HeyMomTheMeatloaf

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Short term pain for long term gains.

I disagree about DCFC being a losing business proposition.

Look at the margins of a gas station. Cut throat.

Look at the DCFC networks. Electrify America charging 43c/kWh. Tesla charging anywhere from 29c-42c/kWh. Electricity rates per kWh are as low as 1c in super-off peak times, and in the most expensive regions - as much as 30c/kWh.

Commercial pricing is different, and they have the opportunity to secure better rates than residential rates. In many parts of the country; Tesla/EA are able to purchase electricity, and mark it up 300-400%.

The math on this is going to vary; but I've never seen a scenario where the DCFC is providing electricity at a loss. The rate is always more expensive.

Plus - no gas station has ever been able to charge a $1/minute idle fee.

The startup costs are high. But vertical integration and economies of scale can help - if you have the cash (or cash flow). Over time, these DCFC are slowly recouping their costs.


Yep I have read both articles when they came out. The only source is a table on a Texas Gov't website that was probably populated by some intern. Nowhere does it say that is the cost of a Tesla charger, it's just how much they are requesting per charger. Hell, it might only cover the cost of adding a CCS dongle to an existing charger. Forbes, InsideEvs, and you are reading way too much into it.

People won't like hearing this, but Ford is smart to not build a charging network because it's signing up to lose money. Nobody (including Tesla) is making money on fast charging, which is the real reason they are talking about opening up their network.

Screenshot_20220515-095045_Office~2.jpg

 

kltye

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Short term pain for long term gains.

I disagree about DCFC being a losing business proposition.

Look at the margins of a gas station. Cut throat.

Look at the DCFC networks. Electrify America charging 43c/kWh. Tesla charging anywhere from 29c-42c/kWh. Electricity rates per kWh are as low as 1c in super-off peak times, and in the most expensive regions - as much as 30c/kWh.

Commercial pricing is different, and they have the opportunity to secure better rates than residential rates. In many parts of the country; Tesla/EA are able to purchase electricity, and mark it up 300-400%.

The math on this is going to vary; but I've never seen a scenario where the DCFC is providing electricity at a loss. The rate is always more expensive.

Plus - no gas station has ever been able to charge a $1/minute idle fee.

The startup costs are high. But vertical integration and economies of scale can help - if you have the cash (or cash flow). Over time, these DCFC are slowly recouping their costs.
The problem is DCFC locations are paying for massive demand charges, where prices can reach over $1 per kWh (yes, a dollar per kilowatt-hour). It's more than just flat rate electricity pricing. Some EA sites are looking to install battery storage to ease up on demand pricing, and storage isn't particularly cheap either.
 

mkhuffman

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Short term pain for long term gains.

I disagree about DCFC being a losing business proposition.

Look at the margins of a gas station. Cut throat.

Look at the DCFC networks. Electrify America charging 43c/kWh. Tesla charging anywhere from 29c-42c/kWh. Electricity rates per kWh are as low as 1c in super-off peak times, and in the most expensive regions - as much as 30c/kWh.

Commercial pricing is different, and they have the opportunity to secure better rates than residential rates. In many parts of the country; Tesla/EA are able to purchase electricity, and mark it up 300-400%.

The math on this is going to vary; but I've never seen a scenario where the DCFC is providing electricity at a loss. The rate is always more expensive.

Plus - no gas station has ever been able to charge a $1/minute idle fee.

The startup costs are high. But vertical integration and economies of scale can help - if you have the cash (or cash flow). Over time, these DCFC are slowly recouping their costs.
I agree. It is not unusual for a new business to lose money initially. It is also not unusual to have capital expenditures that need to be depreciated over time, which causes negative cash flow at first but profit over time.

There is definitely a break even point for EA and others: how many cars need to charge per day in order for a station to become profitable? I have no idea, but as Meatloaf said, they are definitely charging more for electricity than they are paying for it.

