ChargePoint CEO Says Gas Stations Aren’t A Model For EV Charging

1 week ago by Mark Kane 92

ChargePoint stats – mid-August 2017

ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano shared his thoughts this Summer on why the gas station business model doesn’t fit with the future of electric cars.

ChargePoint

The EV charging infrastructure of today is far from perfect, but the electrification of gas stations, or following their model for plug-in vehicles is not the solution.


Stats: ChargePoint doubled number of charging points connected into the network over the past 30 months, to nearly 40,000. Since inception, ChargePoint dispenced more than 212 GWh of energy over 27,456,059 charges, which is less than 8 kWh per single charge.


For the most part, electric vehicles will replenish their energy 80-95% at its point of origin (such as a residential home) or at a work using 3-10 kW AC charging stations. The destination (home and work) itself is the main reason why we park there, while charging the car is the secondary task for a parking spot.

In case of fuel station, refueling is the main purpose of the trip, and thus you are there for only a couple of minutes, but spending a lot more than in the case of charging.

The combination of charging time, price of electricity/fuel and ability to recharge at home/work makes the gas stations business model mismatched.  Via the WSJ:

“The 51-year-old Mr. Romano says copying the gas-station model is a mistake. “That’s just an artifact of the fuel choice that we’ve used for the last 100 years,” he says. As electric vehicles become capable of going further on a single charge, drivers increasingly will be able to simply plug in at home or work, minimizing the need for roadside depots that sell everything from lottery tickets to diesel.”

According to Romano, the U.S. will need only a few thousand of fast charging stations along main routes to support the slower AC charging stations, while currently there is 168,000 fuel stations nationwide.

An interesting added note was thoughts on wireless charging, of which the ChargePoint CEO sees it as usable for autonomous driving and home charging, especially when there are some other constraints in play – such as tight spaces.

source: Wall Street Journal

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92 responses to "ChargePoint CEO Says Gas Stations Aren’t A Model For EV Charging"

  1. Lawrence says:

    Destination charging is great but there are too many ICEholes. Since not everyone is considerate, enforcement is the key. Legislation and enforcement is key to making this whole concept work.

    1. Mario & Luigi says:

      I prefer the term gashole

      1. Clive says:

        I like gassers myself.

    2. Peter says:

      Destination charging AC at low speed will be the most important part of BEV future and cover most peoples needs.
      But DC charging will improve 20 minutes will soon be 10 minutes. Drive 2 hours and take a 10 minute brake.
      Petrol stations at highways will do the job with restrooms and food.

  2. Ross says:

    I agree completely with the assessment, however as EV range increases, they will also become viable for people who can’t install chargers where they park (or its prohibitively expensive to do so). Having public chargers in the community will also remain important. I live in a major city and have a LEAF and haven’t bothered to install home charging because it would cost thousands to run an underground line from my meter to my outdoor parking space in the outside of the building. Not an issue, since I don’t drive a tremendous amount (95%+ trips are transit/walk/bike) and there’s an easily accessible charger a few blocks away. I drive over and charge up when I need to, or charge at my destination if there’s charging there.

  3. CCIE says:

    How about they start including long-term maintenance contracts when they sell units?

    There are far too many inoperable ChargePoint units near me because the property owners aren’t willing to pay to fix them and ChargePoint takes no responsibility.

    I don’t blame the property owners who were fleeced by ChargePoint to install the units, as well as the high monthly service charges, only to have the them fail after a few years.

    1. CDAVIS says:

      CCIE said: “How about they [ChargePoint] start including long-term maintenance contracts when they sell units? There are far too many inoperable ChargePoint units…”
      ————

      I also have too many times found ChargePoint chargers to be not working and so now I avaoid them when I can. For sure maintenance of ChargPoint chargers is something ChargePoint needs to improve on.

      ChargePoint chargers need to be bettter proactively maintained before they break down rather than waiting for the charger to fail and then someone (ChargePoint? or Property Owner? or Business Owner? ) gets around to fixing the broken charger.

      Perhaps ChargePoint also needs to incorporate some kind of diagnostic check in the chargers that alerts ChargePoint when a unit is not working so that the charger can be automatically removed from the list of ChargePoint locations until its fixed.

    2. Mark says:

      They are great in my city. Blink was the worst charging company and units made.

      1. Clive says:

        BLINK will be gone soon enough.

        My least fav of them all.

        1. Rick Karl says:

          Drove my imiev 5894 miles in March end to end twice Route 66.used dozens of Charge point chargers. Not one was out of order. All worked.

    3. unlucky says:

      It is apparently an option in my area because CP fixes the units around my area.

    4. Victor says:

      +1 CCIE

  4. scott franco says:

    I disagree. As EVs take off, this will start to impact the business of gas stations (negatively). Stations are situated in places near the major highways, on easily accessible corners, with supervision.

    To me this means two things:

    1. Stations should go for the highest possible charging speed. Really bleeding edge stuff. Both to turn the cars over rapidly, and because they are in a better position to provide it.

