Washington State: 14 Quick-Charge Stations Record Over 10,000 Charging Sessions Since May 2012

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 15

The Quick Charger is King

The Quick Charger is King

According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, the state of Washington is home to 29 DC quick chargers.

Quick Charge Sites in Washington - Note: Map Includes Portions of Oregon

Quick Charge Sites in Washington – Note: Map Includes Portions of Oregon

Of those 29 chargers, approximately 14 are part of the West Coast Green Highway.  Most of these chargers are located along Interstate 5.

According to data from the Washington State Department of Transportation, those 14 chargers have logged more than 10,000 charging sessions since May 2012 when the first unit went active.

In September alone, those 14 chargers record 1,125 charge events, or more than double the 528 charging sessions reported in September 2012.

What’s the takeaway point?  Well, state data shows that some of the DC chargers were used 10 times more than others.  The most used chargers are located in highly trafficked areas.  So, it seems location is key.

What amazes us though is the sheer number of charge sessions record by these quick chargers.  This basically proves the point that, out on the open road, it’s QC or nothing.  Level 1 and Level 2 just don’t suffice when it comes to traveling on the interstate.

 

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15 responses to "Washington State: 14 Quick-Charge Stations Record Over 10,000 Charging Sessions Since May 2012"

  1. Dan Frederiksen says:

    Hmm, I just realized that charge stations should have a way to indicate there are people in line to use it. Swipe a card to indicate desired usage of an occupied charger. Otherwise the numb authorities will just think that one is plenty. Look at all the customers using it…

    1. James says:

      Great point.

      And dummy cameras with a red blinking LED and warning signs
      to scare off the ICE parkers.

    2. Brian says:

      I really love Tesla’s innovative approach to this – each 120kW charger in their supercharger stations services two cars in a first-come-first-served fashion. The second car to arrive simply plugs in and walks away. As the first car starts to top off, the charge rate declines. The balance of the power is sent to ramping up the second car. It also has the bonus of indicating to Tesla which superchargers have lines of cars wait, and how often.

      1. Suprise Cat says:

        Has it ever happened, that a Supercharger station had a waiting line (outside of press events)?

        1. Brian says:

          I don’t know, but it will sooner or later. Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, there’s a good chance it will happen then.

      2. io says:

        The Blink QCs, which came before Tesla’s, work the same way: two ports, but capacity for one car. The 2nd vehicle starts charging as soon as the first one completes (no power-splitting there though).
        I really like those dual-port implementations: such chargers can effectively be used continuously, with no downtime between cars, even if it takes some time for the owner of the charged one to move it.

        And indeed, this, along with usage data of often-adjacent L2s in the case of Blink/CarCharging, gives the provider a good idea of how often someone is waiting, and for how long. Aka: yes, we need more QCs please!

        1. Brian says:

          Nice! I’m glad to see someone else was thinking about this. However, a key difference is that Tesla’s 120kW charger is actually 12x 10kW chargers. That way, you can share power in intervals of 10kW. If you have a singlecharger, sharing power output to two batteries (and two voltages and two SoC’s) is impossible

  2. Assaf says:

    The Sultan station on Highway 2 is my favorite… enables a day-hop pretty deep into the Cascades and back.

    The double stations in Fife next to Tacoma seem to be among the highest-volume; very often there’s at least one of them occupied. Again, perfectly positioned to enable trips between the Seattle region and the Tacoma-Olympia region with your Nissan Leaf.

    The glaring hole is a QC along the I-90 corridor somewhere between Snoqualmie and North Bend… without it, the 70-80 mile range EVs struggle to make it up to Snoqualmie Pass (where there is a QC spot).

    1. Assaf says:

      But of course… we are spoiled. Atlanta has only gotten its first couple of QC spots this summer…

    2. sven says:

      Assaf, what is the cost to charge at one of Washington’s quick-charge stations?

  3. James says:

    I read that my state of Washington is #3 in total Nissan LEAF sales,
    and #4 or #5 in total EV sales. It seems like these stats must be per capita
    though as we MUST have more EVs than Hawaii and\or Florida.

    I regularly see LEAFS in my area. Even a short one-mile hop down
    to the drugstore and I’ll see 2 or three. When the first LEAF
    showed up in our kid’s elementary school parent pick up line,
    I ran over and talked the owner up, gushing at how great it was to
    see another EV. Now there are so many there each day, I barely
    notice.

    I will say that my informal surveys of the owners reveal that
    all own their LEAF as a second or third car, and many
    said they bought because WA is an 80+% hydro power
    and wind state. We do have a sales tax break, but no other
    big state incentives.

    1. sven says:

      It doesn’t hurt that Washington also has the lowest average price of electricity in the United States.

      http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_5_6_a

      1. philba says:

        WA may have low electricity rates in some parts of the state but Seattle City Light rates are almost exactly the national average (11.4/kwh). I know a lot of EV owners in WA, electricity price wasn’t at all a factor in their decision.

  4. This demonstrates the need for “range-extending” quick DC chargering in addition to AC level “destination” charging.

    Not in this report is that most DC charges at range-extending quick chargers are 8-10 kWh of a Nissan Leaf’s 24 kWh battery.(EV Project data) This means a typical stop of 10-15 min. on the way to a destination. Short charging sessions means charge stations can support a large number of EVs per day (3-6 per hour).

    WA BEV Registrations
    Year: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.Feb, 2013.Aug
    BEVs/year: 25, 980, 917, 430, 2394
    Accum BEV: 90, 1070, 1987, 2417, 4381

    As number of EVs increase, so to does number of charging sessions. EVs using the WA state network are mostly LEAFs & iMiEVs; a fraction of WA’s total accumitive BEV registered vehicles.

    Note: a DC Blink network fee structure of $5/$8 per session is counter to use cases of 8-10 kWh quick charges. The “per session” fee encourages payers to sit long periods and hog electrons to gain the cheapest per kW charge. A second, or 3rd EV can wait an hour while the1st to plug-in gets that last 2-5% to reach 100% state of charge. (A problem not seen with the Washington Stare network as they don’t use blink type billing)

  5. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Is this the before or after the $5 per session charging fee?

    I would like to find out if the rate starts to drop after the per session charging fee is in place….