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Discussion in 'North America' started by TEG, Mar 6, 2013.
ChargePoint, ECOtality Team Up on Car-Charging Stations - WSJ.com
oof, i'm surprised chargepoint would have anything to do with ecotality. sorry if I sound jaded but chargepoint charging stations are very reliable and well designed. my experience with ecotality/blink charging stations is the exact opposite. With the blink DCQC's around here, they barely get them in the ground before they break and need parts that for some reason take weeks, even months to come by, it's both sad and aggravating to see all that tax payer money go up in smoke! we all want them to grow and prosper, the future of EV's may depend on it but they must get their act together.
Total number of gas stations in the US: 121,446
So 15,000 charging stations is 12%, or one charging for 8 gas stations. And there are barely any plugins around! Like less then 0.1% of cars are plugins.
And I disagree with the article, so far in 2013 sales of plugins in US were 3x of sales in comparison to same period of 2012. In 2012 itself there were 3 times plugins sold compared to 2011. I sure hope that this year we will see at least doubling 2012 numbers, that is more then 100,000 plugins sold in USA.
Not a good comparison. A charging station is more like a single gas pump rather than a whole gas station. Seems the typical gas station I see on the corner can serve 6 cars at once. And then it only takes 5 or so minutes to fuel up. So a better comparison would be to figure out how many cars a gas station can fuel in say an hour. Now how many can a charging station "fuel" in an hour.
Nope. I'm only implying that finding charging station soon would be as easy or even easier then finding gas station.
As for comparison, gas vs charging station, you need to remember that there huge number of private charging stations, ones that located in most convenient place possible, in owners garages.
So if 100,000 plugins would be sold in US this year, that would mean that 100,000 private charging stations would be created. And to compare public charging vs gas stations one would also have to take into account how often EV need those public stations. Some EV owners will never use them, while others like Volt owners with gas anxiety will spend lot more then ICE in public stations...
But my point, 10%, even more public stations are letting EV owners to find charging station nearby when they need it relatively easy. And infrastructure in it infancy, but still already impressive. This year, even according to WSJ article there would be more plugins sold then an whole history of America. And with that minuscule number of plugins on the road number of stations are very impressive.
It is not entirely a symmetrical analysis because as Zzzz states, "there [are] huge number of private charging stations" in people’s homes. Every 110 outlet is a potential charging station, even though it is a slow process, the battery gets charged. Of the 15,000 public charging stations reported, most are located on the coasts. This will probably change over time, thus allowing easier access to EV owners in the interior parts of the country.
Some of the Chargepoint stations in my area are Nissan dealers. Has anyone tried charging at one?
Also remember that virtually all of these stations are 6kw (208v 30 amps) and if you are on a trip are painfully slow. 8 hours to charge a Roadster and 12 hours to charge a Model S. So most are not very useful.
I was thinking along similar lines.
I certainly agree that Ecotality has had a lot of problems, and these have been very frustrating for owners - some even to the point where it could be slowing down EV adoption. But I don't think any of it has been due to bad intent. I think it's more that they were the low bidder on a not-completely-thought-out DOE contract doing something they'd never done before in a new industry, and they underestimated the work involved (especially the willingness of site hosts; if they had bid more on the contract, perhaps site hosts wouldn't have to contribute so much and would be much easier to find). I also suspect they wrote a poor contract themselves to get outsourced hardware and that has made things worse for them. I am sure the people responsible for those blunders are gone (as well as some other very good employees that are gone due to financial problems caused by those blunders), and the people remaining are working desperately to get back on track.
I agree Chargepoint has done a better job in many ways. Better hardware, better software, more modularity, far more flexible billing model, their station maps include ALL stations, etc. Although it's worth pointing out that the smaller DOE contract that Chargepoint won had fewer restrictions and requirements, and didn't include DCQC which is harder, so a lot of their job has been easier. But regardless, to make the interoperability thing work, Chargepoint has to work with everybody, especially the company with the second-highest number of charging stations. Everybody has known for a long time that carrying around a bunch of EVSE membership cards wasn't going to work - nobody wants to use the nearest Brand X EVSE; they want to use the EVSE nearest their destination. The companies just needed a little bump to get them to work together and make things reasonable for consumers; there is proposed legislation in CA that probably encouraged them to finally get started on this project.
I hope all the other EVSE makers jump in right away and all agree on a simple standard. It would help EV adoption greatly if everybody could just sign up for one card and charge anywhere. Kudos to Chargepoint and Ecotality for taking the first step to make this happen! I am sure while they struggle in an emerging industry, spending time and money to work with their competitors is very difficult for them.
Full press release:
I think there may be evidence of actual mall intent or at the least very poor choices if this is true:
"Ecotality submitted the proposal to DOE for EV Project along with Coulomb and used Coulomb's EVSE for demos etc. But DOE, when awarding the contract, didn't include Coulomb. Ecotality saw an opening there to "make" more money - they completely excluded Coulomb & started on an EVSE design themselves. We all know how well that has turned out to be."
It sounds like, from reading EV Now's rendition, that had Ecotality not tried to capitalize on a loop hole in their contract, if it was in fact a loop hole, and create Blink from scratch, but instead gone with Coulomb and used Coulomb's EVSE per contract we'd have a dependable charging network, instead of something people generally appear to be avoiding for the most part. What would it be like if all those early Leaf owners were crowing instead of bitching about their public charging experiences, with some nearly spending the night out in the cold due to the shoddy quality of Blink charging stations?
I wish I could be more positive, but I think it's fair at some point to draw a conclusion and it ain't pretty.
I think it's been good for Tesla though, my experience with Blink public chargers and reading about other's in part lead me to pretty much scrap public charging all together, trade in the Leaf for a Leased Leaf, bump it down to our second car and reach deep into savings to get a Tesla S, a car I will hardly ever have to charge publicly. Unfortunately, this equates into delayed adoption by the mainstream because a lot fewer people can see their way to the expenditure that a Tesla S requires and it also means I hardly ever support public charging infrastructure. It is my personal opinion that Blink has significantly contributed to the slow roll out of moderately priced EV's, I could be wrong and I do very much hope those who are left at the helm at Ecotality can turn things around rather than screw things up for Chargepoint!
Man I just can't believe how smart and informed both these guys are. AND, how well they both express their points. Makes me feel kinda dumb and unprepared. That's why this forum is great.
In an ironic and perverse way it may help faster adoption, since early adopters are more like to either put up with the short comings, or reach into savings fr other options as you did. The whole public charging fiasco will eventually place two low mileage Leafs on the road for early adopters with lower stated budgets.
I'm so glad that there is not a single Blink/ECOtality charger in New England. We're ChargePoint world, mostly free.
I hope they "combine" their chargers so we can get some 60A+ taps instead of just 30A.