    2. The charging stalls should be in front of the parking spaces, not (obviously) in the gas pump lanes.

    This gives gas stations a chance to survive long term. They will have to pay the expense of high amp power drops from the power company, and the advanced chargers required. Think they can’t afford it? Here in California, they make them dig up and replace the underground tanks every so often, due to the rash of leaking tanks that were found. That’s a very expensive process.

    It’s either that or watch their business slowly die.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Stations should go for the highest possible charging speed. Really bleeding edge stuff. Both to turn the cars over rapidly, and because they are in a better position to provide it.”

      Indeed. Both the customer and the service station owner benefit from faster charging. The customer benefits because he doesn’t have to wait as long to get his car charged, and the owner benefits because he can get paid by more customers per hour.

      Anyone who thinks that competition won’t continue to drive down charging times, or thinks that charging times won’t eventually get down to an average of 10 minutes or less, is smokin’ something. The question is just how soon that will happen. But, that will require better batteries; ones which can be charged much faster without overheating.

      1. Ziv says:

        I don’t know about the “bleeding edge stuff” being worth it for most charging station operators. Whether you can get 3 hours of additional AER in 15 minutes or 10 minutes or 5 minutes won’t matter all that much to 80% of the people that drive BEV’s because they will charge at home 95% of the time.
        The additional cost of building chargers capable of delivering 60 kWh in 5 minutes (approx. 720 kW charge rate) would be much more than 3 times as expensive as a charger capable of delivering 60 kWh in 15 minutes (approx. 240 kW charge rate).
        A ubiquitous 200 kW system of chargers that are well maintained, have clean bathrooms and a couple choices of food or coffee will be much more popular than relatively few chargers that charge in 1/3 of the time, even if they are maintained as well as the less “bleeding edge” chargers that cost less and have other profit sources from food and drink.
        I think backers of the bleeding edge charging systems are thinking like gas station owners and not like BEV charging system owners.

        1. Ziv says:

          I meant to make that “Whether you can get 3 hours of additional highway AER (which would be about 210 miles of additional hwy AER) in 15 minutes…”
          Hopefully it makes sense the way I wrote it, but if not, my error.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Let’s say there are two EV ultra-fast-charge stations, across the road from each other.

          One is advertising “100 kWh @6.00 IN 10 MINUTES”, and across the road the other is advertising “100 kWh @5.00 IN 20 MINUTES”. Now, which one are most people going to flock to?

          Yeah, the one offering a 20 minute wait might as well be serving meals, and he might as well spend his employees’ hours on making sure everything is spic-n-span, because he sure ain’t gonna be selling many kWh of electricity, and he ain’t gonna be selling soda and snacks to those who are willing to pay for the convenience of getting in and out fast!

          And the fact that the station which offers a faster charge has to spend more money on its higher power electrical hookup is rather unimportant to the owner, since he can service almost twice as many customers per stall, per hour, as his slower competitor. As far as the higher installation charge, well, that will be amortized over a lot more customers, since he’s doing a much higher volume of sales, so aside from the higher startup cost that’s rather unimportant.

          Convenience stores were a successful business model even before people started marrying them to gas stations. The reason that they are successful as standalone stores is because for most people living in first-world countries, convenience is worth paying for.

          1. Martin Winlow says:

            Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. Firstly, not all EVs will be able to take advantage of the higher charge rate but much more significant is the cost of being able to supply 300kW or more of power. Realistically, the only practical way to do it will be to have a large battery ‘reservoir’ contantly ‘drip’ fed by the supply and capable of dumping the huge amounts of energy that some commentators in the EV sphere are currently talikng about (eg Mercedes and their 350kW chargers).

            If your long-range EV has a 500 mile capable pack, then it’s going to have to be about 150kWh in capacity and to recharge that in 10 minutes requires at least 900kW of power. That’s nearly a *gigawatt*, FCOL!!

            And so we come back to the statistic that the average US car doesn’t even use 7.5kWh of energy a day. Is everyone *seriously* going to spend 3 or 4 times as much money on their EV’s battery than they need to, just so they can do the once-a-year long trip?

            I don’t think so. And so, the whole question of high power charging for cars becomes very moot (truck’s & buses not so much).

            So far as Romano’s comments are concerned, he is talking nonsense. The (large) ‘gas station’ provides everything an EV driver (and rapid charger) needs: industrial power supply already installed, eating and toilet facilities already installed, many already operating 24/7, many sited on major trunk routes, a relatively secure environment (and continuous supervision to deter vandalism and report faults), wifi to while away the 30 minute wait (?), etc, etc.

            And why wouldn’t gas stations *want* EV drivers (and their passengers frittering away 30 minutes on their forecourts? Thay hardly make any money at all from the fuel they sell; all their profit is made selling ‘Twinkies’ (apparently) and all the other muck that passes for food in the US (sorry if this sounds rude).

            The 2 largest gas station chains in the UK (BP and Shell) have already started installing rapid chargers on their forecourts. If the US (and everywhere else, FTM) don’t follow suit, I will be very surprised.

