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Superchargers open to all other EVs later this year (2021)

e of pi

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Oct 6, 2015
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I can't remember the place(s) but I thought I read about certain locations that denied Tesla charging stations because it wasn't universal. Maybe they will sell an extremely expensive adapter to help fund more chargers (and their bottom line) and then reapply at those locales or look to new ones and have the ability to say 'fast charging for any electric vehicle'? Maybe there is more government money coming for universal EV chargers as well? As competitive as Elon is, I can't for the life of me believe it is to help out other manufacturers, there has to be a good reason.
The opening of the network in the places which are likely to happen this year is definitely driven by government money, mainly in Norway but also in Germany (both places where Tesla has already been forced to switch to the universal plug for yours, so the fix should be predominantly software). I doubt an adaptor alone (particularly an "extremely expensive one" would be enough to get money for new stations in places where they don't use CCS or the local universal plugs--at the very least, I don't think it should.
 
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Oct 28, 2019
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Texas
Especially if Tesla does not make a CCS1 adapter so Tesla Cars can fast DC Charge on other networks. If the adapter is not released for the US market and Tesla opens up the SC Network to others we will be the ones with the most charge restricted cars.
100% agree. A reliable and affordable official CCS adapter for Tesla's should come first. As much as I dislike EA from a location and pricing perspective... it would be a valuable alternative for crowded SCs.
 

cpa

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May 17, 2014
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100% agree. A reliable and affordable official CCS adapter for Tesla's should come first. As much as I dislike EA from a location and pricing perspective... it would be a valuable alternative for crowded SCs.

It would also let us be more freewheeling in deciding where to charge. Maybe a Supercharger is closer, but we don't really need the charge, but the EA that is another 80 miles down the road is perfect for a charge and a refreshment break. Sorta like driving ICE: we can refuel with a quarter tank remaining, or we can drive another half hour and refuel then.
 

srs5694

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Jan 15, 2019
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There's more news on this being reported by Electrek: According to them, Tesla will be selling an adapter in North America, "and Tesla will also make it available at the Supercharger stations," whatever that means. (Borrowed from a nearby business? One or two chained to certain Supercharger stalls? Something else?) Electrek also says that "Musk confirmed that they plan to introduce more advanced dynamic pricing based on charging speed and traffic at specific stations in order to encourage shorter charging sessions." There's no word on pricing for the adapter or whether adapter users will pay the same price as Tesla owners to charge. The article doesn't explicitly say whether Tesla will make CCS1, CHAdeMO, or both adapters. Apparently non-Tesla owners will have to use the Tesla app to start charge sessions.

Overall, there are still plenty of unanswered questions, and therefore room for speculation.

Here's the Electrek article:

 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,421
11,773
Riverside Co. CA
There's more news on this being reported by Electrek: According to them, Tesla will be selling an adapter in North America, "and Tesla will also make it available at the Supercharger stations," whatever that means. (Borrowed from a nearby business? One or two chained to certain Supercharger stalls? Something else?) Electrek also says that "Musk confirmed that they plan to introduce more advanced dynamic pricing based on charging speed and traffic at specific stations in order to encourage shorter charging sessions." There's no word on pricing for the adapter or whether adapter users will pay the same price as Tesla owners to charge. The article doesn't explicitly say whether Tesla will make CCS1, CHAdeMO, or both adapters. Apparently non-Tesla owners will have to use the Tesla app to start charge sessions.

Overall, there are still plenty of unanswered questions, and therefore room for speculation.

Here's the Electrek article:


The problem with this is, you said "electrek article", and I dont think I am alone in not paying too much attention to that particular website / blog.
 

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
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Curious what other Forum members think about this. I have to confess I am concerned as someone who owns an unlimited supercharging car. Will I now have to endure long wait times while traveling cross-country? We have yet to experience a major wait in any of our cross-country trips of more than a minute or two to plug in. In some cases we've had dead stalls, but in general when we pull in, the worst we ever experienced is the inconvenience of current limiting and power sharing. Even that is rare and oftentimes can be circumvented with a oportun move when somebody leaves. I know there are superchargers in California where there can be a long wait. How is this going to work? It seems once again that there is an announcement from Elon without any kind of real plan, parametrics, or data released to the public (the antithesis of well-planned transparency and a version of a wing and a prayer?), and we're just expected to trust that everything is going to be okay. I've seen this magic show before. What do people in the Forum think?

I posted this originally as a poll. The moderators in their Infinite Wisdom moved it into this thread but deleted the poll questions. So I'm putting them in as a PostScript. Perhaps people can respond with their vote.

