Op-Ed: Next Gen Fast Charge Networks – An Overview


Next generation electric vehicles will require next generation fast charge networks. These networks will meet the needs and demands of next gen EVs and give them the freedom they need. What are next gen fast charge networks, what characteristics will they have, and why are they important? This article will answer these questions for non Tesla networks and EVs.

Tesla Supercharging Station In Maidstone

Tesla Supercharging Station In Maidstone

There are three main characteristics of next gen fast charge networks:

  • First is higher power. This is the most obvious characteristic of next gen networks since next gen cars will be able to charge at 100 to 150 kW because of their larger batteries.
  • Second is multiple chargers. In order to serve dozens of vehicles per day, avoid queuing, and maintain the highest level of reliability possible, multiple fast chargers at each location is imperative. In other words, two minimum.
  • Third is intercity locations. Longer distance travel opens up for next gen affordable 200 mile EVs and necessitates fast chargers to be located along main highways across the country.

Some Examples

Examples of this type of network are Tesla’s Supercharger network and Fastned’s network in the Netherlands.

For higher power, Tesla is already at 120 kW, and Fastned has committed itself to install the fastest chargers at all charging stations as soon as these become available. Both Tesla and Fastned have multiple chargers at intercity locations that enable intercity travel. Ecotricity in the UK and Arctic Roads in Norway typically have two chargers per location and will likely install higher power chargers as they become available.

Prime Locations & Spacing

Fastned charging station render

Fastned charging station render

In the U.S., prime locations for intercity fast charge stations are at Service Plazas on toll roads, and suitable parking lot areas at places of business within half a mile from the main highway. Parking lot stations will be close to food, drink, and restrooms that are available 24/7. Some will be in large metropolitan areas, but most will be spread across the country in towns and business areas just off the main highway.

Spacing of next gen locations along highways can range up to 100 miles, with much closer spacing likely on heavily traveled corridors, commuting routes, and in densely populated areas.

Additional Characteristics & Station Up-Time

Besides having a minimum of two fast chargers, some locations will have the grid connections and space necessary for additional chargers to be installed when needed. Battery buffers will increasingly be employed to offset peak demand charges, and canopies with solar panels may pop up at some locations.

Next gen fast charge network operators will have strategies and measures in place to ensure maximum charger up-time. A target of 99.5% up-time will be the minimum acceptable per station. Fastned has achieved 99.9%.

Prime locations for intercity fast charge stations are at Service Plazas

Fastned city station render… a great example of next gen station possibilities

Total Freedom

Every vehicle on the road serves to give freedom to its owner in one form or another. The masses will not embrace electric mobility until the EV can symbolize that same freedom that any other car can give. Next gen affordable electric vehicles won’t give very many mainstream consumers the freedom they expect until comprehensive next gen fast charge networks exist to convince them to step into one and drive electric!!

About the author: EV enthusiast, LEAF owner, and next gen fast charge network proponent, Brandon lives in Lancaster County Pennsylvania with his wife and two children. To hear more of Brandon’s thoughts check out his blog –  Next Gen Fast Charge Networks

Categories: Charging


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101 Comments on "Op-Ed: Next Gen Fast Charge Networks – An Overview"

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An interesting side note is that Rest Areas along Interstate highways would also be good locations for DCFCs, but by law no commercial activity is permitted there, so this is unlikely to happen.

Another side note:
As future networks mature, it is expected that eventually satellite fast charger locations will become common place too.

Do they have vending machines at rest stops? If they do, I don’t see what the difference is.

Very good question David. Yes, many rest areas do have vending machines. As far as I can tell they are the only exception to the law. I found this which I believe is the actual law:

Just change the law then. Very doable.

Or get the government to install and maintain them (possibly not a good idea….)

there are a lot of places where local governments offer public charging stations. there are, for example, charging stations at o’hare airport in chicago. if anything, the federal government has offered incentives for local governments to do just that.

The commercial activity prohibition has to do strictly with activity within Interstate right of ways.

