Total To Eventually Install 1,000 150 kW Fast Chargers In Europe

DEC 7 2018 BY MARK KANE 20

Total still wants to sell some fluids to EVs and to fast charge them.

Total, a French Big Oil company, said recently that it’s consolidating its position as a key player in electric mobility. The idea is to offer gas at a discount… an innovative line of fluids for electric and hybrid vehicles. Fluids about which Total is talking are needed for cooling and lubrication of various components.

More interestingly, Total is also going to build a fast-charging network at its fuel stations. In September 2018, Total acquired French company G2Mobility, which manages a network of some 10,000 charging points. Another area of expansion is a partnership between Total Gas & Power and ChargePoint in UK.

According to the latest press release, Total is considering to install 1,000 DC fast chargers (150 kW each) at its 300 service-stations, one every 150 km in Western Europe. On average it would be more than three chargers at each station.

“A territorial grid of charging points within the TOTAL service station network, which will eventually include 1,000 high-powered (150 kW) charging points at 300 “

Press release:

Two new product lines are now available to automakers: Total Quartz EV Fluid, for light vehicles, and Total Rubia EV Fluid, for industrial & utility vehicles and electric buses.

Marketed by Total Lubricants, these products join the other electric mobility solutions Total offers through a variety of concrete applications for charging, storage, and fleet management.

Through extensive research efforts, we are proud to have developed products that align with the new needs of electric mobility,” explains Philippe Charleux, Senior Vice President Lubricants and Specialities at Total. “Integrated before the vehicles leave the factories, these high-performance fluids will accompany them throughout their service lives, benefitting all our customers: parts manufacturers, automakers and end users. This project illustrates our technical excellence and our ability to anticipate and innovate, which we leverage for a sustainable and performing mobility.”

Developed in Response to New Technical Requirements

These lines were developed to provide a better solution for the specific issues linked to engines and transmissions with high rotation speeds, and the need to control heat exchange in electric batteries.

Total researchers focused their research and development efforts for these fluids on four main characteristics, required by any electric or hybrid application:

  • dielectric properties, essential to any usage with electric current
  • compatibility with new electrification components, helping to prevent the corrosion of copper coils in electric engines and protect their polymer coatings
  • a solution for the temperature constraints specific to electric models: rapid calorific evacuation during major accelerations or fast charges, thermal management for batteries, etc.
  • conventional lubrication services for transmissions to protect their mechanical components, maintain optimal friction properties and ensure vehicles efficiency over time

Total and ElectroMobility

This line of fluids for electric and hybrid vehicles, now available from Total Lubricants, is in line with Total Climate Strategy and the Group’s ambition to reduce the carbon footprint of the energy products offered to its customers.

It comes in addition to the wide selection of electric mobility solutions already available from Total and its subsidiaries, including:

  • A territorial grid of charging points within the TOTAL service station network, which will eventually include 1,000 high-powered (150 kW) charging points at 300 service-stations, one every 150 km in Western Europe
  • Access to tens of thousands of public charging points throughout Europe through partnerships, offered to professionals via the TOTAL GR Card
  • 10,000 public charging points in France, managed by G2Mobility and located in local and regional authorities as well as in businesses and companies’ premises
  • Private-use solutions, with electric charging offers from Direct Energie and Total Spring in France as well as Lampiris in Belgium, combined with their electricity provision services

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20 Comments on "Total To Eventually Install 1,000 150 kW Fast Chargers In Europe"

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I would love to see Total offer a liquid cooling system for the Nissan Leaf. If all they produce is fluids, however, it’s hard to sell that at a retail scenario. I mean where am I today with my Tesla? Washer fluid? My design is old enough to use brake fluid, but I can’t imagine fluids keeping them… afloat. Cleaning products, maybe. Glad to hear more charging infrastructure is in the works.

From the press release, it sounds like lubricants are an established part of their business, and they just added a new line specially designed for EVs… Nothing surprising there really.

(Admittedly, the article text doesn’t make it clear that this is not about end user sales, which puzzled me too until I read the press release…)

Clearly with these higher power ratings a business model for for fastcharging is emerging as these 150KW+ stations can handle more traffic per day and more long distance capable EVs will show up to actually use them.