Four possible poll choices

1) this is not higher math and Tesla is not stupid. They will build out capacity before they allow significant extra demand.
2) Tesla may not be stupid but they are disorganized and they do get ahead of themselves. There will be some overcrowding, of course stupid!
3) Tesla is seriously disorganized? Is that even a question? They never hit benchmarks at least not initially so count on huge overcrowding.
4) Tesla is giving away their Ace in the Hole for chump change. This will cost them seriously and this decision could come back to bite them big-time. First they will alienate customers with the jammed up superchargers full of non Tesla vehicles, customers who now will have no reason not to jump ship and buy other brands, particularly Lucid.
 
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srs5694

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Jan 15, 2019
1,183
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The problem with this is, you said "electrek article", and I dont think I am alone in not paying too much attention to that particular website / blog.
It's being reported elsewhere; for instance, at Drive Tesla Canada and Tesla North. The news is based on a Tesla Q2 earnings call, and all the outlets I've seen are reporting pretty much the same thing, so I expect it's accurate -- or at least, I expect it's an accurate summary of this bit of the call. There's no guarantee that Tesla will follow through in exactly the stated way, and the timeline remains anybody's guess.

For the hand-wringers, although there may be some cause for concern about overcrowding, I doubt if there will be significant problems, for several reasons:
  • This plan will produce extra revenue for Tesla, and they'll be able to use that to further build out the Supercharger network. Remember also that in some areas, there are government incentives to DC fast charger operators, but Tesla has been locked out of such incentives to date because of their closed network. If Tesla can pick up such incentives, that will serve as additional revenue to use to help build out the network.
  • Tesla has announced pricing incentives to minimize overcrowding problems. Details remain foggy, though.
  • In the US, this will involve an adapter. If the $400-$600 price of existing CHAdeMO-to-Tesla and CCS1-to-Tesla adapters are any indication, these adapters will likely not be cheap, which will deter people from buying them. Depending on the price of the adapters, there might be enough profit in them to help with the build-out of new stations, too. OTOH, Tesla has said that they'll have adapters on-site (for lease? For free use? It's unclear....), so maybe adapters will be more readily accessible and so draw more non-Teslas. Then too, using any adapter will be a hassle. In sum, there will be extra hassle, and likely expense, compared to charging at Electrify America, EVgo, or whatever, which will serve as a deterrent to using Superchargers by non-Tesla EVs.
  • As a sub-point to this, we don't know the technical specs of the adapter. Tesla's current CHAdeMO adapter is limited to 50kW and Setec's CCS1 adapter is limited to 50kW or 80kW (depending on the vehicle), for instance. If Tesla's Tesla-to-CCS1 adapter has similar limits, then drivers of more capable cars, like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, will likely favor higher-speed native CCS1 stations.
  • If Superchargers do become overcrowded because of this, then non-Teslas will be able to charge elsewhere, and the overcrowding will incentivize them to do so; that's a built-in pressure relief valve. This factor doesn't apply to every site, but it does to a significant number of them.
To be sure, none of these factors is a 100% guarantee that there will be no problems. In areas, like Los Angeles, where there are problems already, those problems may be exacerbated, at least temporarily. I suspect that the combination of these factors will limit the problems, though. The sky is unlikely to fall.
 

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,199
5,215
FL
It's being reported elsewhere; for instance, at Drive Tesla Canada and Tesla North. The news is based on a Tesla Q2 earnings call, and all the outlets I've seen are reporting pretty much the same thing, so I expect it's accurate -- or at least, I expect it's an accurate summary of this bit of the call. There's no guarantee that Tesla will follow through in exactly the stated way, and the timeline remains anybody's guess.