            1. Magnus says:

              McDonalds is one of the main players for charging here in Sweden.

              BTW, it’s a megawatt not gigawatt

            2. JeremyK says:

              +1
              This is absolutely a great way for convenience stores/gas stations to get people to come inside….something I try to avoid like the plague. These stores will more than make up the money spent on electricity when in-store purchases are factored in.

              I think it should be mandated that all new gas stations provide at least one Level 2 (or greater) charging space. When you’re low on range, even 25 miles/hour of charge rate starts to sound pretty good.

          2. ziv says:

            I hear you Push, but can you imagine those same 2 charging stations, one saying “We can charge you at 700 kW charge rate! You will be in and out in 5 minutes!”
            And the other is “We charge half what the guy next door charges!”
            Gas stations are one of the few businesses that put their prices in 2 foot tall signs right out front. Charging stations may resemble gas stations, if only in this way, as they boast about how low their cost per charging session can be.

      2. Will says:

        I agree push. Gas station are in perfect location for the consumer and accessible plus all they need to do is change the pumps for chargers instead of building new facilities. This CEO is scared that the gas station will eat up his business

        1. John Blangiardo says:

          +1

          The model exists for gas stations with their support of air pumps for tires.

          There are now enough stations, in the right places. They’ll only need three or four chargers to address demand.

          Add convenience services and free wifi and they are perfect.

          What are they waiting for..they ARE just ignorant of the potential, just like our power companies who fear the growth of EVs and solar panels.

        2. Another Euro point of view says:

          +100

    2. TP says:

      It will probably be easier to get convenience store owners to spend money on fast charging stations than various property owners to buy low powered AC equipment.

      My workplace doesn’t offer EV charging, and I live close enough that it is no big deal. But where I run I into a need to charge is when I go to other nearby cities, for non-work purposes. And usually I am not sitting somewhere for hours and even when I am, it is rare that the garage or shopping center has EVSEs present. So for me, access to operational DCFC is far more important than standard AC units. And guess what,the one I most often frequent is at a gas station.

  5. Scott says:

    Bye, bye, gas stations. They will all go out of business. Why would people charge at a gas station when they can charge at a place like a park, or a rest area, or any other of the innumerable places electricity is available.

    1. Mister G says:

      Maybe but where will we buy our smokes and alcohol when in a hurry LOL

      1. Ziv says:

        Odd thought just struck me. One of my earliest memories is of selling a pack of cigarettes at the Husky truck stop I worked at and laughing that both a pack of the cigarettes and the gas was selling for 55 cents.
        Now gas is 4 or 5 times that price, and cigarettes are about 10 times the old price.

        1. Mister G says:

          LOL I remember working at a Texaco full service station and while stocking walk-in cooler I was drinking beer lol

  6. unlucky says:

    I agree with him. And I think GM says similar things.

    Public infrastructure is far less important with longer range vehicles.

    You’ll charge at home or work. And if you go on a trip (where you can’t get home) you’ll expect to charge at the hotel, AirBNB, etc. you stay at.

    When these things don’t or when you’re taking a long drive (like driving all day) you use DCFC.

    Chargepoint sees this. In populated areas like Silicon Valley they concentrate on AC charging and along highway corridors they deploy DC charging.

    It’s the right way to do it. It’s certainly going to take some time though.

  7. unlucky says:

    Just to add a little more, with an ICE, you use gas stations nearest you the most by far. You spend 95% of your time near your house so you gas up there the most too.

    When an EV since you fill up in your garage that means that there will be relatively little demand for charging near residential areas, at least in the suburbs.

    So the neighborhood station particularly isn’t a good model for charging. Street corners will be freed up to hold other businesses.

  8. Ricardo says:

    Dear Americans,
    When you have to go from Sacramento to Portland, where do you stop to get gas? Because, here in Europe, whenever we have to travel, we have these cool things called motorway service stations. They are big, they have restaurants, they have green spaces, they have bathrooms, newspapers, magazines, cigarettes and they are right next to the motorway. You never leave the motorway. This is the proper place to install super hyper chargers. I don’t want to watch a film and do some shopping when I’m traveling from Sacramento to Portland. I just want to get there. I also don’t want to see how beautiful Eugene is. I just want to get there. Now, I’m genuinely interested in knowing. Do you Americans leave the interstate or whatever, go to town, get gas at the mall, get back to the interstate and proceed with your trip? Is that the way it works there?

    1. Counterpoint says:

      In the US, we have rest stops, which sometimes have all the amenities you have including restaurants and gas stations, but more often only have bathrooms, vending machines, and a map. In my experience, the more fully-featured rest stops are typically on tollways (pay to access), whereas freeways have more limited rest stops.

    2. Ambulator says:

      Generally, at least out west, you get off the roadway and find a gas station nearby. Easy off and easy on is important.

      Back east I think I’ve seen the sort of station you describe.

    3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Dear Person-not-living-in-the-USA,

      If there’s a service area on the Interstate, it implies that it’s a toll road with limited access.