I would guess this is a state, not a federal law, and thus will vary from state to state. Currently there is one DCQC unit located at the Georgia Welcome Center and Rest Stop on I-85 Northbound just north of the Alabama / Georgia state line. That station opened last year and was used by many people until December, when Georgia closed the entire rest stop for renovations. It should re-open this year.

I understand that two Rest Areas in Washington got free Level 2 chargers as part of the West Coast Electric Highway, but no fast chargers.

first of all, you did not cite a “law”, what you cited is a regulation. there is a difference but it is not worth discussing here.

that said, there is nothing in the regulation you cited that would prevent the installation of charging stations at state rest stops. all the law prohibits is the vending of “petroleum product”, or “motor vehicle replacement parts” of which electricity is neither. in other words, there is nothing in the regulation you cited that prevents a state from putting electric vehicle charging stations at interstate highway rest stops.

Ok. Sorry I can’t seem to find the original law. Here is a basic summary I found of how things are:

Commercialization of rest areas on the Interstate has been prohibited since 1956 when the federal legislation that authorized the Interstate was enacted. Limited exceptions to this prohibition are granted to Interstates built prior to 1960 and to vending activities, priority for which is granted by federal and state law to blind vendors.

This prohibition applies to all Interstate right of ways. I’m not sure if states would have authority to affect this or not, but I doubt it. I guess we will see what happens in the next decade, but either way 2020s is going to be the decade of the electric car!!

What about all the restaurants at Interstate rest stops?!? Is that not commercialization?

Very strange rule – my guess is that there are probably so many loopholes by now that it is largely irrelevant.

I don’t have knowledge wether there may exist some Rest Areas that have for example a restaurant, but in the U.S. at Rest Areas along Interstates its just basically vending machines and pay phones.

Maryland, Delware, PA all have rest stops with gas stations, restaurants, and gift shops. All long interstate 95, and some other interstates.

Right. What you are looking at there is on Toll Roads if it is a stop just off the highway on a dedicated exit. In the US we call these Service Plazas.

A Rest Stop (as I’m referencing it in the article) is a also called a Rest Area and is found along non toll Interstate highways across the country. No commercial activity is currently permitted there.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against there being fast chargers at Rest Areas, I’m just endevoring to show what is really the case in the US today.

let us know when you actually find a law…

there are fairly strict limits on what the federal government can order states to do under the U.S. constitution. for example, when there was a “national” 55 mph speed limit, the federal government had no authority to require states to set a 55 mph speed limit; the way that the federal government got states to set a 55 mph speed limit was by making federal highway grant money conditional on the states adopting a 55 mph speed limit.

If you would be paying monthly or even yearly subscription fee for charging, it’s not commercial activity then, is it?

Many rest stops in the northeast have gas stations and food courts. So it isn’t a national thing.

Robert, see my comment a little above.

Yes, of course introducing a car of 200 miles or more that didn’t have an option of at least 100kW charging would be downright stupid at this point right?

Fortunately nobody is making that mistake….

The current LEAF and i3 sell reasonably well without a fast charge network, so I suppose you could argue that a small market would exist for 200 mile variants. It’s not ambitious, but unless you make the network proprietary you’ll be shelling out your own money for something that helps the whole industry. Not exactly business 101. Unless you can get the entire industry to contribute, better off getting Chargepoint et al put up the funds and grow the network organically. Imagine telling GM in 1910 that they need to pony up funds for a gas station network that also benefits Ford. Advantage: Ford.

The current LEAF and i3 sell poorly.
A huge market already exist for +200 miles BEVs.
Home charging will take care of 90% of recharges.
Battery swapping is dead with larger batteries.
Fast and powerful chargers are most needed for next gen.
Tesla offered to share his network many times.

According to BMW, this past April, 15% of passenger car sales were EV’s, so I wouldn’t say they are selling poorly.
It is also slightly different than all-electric EV’s, as it has a gas motor as well, which means buyers do not have to rely on public charging infrastructure as much.

