ChargePoint Power Express Plus 400 kW Charger: Further Details, Exec Interview


ChargePoint Power Express Plus debuted this week in Las Vegas at CES

ChargePoint Power Express Plus debuted this week in Las Vegas at CES

A few days ago while at CES, I posted the news here on InsideEVs about ChargePoint’s new Express Plus line of high power DC fast charge stations, providing up to 400 kW of output.

Fours ChargePoint Express Plus stations and two Power Cubes

Fours ChargePoint Express Plus stations and two Power Cubes

As one would expect, there were a lot of questions asked in the comment stream. So I wrote down a few good ones, added a couple of my own, and headed off to the ChargePoint booth at CES (in Las Vegas) to get some answers.

The ChargePoint folks were happy to accommodate. Simon Lonsdale, Vice President of Business Development, was gracious enough to sit down with me and be interviewed on the spot, without me having arranged the interview in advance.

Before I go into the interview, I’ll share some observations I made after spending some time inspecting the stations on display.

1.) The cables are twelve feet long, which is pretty good for DC Fast charge stations. The top of the station where the cable connects swivels 180 degrees to add another foot or two if needed.

Not a suitcase, a 31.25 kW power module for the Power Cube

Not a suitcase, a 31.25 kW power module for the Power Cube

2.) The suitcase-sized modules simply slide in and out of the Power Cube. They literally plug in without the need of an electrician to rewire anything if one needs to be replaced. The Power Cube will function if one or multiple modules fail, just at a lower power until the modules are replaced.

3) The ChargePoint Express stations are tall, at 7’4” in height. They are only 16” thick and 3’ 8” wide.

4) They have bright LED lights at the top of the stations that read “IN USE” or “AVAILABLE”. Because these lights are about six feet above ground level, they should be visible from far across a parking lot or a nearby street.

5) The “Cold Cable”, which is liquid cooled, is thick, but not as thick as I would have imagined it to be. Reps at the booth told me that they’ve tested it extensively in cold weather areas, and the antifreeze in the liquid keeps the cable from getting stiff and difficult to manage when it’s very cold.

6) These stations can accept up to three cables. With CCS and CHAdeMO connectors a must, one has to wonder why engineer them for a third cable unless they believe it’s possible that they will add one. I can’t help but wonder if the third cable will one day have a Tesla connector at the end of it. ChargePoint wouldn’t comment on the possibility, but instead offered that they would be open to discussions with the manufacturer. With Tesla about to launch the high volume Model 3, and some Supercharger locations are already having issues with long lines, I for one hope the two companies figure out a way to make this work.

ChargePoint Express Plus (shown in "available" and "in use" modes)

ChargePoint Express Plus (shown in “available” and “in use” modes)

On to the interview. I don’t waste any time and start with the question most people are asking:

How much will these stations cost? Also, given the difficulty we’ve encountered to date in installing a cohesive national network of DC Fast charge stations, won’t it be even harder to do so with more expensive units like these?

“For our Express family, we’re not announcing pricing today, as you may have guessed.  However we know what the market bears; we know what the 50kW station’s price point is.  

What’s interesting about the Express Plus that we’re not highlighting today because there’s so much to talk about is that you can obviously use it as a 62.5kW and there will be an option to software downgrade it to 50kW.

So if you start from that point, that product will be price competitive in the market. Given all its future functionalities, it’s not going to be the lowest price, but it will be priced competitively.  

It will have a software-only upgrade option in price to 62.5kW; 25% more power, remote upgrade,  just like Tesla does on their features. It’s kind of the way of the future.  Then if you opt for the Express Plus family, where you have the liquid cooled cables, then there’s a little increment in price. However the great thing about this product is you’re just paying for the chargers today, and you know you’re future-proofed for at least the next ten years for as fast as cars can charge.

ChargePoint's "cooled" cabled

ChargePoint’s “cooled” cabled

As for the second part of the question, we know that this “Supercharger” level and beyond network needs to be deployed nationwide. It needs to be deployed in a structured way and we’ve done a lot of work with investment partners who are also interested in seeing this network evolve. As we do that, we see the price of the equipment is only about a third of the cost on a live site consisting of four to eight stations. It’s much more the cost of the electrical infrastructure, replacing the asphalt parking area, installation costs and operating them has some costs, especially in the early years because things like demand charges particularly, will have a negative impact on cash flow. We’ve modeled it out and the price of these units, and the scale of it, is really in line with what’s needed“

You mentioned investment partners, does that mean ChargePoint may change their current business model and own and operate these stations as opposed to just selling the equipment and managing the network as you currently do?

“I think, as everybody knows, where ChargePoint started is that our model is we have the best network, we design and develop our own products, and then we sell them out to businesses, retail parking operators and cities to operate them. Now, when we went into the home market, we had to modify that a little because we were selling to homeowners, but if you live in an apartment complex or condo you need a different model. So that’s why we modified our business model to fit into that segment. This fast charging segment is different as well, and though it’s available for businesses to buy, I think the main area is with special service providers that are set up to operate on a national scale.  

"I use the Supercharger network as a great example of how that’s helped to sell cars; that’s what’s needed with fast charging."

“I use the Supercharger network as a great example of how that’s helped to sell cars; that’s what’s needed with fast charging.”

If you don’t think about deployment nationally, then it doesn’t have the benefit of long range charging that the Supercharger network has. I use the Supercharger network as a great example of how that’s helped to sell cars; that’s what’s needed with fast charging.  So, ChargePoint will not be the owner of these stations going in. However, we may well end up having a stake in the business that builds and operates them.  We’re still evolving, and we have flexibility in our business model to see what works best. “

The benefit of splitting the "Power Cube" from the station is that the architecture is flexible to even go above 400 kW

The benefit of splitting the “Power Cube” from the station is that the architecture is flexible to even go above 400 kW (CES show miniature for ease of demonstration/cutaway shown)

What is the maximum amount of power these stations can deliver to any one vehicle at a time; car or even say a bus, assuming you have eight stations and a power cube on site?

“The stations we have here today are limited, because of the cool cable, to a maximum of 400kW. The beauty is, as we look at the bus, truck and heavy industry, they’re actually migrating towards this common standard, but they keep thinking do we want more? Do we want 600kW, 700kW? Do we want a Megawatt into a bus?

