TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Is There Any Business Model For Public Electric-Car Charging?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Palpatine, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,357
    Location:
    Seattle
    #1 Palpatine, Oct 7, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1087489_is-there-any-business-model-for-public-electric-car-charging-plug-in-2013-report

    The gist of the article is that there might not be a business model for private companies to do this. It might ultimately fall on the utilities to maintain.
    It is suggested that the prices being charged by the private companies are not nearly high enough to cover the equipment and maintenance costs.
    I have no idea if any of that is accurate. I am just sharing the article.

    Remember back when coffee places tried to charge for wifi? There were all of these little hotspot networks that they tried to get you to pay for. But eventually companies realized that the wifi was so damn cheap to provide that the company should use it as a loss leader. Just provide the service so that customers were more likely to come to your place to order other stuff. Now Starbucks, McDonalds and many other places regularly offer free wifi.

    I think ultimately that will be how stores operate with EV recharging. Electricity is really cheap. Usually between 8-15 cents per kwh. Stores will likely just offer it for free to customers if they are shopping there.
    It likely won't be a DC charging location, but I could certainly see a 208 volt 30 amp L2 being available for free to customers. Likely a timer on the unit so it automatically stops after one hour of being on.
     
  2. TeslaSinHR

    TeslaSinHR Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    I think it comes down to supply and demand that will dictate how much can be charged - if anything at all. From what I can tell right now in my area - there is more supply of charging spaces than demand. Probably because there aren't that many EVs. And with my Model S, I rarely charge at public stations unless I really need to. The shorter range EVs like the Leaf are the ones who need it most.

    Unlike WiFi - which is cheap and can handle as many users as you want to allow (albiet the quality gets crappier) - charging spaces are more limited. Quality matters too. I hated paying Blink $1/hr for their crappy 16 mi/hr charging stations. I gladly pay for nice 240 v / 80A charger when I driving out in Eastern Oregon.

    I have read posts talking about 2 hours waits for superchargers in some of the more crowded places in California. Would an enterprising person consider building a competing "for pay" super charger? - Assuming Tesla would allow that. You can wait for a free SC or pay for a presumably less crowded SC. Or maybe the crowded free SC spawns valets to wait in line for you or wash your car.

    I figured charging stations in the near future - especially high-amp ones that cater to Teslas - would be good for creating hubs that would attract the slightly more affluent Tesla owners. Since we all love driving our cars, I think small towns might do good to put in a free charging station, advertising it and hope that a few Teslas come there way and spend a little money.
     
  3. tdiggity

    tdiggity Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    For chademo - What kind of business could justify a CHAdeMO charger, I wonder? The nissan one seems to be the cheapest, and starts at $15k w/o installation: Nissan Quick Charger - CHAdeMO DC Fast Charging for Electric Vehicles

    With the recent announcement of the chademo adapter for our cars, hotels should be the first in line to install these. Since they can charge so fast they'll only need one or two (depending on how many people they really have with EVs), and the Valet service can move cars around throughout the day/night to charge. Charge customers an extra $10 for overnight charging or something.
     
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,756
    Location:
    Texas
    #4 jerry33, Oct 8, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
    I'd think the main business models (for high power EVSEs) would be for routes that aren't covered by Superchargers and also for destination spots. Destination spots means amusement parks, movie theaters, and real restaurants. Places, other than shopping, where you are occupied for around two hours but not overnight where any reasonable charging rate will do.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hotels and other overnight spots only need to be able to charge overnight. They don't need high powered EVSEs, even a 30 amp would do. No way would I ever give the fob for my Model S to a valet--even if I thought I could trust them to plug the car in properly. I can just hear the conversation, "Well, we plugged it in, sorry it didn't charge. Oh, and here's the reflector that fell off when we plugged it in". And that's assuming you receive your car back without other damage.
     
  5. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    923
    Location:
    US
    Then sit back and wait for the endless posts from people "I needed to charge but the owner was blocking the station and went to see a movie/ride a roller coaster/had a 2 hour meal".
     
  6. tdiggity

    tdiggity Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Yea, my reasoning was that chademo multiplied business in destination spots if there was a valet around (valet moves cars every hour). That's 150 miles an hour compared to only 20 miles? That's the equivalent of adding 7 chargers. It's actually not that easy for a business to install a lot of 30 amp chargers. I'm not saying that the chademo will be easier. But with things like limited parking spots and other annoyances maybe a hotel or destination spot would be fine with managing one or two chademos.

    I went to sonoma over the weekend and there were 3 Teslas at my hotel and only one charger. No one is going to do the parking spot swap at 2am.
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,756
    Location:
    Texas
    Given that it's going to take about two hours to get a decent amount of range back with ChaDeMo or similar, I don't see the big deal.
     
  8. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    923
    Location:
    US
    Neither do I, but you just know those threads are coming.
     