Which also means that they have to depend on gas stations for any long trip, at the opposite of recharging the batteries at home 90% of the time, and contribute much more to global warming with oil.

They are selling poorly compared to what decent marketing does for every other gas guzzler.

They are including the PHEVs in that quote, and it’s flatly ridiculous of them to do so.

An X5 with 12 miles of battery range is most certainly NOT an EV.

“The current LEAF and i3 sell reasonably well without a fast charge network”

The leaf and i3 sales are sliding dowwards now, and when the bolt and Model 3 come out you are going to see the slide turn into a rout.

Wait for both Nissan and BMW to claim that it proves there is no real demand for EVs, even as the sales of Bolt and M3 take off.

The Difference Between Stupidity and Genius Is That Genius Has Its limits…..

I think the worse mistake would be selling people the idea that EVs will reduce their fuel costs, and then turning around and expecting them to pay the equivalent of $5/gal fuel costs for a quick charge.

I disagree. You have to cover the costs! You will charge at home 98% of the time, and all you’ll achieve by being stingy (assuming you got to decide the price) is to save $12 a year but have a lousy charging network.

Yes, 98% of charging being at base (home or work) is the best estimate I know. This means only a handful of fast charge sessions a year as an average. Some will do more, some less.

In practice, I think the more likely result would be just to drive a PHEV (or a normal ICE, if you still have one) instead.

If QC is significantly more expensive than gas, a backup ICE drivetrain (e.g. Volt) accomplishes two things:

1) prevents you from being stranded due to running out of charge
2) gives you a less-expensive option for long-range trips

Of course, using gas is not nearly as environmentally clean (nor as geopolitically advisable) as using electricity. But those are not arguments for cost savings, which is how EVs are currently being sold.

Your points would be valid if there were no progress in battery range.

1) Each year there is significant improvements on range. +200 miles are for next year, and 300 miles just around the corner.

2) You assume that recharge will be more expensive. It is free for Tesla cars and there will be more competition as the numbers of EVs will soon grow exponentially. So the public charging will stay free, or cheap. Add to this the coming solar + battery revolution, and all of the recharges will come VERY cheap.

3) And the solar+battery solutions come with no pollution at all “refuelling” from the sun.
No emissions, no noise, no smell, no illnesses, always longer range and faster charging.
We have a climate to stabilize. It is imperative to leave the remaining oil , coal and gas in the ground, where it belong. Enough of this slow collective suicidal poisoning!

Increasing range has literally nothing to do with the problem; you either need a charge to complete your trip, or you don’t. If BEV range increases to the point where QC is not needed, then QC is no longer needed, which makes it even less compelling.

QC is currently only “free” (read: pre-paid) for cars that cost $70k and up. When it’s not rolled into the cost of the car, QC is not price-competitive with gasoline.

I agree with what you are saying, as QC in my area (Metro Atlanta) is definitely not price competitive with gas. However, if you look at the total cost of fueling my Leaf, which is 99% at home and the occasional QC on the road at $5 or so per session, that total cost is still much less than gas for a comparably sized vehicle.
So unless someone needs to use public QC charging for a significant percentage of his miles, the total cost to fuel an EV for a year is still less than gas, even at current gas prices. And don’t bring up apartment dwellers. All of the nicer apartment complexes in Metro Atlanta are starting to install L2 chargers that are free to use for residents, solving that problem.

You are presuming an either-or scenario. A car like the Volt would still get the same everyday EV savings, while being both cheaper and much faster to refill on long-distance trips.

This is the problem with QC: unlike charging at home, there is no way to sell the technology on the economic merits, because there aren’t any.

As for the apartment complex chargers: until/unless we reach a point where complex owners are willing to install EVSEs at a 1:1 ratio with cars, it’s mostly just for show. Installing a handful of L2 chargers in a lot that has over 50 cars is a fringe benefit, not a replacement for gas stations.