For the hand-wringers, although there may be some cause for concern about overcrowding, I doubt if there will be significant problems, for several reasons:
  • This plan will produce extra revenue for Tesla, and they'll be able to use that to further build out the Supercharger network. Remember also that in some areas, there are government incentives to DC fast charger operators, but Tesla has been locked out of such incentives to date because of their closed network. If Tesla can pick up such incentives, that will serve as additional revenue to use to help build out the network.
  • Tesla has announced pricing incentives to minimize overcrowding problems. Details remain foggy, though.
  • In the US, this will involve an adapter. If the $400-$600 price of existing CHAdeMO-to-Tesla and CCS1-to-Tesla adapters are any indication, these adapters will likely not be cheap, which will deter people from buying them. Depending on the price of the adapters, there might be enough profit in them to help with the build-out of new stations, too. OTOH, Tesla has said that they'll have adapters on-site (for lease? For free use? It's unclear....), so maybe adapters will be more readily accessible and so draw more non-Teslas. Then too, using any adapter will be a hassle. In sum, there will be extra hassle, and likely expense, compared to charging at Electrify America, EVgo, or whatever, which will serve as a deterrent to using Superchargers by non-Tesla EVs.
  • As a sub-point to this, we don't know the technical specs of the adapter. Tesla's current CHAdeMO adapter is limited to 50kW and Setec's CCS1 adapter is limited to 50kW or 80kW (depending on the vehicle), for instance. If Tesla's Tesla-to-CCS1 adapter has similar limits, then drivers of more capable cars, like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, will likely favor higher-speed native CCS1 stations.
  • If Superchargers do become overcrowded because of this, then non-Teslas will be able to charge elsewhere, and the overcrowding will incentivize them to do so; that's a built-in pressure relief valve. This factor doesn't apply to every site, but it does to a significant number of them.
To be sure, none of these factors is a 100% guarantee that there will be no problems. In areas, like Los Angeles, where there are problems already, those problems may be exacerbated, at least temporarily. I suspect that the combination of these factors will limit the problems, though. The sky is unlikely to fall.
I hope you're right - this all sounds great and fully measured. I just wish Elon was fully measured. I'm just a bit more cynical. Not because I think Tesla would deliberately screw anyone, but because they seem to have a huge capacity to accidently screw people all the time. For sure, it is unlikely the sky would fall. But hassles for the customer because of Tesla's disorganization - that seems a safer bet. And a whole lot less tweeting would really help.
 
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bay74

Member
Mar 27, 2018
205
179
Melbourne, Australia
... <snip> Apparently non-Tesla owners will have to use the Tesla app to start charge sessions. <snip> ...
Which is what one has to do at a non-Tesla DC fast charger now (where I am at least) with e.g. the ChargeFox app and it's kinda annoying. Hunting for the label on the charger in the rain, faffing about in the app, it works (most of the time) but isn't as nice as plug-n-charge at a Tesla Supercharger.
 

e of pi

Member
Oct 6, 2015
85
164
Greenville, SC
  • As a sub-point to this, we don't know the technical specs of the adapter. Tesla's current CHAdeMO adapter is limited to 50kW and Setec's CCS1 adapter is limited to 50kW or 80kW (depending on the vehicle), for instance. If Tesla's Tesla-to-CCS1 adapter has similar limits, then drivers of more capable cars, like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, will likely favor higher-speed native CCS1 stations.
The specs of the adapter will definitely be interesting to see--as another comparison point, the CCS2 European adapter is 410V x 210 amps for 86 kW nominal.
 

srs5694

Active Member
Jan 15, 2019
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Woonsocket, RI
Which is what one has to do at a non-Tesla DC fast charger now (where I am at least) with e.g. the ChargeFox app and it's kinda annoying. Hunting for the label on the charger in the rain, faffing about in the app, it works (most of the time) but isn't as nice as plug-n-charge at a Tesla Supercharger.
Add that to the disincentives for non-Tesla owners to use Superchargers -- or at least, this is a lack of an advantage of Superchargers for such owners, compared to an advantage of Superchargers for Tesla owners. With plug-and-charge for CCS becoming more common, if Tesla will require this juggling with apps, Electrify America and anybody else who supports plug-and-charge will have an advantage for owners of cars that support plug-and-charge.

e of pi said:
The specs of the adapter will definitely be interesting to see--as another comparison point, the CCS2 European adapter is 410V x 210 amps for 86 kW nominal.
As I understand it, Tesla's CCS2 adapter in Europe is a simple pass-through device. The upcoming adapter(s) to enable non-Teslas to charge on Superchargers for the US market, as well as Tesla's existing CHAdeMO adapter and Setec's CCS1 adapter, are more complex, since they must translate protocols. The existing adapters must provide longer paths for carrying the power into the car, and I rather expect that this will be true of Tesla's upcoming adapter. (I haven't checked, but I think a lot of cars' charge ports are too far back to be reached from most Superchargers without some cable extension.) I'm not an electrical engineer, so I don't understand all the implications of these factors, but I wouldn't be surprised if they'd translate into limits on amperage.
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
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Central Valley
This plan will produce extra revenue for Tesla, and they'll be able to use that to further build out the Supercharger network. Remember also that in some areas, there are government incentives to DC fast charger operators, but Tesla has been locked out of such incentives to date because of their closed network. If Tesla can pick up such incentives, that will serve as additional revenue to use to help build out the network.

You are correct in that charging others to use the network will bring in "extra revenue." However, from my perspective:

• Most of this extra revenue will be spent to pay the electricity used by the other vehicles.

• Some of the extra revenue will be spent on repairs, maintenance, and any lease payments for the Supercharger sites.