So it seems to me the stations will give an investor a return on that investment, eventually. Is it a good return? I bet as the cost of building stations comes down due to economies of scale, it will be. It seems maybe Tesla will make money on DCFC because they already have the economies of scale going for them.
 

bshaw

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A straightforward solution to demand pricing is to charge different prices for DCFC throughout the day. It would have to be a reasonable up-charge (~1.5x), and something that is scheduled in advance (no surprises).
It would move the people with flexibility to charge at off-peak times, and free up those chargers for people less sensitive on price or who urgently have to get somewhere.

It's a tough problem and varying prices will still make a lot of people angry.
 

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The demand pricing in some states which is geared toward industrial usage can adversely affect fast charging profitability. The storage units are one way around it but that adds capital costs as mentioned.

I think like gas stations, the profits aren’t necessarily comes from the fuel or electricity upcharge in this case. It will probably be at best a breakeven entity for most private business but it can bring in people / traffic to stores, restaurants, etc for 30-45 mins. Those activities are going to be higher margin. Public charging entities may be able to operate at a loss but maintaince and reliability could be long term issues if there is no guardian per se.

Most fast chargers aren’t used enough in most places to generate profits. Have to consider maintenance costs and it’s also possible charging hardware becomes obsolete faster than the estimated depreciation time. Think of all the upgrades Tesla has had to do their networks over the last few years. That certainly cost more money than they’ve recouped over such as short period. Think of the pain of using all those 50kw fast chargers. If you had a choice, you would prob avoid those in the future.
 


EEcav

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Don't your walmarts also sell milk and bananas?
I can buy a bunch of bananas and a gallon of milk, but they don't generally have single serve options (unless you want a monster energy drink or a coke). They also don't have anywhere to sit and eat. I therefor would have to have them eat in the car, which means running the AC while charging, and the whole point was to not be in the car for 15 to 20 minutes.
 

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The problem is DCFC locations are paying for massive demand charges, where prices can reach over $1 per kWh (yes, a dollar per kilowatt-hour). It's more than just flat rate electricity pricing. Some EA sites are looking to install battery storage to ease up on demand pricing, and storage isn't particularly cheap either.
You see time-based pricing on almost all Tesla Superchagers now. Where am I, 21-35 cents for off peak hours (I.e 10pm to 8am) and over 42-50 cents during peak. Also Tesla throttles kW speeds. Chargers are so busy I can’t remember getting over 100 kW…

EA is mostly definitely losing money charging so little per kWh. If DC charging was highly profitable, you’d see everybody building one at every mall, restaurant, and grocery store.
 

mccdeuce

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I find it really hard to believe that a supercharger costs 1/5th of a CSS DCFC station.

we looked at installing a DCFC at family run general store where there is not a single public charger in town. The equipment wasn’t the expensive part. It was getting the 3 phase power setup.

additionally - I don’t understand why people want to add DCFc to dealerships. I can’t imagine spending another minute at one let alone 15…. Install DCFC at cafes, and stores where you want to go.As I have posted before the money to a gas station is in the convenience store.

**starbucks should invest in DCFC. Come on in and buy a Frappuccino for $4 that costs us 10¢ents to make.
 
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SWO

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Short term pain for long term gains.

I disagree about DCFC being a losing business proposition.

Look at the margins of a gas station. Cut throat.

Look at the DCFC networks. Electrify America charging 43c/kWh. Tesla charging anywhere from 29c-42c/kWh. Electricity rates per kWh are as low as 1c in super-off peak times, and in the most expensive regions - as much as 30c/kWh.

Commercial pricing is different, and they have the opportunity to secure better rates than residential rates. In many parts of the country; Tesla/EA are able to purchase electricity, and mark it up 300-400%.

The math on this is going to vary; but I've never seen a scenario where the DCFC is providing electricity at a loss. The rate is always more expensive.

Plus - no gas station has ever been able to charge a $1/minute idle fee.

The startup costs are high. But vertical integration and economies of scale can help - if you have the cash (or cash flow). Over time, these DCFC are slowly recouping their costs.
If you ignore the huge cost and upkeep of the chargers themselves, that might make sense.

