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

Supercharger for commercial use

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by SuryaDham, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. SuryaDham

    SuryaDham Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Arizona
    I am wondering whether Tesla restricts the supercharger-useage to private use, or not or has a kind of "fair use policy". I couldn't find anything about it, thus i speculate, that the Supercharger network can be used by everyone without restriction (as long as it's either a 85kwh or a 60kwh with SC upgrade)

    As investor I see some risks involved here. Thus I wrote an Email to IR two weeks ago, but never got an answer.
    Here's my email to IR:
    "I am a stockholder in TSLA and I have a question about the financing-model for the supercharger-network: I understand that the superchargers are built on freeways away from cities, in order to be useful only for roadtrips and not for daily use.
    I understand that, as long as it is used in that way, the financial model will be fine.

    But what about this scenario: A courier-company buys 100 Model S/X in order to use them as inter-city-delivery-vehicles. Let’s assume that would happen for example in Germany, where electricity-prices are very high.
    I can easily imagine, that for an inter-city-courier-company (i.e. regular deliveries from munich to hamburg) it would be possible, to drive 1.000km or more daily on a regular basis using the supercharger-network. This would lead to >300.000 km per year, and at autobahn-speed 300 kwh/km should be realistic, leading to an energy-consumption of 90.000 kwh or more per year, which at germany’s high electricity-rates would be > 12.000 EUR, even at industrial rates.
    PER YEAR.

    As far as I researched I couldn’t find any clause stating that the supercharger-usage is not intended for commercial use.
    If my assumption is correct, that the supercharger-network could be used for above scenario, then I would see a huge liability for the future, as soon as the first companies discover this incredible opportunity.

    Can you please let me know whether the use of the supercharger-network is in any way restricted to private use, or whether above mentioned scenario could really take place?
    Thank you very much."

    The 100 cars have just been an example. Some huge company could even "exploit" the SC network with thousands of cars. If commercial use is not restricted at the time of the sale I see no way to restrict it later for already sold cars.
    A company could even buy used cars 3 years from now for a 10% premium (in order to basically buy the whole market of used Model S, thousands of them) and heavily use the SC network without Tesla being able to do anything about it (since the car was sold with lifetime non-restricted SC-access)

    I think it would be reasonable to implement some kind of "fair use" policy, at least in europe, where electricity costs significantly more compared to the US.

    If some companies would heavily use the SC network this way with a few dozens of cars it would be even free advertising for Tesla now in the beginning (all the people who would see express-mailings delivered in a model S/X would start to wonder about the car), but as soon as it's used on large scale this way I cannot see how this could be sustainable.

    Any thoughts about that anyone?
     
  2. Mario Kadastik

    Mario Kadastik Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Messages:
    2,045
    Location:
    Rae, Harjumaa, Estonia
    Well said 100 cars would have brought an initial SC activation fee of ~2000 eur / car or 200k eur. Consuming that 12k / year would still leave Tesla in profit after 10 years. Yes, majority of the SC fee goes towards paying for the SC buildout, but I think it's also towards their usage when not balanced as net neutral from solar panels.

    If ALL cars started to use it like this, then it'd be a hinderance to the buildout, but not to their usage.
     
  3. StapleGun

    StapleGun Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    I believe that is 12,000 eur per car. So it would be about 2 months before Tesla is in the red.

    This is an excellent question, and I would like to know the answer as well.
     
  4. SuryaDham

    SuryaDham Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Arizona
    If one out of 100 cars used the SC that heavily then yes. But my point was if a whole fleet of 100 or more cars used the SC in that way. Cost would then be 1.2m IN ONE YEAR for the energy for that 100 cars.

    how would it not be a hindrance to their usage if the cars sucked that amount of energy? Tesla has to pay for that energy at 12.000 EUR / car / year in my example. In 7 years Tesla would have paid more for the energy than the car costed...
    Even if the SCs are solely powered on solar: It costs about 0,1EUR to produce 1kwh from solar in germany.
     
  5. SebastianR

    SebastianR Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    Messages:
    464
    Location:
    Denmark
    Good points. What I would assume is that this kind of usage would not be practical for most companies: The simple reason is that most people's hourly rate (even very lowly paid drivers) is still way above the cost of a recharge. So having a guy wait at a Super Charger for a Model S to fill is most likely more expensive than charging over night (even if you think through sophisticated schedules with one guy arriving with an empty car and then depositing a key somewhere and then taking off with a freshly recharged car etc. etc.).

