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I'm impressed with nrg eVgo

Discussion in 'North America' started by David99, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    In very little time they managed to build an impressive network of DC quick chargers! When I got my Model S just over a year ago, they had 2 stations under construction. Today they have 58 stations across Los Angeles and Orange County. I have made it a point to test out as many as I can, and all of them are very well built and very reliable. No problems whatsoever. Almost 60 stations just in the greater Los Angeles area is really impressive! Their rates are very reasonable as well.

    Everyone here praises Tesla for building the Superchargers, but when you actually look at what others, like nrg, are doing, you have to give them credit for being a lot more active than Tesla. I said in another thread here, considering the amount of money Tesla gets from each car that goes into the Supercharger budget, there should be at a least 600 stations in the US. I know a supercharger is a little more power than what nrg is doing per station. But I'm tired of hearing the excuses about it would be so hard to get permits and building and so on. It's nonsense, nrg had less time and built way more stations. There is proof that stations could be built much faster if Tesla wanted. More superchargers with less stalls would be better than less stations with lots of stalls.

    Anyways, I'm just really impressed with nrg! This is what we need, lots of DC stations. L2 stations are only good for overnight or event parking. Everything else should be DC.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Screenshot_2015-08-05-20-13-20-1.png
     
  2. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    Do you have the $30 per month + 0.10$/minute plan? It seems like a great deal for frequent use.


    Otherwise, their rates are very disadvantageous to EVs with large batteries, since other options charge a connection fee every 30 minutes. They have a lot of the Nissan brand units that I used to be limited to 25 kW on. It would have taken me then $70 for a full charge.
     
  3. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    I am also optimistic about NRG. They are starting to develop longer distance corridors as well. They appear to be making their way down 101 from San Jose. There is a station under construction next to the Gilroy Supercharger and another site is already active in Salinas. If they get King City and Paso Robles, they will really have something useful for the under 100 mile cars.
     
  4. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Hi David; thanks for the details. I am glad to hear there is a useful network going in down there.

    You might want to read THIS thread for the main reason why NRG is building infrastructure in 4 CA metro areas. (They are also building infrastructure in other areas for other reasons).

    This is part of a settlement with CA. Under the terms, NRG had to put in about 200 DC stations over 4 years, starting in 2013. They require less power than Tesla, don't have some of the same siting restrictions (i.e. within 1/2 mile of a freeway, next to services), and are concentrated in a very small number of metro areas so it's easier for a small group of employees to find sites without doing a whole bunch of travel, and they are dealing with a limited number of utilities and government agencies. They also have a government mandate for a "standard", as opposed to putting in proprietary chargers. In short, they have been working on this much longer than just over a year, and their job is easier than Tesla's. Despite this they were well behind plan after the first year or so, though I haven't kept track recently. If the buildout is similar in the other CA metro areas they may be caught up now.

    However, NRG's job is not orders of magnitude easier than Tesla's. I agree Tesla could be going faster, but of course they try to do everything understaffed. Which is not all bad; a fast-growing company always has to keep a close eye on expenses and balance against growth. Tesla claims to have increased their pace of opening Superchargers recently; I hope that continues.
     
  5. saladman

    saladman Member

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    There's room for both.

    I I like my superchargers, and I love the convenience. And when I'm road tripping, I love that I can take my kid across the coastline gas free.

    When im in an urban area, where I don't need all 85kw, just another good top off, I'm happy to use whoevers L3 I can get to. It's why I bought a chademo. I have as many choices as I need in one car.

    My only complaint is the hideously outrageous pricing structure of nrg. It almost makes leasing another leaf worth the free car Togo with the billing of nrg.
     