• Supercharger sites cost upwards of $250,000, depending upon location and the number of stalls.

• I am unfamiliar with the amount and size of government incentives, so I cannot state unequivocally what impact they might have on construction costs.

What would Tesla's gross profit be on each kWh sold to other vehicle owners? A nickel? A dime? If a new station costs $250,000, that equates to 2.5 million kWh at a ten-cent gross profit, and twice that at a nickel. At a generous 350 wh/mile, how many miles of driving would consume 2,500,000 kWh? Seven million miles?

I just cannot fathom that the extra revenue going into Tesla's bank account would come close to building out even one location.
 
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RTPEV

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Mar 21, 2016
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Durham, NC
I hope you're right - this all sounds great and fully measured. I just wish Elon was fully measured. I'm just a bit more cynical. Not because I think Tesla would deliberately screw anyone, but because they seem to have a huge capacity to accidently screw people all the time. For sure, it is unlikely the sky would fall. But hassles for the customer because of Tesla's disorganization - that seems a safer bet. And a whole lot less tweeting would really help.

I do too...I've already had an interaction with someone who is buying a non-Tesla EV, but thanks to Elon's tweets/comments he now expects that he will be able to use the Supercharger network in short order. Granted, his purchase was already in play, but how many people are going to buy EVs with the expectation that any day now they will be able to access the Supercharger network? I see this as potentially causing a huge dissatisfaction and backlash against EVs in general if now Tesla doesn't roll out Supercharger access in a reasonable amount of time in the US. Elon definitely should have been more careful not to pre-announce this, or at least put reasonable caveats/limits in his comments.
 

RTPEV

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Mar 21, 2016
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Durham, NC
Worth pointing out regarding the North America adapter requirement. In the earnings call, the following comments were made:

Elon Musk

...So an adapter is needed to work for EVs in North America. But people could buy this adapter. And we anticipate having it available at the Superchargers as well if people don't sort of steal them or something.

Andrew Baglino

We have a good solution to that.

From this, I do infer that Tesla has at least given this a bit more thought than just 5 minutes in Elon's head, and that yes, somehow they envision some kind of solution where users would not have to purchase their own adapters, but I think it will be more than just having the host site hang on to it. But of course we don't have any real details. I imagine they could charge a fee to the user's account if they don't return the adapter to a holster or something like that, but I suspect it's something a bit more elegant.
 

RTPEV

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Mar 21, 2016
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Durham, NC
Much of the anti-open up Superchargers discussion seems to be centered around the fact that "other EVs" are going to pull up and take up Supercharger stalls, or that you will be pissed if you drive up to a Supercharger in your Tesla and there are non-Telsas using the Supercharger.

If this describes your feeling, what is it about Tesla vehicles that makes you feel different? Is it somehow okay if you pull up to a full site, but it's fine because they are all Teslas? If you have an early Model S or X, do you get the same pissed off feeling with all the nouveau Model 3/Y owners that are now filling you "your" Supercharger site?

Okay, I get that such a move potentially opens up the network to a "lot" more cars (I suspect many are overestimated the volume thereof), but doesn't Tesla building more Model 3's and Y's also open up the network to a lot more cars? Do you feel that Tesla ought to slam the brakes on Gigafactory Texas? I mean the output from Austin alone will probably overshadow US non-Tesla EVs for the next several years, and that will likely happen sooner than Tesla gets their act together and actually opens up Superchargers to non-Teslas in North America.

One last thing to ponder: Tesla now has about 80% EV market share in the US. Hopefully everyone realizes that is not a sustainable number in the future. Once EVs become more commonplace, I still expect Tesla to dominate the market, but that figure will likely drop to below 20% (even Toyota only has a 14% share today). As a potential site host, would you opt for installing charging stations that can service 20% of your customers, or 100%? Right now businesses like Sheetz and Wawa (in my area anyway) are opting to host Superchargers because that's where the numbers are. But they also host Electrify America sites because they see that eventually the numbers will shift. By eventually enabling Superchargers to service non-Teslas, I suspect that changes the math a bit and they will be more willing to host Tesla than other networks. Believe me, I just returned from a road trip in our VW ID.4 relying mostly on Electrify America sites, so I can authoritatively say that it is far preferable to just plug into a Supercharger than to deal with the hassles of initiating a charge on an EA charging station!
 
