New Jersey’s First Public CCS Charger Sees Ample Usage

2 years ago by Tom Moloughney 53

This CCS DC Quick Charge station is located on my property at 148 Valley Road, Montclair, NJ

This CCS DC Quick Charge station is located on my property at 148 Valley Road, Montclair, NJ

Back in August I posted an article that announced the opening of the first DC fast charger in the East Coast Express Charging Corridor. That station was installed in Hartford, Connecticut. The Express Charging Corridor when completed will connect Washington, DC to Boston, Massachusetts with CCS DC fast chargers, located no more than 50 miles apart, and is being funded by a joint venture between BMW, Volkswagen and ChargePoint.

About three weeks after the station in Hartford was installed, I installed one on my property in Montclair, NJ. It was the first public CCS station in the state that wasn’t installed on BMW property. BMW has had a few CCS fast chargers at their North American headquarters for a few years now, as they have been testing CCS since 2012, when they were using a modified BMW ActiveE with CCS capability as a test mule for the then yet-to-be-released i3.

So far the DCQC station is getting plenty of use from i3 owners

So far the DCQC station is getting plenty of use from i3 owners

CCS fast charge infrastructure had a slow start, frustrating many i3 owners. It was difficult to watch the Asian standard CHAdeMO stations and Tesla Superchargers continue to proliferate, while CCS stations were as rare as White Rhinos. However the pace of CCS deployment has really picked up, and with the East and West Coast Express Charging Corridors beginning to take shape, it’s starting to look like CCS is finally getting some traction.

*Editor’s Note: This post also appears on Tom’s blog. Check it out here.

The station I installed is the smaller of the two that will be used in these corridors. I have the 24kW, CCS only DC fast charger but there is another unit that will also be deployed on many of the direct highway locations. That unit is a dual head, CCS and CHAdeMO station and is capable of delivering up to 50kW. Because of the location on my property (not situated on a highway), and the primary tenant is a restaurant where people typically spend an hour or more, the 24kW unit made more sense, and it costs a LOT less. The lower power draw will also help me to avoid or minimize demand charges from my electric provider.

The eGolf owners were very pleased when they realized the DCQC in my lot was close to the route they planned to take to Massachusetts. They only had to drive a few miles off of their route to stop by and Quick Charge

The eGolf owners were very pleased when they realized the DCQC in my lot was close to the route they planned to take to Massachusetts. They only had to drive a few miles off of their route to stop by and Quick Charge

I installed the station a little over two months ago and it’s definitely getting use. I’ve had at least a couple dozen different i3 owners stop by and use it, and I recently had an eGolf owner who was driving from Delaware to Massachusetts stop by to charge up. I was talking to them about the trip and how long it would take to stop and charge at level 2 stations and how happy there were when they saw my DCQC station pop up on the Plugshare map.

Fast charge infrastructure is monumentally important for the mass adoption of plug in cars. Tesla knew the success of the Model S, and probably even the entire company, would hinge on how quickly they could cover large swaths of the US and other key markets with Supercharger access. They have been installing them at an incredible rate, and have installed more than 500 worldwide in under 3 years.

Charging Up!

Charging Up!

Plugshare App

Plugshare App Showing CCS Fast Chargers

Nissan has also done their fair share with regards to DC fast charge infrastructure and has subsidized much of the costs of hundreds of CHAdeMO installations.

Personally, I’m hoping Volkswagen steps up and commits to installing even more infrastructure than the current plan in light of the current dieselgate scandal. Making a commitment to assisting the proliferation of cleaner electric cars would be a good first step in restoring public confidence at this point.

We are getting there. EV charging infrastructure, both level 2 and DC fast charge, is still really in its infancy, but we’re definitely making progress in some areas of the country (mainly the coasts).

I remember back to 2009 when I was driving my MINI-E and there wasn’t a public charging station within a thousand miles of me. In fact, the closest one may have even been 3,000 miles away in California.  Now, there are tens of thousands of them in the US. I can only imagine how things will look in another five or six years.