    But while I think the extreme case of yours is not going to happen, I could definitely see a lot of companies make a killing by driving a car with low service costs and low fuel costs going almost around the clock (Taxis & Co).
     
  6. SuryaDham

    SuryaDham Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Arizona
    Let's crunch some number:
    Say you have a daily tour from Munic to Hamburg, according to google that's 800km (one way) and takes about 8hrs. That calculates to 100km/h on average, but sometimes will go faster, let's say 130-140 km/h (when you know where the superchargers are you could basically calculate max. km/h). 370-400km on a full charge should be reasonable. So if the driver starts with a full charge and charges twice for 30 minutes that's enough for the trip to Hamburg.
    Drivers HAVE to take breaks anyway (legal necessity), and 2 x 30 minutes in a 9hrs working day is absolute minimum anyway, probably the driver would even like to have one break that is a bit longer...could do 1 x 20 minutes an 1 x 40 minutes, depending on where the SCs are positioned.
    In germany breaks are unpaid (don't know about other countries, I assume it's the same), to have an employee have two breaks in 9hrs (for a total of 8hrs working time and 1hr unpaid break) is absolutely normal.

    Destination would be the end of the shift for the driver, you could have the car fully charged in 1hr and then have it go back or somewhere else with a different driver, who's shift starts at the end of the charging process.
    I'd say that's absolutely doable. You could build a whole business around the SCs, could even have your hubs next to them...

    I'm still concerned whether Tesla has that on their radar or not, because Tesla can only prevent it, beforehand...


    Absolutely, If I would be a Taxi-company, the only cars I'd ever order would be Tesla S or better X, no question about that. I think if the Taxi companies figure this out, Tesla could get huge fleet-orders coming in...
    But I'd rather have that other issue solved beforehand. As I said: Even after 3yrs of use (without supercharging) a company could suddenly come up with the idea to use the cars in a different way and ultra-use the SCs. And at that time there's nothing that Tesla could do IMO.
     
  7. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    617
    Location:
    Monterey
    There are many different ways that Tesla could choose to deal with that potential issue.

    For instance, while Tesla might have promised that the Superchargers were "free for life", I don't think they guaranteed consumers any specific speeds to charge.

    Since they control the software and know each car's identification, they could certainly do what my cell phone provider does. I have unlimited data per month, but if my usage exceeds a certain amount, they throttle the speed. Since time is money, people will realize it's not worth abusing it.
     
  8. deonb

    deonb Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,020
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Eww. No. We don't want people to block the SuperChargers.

    Do the opposite - if you exceed a certain usage, don't throttle the charge to keep the battery safe.
     
  9. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Messages:
    13,257
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    I agree but the calculation is even more complicated than that. On the one hand you've got fuel savings but set those against wage costs, on the other you've got tied up capital investment which is not earning money when it's standing still. Taxis often spend a lot of time standing around anyway and, depending on the drivers remuneration deal, it may be worthwhile to drive electric if the charging station is conveniently located.
     
  10. Tharo

    Tharo Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain

    I would be more concerned that superchargers can be used by the Renault Zoe, the best-selling electric car in Europe, which uses the same connector but without the modifications Mennekes brings the model S. Here in Europe we have the question of whether a Zoe could recharge at these stations, and would be great if you ask tesla about that.
     
  11. SuryaDham

    SuryaDham Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Arizona
    can't. Excactly because a) it doesn't have the modificated Mennekes-socket, but the "normal" mennekes socket (Tesla "extended' the Mennekes plug) and b) SC is a absolutely uniqe protocol, Zoe doesn't "speak" that. And even if it did it wouldn't be able to identify itself as a Tesla, thus the SC would not grant access.


    - - - Updated - - -

    You mean purposely "frying" the battery...?
    I see neither throttling (cars blocking the stations then) nor "frying" (just can't do that...1. because it would be really mean and 2. Since Tesla warrants the battery for 8 years it would be a shot in it's own foot.
     
  12. SebastianR

    SebastianR Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    Messages:
    464
    Location:
    Denmark
    Well, first I think they can still adjust to this situation at any time as the Super Charger is not just a simple plug but a sophisticated protocol.

