoke with gave the impression that the project initiative comes from within Fred Meyer, but I can also imagine that maybe he didn’t know about the involvement of BMW and VW.

          That said, I found the following excerpts in the ChargePoint/BMW/VW joint press release from 01/22/2015 as supporting your statement.

          “Each fast charging location along the express charging corridors is expected to include up to two 50 kW DC Fast chargers, or 24 kW DC Combo Fast chargers with the SAE Combo connector, used in both BMW and Volkswagen electric vehicles as well as many other electric vehicles that incorporate a DC Fast Charging capability. When charging at a 50 kW station, both the BMW i3 and the Volkswagen e-Golf can charge up to 80 percent in 20 minutes. Both vehicles can charge up to 80 percent in 30 minutes at a 24 kW station. Locations will also include Level 2 chargers, currently the most commonly available public charging stations, which are compatible with all electric vehicles.”

          “Installations have already begun on the west coast, with the first location in San Diego County. There is a target of nearly 100 DC Fast charging spots in the first phase, available by the end of 2015. DC Fast chargers along the express charging corridors are expected to be installed in convenient locations such restaurants, shopping centers, rest stops, and more. ChargePoint will leverage its existing customer base and knowledge on usage to pick strategic locations either where drivers currently charge, or to fill in spaces where there is currently a lack of infrastructure.”

          Opting to partner with a regional business like Fred Meyer, with locations already aligned with population centers and popular transportation corridors, makes good sense for keeping costs to a minimum. I would expect that the mutual benefit would probably have BMW/VW paying for the charger and the host paying for the installation, since the host will benefit from goodwill and increased customer traffic, and the EV manufacturer benefits from EV sales made possible my improving infrastructure to support charging when away from home and work.

          It seems I should wrap up this post with the #EVexpresscharge hashtag that hasn’t gotten much love since the press release a year ago. 🙂 Try a Google search on that hashtag and see for yourself.

  12. martinwinlow says:

    Interesting choice of charger. Yes, it’s a shame they aren’t dual-standard (including CHAdeMO) but at about 1/5th the cost of a 50kW *rapid* DC charger (‘fast’ is up to ~15kW) chargers like these are the future of a successful transition to EV motoring for the masses as they get around the problem of where EV owners who can’t charge at home go to get a weekly boost (in a 200 mile range EV at least). An hour a week on one of these would be enough for maybe 50% of drivers (100 miles). They could even add the cost onto the customer’s grocery bill. MW

    1. Skryll says:

      That is actually a brilliant idea there Martin Winlow, while the charging isn’t finished by the time you pay, and so unless its a flat fee it can’t be as a final item on the shopping bill, the brilliant thing here would be to have say an rfid enabled safeway card to initiate the charging instead of the charging backend evgo/blink/chargepoint and have the store do the billing towards the backend.

      They probably can get valuable marketing data out of the correlation of your purchases to the datapoints of you charging your EV that may make waving the charge fee when a purchase happens within the time of charging possible.

      1. CBonville says:

        Fred Meyer currently has a shopper reward program that enables customers to save 10 cents per gallon on gasoline purchased at Fred Meyer Fuel Centers. A customer earns 10 cents savings per $100 spent in a month, and the maximum discount per fill-up is $1.00/gallon.

        Thinking back to COP21 and Elon’s plea to the governments of the world to end the subsidies of fossil fuels and to tax carbon fuels according to their real costs in pollution and carbon emissions: It seems to me that Fred Meyer should come up with another way of incentiving customers than the lure of cheaper petroleum products. A good first step would be credits, in dollars, to a linked ChargePoint account for customers with EVs. A good second step would be to cease the gasoline discounts. I am not suggesting either of these are viable today, but hopefully doable in 5 to 10 years.

        1. Phr3d says:

          ayep, well said!
          A customer that spends x-hundred dollars / mo that NOW shops at your store due to being able to charge. That $8k per plug gets covered pretty quickly and the ongoing expense is manageable.
          Logical next step will be ‘charge bill deducted from your grocery bill’ exactly like the cents-per-gallon benefit.

        2. Bob Boise says:

          why would FM not make the chargers LEAF compatible..since LEAFs outnumber every other EV 10:1?

  13. ModernMarvelFan says:

    DCSC is okay for “shopping destination” such as this.

    It isn’t good enough for long distance travel, but it is more than enough for you to shop for about 30 minutes and add about 30-40 miles of range. It is NOT likely people drive more than that to their “local” grocery stores.

    1. CBonville says:

      There are a number of types of businesses within walking distance of the Albany Fred Meyer, including a movie theater and a mall. It is not unimaginable, to me, to envision charging a Bolt for 3 hours on a 24 kw DC charger, in a diverse, robust commercial business setting.

    2. Ocean Railroader says:

      Stopping at a store for a long distance trip is a lot better then stopping at a gas station or fast food place.