  6. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    I have the plan that has no monthly fees. 4.95 plus 20 ct per minute. It's not cheap but reasonable and for the convenience it's totally worth it over waiting at a L2 charger for hours. And that's the most expensive plan. There are cheaper option if you use them more. They have to make some money, I think it's fair. And it's not like I would use them a lot anyways. I charge at home 90% of the time. And the few times I need to charge on the road I'm super happy to pay for the convenience of having stations near by and get a fast charging speed. I always say, it;s like buying a water bottle for $1.50 when you can get water at home for a fraction of a penny. We still pay the crazy price for a water bottle because it's convenient. Same with charging stations.

    It is not true that they have the old Nissan chargers that are limited to 25 kW. nrg is not using those. I have tested many stations around LA and they are around 40 kW. The ABB units are a little faster, but not a big difference.

    Again, of course Superchargers are better and faster, but there 4 in the area that I made a screenshot of compared to 58 stations from nrg. I'm just saying, they are expanding their network at a mind blowing rate. We need DC charging stations everywhere so we don't have to plan our routes to the few stations available. Once we have a DC charger every few miles we can finally drive without having to plan and worry. nrg is doing an awesome job with that! We need that for the success of the EV.
     
  7. arnolddeleon

    arnolddeleon Member

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    There is at least one location in SF Bay area that has one of the older Nissan branded units (Whole Foods in Cupertino). Apparently the Nissan unit has one "nice" feature, if it looses connectivity with the network it defaults to "allow charging".

    arnold
     
  8. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    In Vermont they don't have any ABBs, only the Nissan units. Though those stations may be set to 40 kW, Canadians (and everyone else in the World outside of Americans) were limited by Tesla to 25 kW at them. Apparently, this restriction has gone away with the latest software update.
     
  9. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    The other great thing is that they install DC chargers. That's what we need. Fast chargers where we park our cars. If I can get 45 miles while I spend 20 min shopping, then that's a win.
     
  10. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    #10 techmaven, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
    No... no.. no!

    DC is a waste of money in this manner. It doesn't make financial sense at all. The waste is tremendous.

    It's one thing to spend on DC to support long distance travel. These are not built out in that manner. A strong destination charging program is necessary to have a future where BEV's are even 5% or 10% of the vehicles on the road. You can't get there with DC. Every level 2 DC EVSE being built is 5-10 level 2 AC EVSE's not being built. If you multiply it out, you can't get to supporting millions of EV's on the road with DC EVSE's for local travel. The numbers don't work. Seriously... take the $50,000 per DC EVSE plug and multiply it out by the number of EVSE's necessary to support local travel of Nissan Leaf's. It rivals hydrogen fueling infrastructure.

    Plus, DC Level 2 EVSE's means the ultimate in inconvenience. Imagine a hotel where they spend $100,000 on EV charging. They could install 2 x 50 kW dual standard DC level 2 EVSE's or 20x 10kW AC Level 2 EVSE's. So 2 plugs versus 20. If you go the 2 plug route, are you getting out of bed at 2am to move your car from the plug? Are you moving your car after it is done at 3 am? Or would it make sense to have 20 plugs where cars sip juice all night?

    On the other hand, Level 2 EVSE's aren't fast enough. They don't get you much range in 5 or 10 minutes. So you don't really want to stand next to them and wait. So people go away. The don't come back in time. So you have plugs at a location for $100,000 and the amount of time they spend blocked with vehicles done charging is high. You therefore can't rely on the infrastructure because the congestion levels are too high.

    The only reason why there is this build out of local DC EVSE's is because of these low range EV's like the Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3. They don't have enough range to cover 95% of local travel each day for enough people, so people need local charging using idiotic CHAdeMO or CCS Level 2. In 2-3 years with the new battery chemistry coming and therefore the range of these vehicles doubles, the demand for charging points increases and the range required to add per day for local travel drops to almost zero for most people. So these DC EVSE's do not have a reason to exist, as they charge too fast or too slow for too much money and the total number of plugs doesn't increase fast enough. The solution isn't more DC EVSE's, it's 5x to 10x more plugs of AC EVSEs at 40A+ (10 kW+).

