InsideEVs Checks Out First Ultra-Fast CCS Station in U.S.

MAY 3 2018 BY BRANDON SMOKER 81

Yesterday marked a milestone in fast charge infrastructure in the U.S. as the first 150 & 350 kW CCS station in the U.S. went live at the Chicopee Marketplace in Massachusetts.

This is the first of 290 locations (50 in CA and 240 in other states) that Electrify America will install and operate near main highways.

Related: Electrify America’s First 350 kW Ultra-Fast Charger 

Read Also: Electrify America To Install U.S.’ First Ultra-High-Speed Charging Station

Chevrolet Bolt EV charging at 56 kW!

I was privileged to be on hand Wednesday, and after the ceremony held by Electrify America, a few of us EV drivers in attendance were able to test out the chargers. We discovered that the Chevy Bolt was able to pull 56 kW on the CCS charger and the Kia Soul 68 kW on the CHadeMO.

Pricing info became available too. Payment is made by credit card, and an app will also be available to use later this year. RFID cards will not be employed.

Charging costs are $1.00 per session plus per minute pricing that varies by state. In Massachusetts at the Chicopee Marketplace location, this is $0.30 per minute. An idle fee of $0.40 per minute kicks in after a 10 minute grace period.

Above: Electrify America investments (Source: Electrify America)

Here are some additional details we learned by talking to Wayne Killen afterward:

Somewhere over half of these highway locations will have 4 chargers each, while those in higher traffic locations will have up to 10. Many locations will also get battery storage. This Fall the Plug & Charge feature that enables vehicles to automatically start charging after being plugged will be functional on Electrify America’s chargers, ready for use by future EVs that have it.

Electrify America has now added a map of coming soon and completed station locations on their website. You can view it by clicking here.

Rear pad is for future battery storage.

Lead Image shows (from left to right):

  • Richard Kos, Chicopee Mayor
  • Wayne Killen, Senior Director, Infrastructure Planning and Business Development, Electrify America
  • Martin Suuburg, Commissioner, Massachusetts Departmental of Environmental Protection
  • Daren Moss, VP of Operations & Environmental Management, Brixmor Property Group

Categories: Charging

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81 Comments on "InsideEVs Checks Out First Ultra-Fast CCS Station in U.S."

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Brandon

The PlugShare listing documents our time there well, check it out:
Chicopee Marketplace (Coming Soon)
http://api.plugshare.com/view/location/152111

Willem-Alexander

Very nice!

Brandon

I believe there were 6 of us EV drivers/enthusiasts there at the event including Greg and I who drove up in his 2017 Ford Focus electric from PA 270 miles. Long day, but it was epic and well worth it. On the way back I noticed a new location on PlugShare near where we were driving in Connecticut that was added just an hour before, so we stopped there and got a picture that I put on PlugShare:
Stratford Square (Coming Soon)
http://api.plugshare.com/view/location/152891
They’ll be all over the U.S. soon!!

Brian

Sounds like a great trip! I was tempted to make a similar journey from central NY (about 230 miles), but I had other commitments. Glad you could be part of such an historic event.

+1

Brandon

A common question we got was wether or not two vehicles can charge at the same time on a dual plug station. The answer is no, and the extra cable basically enables easier access to plug in. Also, the two empty stubbed out spots where the power cabinets are is for adding two more in the future as more power is needed. Each of these ABB cabinets does 175 kW.

mustang_sallad

So in other words, the dual cables are pointless for a setup like this with only one parking stall per charger, but possibly useful for a situation where the charger is rotated 90 degrees and between two stalls, so that a second car can plug in while waiting for the first, and possibly even start up automatically once the first is done. Do I have this right? If so, I wonder why they wouldn’t have just removed the second CCS cable on this specific installation.

Cecil T

The rear cable would have trouble reaching the front of the car and vice-versa. They went with the higher tower for visibility and no cable management for simplicity.

