Fastned: Fast charging, station capacity and economies of scale

Fastned: Fast charging, station capacity and economies of scale

Roland van der Put, the CTO of Fastned recently outlined his company's station capacity and the economies of scale for fast charging stations of the future.

According to the article, Fastned's current model of two 50 kW multi-standard chargers could be (in the near-future) scaled up to four 150 kW chargers (or station 2.0), and then someday to eight 150 kW chargers, provided of course the number of electric cars continue to grow to accommodate that level of demand.

With eight 150 kW chargers, the overall charging capacity of station increases 12-times (in terms of kWh), while the actual costs of the station don’t increase that much due to the large amount of expenditures needed besides the hardware itself - which is rapidly decreasing.

This should directly translates to lower cost of charging.

“The kWh capacity of a station 2.0 is six times that of a current fast charging station. However, the one-off costs (CAPEX) such as permits, grid connection, equipment, construction, installation and project management of a station equipped with four 150 kW chargers are far below that of constructing 5 additional stations. Recurring costs (OPEX) such as technical maintenance and cleaning are only slightly higher for the 2.0 station. Capacity thus rises (much) faster than costs do. Therefore the cost per kWh can decrease.”

Well, that sounds reasonable to us, and becomes our hope for more affordable fast (er) charging along the road in the future.

Fastned expects to install its first 150 kW chargers in 2017.

Tesla Supercharging station could face future competition for Model 3 business if public stations turn to multi-unit 150 kW stations

Tesla Supercharging station could face future competition for Model 3 business if public stations turn to multi-unit 150 kW stations

To us, this type of huge infrastructure and higher charging speeds reminds of something else already on the market today - Tesla's Supercharging stations.

Future Tesla Model 3 owners having to pay for Supercharging access (as opposed to "free with purchase" or included if you will, on the Model S and Model X) will be another input verifying the affordability of the higher-power large charging stations.

With some ~400,000 reservations made on that car alone, the pool of available public DCFC users could grow very, very rapidly in a year's time.  If Tesla's pricing is not inline or better than what network providers like Fastned are offering with its 150 kW solutions, the company could face some infrastructure competition for the first time...and competition is always a good thing.

Other insights:

  • maximizing the use of a grid connection decreases costs per kWh
  • medium voltage rings (10kV or 20kV) will handle power needs of the station
  • more chargers improve redundancy, reduces waiting time
Source: Fastned