And the good thing about separating the station from the power cube is that we could add different dispensers in the future. We could team together two cubes. It’s not on the roadmap yet, because we’re not seeing the need, but the architecture is flexible enough that we can go into many directions. We definitely are seeing a lot of interest in this exact product, the Power Cube and Express Plus family, in the electric bus and electric truck industry. “

The author holding up 2 (CCS Combo and CHAdeMO) of potentially 3 outlets on the ChargePoint Express Plus Station

The author holding up 2 (CCS Combo and CHAdeMO) of potentially 3 outlets on the ChargePoint Express Plus Station

Is ChargePoint responsible for the design and manufacturing of the ChargePoint Express line, or are you using technology developed by another entity?

“I’m going to separate the two parts out.  So the design is entirely in-house. We’ve learned a lot from the first 400 fast charge stations that are on the ChargePoint network. They are actually from about six different manufacturers out there. We had a hand in the design of a couple of them that we branded ChargePoint, the CP100 and CP200, but we’ve learned a lot, and we’ve taken that all in house to do a Greenfield, ground-up design of this project. Everything from the modules themselves is entirely ChargePoint intellectual property. The Power Cube, the charger, the connections to the network, all of it is our own. The cool cable is even an exclusive partnership with a cable company; you won’t find them on anyone else’s stations.

For manufacturing, we have always, and continue to work with a tier one manufacturer. We own the line, but it’s held by a tier one, so that way we get the benefits of ISO 9001 high quality, and the benefits of scalability. We design everything for mass scale of our products, because that’s where we get the reliability that our customers have come to expect. “

Will you install Express Plus stations at the CEC Corridor DCFC grant sites?

“Simple answer, yes. Wherever we can, we will be deploying the Express Plus family.”

ChargePoints Senior Business Director Rich Quattrini looking for a DCFC/Combo equipped EV to charge up!

ChargePoints Senior Business Director Rich Quattrini looking for a DCFC/Combo equipped EV to charge up!

How do the stations share the DC output across multiple stations? Every car needs a specific voltage that is different from vehicle to vehicle.

“If you imagine four cars plugged into four stations, each car is going to be asking for a slightly different voltage. You have to deliver the correct voltage to the car, because the car has control over the charging session and won’t accept the incorrect voltage.  So that’s why we have these modules that we’re talking about. There are up to two modules in each station, and up to 16 modules in a Power Cube. Now, one module can only talk to one car at a time, but if you look at the setup for the CEC corridor for instance, you have two stations that are connected together. Those two stations can share 0,1,2, 3 or 4 modules to one car, at any one instance and will offer the proper voltage. So you can give a car 125kW, 93.75kW 62.5kW or 31.25kW of power. “

This may be a little off topic, but there’s been a lot of talk about wireless charging systems lately, is ChargePoint going to develop a wireless charging system of their own?

“People ask us that a lot.  Think of us as a network; we have chargers for home, work, around town and out of town and as cars evolve and offer wireless charging capability, and especially autonomous parking to full autonomy, then wireless charging makes a lot of sense for at home and at work.  

You still want to have home and workplace charging, even in an autonomous world because that’s how you get grid stability, for the 80% to 90% of charging that occurs at home or at work.  Wireless isn’t going to work at high speeds. Physics just doesn’t allow you to go to the level the Express Plus stations deliver, like 400kW. So there has to be another solution for autonomous car sharing, where the use of the car goes up to 60, 70, 80% of the day.”

One final point that I’d like to get across is not to get too caught up on 350kW or 400kW charging. Just because these stations are capable of delivering that kind of power, it’s not likely we’ll see cars that can accept the full amount for some time.

Audi brought its all-electric e-tron to CES a year ago

Audi brought its all-electric e-tron to CES a year ago

Even the next generation of EVs coming out in 2018 & 2019 probably won’t be able to charge at more than 150kW, but that’s still three times faster than what cars, that aren’t made by Tesla, are charging at today.  A rate of 150kW is still a huge step forward if the OEMs now spec their electric offerings to match the power that will soon be available.

Charging at 150kW means you’ll likely reach 80% in a half hour or less, unless your battery is larger than 100kWh. Audi (e-Tron Quattro) and Jaguar (i-Pace) have both promised 150kW DC charging in their 2018 models.  

These stations will be a huge step forward in public electric vehicle charging. They will go a long way in helping the advancement of EVs, especially if they are deployed with a cohesive national master plan. Lonsdale gave me the impression that he understands this, and is already working on just that. This may very well be one of the big pivot points that many electric vehicle enthusiasts have been waiting for.


Categories: Charging

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

109 Comments on "ChargePoint Power Express Plus 400 kW Charger: Further Details, Exec Interview"

newest oldest most voted

400 Kw is not good for the GRID. That would take acres of Solar panels and on site storage batteries to do 400 kW. Imagine 6 or 8 of them like Tesla has at their 100 kW Super Chargers.

I think in reality, 400kW is not a huge deal when you consider the loads that many factories have on the grid.

The main point is that these kinds of charging levels won’t be used prevalent across every household, but instead at a relatively limited number of locations given any geographic area.

I am not personally too concerned about the grid handling it, though I could always be wrong.

Grid can certainly handle anything, even gigawatts technically. Just pour millions into it, do upgrades to transformers, transmission lines, peaking power plants, and it will be done. The question is who wants to pay for it.

Well millions aren’t required, but a major question is who is going to pay for it. That is why their announcement expressed concern to minimize demand. I ask the question all the time, raiseing the false ‘ire’ of those who aren’t conversant with the issue. But it is a reasonable question that ChargePoint has begun to answer, and one-liners from the self-appointed big experts (not you) don’t cut it. National grid’s effective demand charge for low voltage customers (I’ve seen no teslas, or cp’s mention privately owned transformers, even though they certainly could – as many supermarket chains do – so lets assume that since they always take delivery at ‘low voltage’ they will continue to do so for the time being) is around $13.50 / kw/month. So, a 1000kw load will have a demand charge of $13,500 per month, and that’s only if the kwh usage is relatively low. ‘Moderate’ kwh usage will force the installation over to “Large General Service #3” schedule, and then they’ll have to pay 90% of the peak yearly demand even in months where there is light loading – not that any of this is that bad, it just has to be kept in… Read more »

JB Straubel covered this exact topic years ago, and talked extensively on how using just a 400 kilowatt-hour battery pack at the Tejon Ranch supercharger location cut peak load (demand load) down to a fraction of what it would have been otherwise.