The Plugshare map on the right shows only CCS DC Fast charge stations on the East Coast. Just a year ago at this time there were none in this view. Within a couple of months, there will be dozens more of them as the Express Charging Corridor locations are finished. The large gap south of my restaurant (the blue dot) will hopefully be closed by year’s end. The pace of CCS deployment is definitely picking up, and I believe will only continue to accelerate from here on.

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53 responses to "New Jersey’s First Public CCS Charger Sees Ample Usage"

  1. ClarksonCote says:

    Nice, thanks for the details on the CCS rollout Tom!

    I’m curious, do you charge for people using your CCS station? Understanding if it’s free or paid would further help quantify demand characteristics.

    I’m assuming you charge something given its cost, yes?

    1. 3laine says:

      Feel free to correct me, Tom, but I believe it is currently free, with plans to charge something in the future.

    2. 3lane has it correct. It’s currently free to use. I’ve had public charging stations in my parking lot since 2009 (I may have had the first L2 public charging station in New Jersey) and they have always bee free.

      However now that we are seeing EV proliferation, it’s getting difficult to keep them free because so many people are using them simply because they are free. Local EV drivers come by and charge their car here instead of home because it’s free.

      I’ll be instituting a fee structure soon. Probably very low for the first hour and gradually increase as the hours add up. The stations are there for our customers, so if someone drops off their car for five hours and comes back later when it’s fully charged then the station isn’t available for patrons. I’ll probably even have a system in place to deduct the amount of the charge from the customers bill if they spend a certain amount of money at the restaurant. I haven’t figured it all out yet.

      1. Josh says:

        Free definitely invites abuse. I hope you sort out an equitable solution, the continues to promote and support EVs and benefit you business.

      2. Phr3d says:

        I suggest an on/off switch – if you want to continue the kindness off hours, Tom, bless you, but requiring a user to at least say “hi, howareya'” to get it ‘turned on’ seems like a small effort on their part, and will make it more difficult for otherwise moral people to steal it cuz they Can.

  2. Speculawyer says:

    GM had better start installing CCS chargers like crazy if they don’t want the Bolt to be a flop

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      GM already stated that they don’t believe in charging business…

      I think that is a mistake.

    2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      200 miles rated range.
      30k sales per year.

      They aren’t going to and don’t need to install a CCS network.

      1. finecadmin says:

        Depends. Some city pairs might be 201 miles apart, and that’s before heating, grade, age, etc. That would turn two quasi-markets into customer cities.

        GM woudn’t eve have to get in the power business. They could find a host, and offer them great financing on the hardware.

  3. Skryll says:

    In northern california the only DC fast charger’s I have been able to use with the eGolf are from NRG EVGO, which funny enough where built because of part of the penalties in the Enron scandal, and not because they wanted to.

    Details on the settlement that clearly says NRG was part of the price fixing scandal

    NRG’s PR spin that tries to say it was enron, and they themselves had nothing to do with it:

    1. Texas FFE says:

      There are a lot of NRG charging stations in Texas including a half dozen ABB dual chargers but none of them have CCS charging enabled yet. But NRG is partnered with General Motors. I expect NRG to start installing/enabling CCS charging stations in Texas when the Chevrolet Bolt starts being sold in Texas.

      1. Jay says:

        NRG had a very capable field rep that was getting stations installed in the Seattle area despite their unattractive membership plans, but she and the others have been laid off in the latest EVgo corporate conniption. NRG expects folks to pay $15/mo plus $0.10/minute for DCFC, when local Nissan dealers on ChargePoint only charge a straight 17 cents per minute. Few individual drivers are frequent fast-chargers, and with increasing range, they’ll be less so. Subscriptions are dead. Just ask a newspaper!

  4. Ed says:

    24kW can hardly be considered fast charging. It’s barely more than a Clipper Creek 80A J1772 which is 20kW, or a Tesla HPWC which is the same output and that only costs $750. Just because it’s a DC charger doesn’t mean it should be called fast DC charging. There should be a minimum standard for calling something fast. 50kW maybe? For comparison, Tesla superchargers are 120-135kW.

    1. kdawg says:

      What’s the max rate an i3 can charge on DC?

