SWO

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I think you hit on an important point. Queuing theory can easily model how many chargers are needed for any given arrival rate, charge time, and wait queue. The problem is the stations are really expensive and having enough to have small queues waiting for charge at peak times is economically abysmal because they are empty almost all the time. If things stay this way, ultimately I see three paths.

1) Big government subsidies to make long distance EV road trips work for the masses (kinda like how the interstates are paid for)
2) We stick with gas cars for long road trips and/or tolerate really long queues at out of town chargers on holiday weekends
3) The Tesla model is actually right, where buyers pay a big premium for a dedicated charging network.

I wonder if the golden age of electric car travel is actually now. Just (barely) enough chargers and rarely any wait.
You bring up some good points, but almost nobody in government is thinking economics or efficiency of charger layout. At the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Plan (ZEVIP) Webinar (each state submits their plan to the Federal Gov't to receive funding) that I participated in for my home state on Friday, most of the bureaucrats seemed primarily interested in the "Justice 40 Initiative" ("at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities."). They're using public feedback (good), but it's filtered through a point system based on how "disadvantaged" a community is. The end result is that it appears at least 40% of the federal funds are going to be used to install chargers in areas where there's not many EVs.

 

dbsb3233

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That bolded portion is not correct due to the charging incentives manufacturers are providing with new EV purchases. Next time you're at a crowded EA station, look at how many vehicles have in-state plates, then pay attention to how many of those cars offer 2-3 years of free EA charging (Hyundai, Kia, VW, Porsche, Mercedes, Rivian, BMW, etc..).

This is going to be a real problem as EV sales surge while infrastructure is stagnant.
Oh yeah, I've expressed the same frustration with some manufacturers giving away free unlimited DCFC charging. It provides an incentive to do the less efficient efficient thing. Worse for the battery, worse for the power grid, wastes time and electricity vs charging on L2 at home, and ties up precious DCFC resources that travelers actually need.
 

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What do you guys think it costs to install a bank of 2x2 (4 plugs, independent circuits) 150kW chargers? I’m guessing $200k? Plus leasing the parking lot space? Plus ongoing telecom and maintenance costs of maybe $20k per year?

And what are the regs we could cut to significantly reduce this price?

Now let’s imagine an optimal situation in which that station services 30 cars a day at $20 a pop. That’s $600 gross and let’s say, charitably, you net $200 after paying the utility.

How many years would it take just to break even? Unless my numbers are wildly incorrect, there is no business case for installing DCFC without massive government subsidies or a massive reduction in the cost of the hardware.
 

Burnsy8787

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The 50 mile thing is guidance and not a rule. But they want to make sure funding doesn't go to 4 different stations right next to each other while leaving huge gaps elsewhere along the interstate.

Tesla SCs aren't cheaper in many cases. That is an assumption that many make but it isn't always true. And if Tesla has to add a credit card reader and CCS ports to their chargers, I imagine that there will be some type of surcharge for non-Tesla users.

Here's the Tesla SV Owners Club complaining about SC prices. When I looked into it last spring, I found that EA was a lot cheaper in California. Here is Colorado, they are about the same price if you use the EA member rate.

Places that charge by the minute are so much cheaper than kWh. Illinois and Missouri for example, even as a member, I'm paying 23 cents per kWH. so if I'm doing a full charge I'm spending over 20 bucks. Just went north through Milwaukee and it was 22 cents per minute and I charged 30% for like 4 dollars.
 

Mach-E VLOG

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Places that charge by the minute are so much cheaper than kWh. Illinois and Missouri for example, even as a member, I'm paying 23 cents per kWH. so if I'm doing a full charge I'm spending over 20 bucks. Just went north through Milwaukee and it was 22 cents per minute and I charged 30% for like 4 dollars.
It depends on the station pricing. Some are very expensive per minute. But the main issue is that it is confusing for consumers. If it is per kWh, I can pretty accurately figure out how much it will cost to add 100 miles of range. But if it is per minute, it depends on my charging speed which depends on SOC, battery temp, etc. and can vary over the course of a charge since EVs don't charge at a constant rate.
 


Blue highway

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You bring up some good points, but almost nobody in government is thinking economics or efficiency of charger layout. At the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Plan (ZEVIP) Webinar (each state submits their plan to the Federal Gov't to receive funding) that I participated in for my home state on Friday, most of the bureaucrats seemed primarily interested in the "Justice 40 Initiative" ("at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities."). They're using public feedback (good), but it's filtered through a point system based on how "disadvantaged" a community is. The end result is that it appears at least 40% of the federal funds are going to be used to install chargers in areas where there's not many EVs.
I hope the states can waste less than half the money they are given... "justice" is becoming a code word for "ideologue detached from the facts"
 

Billyk24

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What regulartion is blocking DCFC stations from being profitable?

Is there any business model where DCFC can ever be profitable? They simply cost too much to build ($150k per station, even more for higher W stations?). Tesla loses money on their network to simply have the best charging experience for their car buyers where they make their $$ and selling credits to other manufacturers.

People who own EVs usually own homes. Those people charge at home at lower rates or have solar so they charge for free since the solar was already a sunk cost outside of buying an EV.

If the DCFC charged too much (EA is like $0.48/kWh which is more than most people's rates so that means you simply never charge outside), who will use these stations then? It's already so cut throat.

You can't put them in a mall neither since those are close enough to people's homes usually.


My point in all this is the DCFC situation is a bad entrepreneur business opportunity. 90% of the time during the week, no one will use these stations outside of travellers and apartment dwellers who commute a lot.

This is why either we will have no DCFC because it's a bad business or just make it a shared cost that everyone pays for (government/maybe some EV fee when someone buys, who knows), but depending on entrepreneurs to build it means it's not happening because it's a bad business model still and has never been good.