It also offfers a degree of redundancy if a cable or handle gets damaged. But otherwise yes it’s a somewhat confusing situation, like if a gas pump had two buttons for 87 octane.

Brandon

Good question. I called Electrify America not too long ago to get the answer straight from them. I talked to Steve, and he informed me that just one of the plugs can be used at a time, and it’s not possible for a second user to get set up for a charge on the other plug so as to charge as soon as the first person is finished. He also said that the advantage here is that the dual cables provide redundancy. I think that’s super smart if you ask me. One charger, two cords. CCS has one known weakness, and that is that the latch, which must be made from plastic, can get broken, if that happens the handle will not work.

mustang_sallad

Thanks for shedding some light here. I’m a bit disappointed – first time I’ve seen anything on the half-baked side from this initiative, everything else has been bang on. Even Blink had dual-cable queuing when they launched. I get the redundancy thing, but this just seems like an awkward and inelegant approach that’ll probably lead to a fair share of confusion among first-time users.

Cecil T

In this location there’s actually no way to get a second car near enough to plug in. There are no adjacent spots.

DNAinaGoodWay

Nice write up. Was a pleasure to test chargers with you guys.
Someone put EAs upcoming list into Plugshare, which is great because their new map online is horrible on my iPhone.
That CHAdeMO plug shared the unit with the 150 kW CCS that finally worked for me (350 kW units wouldn’t connect to my 2017 Bolt) so somehow that plug had access to 150 kW I think. If that Kia had a lower SOC it might’ve taken 100 kW. Need more cars to test it, maybe a Tesla, if EA hasn’t figured out how to limit it yet.
Surprised they had no engineers on site.

Brandon

It was awesome to have you and others there. As far as I’m aware the Kia Soul’s highest reported charging speed is 68 kW, and I don’t think a lower state of charge would allow faster charging. Thanks for bringing your Bolt at such a low SOC!

Zoomit

Both the Kia Soul EV and IONIC peak at ~69kW. They won’t take more at any SOC. The Tesla CHAdeMO adapter peaks below 50kW.

Brian

This is a great start. Very reminiscent of the start of Tesla’s supercharger map. From 5 years ago. I hope that it continues to grow in a similar fashion. Frankly, 5 years ago I didn’t think I’d see public fast charging so soon.

Their map is very good, but the full map is still too much of a teaser. Hovering over any small icon says “exact location not released. site within 10 miles”. I understand that. But the map itself isn’t zoomable! Within 10 miles of where? So frustrating.

Durkle

Looking at that map, I’ve got the exact same frustration! Estimated locations are fine, but I can’t even tell which highways they are trying to focus on in many places…

Leptoquark

Check out https://twitter.com/CutTheNozzle/status/992225312023851008 It’s a pretty good estimation of which interstates EA is putting chargers on.

Chris C.

Go to this page and do “view source” on the HTML … https://charge.electrifyamerica.com/sitemap/index.html

Mike I.

Use + and – keys on your keyboard to zoom and arrow keys to pan. Desktop or laptop only.

Brian

Awesome, thanks! What a terribly non-intuitive interface but hey, it works!

ClarksonCote

Wow, that’s a horrible interface. Thanks for “cracking the code” for us!

ClarksonCote

Update, it seems like they’ve disabled that method too. Apparently they don’t want anyone zooming or panning, which seems a bit insane.

Ziv

I got it to zoom in and to pan up and down, but couldn’t get it to go left or right. So now I know approximately where they want chargers from Nevada to Tennessee.

Brian

So how did the Soul charge at 68kW if CHAdeMO ports are limited to 50kW? Didn’t IEVs just publish an article about how EA is trying to undermine CHAdeMO? This seems to fly in the face of that theory.

bro1999

Perhaps the software limitations haven’t been installed yet. Supposedly all stations were to be limited to 50 kW during the “launch” period, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Cecil T

Yes there’s a lot of confusion around the “limiting” of the stations to 50kW. EA said that a couple of times, but we exceeded 50kW on both CCS and Chademo. I really don’t believe there is an actual software limit unless somehow they didn’t have it configured.

menorman

Maybe EA forgot that there are already CHAdeMO rigs on the road that actually can take more than 50kW since the new Leaf can’t.

bro1999

That’s sorta a joke that the ’18 Leaf can’t charge quicker than 50 kW (and then a lot less once it starts overheating) but the several years old Soul EV can charge at 68+ kW.