You’ve been handed that link over and over for years. Maybe if you were to take the time and listen to his talk, instead of posting your same lectures about demand load over and over, you would learn something.

Most of the stuff YOU say is silly nonsense.. I’ve been talking about Dump batteries for longer than JB has. But then I’ve been in the business longer than he has.

If you have a detailed technical point to make, I sure wish you’d make it because your factless blather doesn’t add to the discussion here.

Are you an electrical engineer?

Every Tesla Supercharger location with 8 stalls has a 500KVA transformer sitting there.

The grid hasn’t collapsed.

Make no mistake, when Tesla and others start putting multiple 350kW to 1MW or more individual charge stations in rural locations and remote truck stops, there will be challenges.

The grid will be fine.

There was more disruption to the grid with the introduction of air conditioning in the south.

I typical strip mall with a 7-11 store might have a megawatt transformer.

Take a picture of it.

Tesla’s answer is battery storage to take the peak charging demand down to much lower levels. JB Straubel detailed the plan (with graphs) and it is actually not anywhere near the demand you make it sound like.

““We’ve started piloting these applications,” said the CTO, pointing out that there is a 400 kilowatt-hour battery pack at the Tejon Ranch supercharger site in Southern California. The “supercharger is the perfect application for energy storage” with its “incredibly peaky load.” he added.”

First off, just like gas pumps, chargers don’t dump 400 kW every single hour of every single day. Even when plugged in, the charge will taper, and there will be times that all the chargers are not full.

With batteries, JB showed how they brought peak grid demand down to a fraction of the peak amount at the Tejon Ranch SC location.

A 400kW(or larger) connection to the grid is not a problem.
But you are right that it is not a good idea. Mainly because it will be very expensive. And it won’t be used at 100% most of the time. It will make charging stations (and charging on them ) very expensive.

P.S. Tesla will probably put batteries in their future charging locations to cover the brief moments where multiple cars charge at 200-300kW instead of getting 200-300kW times the stall count grid connection for their charging locations.

You know, if Musk was real smart, he’d make the Model 3 with a CCS port, and provide an Adapter for the Tesla Superchargers.

Doing so would help compel every Model 3 owner to use other stations more when they’re convenient, alleviating potential Supercharger congestion.

Tesla-priorities aside, it would also be a great step towards getting to a single standard akin to our gas pumps.

A Tesla Model 3 with a CCS port would be a nice addition. Would Musk go to the extra effort on The Tesla Model 3, when it launches later this year? I hope Tesla gets this one right!

Tesla isn’t going to put a CCS port on a Tesla car or truck.

I’d be pretty PO’d as a current Tesla owner if they did.

As a current Tesla owner (who is also generally against CCS if I interpret your posts correctly), why would you care what they put on future cars?

Why would you want to hinder your charge speed to a slow CCS currently if the SC will be much faster? That makes no dang sense.

Either way you go, one will still need an adapter (if one is ever made) similar to the Tesla to Chad.

There has yet to be a time frame when CCS will hit 100KW deployed. The best you can get is 80KW and that’s if you’re lucky enough to find one at that rate!

The ChargePoint stations above are touting a 400kW rate using CCS. Explain how that is slower than 120kW superchargers assuming a car can handle the power delivery?

I hope I never get tired of saying this but power is amps multiplied by volts. The voltage part of the equation in the case of an electric vehicle is whatever that vehicle happens to have as a battery voltage. It is not dependent on the charger other than to have the capability to operate at that voltage. It’s obvious that the CCS standard as well as CHAdeMO are both limited to 350 A. Tesla already operates at 365 A. Both of the public western standards use the same 9 mm pin (GB/T uses a much larger pin). In addition, it appears that one company (that we have learned has an exclusive contract with ChargePoint) makes a liquid cooled pin they can operate that up to 400 A for short amount of time. That 400 A is about 10% more power than Tesla. Anybody, including Tesla, can change their 400 V battery into an 800 V battery almost overnight, if that’s what they wanted to do. I think you’re letting marketing rule logic. If ChargePoint said tomorrow that they have now doubled the voltage limit to 2000 V, would you then jump up-and-down even louder about how uber fantastic that… Read more »

Tony, you let your biases control what you read. I stated clearly “assuming a car can handle it”. I never stated we’re talking about today’s cars.

Also, I thought it was clear since they’re talking about CCS and the current standard doesn’t support the levels stated, that we must also be talking about a future standard being implemented.

Every time someone talks about higher power charging stations you get on your soap box and profess how those levels will never happen because today’s cars don’t have the voltages or battery packs to support it.

Believe it or not, there will be new cars coming out that WILL support it! To quote you, “OMG!!!!”

Cars will absolutely have greater capacity in the future, both in terms of weight, capacity, and charge speed.

I’ve never suggested otherwise.

The limits of cars today are well documented.

I think the DC “extended” pins on the J1772 are 8 mm. Nowhere in the J1772 standard can I find “CCS” by the way, they do call it the “combo” connector sometimes. I can only guess that “CCS” is a marketing term, the European standards do not use it either.

Now you’re going to make me measure one!!!

Tesla joined CharIn some months ago… I bet model 3 will have a CCS-Combo connector that will allow the use of almost every charging station (at least in Europe where Tesla cars are equipped witch Type-2 mennekes connector, the upper part of CCS Combo)

I really hope they go with CCS. While it’s much less elegant than their proprietary connector, it solves problems for them and gets us closer to a unifying standard.

Here’s hoping! 🙂

Tesla couldn’t join the CCS group sooner because it did not even exist until the last year.

Tesla has been a full member of the CHAdeMO Association for a number of years. There is not going to be a Tesla vehicle with the CCS, CHAdeMO, or other “foreign” port on it unless required by government regulations.

To date, no country has made a requirement for an electric vehicle do you have a specific plug, thankfully.

The common plug concept was tried in the state of California almost two decades ago and it was a dismal failure. They regulated that the “Avcon” J1772-2001 plug be used. Needless to say, that standard doesn’t even exist and no cars use it.

For you folks that are so smitten with CCS, why not just go buy a vehicle that has that port already on it?