Good thing for Diesel gate and VW being forced to build/fund EA to the tune of $2+ billion since that network seems to be half decent now.
Individual gas stations make pennis per gallon. Not enough to justify larger stations. Quick sale food and other items bring in more funds and provide a better customer experience. Stand alone dcfc stations are not the future. There has yo be a change in the business model to support the dcfc costs.
 

Burnsy8787

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It depends on the station pricing. Some are very expensive per minute. But the main issue is that it is confusing for consumers. If it is per kWh, I can pretty accurately figure out how much it will cost to add 100 miles of range. But if it is per minute, it depends on my charging speed which depends on SOC, battery temp, etc. and can vary over the course of a charge since EVs don't charge at a constant rate.

Honestly the fact that everywhere is either .32 per kWh or .32 per minute makes me think that nobody puts any thought into pricing and they are just using whatever the default per minute cost was.

Maybe that's just the midwest though?
 

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Automakers need to step up and see building charging stations as a cost of doing business/marketing expense.
 

dbsb3233

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What do you guys think it costs to install a bank of 2x2 (4 plugs, independent circuits) 150kW chargers? I’m guessing $200k? Plus leasing the parking lot space? Plus ongoing telecom and maintenance costs of maybe $20k per year?

And what are the regs we could cut to significantly reduce this price?

Now let’s imagine an optimal situation in which that station services 30 cars a day at $20 a pop. That’s $600 gross and let’s say, charitably, you net $200 after paying the utility.

How many years would it take just to break even? Unless my numbers are wildly incorrect, there is no business case for installing DCFC without massive government subsidies or a massive reduction in the cost of the hardware.
I'd triple that. I've seen a handful of budget numbers in various online sources that suggest something more in the neighborhood of $150k each charger. There's a table in this link that puts it closer to that area too...

https://evadoption.com/how-many-ev-charging-stations-will-10-billion-buy-for-america/
 

dbsb3233

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Automakers need to step up and see building charging stations as a cost of doing business/marketing expense.
Tesla had to do that because (1) there was virtually no DCFC already in place, and (2) EVs are all they sold (no ICE to make revenue from in the mean time).

But legacy automakers have neither of those problems. They have no reason to spend $billions building charging networks because there's already a growing DCFC network in place, and they still make most of their money from ICE sales. Plus every EV they make sells like hot cakes. They're not losing any sales for lack of chargers, so there's no incentive to throw money at it.
 

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Tesla had to do that because (1) there was virtually no DCFC already in place, and (2) EVs are all they sold (no ICE to make revenue from in the mean time).

But legacy automakers have neither of those problems. They have no reason to spend $billions building charging networks because there's already a growing DCFC network in place, and they still make most of their money from ICE sales. Plus every EV they make sells like hot cakes. They're not losing any sales for lack of chargers, so there's no incentive to throw money at it.
Without massive investments in charging, you're going to see the EV bubble pop once people get theirs cars and haven't done a lick of research about how to charge them.

Where are they going to turn back to? Their dealers.

The automakers have a very vested interest in making sure there is a robust charging infrastructure.... which we do not have in many areas of the country.
 

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What do you guys think it costs to install a bank of 2x2 (4 plugs, independent circuits) 150kW chargers? I’m guessing $200k? Plus leasing the parking lot space? Plus ongoing telecom and maintenance costs of maybe $20k per year?

And what are the regs we could cut to significantly reduce this price?

Now let’s imagine an optimal situation in which that station services 30 cars a day at $20 a pop. That’s $600 gross and let’s say, charitably, you net $200 after paying the utility.

How many years would it take just to break even? Unless my numbers are wildly incorrect, there is no business case for installing DCFC without massive government subsidies or a massive reduction in the cost of the hardware.
I'd triple that. I've seen a handful of budget numbers in various online sources that suggest something more in the neighborhood of $150k each charger. There's a table in this link that puts it closer to that area too...

https://evadoption.com/how-many-ev-charging-stations-will-10-billion-buy-for-america/
I have personally witnessed how most DCFC capacity is taken up by locals getting their free charging fix. EA is probably loving the "free" charging people because they can actually get something for their investment (I am sure Ford pays them, for example). But for us poor travelers, it sucks.

I fully agree we are reaching the breaking point and I have told my wife more than once that I may have to start driving her car on my 300 mile (round trip) commute.

But to answer your question, @Mirak, we need to cut environmental regulations that are driving up the cost of producing electricity. We need to cut environmental and other permitting regulations that are making it more expensive to build charging stations. The cost of equipment will come down as more is produced, and as demand increases.

But if the cost of electricity keeps going up, it may never be possible for charging stations to make money. And whatever infrastructure the government builds will suck, as proven by all the other things they have built and failed to maintain.
 

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They should add the the charging stations should be covered like regular pumps. Out here anyways, the pumps are always covered but the charging stations are out in the open. Hot sun or precipitation make for an unpleasant charging experience. Adequate space between chargers makes sense also. Having the chargers so close together that only one can be used makes having them pointless.
 

dbsb3233

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Without massive investments in charging, you're going to see the EV bubble pop once people get theirs cars and haven't done a lick of research about how to charge them.

Where are they going to turn back to? Their dealers.

The automakers have a very vested interest in making sure there is a robust charging infrastructure.... which we do not have in many areas of the country.
Oh there will be investment in more DCFC. I just don't think it'll be from most automakers.

Ultimately it'll come down to price points. DCFC may simply be priced too low right now. As 10x-20x as many EVs hit the roads, and DCFC revenues increase, they'll find the right price points to be self-sustaining. Volume is just too low for that now, thus all the taxpayer subsidies.

 

 
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