ClarksonCote

Sadly, the same is true for the Bolt EV, Soul EV beats it on charging too. Otherwise the Bolt EV is a pretty awesome offering.

Cecil T

I think one thing of note is that even for a car that “only” supports 50kW CCS, these chargers are faster than anything else out there.

On most CCS chargers my car is faster than the charger which ends up being limited by its amp draw. So the kilowatts rise with the battery voltage. Not on these EA chargers – I was able to draw 47kW from 27% state of charge all the way through 90%+ before the car started tapering the charge. So the charger wasn’t limited at all, the 47kW was the max power the car could accept.

DNAinaGoodWay

Note: that’s on a FFE

Cecil T

Correct, but electrically all cars would behave the same, though at different max rates.

Point being using a charger that is beyond the spec of the car isn’t a bad thing or a waste because it will maximize what the car can do.

Brant

Awesome, I wanted to attend this event badly but unfortunately had to work. Great to see the Bolt pulled 56 kWh, and the Soul even higher!

ffbj

It’s good to have more chargers, now hopefully they put it thousands.
So you’re not charged by the amount but by the minute, meaning that those that charge more slowly it costs them more relatively. They pay more for less. Still, they are just charging market rates, not the exorbitant rates charged by some DCFC.
And the idle fee is set, at .40 after 10 minutes of grace. So you don’t get charged for anything for 10 minutes, then for 10 more minutes it cost $4.00. Good to keep that in mind, for it will get expensive fast.

Brian

As a Bolt driver, I’m ok with paying by the minute. Even though most EVs release hereon out will charge faster than my Bolt. I use it infrequently enough that it’s not a big expense. Yet having these stations everywhere would let me upgrade my wife’s PHEV to something all electric.

bro1999

Some states don’t allow billing per kWh, as utilities are the only ones allowed to bill that way. Not sure if MA is such a state or not. Probably EA just stuck with the “per minute” billing across the board to keep things simple.

Brian

The other thing is that quick chargers themselves are precious limited commodities. If I am charging for 30 minutes, I’m preventing the next person from using the charger. Until they become as ubiquitous as gas pumps, per-minute charging (plus connected/not charging fees) at least serves the purpose of keeping access up.

Brandon

Right Brian. I understand all fast charge network operators in Norway have settled on billing by the minute, as they have found that to be to best.
The largest network, Fortum, charges 2.50 NOK per minute. 1.00 NOK is $0.12, so that’s $0.30 USD per minute, just like Electrify America, except for the $1.00 session fee yet.

Brandon

Yeah, I could have mentioned it in the article, but this in just the first cycle of 4 to come. EVgo was more expensive before they revamped their rates and such a couple months ago, but now they are in line.

John C. Briggs

Nice write-up Brandon. Great to see you at the event.

Brandon

Thanks. It was so nice to get to meet you too!

Ben S

It was fun geeking out with you guys at the new chargers! Hopefully we’ll see a 350kW car out there soon. I asked this during the ceremony, but it would be interesting to find out the efficiency of the charger with a car pulling the full 350kW

Brandon

It was great to have you there Ben! We had a blast, didn’t we?

Warren

It’s great that we will be seeing higher charging rates on these units. I tried to think of any conceivable trip one might make to utilize the units on I-81, here in Virginia. I can find only one practical case, and not a bad one. If you want to do a trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway from the north entrance at Afton down to Buchanan, and back. Going south from Buchanan is not going to work, unless you plan an overnight on 240 volt EVSE. In nice weather they may see a few visits every month. People hoping to drive down the interstate using this installation are out of luck. With one site in the whole state, what are the chances of getting these units serviced when the screens go down, or other problems we all experience?