Your comments are so biased and pointed Tony. I’m surprised you don’t recognize the benefits for mass adoption if only one port standard existed. EVERYONE benefits.

More to the point, why are you in favor of several standards instead of one? That seems to be what the post you made here is insinuating. I don’t know of any benefit.

Stations cannot be used by anyone without added expense of multiple cables or adapters, they cost more to install, not all stations have the right standards, etc. It all flies in the face of mass adoption.

“More to the point, why are you in favor of several standards instead of one?”

Like we currently have standards for Gas stations…


Also add Diesel, and Ethanol / biofuels…..

I get your point. Sure one standard may work, but NOBODY had a fast charging infrastructure up and running to support DCFC when Tesla was selling the Model S so they came up with their own. Neither the big auto companies wanted to build infrastructure and they proudly stated that. SAE couldn’t get their sh|t together fast enough and when they did, they came out with the slow azz J1772. Then Chad appeared then later CCS. How long did that take them?

So all SAE did was say “we don’t want to adopt the Tesla interface” (not verbatim but ‘words to that effect’) so they collaborated with others to come up with CCS just so they can say “look we did something”.

It’s true we have different fuel octanes, but it is not true that we have different nozzles for each one.

Yes, we do for diesel, etc. because they are different types of fuel.

Electricity is a single type of “fuel” not requiring more than one type of port from a functional standpoint. It’s only for proprietary and competitive reasons that we have so many standards presently.

Somehow the world has survived with with cars that use diesel in at least two grades, gasoline in various grades, ethanol, biofuels, natural gas, and others.

I’m confident that electricity refueling stations will survive that have more than one plug, too.

You’re conflating fuel types with refueling ports.

How well do you think the world would run right now if there were 6 different types of gas nozzles for 87 Octane fuel. It’s horribly inefficient to not standardize when it makes sense to, and the society would pay as a whole as a result.

“Somehow the world has survived with with cars using diesel…”

That’s a silly argument. By the same logic, we shouldn’t switch to electric vehicles because the world has survived without them.

It’s not silly to want a single standard, especially since the population will save a lot of money as a result and EV adoption will only increase more.

Actually, the nozzle for diesel is wider than the nozzle for gasoline and won’t fit into a gasoline car filler hole. While nobody can accidentally fill their gasoline car with diesel, plenty of people/attendants accidentally fill up diesel cars with gasoline. It happens all the time. The car won’t run and the fuel tank must be completely drained. I don’t know if could also cause any damage to the fuel pump or engine that would require repairs.

Yes, of course, there should be different nozzles for the different incompatible fuel types for safety.

There is a sizable body count from airplanes that were misfueled. In one case, the Jet-A (basically diesel fuel) fuel nozzle would not fit in the piston gasoline burning airplane fill-up hole, so the guy just trickled in until he filled it up.

They all died on takeoff.

Surprisingly, this still happens. I was in Denver and a captain told me about a plane that had AVGas put into it instead of Jet A. Luckily the error was caught and the flight moved to another airplane.

“Same type of Electricity”

Well, hum, there is North and South America, and then there is the rest of the world. And there you have type 1 and type 2, repectively.

I don’t see this changing. One Euro driver said, why don’t you American Blokes just use the type ‘2’ connector and standardize on THAT?

I’m sure the answer is American Car Manufacturers don’t want to pay for an extra pin on millions of jacks.

Yeah, that’s a fair point Bill. When I usually think of unified standard though, I think of a single plug/port for a given nation or continent. Basically anywhere a car will go without the need for a longgggg boat ride. Tony likes to make the comparison of how chargers from the US don’t work in Europe for his shaver. I don’t know why that’s an argument against a common standard in a given continent. Cars will not be driving across the ocean anytime soon. The whole multiple standards thing right now is more akin Inc some appliances with a certain outlet that you don’t have, but your neighbors house has down the street. Seems kind of crazy to me. I think we are in agreement here anyway, I’m just ranting. Between the continuous defense of multiple standards and the multiple dissertations on power being Volts times Amps, I get frustrated. The latter is obviously valid, but I am already well aware of that. I don’t know why any discussion about higher power charging stations between two people that already know that has to go over CC and CV charging and Volt*Amps all over again. Ok, a second paragraph rant, my… Read more »
Yeah, Mr. Williams takes 20 comments and says the same thing each time. The most interesting comment was Leptoquark’s. Besides, the CP arrangement of 400 Kw max per car, a 62.5 kw ‘booster stall’, and 500 kw power cube are all fun constructs. And they run from a relatively cheap 1600 amp electric service providing the 1000 kw, if you go with 2 power cubes as in the picture. Since these CP things are moving into the realm of more Constant Power rather than decreasing power as Mr. Williams seems to be stuck on, very curious to me since he seems to accept that L2 chargers have always been pretty much constant power – my question is, since, at a large station you’d have various cars with some dead and some near full, and since there is not total independence in the charging scheme per car (as there was in the 750kw sample scheme I was musing about on another article), I wonder if the charging modules are dynamically configurable (via contactors) such that all the ‘dead low voltage cars’ are tied together, and all the ‘quite full high voltage cars’ are similiarly grouped together? I assume not since it… Read more »

” Since these CP things are moving into the realm of more Constant Power rather than decreasing power as Mr. Williams seems to be stuck on, very curious to me since he seems to accept that L2 chargers have always been pretty much constant power ”

You do know that I am actually in the vehicle charging business? Saying silly stuff like this distracts from your occasssional smart council.

Maybe check your meds?

“Check your meds”? “Silly comments”. I don’t take any medications for anything… I suppose you automatically make that assumption because the typical US adult has been brainwashed into taking plenty of pills per day, thinking that will help them, that I must take “MEDS”. No perspicacity there. Maybe every other year I will feel sick enough to take an aspirin or two, but that is it. So thats point 1. For point 2 – some of your comments are plenty silly enough for the both of us – but it is you who made them(you advertise you are about to do it because you always totally capitalize ). “THE ONLY WAY TO CHARGE AN EV IS TO HAVE IT PLUGGED IN”. Anyone who has ever gone down a hill knows the total silliness of that comment. Or saying that Home Depot sells 480 volt I-Line circuit breakers (they do sell 480 volt fuses for the odd commercial maintenance guy who comes in their stores). But I assume you didn’t know that Circuit Breakers have many ratings on them besides just the overcurrent trip point. Or saying that 3-phase power is unavailable for residences when anyone who needs one goes and… Read more »

Well Mr. Williams,

In the first place, I was just agreeing with my friend ClarksonCote, and I was just pointing out an apparent inconsistency in your opinions about things. Instead of taking the opportunity to clarify your position, you arrogantly assume that you are having the ‘sane’ position where as my statement is ‘insane’. Again, this just more silliness.