      1. Stimpacker says:

        Whatever it is, it has got to be SLOW.

        Was charging my Leaf the other day with a BMW i3 at a station that supports 2 bays.

        In less than 30mins, my Leaf went from 20% to 80% (I stopped before the 30min timer).

        The i3 was at 55% when I started. When I left, he was at 76%.

        I was very surprised. The station is a NRG eVgo dual CCS-ChaDeMO unit and it does not display current voltage and amps.

        1. 3laine says:

          Stimpacker, the station the i3 was plugged into may have been not working correctly. A couple examples of my i3s charging speed that I have handy.

          50kW Station:
          6%->86% in 29:37

          BMW 24kW Station:
          6%->94% in 47:06

          Taper had started in both cases, so up to 80% would be even faster than these averages. The one up to 94% being much faster as it would be charging pretty slowly at that point… 4.9 kW, to be exact.

          Also, FWIW, I’ve seen my i3 charging at ~50kW at times.

          1. kdawg says:

            OK, so 50kW is the max rate, meaning if you connected to a 100kW CCS charger, it wouldn’t benefit the i3 at this time.

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:

              Even if it can handle 100kW peak rate, it won’t benefit small packs much.

              A 22kWh pack can only receive max power from a low state to about 70%.

              That means your best case is about 5% to 70% range. That is from about 1.1kWh to about 15.4kWh. A total of 14.3kWh. After all, the charging rate will taper down sigificantly.

              14.3kWh at 50kW is about 17.2 minutes
              14.3kWh at 100kW is about 8.6 minutes

              A difference about 8.6 minutes at most. Yes, from a % point of view, it is a lot. But from an overall charging time goes, it is only 8.6 minutes at most assuming the 100kW case can sustain that from initial handshaking all the way to tapering. In reality, the difference will be even smaller than 8.6 minutes due to extra cooling needed for the 100kW charging speed that generates far more heat due to ~ 4.5 C charging rate vs. 2.27 C charging rate.

              1. 3laine says:

                This is exactly why the BMW DCFC is 24kW instead of ~50kW. With small packs that have little time at full kW charging rate, it’s diminishing returns to make the rate high. The 24kW charger greatly reduces the size of the charger, the cost, and the continuing costs (far lower surge demand charges, etc), while using a relatively small amount of additional time to charge. Currrntly, all

                1. 3laine says:

                  … Currently, all of the BMW ones I know of are free, but hopefully the reduced operating expenses make them cheaper than the 50kW chargers for EV owners to charge at.

        2. mustang_sallad says:

          Cold batteries slow down charging big time, the i3 might have been colder than your Leaf for whatever reason.

          1. scottf200 says:

            Battery cooling system in i3 vs none in the LEAF?

        3. Mutwin Kraus says:

          I’ve used 24 kW CCS chargers multiple times on long roadtrips through Europe and usually instead of taking 40 minutes to 95-98% (this is on road trips where I need every bit of range) it takes 45-60 minutes. The difference, especially once it reaches 80% is small. And on those trips I’m glad for every CCS, even if it’s a bit slower.

      2. Texas FFE says:

        The I3 is rated the same as the Leaf, Spark, Soul, EGolf, etc., etc. – 50 kW.

      3. wraithnot says:

        44 kW is the fastest I’ve ever observed with our i3 (the power drops as the battery fills up). Unlike our Model S, the i3 doesn’t bother to tell you how fast it is charging so I had to take various timepoints from the screen of the ABB charger showing kWh delivered and do some math.

    2. Texas FFE says:

      My car takes three hours to charge using the stock on board 6.6 kW charger. With a 24 kW charger it would take me less one hour to charge. You can call 24 kW anything you want but for me that would be fast.

      1. Stimpacker says:

        That’s not how charging works. A 24kW charger (really EVSE) means it can deliver up to 24kW.

        When your batteries are > 50% charged, the onboard charge electronics will gradually reduce charging current. Just search for Li-ion battery charging profile for details.