Cecil T

The units are accessible by cellular modem for resetting and software updates. For physical issues they have a contract with a service company, I forget the name, that will perform quarterly maintenance & cleaning. And if there is a larger issue they can send the truck as needed to repair (e.g to replace a broken handle). But with two cords per head there is some inherent redundancy.

ClarksonCote

It would’ve been nice if they had a reportable status available for sites like PlugShare, i.e. some sort of “Networked” configuration even if it’s not a networked/RFID access scenario. Maybe they do, I’m just guessing.

Cecil T

I suspect we’ll have that once their app is released this fall. It sounds like Greenlots is the partner that’s providing network services so I’d expect similar capabilities.

Brandon

Ahh… I see you just said the same Cecil/Greg.

Brandon

I’m thinking they won’t liaise with PlugShare, but I strongly suspect that their app which comes out later this year will show available charger status, just like EVgo and others have.

Jeff N

Great article!

Brandon

Thanks Jeff!

menorman

We discovered that the Chevy Bolt was able to pull 56 kW on the CCS charger and the Kia Soul 68 kW on the CHadeMO.

Good to know that Kia Soul EV has a decent charge rate. Kudos to Hyundai/Kia for making their EVs usable, this bodes well for the upcoming entrants like the Kona too! Bolt range with Soul/Ioniq EV charging speeds will be a real winner.

Brian

The Soul charges 21% faster than the Bolt. Is that really a show stopper to you?

DNAinaGoodWay

The surprise was that it drew 68 kW when the CHAdeMO plug was never supposed to go over 50 kW on this unit.

Brian

Yes, that was a surprise.

I was responding to menorman’s statement that “Bolt range with Soul/Ioniq EV charging speeds will be a real winner.” It sounds like that 21% faster charge rate means a whole awful lot to him.

Mark W

What is the charging rate for a pre-2018 Leaf using Chademo?

Audrey

Are those $$ correct ?? $1.00 to plug in and 30 CENTS A MINUTE???? For something you can get for TEN CENTS AN HOUR at home????? Please tell me I mis read the article!!

PHEVfan

You’re not paying 10 cents per hour, you’re paying 10 cents per Kilowatt-hour. 30 cents per minute at 56 kW rate for the Bolt listed above works out to 32 cents per kWh. Yes, that is 3x what you pay at home, but unless you have a super high-rate CCS charger at home, it would take HOURS to get the same amount of charge you can get in one hour at these chargers. Charging speed comes at a price

buu

try running 150 kW charger at home and you’ll see how cheap this is

Mark W

The rate for electricity in Chicopee MA where this charger is located is about 20 cents per kwh. I’m trying to figure out what the average will be for motorists for this charger, somewhere between 35-40 cents per kwh? I don’t know the charge rates of various BEVs, so I might be off. I think at this rate, it might be cheaper for me to drive my ICE car to Springfield MA for my trip there in two weeks rather than charge at this charger.

I do fully believe that chargers need to make enough to keep themselves maintained, but this price structure does seem a little high.

DNAinaGoodWay

Keep in mind that these are the launch rates, the 50 kW rate, and pre-tax at that. Expect higher rates for higher power.

bro1999

Demand charges. Look em up. Then it makes cents.

Brandon
Cecil T

Putting this in perspective I gained 20+ kWh in less than 30 minutes. At home that costs me $2.60 and like 4 hours. Here it’s $7, but there’s the convenience of speed and location.

Brandon

Steven, take a look at the figures of rates charged by network operators, and you’ll have to conclude that they are in fact very much in line with industry pricing.

Last summer I researched what fees 7 of the main fast charge network providers around the world charge. For a 30 minute session gaining 22 kWhs, the average cost is $11.95, which comes out to $0.40 per minute.
If just using a few of the rates from providers in the U.S. and Canada, its a little over $8.00, which is $0.27 per minute.