Yes I am aware that you make connectors, and you may have Solace in the fact that I have never heard anyone at all complain about them.

I have complained about some of Tesla’s connectors, but I’ve never complained about any of your products.

Eric, I know the Mennekes Jacks can do 16 (11kw) and 32 (22 kw). Can they do 63 amps? (44 kw)? If they can’t then that would be another difference. They probably most certainly cannot do 80 amps so that would preclude any North American optional chargered Teslas.
And that would be another reason why ‘Never the two shall meet’ re: type 1 and type 2.

Also, I would check your timeline. I am pretty sure CCS and Chademo were both available before Tesla designed their Supercharger adapter.

The first Tesla automobile on the road with the proprietary Tesla connector was almost surely after CCS was defined, and definitely after Chademo was around.

Martin Eberhart, former head of Tesla, actually lobbied greatly for the SAE level 1-2 charging protocol standard because he believed (rightly, in my opinion) that one standard for all would maximize EV adoption. Then Elon took over and went with a sleeker design instead of a standard approach.

Yeah, when CCS came out and car manufacturers started adopting it as their connectors, it was easy for me to see why – the connector is so cheap.

And you have to have the ‘type 1 and 2’ stuff for home charging anyway, so they’re not really an additional difference since the ‘DC’ part of the connector is only 2 cheap pins. Even Tesla has 2 different connectors since they relented and provided 3 phase charging for the S that they resisted (and ultimately never provided) with the Roadster.

Chademo, even though their connector is prettier, is too expensive compared to the CCS.

Regarding the TSL-01 connector with the Roadster, it would have been better if they had went with the J1772 , which they didn’t since at the time it was only good for 30 amps. Certainly, after they found all the problems with it, they should have put it on the later Roadsters but they never did, similiarly to (I was told) they were going to start retrofitting existing Roadsters with Model “S” connectors so that they could use model “S” UMC’s, since the Tesla Techs always carried 5 or 6 Roadster UMC’s with them because they constantly burned out. I never purchased a UMC because I thought the price was too high, so I bought a j1772 adapter instead, but those things (along with all TSL-01’s) Froze all the time, and I was warned by a Tesla Tech to never take them apart since springs will start flying everywhere. This particular guy thought ‘How hard can it be to fix?’ since he had taken apart complicated automatic transmissions and put them back together – but he said the TSL-01 was impossible. So Tesla would have saved PLENTY in warranty money if they had just taken your advice Eric, and settled… Read more »

Neither the CCS or the Chademo standards in 2011/2012 were capable of 90 kW charging, which is what Tesla needed for their Model S.

That level of charging simply wasn’t available from any standard at the time, forcing Tesla to create their own standard so they had time to test with it before starting Model S sales in the summer of 2012.

I’m not opposed to you jumping up-and-down demanding one charger worldwide (or even nationwide). By the way, the Germans have put a lot of effort into attempting that very goal with CCS. My opinion is that these efforts were designed to stifle competition from Tesla and Nissan and others. You can believe otherwise, but the reality is after numerous attempts in both the EU Parliament and then in the German government, they were not able to make CCS required and universal. Again, no country (none that I am aware of) require a single standard. The very moment that any automaker capitulates to any standard, they are instantly locked in to the limits of that standard with no advantage over the competition who are also using that same standard. The Tesla Supercharger already exceeds the charge limit of this proposed CCS with its large clunky plug. I’m equally confident that Tesla will remain in front of anything that comes out of either Japan or Germany. The US appears to have no interest in actually implementing anything other than what other people have designed that they can co-op as their own. So, I guess for myself, I would be very comfortable with… Read more »

Tesla was not required to use a Menekkes Type 2 plug. They adopted it because it was practical to have a plug that they can operate on three phase AC power.

The existing Tesla plug did not allow that.

Actually, it would be smarter for the CCS crowd to adopt the Type 2 plug the way Tesla has. That’s obviously not going to happen.

In order for the CCS plug to operate at the same power level as an existing Tesla plug, it requires liquid cooling of the pins.

Model 3 will not include a CCS port. It self defeating to pay millions of dollars for your own proprietary stations, and give people the option to charge elsewhere.

Supercharger is a brand on to itself, and in the long run a money earner for the company.

Expect instead a CCS adapter that’s sold at a very high price.

Yes, of course Tesla will build the various CCS adapters required for the regional variations of CCS.

But I don’t see it being particularly expensive. The CHAdeMO adapter was originally offered at $1000 and before the first one was sold the price drop to $450. I expect the price of the various CCS adapters to be very similar.

I seriously doubt Tesla will put a CCS port on the model 3 because Tesla tends to move forward more quickly than the people that make these standards:

Even the “future perspective of up to 350 kW” for CCS is 350 amps at 1000 volts. The Tesla 70D can already charge at more than 350 amps: (see post #56).

What I could see happening is the Model 3 coming with both a J1772 adapter and a CCS adapter instead of just a J1772 adapter like the Model S. But it would be really dumb for Tesla to accept a 350 amp limit just to adopt a standard that is pretty poorly supported at the moment.

Having a different plug for the Model S and Model 3 would also be a really annoying for people that own one of each. There were an awful lot of Model S’s in the parking lot when we waited in line for our Model 3 reservation.

Tesla isn’t going to toss in an expensive adaptor that relatively few people would use.

They don’t throw in free CHAdeMO adaptors, and there are more of those than CCS.

If a high power version of the CCS standard really takes off in the next couple of years and if the CCS adapter is only a “dumb” plug without any electronics then I could see Tesla including it for free since it would improve the usefulness of the car.

But I definitely agree that high power CCS becoming widespread in the US isn’t a given.

CCS has no more power than CHAdeMO.

Tesla will make an adaptor for both.

No DC adaptor will be “dumb”, sorry, nor will it be free with the car.

“CCS has no more power than CHAdeMO.”

