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ICE Manufacturers not worried about the SuperCharger competition?

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by doubeld, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. doubeld

    doubeld Member

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    At the risk of sounding like a click-baity thread, I didn't know what to title it, but I wanted to keep it broad. Apologies if this thread has been discussed elsewhere as I'm fairly new to the forums but have been trying to keep up around here.

    Some ICE dealers already have limited charging abilities for their customers' cars, but for the most part, no, or it's not that high speed.

    With respect to the recent Bolt looking to be a good Model 3 competitor/alternative up until the point the SuperCharger enters the conversation, I have a feeling that the ICE manufacturers do have an Ace up their sleeve using their dealership model to enable high-speed cross-country charging.

    What's to stop GM from, for example, releasing an EV, let's call it Bolt 2.0 or ELR 2.0. It has maybe an 75kWh battery. It's 400VDC. It supports 150kW charging. As an option, or with the purchase price of the car, you're offered nationwide UltraCharging at every GM dealership, because every GM dealership was just told by Detroit to install UltraChargers at their dealerships within 24-36 months to support their new "Tesla Killer".

    I'd hazard a guess that 90%+ of all GM dealerships could get that permitted and constructed within a year. And now you have UltraChargers or whatever installed in almost every 1000+ person community across the continent. Range anxiety would not even be talked about. Local charging wouldn't even be an issue. Cross country travel in an EV would not be something people worried about, unless they had a city-EV, or Tesla owners still many man miles away from SCs.

    Am I out to lunch, or is this already a common strategy that has been discussed? I can't believe that I would be the first person to have thought of this. Would GM/Ford/whoever be able to control their dealers like this? I'd suspect that they would need to be compensated for electricity costs, but if that's factored into the vehicle price, it should be fairly easy to figure out.
     
  2. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    Nissan has tried to use their dealers as charging stations and it turned out to be a fail. Fast chargers need to be placed strategically to support where local or long distance travel happens. Car dealerships are usually not in these places. Car dealers never have space, so they don't have room for charging spots.
     
  3. JenniferQ

    JenniferQ Member

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    That makes sense. Plus, don't they usually keep up rails or gates at night to keep lurkers out? Chargers, like gas stations, need to be available 24/7 and near other amenities. Tesla seems to have done this right, for the most part. I have enjoyed our few SC stops so far. Nice time to relax, stretch, and bond.
     
  4. doubeld

    doubeld Member

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    How hard would it be to dedicate 4-8 stalls at each dealership towards the entrance of their lot, and just adjust the gates accordingly? Doesn't seem that hard to do. Besides, it seems like only in the big cities do dealerships have gates.

    I'd prefer a charging network the size of a single brand's dealership network over the size of the current Tesla SC network. Makes travel to out of the way destinations much easier, instead of just "along the interstate".
     
  5. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Most people don't want to stop at dealerships to charge when they're traveling. They want to stop at places with amenities, just as Tesla has sited most of their superchargers.
     
  6. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    There is a big difference between what they are capable of and what they will do.
    When the Volt came out you had outright rebellion from some GM dealerships.
    Others had the idea and what Volt's they did have were never charged and relegated to the back of the lot.

    GM is very weak when it comes to giving dealers directives. Even in bankruptcy many dealers that we're going to loose their franchise agreement, sued and remained tied to GM corporate.

    That said, chargers at dealers pose some issues.
    First, lot availability. Have you seen how busy dealer lots typically are?
    Many Nissan dealers have chargers that are blocked by inventory cars.
    Many dealers have chargers only available during business hours.

    Some dealers only allow customers that have bought their car at their dealership to use the chargers.

    These issues certainly are not insurmountable. They are mainly logistics issues.
    However, I don't see this changing quickly.

    So, to sum up...
    Could it happen? Sure.
    Will it happen? I doubt it.
     
