Update On Kansas City’s Massive Charging Infrastructure Rollout

JUN 21 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 40

KCP&L ChargePoint Charger

KCP&L ChargePoint Charger

Efacec will provide 15 DC Fast Chargers as part of KCP&L’s Clean Charge network – Notice that these units support both CHAdeMO & CCS.

Efacec will provide 15 DC Fast Chargers as part of KCP&L’s Clean Charge network – Notice that these units support both CHAdeMO & CCS.

The nation’s largest rollout of electric car charging stations is well underway.

Announced 5 months ago, the Kansas City Power & Light effort to install some 1,000-plus charging stations within its service area is progressing well.

As TIME reports:

At the start of 2015, there were a little over 1,000 plug-in electric cars in the greater Kansas City area. By the end of 2015, there will roughly be one public electric vehicle charging station for each of those cars.

In January, the local power and electric company KCP&L announced an ambitious plan dubbed the Clean Charge Network, which calls for 1,001 new electric charging stations to be installed in its region, which is eastern Kansas and western Missouri. Only 40 EV charging stations were operational at the time. By the spring, 150 more had been installed, and the rest are expected to open by year’s end.

Here’s a portion of the initial press release detailing Kansas City Power & Light’s plans:

KCP&L Becomes Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Leader With Groundbreaking Announcement
KCP&L’s Clean Charge Network will be the largest utility electric vehicle charging station installation in the country

KANSAS CITY, Mo.– Today, at a kickoff event at its headquarters, Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L), a subsidiary of Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP), announced its plans to install and operate more than 1,000 electric vehicle charging stations, making it the largest electric vehicle charging station installation by an electric utility in the United States. KCP&L’s Clean Charge Network is the next step in the company’s leadership in environmental sustainability. Over the next several months, KCP&L will install more than 1,000 charging stations throughout the Greater Kansas City region. This network of stations will be capable of supporting more than 10,000 electric vehicles. Through partnerships with companies at host locations and with Nissan Motor Company, the Clean Charge Network will offer free charging on every station to all drivers for the first two years. The stations are manufactured by ChargePoint and will be part of the ChargePoint network of more than 20,000 charging spots in North America.

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40 Comments on "Update On Kansas City’s Massive Charging Infrastructure Rollout"

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Three Electrics

60 percent of Kansas electricity comes from coal. From a greenhouse gas emission standpoint, FCEVs, even powered by steam reformation without carbon capture, would be greener in this state–and rather than 1000 stations, they could get by with fifty or even ten.

I fear these charging stations will whitewash the dirty nature of the Kansas grid and prevent the populace from demanding cleaner energy sources.

Three Electrics

It is amusing to plug a Lawrence zip code (66044) into this calculator: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.php. Conventional hybrids emit fewer greenhouse gasses than BEVs in Lawrence (!) and PHEVs are greener then BEVs as well (!!).

Three Electrics

The same holds true for Missouri. One can parse “Kansas City Power” in two ways–either as the utility for Kansas City or as a non-rural supplier for the state of Kansas. 🙂

To keep screeching “Coal Cars 111!!111” when coal in the US is in an irreversible decline, is like issuing a red card to a player for a foul committed by a teammate in a previous game.

I’m pretty sure Kansas and Missouri have a huge wind potential, and are beginning to tap into it like everywhere else.

Here’s one link indicating Kansas energy has almost 1.5GW wind capacity coming online over the next couple of years. It took me all of 5 seconds Google.

http://www.kansasenergy.org/wind_projects.htm

…and needless to say, but I’ll say it b/c some people need it spelled out:

Kansas City also has amazing solar potential, and rooftop solar has been incredibly popular among conservatives, progressives and everyone in between. For example, IKEA just opened there a solar system that will provide 1 MWh juice per year: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/about_ikea/newsitem/05052015_IKEA-merriam-solar-array

This too will have a ripple effect.

sven

Assaf said: “. . . Kansas energy has almost 1.5GW wind capacity coming online over the next couple of years.”

1.5 GW is a proverbial drop in the bucket. Kansas has a statewide electric capacity of 14,093 GW (72% sourced from coal). Also, 1.5GW is the rated capacity. The actual output will be a good bit lower than 1.5GW.

http://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/

Lensman

sven:

Sorry, but look again at your source. That’s 14,093 MW, which is only 14.093 GW.

sven

You are correct. That bucket is getting filled quicker than I thought. 😉

sven

Yikes! 74% of Lawrence, Kansas electricity is sourced from coal. That’s one dirty grid! 🙁

jdbob

If I plug my zip code into that website (Eastern Oregon) it says 46.5% Hydro. The local power company says 80% Hydro. I wonder what it really is 🙂

Look at the fine print on the source of data. Quite often, older (2006) grid data is reference and not newer (2012) studies, or real time data from the last week.