      In other cases, there will very often be a gas station close to the Interstate exit so you don’t generally have to drive far off the Interstate to get gas.

      1. philip d says:

        To clarify your statement which correct those gas stations are typically right off the off ramp.

        Most of the nation’s freeways have a minimum constant population spread along them punctuated by small towns that are in part supported by off-ramp restaurants and gas stations.

        Get off and get right back on every couple miles or so. Maybe in very remote parts it might be every 30 miles or so.

    4. Scott Franco says:

      We just went across Europe (Spain-France-Italy). The “superstops” are very nice. France also has an UNBELIVEABLE number of rest stops, which is quite nice.

      I don’t think the superstops are much different than a couple of the “super gas stations” that exist in the USA. Probably the main difference is that on many highways, there are so many restaurants that the gas stations don’t feel the need to add restaurants.

      In any case, I agree. That’s where the best/highest rate chargers need to go. This will enable long distance traffic. The current model of sticking chargers in the back alley and letting people go hunt for the restaurants is really not very intelligent. I have been to a few of these type of stations here in the USA where you don’t feel safe after dark.

  9. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “Gas Stations Aren’t A Model For EV Charging”

    That’s what I’ve been saying for years. So long as charging times are 20+ minutes, they’re not a good fit to the gas station + convenience store business model. Nobody wants to hang around a convenience store, which has no place to sit down, for 20-45 minutes.

    Tesla’s new Supercharger plazas, with a “customer center” including a lounge and probably some sort of deli or fast-food franchise, is a much better way to cater to those waiting for their car to charge.

    https://electrek.co/2017/07/11/tesla-supercharger-largest-ev-charging-station-world/

    Of course, a restaurant or shopping mall is also a good fit to those forced to cool their heels for 20-45 minutes. But putting Superchargers at such locations means Tesla would have to locate its plazas where such businesses already exist, instead of where Tesla needs to place them to best support inter-city travel.

    * * * * *

    But competition will continue to drive down charging times. Once the average charging time gets down to ~10 minutes or less, then the EV charging station + convenience store business model begins to make sense.

    1. needa says:

      That supercharger plaza is nothing more than a truck stop. Which is the perfect place for charging at a gas station. Those places are slammed 12 hours a day and busy for the other 12.
      Seems like the number of cars on the road from people traveling is being completely ignored by chargepoint, and the commenters.
      15-20 minutes is an average stop for most people. Fuel up, wash windows, pee, grab coffee, and leave. Need to walk a dog, add five minutes. Have kids, add ten minutes. Going to grab a burger or Subway? Add seven minutes. It all adds up. Chargers that will do its job in a half hour at a truck stop and nobody will know the difference. Convenience stores are a bit different. Five minutes for just gas customers. Ten minutes for coffee and gas customers.

      I saw Sheetz being talked about. That’s a 20 minute stop too if you’re going to eat. I have seen fifty people in that place waiting on food on more than one occasion.
      Tl;Dr People are underestimating the demand that EVs will have in just a couple of years at a gas station, and people are overestimating how fast those chargers need to be.

      1. needa says:

        I should add that traveling… You are going to be stopping twice as often as your ICE bretherin. Thus doubling the demand needed on the interstates.

    2. Scott Franco says:

      The current business model for highway gas stations on major transit routes in the USA is to cater to both people who are going to shop a bit, maybe eat, and generally stretch, as well as “highway warriors” that stick the hose in the car, turn it on, go to the bathroom and load their coffee cup again and be back on the road again in 15 minutes.

      The charge time or tank refill time does not have much bearing on that model unless is were to be very long. I don’t think people are going to put up with major changes in that model and be happy about it.

  10. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “…the U.S. will need only a few thousand of fast charging stations along main routes to support the slower AC charging stations, while currently there is 168,000 fuel stations nationwide.”

    That’s pretty naive. Everybody driving a BEV past its normal range will need a fast-charge station.

    Sure, the demand for fast-charge stations will be only a fraction of the demand for gas stations, because people will do most of their charging at home or at work. But I expect there will be at least 10% of the demand for fast-charge stations as we currently see for gas stations. That will be even more true when EV charging times get down to 10 minutes or less, so that owning a BEV without having access to a regular parking space with a slow charger will become practical… which currently it simply isn’t.

    1. unlucky says:

      I think 10% is high. 168,000 stations cover both home and long-distance travel. And you won’t need DCFC for travel.

      Thousands might be right. Maybe 10,000 is right.

      There are about 160,000 miles of interstate highway in the US.

      1. unlucky says:

        Sorry, won’t need DCFC for home, only travel.

        1. Scott Franco says:

          Tesla at 24kW for a home charger is getting almost to DCFC speeds, so never say never.

          We agree, high speed charging is a game home chargers are not going to be able to keep up with. That’s really the point. Superfast chargers are for long distance travel. What long range EVs do is remove the need for slow chargers (6kW) at stores and malls. Why bother? That breaks chargers into home chargers and travel chargers, which need the highest speed possible (just like Tesla).

          Do we need the same number of gas stations? In the long run no. A lot of them are going to die.

