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Business case for CHAdeMO stations

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by dirkhh, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. dirkhh

    dirkhh Middle-aged Member

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    I think this is the larger issue. Right now there isn't enough demand for charging infrastructure and there isn't a viable business model for charging infrastructure.
    A CHAdeMO charger costs >$10k -- yet people gripe about paying $35 for a charge. How is this supposed to work?
    Let's say on average people charge 50kWh (and stay over an hour to do so). If you are extremely lucky you can get an average of what - eight charging sessions a day (that seems outrageously optimistic). The cost of electricity will be about $5 - let's say you charge $20 per session (let the howling begin) that means per day you can MAYBE create $120 in revenue... now you need to figure in the cost to maintain this, billing overhead, the opportunity cost for the parking spot, etc, etc.
    I see no way in which this is a viable business.
    And please don't start these "ob, but EV lovers will come and frequent your business" arguments. Those have been pretty thoroughly debunked. People who come to your business might use the charger, but unless you are a fast food operation / coffee shop, it doesn't work the other way around.

    So we may all continue to be upset about the lack of fast charging availability, but until we are willing to pay some serious $$ for it, it won't happen.
     
  2. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Agreed. Atleast I've been spoilt with free L2 stations all around here subsidized by businesses hoping for the ancillary spending that may or may not happen really. Expecting the free/cheap part for L3 too is not being realistic.

    To David99's point, when down in Anaheim last Christmas, I had so much trouble finding L2 stations that were not occupied for hours at a stretch. Had supercharged at Hawthorne before getting to the Anaheim area but, the lack of charging options at the hotel and no available L2s nearby was a huge pain. There were indeed multiple CHAdeMO options at Walgreens locations nearby but, of no use without this adapter. Had to dogleg through Hawthorne again for further excursions.

    It looks like I can easily justify the $1,000 for this adapter more than the $3,600 for the twin charger retrofit (or even the $1,500 from the factory in hindsight).
     
  3. jkirkebo

    jkirkebo Model S P85+ VIN 14420 EU

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    That's why Teslas business model for the SC network is the only workable one, barring huge goverment involvement in funding and building (like in Estonia).
     
  4. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Currently for those Quick Charge stations that do have more than one plug, isn't only one plug active at a time? Aren't most Quick Charge stations only 40-50 kW? Splitting the capacity in half would sort of defeat the purpose of a "Fast" charger.

    Larry
     
  5. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I looked at all the High power Chademo stations from Long Beach to Northridge in the LA basin along the 405 freeway corridor. Those highlighted would be available to Teslas

    1. Hooman Nissan Long Beach
    2. Carson Nissan
    3. GM Powertrain Advanced technology center GM vehicles only, turned off when GM is not testing
    4. Hermosa Beach Paking Garage EVgo DC combo only
    5. Autonation Nissan South Bay
    6. TBWA/Chiat (limited to Nissan only, and Employees only)
    7. Nissan of Van Nuys
    8. Wallgreens Tarzanna
    9. Cal State Northridge
    10. Warner Center EVgo

    I think that in order at least for me to justify the expense of the adapter, I would have to have a specific spot that I normally charge.
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I only stay in hotels that offer charging. No charger, no business from me.
     
  7. matbl

    matbl Member

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    So ROI in ~4 months given som revenue goes to maintenance and overhead stuff? Doesn't seems so bad to me...
     
  8. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    +100 The cost differential between home charging and reasonable paid charging prices is enough that most people will charge at home unless they can't get home without charging. This leads to the incredibly low usage rates at Blink and ChargePoint (about one charge every 2 days). There is no way this pencils out to a good business model. Will QCs increase the usage rate? Not likely (worth a discussion but I'll save that for another day). To the guy who suggested there was a good ROI, I'd like to see your numbers because mine pencils out to P A T H E T I C. Usage would have to be dramatically higher. Heck, I don't even see an operating margin given debt service costs let alone a return on the investment. Maybe you are counting on depreciation?

    Also, the free chargers that do have better utilization are not sustainable and are slowly going away.