US grid operators have much to learn on providing the real time energy source mix to customers like is done in many EU countries. How dare customer know and choose what type and time they plug into grid energy?

FYI: In Europe hour by hour data is online.
In US one example of real time grid operator data is from California: CAISO.com/Pages/TodaysOutlook.aspx … ~30% renewable sourced (solar & wind) at time of posting I’m comment (9700 MW renewable energy; 6100 MW solar + 3600 MW of 31500 MW grid demand)

Unplugged

A current source for electrical energy data is that listed by the utility commissions themselves. For Kansas, you can go here:
http://powersuite.aee.net/portal/states/KS/energy_data

sven

Excellent website! 😀

FSJ

Same for me. The calculator and the quarterly report from the power company differ dramatically. South of Chicago.

Lensman
“It is amusing to plug a Lawrence zip code (66044) into this calculator: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.php” Speaking as a computer programmer, it’s not at all amusing to see this sort of GIGO being used as though it’s an accurate reflection of reality. That computer program is only as accurate as the assumptions of whoever programmed it. GIGO = Garbage In, Garbage Out. One of the assumptions behind government figures for CO2 emissions, one that is demonstrably flat wrong, is treating nuclear power plants as though they’re just as inefficient as a typical older coal-fired plant. That is, 33% efficient. While it’s true that both types of power plants use steam engines to power the generators, nuclear power plants emit no CO2 at all, and any “inefficiency” is merely wasting nuclear power… not wasting fossil fuel or emitting pollution. That exhaust you see rising from those beautiful, futuristic-looking cooling towers is 100% water vapor… no pollution or CO2 emissions at all! Speaking of Lawrence KS: The Wolf Creek Nuclear Generating Station is only about 65 miles from Lawrence. And one has to wonder just how many wrong assumptions they’d have to make to conclude that “fool cell” vehicles are less polluting than BEVs!… Read more »
JakeY

I get results that BEV still being better than PHEV in that calculator and HEV being about 29% better than BEV. That’s actually pretty good for 74% coal.

I should note that although on the assumptions page it says it assumes 11,804 annual miles, you can calculate they actually assume 15000 annual miles.

I get the following gCO2e/mi:
HEV 230
BEV (US) 232
PHEV (US) 280
BEV (66044) 297
PHEV (66044) 322
ICE 448

If you look at the ANL GREET model (which the calculator is based on, you get for hydrogen in gCO2e/mi:
Central SMR 256
Distributed SMR 265
Distributed Electrolysis 574

However, before you celebrate, you should note the EPA calculator used a sales weighted MPG, while the ANL assumes 60.3MPGe for hydrogen.
https://greet.es.anl.gov/results

The Clarity at 59MPGe they leased 2 in 2014. The Tucson at 50MPGe they leased 70 in 2014.
https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fcv_sbs.shtml

The would bring sales weighted to 50.2 MPGe, and final results:
HEV 230
BEV (US) 232
PHEV (US) 280
BEV (66044) 297
Central SMR 307
Distributed SMR 318
PHEV (66044) 322
ICE 448
Distributed Electrolysis 689

So hydrogen with SMR (cleanest option) is still worse than BEV with SMR even with 74% coal! HEV remains a good option on the average US grid, edging out BEVs just barely. Of course the equation changes when you have a solar panel at home and for places with a cleaner grid than US average (like CA).

JakeY

Small correction “BEV with SMR” should just be “BEV”.

Also just for fun, since the ANL GREET model has it, they calculate CA grid mix being 58.3% of US average, which means:
BEV (CA) 135

That’s far better than the other options and make’s it clear if you are in CA like me, a BEV is a no-brainer for being the cleanest.

mustang_sallad

Or maybe this initiative will help push Kansas to clean up their grid, which is a separate initiative which can and should go ahead parallel.

Nick

+1

The grid becomes greener over time, making EVs one of the only cars which pollute less as they get older.

sven

But will the grid clean up fast enough to make up for all the extra CO2 pumped into the atmosphere that an EV charged in Kansas with it’s currently 72% coal sourced electricity as compared to driving a 55+ mpg 2016 Prius over their 20-year average service lives? A present-value time-discounted total lifetime CO2 emission figure would be need to be calculated to do a valid comparison.

