Open Letter: EAA Comments on DC Fast Charger Installations for West Coast Electric Highway

MAR 23 2015 BY TONY WILLIAMS 26

Scouring the West Coast For Plugs On The West Coast Electric Highway From June 12th to 20th, 2012

Scouring the West Coast For Plugs On The West Coast Electric Highway From June 12th to 20th, 2012

During the first BC2BC All Electric Vehicle Rally from Mexico to Canada in June 2012, I was the first to travel across both Oregon and Washington using only DC quick charging along the then newly opened West Coast Electric Highway (WCEH) in those states. Since that time, unfortunately, travel along intra-state corridors within California is nearly as non-existent as it was then (except for Tesla cars).

1,600 Miles on the West Coast Highway

1,600 Miles on the West Coast Highway

Now three years later, an EV owner still can’t comfortably drive from the capital of California to the border of Oregon in an EV, even though Oregon has had a DC charger waiting in Ashland for the past three years… waiting to connect to California.

Clearly, the neighboring states of Nevada and Arizona, places that are frequently driven by Californians, are not going to be lured to build infrastructure to connect Las Vegas, Reno, Phoenix and Tucson. Just look at the California record over the past three years!

California signed an agreement to be a party to the West Coast Green Highway (as it was then known) in 2009. Now, the states seem interested to finally step up and build a comprehensive LOGICAL statewide EV charging network.

If you draw a simple “London Underground” style map, you’ll see the ultimate design for a California WCEH

  1. San Diego to Oregon, via I-5 and CA-99 (interchange circle at San Diego, Los Angeles, Lebec, Sacramento and Red Bluff)
  2. Los Angeles to Oregon via US-101 (interchange circle at San Francisco)
  3. Los Angeles to Phoenix, via I-10 (Interchange circle at San Bernadino)
  4. San Diego to Las Vegas, via I-15 (interchange circle at San Bernadino)
  5. San Francisco to Reno via I-80 (interchange circle at Sacramento)
  6. San Diego to Yuma / Tucson via I-8 (interchange circle in San Diego)
  7. Lebec to Reb Bluff I-5 corridor (interchange circle in Sacramento)

Everything beyond those interstate and intrastate become secondary or “trunk” routes, to be completed after the primary routes.

What follows is the Electric Auto Associations answer to four questions presented to them from the state. I hope you’ll contact your state representatives in not only California, but Nevada and Arizona, and encourage them to fund the West Coast Electric Highway.

Open Letter Re: West Coast Electric Highway - Page 1

Open Letter Re: West Coast Electric Highway – Page 1

Open Letter Re: West Coast Electric Highway - Page 2

Open Letter Re: West Coast Electric Highway – Page 2

Open Letter Re: West Coast Electric Highway - Page 3

Open Letter Re: West Coast Electric Highway – Page 3

Open Letter Re: West Coast Electric Highway - Page 4

Open Letter Re: West Coast Electric Highway – Page 4

Open Letter Re: West Coast Electric Highway - Page 5

Open Letter Re: West Coast Electric Highway – Page 5

Categories: Charging, General

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26 Comments on "Open Letter: EAA Comments on DC Fast Charger Installations for West Coast Electric Highway"

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“Now three years later, an EV owner still can’t comfortably drive from the capital of California to the border of Oregon in an EV”

Correction, a Leaf owner can’t. A Tesla owner can, using a privately installed and funded infrastructure.

Tesla privately funded? not really sure you can say that considering the vast amounts of tax payers money it has received. Not just the loan but also the tax credits, the Carb credits and the state funding to build factories.

I think Tesla represents a fantastic example of why nations should invest in companies but holding it up as a shining example of the free market is non-sense. It has received enormous support from US tax payers and (IMO) that’s a good thing.

ps I have noticed that no one has made a Chademo to super-charger adapter. I wonder why that is? probably because unless you drive a Tesla you are not allowed to use the Super chargers.