    BTW, the comparison with Tesla Superchargers is this:
    Tesla spends about $300,000 to install 3-4x Superchargers at 135 kW each. The site has 400-500kW with 6-8 plugs.
    NRG spends about $75,000 to 100,000 to install 2 DC Level 2 combo EVSE's at 62 kW each. The site has 130 kW with 2 plugs.

    I believe NRG gets substantially more government money to do what they are doing.
     
  11. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    By this measure DCQC is a good deal compared to AC, since the units host 10-15 times more sessions per month than AC ones. (From Oregon/Washington and Québec data).
     
  12. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    Not at all. Level 2 DC never makes sense... Read the whole comment and examine what it means to support 1 million BEV's on the road. It's the mistake of looking at things as they are... (Thanks for screwing us, Nissan!) rather than what they will be or need to be.
     
  13. RandyS

    RandyS Fan of Elon

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    So with an estimated cost of about $125,000 to $150,000 per installation and $2,000 to $3,000 per month of operational expenses, how much would you suggest a fair price would be to use a DC Fast charge station that would allow NRG to at least recoup their costs? The answer is a higher price than they're currently charging...It isn't "hideously outrageous" at all...It costs money to install and operate a network of charging stations. Some people compare public charging pricing to their garage price for energy, and that is not a fair comparison...
     
  14. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    If you mean Level 3 DC that's quite an all-encompassing statement which doesn't which doesn't reflect reality where I live. DCQC is used for long-distance travel and fills many gaps where Superchargers will not be coming for years.

    It also gets people to buy EVs in the first place when you tell them they don't always have to wait four hours for a recharge.
     
  15. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    #15 techmaven, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
    Nope. There are no Level 3 CHAdeMO or CCS EVSE's, at least not by the original terms that SAE used:

    http://www.sae.org/smartgrid/chargingspeeds.pdf

    All existing CHAdeMO and CCS EVSE's are limited to 200 amps and are therefore Level 2 DC. Level 2 DC EVSE's is slow charging. It isn't 100 kW. It doesn't realistically support long distance travel.

    Any < 35 kWh BEV vehicle isn't designed for long distance travel. It is beyond idiotic to waste money to build infrastructure to the tunes of 100's of millions or billions of dollars to try to extend the range of local commute vehicles. It's just like the millions of dollars spent on the Blink network of 24 amp L2 AC chargers at all the wrong places. Walgreens? Really? If it were just private money being wasted, that's one thing. But public money on this brain dead plan?

    CHAdeMO and CCS will need revision in order to support long distance travel with L3 DC EVSE's. Tesla's Superchargers are already > 200 amps and is therefore already Level 3.

    In 2010/2011, Nissan could have chosen to support the one standard that makes sense in North America in the next 10-20 years for widespread destination charging - 80A J1772. For the same price in the vehicle as they charged for their so called DCQC, they could have implemented 19 kW J1772 that would have legs for a long time. It would charge a Leaf to full in about 1.25 hours. The cost for a 24 kW CCS or CHAdeMO EVSE is about $6,500 without installation. 19 kW J1772 is about $2,500 and the install costs are far lower with 100 amp 220/240v. Going above 100 amp AC costs a lot more money and is available at far fewer places. The speed difference between the 24 kW CCS that has been installed all over versus 19 kW J1772 isn't worth the cost differential. Then the AC EVSE's installed all over, instead of being 3.3 kW, they could have been at least 10 kW that realistically supports destination charging for large battery packs. The 6-10 hours at work. The hotels/motels overnight. The 6-10 hours at an amusement park. None at Walgreens or Whole Foods. You aren't there long enough to make sense to charge there. Each 50/62 kW DC L2 EVSE installed represents 5-10 J1772 19kW plugs that don't exist for the same price. In every destination charging scenario where your car sits parked for a while, 5-10 more plugs over the course of 3-8 hours makes far more sense than charging faster to be done in 1 hour. The car is still there, sitting, plugged into a scarce resource and blocking others.