Isn’t it better to reduce present and near term automotive CO2 emissions in Kansas by driving hybrids, rather than emitting more CO2 in Kansas presently and near term by driving EVs, but emitting less CO2 in the future as the 72% coal-sourced Kansas electric grid gets less dirty? In other words, how much do we discount the present value of future CO2 reductions when comparing EVs and hybrids in states that have very dirty grids?

Lensman

sven said:

“But will the grid clean up fast enough to make up for all the extra CO2 pumped into the atmosphere that an EV charged in Kansas with it’s currently 72% coal sourced electricity as compared to driving a 55+ mpg 2016 Prius over their 20-year average service lives?”

What’s the point of comparing one type of EV to another? The comparison should be between gasmobiles and EVs, not between a HEV like the Prius and BEVs or PHEVs.

55+ MPG is extreme outlier data. The national average MPG for the USA is around 25-26 MPH. I see no point in discussing any comparison based on cherry-picked outlier data. If everyone drove a 55+ MPH car, then our problems with CO2 emissions and air pollution would be far, far less.

sven

Lensman, it sounds like you’re the one who is cherry picking. Your national average mpg figures include a very large percentage of pickup trucks, minivans, and SUVs/CUVs for which there are no comparable BEV pickup trucks, BEV minivans, or BEV SUVs. 50 mpg is the new standard for midsized sedans in the U.S. with the Honda Accord Hybrid, Chevy Malibu, Toyota Prius, and most likely the next-gen Camry achieving that benchmark. FYI, expect automakers to sell a greater number of hybrid models to meet new tougher CAFE fleet fuel efficiency requirements for those customers who for whatever reason refuse to buy plug-in EVs.

An HEV is a gasmobile. This is a comparison between ICE hybrids and EVs to determine which will have a smaller impact on climate change in a state with a very dirty grid that will get cleaner in the future. To minimize the CO2 that your new car emits via tailpipe or upstream electric generating plant you will choose either a hybrid or an EV, not a conventional ICE.

Ambulator

If we keep making PHEVs well get better at making PHEVs, and still have a problem. If we make BEVs we’ll learn to make better BEVs, and once the power is cleaned up we won’t have that problem.

Lensman
“Lensman, it sounds like you’re the one who is cherry picking. Your national average mpg figures include a very large percentage of pickup trucks, minivans, and SUVs/CUVs for which there are no comparable BEV pickup trucks, BEV minivans, or BEV SUVs.” For the record, sven, I never, ever engage in cherry-picking of data. My objective is always to look for the truth. The question isn’t whether or not PEV SUVs or CUVs or minivans or pickups are currently available. The question is what kind of vehicle people are buying. The question is whether or not someone buying a PEV will actually help the environment and/or help wean the world off the addiction to burning about 80 million barrels of oil every single day. Arguments like the one you’re using here, based on the long-discredited “long tailpipe” EV-hater myth in an attempt to persuade people that PEVs “don’t really” help the environment; propaganda obviously paid for by Big Oil… these are the very antithesis of the search for Truth. They are an attempt to bury the truth under a ton of lies. Among the many Truths this Big Lie from Big Oil ignores is that nearly a third of PEV owners… Read more »
sven

Since I’m the one who asked the question, I think I know what the question is. I was specifically comparing similar-sized hybrid and ICE vehicles. I asked, in a dirty grid state is it better for combating climate change to reduce CO2 emissions now and in the near term by buying a high mileage hybrid (lower CO2 emissions than a dirty grid charged EV), or to reduce them in the future when the dirty grid becomes cleaner by purchasing an EV now. It’s a timing issue of when you reduce CO2 emissions, now or in the future.

Lensmann said: “The power used by PEV owners to charge their cars is significantly cleaner than the average in every region of the country.” Really? How exactly is it cleaner for the more than two thirds of PEV owners in Western states that do NOT have solar power at home (those are your figures). I assume those PEV owners without solar power at home will charge with electricity from the dirty grid. How exactly is their power “cleaner than the average” in their region?

Lensman

sven said:

“50 mpg is the new standard for midsized sedans in the U.S. with the Honda Accord Hybrid, Chevy Malibu, Toyota Prius, and most likely the next-gen Camry achieving that benchmark.”

Again, you’re just comparing one type of EV — the Honda Accord Hybrid and the Prius are both HEVs — to another type.

Since it would appear we both agree that gasmobiles are the problem and EVs are the solution, it seems we really agree altho you appear determined to argue about it.