A few other reasons…
– No Chademo equipped car can make the 150 mile distance between Superchargers, so you couldn’t make it 82 miles past the first charger anyways
– 120kw would blow the doors off any Chademo equipped car (probably literally)
– Even if the doors remained intact, it would be very annoying to Tesla owners to have to wait for any Chademo equipped car to (comparatively speaking) trickle charge at 50kw
– Chademo is used by exactly 1 high volume EV in the United States, so it would probably be up to that manufacturer to make the adapter, and since they’re not interested…

A few other reasons…
– No Chademo equipped car can make the 150 mile distance between Superchargers, so you couldn’t make it 82 miles past the first charger anyways<<>>>– 120kw would blow the doors off any Chademo equipped car (probably literally)<<<>>>– Even if the doors remained intact, it would be very annoying to Tesla owners to have to wait for any Chademo equipped car to (comparatively speaking) trickle charge at 50kw<<<<>>>>– Chademo is used by exactly 1 high volume EV in the United States, <<<<>>>so it would probably be up to that manufacturer to make the adapter, and since they’re not interested…<<<

Tesla made one, so can Nissan or anybody else.

In a Tesla is a company of natural importance or natural security. Them putting money into Tesla is like how the US Government gave oil companies in the 1940’s money and steel to built a internal system of oil pipe lines to avoid shipping lanes getting destroyed by U Boats. During this time the Oil Companies did put in a chunk of money into this but it was mostly the US Government.

As for Tesla importance the US Government does have a internist in it to reduce oil demand to try to get OPEC and the Middle East to have less control over US’s energy supply.

Doesn’t Nissan get those same tax credits? Don’t states trip all over themselves trying to convince Nissan to build their next factory in their state? Tesla isn’t using any special Tesla-specific loopholes in the tax code to fund their Supercharger network, and they aren’t trying to convince governments to build out their network either. They have a better plan, and they are investing their own money in it.

But back to the main point, which you missed. The author stated that no EV could make that trip comfortably, which is factually incorrect, since Teslas can.

You’re right, I didn’t mention with that specific reference, but:

“… travel along intra-state corridors within California is nearly as non-existent as it was then (except for Tesla cars).”

Tax credits are not taxpayer money that fund Tesla. It is BEV buyers that pay up to $7500 less in Federal income tax or pay less in State sales tax.

CARB credits are purchased by OEMs that chose not to fill their quota for selling ZEVs. That is one private entity buying from another private entity. Not taxpayer money.

The loan that was backed by the DoE was far less than Ford and Nissan and paid back with interest. It did not cost the taxpayers a single dime.

Tesla has not received an enormous amount of funding from US Taxpayers. It did receive $195 in transferable State of Nevada Tax credits to build the Gigafactory. In essence a cash equivalent. Far less that others receive for similar factories.

Again, none of this funded the Supercharger Network.

Correction $195 meant $195M.

Also, Tesla received CA State tax exemption to buy capital equipment.

This puts Tesla on par with every other Auto Plant in America that does not pay State sales tax when buying capital equipment.

Tesla even got a $20 million grant from California to build the Model X.

1. The money Tesla received in a loan has been fully repaid, so the American taxpayer earned money on that one.

2. The EV tax rebate is paid to the owner of the car, not to Tesla; Tesla gets not one red cent of that.

3. Money from carbon credits is indeed an important revenue stream for Tesla. Just as American soldiers, warships, and other parts of our Military are an important part of Big Oil’s operations, where used to protect their/our overseas supply line of oil. The indirect subsidy for Big Oil, by using so much of our Military’s budget, is thousands or millions of times greater than that for EVs. Does that make Big Oil “publicly funded”? Certainly they don’t -act- like it!

I kind of notice that when I look at plug share the West Coast Electric Highway seems to have stagnated a great deal over the last few years. Such as the number of quick chargers along with the size and length of it has remained the same over the last few years. I was expect that by now the West Coast Electric Highway would be three or four times bigger then it currently is by now.