          1. Robert Malcolm Kay says:

            I’ve gained about 50,000 miles of BEV driving in the last 4.5 years, in my two Leafs, the 24 kWh one and the 30 kWh one I still own. There is no doubt that the best location for rapid chargers are those at 24 hr service stations on major trunk routes with hot food catering, wifi, shops and decent toilets.
            The one thing I have found is that with the bigger battery, I can now be selective where I choose to stop, and that means that the quality and price of the food offering becomes the single most important factor in making my decision.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        unlucky said:

        “I think 10% is high. 168,000 stations cover both home and long-distance travel.”

        Well, of course, my 10%+ remark was pure speculation. My crystal ball doesn’t work better than anyone else’s. You certainly may be proven right, 10-15 years from now.

        As I see it, there are two factors affecting the number needed:

        1. Increasing range in EVs will reduce the need for en-route charging, decreasing demand and therefore resulting in fewer fast-charge (or ultra-fast-charge) stations.

        2. Decreasing charging times will increase the demand for ultra-fast-charge stations, because those who live in apartments or in residential areas with no offstreet parking, will be able to use ultra-fast-charge stations to charge on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, as gasmobile drivers now use gas stations.

        A few weeks ago I wouldn’t have made point #2. But Tesla is starting to install “Urban Superchargers”, so if Tesla thinks there is and will continue to be that kind of demand for them… then I ought to pay attention to that. I must assume Tesla understands charger demand better than I do.

  11. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    Actually, I think that it’d just be a modified model. Gas stations are already moving to convenience store + fast food + gas.

    The change would be to see more fast food restaurant + convenience store + chargers.

    The good news for gas station owners is that you don’t need much space for chargers.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      After just talking about it for months, Tesla is finally starting to install Superchargers at Sheetz stores, which apparently (I’ve never been to one) are a chain of combination convenience stores and fast food restaurants.

      https://cleantechnica.com/2017/09/18/tesla-superchargers-now-beginning-appear-sheetz-stations/

      1. Will says:

        That’s a good ideal. Here in NE Ohio GetGo is like Sheets and they were thinking about puting chargers in. Since I was employee with them people customers will ask me about my volt, range, battery, fast charge. I told them that the bolt will have fast charge in 30 min and people were impress

      2. Thor'sBolt says:

        Sheetz are great. They understand the customer base and sell gas, have good convenience stores, and are well branded. If they really offering EVSE charging then the future of EVs is secure. I live on Metro Boston and use Sheetz when in Pittsburgh. Now just need charging for SAE and others there. Tesla is very clever.

  12. Mister G says:

    I think a Residential-Commercial model will be needed, whereby fast charging units are installed on private residential property but open to the public for a fee. Zoning laws will have to be changed and profit will have to be made.

  13. Chris Stork says:

    You know who should install chargers like right now? TA truck stops (https://www.ta-petro.com/). They’re already set up for extended stops with restaurants, convenience shopping, fitness centers, even showers and laundry services. (Of course the last two or three only matter to the truckers.) Most importantly, they’re already scattered along various highways between major cities; that’s perfect for EVrs to make the leap from one metropolis to the next. They could probably even allow charging for free because the EVrs will certainly spend money there. (They’re usually far enough out of the way to not be worthwhile for freeloaders.)

    1. Mark says:

      I agree Chris truck stops on interstate would work great. Why not put some in the same location of the tesla super charger locations like Norway does. Bjorn Nyland can use either one . They have multiple dc chargers right across from super chargers . It works great one stop shopping .

  14. HVACman says:

    Extremely high kW charge rates come at a price, and we’re not just talking battery capacity. On the charger side, the electrical service that can support multi-vehicles charge stations with a total capacity of over 500 kW takes some very robust utility infrastructure and a pretty expensive electrical service panels. Many utilities have “demand charges” that charge an additional fee for every kW of demand, even if you don’t use that many kWh.

    The charging hardware, conductor cords, etc. also start to really go up $$$.

    For really, really fast charging, the charger vendor – and the customer – will pay a hefty premium. The rule probably will be the lower the kW and the longer the charge, the cheaper the cost per kWh. I don’t know if we’ll ever see urbanites owning EV’s and relying exclusively on high kW charge stations for their power.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “I don’t know if we’ll ever see urbanites owning EV’s and relying exclusively on high kW charge stations for their power.”

      Seems to me that Rubicon has already been crossed. Tesla is already starting to install “Urban Supercharger” locations precisely so urbanites can drive BEVs while relying exclusively on (relatively) high kW charging stations, rather than daily/nightly slow charging.

      Personally I’m appalled at the inefficiency, but… if the demand is there, then businesses will arise to serve it.

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        It’s a short-term to medium-term measure. Until there’s critical mass, people in multi-dwelling units and those who park on streets will need somewhere to charge.

        As the market grows, new builds will include charging, MDUs will have charging retrofitted and more municipalities will help to underwrite installation of on-street charging.

        But for now, local DCFC is a way for early adopters to own BEVs.