    Now, to the whole chademo vs SC argument. Why can't they coexist? I paid for the SCs ($2K baby, totally bad investment from the numbers sense but road trip freedom? Priceless). I'll do the same for the chademo adapter, if they actually ever ship it. If I'm road tripping and no SC nearby, I'd use it and pay the freight. A perfect example, I'll be near Medford, OR this summer for a few days. There's a chademo in town and an SC 30 miles up I5. I'd prefer the chademo simply because it's easier. Unfortunately, Tesla still hasn't shipped the adapter.
     
  9. drees

    drees Active Member

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    +1. But here's the thing. Unless you can install stations that can be relied upon, people are going to be very hesitant to use them. And installing a single plug simply doesn't cut it because your odds of getting to a station and finding it busy is extremely high. Just look at the Capacity of Superchargers Using an Erlang-B Model thread.

    Cottonwood's example there doesn't cover a single stall situation, but if you use his 2% chance of being blocked, a single stall can only be used 29 minutes a day before you exceed that threshold. Let's be generous and bump that chance up to 10% and now you're up to 144 minutes/day. For LEAF usage that would be 5 charges a day. With QC rates varying from $5/charge to $10/charge for a 30 minute session, that's only $25-50/day. Charge up a couple Teslas for an hour each and you're only doing a couple charges a day before it gets too busy to rely on.

    Note that this assumes that people are equally charge at any time of day! In reality, there's probably less than 12 hours of heavy use, which means that 144 minutes/day would be great if you can maintain a 10% blocking rate.

    But add a 2nd plug (Blink's dual plugs don't really count, more on that later), and now all of a sudden you can charge 792 minutes/day - 5.5 times more capacity while only doubling the hardware cost and picking up large efficiencies in labor/install costs.

    So in reality, if these network providers want to create a viable business model, going around and installing a single plug is completely the wrong way to do it. They would be far better off installing more plugs in fewer locations. IMO 2 stations should be a minimum unless they are only expecting it to be used once a day for the next 1-2 years. And each location should be stubbed out so that installing more plugs at a future time is simple and just a matter of installing additional hardware.

    Yes, Blink QC stations have two plugs, but only one car charges at a time regardless of how much power is being delivered. IMO ideally even a 50 kW station would be able to power split since there are going to be a lot of lower-power cars out there like the LEAF that only charge at 50 kW for a brief amount of time (like the Model S only charges at 120 kW for a brief amount of time). If you build the 50 kW QC stack like a Tesla 120 kW stack where demand could be split in 10 kW chunks, then even if you only get 10 out of 50 kW at first because the other plug is in use, that is still far better than getting nothing as it lets you plug in and leave to go eat/whatever rather than wait around to plug in. If cars in the future are commonly able to consistently pull 50 kW, IMO it'd still be worth having multiple plugs, but you just increase the number of stations so that 2nd plugs are there more for overflow use to avoid getting completely blocked. 10 kW is still a lot better than your typical ~6 kW L2 station!
     
  10. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Hi Dirk,

    Very true and those cost don't include utility demand charges or telecommunication charges.

    Larry
     
  11. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    @Drees, good point but we aren't even at the point where utilization for the vast majority of paid stations is high enough. Even if the operators do what you say and cluster (makes a lot of sense), I think the cost differential will still cause people to mostly charge at home. The modeling is applicable for long distance travel, though. I've never been shut out of an SC by overcrowding and would not hesitate to take a trip that relies on them.
     
  12. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    The analysis of public DC chargers is worrying (and the dealer managed chargers are not the direction I want to see things go). However, to be back on topic, I don't think that is a concern for those who want this adapter. They see CHAdeMO stations nearby and they want the option of charging there (even if it turns out it's occupied or at a dealer that might not let them use it).

    The adapter was promised for "winter" 2013 release. Even if you take the "astronomical" definition of winter, we are already 3 months past that. So I can understand the anxiousness esp. of those that have already ordered.
     
  13. GoBlue88

    GoBlue88 Member

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    If the CHAdeMO adapter was available at the time of ordering, and if there were plenty of local stations with 2-4 stalls each, I probably would have ordered it instead of the twin charger and saved $500.

