NRG eVgo Unveils CHAdeMO/CCS Fast Charger At Raley’s Supermarket In Northern California

AUG 24 2014 BY MARK KANE 32

GM, BMW, And Apparently Europe Would Like You To Choose This Option For Your Next Fast Charging EV Purchase

This is the US combo DC plug

Northern California is getting a new NRG eVgo Freedom Station (one of our favorites), equipped with two DC fast chargers – CHAdeMO and SAE Combo, plus as always one standard AC Level 2.

This means that every electric car available on the market can grab some juice (Tesla using adapters for J1772 or CHAdeMO).

The new station is located at Raley’s Nob Hill supermarket in Mountain View.

Terry O’Day, Vice President of NRG eVgo in California stated:

“NRG eVgo is proud to offer this Northern California EV industry first in partnership with grocery industry leader Raley’s.  Now, drivers on the peninsula have reliable and convenient charging at another great Bay Area shopping location as well as access to all industry charging standards. Together with this Freedom Station, both companies are serving busy families with goods and services that make everyday living easier and healthier.”

Meg Burritt, Raley’s Director of Wellness & Sustainability remarked:

“We are installing these convenient chargers as a service to our very sustainably-minded customers. This new opportunity to recharge your EV while shopping for groceries at our store is our way of saying thank you for choosing an EV. Raley’s is here to make it easier for you to accomplish your daily tasks in a more convenient way.”

Dan Dodds, Store Team Leader commented:

“Our customers’ response to the units so far has been positive. They are excited to be able to charge their cars while shopping with us.”

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32 Comments on "NRG eVgo Unveils CHAdeMO/CCS Fast Charger At Raley’s Supermarket In Northern California"

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That fast charger looks awfully unprotected in the middle of the parking lot with no green protective posts on the sides.

What do you need to use this station? Does it cost anything? Do you need a special card? Do you need to register online first?

ugh, for a moment I thought it’s really in Northern Ca where those are sorely needed… as is, between the Bay Area and the Oregon.

They are needed in urban areas, too, in particular to make driving an EV viable for apartment-dwellers.

However, a single completely connected path along California – by far the volume leader in BEVs on the road – will have a strong symbolic public effect, just like Tesla’s Supercharger network.

The eVgo stations is a result of settlement between NRG and State of California from Enron in the early 2000’s. At most NRG will install 200 DCFC, mostly in BayArea and LA metro regions. Approximately have of the eVgo DCFC are slated to be dual CCS Combo (SAE) & CHAdeMO compatible.

To use requires a membership of some sort: eVgo, Nissan EZ-Charge, or BMW Charge programs.

The NRG / eVgo deal is for 200 installs of dual standard DC charging stations.

110 go in Los Angeles, 20 in San Diego, and the rest in the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay.

NRG/EVgo Deal:

Initially all Freedom Stations shall have one
(1) or more DC Fast Chargers compatible with the CHAdeMo
Standard and one (1) Level 2 Charger compatible with the SAE
Standard. Upon the occurrence of (A) approval by SAE for a
charger standard for DC Fast Chargers and (B) the commercial
availability from at least two (2) unaffiliated manufacturers of one
or more DC Fast Chargers that are SAE Standard compatible or
equipment capable of making the Freedom Stations’ DC Fast
Chargers compatible with both the SAE Standard and the
CHAdeMo Standard (and in each case that are approved by the
Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories), then NRG shall have
six (6) months to complete the modification of all installed
Freedom Stations to include at least one (1) SAE Standard
compatible DC Fast Charger and one (1) CHAdeMo Standard
compatible DC Fast Charger or one (1) CHAdeMo+SAE DC
Charger. Thereafter, all newly installed Freedom Stations will
have at least one (1) DC Fast Charger that is SAE Standard

So, the Spark and the i3 are the first two vehicles. Seems like they have until the end of 2014 to put a CCS charger at all Freedom Stations. Sound about right?

“This new opportunity to recharge your EV while shopping for groceries at our store is our way of saying thank you for choosing an EV. Raley’s is here to make it easier for you to accomplish your daily tasks in a more convenient way.”