That’s why I wrote “If a higher power version of CCS becomes widespread”. And this quote from JB Straubel sure seems to indicate the possibility of a “dumb” CCS adapter: ”

What about the communication protocol of the Combo Connector? It’s considered essential for V2G.

That’s fine. We’re definitely commonizing with all of that. The only thing that’s up for debate in all of these standards is the physical geometries of the pins and sockets. Everything else is pretty easy to adapt to. The communication standards are pretty universal. We’re 100% compliant with all the J1772 communication levels, signaling, voltage, everything.”

If Tesla really manages to dump 500 000 cars yearly on the road after 2018 you can forget about CCS or CHAdeMO. The will simply destroy anyone who tries to go against them….

The price of the charger shouldn’t be a big deal compared to the costs of installation and the demand charges. Given that latter, 300 kW charging is likely not an option for more lightly used stations.

More range is likely a better option than faster charging.

Exactly right. Tesla, as well as others, will have to rely on batteries to mitigate demand fees to make the network viable. I would not be surprised to learn that Tesla has paid millions of dollars in just demand fees alone.

Tesla reportedly spends an average of about $250,000 for a Supercharger installation. Assuming a peak load of 500 kW at just $10 per kilowatt demand fee, without the cost of electricity at all, then that one fee alone might cost $5000 or more per site per month. In parts of California, that fee could be nearly 3 times that amount.

Thousands of dollars per month and many tens of thousands of dollars per year, hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of the equipment, plus the cost of electricity, maintenance, upgrades, etc.

Yes, the cost of this hardware is chump change compared to the real cost involved.

350KW charging might be closer than the author seems to believe. Sofar Mercedes, BMW, VW, Ford, Renault and Chrysler are either investing in 350KW infrastructure or showing 350KW capable concept cars (Chrysler). Elon Musk even suggested that 350KW is very low compared to what he is working on (for Model 3?).

Porsche Mission E is the only concrete upcoming 350KW capable car but signs are this could find wider acceptance sooner than many seem to believe.

hmm I think they only showing 350kW capable presentations not cars

No representative from Tesla, including Elon Musk, suggested or stated that model three would have 350 kW or greater charging. That is all Internet hyperbole.

We have now learned that Porsche does not intend to use 350 kW charging on their MissionE vehicle, but instead it will be limited to 220 kW.

Porsche 800 volt charging:

220kW charging according to Porsche

I suspect that ‪Porsche‬ will maintain the car at 400 volts and only use an 800 volt configuration for DC fast charging.

With the revelation that their “350kW” car will really be 220kW at 800 volt maximum, we have to assume that the max charge rate is around 700 volts. NO BATTERY ACCEPTS MAXIMUM AMPS AT ITS MAXIMUM VOLTS !!!

220kW = 350a * 629v (350 amps is very likely to be the max amps)
220kW = 312A * 700v
220kW = 293a * 750v

Oh boy. Look at those pics. That’s clearly a mockup. The inside is designed to look good not be cost-effective or functional.

I’m disheartened now.

Thank you for getting all the details though.

Other note, I’m not sure why you thought the cooled cable would be huge. Tesla switched their Superchargers to cooled cables to make them thinner and more flexible. So it should be the same for ChargePoint.

The Tesla liquid cooled cables were used from June 2015 until July 2015. I physically use them once when I picked up my car up at the Tesla factory on June 24, 2015.

The plug was not cooled and it was actually was quite warm to the touch.

These liquid cooled cables were installed and used at exactly one location; Mountain View, California.

The liquid cooled cables are no longer in place? I didn’t know that.

It doesn’t really matter vis-a-vis the thickness of the cable though. The point of liquid cooling is you can use thinner conductors. When used properly they will make the cables thinner and lighter.

There’s no reason to think the charge probe itself would be cooler or warmer based upon a change in the cable. The head is passing the same amount of current in both cases and if it isn’t cooled in the liquid cable case that’s no different from the other cables either.

This is an imported step up in charging capability, I like that somebody else than Tesla is talking the lead! it means they finally got it, and sees the future ahead and put the money on the project! and finally close the gab for a electron refill!

First, I hope the swivel feature on top is robust after being outside for years. Second, it’s great to see cables not flopping around on the ground, which has always kind of bothered me. Third, I can see a wise convenience store chain or two putting these in, since a) the additional site requirements are so much less than gas pumps and b) would I want to just wait in my car, or pick something up while I’m charging, especially if the charger is just out of the store’s wi-fi range… Fourth, on-site energy storage changes everything, since the power cubes recharge when the station isn’t in use: good-bye demand charges. Fifth, to quote, “Those two stations can share 0,1,2, 3 or 4 modules to one car, at any one instance and will offer the proper voltage. So you can give a car 125kW, 93.75kW 62.5kW or 31.25kW of power.” Lets be careful of terminology. Maintaining the voltage to a car isn’t really the issue. Current, and hence instantaneous power, is the thing to watch. The question to ask is what happens when four cars with almost-empty batteries show up at once? How does the system serve all most efficiently?… Read more »
There has been no statement from ChargePoint, nor any suggestion that their power cube has any batteries whatsoever. Yes, batteries will be important but this announcement is not that. Also, they didn’t design for 450 kW. The stated design is 400 kW and more specifically 400 A multiplied by 1000 volts. No vehicle with a 1000 V maximum battery is going to charge at 400 A . None. No vehicle has been announced to operate on a 1000 V battery anymore than there are any vehicles offered today that have a 500 V battery, even though the specifications allow for that. As we see from the Porsche announcement, they are planning on 220 kW. The new Nissan LEAF has been announced to be “150 kW” as well as several several other new cars coming. The Kia Soul EV can operate at about 70 kW. Nobody, including Tesla, has a car planned to operate anywhere near 300 or 400 kW. But, there is already industrial equipment, ferryboats, buses and the like that are operating at over 1 MW. I think it’s safe to assume that the future Tesla truck will operate at over 750 kW with stacked up 100 kWh car… Read more »
You’re right, I thought they were batteries. Now that I read the data sheet ( I understand it better. The Express Plus Station comes with two Power Modules, each of which is an AC/DC converter and can supply 31.25 kW from 200V to 1kV, clamped at 78A. To compare, the station I normally use, a Nissan-built DC Fast charger at an eVgo Freedom Station, runs at about 395V and 105A before it begins its long ramp-down, so 41 kW peak. The two Power Modules in this new Chargepoint charger would give me 62.5 kW peak. The Power Cube is an enclosure for 16 more Power Modules, which can be configured to supplement the power output of the Station. The Chargepoint site shows three configurations, where one Cube is connected to 8 Stations, 4 Stations or 2 Stations, thus adding either 2, 4 or 8 modules to each of the Stations built-in 2 Modules. The Cube thus allows you to simultaneously power: 8 Stations at (2+2)*31.25kW=125kW each, 4 Stations at (2+4)*31.25kW=187kW each, or 2 Stations at (2+8)*31.25kW=312kW each. If, however, you don’t need to simultaneously power your 8, 4 or 2 stations, the Cube will let you use power from more… Read more »

“Fourth, on-site energy storage changes everything, since the power cubes recharge when the station isn’t in use: good-bye demand charges.”

