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ChargeFox EV charging Network

Onshore

Member
Mar 8, 2020
178
161
SYD
The Gundagai Chargefox chargers under discussion aren't single stalls, though. There's two ultrafasts, both of which are cactus, and a 50kW which is apparently still fine.

Reliability and redundancy are key for these long distance charge sites on major long haul routes.

I’d much rather see 4x150kw stalls than 2x350.

The 350kw units in particular seem to have a bit of a sketchy track record.

Edit - I saw this very good summary on social media:

My extensive experience running two cars (combined 440,000km) has been Tesla maintain a charging network like it's critical infrastructure.

While everyone else operates a network like it's a good thing to have. If it's not working then it's because of xyz. Imagine the uproar if your local BP shutdown for six months. It's that bad, and the reason the ONLY company to have an EV for the market is Tesla.
 
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Vostok

Active Member
Jul 1, 2017
1,631
1,697
Sydney
This is why something like plugshare is so important, lets you plan ahead and get around a dead charger. Trouble is not everyone uses it. Should be a sign on the chargers asking people to report on plugshare as well as to the operator.
Absolutely. The only time I might not use PlugShare is when I use a SuperCharger 😄

It’s an invaluable resource and helps out other EV drivers who really need reassurance that their next juice stop is working (or warning that it’s not).
 

AussieOwner

White M3 2021 LR
May 19, 2021
84
25
Regional Australia
Reliability and redundancy are key for these long distance charge sites on major long haul routes.

I’d much rather see 4x150kw stalls than 2x350.

The 350kw units in particular seem to have a bit of a sketchy track record.

Edit - I saw this very good summary on social media:

My extensive experience running two cars (combined 440,000km) has been Tesla maintain a charging network like it's critical infrastructure.

While everyone else operates a network like it's a good thing to have. If it's not working then it's because of xyz. Imagine the uproar if your local BP shutdown for six months. It's that bad, and the reason the ONLY company to have an EV for the market is Tesla.
This x3000. Imagine the uproar in country Victoria if the local servo had no petrol. This needs to be the mindset!
 

BCTS

Member
Feb 8, 2021
144
85
Melbourne
ChargeFox has indicated their level of dissatisfaction previously with the Fast Chargers they have deployed. If you read the Arena Report it's stated there.


I guess there's probably limited options for 3rd Party DC Fast Chargers. Would be interesting to consider now with Tesla V3 being CCS2 whether they could sell these to 3rd parties also.
 

aegidius

Member
Aug 27, 2018
432
300
Brisbane
The report talks about the "20-30 minute topup" which is pretty constant regardless of whether the charger is 50kW or 350kW. This is probably because of driving habits, but also that the smaller cars can't use much more than 50kW anyway. This argues for more stalls rather than more powerful stalls. It's good to see they are collecting usage data which should feed into the upgrade process.
 

Vostok

Active Member
Jul 1, 2017
1,631
1,697
Sydney
ChargeFox has indicated their level of dissatisfaction previously with the Fast Chargers they have deployed. If you read the Arena Report it's stated there.
Thanks for finding this - it’s a fascinating report. My 3 big takeaways:

Dynamic Connections - I never knew this was a thing. I wonder if that explains why some of my ChargeFox sessions have delivered less power than I expected?

Charging Behaviour - That 350kW chargers get used about 50% more than 50kW chargers at the same site, and that drivers tend to “top up” for 20 to 30 minutes rather than “fill up” their batteries. They concluded that people are charging opportunistically and fitting it in around other routines such as shopping rather than having specific charging levels in mind.

Faults are mostly due to Software not Hardware - which implies that if the supplier gets their *sugar* together and fixes their software, faults should become less common. At the moment some chargers need weekly physical on-site visits to clear false alarms. On-site visits for that should not be necessary. They say their concern that critical high power components and vehicle connectors would be the most likely source of outages and failures has not occurred in practice.
 

moa999

2020 3 SR+ MSM
Mar 4, 2020
939
707
Sydney, AUS
Useful read.

It's definitely far more complex than just blame Tritium or ABB.

Lots of other points of possible failure beyond their control, including breakers in the switchboard, communications (mobile or wired), local power fluctuations etc.

Also a question as to what kind of monitoring the operator has and how easy it is to do a remote reset, versus truck roll etc.
 

technerdx6000

Member
Mar 5, 2018
194
175
Queensland, Australia
It's definitely far more complex than just blame Tritium or ABB.

Lots of other points of possible failure beyond their control, including breakers in the switchboard, communications (mobile or wired), local power fluctuations etc.

Also a question as to what kind of monitoring the operator has and how easy it is to do a remote reset, versus truck roll etc.
This may be the case, but how does it explain Tesla being able to have their chargers at significantly higher uptime? They would surely face the same points of failure. Maybe Chargefox/Evie/ABB/Tritium need to take a leaf out of Tesla's book.
 

bay74

Member
Mar 27, 2018
205
179
Melbourne, Australia
Charging Behaviour - That 350kW chargers get used about 50% more than 50kW chargers at the same site, and that drivers tend to “top up” for 20 to 30 minutes rather than “fill up” their batteries. They concluded that people are charging opportunistically and fitting it in around other routines such as shopping rather than having specific charging levels in mind.
Not sure I agree with this conclusion - based only on my anecdotal experience.