“QC is no longer needed”
Yes QC will always be needed when you are away from home on a vacation for an example.

And again with solar+batteries, QC will be very competitive even at low kW price.

Also as DavidCary points out, on a 300 miles trip, there is a big chunk charged at home for pennies.

Oil is dead but doesn’t want to die yet. Instead, it goes on killing the living and wreaking havoc on the climate.

Pick your argument: either batteries are so advanced that QC is a non-factor, or they are not and it is. Either way, QC is not commercially viable.

You claim that solar and batteries makes it viable, but no one anywhere is successfully doing it without selling $70,000+ entrance passes. Let me guess: another global conspiracy from companies that desperately want to avoid making money?

If solar+batteries magically makes electricity dirt cheap, why aren’t utility companies across the globe installing vast solar battery farms and instantly putting Big Fossil out of business? How deep do the conspiracies go?

“In practice, I think the more likely result would be just to drive a PHEV (or a normal ICE, if you still have one) instead.”

Its amazing to me that so many people on an EV website avocate gas use. You can overthink this this to death. Tesla ships a practical non-gas car that works for both short trips and long distance trips. And they did this with a combination of a large battery and a fast charge (> 100kW) network.

This is the gold standard, and needs to be emulated, not met with a long list of excuses why it is not practical for other makers.

Ie., DO IT, or LOSE IT — to Tesla. This is how competition works.

They also do it by selling cars for an average of $90,000.

Every problem appears easy to solve when money is not an object.

I guess battery swapping is officially dead.

Battery swapping was never advocated as a major part of the charging-speed issue by anyone I’m aware of.
While many folks identify it with Project Better Place, they always thought of it as a temporary solution for 100mi cars, and for long-ish stretches of highway only, that eventually wouldn’t be needed (*).

For example, even with 100mi cars, their estimate was that to completely cover Israel, they’d need 500K chargers (including at customer homes), but only 200 swap stations.

(*)Since in their business model the battery packs were always owned by them, not the car owner, the swpa stations also served a useful location to swap out degraded batteries.

Tesla does it, but they set up one or two swapping stations, and according to Tesla, “nobody” uses it(them).

Apparently, people are willing to wait half an hour for free instead of pay $60 or whatever it was for a 1.5min swap. And, people worry about the quality of battery they will get. That would probably concern me, as well.

Battery Swapping MADE N0 SENSE…ONLY is you wanted to swap a tired out battery for a good one for free …BTW there must be a system in place to prevent that..

Taking the battery out and exchanging it just defers the problem. They have to be charged somewhere, sitting in a rack. It just means that your charge gets done by someone else, with a lot of added costs. Far more practical to increase the charge rate and leave it in the car.

what tesla was trying to address with their battery swap stations is the issue that it takes an hour to charge a model S for 250 miles of range while you can refill a car with gasoline in 5 minutes for twice that amount of range. so musk was trying to make BEVs more attractive. the problem is that it is an administratively impractical system.

If I remember reading correctly somewhere, a big motivation for Tesla’s battery swap station on I-5 was also to earn the ZEV credits that each swap gives.

It was the only motivation.

Selling vehicles that were capable of battery swapping – even if the infrastructure did not yet exist – gave Tesla an enormous increase in the number of ZEV credits per Model S (from 4 to 7).

The moment CARB decided to requalify the MS and remove its “fast refuel” categorization, Tesla declared that the battery swap stations were a failed experiment and ended the program.

maybe so, but the battery swap stations weren’t free.

if you watched the announcement program that tesla staged when introducing the battery swap stations, one of the comments that elon musk made was that tesla was attempting to address the issue of recharge time such that people could get a free 30-60 minute charge of pay to get a 5 minute battery swap.

From all accounts, the battery swaps never got down to the ~90-second range “demonstrated” at the battery swap reveal. What’s more, Tesla required pre-scheduled appointments for battery swapping, and made little-to-no-effort to expand the program.