  7. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    I just looked at a map of Chevy dealers in New England and a lot of them are near highways but GM would have to add some charging stations in less populated areas to fill in the gaps. Perhaps a combination of dealerships and stand alone chargers would work.
     
  8. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    Wouldn't this be hugely expensive? I mentioned this in another thread, so my apologies for repeating my self, but it just doesn't seem likely that GM and their dealers will embrace such a long-term vision as to commit a bunch of $$$ to a fast charging network. This seems counter to today's typical corporate mentality of worrying only one fiscal quarter ahead. Building BEVs? Sure. Having so much faith that they'll commit a bunch of resources now to a fast charging network that will be underutilized for some time? I doubt it.
     
  9. JenniferQ

    JenniferQ Member

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    I tend to agree. But then how will they ever expect to sell enough EVs? The real reason I'm "stuck" only considering a CPO Tesla for my dd is the lack of easy charging solutions for her if I don't. And yes, 1% problems, but in order to get the masses to go all in EV, it must eventually be as convenient as ICE. We're basically lazy, but in a hurry most of the time. Paradoxically.
     
  10. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    There is currently no demand for a CCS charging network. GM with a $30K car doesn't have to get out in front on this issue like Tesla.

    I can see GM taking a wait and see approach. A lot is going to happen in EV over the next two years. Even six months of sales of the Bolt will provide a lot of information.

    I assume that BMW, Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes have been forced to respond to Tesla with a luxury EV. They are the ones forced to build a supercharger network, I think. It might even be good strategy for GM to join Tesla's network and go after the Germans. While the first Bolt battery couldn't take full advantage of supercharger, GM could do a charger option that would work as well as CCS.
     
  11. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Have you been to a dealership lately? There is usually barely room to drive in and out, let alone have extra spots available for charging. But don't take my word for it, just listen to the Nissan Chademo chatter. There are constant gripes about their one, lone, single Chademo charger being ICEd, and then, yes, many dealerships do lock up their lots after hours.

    Also, dealers are independent. Yes, GM can mandate certain things from them, but dealers can also go tell them to pound sand. At best it is a negotiation between GM and the dealers, and the dealers will want compensation. It won't be cheap for GM.

    Anyways, the big question is whether or not GM wants to be so committed to electric cars that they build out a 20+ year infrastructure. My guess is that they haven't quite come to that level of commitment yet.
     
  12. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    ICE manufacturers have the ICE mindset, they didn't have to build gas stations, so they don't think they need to build chargers. It's pretty close to that simple, they've outright said as much in several interviews.
     
  13. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    For my $, I'm sticking w/Tesla. Without the super charger network, the Bolt is just a glorified go-kart limited to the mall and back. Not to mention GM's propensity for valuing profit over human life...
     
  14. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    #14 Jaff, Jan 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
    I believe much harder than you think. Four to 8 stalls involves a lot land when you take into consideration egress and room to manoeuvre within the charging station "lot". Some dealerships will simply not have enough room to accommodate.

    In some circumstances, installation of traffic signage or stop lights may be required...think of the delays and hassles involved with the additional permitting required.

    It will also change the esthetics of the dealerships, which will make some unhappy.

    All this for a type of vehicle that the dealers don't want to sell...expect pushback...

    In my locale, practically all dealerships (even used car only dealers) block off their entrance ways when closed.

     
  15. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Member

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    The main thing is that no, the manufacturers cannot make the dealerships do anything. GM can make a request, but if the dealers don't want to do it, they tell GM to go suck it. GM can try to threaten or something by maybe withholding some things or making things more difficult in some way, but they don't have the control to actually force them to install charging stations.
     
  16. cpa

    cpa Member

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    As we all on this forum have witnessed, Tesla has learned a significant amount about the whole Supercharger experience. Tesla has had to expand selected locations like Gilroy, Barstow and with the temporary stalls at Harris Ranch. Tesla has added proximate redundancies near Hawthorne (Culver City and Redondo Beach), Truckee, Fremont #2, and Rocklin. Tesla has had to deal with a significant power outage at Harris Ranch by bringing in portable generators (even towing several unlucky travelers who were going to be stranded) until the situation was repaired. A handful of other locations had temporary outages that were quickly corrected by Tesla. Lastly, there were lengthy waits at Ft. Tejon the weekend after Christmas.

