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Electrify America Fast Chargers - Huh?

Discussion in 'Supercharging & Charging Infrastructure' started by minderbinder, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. minderbinder

    minderbinder Member

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    I'm hoping that someone here can figure out this mystery, as I'm baffled. I just saw some Electrify America (the VW diesel-gate funded charging stations) pop up on Plugshare. I'm happy to see another 'serious' fast charging network - the more the merrier in helping get EVs adopted, I figure, even if the supercharger network is likely all I'll ever need.

    CCS/Chademo chargers I've seen tend to be single stations, which isn't very useful for reliable charging. They can be easily blocked, out of service, or busy charging someone else! So I took a look on plugshare at a new site in Mount Vernon, MO, and was happy to see the description of "4 stations, 7 CCS plugs + 1 Chademo". That sounds smart, I thought - two cables per pedestal serves 2 cars, sort of like supercharger pairing. Then I looked at the pictures, and was left scratching my head (photos from plugshare):

    ea_charger1.jpg ea_charger2.jpg

    There are only 4 parking spaces! What's the point of having 2 CCS cables per space? I can sort of see for the CCS/Chademo, which is one or the other, but why would you put in 2 cables when you can clearly only service one car?

    Thoughts I came up with:

    • The cable's kind of short, so maybe they have 2 so they can cover both left and right-hand charge ports. But wouldn't have been cheaper just to make a slightly longer cable?
    • Maybe they intended them all to be CCS/Chademo, and changed the design at the last minute? But that's kind of dumb.
    • Maybe the install contractor just screwed up? But I looked at some other sites and they look the same.
    I'm not even talking about that 4th curb stop which is completely unaligned with the station.

    Any thoughts? I'm at a loss.
     
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  2. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    Electrify seems to demonstrate how to be in "compliance" with fulfilling numbers of charge points without admittance of their abusive configuration.

    They can claim they have 2 separate fast 150 kW CCS charge points per stall without telling that only 1 car can use at a time because the other car can't climb on top of the first car to sit on the same parking space.
     
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  3. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Active Member

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    Each pedestal has a CHADEMO and CCS cable. You can easily read it on the first pedestal. You can't plug them both in at the same time, you use the one that fits your car. The one in the picture is a Leaf, therefore it is using the CHADEMO connector.

    It's part of the charging crap, of which Tesla is a big part of, proprietary and VHS/Betamax solutions. It's not doing anyone any good.
     
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  4. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 100D 2019.32.2.2

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    #4 MorrisonHiker, Oct 30, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
    If you look more closely at the plugs and the stickers on the first two pedestals, it appears there are 7 CCS and 1 CHAdeMO. It would make sense if there were actually 4 CCS and 4 CHAdeMO as it would allow up to 4 cars to charge with either CCS or CHAdeMO but as the OP states, this doesn't appear to make sense. Maybe they expect the CCS cables to not last long so they have a spare built right-in? ;)

    Actually, I just confirmed on their site that it is 7 CCS and 1 CHAdeMO:
    upload_2018-10-30_8-29-24.png
     
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  5. minderbinder

    minderbinder Member

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    Wow - that's a possibility I didn't consider. If the agreement says that they have to provide 'N' ports, they can say 'yes we did', even though only half of them can be used at a time, so, presumably, it cost them half as much to provide them. If so, that's pretty evil.

    The "Electrify America" map lists this site as '7 CCS'. I'd be pretty ticked if I used their map to plan a trip, and found that 4 cars were taking all 7 plugs!

    I wonder if the 2 CCS cables can even be used at the same time, assuming you could squeeze two cars close enough to use them both?
     
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  6. Darmie

    Darmie Supporting Member

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  7. minderbinder

    minderbinder Member

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    Insideevs has an article on EA today. One of the comments (from "BoltUp") says this:

    "Interestingly I contacted EA in connection with the station going up a few miles from me. The issue was that each pedestal was centered on the parking stall, yet each pedestal had two charging cords. I thought this odd as five pedestals in a line had 10 cords but could only reach 6 (at max) charging stalls. I was told that each pedestal could only charge one vehicle at a time and that the dual CCS cords were there to ensure any charging port location could be reached, and could not be used simultaneously. Seems like an odd overbuild, but thats why each parking stall has a dedicated two cable pedestal."