        So 24kW really sucks for long distance driving. Ideally you want to arrive at a charger near empty, then drink in as many amps as both batteries and chargers can support. Then you’d stop before the charge taper gets too drastic (e.g. past 80% SoC).

        Seriously, the present BEVs suck for long distance travel. Only those with tons of free time will wait 30mins to drive 1hr, then repeat.

        1. Texas FFE says:

          That’s how my 6.6 kW charger works, I watched it charge my car thirty times on my 1800 mile trip from Texas to Colorado and back. How would you know how a 24 kW charger works? You drive a Leaf and there isn’t a 24 kW CHAdeMO charger that I know of.

          1. MikeG says:

            The taper is still there, but you don’t notice it as quickly as you would with higher-power chargers. With the 6.6kW charger, you wouldn’t see the max charge rate drop below 6.6kW until you were nearly fully charged.

            With a 24kW charger, you will see it start to taper sooner, say around 70% on the Leaf.

        2. 3laine says:

          Whether his math was correct or not, in practice, the 24kW charger can charge an i3 to effectively full in less than an hour as Texas FFE claimed.

        3. MTN Ranger says:

          DCFC/CCS are not EVSEs. They are chargers since they bypass the onboard charging system in the vehicle.

        4. I agree 24kW isn’t ideal for long distance travel (interstate). It is however great for intercity travel. My restaurant is 15 miles from New York City. It’s perfectly located off major arteries so that people from south Jersey or North West NJ who are going to NYC can stop for 30 to 45 minutes, get a quick bite to eat and fully recharge their car.

          In many cases that will allow them to go into the city and then drive home without needing to stop again.

          These lower powered DC fast charge stations definitely have a niche in the market. They are much lower cost than a 50kW (or higher) station, and they won’t incur the same demand charges. Charging at 24kW is worlds better than at 6kW which is what most public L2 stations provide @208V.

          1. Josh says:

            Great points.

            The other benefit is it doesn’t use the onboard charger (since it is DC). Less stress and likely hood of the grid not syncing up with the car.

    3. Bill Howland says:

      Ha! What an ingrate!

      Tom M. pays the bill himself (including demand charge increases of $240-$360/month besides energy charges, and installs the unit in an easy to access parking area (far less intimidating than approaching a strange Car Dealership) and this guy isn’t satisfied with FREE.

      So Ed, how many free 50 kw charger docking stations have you installed at your own expense, since 24 kw isn’t good enough?

      Note to Tom M: Congrats on being the first Business in the State to put in a CCS.

      (I assume it didn’t cost too much to install, – hopefully if your existing business is 208 3 phase, you just had an electrician put in a small autotransformer to boost the voltage up – unless this unit will run on 208 already).

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Well said!

      2. Yes Bill, I needed to install a 208v to 480v 30KVA transformer. It cost about $1,600

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Very good. I guess the cost of the BMW/Bosch unit plus the transformer was less than other 208 volt models on the market.

          If you ever decide to install a second one, have the electrician use an Autotransformer instead. It requires no overcurrent protection (fuses or circuit breakers) on the 480 volt side if the 208 volt side is protected. Also, only 57% of the power is transformed, making it intrinsically more efficient since 43% of the power is unchanged, and it is also much cheaper, lighter, and smaller since it is not working on 43% of the juice.

          If the electrician you are using isn’t familiar with Autotransformers, have him contact a specialty transformer place such as Acme Electric.

          Hopefully your transformer was installed near the electric service entrance panel to take advantage of small 480 volt wiring.

      3. Ed says:

        So is all DC charging “fast DC charging”? Perhaps 24kW DC should just be called “DC charging”, and leave the fast adjective for 50kW or greater. Otherwise the phrase becomes meaningless. We don’t have slow DC charging, or even regular DC charging, only fast DC charging. The “fast” doesn’t help explain what you’re getting if it’s used for every instance of DC charging.

    4. mustang_sallad says:

      A higher power Level 2 EVSE is only going to provide 20kW if the car has a fast enough onboard charger. Other than the Model S, pretty much everything on the road charges at 7.2kW or less. Saving the high power charging for off-board DC chargers means you can get the cost and weight of the vehicle down, while sharing the expensive charging equipment across many cars, given that really you should only need to charge that quickly on an infrequent basis.