    In short, Supercharging/Ultracharging is not as easy as installing a guesstimate of charging stalls at every GM dealer throughout North America. Likely they would err on the side of too few stalls (1) as that would keep the cost down. Who is going to repair the facility when there is damage? GM? Joe's Chevy/Buick/Cadillac? Since presumably there will be no (or very little) profit to this benefit, what urgency does anyone have to get the station operating again?

    Many dealerships are not located close to the highway, unless one is driving along secondary roads and actually drives through town. We are fortunate in that most Supercharger locations are within a mile or two from the highway.

    To me the sensible solution would be to have GM and other manufacturers partner up with a third-party provider like ChargePoint to have a fast charging standard (not this mixed bag we have now) and then have thousands of locations across the continent--some urban, but mostly interurban. (Sound familiar?) I said it would be sensible; I didn't say it was going to be cheap!
     
  17. DrGuest

    DrGuest Member

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    #17 DrGuest, Jan 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
    An Nisson Leaf Ev owner, Brian Kent is driving his Leaf to all 48 states. He is quite upset at Nisson for how horrible their infrastructure is. You can follow him on Facebook, Negative Carbon Road Trip #1. Nisson dealerships regularly ICE there chargers, have broken chargers, no Chargers, night time security guard hassles. He just bought a new license plate that says, Model lll He's planting a tree in each state and is showing that you can drive long distance in a short range EV, but only if the infrastructure was in place to allow it. In other words, infrastructure is everything for long distance use of an EV.
     
  18. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    The ideal locations for charging stations are at places you might stop at anyway on a road trip (or places you might choose to stop at if you didn't have to stop at gas stations). Harris Ranch and Tejon Ranch are great examples of this. Close proximity to restrooms and food available 24 hours a day is ideal. Places that you would actually want to spend half an hour at like the rock shops at Quartzsite or the awesome downtown area at Wickenburg Arizona are also fantastic (at least when the nearby attractions are open). Car delearships generally don't have 24 hour anything and they tend to be near populations centers rather than spread over the interstate highway system at 120-150 mile intervals like superchargers. So as others have said, putting charging stations at ideal locations for charging on road trips like Tesla has done is going to give a much better experience than sticking charging stations at dealership locations.
     
  19. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Dealerships have excellent location, but they don't have amenities.

    The ideal location:
    1) is near a highway
    2) has bathrooms
    3) is 24 hour
    4) has a place to eat and drink within walking distance

    1) Yes
    2) Yes
    3) No. Definitely not around here.
    4) No. When open they usually have coffee and muffins or something in the waiting room, but other than that they are usually terribly located because they want lots of cheap land and they assume you are coming and going in a car.

    As others point out, they often want to squeeze as many cars as they can into the space.

    Of course, if we started from scratch with the set-up, the industry might follow the Tesla model, with the showroom in a mall, so yeah, that'd be OK. And starting from scratch with all cars BEVs, you'd build more amenities around people needing to stop for 10 minutes to an hour to charge.

    Now, I will say that assuming dealers play ball, they would at least have an obvious location for chargers, and then with more of a shift to BEV, maybe they could do a deal with some of their dealers and pay them for the use of the land.
     
  20. Lex

    Lex Member

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    So... who's going to be first, if anyone, to take Tesla up on the offer to partner with them ? They certainly have the infrastructure and the experience... as long as the network grows and is well maintained, more is better (cars and chargers).

    I agree that the luxury/sports car builders are going to be first to be truly on-board, and their media releases, eg. for that sexy Porsche EV, suggest they're planning their own network, based on the stated charge times (which are better than ours, of course ;)
     

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