    So it appears that my first guess was the right one. Seems like a hack, but if the cable is cheap relative to the pedestal then it's not too crazy. I hope they eventually fix their map so they don't list sites like this as having 7 CCS ports - while technically true, the information is not useful to anyone!

    It does point out a seldom-appreciated advantage of a proprietary network like the Superchargers: the designers don't have to guess where the charge port's going to be, so they can create a much more elegant solution.
     
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  8. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Active Member

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    Same with Charge Point stands. They have two nozzles, but if one of them is in use, the other socket is dead. Each stand can only charge one car at a time, no matter what the parking is.
     
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  9. rhumbliner

    rhumbliner Member

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    Their pricing is ridiculous: Pricing | Electrify America

    $0.30 - $0.35 per minute for up to 50kW charging (using CHAdeMO). So to get 50kWh (a normal charge for me when travelling) I’d have to charge for 1 hour at a cost of at least $19. Too slow. Too expensive. I have to wonder if their goal isn’t to discourage EV use.
     
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  10. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 100D 2019.32.2.2

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    Don't forget the $1 connection fee just for plugging in!

    Those prices are crazy. I just drove 1000 miles to Reno in a 3 last weekend and didn't pay anywhere near those rates! I think we paid less than $40 for the entire trip.
     
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  11. Darmie

    Darmie Supporting Member

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    Yes, there needs to be an outcry on how VW is once again pulling the wool over American people. This was set up to be a restitution to their original boondoggle. So shameful.
     
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  12. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    Did we suddenly expect that VW was going to become honorable and ethical?
     
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  13. more863-also

    more863-also Member

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    Know what's funny? Electrify America actually made me a Tesla owner.

    I was all excited about their network, and about possibly getting a good Bolt deal. Then I visited my local EA charger and found it right next to an existing EVgo charge point, with the same compliance-scamming layout that OP shows above. Right then I knew that this network was a joke - but then I looked at the prices, doubled over in laughter, and placed my Tesla order that day.

    There simply won't be a good, usable charging network that's non-Tesla in the near future, unfortunately. $17 for 21.9kWh of electricity at useless charge locations is a crime, I believe that's 2-3x SC rates.
     
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  14. Wooloomooloo

    Wooloomooloo Member

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    No, which is why I sold my GTI and bought my M3.
     
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  15. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    Yes, 50kW charging, especially on a Leaf that tapers so severely, will be expensive. However, if you are pulling 100kW from the CCS plug for 30 minutes without tapering, you would get 50kWh for $11.50. That's only $0.23/kWh, roughly what Tesla charges in California for paid Supercharging. That kind of charging on future CCS vehicles is what this network is designed for.

    Clearly the arrangement is designed to favor the CCS plugs, with redundancy etc. while the CHAdeMO is just there to say it is supported. Like it or not, they are following exactly the letter of the law set forth in the settlement. I fully expected EA to build a network to benefit the vehicles planned for the VW Group (VW / Porsche / Audi), and they are meeting my expectations. In fact, they are building charging sites faster and with more chargers per site than I expected. I think it will be a useful network for the e-Tron when it arrives and it will be a reasonably good experience for those drivers. You certainly can't say that for any existing network serving Bolt EV drivers.
     
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  16. more863-also

    more863-also Member

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    You've got some weird expectations - when I heard there were supposed to be 8 spots at the charger pictured above, I thought that would mean 8. Not 4.

    A 4 stall charging station is pathetic compared to SCs.
     
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  17. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    The number of cars that can take 100kW - 350kW CCS is also pathetic compared to Tesla. Seems well matched to me and a huge improvement over other existing networks like EVgo that rarely has more than 2 chargers. If one CCS connector is broken and one other car is charging, you're stuck waiting. People will probably not experience any waiting at these sites (non-urban) for a very long time.
     
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  18. more863-also

    more863-also Member

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    Agreed, a pathetic charging network meant to serve pathetic cars.
     
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  19. Park2670

    Park2670 Member

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    Some of the AC chargers around here are so expensive they never get used. Seems like a great way to price yourself out of the market.
     
  20. Darmie

    Darmie Supporting Member

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    I love it. You get two likes on this one! (if I could)
     
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