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Thread: Electric Car Challenges

  1. #1
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    Electric Car Challenges

    Here's my concern

    If I don't own a parking spot because I live in an apartment I can't charge my car while I'm home.

    Can I use a public charger? Well my car needs a couple hours charge every day or two. I'm not going to sit there and wait. I'm going to work or sleep or otherwise get on with my life. Now that charger is unavailable to anyone else. To install a lot of them in a sizable parking lot is going to be expensive and require a big power feed to the site.

  2. #2
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    Until there are generic easily swappable batteries EVs will continue to be a niche. My vision is a standardized battery that can be replaced in just a few minutes by a robot and is leased from an energy provider. This would solve most of the hurdles to EV.

  3. #3
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    Is this your living situation, or just a hypothetical concern? 80% in 54 minutes from a DC charger.

    https://www.chargepoint.com/

    Buggy whip makers said much the same.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Matthews View Post
    Is this your living situation, or just a hypothetical concern? 80% in 54 minutes from a DC charger.

    https://www.chargepoint.com/

    Buggy whip makers said much the same.
    So to put some perspective on that; I work for an electric utility in MA and we are working on securing a grant to install a level 3 DC fast charger. Just the cost of the charger from charge point is in excess of $50,000. On top of that is the infrastructure and installation cost. That's a lot of buggy whips...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    Here's my concern

    If I don't own a parking spot because I live in an apartment I can't charge my car while I'm home.

    Can I use a public charger? Well my car needs a couple hours charge every day or two. I'm not going to sit there and wait. I'm going to work or sleep or otherwise get on with my life. Now that charger is unavailable to anyone else. To install a lot of them in a sizable parking lot is going to be expensive and require a big power feed to the site.
    At what point did apartment or condo complexes start phasing out hitching posts and put in striping for a parking lot? Or commercial establishments for that matter?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Lanciani View Post
    So to put some perspective on that; I work for an electric utility in MA and we are working on securing a grant to install a level 3 DC fast charger. Just the cost of the charger from charge point is in excess of $50,000. On top of that is the infrastructure and installation cost. That's a lot of buggy whips...
    That's an appeal to authority. Perhaps you might be able to verify your assertions.

    Meanwhile, Chargepoint compares favorably to the cost of outfitting a traditional gas pumping station.

    https://smartchargeamerica.com/elect...t-express-250/

    ($41,000 for one - volume discounts available.)

    Starting a gas station from an empty lot is a multimillion dollar proposition. Franchising from a legacy network approaches half a million USD.

    https://www.profitableventure.com/co...a-gas-station/

    None of this addresses the issues raised by the OP.

    surprise-surprise-surprise.jpg
    Last edited by Jim Matthews; 04-26-2021 at 8:16 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Matthews View Post
    That's an appeal to authority. Perhaps you might be able to verify your assertions.

    Meanwhile, Chargepoint compares favorably to the cost of outfitting a traditional gas pumping station.

    https://smartchargeamerica.com/elect...t-express-250/

    ($41,000 for one - volume discounts available.)

    Starting a gas station from an empty lot is a multimillion dollar proposition. Franchising from a legacy network approaches half a million USD.

    https://www.profitableventure.com/co...a-gas-station/

    None of this addresses the issues raised by the OP.

    surprise-surprise-surprise.jpg
    OK, so use your price of $40k for a charger sitting on a pallet. Let's assume $20k for installation and infrastructure improvements. So $60k up and running to sell 65 kwh of electricity in an hour. At my utility that would be +/- $9 gross revenue and under $1 net profit. Pretty lousy investment, no?

    ETA- Please don't get me wrong, I'm 100% in favor of EVs, but there are still some very expensive logistical hurdles to cross. The biggest being time to charge and cost of infrastructure, followed closely by electricity supply.
    Last edited by John Lanciani; 04-26-2021 at 8:59 PM.

  8. #8
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    I think the charging issue works both ways. While some, like Tom, may not have a convenient option, others can charge at home or work and never have to go out of their way to charge except on a trip and even then may be able to charge free at some destination. I'm sure there are a few people who never drive past a gas station in their normal routine and have to go out of their way to gas up.
    John's numbers make it sound like installing a charging station doesn't make economic sense yet thousands of new charging stations are being added so someone thinks it's a good investment.

  9. #9
    A simple 240V, 20A outlet is sufficient to get a reasonable rate of charge (e.g. 15 miles of charge in 1 hr of charging). The cost to install a 240V outlet is not anywhere near that of a fast charger. Employers and landlords are installing these as perks (as are hotels, campgrounds, coffee shops, etc...)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Lanciani View Post
    OK, so use your price of $40k for a charger sitting on a pallet. Let's assume $20k for installation and infrastructure improvements. So $60k up and running to sell 65 kwh of electricity in an hour.
    Two things: your public utility is applying for a grant for this installation?

    Will users pay the low rate your utility charges, or will there be an adjustment for convenience?

    My home based charging (glorified 30 amp dryer outlet) costs me $.20 kWh. Most of the ChargeAmerica and ElectrifyAmerica kiosks charge a premium by the minute users are connected - to discourage "camping".

    https://www.electrifyamerica.com/pricing/


    Quote Originally Posted by John Lanciani View Post
    At my utility that would be +/- $9 gross revenue and under $1 net profit. Pretty lousy investment, no?
    I'm suspicious that your calculus is incomplete. Most of our fellow SMC readers are homeowners, and the objections raised have a whiff of sensationalism - rather than practical concerns.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Lanciani View Post
    ETA- Please don't get me wrong, I'm 100% in favor of EVs, but there are still some very expensive logistical hurdles to cross. The biggest being time to charge and cost of infrastructure, followed closely by electricity supply.
    Time to charge isn't an issue for most owners, who charge at home. The OP provided a specific case, ignoring the fact that increasingly renters without a dedicated parking space don't own cars, at all.

    https://www.naahq.org/news-publicati...mation-parking

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Friedrichs View Post
    A simple 240V, 20A outlet is sufficient to get a reasonable rate of charge (e.g. 15 miles of charge in 1 hr of charging). The cost to install a 240V outlet is not anywhere near that of a fast charger. Employers and landlords are installing these as perks (as are hotels, campgrounds, coffee shops, etc...)
    Yup.

    There seems alot of handwringing about non-existent EV drivers.

  12. #12
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    I have stayed in several motels in the winter on skiing trips and the motel had plugs in the parking lot for engine block heaters.
    Ken

  13. #13
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    China doesn't seem to have a problem with this and they have more people and more cars than we do. I spent nearly a month there in 2019 and visited three major urban areas and about 1,000 miles over the road in a car. Nearly 100% of the cars are electric. Larger trucks and buses are fuel based, but for average Joe, it is all electric.
    Regards,

    Tom

  14. #14
    The cars in China have to be electric....with any more pollution they wouldn’t be able to see well enough to drive.

  15. #15
    My opinion is that EVs will sell first to people who own homes. They have the ability to charge overnight. Next will be renters who have dedicated parking spots, perhaps in the bottom of the building. Those will be provided with power outlets and those outlets will be metered and charged to the renter.

    The last group will be renters who do not have dedicated parking spots and they will have to use public chargers. Depending on their employment, they may have access to charging at work.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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