Electrify America’s pricing in MA and likely in many other states is $1.00 per session plus $0.30 per minute. For a 30 minute session that’s $10, which is $0.35 per minute after the added tax.

Tom Moloughney

Nice job making it there from Pennsylvania and reporting back here for us, Brandon!

Brandon

Thanks Tom, it was quite the epic adventure! We had a blast testing them out. Greg with his Focus EV was actually the very first person to start charging. I believe there was only one short session that Wayne did before things got started to make sure everything was working. Definitely a memorable day!!

Adrian

Hello.

I make a questionnaire about electric cars to my PhD.
Can you help me:)

questionnaire: who have electric car

https://goo.gl/forms/oYRTFChPkscvqp6B2

questionnaire: who have conventional car

https://goo.gl/forms/zpKcbvX6hNsplgY62

Thank you for your help
Adrian

DNAinaGoodWay

Adrian, you should define “exploitation costs” in your survey. It’s not a familiar term here in the US.

heisenberghtseriously

Obviously those Ultra-Fast CCS stations are going to fail. Just look at the picture. 4 men needed to plug in. Seriously?

DNAinaGoodWay

How many suits does it take to plug in a car?

DNAinaGoodWay

Brandon, your photo caption says the stub outs are for battery storage. I thought Wayne said they were for future power modules, to make all CCS 350 kW.

Brandon

I know it might be a bit confusing, because the front stunned out pad is the main visible one. However the caption does say the rear pad is for battery storage. I didn’t say anything in the article about the extra stubbed out space being for more power cabinets in the future, I just had a comment on it. It’s in the second part of my third comment.

DNAinaGoodWay

Ah, I see.
I overheard Wayne discussing Solar installation with the mall vp, so that may be in the works already. Makes sense, to mitigate demand charges.

Brandon

Interesting. I do think if there’s any one thing that could be done by Electrify America to these awesome locations they are installing, it would be to add a solar canopy. It would serve three purposes:
Provide some electricity, create some protection from the elements, and give a great easy way to stop the charge location!!

ram1901

Good, yet another place to charge a Tesla via ChaDeMo. Not as fast as a supercharger but better than nothing. Will be interested in seeing if the sites will be as well maintained as the Tesla Superchargers.

DNAinaGoodWay

Looks like they’ll be collecting fees themselves, credit cards at first, app and plug and play later, and doing their own maintenance. But I’ve seen older reports that they’d be using Greenlots.
So, have they dropped the Greenlots idea?

Brandon

I can try to find out from them on Monday, but my guess is that the network connectivity that’s required is done by Greenlots.

Brandon

I confirmed that Greenlots is handling the back end network stuff. Another company does the credit card billing stuff.

Thom Moore

So finally, someone has made Elon Musk look moderate and conservative by comparison. The claim of supporting 350 kW charging is such an over-the-top lie! Wake me up when even a single vehicle, with a battery of less than 100 kWh capacity, has actually charged at anything remotely approaching 350 kW.

Why isn’t InsideEVs exposing this dishonesty instead of cheerleading it?

Brandon

I actually don’t follow your logic. The hardware that’s been installed at this first such location here in the U.S. is indeed capable of dispensing 350 kW. No claim is being made that that’s happening now, or that such vehicles exist now, but you can be sure that it will. I’m sure you are aware that the upcoming Porsche Mission E is capable of ~300 kW charging. So far this model is the only one announced, but you can be sure future electric vehicles will employ it too, especially larger vehicles like pickup trucks. They’ll need it. Passenger cars are likely to mostly stick around 200 kW at most for awhile.
This really is a smart move to be installing hardware that is future proof for at least the next decade or for sure the life of this equipment. Things are moving fast now in the EV world, and sooner than you know it 150 kW+ charging will be the norm on CCS and CHadeMO plug vehicles. Do you think future proofing isn’t a good idea?