I also charge for 20 to 30 minutes on a ChargeFox, to between 75% and 90% SOC, but that's because that's what I need to reach the next charger in my SR+ (Mel - Adel mainly). It's not fitting in with other activities, it's required to get from A to B.

Dynamic Connections - I never knew this was a thing. I wonder if that explains why some of my ChargeFox sessions have delivered less power than I expected?
Doesn't explain my last experience where both 350kW units were down and the first 50kW unit I tried gave me 17kW, tried the other, got almost 50kW. But nonetheless it's a useful approach if the EV drivers' expectations can be managed in relation to the occasions when charging will be throttled.

Hopefully the suppliers of DC fast chargers can get the "myriad of failure modes" issues sorted out.
 

aegidius

Member
Aug 27, 2018
432
300
Brisbane
how does it explain Tesla being able to have their chargers at significantly higher uptime?
A lot of it is probably just redundancy. One cabinet serves two stalls, so the worst case (apart from total power failure upstream) is that something fails in the cabinet and it only takes two of 6-8 stalls offline. They possibly have better reliability too, but the main advantage they have over Fox/Evie is the redundancy of stalls.
 
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bay74

Member
Mar 27, 2018
205
179
Melbourne, Australia
I wonder what Supercharger uptime really is... anecdotes aside. Today I was at the new Geelong site. One other Model 3 there, in stall 1b. I go to stall 1c since I am on that side of the site and this being a V3 there's no pairing. Quickly goes to 30kW - and stays there. Uh, no, that's not right. Move to 1a. Weird, handle button doesn't open charge port. Ah well, use the screen. Plugged in, and am told to check the power source. Nothing doing. Moved over to the other side of the site, forget which stall exactly, and get the expected ~160kW.

This is a new site, had expected it to be working. The in-car map suggests there are 6 plugs there, but alas, nope. Good thing there were more than 2 at least (hey ChargeFox?).

:)
 

whoistheg

Member
Oct 29, 2020
32
41
Australia
Ha I was at Geelong today as well and it was stuffed. I went to 1a and plugged it and did not work.. moved up to 1c and all I got was 30kw..

as we had lots of charge it was more a Red Rooster toilet break for the kids and left after 15min, but something weird with Geelong today
 
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Chuq

Active Member
Jan 1, 2015
3,412
4,134
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
ARENA has just published a video/webinar regarding learnings from their Chargefox and Evie ultra-fast charging networks. Fairly long but some interesting items. Covers things like the build cost, operational cost, usage patterns, etc.

Initial presentation is from Energia (who compiled and analysed data on both the ultra-rapid charging station construction and usage) and is followed by a Q&A/panel discussion with Evan Beaver from Chargefox and Bernhard Conoplia from Evie. Evan used to work at Tesla so there are a few examples he uses from building the Tesla supercharger network as well.

 
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moa999

2020 3 SR+ MSM
Mar 4, 2020
939
707
Sydney, AUS
^ Useful watch.

Think it's still way too early too draw a lot of conclusions, but at least on the more regional chargers, the vast bulk of it occurs during solar hours.
Would be interesting to see if it's different in the city locations, which Tesla has more experience in. Though Chargefox has Zetland for example.

The comments from Evan Beaver (who worked for Tesla in the first few years, and now Chargefox) were most interesting.

Seemingly suggested that Tesla just got 500kW (or higher) supplies everywhere and was less concerned on cost versus Chargefox.

On pricing of those connections, a new 500kW connection at Gundagai was going to be $300k. Instead Chargefox has an agreement with Tesla to use the balance of their power, and installed a $350k battery.

Also some interesting discussion that in order to be profitable you probably need to have some queueing in peak periods, and discussion that the Open Charging Profile has the ability to implement Idle Fees like Tesla
 

Vostok

Active Member
Jul 1, 2017
1,631
1,697
Sydney
I hope that isn't adopted as the main model. Much better to have extra stalls and power share to reduce queueing.
But more stalls equals more cost (hardware, servicing, lease area etc even if total electricity consumption hence grid charges are the same) and so if total user demand was unchanged it would reduce profitability not improve it.

I presume these guys are familiar with Erlang Queuing theory and how to dimension resources with Poisson-distributed dwell times. Basically profitability will be easier to achieve with fewer but larger charging stations with many stalls (provided the demand is there).
 

QBN_PC

Member
Feb 11, 2020
324
336
Queanbeyan
I was particularly interested in the rationale behind supercharger site sizing. If Tesla had to install 500kva to get a standalone site going, they knew how many supercharger stalls 500kva could support, which happened to be exactly how many superchargers they installed. There wasn't any specific planning logic involved. It was just about maximising the potential usage of infrastructure they had to install anyway.
 

Chuq

Active Member
Jan 1, 2015
3,412
4,134
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
I was particularly interested in the rationale behind supercharger site sizing. If Tesla had to install 500kva to get a standalone site going, they knew how many supercharger stalls 500kva could support, which happened to be exactly how many superchargers they installed.
In the "old language" (V2 superchargers) each cabinet was capable of 150 kW, so a 6 stall site would be 450 kW which fits nicely under a 500 kVA transformer capacity.

With V3 each cabinet is ~350 kVA which gives a bit of leeway. I know one of the single cabinet V3 sites is using a 500 kVA supply. I guess 6 stall sites fit nicely under a 750 kVA supply, although it could fit in 500 kVA depending on how often it is expected to be full.
 

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