Maybe I missed it but I haven’t read anything that indicates that a PowerCube contains a battery pack. I think a PowerCube contains only a set of power supply modules, so a PowerCube cannot store energy to eliminate demand charges.

Thanks so much Tom for the informative article!!!

Great article Tom M. Lots of detail. Looks like these guys are really serious about this and it sounds like a nice design from an engineering point of view. Especially the scalability and those suitcase size modules. Also perhaps a great idea for model 3 to take some load off the SC tesla network.

I hope they decide to take responsibility for the entire cross country network. Seems like that would result in a more reliable system.

ChargePoint better have a very robust lock to secure their Power Cube, because plug-and-play modules make it very easy for thieves to smash-and-grab modules. Just sayin’.

Lots of chargers use modules; that’s nothing new.

Tesla has been using either 9 or 12 of their 10 to 12kWh power modules in their Supercharger from the beginning. Eaton units that were designed in Japan use 10 kWh modules.

When the Superchargers were vandalized in Barstow, California recently, the bad guys weren’t intelligent enough to steal power modules; they just cut wires and stole common circuit breakers that you can buy at Home Depot.

Like many of the things you spew on here, this doesn’t pass even the most casual logic test.

Casual logic test: What would a thief steal if he breaks open the doors on the ChargePoint Power Cube and sees this?

Hint: “The suitcase-sized modules simply slide in and out of the Power Cube. They literally plug in without the need of an electrician to rewire anything if one needs to be replaced.”

Even better simple logic test the power modules have no value to a thief… none, nada, zilch.

They will steal the circuit breakers before they take one of these modules, no matter how easy it is to take. Heck, the solar panels that are located at the supercharger site in Barstow have real street value, and can probably be unplugged and removed in less than a minute each, and they didn’t steal those either.

Be sure and check back in 10 years or so so we can add up how many power modules were stolen out of power cubes. Then we can compare that to all the other shit that will be stolen, like hacking off the cables for copper and anything else that they see as a quick buck.

I’m pretty sure those suitcase shaped modules will find themselves on Craigslist…….blahahahahahahahaha

Who says they wanted the power modules?

The breakers are easy to “fence” at full price. Simply use them on a job and no one will ask where you got them. Boom, you made a lot of money.

For the other modules in there there is only one buyer and they aren’t going to buy them off you. They have poor value when sold after stolen. You’d basically have to sell them for parts.

The thieves don’t have to be stupid to only take breakers. In fact they may be quite smart.

Home Depot doesn’t sell Square-D I-Line products which go into QED-2 switchgear. They sell Homeline and QO, for the home and (very) small commercial markets.

The crooks weren’t looking for Tesla-Specific hardware, and, since they didn’t cut the wires at the edge of the pipe, they weren’t too mean since they left it easy to resplice.

Tom, Thank you for your work. I find your articles most enjoyable. Now hit the Casinos.

I need to further clarify that 350A is required just to meet the 150 kW charge station standard. 400 A is restricted to using these liquid cooled plugs and even then the duration of time is limited.

The battery voltage has almost nothing to do with the charger, as it could be 400 V like a Tesla, BMW i3, or Nissan LEAF or it could be 800 V like the upcoming Porsche. It is not very likely that we will have batteries that stray from those two standards for a whole lot of technical reasons.

The charge protocol standard however is either 500 V or 1000 V max.

Power is always Amps * Volts

Even at 350-400 A, that new Porsche is only going to charge of 220 kW even with an 800 V battery.

“Even at 350-400 A, that new Porsche is only going to charge of 220 kW even with an 800 V battery”

Based on what?

If the pack is 800V when completely charged, then it is at 514V when completely discharged.

514V * 400A = 205kW
600V * 400A = 240kW
700V * 400A = 280kW

Taper to CV from CC would occur somewhere around 750V for an 800V pack, where the cell voltages get to approximately 4V and the current charging them goes to CV at 4.2V each.

“If the pack is 800V when completely charged, then it is at 514V when completely discharged.

514V * 400A = 205kW
600V * 400A = 240kW
700V * 400A = 280kW”

I gave the link from Porsche themselves, so you’re free to not believe what Porsche said.

An 800 V battery will be 192 cells in series. The lowest likely cell voltage that they will allow will be three volts, for 576 volts minimum.

220kW = 576v * 382a (requires liquid cooled plug)
220kW = 650v * 338a
220kW = 700v * 314a
220kW = 750v * 293a
0kW = 800v * 0a

That link compares several charging rates. It does not state that the limit will be 220kW. It implies that it a sweet spot for their battery.

It certainly doesn’t state its battery couldn’t take higher power levels during parts of the charge curve. In fact, their 350kW charging references show improvement over 220kW which would support that their battery can accept higher charge rates during some of that charge curve.

It’s pretty obvious that we can pigeonholed what Porsche will ultimately do.

We know what the battery voltage limits are and we know what the amperage limits of the chargers are.

We know what the likely ability of cells are to handle being charged and at what voltage is.

There’s really not a whole lot more to speculate… 350 amps that exceeds 220kW by some small margin? 400 amps for a short amount of time?

It will be fun to see what they do and what problems they have. Using Tesla as a baseline is great since they already do 365 to 370 A every day. I’m confident that by the time Porsche releases their car and has the charging equipment in place that Tesla will exceed whatever they do.

The bigger question is, how many will there be at any given charge location?

We see about 7 or more for Tesla SC’s but most other DCFC locations have one or two.