    If they insisted on DC, they could have supported a L3 fast charge standard. They could have had CHAdeMO be open standard - but no, they didn't do that until CCS was well on its way to being finalized. They could have avoided the whole CHAdeMO/CCS issue, and they could have avoided the Telsa North American plug issue too. Tesla had to go their own way because even today, there isn't a L3 DC EVSE standard available for deployment in North America. If Tesla was shipping the Model S for the first time today, they would still have to go their own way. The automakers did not want a L3 charging standard in North America before they are ready in order to screw with Tesla. Nissan screwed us hard in North America.

    And now, to continue to perpetuate the waste of public money that is CHAdeMO and CCS L2 DC? That's just insulting with what they know is coming in 2017-2020.
     
  16. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    NRG understands that the future is 100kW+. They also understand that corridor charging is needed. That is the direction they are going.

    NRG eVgo execs discuss expansion plans strategy
    Also, don't forget that the California build-out is backed by the Settlement Agreement with the state regarding the abuse of the electric generation deregulation scheme.
     
  17. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    Up to 100 kW is not 100 kW+. It's merely the full spec of CHAdeMO/CCS out to 200 amps. The 100 kW mentioned, using 200 amps, requires 500 volts. No vehicle has 500 volt packs. When a vehicle is low on SoC, the voltage is usually somewhere around 300-350 volts. At 200 amps max, that's actually 60-70 kW. In the real world, this 100 kW EVSE is actually delivering 60-75 kW as the pack voltage increases.

    This isn't Level 3 DC charging. Up to 200 amps is Level 2. It's not designed for supporting long distance travel.

    NRG's hands are tied, waiting for SAE to revise the CCS spec for > 200 amps, which will then need to be incorporated in products (EVSE's and vehicles), then tested, then ready to deploy.

    Tesla's 70 kWh packs have been shown to charge at 370 amps, which means the wiring between the Superchargers and the pedestals is capable of that kind of amperage. It will be interesting to see them upgrade to 150 kW soon.
     
  18. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    How is it slow if it's the fastest way to charge your car other than Supercharger?

    The screen shot I posted is basically a big megacity. It's all local traffic. nrg is providing a network for local traffic which makes about 80-90% of all traffic. That's where people use their cars the most and that's where they now have an opportunity to charge. It's not a long distance enabler. No EV except the Model S is a long distance car. What nrg is doing is providing a quick charge station every few miles which is exactly what people want to have faith in EVs. They want stations everywhere they drive on a daily basis so they don't have to plan trips and worry where a station is.

    Remember, a charger speed isn't only determined by it's power level, the time to get there and back on your route counts as well. Having 60 stations evenly spread out helps you save time over one Supercharger that is 20 miles away.
     
  19. scottf200

    scottf200 Active Member

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    David99, did you read this post about why NRG is doing what they are doing and seemingly being able to do it faster?

     
  20. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    You really still don't get this. It is impossible to use 25-80 kW L2 DC EVSE's to realistically support a significant BEV infrastructure. The costs are way too high. The benefits are way too low. We need far cheaper charging points spread all over - the destination charging network and in North America, that means J1772 AC Level 2, ideally at 10-19 kW. For high speed charging, that's Level 3 DC, or 200-400 amps for 100 - 150 kW. The high cost of L3 is only worth it to support long distance travel and therefore most people don't use it for everyday commuting. Anything else and you are talking about 5x to 10x the cost with reduced number of plugs which means congestion and the inability to rely on the charging network.

    The first generation of BEV's... the i-Mievs, the Leafs, the Ford Focus Electric and so forth cannot be used as a template for the infrastructure to support 1,000,000's of BEVs on the road. It is foolhardy to try to build the infrastructure to make these vehicles into all around vehicles. The costs then rival hydrogen infrastructure costs.
     

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