As of now Virginia has started adding DC quick chargers along Interstate 95 and Interstate 64 with a few along Interstate 81. this new quick charger system is growing fast and suddenly and at it’s current rate could out grow the West Coast Highway in terms of number of quick chargers and miles covered.

I think that until cars have 150+ mile range, this is a waste of money. The 80 mile cars are pretty much just city cars.

I wouldn’t view it as a waste of money. A example is if you need to move a electric car from one side of the state to the other to buy one or move to a new house. There are also those boarder line trips were you drive a 150 miles in a day and need one charging session each way to get home.

The basic concept of spacing EV chargers 40 or 80 miles apart is just silly. The average gas guzzler has a range (on one tankful of gas) of 350 miles or more; does that mean gas stations should be clustered 300 miles apart?

Instead of having EV chargers intended to support long distance driving clustered in one spot, they should be scattered out along the route. Just like gas stations, and for the same reason.

As stated in the EAA letter, this considers the 150-200 mile range cars.

It even considers that those cars will need 100kW chargers, instead of the 50kW used today, and further, that those chargers be placed at 80 mile distance, instead of 40 miles.

Just because the route goes 1600 miles, does not mean you have to drive the whole length, like I did three times!!!

You are right that it’s pretty much a city car when there is no DC fast charging infrastructure. But when there is, it increases the usable range by a lot.

Build it and they will come.

In other words… “we’ll sign a letter saying how much we like the idea and support it but then we’ll procrastinate and hope someone else does it first because it is such a giant waste of taxpayer money”

Ace: I think that the idea is to be proactive and make things ready for the next generation of(larger battery)EV’s. But even if we assume that the only current users of such a system(allowing that Tesla already has their own system up and running)are those with small batteries(such as LEAFs)it is still a valid effort and well worth seeing it put in place. WCEH will lead to similar such highways elsewhere…but only after it is shown to be a workable concept in CA and West Coast. Right now, it’s difficult to drive a LEAF from Philly to NYC. Over 100 miles and few DCQC stations. Boston to Washington, DC. same story,

Lou

Important and well-written letter. Kudos for the emphasis on expansion into larger geographical/social segments, and less-well-to-do residents.

Hope it makes a difference.

I would drop the distraction of environmental justice etc, and concentrate on the core mission: building DCFC stations along major arteries, the biggest first. Re-order the priorities and start with the highways (Interstates) and then extend to the byways (California routes). Specifically, the EEA’s lowest-priority should become the highest – build out I5 first, all the way from Oregon to Mexico; then, later, the California State Route 99 section, which meanders alongside I5 between Red Bluff and the Grapevine, through many of the poorest communities in the nation, whose residents would benefit more from a tractor than a Tesla.
Look, I can see where the EEA is coming from, politically: the stop-and-go route 99 goes through a lot of populous communities whose numerous representatives in Sacramento would love to be seen on TV with shovel in hand, bringing home the bacon; whereas I5 barrels through the sparsely-populated central valley. In a nutshell, there are more huddled masses along 99, but there are more EVs yearning to brake free along I5.

Tony,

Great letter. I wish the EAA the best of luck with this effort. If California and the ARB wish to suceed with zero emmissions vehicles, they need to get do all they can to get DC fast charging available to EV owners.

I do have a problem with the “one charger per location” recommendation however. This drastically reduces the dependability of the charging network. If the one station is in use or out of order, it will impact arrival time at the destination. Drastically so for the all too common out of order seneraio.

The stations need a minimum of two “pumps.” Just as you need two engines to fly across the pacific.

More discussion of the math behing charging networks here:

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/23540-Capacity-of-Superchargers-Using-an-Erlang-B-Model

GSP

All the stations will be equipped, permitted, planned, conduit layer, etc, for more than one charger, but to get the ball rolling, one is the minimum. At least one charger location at 80 mile intervals will be 100kW capable (200 amps).

I’m involved in building a ten charger plaza in Encinitas, so I understand the concept well.

Tony,

Thanks for responding. One is infinitely better than zero. I get it. It is very good that the plans will be for two.

Good Luck and best wishes.

GSP