    But that is a lot of IFs. Still not convinced that CHAdeMO charging will be easier or cheaper than just charging every night at home for 16 cents/kWh.
     
  14. drees

    drees Active Member

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    Well, all I know is that I've been unable to charge at locations more than once because all spots were full. And given that in don't need to charge in public all that often, but when I do need to charge, you NEED to charge, getting to a charging spot and not being able to charge is extremely frustrating.

    Charging in public will ALWAYS be more expensive and harder than just charging every night at home because at home you aren't counting the cost of installing and maintaining your charging station (or 14-50 plug) and in public someone has to pay for that - and public charging is much more expensive to install, especially when you are comparing a $15k+ CHAdeMO station (cost is $50-80k to install a single station with labor) to a $20 14-50 outlet and maybe $50 of copper and a couple hours labor. Or worst case at home $1200 for a HPWC and another $2-4000 for a panel upgrade.

    Anyway, yes, CHAdeMO stations seem to be much more plentiful in most of California compared to 70-80A J1772 plugs or even HPWCs, so since the adapter is cheaper than dual onboard chargers, it very well could be a better deal if you had to choose one or the other, especially since CHAdeMO will get you up to 50 kW compared to only 20 kW.
     
  15. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    public charging other than Tesla Super Chargers is never going to be cheaper than charging on wholesale home power, that's not the point. The point is, for us anyway, is when you have 4 people in the car and have to spend many hours waiting at an L2 station for the S to charge when it's right next to a CHAdeMO station which could get you the same charge in a fraction of the time, you want the choice! Give me Dual Chargers, Super Charging and a CHAdeMO adapter, I've had some awful experiences waiting at slow chargers with the family and I am happy to pay a premium to avoid that as much as possible.
     
  16. wcalvin

    wcalvin Member

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    ".public charging other than Tesla Super Chargers is never going to be cheaper than charging on wholesale home power, that's not the point..."

    Depends. In Seattle City Light territory, residential rates are about 10 cents/kWh. For commercial, they are half that--before the markup. Best is to charge in a condo with no separate meter, as they will get the 5 cent rate.
     
  17. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    I had not heard of that exception, but it sounds like a lot of condo's won't allow charging at all, so it's likely a pretty small sub group we are talking about, but a lucky one none the less.

     
  18. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    Exactly. Most of the time, the Chademo I've seen aren't being used. The only car that can use them now is the Leaf and that'll be fully charged in an hour, so its not like they are too busy. And no, I would rarely use one in PHX, as I'd just charge at home. But when I plan to go to LA or SD, having that option would be great.

    And having inquired just out of curiosity, some of the dealership ones around here would let me use it if I could (I called to ask).

    For those who don't think its worth it, don't buy it. But don't dump on the people who do see a use for it in their lives and would buy one.
     
  19. GoBlue88

    GoBlue88 Member

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    I don't see anyone "dumping" on anybody. This is a pretty evenhanded discussion.
     
  20. dirkhh

    dirkhh Middle-aged Member

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    Yes, same here. But you don't need a DC charger for a hotel. 9kW L2 is plenty. You are staying over night.
    What I was saying is that it doesn't pay to have a DC charger for your business.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I don't think anybody dumps on people who see a use for it. I think we are discussing some of the issues. Like a) the lack of an adapter and b) the still relatively small number of CHAdeMO chargers that are likely available for Tesla owners.
    That doesn't change the fact that I'd buy one. If and when eventually we get to "Winter 2013" on the Tesla time warp calendar.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes, assuming that you can get eight sessions a day. There's a CHAdeMO at a Fred Meyer reasonably close to my house. We charged the Leaf there once, just to see how it works.
    In the past four months of paying attention I have seen ONE other Leaf charge there. Once. I have seen it ICEd many times, but I haven't seen people charging. I'll try to find out from the store manager if they have data on frequency of use, but my guess is that it's less than once a day on average.
    With that plus repair, maintenance, opportunity cost... I'd say ROI is years away.
    And I think that's the problem. Even in the EV obsessed Portland area.
    Maybe the calculation would be a little different for a couple of well placed spots in LA or in SF. But our goal is to be able to charge anywhere at any time, right? At that's a ways away.
     

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