Quote makes it sound like charging might be free. Too bad this “opportunity” will cost us $9.95 for an occasional QC, that doesn’t make me feel particularly well thanked.

Anyone else feel like eVgo may be overcharging a bit?

Definitely expensive. In 30 minutes of charging, my 2012 LEAF picks up about 12KWH. 6kWh 0-10 minutes 4kwh 11-20 minutes 2kwh 21-30 minutes 12kwh would be about 1.20 charging at home. Here in Ventura, L2 charging is at .50 cents and hour, or about $1.00 for the same 12kWh (for cars with a 6kWh charger like my Focus) So going from $1-$1.20 to $9.95 is outrageous. Even with membership it would be about four times as much ($3.00/30 minutes + $1.00 monthly fee average every 2 days). So even at membership rates you will be paying the equivalent of $12/gal of fuel, or $25/gal equivalent if you are paying the $9.95 session to pick up 12kWh or barely over 1/3 a gallon of fuel. I understand it is expensive with demand charges, hardware costs, and nearly impossible to make a working business model. This is where the government needs to step in. You don’t find gas stations in your town selling fuel anywhere from $3.40/gallon to $25/gallon…its just not workable or making it desirable for people to adopt EVs. Just when the charging stations are starting to pop up and make people curious, they will be turned of knowing that… Read more »

You need to stop thinking of it as paying for electricity. That is not what you are paying for. You are paying for access to an expensive to build and expensive to install DC-fast charger. The electricity cost is nearly irrelevant.

In that case it is not a viable model for financing the installs either. You don’t expect to pay $12/gal for gas just because the EPA has a lot of expensive restrictions on storing gas underground, or because getting legal-for-tender pumps is expensive too. No, you pay for the product, gas.

Gas is different. First of all, there is a MUCH larger market for gasoline than for public chargers. When the EV market gets larger, prices will go down. But you have to expect to pay more at this point.

Second, you use a gas pump for 5 minutes and then move on whereas you use a DC fast-charger for 30 to 60 minutes. So a gas pump can service 6 to 10 times as many customers each day than a DC fast charger. Thus, it is clear you are paying for time to access a DC-fast charger, not just the electricity.

And remember, some of the money you are paying for gasoline *is* paying for that gas station, the gas pump, the electricity light the gas station and operate the gas pump, etc. It is not a lot though because a gas pump can service many more cars each day. But if not for these costs, gasoline would be cheaper than it is now.

Note: the eVgo DCFC are being installed as part of settlement to California residents who overpaid for electricity as a result of Enron dealings.

In this case NRG is gouging PEV owners for using stations that effectly should have no installation costs. Turns out the State of California gave NRG an incentive to profit vs. paying a fine! 🙁

The only way I can see EV Charging fits a business model, is to treat it as Advertising, like a Billboard: Business don’t bill people to see their Advertising on the Billboards, so the same idea should be for EV Charging Stations!

I am focusing on this idea, here:

It is hard to see a biz model for L2 other than destinations installing them to attract customers. But I think fast-chargers can charge large amounts . . . you are paying for access to a fast-charger, not for the electricity. And when you need a charge, it is well worth paying for one.

Most of the time you will charge at home so a few expensive charges for long trips are not a big deal.

Do you pay $12/gal for gas along the interstates because of the convenient access and your urgent need there? This is classic price vs demand. At gouge prices, most people will stay away. I can’t understand why the EVSE owners don’t price low and by the kWh to encourage lots of uses, and at least recoup SOMETHING. The way it is right now, they get little to no business. No, I can’t quote a source for my general impression of the situation.

They can charge these prices because you simply have little to no other choice in terms of DC chargers. The eVgo stations are going to be built primarily in areas with little to no existing DC chargers.

The interstate analogy is imperfect since typically there tend to be at least a couple of stations to choose from.

I’ve paid $6/gallon in far off the beaten track places where you don’t have much choice. But in general, gas stations can’t get away with it because they have long ranges.