    Also, even if you leave the labor cost aside, it would need to be a special kind of business: the Model S is great but frankly its not great to transport much (by courier standards). So it would need to be a small/light thing that needs frequent transport just between the right kinds of super chargers (remember they are built between cities, not in cities), valuable enough to justify car & driver yet not valuable enough to justify air cargo / ICE train courier services.

    I'm not very concerned that a whole fleet of thousands of cars will do it. But I'm sure a few people will use this quite a bit - and that should be fine.
     
  13. SuryaDham

    SuryaDham Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Arizona
    How would they adjust?
    Denying access? -> car-holder could definitely sue Tesla, because car was bought with lifetime-access to the SC-network.
    slow down speed? -> cars would block the SCs, not a good idea either imo.
    Do you have anything in mind what and how they could adjust? I can't see anything.

    I could see any goods up to 20kg that go as same-day-express or as overnight, early morning delivery. And Model X would be better suited than the S. Could compete in many cases with air cargo or ICE train courier service.
    10yrs ago I was driving for a company that produced small metal-parts. Often times I was driving just a few boxes, maybe 50kg or so through half the country. It was just urgent stuff and they had lots of tours like that. They had several relatively small cars. Take ANY huge company...they have endless travel- and transportation needs.

    Whenever there is a situation that can be exploited legally - usually it will be sooner or later.
    And that is why I'd like to see the SC-network as being "free for private use" and at a fee for commercial use. Could be at cost and thus still be a great deal for any company because still much cheaper than gasoline.
    Telcos do that with telephone-flatrate-plans all the time. In germany those plans are usually only for "private use", you need a different plan if you want to use it commercially. I think the situation is absolutely comparable (to Telco flatrate-plans) and could and should be easily taken care of this way now, since it can't be fixed later (for cars already sold).
     
  14. NoMoGas

    NoMoGas Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Messages:
    577
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California, United States
    There has been this strange undertone regarding the Super Chargers that parallels the infamous "47%" nonsense of the last presidential campaign... Some weird feeling that some people might possibly be getting something for free. The idea that someone is going to buy a car that costs 8 times the cost of an economical vehicle to save money on fuel seems far fetched at best.

    Now, your concern from a stock and corporate profitability standpoint I understand. My argument would be simple, whatever losses are endured due to Germany could easily be covered by the rest of the system. Is that not the case? The larger concern would be rendering the SC station useless if it's plugged up all the time and that having a negative brand reaction. IMHO

    I can tell you that there are limo providers that are using the SC network, and there has been much discussion about "locals" using them for "free". Tesla has seen fit not to get into the mix and have also never limited use of the SC network for traveling only (although they certainly highlight the ability to go long distance via the network). I generally think the market will figure it out. Keep in mind the vast majority of Teslas will rarely if ever see a SC station. It just isn't that convenient for most people UNLESS your traveling.
     
  15. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    7,842
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
    Tesla should have less than zero concern about limos using Superchargers. Limos are providing extraordinary marketing for Tesla, as I'm sure that nearly every passenger is turned into an instant Tesla fan--or, at worst, stops being a skeptic about EVs.
     
  16. SuryaDham

    SuryaDham Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Arizona
    That's indeed a good point, I absolutely agree.
    At least nearterm. The situation might change in a few years. But for now I can see that short-term there more advantages than disadvantages in heavy-users.
    Thank's for bringing that up.
     
  17. DavidM

    DavidM P2624, Delivered

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    447
    Location:
    Florida
    Surya - Since you are a TSLA stockholder, you should be excited whenever a commercial fleet decides to purchase 100 or even 200 Model S cars (for whatever reason). That's good sales revenue. Many folks assume that $2,000 in the price of the car is associated with supercharger use. I doubt seriously the reason to purchase a fleet of Model S cars would be free fuel. I previously calculated that Tesla's average annual fuel cost per Model S is roughly $45. For most Model S drivers, the value of superchargers isn't primarily the fuel savings, it's the convenience, and the ability to use the car for road trips, while avoiding gasoline.

    Average annual miles driven = 12,000
    Average road trip miles 10% of total (supercharger use)
    Average annual supercharger miles 1,200
    Average Fuel consumption per highway mile 310 wh/m = .31 kw/mile
    Cost of electricity 12 cents per kwh
    Road trip fuel cost per year .31 kw/mile x .12 per kwh x 1200 miles = $45.
     

Share This Page