    2. Mint says:

      Demand charges can be reduced with batteries. If we take 1000 fast charge stations and assume:
      -they have 1 MWh of batteries
      -they do a hundred 200-mile fast charges a week (so fairly low utilization, e.g. six stalls doing 5 charges each on Fri-Sun, plus a few weekday charges)
      -10% of an EV’s charging is fast charge

      Then this network (1GWh of batteries) supports 700,000 cars (which collectively have 40 GWh of batteries). That’s a battery overhead of less than 3%. The numbers get better with higher stall occupancy.

  15. CDAVIS says:

    State & Federal highway rest areas would be a good place for Superchargers if not for …

    ” Why old-fashioned highway rest stops are disappearing… unlike service plazas, rest areas on federal interstate highways are prohibited from selling gasoline or food other than from vending machines, the proceeds of which traditionally go to people who are visually impaired. State transportation departments run the rest areas and are responsible for cleaning and maintaining them. That can take a chunk of their budget, depending on staffing and amenities…”

    source: USA Today
    http://amp.usatoday.com/story/99868368/

    1. CDAVIS says:

      Related…

      “Highway [State] rest stops are revving up services, quality…”

      But for Interstate rest stops…

      “the anti-commercialization law originated to protect existing businesses along interstate routes from new establishments that might be built closer to the road, giving them a competitive edge. “This federal law … is definitely outdated,” she says. “Now, you have (national) chains (at interstate plazas) that are being protected.” Goff says that when Congress passes a federal highway reauthorization bill, it should allow states to make exemptions to the prohibition or end it altogether…”

      source: USA Today
      http://amp.usatoday.com/story/10391721/

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Yeah, the prohibition against commercial businesses at Interstate rest stops is stupid, and should have been done away with long ago.

        I used to love it when we would drive from Kansas City to Manhattan, Kansas, and we would stop at the very convenient Interstate plaza which had a well-run Howard Johnson’s restaurant and a gas station, all very conveniently co-located less than 100 yards off the Interstate. Talk about fast off and fast back on!

        But it’s on a toll road, which is the only reason commercial businesses are allowed to operate there. Everywhere else, Interstate rest stops have only rest rooms (often poorly maintained) and picnic benches. 🙁

  16. Texas FFE says:

    I disagree with the ChargePoint’s assessment and with the opinions of many the commentators. Even though I home charge, the DCFC stations I use the most are close by my home. I don’t like to charge every night to keep my cycles down and if I have a lot of running around to I can easily run my battery low.

    I would much rather pick up a DCFC when I really need to than to wait a couple of hours charging at home. Having local fast charging is vital for greater EV adoption even for longer range cars. People need the confidence that they can fast charge whenever they need to, not just on long trips.

    1. unlucky says:

      You’re holding it wrong.

      Charging at night is a much better idea. And it doesn’t require any waiting, unlike DCFC which is 20 mins to a half hour, right?

      1. Texas FFE says:

        I think you missed the point. I home charge most of the time but I occasionally need to fast charge. When I need to fast charge it’s most likely going to be near home, not along some distant highway.

        It’s funny how experience often changes your opinion on things,

        1. unlucky says:

          Charge every night. If your range is such that there’s anything but a tiny chance you’ll run out tomorrow then charge tonight. And with a short-range vehicle isn’t that always going to be the case?

          As to you being likely to charge near home, the CP CEO’s point isn’t about people who have short range EVs. He specifically says with ranges getting longer. He’s talking about a trend, not the condition of a person who just bought a vehicle which uses 5 year old tech.

          Short range (100 mile EPA) EVs will retreat to the city car market. And that market has traditionally been very small in the US.

          If you were the CEO of CP you wouldn’t hinge your business on a market composed of people who bought 100 mile range EVs and don’t want to charge them every night because they think their battery might last longer if they don’t. CP has to aim at the fat part of the market.

          1. Will says:

            He said he charges overnight and that times he has to fast charge on his way home for he can do errands due to low range

            1. unlucky says:

              He says he doesn’t like to charge every night:

              “I don’t like to charge every night to keep my cycles down”

              He should charge every night.

        2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

          The top-selling plug-ins in the USA are long-range BEVs and PHEVs. The Leaf is hanging on to the market leaders is the Leaf, and that’s soon to be replaced by a mid-range version, and then a long-range version in 2 or 3 years time. Other short-range BEVs aren’t even selling at 1/3 of the rate of the top sellers in the market.

          I don’t think that your experience is relevant for the longer term.

          1. Texas FFE says:

            I disagree. People with longer range BEVs don’t charge every night, they like to wait to charge until the battery runs low and then charge. It’s also better for the battery life if you reduce the charge cycles.

            What do you do if your battery is low and you have to make an unexpected trip? Also you can easily put a couple of hundred miles on a car just running around town. The range on my 2017 FFE is pretty good and I don’t have to DCFC very often but I’m glad I can when I have to.

            I use to criticize evGO for clustering DCFC around cities but now that I can CCS charge I’m glad I have fast chargers nearby. And it’s not just me. If you go into PlugShare you will see that it’s the longer range cars, the Teslas, the Bolt EVs, etc., that use the local DCFC chargers the most.