Companies are losing money on DC fast charging, and the machines have to be replaced (or become obsolete...look at all the 30-50kw machines) before they pay for themselves.

This isn't about a start-up losing money the first few years, Tesla still loses money on charging even with higher rates after 10 years. It's a huge problem and the reason you don't see companies like Ford rushing to get into a losing market.
 

timbop

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Install DCFC at cafes, and stores where you want to go
EXACTLY. Put them at places where you're going to WANT to spend 20 to 40 minutes ANYWAY so that the time spent charging isn't "wasted" time. When we drove from NJ to FL last year I went out of my way to map out DCFC that at least had a diner within walking distance so we could eat lunch, take an afternoon bio and snack break, and have dinner while charging. That ended up working out really well for us, and that combined with the DAS made the trip the easiest long drive I've ever made.
 

mccdeuce

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EXACTLY. Put them at places where you're going to WANT to spend 20 to 40 minutes ANYWAY so that the time spent charging isn't "wasted" time. When we drove from NJ to FL last year I went out of my way to map out DCFC that at least had a diner within walking distance so we could eat lunch, take an afternoon bio and snack break, and have dinner while charging. That ended up working out really well for us, and that combined with the DAS made the trip the easiest long drive I've ever made.
I’m planning our first road trip with family and the MME - first stop is a Children’s museum. Level 2 but we can easily spend 2 hours in there. My only challenge/frustration is the number of apps I have to use to figure out the amenities along the way. (Could also be my use of the apps is wrong)
 

kltye

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I find it really hard to believe that a supercharger costs 1/5th of a CSS DCFC station.

we looked at installing a DCFC at family run general store where there is not a single public charger in town. The equipment wasn’t the expensive part. It was getting the 3 phase power setup.
Honestly, I'd be pretty happy if there were more "high-powered" L2 chargers. Provisioning 48-60 amp AC charging doesn't need 3-phase power (regular 240v single-phase AC), and it nets the MME about 30+ miles per hour. I really hate the stupid half-assed L2 chargers that barely put out 6kW.
 

scoopman

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"Gee, I'd love to spend more time in the middle of 8 Tesla bros" said no Mach-E owner ever.

Thanks but I'll try and find an Electrify America charger where the clientelle are less worried about what my car does to their stock price and leader's fragile ego.
 

timbop

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I’m planning our first road trip with family and the MME - first stop is a Children’s museum. Level 2 but we can easily spend 2 hours in there. My only challenge/frustration is the number of apps I have to use to figure out the amenities along the way. (Could also be my use of the apps is wrong)
I did it ahead of time on my desktop using ABRP and plugshare for the most part, with a little help from google maps. It is much easier to do on a 24" monitor where you can switch between browser tabs easily. I started in ABRP putting in the endpoints and let it map the route, and then I used plugshare to validate if a charging stop was reliable. ABRP now has the ability to find nearby amenities, but I found it easier to use google maps (including "satellite" and "street view") to see how hard/easy something was to get to. In some cases a nice restaurant is only 500 feet away, but you have to cross a heavily traveled 6 lane road to get there.

For finding an overnight stay I used plugshare to locate hotels with L2, although that wasn't overly successful. If you're interested I've got an ABRP tutorial and a writeup of how I planned my trip:

https://www.macheforum.com/site/thr...ning-with-abrp-abetterrouteplanner-com.12504/

https://www.macheforum.com/site/threads/scarlett-the-road-warrior-with-scars-to-prove-it.10369/

Honestly, I'd be pretty happy if there were more "high-powered" L2 chargers. Provisioning 48-60 amp AC charging doesn't need 3-phase power (regular 240v single-phase AC), and it nets the MME about 30+ miles per hour. I really hate the stupid half-assed L2 chargers that barely put out 6kW.
The problem is that is generally only useful at a destination - getting to a far off destination really requires DCFC with amenities.

 
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