Lots of EVs don’t have long ranges. So when you need a charge, you need a charge. Also, there are few DC fast-chargers out there. Supply & Demand.

If people don’t pay good money for a DC-fast charge then no one is going to bother installing DC fast chargers. They are trying to run a business. I want them to at least break even so they keep installing more of them.

I do have a choice. Several, actually. First, I don’t patronize this gouge pricing model. Second, I buy EVs that allow me to do what I need to do without being forced to patronize this gouge pricing model. The only EV model that I find sensible is Teslas. The car has so much range that I can do everything I need to do without having to charge in the wild, except for long trips with DCFC along Interstates. The only reason we are even having this discussion is that the Leaf’s (etc) range is totally inadequate.

There are several companies working this “advertising for free charging” angle. Not a new concept.

NICE. In Mountain View too . . . the place will be used by Google people charging up their EVs.

The Peninsula needs more fast-chargers.

Why would Google people ever visit this charger? They have free charging at work.

northern california needs more!

NOT NICE. Another useless DCFC. Only reason why I’d even be compelled to pay up to $10 for a DCFC session is for emergencies or those rare long trips. I won’t be able to count on a single station at a grocery store filled with Google people.

Such whining. SMH. All the naysayers should front their own money to install chargers and develop a profitable business plan.

NRG EVGO is using the subscription model but still allowing non-subscribers to pay a higher-rate.

$15/ month plus .10/min is not a bad price for DC fast charging.

It allows EV owners to avoid the large upfront cost of Tesla (which may be a better model, the market will decide).

That evgo pricing is only good for people who cannot get home charging or who make weekly trips beyond their range and happen to have evgo stations along their normal route. The fixed monthly fee and term commitment are too much for occasional users – they’re better off just paying the high session fee when they really need it.

EvGo’s parent company NRG (a mostly coal power polluter) was found guilty of overcharging Californians for the CPUC mandated they make available affordable electric car recharging.

We can all petition the CPUC to require them to make these settlement required chargers truly affordable and accessible to all drivers.

Please join me in writing the CPUC publicly on their facebook and through email as well.

Thank you.

They are “affordable” when you have access to tens of thousands of dollars of equipment plus quickly delivered electricity for a handful of dollars.

The rates are already in the agreement, so you’d be wasting your time to try and change that contracted amount after the fact.

Peak max – $15
Off peak – $10

That final caveat was to prevent NRG from eliminating competition through offering “too cheap” services from their bottomless pit of cash.

I tried to come up with a compelling use case for this DCFC location. I finally came up with one. A person who has an i3 with Fast Charge wants to take a trip from anywhere between San Francisco to Petaluma to Santa Cruz. Petaluma to this Nob Hill is 76 miles. Fast Charge to full and you can drive to Santa Cruz and back on one charge. Fast Charge again and you can make it home. Without this fast charger, you can’t make it to Santa Cruz in a reasonable amount of time. Any further south than San Francisco and you could make it to Santa Cruz and hope to be able to get a full charge at a slow public charger while you’re there.

@Mike l – note that for that use case, which would be an occasional trip that wouldn’t justify a membership, you’d have to pay for two sessions on the way home to get the battery full: eVgo times you out after 30 minutes and no EV will charge to full in that time (plus you’d be empty after a round trip to SC). And to make it back to Petaluma you’ll need to be full.

So, needing a total of 3 sessions, you’d pay $29.85 for electricity that will transport you about 100 miles of that trip. You could drive those 100 miles on gas for, say, $12. So you’d be paying somewhere in the ballpark of $10 per gallon equivalent. No thanks.

Yep, Just-Drive-The-Prius(TM) and show your support for public DC charging infrastructure.

If it’s your only car, paying NRG for that one trip is still cheaper than renting a car. Did BMW end up offering the free loaner program to i3 buyers?

There is a lot of talk for NRG CCS SAE Combo stations, but NOTHING along i-80 SF to Tahoe. Until then I will limp along. Vacaville, Sacramento, Davis and Rocklin are ideal locations!