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Charging infrastructure

Discussion in 'Supercharging & Charging Infrastructure' started by mosttoys, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. mosttoys

    mosttoys Member

    Oct 1, 2019
    With the latest holiday crunch lines for Supercharging during the holiday in California it got me thinking about the infrastructure to expand the overall charging network.
    I know those living outside of CA don’t experience these issues but over time with the increasing EV car production this will change.
    It seems it would be easier to expand the EV charging network quickly versus what was necessary to create our current gas fueling system.

    Crude Oil Drilling and tanker ship transfer to refineries
    Refine crude to gas
    Transport gas by pipeline or diesel trucks (using fuel to transport fuel)
    Build Gas stations with underground tanks and safety and environmental regulations
    Pump fuel into car

    This structure seems way more complicated then expansion of an EV charging network.
    • Like x 1
  2. Runt8

    Runt8 Active Member

    May 19, 2017
    You’re correct, it’s pretty easy to install charging stations wherever there is electricity - certainly much easier than installing a gas station. I envision much fewer large charging stations (in the same vein as gas stations) and many more distributed stations with only a couple stalls. Cities are already adding outlets and and chargers to street lights, parking meters, etc.

    And every house is already wired to be a charging station. Already having a widespread electric distribution grid means adding new charging points is trivial. The hard part is getting someone to pay to do it.
    • Funny x 2
  3. srs5694

    srs5694 Active Member

    Jan 15, 2019
    Woonsocket, RI
    Given the way electricity is handled today, it's not just a matter of the charging stations; you've also got to consider the electrical distribution lines and generating capacity. Consider a Thanksgiving travel rush in which half the cars are EVs. Even with enough DC fast charging stalls, you'd need a significant increase in the power lines and power generation capacity to handle the demand surge. This generation capacity means both power generating stations and all the infrastructure needed to provide them with fuel.

    That said, it may not look quite the same in the future. DC fast charging providers, including Tesla, are taking baby steps to provide on-site battery storage and solar or wind power generation. If the DC fast charging stations used to service those 50% of cars on the road at a future Thanksgiving rush are built in this way, there will be much less need for increased power lines and electricity peaker plant capacity. Some of this could even be done via "pop-up" charging stations, as Tesla demonstrated last week. Of course, even this counts as "fueling" infrastructure. Building the batteries, in particular, seems likely to be a challenge.
    • Like x 1
  4. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2018
    Buford, GA
    I think that you are missing a lot of the steps to build out both networks. And don't forget that a good portion of the electric network depends on that same oil platform. Putting in solar cells may be relatively easy, by nuclear and hydro plants, the cheapest sources are just about impossible to install today. Coal and gas plants are a lot easier, but then the grid has to be connected to these plants often in the middle of nowhere.

    Charging stations are indeed relatively easy, but no one has really figured out how to be profitable at doing it yet. Even gas stations aren't that profitable any more, hence the convenient stores that always accompany one.
  5. user212_nr

    user212_nr Active Member

    Aug 26, 2019
    The steps that you mention 1-3 are common between EVs and ICE vehicles, except only that it more likely uses natural gas and/or solar + wind.

    It is true that they are "easier" to build, but that does not make them free. The gas stations you see are not only already built, but they have active customers who pay for their existence. As much as it might not seem that way, if you live in an area where there are many Teslas and EVs, they are still less than 1 percent of cars on the road.
  6. David99

    David99 Active Member

    Jan 31, 2014
    Brea, Orange County
    We are talking about three days out of the year. Probably only a few hours of those days actually. I think for the time being temporary chargers powered by generators could be a solution. For my job I have rented large generators for power supply many times. Plenty of companies rent those out in all sizes. Placing those along heavy traveled routes just on those days of the year would solve the issue without massive cost of major infrastructure build out. The cost of those could by covered by pay as you go. I'd be perfectly fine paying an extra fee for using one of those on a busy day instead of waiting in line for an hour or more.Tesla could add those on the navigation on those days to direct traffic to them.

    There are a handful of days in the year where traffic is going nuts and all those EVs need to charge. The demand is many times higher than on the average day. I have driven 250k miles all across the country and charged at more than 250 different superchargers. Wait times over 5 minutes are extremely rare. Thanksgiving or Memorial Day are those rare days. Building out the entire infrastructure to be able to handle these days sufficiently would be massive and leave it unused for the entire rest of the year. That would not be a good use of money. I think generators would be a much more cost effective way to solve the problem.

    Another thing Tesla could do is release a CCS adapter. There are hundreds of CCS chargers (Electrify America, EVgo, Chargepoint) mostly unused.
  7. apodbdrsM3

    apodbdrsM3 Member

    Aug 12, 2019
    I think Tesla is doing an outstanding job in putting super chargers online. I have traveled the entire state of California with no problem, Arizona has added quite a few, New Mexico and Nevada are ok but, they really need more in their interstate roads. There are also destination chargers in many places, I have never need to use one. But the best deal is home charging, even if it is slow. Also, if you go visit a relative, one can always connect to a 110 15 amp outlet.

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