It’s difficult to see the program as anything other than gaming the system for ZEV credits. They did a big, flashy reveal showing that a swap could be done in about half the time of a gas fillup, then made no effort whatsoever to deliver on that promise in the real world.

the system was administratively impractical in any event, so i can’t imagine that there was ever much real demand for the system that would even cause tesla to want to expand the system.

but assuming that it was, as you state, just a way to “game” the system by tesla; with the amount of money that had to be outlaid to develop and deploy the system, i have really got to wonder whether tesla came out ahead in the deal.

I previously saw a value attached to ZEV credits of “$4000” each; if accurate, that means that going from 4 ZEV credits to 7 is worth $12k per car to Tesla.

I don’t have the exact day the credit stopped being awarded, but it looks like it was around April 2014. Tesla had sold 21,939 Model S cars at that time, which puts the total value of this credit at ~$263,268,000.

I’m pretty sure their one converted car wash near Harris Ranch didn’t cost anywhere near $200 million.

I think 100-150Kw (70-100Kw effective)is already old news. 240Kw (200Kw effective) is more like it. The real challenge is making batteries that can handle the load.

Or the grid.

Once the industry gets to fast charging rates of 125-150kW charge rates, every kW of additional charge rate after that will be that much more difficult to achieve. 175kW is very doable, 200 will be difficult to achieve in the real world with real world people doing the charging. 240 may be a while.
Automated charging stations may be part of the answer.
Realistically, 3 hours of additional driving will be sufficient for 80% of BEV drivers so 3 * 70 = 210 miles / 3.5 = 60 kW assumuming packs large enough to not encounter charging tapering. 120 kW charge rate is 30 minutes which is marginal. 180 kW is 20 minutes which would be great for 80% of BEV drivers. Automakers should work to satisfy the 80%, not the overly demanding 20% of the market. The more demanding people can keep their ICE until the charge rate gets a bit quicker.

Why? The powerlines running overhead have at minimum 13kv (kilovolts) of power. Grids for housing tracts are limited in total load, but industrial sections, where gas/chafge stations would typically be located, have no such limits. They can and do supply huge wattages for industrial machines.

So what is the issue?

most people don’t “segment” their driving needs the way that you apparently rationalize. if you tell someone that you have a car that satisfies 80% of their driving needs, most people will go look for another car.

As I’ve said many times:

If you have a toilet that meets 99% of your needs, you need another toilet.

I don`t understand why gas stations along US highways don`t install DC chargers. You have a captive audience for 30-45 min buying you food & drink while the car is charging. It makes sense to me, who doesn`t want to make money from somebody stuck at your station.

Simple: The Oil Barons do not want to promote EVs.

Hence, you won’t often see L2 or L3 charging infrastructure at their smelly establishments.

Because DC charging is too expensive to be commercially viable (unless you can bake the cost into a $90,000 car).


Tesla will do that while you continue to short the stock. Good luck with that.

Name any company not selling $90,000 cars that provides competitively-priced commercial quick charging.

There’s a reason why Big Utility isn’t doing the same thing with charging stations that Big Oil did with gas stations. Commercial charging is not a financially viable standalone business.

The only reason Tesla’s charging network continues to exist is because it is being subsidized by the sales of Tesla’s ultra-expensive cars.

Why dedicate a space for someone to shop for 30-60 minutes when an ICE driver will buy the same amount in 5?

the better question is: what is the person driving the BEV going to think when he sees a procession of people in ICEVs coming and going in 5 minutes while he is stuck there for 30-60 minutes recharging his BEV?

Royal Farms is doing just that in MD and it’s a fantastic setup. Reasonably priced per KwH fast charging at about 30 mile spaced locations throughout MD right by the major roads.

Yes Adam, the Royal Farms stations in MD are a good example of how DCFC installs often happen and will happen in the future…
a state grant of some kind that is used to install stations at locations that agree to do so and that are then run by a network operator.
As Spider-Dan said, DCFC charging is not commercially viable (and won’t be for a long time), so state grants and automaker involvement (like Nissan and BMW have done with EVgo) is what we will likely see continue to happen as infrastructure develops.

