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SparkCharge the portable charging solution

RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
1,992
1,934
San Jose, CA
Maybe they will have a model specifically for Tesla. But then again, it might be susceptible to the "Tesla Tax".

edit: I already have one of those $450 CHAdeMO adapters....
 

ULEWZ

Member
Mar 4, 2020
124
87
Northridge CA
Not for consumer purchase at the moment from what I read. Only for company to company purchases for now. You call them and they meet you.
 
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SomeJoe7777

Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,180
5,658
Houston, TX
In all fairness, I don't think the target market is the end-user of an EV. This looks like a kit for a roadside service business / wrecker / tow-truck service so that they can charge EVs on a service call. The charger and batteries become an investment that you make up for with service calls.

On the other hand, I find the pricing non-competitive for this application. The price is about $10K for the charging unit and two battery packs, which hold 7 kWh (25 miles in most EVs) total, and you need the $500 Chademo adapter. If your service business bills $100 per service call, then you need to do 105 service calls for EVs to pay for the equipment. Looks like it's output power is about 10-12 kW max, which means you need about 35 minutes to get the 25 miles into the EV.

The Generac XC8000E portable gasoline generator is 8kW output, CARB-compliant, full commercial rated, and only $2800. Run time is 5.5 hours at full output on a full fuel tank, which means you can carry the equivalent of 44 kWh instead of just 7 kWh. Then all you need is a Telsa mobile connector for $275, total is $3100. This solution is nearly the same charge rate, and you only need 31 service calls to pay for it. If you want a faster charge rate and aren't operating in California, you can give up CARB compliance and get the GP15000E (15 kW) for nearly the same price.
 

zhu-

custom title
Oct 24, 2018
928
779
NJ
I really don't understand the economics behind this. How often do EV drivers get stuck somewhere where they'll need someone to bring this to them anyway? When EVs become more popular, so will charging. I don't see the incentive for towing or other service companies to bring this to you, wait for you to charge, bring back and have to charge it back up before it can be used again unless they were charging $300+ for all that field time and recharging downtime.

If it were a consumer product, how many miles will you lose from carrying that extra weight in the first place?
 

smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,276
2,067
CA Bay Area
In all fairness, I don't think the target market is the end-user of an EV. This looks like a kit for a roadside service business / wrecker / tow-truck service so that they can charge EVs on a service call. The charger and batteries become an investment that you make up for with service calls.

On the other hand, I find the pricing non-competitive for this application. The price is about $10K for the charging unit and two battery packs, which hold 7 kWh (25 miles in most EVs) total, and you need the $500 Chademo adapter. If your service business bills $100 per service call, then you need to do 105 service calls for EVs to pay for the equipment. Looks like it's output power is about 10-12 kW max, which means you need about 35 minutes to get the 25 miles into the EV.

The Generac XC8000E portable gasoline generator is 8kW output, CARB-compliant, full commercial rated, and only $2800. Run time is 5.5 hours at full output on a full fuel tank, which means you can carry the equivalent of 44 kWh instead of just 7 kWh. Then all you need is a Telsa mobile connector for $275, total is $3100. This solution is nearly the same charge rate, and you only need 31 service calls to pay for it. If you want a faster charge rate and aren't operating in California, you can give up CARB compliance and get the GP15000E (15 kW) for nearly the same price.

You miss an important part. The unit charges over CHAdeMO at a 40 amp rate, meaning the car will charge at a 15kW charge rate. Very few Teslas were ever made that can charge that fast from AC current. So compared to your generator solution it will charge the car twice as fast. And nobody would use this to get a full charge. Just enough to get to another charger.

Tow trucks are very expensive. A tow company with enough stuck EV customers could throw this battery unit in the back of a minivan and rescue stuck EV's

Is it practical? Depends on how often it gets used.

edit: If I owed a backwoods towing company, I would probably just get a generator like SomeJoe7777 suggested and throw it in the back of a truck and see what the response from the public is before investing in a crazy battery based system.

edit2: If I owned a tow company and wanted to kick behind in the "Discharged EV" market, I'd get a 45kW Portable CHAdeMO Charger (45kW portable CHAdeMO fast DC charger [CHR-40Q] - $6,500.00 : Electway!, Hydro turbine, Alternators, Uninterrupted Power Supply, Battery) $6,500 and a 50kW diesel generator $20,000

Heck, at that point people who are on vacation and don't want to drive to go charge could pay for you to swing by their campsite or AirBnB for an hour and juice them up.
 
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SomeJoe7777

Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,180
5,658
Houston, TX
You miss an important part. The unit charges over CHAdeMO at a 40 amp rate, meaning the car will charge at a 15kW charge rate. Very few Teslas were ever made that can charge that fast from AC current. So compared to your generator solution it will charge the car twice as fast. And nobody would use this to get a full charge. Just enough to get to another charger.

The 40A spec is the maximum. The device would be used for a completely discharged battery, so the battery will be at a voltage of around 300-325V. That's going to give you only a 12kW output.

Every modern Tesla has at minimum a 48A onboard charger, with the exception of the SR/SR+ Model 3 which has a 32A onboard charger. If your generator can source 48A at 240V, that's an 11.5 kW charge rate. Pre-2016 refresh Model S vehicles have 40A onboard chargers. Now, to do 48A to the car, you can't do it with the mobile connector, you will need to hook the generator up to a wall connector. But even if you don't, using a 40A mobile connector (Gen 1) would give a 9.6 kW charge rate.
 

PNWLeccy

Active Member
Jul 11, 2019
1,002
785
Seattle
I think the "electric jerrycan" will be huge for offroaders or those who travel to more remote locations often. For someone who spends a lot of times in national parks, it would be great to have a solution that wasn't crazy expensive. Maybe in 5-10 years...
 

smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,276
2,067
CA Bay Area
I think the "electric jerrycan" will be huge for offroaders or those who travel to more remote locations often. For someone who spends a lot of times in national parks, it would be great to have a solution that wasn't crazy expensive. Maybe in 5-10 years...
A lot of national parks have electricity all throughout them. Usually any campground with a host has a 50 amp connection for the host. If every campground (where possible) had a couple EV camping sites (With a J1772 connector, or even just a 14-50 outlet), and some charge point chargers in the day use area I'd be a happy man.
PS: I'm alway super friendly with camp hosts. I've had a couple offer the use of their 14-50 outlet to recharge if I needed it.
 
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PNWLeccy

Active Member
Jul 11, 2019
1,002
785
Seattle
A lot of national parks have electricity all throughout them. Usually any campground with a host has a 50 amp connection for the host. If every campground (where possible) had a couple EV camping sites (With a J1772 connector, or even just a 14-50 outlet), and some charge point chargers in the day use area I'd be a happy man.
PS: I'm alway super friendly with camp hosts. I've had a couple offer the use of their 14-50 outlet to recharge if I needed it.
In my experience, lots of national park campsites don't have electric hookups but there definitely are some options available- they are usually just more desirable, more difficult to reserve and/or tougher to get a walk-up site.

I think having some chargepoint sites at each site or each parking lot at trailheads would be amazing! Maybe some day...
 
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