Off topic, another way to reduce dependency on DCFC is get faster AC L2 stations. Much less expensive. I’m surprised the LG bolt only had only 7680W charger. Seems rather old school when the B-Class and Rav have 10KW. All new EV’s should start coming with at least 15KW-20KW by now. Tesla has the Model S and X with 20KW. But then again, it’s the Big gas burner companies that are holding it all back. Not even an “Option” for their product.
He|| the LG Bolt doesn’t even come standard with CCS!!!

More powerful AC charging isn’t less expensive overall because every EV would need to carry around more expensive power supplies to convert AC to DC instead of having those power supplies in the charging station itself. More powerful AC charging would require more robust EV cooling systems which would take up space and increase the weight of each EV.

“More powerful AC charging isn’t less expensive overall because every EV would need to carry around more expensive power supplies to convert AC to DC”

My apologies, I was talking about home charging an/or destination chargers (shopping malls etc…) as compared to a DCFC.

Just look at the prices of EVSE’s from Chargepoint, Clipper Creek and eMotorwerks. They have different charge rates and they don’t cost multithousands for the highest amperage. OPENEVSE has an 80A WattZilla.

How much does a DCFC cost????

I would pay extra for a much faster onboard charger if it were offered. Some LEAF owners have retrofitted with Brusa chargers and/or added a second charger to be able to charge at 32A.

As for EV cooling, I would start worrying about that when you get to charging at or over 1C of the pack. Even if you had a 40KWh pack and had dual onboard chargers at 20KW, you’ll be charging at .5C
If the car can DCFC, then it has ample engineered cooling built in already.

“….Bolt charger is 7680 watts”

It is not. It is 7200 watts.

Since the GEN 1 volt could draw a maximum of 15 amps from the EVSE, why don’t you say likewise that the GEN1 Volt had a 3600 watt charger when it in fact only has a 3300 watt charger?

Hey Bill, isn’t the Bolt capable of using up to a 32A charger? That’s what GMs website states anyway.

So 7680W seems right if we are talking about maximum EVSE output to a Bolt EV.

Or am I overlooking something?

To be clear, the way the website words it, I would expect the Bolts charger to be 32A, using the full current a 32A EVSE could provide. Otherwise, why would they state 32A on the Website?

The Gen 1 Volt did have a 15A Level 2 EVSE that was available, but I think all charging references were 3.3kW

I’m just playing Devil’s Advocate to get people to look at it from the other way.

GEN 1 charger is 15 amps maximum input. If you blindly multiply 240*15 you’ll get 3.6 kw.

But all it REALLY means is that it maxes out at 3.3 kw and it will do so at 220 volts or more. So if you come in with alot more voltage the car is going to draw less current, the same way your laptop powersupply does.

Similarly, the BOLT is 7.2 kw. It will draw 32 amps up to 225 volts. Anything higher, and the input current will go down.
If you have 240, then a 30 amp evse will still provide full power.

Or, 2 X 16 for the Ampera-E (230V400) for the euro markets which only allow a maximum of 16 amps imballance.

Since 32 imballance is allowed in Britain, they’ll probably just get the NA thing with a type 1 cordset, and jack.

You’ll see what I mean at the Liverpool Chili’s. The ChargePoints there send out the WRONG data stream to the car – they tell it to limit the current to 32 amps. Since the EVSE shutdown is 110% of rated current (33 amps) the thing works, and a bolt should get around 6.4 kw there (assuming the voltage can be maintained at, at least 200 volts).

Yeah, I see what you’re saying now, and agree.

Oh, just remembered: No real british issue because the steering wheel.

Now my home, whose neighborhood has the world’s worst (almost 3rd world) electricity – there’s 4 big reasons for that which I’m not getting into other than to say its power company incompetence, has flucuated this year from 259 volts to 206 volts in August. With nothing on in my house.

SO obviously if I get a Bolt, with my existing 30 amp EVSE, the vast majority of the time I won’t be charging at full power, but then even if I bought a 40 amp EVSE I still wouldn’t either because the car current limits to 32 just as my current cars do to 15.

I think Brian’s Leaf at the Chili’s CP showed that he could draw 18 amps on his base 3.6 kw (formerly called 3.3 kw but really 3.6) Nissan. But then 200 volts is a nominal common voltage in Japan, so the Leaf you would think is designed to work fine with quite low voltages.

We worked out the voltage even though we didn’t have a voltmeter by realizing MY car would have been current limited to 15 amps and therefore the almost exact 3000 watt reading on the CP meant the voltage was 200 volts.

OF course, one place for inaccuracy was that the ‘other’ CP cord may have been on at least one other phase, but seeing as this is a large restaurant with an 800 amp electric service, its not too much of a stretch to think that 18 amps on ‘A’ and ‘B’, and 15 amps on ‘B’ and ‘C’ are not going to imballance the main service voltages too much, seeing as the 3 x 75 kva cans are not a long run to the main service.

Tony: “Why would you want to hinder your charge speed to a slow CCS currently if the SC will be much faster? That makes no dang sense.”

Tony: “That 400 A is about 10% more power than Tesla.”

So which is it, faster or slower? You keep getting hung up on current standards and use that to justify your arguments. This station is clearly using newer standards with higher current as you even state above. Sheesh! 🙂

The first comment was mine, not TDubs.

Thanks, I missed that.

We need an edit feature. 🙂

+1 🙂

You’re kind of arguing with yourself. I never identified the exact model, or manufacturer, or any data about the circuit breakers that were stolen from the Supercharger in Barstow. You did. Then you argued that I said you could buy that exact model at Home Depot. No, actually I didn’t. Yes, Home Depot has oodles of circuit breakers. Yes, you can buy circuit breakers there. I stated that breakers can be purchased at Home Depot. I actual DONT KNOW (just for you, in capital) what breakers were in the Supercharger… THEY WERE STOLEN !!! I never saw them, and I’m not so keen on making sweeping assumptions with specific detail, as you are. Having lived in professions where assumptions got people killed, I actually cringe a bit when folks like you start blathering about specific details when there isn’t data to back it up. That doesn’t mean don’t use specifics… quite the opposite. Or make corrections. If I said the Superchargers were disabled because the door was open to the breaker box, sure, that’s where you step up and suggest that perhaps the missing circuit breakers are the problem? See the difference? I actually don’t give a hoot what model,… Read more »