Just learned about this:
Another perfect example of what we will be seeing funded by states in the next few years.

I think Royal Farms is a good example of what I’m talking about.

It looks like Royal Farms charges $0.29/kWh ($3.50 minimum) to use their DCFCs. For simplicity of comparing directly to gas costs, I’ll pretend that a Volt could use DCFC; I’ll also ignore charging efficiency losses (which is a pretty big gift).

Cost per mile on gas (at MD’s current average of $2.284/gal): $0.0543/mile
Cost per mile on electricity (when paying $0.29/kWh): $0.0899/mile

That is the equivalent of going from paying $2.284/gal to paying $3.775/gal (and again, that’s ignoring charging losses). That’s not incredibly competitive.

Since most of your charging is done at home at very low cost it seems acceptable to pay a premium compared to gasoline (that won’t stay cheap forever BTW)on the occasional trip beyond the range of a 200+ mile EV.

I do agree though that the business case for commercial quickcharging is pretty marginal and that’s up to carmakers to support the infrastructure. Could work well for them financially, the “the free for life” slogan Tesla is using is worth a lot of money otherwise spend on marketing.

Personally I believe Truck stops make the best overall locations since they already have gift shops, places to eat and other things to keep people busy for the 30 min or longer people will need to sit a charger.

I’m more curious as to why there is a silhouette of a person jumping into another’s arms for an embrace.

“You’ll love our charging this much!”, perhaps?

You got 40 minutes to spare, might as well do it, jackrabbit style.

CHARGE & BANG EV stations… towels and wipes are provided for the clean up, Condoms for sale..LOL

You can’t hear the song from Dirty Dancing playing in the background? She was doing that move where she runs across the room and he catches her. If you imagine the music playing, it makes sense.

Perhaps the music automatically starts playing once you plug in. And at night the lights dim a little to set the mood.

Well, hehe, we get this type of article all the time – for instance last year, ‘A Year From Now’ batteries were going to be able to charge in 5 minutes. Maybe so, but a few details were left out, namely, they weren’t talking about automotive batteries. And of course, as people like Sven (and me) keep asking, at what price is all this going to happen? If it is deemed too pricey, people will obviously find alternatives, just as they are currently doing and have always done. But I’m not sure there are that many cell phones that can currently go dead to full charge in 5 minutes. So ultimately, there is a difference between what is conceptually possible, and what will happen main stream. It mostly boils down to cost, and what the general public has been convinced that it is interested in. I suspect the rising gasoline prices will tip the balance in favor of at least some EV’s soon enough. Now whether firms sense enough of a profit opportunity to install fast chargers everywhere is a different matter, and then of course THEIR categorization of the ‘fast charger’ will not be the same as those who… Read more »

The article is a FUD o’ gram. They start by claiming that cars need 600kWh batteries to be equivalent to cars, then go on to state the weight based on todays battery technology with that ridiculous number.

50kWh cars (not 600kWh) cars go up to 200 miles on a charge and 200 miles of range is a common range of gas cars.

completely made up drivel.

I would put #1 as “charging cost MUST be more than home charging, yet not so much as to cost more than driving gas cars”. While chargers that cost more than driving gas car is bad (eg. Blink, semacharge), at least they are available in a pinch. But free charging SUCKS!

Companies are not paying same as you do for your home electricity. They either buying cheaper than you do, or must pay for particular amount.
In UK there is CYC chargers in York, you are paying per kwh used. 15p/kwh, I’m paying same at home. In the project specifications it’s been saying that 15p will cover electricity cost and maintainance, also will pay back the chargers very slowly. And its not the cheapest DBT units, it’s triple e-volt chargers capable to charge 2 EV’s at the same time, at the same 50&43kw rate

My point is regard to people waiting to charge. If it’s too expensive, that’s bad since they won’t be used much except under extreme duress.