  9. Bifff67

    Bifff67 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    eVgo is giving it a go, so to speak. I was talking to rep here in Northern VA and he said they were finding places to put in sites, including both level 2 and DC high speed chargers together, I assume Chademo. They are making sites adaptable and I am sure will support SAE once it makes sense. Since they dont have many sites yet, if you sign up your subscription is free until they get about 10 places installed in the area. I imagine this is most useful for the Leafs currently, but Tesla will be shipping a Chademo adapter in the Winter. NRG eVgo Charging Plans - eVgo
     
  10. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,704
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
    We need more than just places to charge. We need a place to charge and kill time doing other things while the car is charging. That is the key, I believe. Give me a wi-fi lounge/cafe with excellent sandwiches and snacks plus quality caffeinated beverages. This will allow me to work while the car is charging, catch up on emails, facebook, or whatever. Or put a big screen in front of the charging spots so we can watch a "drive-in" flick and can tap into the audio stream with our car's bluetooth. This way you can charge, take in a movie of your choice, and relax while the car is charging. Maybe a partnership with Red Box might be in order.

    I think there are a lot of good ideas that can be incorporated around the charging that would add additional profit centers to the station.
     
  11. texex91

    texex91 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,590
    Location:
    hell
    Starbuck's is even better--'select' locations of course :cool:
     
  12. gvillager

    gvillager Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    PA
  13. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Having charging stations at hotels in California makes all sorts of sense. I've stayed at the Oaks Hotel in Paso Robles twice and both times it was because they had a 14-50 outlet that I could use to charge overnight. They even have a photo of a Tesla charging on their web page: The Oaks Hotel at Paso Robles - Ultimate Comfort Defined Putting in a 14-50 outlet didn't cost them very much, but it has gotten them additional business.

    But standard 30A chargers are so slow they would only be really useful if you planned to spend a lot of time somewhere (a hotel, where you work, or a parking garage close to where you live). Putting 30A charging stations at locations where you wouldn't otherwise stay for a while and expecting people to pay to use the chargers probably isn't going to work very well. However pay-per-use high-speed DC charging stations at all sorts of locations (in urban areas for EV owners that only have street parking, along major highways, etc.) could make sense.
     
  14. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,502
    Location:
    Maine
    Hmm, let's see. Homeowners buy a charger timeshare. Say it's 20k for the station installed? 72 20 minute slots, $278 per slot average. Now add taxes and cost for the land and electricity fees. Still, 1 space doesn't take much. Maybe 2 so there's 1 waiting and 1 charging.. How much would that cost? Cheaper than buying your own charger and having it installed? How much would 400 sqft cost in a city?

    Overall, I don't think there's much of a market for charging itself and it would gradually decrease with improvements in battery tech. I really think success would see charge-it-where-you-park-it take hold and installation would get easier with demand.
     
  15. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    606
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    That attitude (ie improvements in battery tech) shows how challenging it all is. Why invest money if every car in 5 years has a 1000 mile battery?

    It is really too bad, because if charging was ubiquitous, nearly everyone could drive a Leaf except on road trips. Road trips could be Tesla rentals.
     
  16. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,566
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY, USA
    Is there a business model for public electric car charging? Yes, of course there is. It's the Sun Country Highway model: patronize our establishment (restaurant, hotel, mall, etc.) and you can plug your car in as a perk.

    Is there another business model? There's Tesla's "Superchargers come as a perk of buying the car" model.

    Is there another business model? There's Nissan's "Charging provided by every dealership" model, which is really very similar to Tesla's model.

    Is there a model where you actually charge for electricity? No.

    Agree.
     
  17. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,150
    Location:
    NE Tennessee
    I would pay for 70 amp charging when on the road but that is not often as charging at home meets 95% of my needs and is relatively inexpensive and VERY convenient.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,756
    Location:
    Texas
    Why would I want to stop and charge when a car with proper range (Model S) just let's me charge at home except for trips? A range crippled EV, like the Leaf, isn't all that much better than an ICE.
     
  19. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,704
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
    Someone with a 40 kWh Model S may benefit from more local charging stations, especially at retail locations. If I were the owner of a retail establishment, I would probably designate a few spots up front as EV parking w/ free charging. Why not? It's just another way to encourage people to visit my store and to also promote green transport by giving EV owners a benefit - front row parking.
     
  20. richkae

    richkae VIN587

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,917
    If the average driver drives 12000 miles per year, using 4000 kWh that cost $440, but 95% of charging happens at home, then $22 worth of electricity is purchased away from home.
    If there are 10,000 charging locations serving 1 million EVs, then the average share to fight over is $2200 per year. Even if they mark it up 3x its only $6600 revenue per year.

    But there are only ~150,000 EVs in the US right now and somewhere around 10000 charging stations.
    10000 charging locations for 150,000 vehicles means $330 worth of electricity each.

    I actually think the number is closer to 99% of charging happens at home - meaning the average driver will purchase $4.40 worth of electricity away from home per year.
    Then there are free locations: 100% of my charging in the last year has been either at home or at a free location, I bet almost all Tesla drivers have the same experience.
    There are a huge number of locations giving away charging for free. It's hard to compete with free.

    I don't see how you can make a business out of EV charging with point of sale.
     

Share This Page