  5. Lou says:

    I am a little confused at the charging rate of Tom’s CCS. 24 KWH would equate to how many miles per hour? Assuming that a 6.6 on board charger at Level II provides about 20 miles per hour, would not a CCS that is almost 4X’s faster result in 4X’s the amount of miles added? That would be 80 miles in an hour. Plus the I3 has a slightly faster on board charger, if I am correct. Why would it take more than 30 minutes to reach 80%(60 miles or so)? Maybe I am missing something here… This unit still seems a huge improvement over pulling into a Nissan dealer and getting filled up on Level II. I agree, though, that I truly hope that GM and BMW and VW get on board with investing in the Level III charging. The Bolt could be in my plans in a few years(as could a 2nd Gen LEAF, I admit)but the existence of a legitimate CCS and ChaDeMo network is really important. Without it, the cars won’t have the same flexibility. Granted, I may travel more than 200 miles only 1-2X’s per year, but I’d prefer to travel them on electric. Right now my Volt handles my needs quite well, but I like EV.


    1. DonC says:

      You have it. Figure 3 miles/kWh, so 24 kW would get you 72 miles in an hour.

      1. 3 miles per kWh would be really bad for an i3.

        1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

          Not really. Highway rating is 0.3kW/mi and if people are driving real highway speeds consumption should be expected to be higher.

        2. Bill Howland says:

          I’ve never seen an I3 charge, but a slight decrease in efficiency at a high charge rate goes with the territory.

      2. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Being the most efficient EV on sale in the US, the i3 should easily get 4 mile/kWh

        @ 24kW, 30 minutes would get you 12kWh or 48 miles

        84 miles battery 20% would be about 16.8 miles. 80% would be about 67.2 miles.

        20% to 80% would be 50.4 miles max.
        @ 24kW, assuming you can sustain that, you are only losing about few miles vs a faster charger at higher power.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Or do the math this way, 22kWh is the battery size.

          20% is 4.4kWh. 80% is 17.6kWh. A difference of 13.2kWh.

          @24kW, 30 minutes would get you about 12kWh instead of 13.2kWh. So, you are missing about 5 miles of range vs. a faster charger.

          Of course, that is for a given 30 minutes.

          At 20 minutes mark, a 50kW charger would have been far ahead than a 24kW charger. But for a smaller battery, the difference is still few miles or few minutes at most.

        2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

          Ratings are 0.25kWh/mi city 0.3kWh/mi highway. The ratings include the charging overhead. I would expect that if someone needs the charge either they have been doing some highway driving or conditions are suboptimal and they need a top-up.

  6. ModernMarvelFan says:

    @ Tom,

    Nice job! Thank you for doing it personally by expanding the CCS network with your own money, time and effort.

    We need more people like you!

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you, MMF. I should point out that the installation wasn’t entirely out of my pocket. This is part of the East Coast Express Charging Corridor and the unit and installations are partially subsidized by the BMW, VW & ChargePoint partnership.

      Of course the continuing maintenance, insurance, networking fees, electricity and demand charges will be entirely on my plate 🙂

  7. SparkEV Driver says:

    24kW is over 7 times faster that a Clipper Creek 80A J1772 for vehicles with 3.3kW on board chargers. There is a significant difference between an AC power source (EVSE) and a DC charger.

    Maybe we should only call chargers that support at least 1.21 Gigawatts fast?

    Thank you Tom for making this accessible to the public.

  8. SparkEV MD says:

    This might be the ticket for that trip I’ve always wanted to take my Spark EV on. I would also suggest a fee system to prevent abuse and would be more than happy to contribute when I’m going up north.

  9. jamcl3 says:

    Tom, I am curious what that CCS costs and whether you have seen any problems with unlocking?

    I suppose you heard that the few dozen remaining MiniEs down in Delaware are all capable of 80 amp bidirectional charging now? 19.2 kW with nothing more than that old gray Clipper Creek EVSE. Back to the future.