If it’s cheaper than home, people may opt to use it instead of at home with “free” being worst. Then there will be lots of waiting to charge. That will bad for everyone.

If it’s slighly above home charging, people will charge at home most of the time while using DCFC only when they need it. There should also be time penalty so that people don’t just plug in and walk away for hours (eg. go shopping in another car)

This storyline reminds me of running after the City of Eldorado. In that they are talking about these 200 kilowatt ultra chargers.

But the reality of all this is I would want a quick charger to be at a location that I would want to spend a half hour at. Such as I hate rest areas and gas stations and spending more then ten minutes at these places is a pain.

I would rather see a group of DC Quick chargers as a restaurant or a store that I would want to go to rather then a gas station or rest area.

Yep, which is why Tesla places their SCs where they do.

Another interesting sidenote about station uptime:
A target of 99.5% translates to being out of action a little less than 2 days per year per site.
99.9% is 8 hours per year.

Having used the Fastned stations a few times it is really top notch. These things just work, they have the 3 standards od chademo, ccs and type 2. Each location has a minimum of 2 stalls and under the canopy you are also dry, which is a nice touch. Since i drive a i-Miev the higher power levels are moot, i can only use 30kW and it will be a few years before i get another car. They already have over 50 stations installed throughout NL along highways and have allocated 201 out of 245 government allocated locations. So in a few years all highway in NL have prime coverages. They are now also making fast charging islands next to big cities to aid in the urban centre sprawl where home charging is a real issue. There is a decent business case for it too. The cost of all these slow chargers throughout the cities (like amsterdam) has become a real issue. It can not be maintained to install more and more of dedicated parking spaces for charging in congested cities. It is a shame that when comparing the charger maps for most countries the vision just is not there.… Read more »

Very surprised about your i-miev, I owned it’s clone – Peugeot iOn, it’s still been sacking same 106 amps as present courtesy Leaf do


A quick note about price competitive. QC is not always 100% of your trip so needs to be balanced with home charging. I have a 70D with 240 mile range – realistic 200 with buffer and 70+mph. Most of road trips are around 200 miles. When they are 300, I just need a bump. So to give a real world local example, the Sheetz in our area have Chademo at $10 a session for 30 min. So in my 300 mile trip, I charge at home to full for $.05 a kwh and use a session on the way. My 300 mile journey cost $10 + $4 (80kwh at home) for $14. That would be very price competitive on the journey cost. People sometimes do the math involving roadtripping at 1000 miles. I don’t know anyone that does that. People do drive from here to Orlando (Disney world, kids add up in plane fare) at 600 miles. A couple $20 fill ups would hurt (I guess?!?) but even then 33% of the charge is nearly free from home. And presumably the destination charge is free also. I do a lot of staycations and the last 3 local hotels we stayed… Read more »

Thanks for that reality insight as a 200+ mile Tesla driver David. Very true.


Thanks for the REAL information to counter the FUD.

+1 on the real-world case analysis.

I agree — L2 destination chargers will become increasingly common, and offered by mid-priced hotels / visitor-sites-where-you-spend-several-hours as well as high-end ones. Eventually more of one’s friends and families will have similar chargers as well, so one will be able to destination-charge on family visits as well.

With the upcoming 200mi mid-priced BEVs, your current 200mi realistic range at highway speeds & some safety margin will likely be ~150mi, but the overall calculation is still similr:
Per-mile electricity costs will still be dominated by commuting/daily driving, so at the cheap household/workplace rates, and a large % of long-distance trip miles will still be ditto.

I’m also sure that DCQC business models will get refined so, for example, they’ll also allow shorter, cheaper, sessions for people who just need a top-up: 15min @ 50kW could still give an additional ~12kWh, enough for ~40mi.