Daniel

Why do you and many like you continue to make “better” the enemy of “best”, would you rather have the potential 10,000 vehicles burn gasoline? get over the coal thing already. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

And it’s not like refining gasoline from crude oil is a clean process for those potential 10,000 vehicles either now is it?

Robert

Amen Daniel

Alex

There are a few of big assumptions in your rationale.

– That the mix of 72% coming from coal will remain for years to come. This is very unlikely.

– That electric car chargers build out will cause increase in electricity generation almost overnight. This is not true. Their use of electricity will only grow as a proportion of electric cars on road charging from them.

– That increased use of electricity will cause increase in electricity generation and this increase will come from coal. This is not true. In all likelihood the new megawatts will come from gas / wind / solar(?) and shift the mix into cleaner sources.

– That the new to be car owners who won’t buy electric cars because they’d have no place to charge will buy hybrids instead. This is not true. First generation hybrids are already obsolete technology with declining year on year sales. 18% decline while car sales are up by 4.5%. What potential buyers have instead is a big question. Some opt for battery electric cars. But others likely go back to ICE cars.

– Cars produced and bought today will run for next 11 years. How many new coal plants are planned in Kansas?

…and he cherry-picked 72%, the number for one town, as representing the entire KCP&L service area. Of course, it was the worst number he could find. Surprised?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Be_Kind_Rewind#.22Sweded.22

Lensman

Alex said:

“– That increased use of electricity will cause increase in electricity generation and this increase will come from coal. This is not true. In all likelihood the new megawatts will come from gas / wind / solar(?) and shift the mix into cleaner sources.”

Mostly from natural gas over the next decade or so, but otherwise that’s entirely correct. There are essentially no new coal-fired power plants being built in the USA, and in fact some coal-fired plants have been and are being converted to natural gas.

The grid will only get cleaner, and a lot more rapidly than EV haters want us to believe.

sven

“First generation hybrids are already obsolete technology with declining year on year sales. 18% decline while car sales are up by 4.5%.”

To be fair, a large percentage of hybrid sales are the Prius, which is in the last year of production before a the next-gen model comes out this fall. It’s sales are suffering from the same “Osborne Effect” as the soon to be replace Volt.

“– Cars produced and bought today will run for next 11 years. How many new coal plants are planned in Kansas?”

Actually, it’s more like 20 years, with 11 years being the average age of a car on the road today.

Shouldn’t the question be “how many existing coal plants are planned to be retired and when? Also, what will replace these coal plant to make up for their electric generating capacity?

sven

This should be in reply to Alex.

David Murray

I see a lot of comments about the coal. And yet I rarely hear any discussion of gasoline refinement. Why do people always want to compare tailpipe emissions to power plant emissions? It isn’t even a fair comparison because gasoline doesn’t just magically exist or get created without producing emissions along the way.

Nor does hydrogen, and yet the hydrogen fantasy continues.

jmhays1

Well, I for one wish I was living in KC and could take advantage of these chargers. Sure they may be fueled by coal, but this is a step in the right direction. Coal fuel or petrol fuel, neither is good.

Listed on Plugshare, for Kansas City, MO:
16 public DCFC
142 public Level 2 chargers

Robert

Did anybody notice it took them 5 months to install 150 chargers. At that rate how the hell are they going to install 850 chargers in 7 months?

PS. Now you guys can get back to your beaten like a dead horse argument of dirty energy.

Ocean Railroader

I really don’t care right now if the car charger is powered by coal or magic. My biggest fear right now is running out of juice on the side of the road right now. I will worry about how clean the chargers are when there are hundreds of DC Quick chargers at every exit ramp.

Bill Howland
I must have missed something…. I thought this area of the country was in general BIG supporters of things BIG oil was doing, namely CNG and LNG. I’m surprised that electric vehicles would even count a blip in most people’s consciousness. But 1000 charging docking stations for 1000 EV’s? In anybody’s book that is a substantial investment on a per car basis. I’m in TRUEBLUE/GREEN NY State, where LEAS certifications are all over the place (thats why they put a 110 volt plug on the outside of the building; put a GREEN EV car sign on the wall, and get tax incentives for it (!!) ). Supposedly there are some fast chargers going in on the interstate highways near NYC and Long Island, which doesn’t help me personally one bit. Rather than ONE THOUSAND connection points, I’d like ONE between Buffalo and Syracuse on the Interstate. We have some, but not most car dealers which will allow you to charge, and Tesla “S” travelers have the BUffalo area SuperCharger now in an eastern suburb. My area does not need 1000 more charger points, but another 5 would greatly help. AND with NY State giving a 50% CREDIT off the installation,… Read more »