            1. unlucky says:

              Charging fewer times for more each time isn’t better for the battery. The only issue at all is the top-off process. If you can get your car to not top off every time you’ll do better. But if you can’t, then you still should charge up every night if your range is that short.

              I have a longer range vehicle and I don’t charge every night. But I also have only ever DCFC’d once near my house and that was to test DCFC before a trip so that I didn’t find out whether DCFC worked on my car or not 200 miles from home. If I don’t charge in an evening it’s because my car has so much range left I know I’ll get through the next day. If I skip a day my car still has about 200 miles remaining when I charge it the next night. I know my chances of needing to drive 200 miles in a day (when I haven’t planned a trip) are slim. And so far I’ve never been wrong.

              I’m not saying it’s impossible a person could have so many errands that a 100 mile car could need some juice during the day. But you should charge up every night so that you only have to DCFC when your car couldn’t make it.

              That’s going to be the normal usage. DCFC is expensive, people will avoid DCFC or really any charging away from home because it is going to cost more than charging at home.

              And really once you have a long-range car (and an AC charging solution that works) you are going to very rarely DCFC within 50 miles of home.

      2. Thor'sBolt says:

        Have not had to wait for DCFC charging. BUT I think too many people posting here are generalizing from their own experience or circumstances. This is a BIG country and recharging models in California or New England may not apply to Iowa or Detroit.

  17. BoltMan says:

    There is definite demand for more robust DCFCs along interstate routes. Look at New Hampshire… there is only one non-tesla DCFC along the major interstates, and very few destination chargers in the middle to North of the state. DCFCs at rest stops, restaurants, and gas stations would go a long way to facilitating EV travel from other New England states.

  18. Ed Stein says:

    I tend to disagree with chargepoint. Gas stations have a lot of issues figured out that chargers are experiencing. Gas stations have attendants that prevent vandalism, get broken pumps fixed promptly, offer food and coffee while you wait. Gas stations also do not markup energy costs several 100%, charge meaningless monthly fees whether you refuel or not nor require proprietary cards to access the pump.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Gas stations also do not markup energy costs several 100%…”

      Gas stations are a special case, and we certainly can’t expect DCFC stations to use the same business model.

      Gas stations do a high volume of business. According to one source, California gas stations service on average 1100 (yes, eleven hundred) cars per day! Gas stations are so competitive on price — what other business advertises its prices daily on signs that can be seen from the street? — and the profit margin is so slim (1-2% or even less) that many or most gas stations install convenience stores, which is where they make most of their profit.

      We certainly can’t expect DCFC stations to sell electricity using the economic model of gas stations selling gas on a razor-thin margin. Most of a DCFC station’s monthly costs are going to be from amortizing installation costs, maintenance costs, and possibly salaries if there is an attendant. The cost of the actual electricity will be only a small fraction of the station’s overhead, so they can’t possibly sell the electricity at near-cost, as gas stations sell gasoline.

      A convenience store is a much better business model for a DCFC station. If you buy a bag of chips or a can of soda at the convenience store, it costs appreciably more than it does at the supermarket… which, like gas stations, operate on a 1-2% profit margin and very high volume sales.

      Nope, the DCFC station won’t sell you electricity at just barely over the price the electric utility charges. The main thing you’re paying for at the DCFC station isn’t electricity — it’s convenience. It’s the convenience of getting your car charged fast. If you want it charged slow, then use a slow charge.

      Convenience is worth paying for. And if you think it’s not, then stick to slow charging.

      (That doesn’t mean that I think that, for example, Blink isn’t overcharging. It is overcharging, and that’s why it can’t compete and is going out of business.)

      1. So… Charging at L1 110V x 12 Amps, ~1.4kW (V e r y, very slow, for a long range BEV): Free!

        ~3.3 kW L2 (240V x 16 Amps): $0.50 per hour, after 1st 30 Minutes (Free)!

        ~6.6 kW (240V x 32 Amps): $1.00 per Hour, after 1st 30 Minutes (Free)!

        25 kW (Small DC fast chargers, found at BMW, VW dealers, and maybe Ford as well): $4.00 per Hour, 1st 10 Minutes Free!

        44-50 kW DC Chargers: $8.00 per Hour, or 30 Minutes for $5.00 (1st 5 Minutes for free)!

        How do those rates sound?

        100 kW DC Chargers: 40 Minutes fo $12.00! 150 kW chargers: $5.00 per 15 Minutes!

        I doubt these rates would generate, in themselves, any positive cash flow, but they would be a great draw, if you have other items to sell: Food, Snacks, Clothing, Rooms to rent by the Hour (for the slow charging customers!), restrooms/washrooms, a Lounge, TV, Wifi, etc.

        Would such a place work, and cover the ‘Loss Leader’ EV Charging rates I suggested above?

  19. Ed Stein says:

    Gas station attendants would also prevent ICEing.