Let’s attach some math to this post, starting with the $10/30min charge number you gave. From what I can tell, Sheetz CHAdeMO chargers top out at 40kW. Let’s presume that you get 40kW for the entire 30 min. We’ll also ignore charging losses, for generosity’s (and simplicity’s) sake. 40 kW * 30 min = 20kWh EPA rating for 2016 Model S 70D = 3.0303 miles/kWh * 20 kWh = 60.606 miles for a $10 charge = $0.165 per mile A 2016 BMW 750i gets 20 EPA MPG. At today’s national average of $2.749/gal for premium, that’s $0.137 per mile, which means that paying to QC your 70D is equivalent to paying $3.30/gal in a BMW 7 Series. Not great, but not the worst thing in the world. However, if you switch the comparison from $80,000 ultra-luxury cars to $30,000 family cars, like a Leaf vs. a Prius: 2016 30kWh Leaf = 3.3333 miles/kWh $10 for 20kWh = 66.66 miles = $0.15 per mile 2016 Prius = 52 EPA MPG current national average for regular = $2.282 = $0.0439 per mile That means that charging a Leaf at a Sheetz CHAdeMO is the equivalent of paying $7.80/gal in a Prius. This… Read more »

And just for completionist’s sake, in case anyone thinks it’s unfair to compare to arguably the most fuel-efficient mainstream car on the road:

2016 Volt = 42 EPA MPG
current national average for regular = $2.282
= $0.0543 per mile

So that CHAdeMO charge is the equivalent of paying $6.30/gal in a Volt. Which explains pretty well why Volts don’t have DCFC ports.

You’ve just illustrated the Hard Facts when it comes down to paying for fast chargers. With the exception of Tesla the nearest fast charger in the states for me is 200 miles away. SO even if I purchased a BEV with a Chademo or CCS port, it would never actually get used since I could never reliably get to the public fast charger.

Now, if people say electricity should be cheaper, is it fair to say to the utility supplying the electricity that they should change their rate schedules just because the particular load in this case is a motor vehicle? If they do, then aren’t other commercial customers being forced to subsidize the below-market-rate electricity?

Perhaps most EV drivers currently live where there are heavy gov’t subsidies and they don’t have to think about price. Good for them, but I don’t live there, and many people are in my situation.

1) First is higher power. … 100 to 150 kW because of their larger batteries.
2) Second is multiple chargers. – multiple fast chargers at each location is imperative.
3) Third is intercity locations. – fast chargers to be located along main highways across the country.

In other words . . . Tesla got it 100% right.

They really did. I criticized them way back when the Model S came out for not going with an automotive standard. But there was no standard ready and what standards did exist were not well supported. So they build their own system.

And it turns out to have been an amazingly prescient move. It is the Model 3’s biggest advantage over the Bolt.

Tesla considers the cost of its SC complex ‘Not Material’ since Wall Street loves them, and they can currently just offer alot more stock, which they have just done again.

Other people have to seriously consider the cost of these things Such as TOM M. here who installed the FIRST fast charger in NJ, a 25 KW model. Even though the construction was heavily subsidized, he installed only one, not two, three, or ten. The obvious conclusion is only one, heavily subsidized was justified. Otherwise he would have installed many more.

And then many here wouldn’t even consider 25 KW being remotely a fast-charger. But then Wall street doesn’t love most of the firms considering fast-charger-installation.

Just to be accurate here, Tom Moloughney installed the first 25 kW CCS fast charge in New Jersey at his restaurant as part of BMWs Charge Now program.

Yes, I thought I had just accurately described that Tom got more than 1 subsidy.

tesla has probably done about as much as you can with 240v when it comes to charging. tesla is actually thinking ahead and looking at 750kW charging stations. megawatt charging stations is what you really need but that would also require very high c-rate batteries.

Super Chargers run under 400v not 240v. 750kw would require some really high voltage to do. It would require close to 2000v in order for their current design to get that high. Their would likely be other issues with them kicking the voltage that high. Most people are talking about 350kw with a voltage around 800v and the current around 400a the voltage would be low enough to not risk arching but with enough power to charge most packs pretty fast.