Total can buy a kWh from EDF (Electricité De France) for less than 5cts, and if they can sell the kWh for 35cts, Total can have a 30cts/kWh of margin.
If the cost of a ultra-fast charger will be about 75,000€, Total will need to sell ~22,500 kWh, and may be twice more to be profitable.
I think in 8 years they could be profitable.
A lot of urban people need a ~20kW CCS charger when they go to the market. Total could find shopping mall as competitor, in urban area.

Why would Electricité De France basically gave away to Total? I am not familiar the France marketplace, but it’s pretty unheard of to be buying 0.05 and selling for 0.35 …. who is the dummie here? (other than consumer)

Electric companies in Europe usually have to sell electricity to consumers at a maximum price, set by the government. Prices can be lower, but not higher.
Total can sell charging at any rate, as it is not (yet) regulated by the government.

Don’t know about other parts of Europe — but I’m pretty sure Germany doesn’t have a price cap on electricity.

Here in Germany, a significant portion of the (super high) electricity cost for consumers is comprised of various taxes and surcharges, which commercial customers are mostly exempted from — so the commercial electricity rate is maybe half of the consumer rate… Still, way more than 5 Euro-cents per kWh. (Transmission costs alone are higher than that I think…)

These costs are very different between home consumers are large scale industrial users.
As a home consumer, you consume very little amounts of electricity. So the costs of building and maintaining your line, transformers, meter, and administrative management are very high relative to the amount of electricity you buy.
This is why the infrastructure costs are so high for you (typically for a home consumer, only 50% of the cost of electricity is for energy).

For a large scale industrial users who uses MegaWatt hours of electricity every week, things are very different. And for high power vehicle chargers, I guess these costs would be studied on a case by case basis.
I would bet a large multi-national company like Total would be able to build infrastructure partnerships with the national grid and then be able to buy the electricity at wholesale price

When EDF was privatized buy the government, there were amendments to protect other competitors.
The majority of electricity is nuclear in France (~80%). The cost of the kWh is about 4cts. The government publish every year a price that the competitors can buy electricity from EDF. For 2019 any EDF competitor can buy a MWh for 4.82€. Last year no one bought it because they can find a MWh for less than 4.75€ on the european market.
It’s a solution to prevent EDF to kill their competitors, because EDF is the only one who have nuclear plants.

The price of the electricity is not the most expensive part of the network of chargers.
If the price of the ultra fast charger is 75,000€ you will have to build the place where you gonna put the chargers. You need to pay people to manage the chargers. Some operators charge the client 0.5€ per kWh others charge about 0.25€ only.
Actually I don’t know if it will be 0,5€ in the future, but in Bordeaux it seems that 0.25€ is not profitable. Probably there is not enough cars.

Why does Europe get all the love, Total? Bring it to North America!

Do you forget who resides at 1600 Penn. Ave. in Washington DC? Shell and BP are doing something similar in Europe at their petrol stations.

In North-America Total only have filling stations in Mexico. Perhaps in some years they will also install EV chargers there.

The main issue I generally have is *finding* a charging station. Knowing that most Total or (insert name of similar US fuel provider) stations have charging would make it much easier to get around in my EV.

Slightly tangential to the topic, one app I wish PlugShare had is a live cam on the charging station so that you can see if all the chargers are occupied real time. Even with a 150 kW charger, it would be nice to know if you have an open charger to use before you got there.

Does it really have to be a camera view? it should be enough with a counter that reports number of charging stands free.

The cam isn’t absolutely necessary, because it will use a lot of bandwidth, but given how much data is out there… I trust my eyes, I don’t trust a counter quite as much. But after having said that, watch the app actually come to fruition, and I see an open charger as I am zipping down I-10 a mile from the charging station! So I turn off the interstate and someone takes the last charger right as I pull into the charging station lot! Denied! LOL!

“So I turn off the interstate and someone takes the last charger right as I pull into the charging station lot! Denied! LOL!”

How would that be any different with a camera view?

What you want is the ability to reserve access to a charger 5-10 minutes before arriving.

Smart move from Total. That’s how they can stay in the market even after the age of fossil fuel cars. And Total is a name everyone knows and they have a well established network of gas stations. Win-Win I’d say.

So another ‘Big Oil’ company throw in the towel and start to consider EV charging as viable business.

In Germany the gas stations make more profit on side business (coffee, sandwich, snacks, drinks …..) than with their razor thin gas sales margins. So having an EV standing 20-30 minutes for recharging at the station, the driver has a lot of time to buy more of those snacks.