  20. Paul says:

    Sorry, but we hear future charging is going to be 5 mins for 200/300 miles charge, current max of a single charger is 350Kwh so gas stations convenience stores still might be a good place to charge. They can have solar panels on top (also 2-4 wind turbines) along with battery storage that’s how they are being set up in some parts of EU.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Solar panels and/or a couple of small wind turbines at a DCFC station are more greenwashing than anything else. If my back-of-the-envelope figures are correct, those Tesla Supercharger locations with a solar canopy only get about 1-2% of their energy from the solar canopy, assuming it’s a busy station.

      If it’s a lonely DCFC station, one that’s seldom used, then there might be some time between customers for the solar panels to slowly charge up the buffer battery pack. But a lonely, seldom-used DCFC station isn’t exactly the business model we should be thinking of, if we want all gasmobiles to be replaced by PEVs!

      1. Well a wind turbine, can be 400 Watts, 50 kW, 500 kW, or even, if I remember right, OVER 2.5 MW Now! So sure, the 1st two exaples are fluff for a Busy Supercharger site, but even a lowly 500 kW Wind Turbine will do a lot to cover gaps, ease the direct grid load, and so on! The new MegaWatt Class Wind Turbines, would cut the mustard, if matched with a few MWh of Storage!

        (However, they need a lot more space around them – ‘Set Back’ to clear any thing near them, something like 1.5 to 2X the highest point of the Rotor sweep, or more, I forget! Been a few years since I read that number!)

  21. me says:

    Pretty short sighted of him. The whole “everybody will charge at home” argument only works for people who live in suburban areas and in homes they own. Renters and especially people who live in big cities and thus have to park on the street will need to rely on electric versions of today’s gas stations. Until this problem is solved (i.e. you can charge in 5 minutes), EVs will never be mainstream.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Everybody who owns a car has to park it overnight somewhere. Someday, almost all of those parking places will be served by slow EV charging hookups.

      I don’t understand why people believe this will never happen. That will be far less of a change than occurred in our cities as horse-drawn vehicles were replaced by motor vehicles! Compared to paving all the streets with asphalt and/or concrete, and building parking lots everywhere, installing EV slow chargers everywhere people park overnight, or long-term, will be an easy and inexpensive change.

    2. unlucky says:

      As EVs take off even street parking will have AC charging. There is a company with a good idea for how to do it already deploying around London.

      Clearly we’re not there yet.

  22. darth says:

    No one has mentioned the effect of autonomous vehicles. There will less privately owned cars. Fleet cars will recharge and fleet charging centers. This is additional downward pressure on the “gas station” model and along with long range EVs that charge at home/work, will effectively limit these fast-charge stations to only niche markets. These will likely be along highways, similar to where Tesla SuperChargers are now located.

    1. EVDUZIT says:

      Bingo Darth. Self-driving cars will simply park over a charging pad and wait until they’re ready to go again. They don’t care about sandwiches or bathrooms.

  23. JeremyK says:

    All I know is that for “my” needs, fast charging along rural interstate would be the top priority. That’s where I’m most likely to need DCFC and would be willing to pay a premium for a charge.

    I’m talking about charging stations located 150-200 miles out from major metro areas.

  24. Kan says:

    Don’t forget that people need to eat/drink/relieve while on the road. IMHO highway rest areas will soon become electrified. In towns it will be the parking garages.

    I bet Plugshare will be integrated into Waze which will be part of Google Maps.

  25. echampen says:

    I’m driving an EV for more than 2 years now in Belgium. I mostly charge at home. I rarely stop to charge but more charge when I stop. This happen in Malls, restaurants, shops or parking lots. When I do long trips I’m happy to find a super fast charger on the Highway and charge as fast as possible just the time to go in the restroom or drink something. So in that situation the car need to be able to be charged at 80% in 10 to 20 minutes. This means that there is not “A” solution but we will need a mixture of different solutions depending on the different situation you will be in. Don’t think “gas station” concept anymore, because this will be a small part of the solution.

  26. Joseph Lado says:

    The reason why EVs need much less infrastructure than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles do is that the infrastructure that powers electric vehicles is already at our homes, and electric vehicles get their fuel to move mainly at home.

    1. Joseph Lado says:

      Read my blog on this subject posted on EVWorld.com Oct 13, 2016 called “The 200-mile Paradigm.” Link above and the follow-on blog “One Charger to Rule them All” posted Oct 29, 2016.

      http://evworld.com/blogs.cfm?blogID=1394

  27. Joseph Lado says:

    Let me give you an image that might help you understand how EVs are different. Just imagine that you had a gasoline pump at home where the gasoline was piped to it directly from the refinery. Also, imagine that you got in the habit of filling up your car before going to bed every day. You would have a full tank of gas every time you left your home in the morning. The only time that you would need a gasoline station would be on long trips that were beyond the range of the gasoline in your tank. Now imagine everyone having the same pump as you do. The need for gasoline stations would drop dramatically. Well, with electric vehicles that pump at your home exists with the electricity that comes to your house anyway to power your lights and appliances.

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