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srs5694

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Jan 15, 2019
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Tesla now has about 80% EV market share in the US. Hopefully everyone realizes that is not a sustainable number in the future. Once EVs become more commonplace, I still expect Tesla to dominate the market, but that figure will likely drop to below 20% (even Toyota only has a 14% share today). As a potential site host, would you opt for installing charging stations that can service 20% of your customers, or 100%?
That's a good point, and it leads into another one: I don't know what Tesla's internal books look like, but if the Supercharger network is meant to be profitable, then sooner or later it will become desirable for Tesla to accept non-Tesla EVs at Superchargers, simply because there will eventually be a significant number of non-Tesla EVs to serve as potential customers. In fact, by this logic, it will eventually become desirable to install CCS plugs at Supercharger stalls, rather than rely on adapters, since that will be a better user experience for non-Tesla owners.

That said, I suspect that the Supercharger network is currently being subsidized by EV sales, but that may not be a sustainable market going forward. Razors and inkjet printers are cheap today because they're subsidized by ink sales -- the manufacturers hide the cost of the product in the supplies. If Tesla is doing the opposite today (as it definitely did with free Supercharging on early S and X vehicles), then that strategy will become unworkable in the future (if it isn't already), once competitive EVs from other manufacturers become available. That will make a self-sustaining Supercharger network a competitive imperative, which will make business from non-Tesla EVs more important than it is today.
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
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Jul 12, 2017
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You are correct in that charging others to use the network will bring in "extra revenue." However, from my perspective:

• Most of this extra revenue will be spent to pay the electricity used by the other vehicles.

• Some of the extra revenue will be spent on repairs, maintenance, and any lease payments for the Supercharger sites.

• Supercharger sites cost upwards of $250,000, depending upon location and the number of stalls.

• I am unfamiliar with the amount and size of government incentives, so I cannot state unequivocally what impact they might have on construction costs.

What would Tesla's gross profit be on each kWh sold to other vehicle owners? A nickel? A dime? If a new station costs $250,000, that equates to 2.5 million kWh at a ten-cent gross profit, and twice that at a nickel. At a generous 350 wh/mile, how many miles of driving would consume 2,500,000 kWh? Seven million miles?

I just cannot fathom that the extra revenue going into Tesla's bank account would come close to building out even one location.

It was explained during last night’s earnings call that increasing site utilization reduces costs. Superchargers are subject to demand charges of up to $10 per kW per month (these particulars were not shared on the call). A 1 megawatt capable site will have to pay $10,000 per month in demand charges regardless of how many people charge or how many kWh are dispensed. The higher the utilization, the more sessions that demand charge gets spread across, reducing the effective cost per kWh.
 
Oct 28, 2019
417
430
Texas
Much of the anti-open up Superchargers discussion seems to be centered around the fact that "other EVs" are going to pull up and take up Supercharger stalls, or that you will be pissed if you drive up to a Supercharger in your Tesla and there are non-Telsas using the Supercharger.

If this describes your feeling, what is it about Tesla vehicles that makes you feel different? Is it somehow okay if you pull up to a full site, but it's fine because they are all Teslas? If you have an early Model S or X, do you get the same pissed off feeling with all the nouveau Model 3/Y owners that are now filling you "your" Supercharger site?

Okay, I get that such a move potentially opens up the network to a "lot" more cars (I suspect many are overestimated the volume thereof), but doesn't Tesla building more Model 3's and Y's also open up the network to a lot more cars? Do you feel that Tesla ought to slam the brakes on Gigafactory Texas? I mean the output from Austin alone will probably overshadow US non-Tesla EVs for the next several years, and that will likely happen sooner than Tesla gets their act together and actually opens up Superchargers to non-Teslas in North America.

One last thing to ponder: Tesla now has about 80% EV market share in the US. Hopefully everyone realizes that is not a sustainable number in the future. Once EVs become more commonplace, I still expect Tesla to dominate the market, but that figure will likely drop to below 20% (even Toyota only has a 14% share today). As a potential site host, would you opt for installing charging stations that can service 20% of your customers, or 100%? Right now businesses like Sheetz and Wawa (in my area anyway) are opting to host Superchargers because that's where the numbers are. But they also host Electrify America sites because they see that eventually the numbers will shift. By eventually enabling Superchargers to service non-Teslas, I suspect that changes the math a bit and they will be more willing to host Tesla than other networks. Believe me, I just returned from a road trip in our VW ID.4 relying mostly on Electrify America sites, so I can authoritatively say that it is far preferable to just plug into a Supercharger than to deal with the hassles of initiating a charge on an EA charging station!
the issue I have is if Tesla opens up SCs via an adapter to non-Teslas but Tesla's still dont have a CCS adapter (one which works reliably) ... meaning Tesla's would be the most limited charging choice cars (stuck with SCs) whereas a Mach E can charge at SCs and EA and others.

it would alleviate a lot of concerns if Tesla were releasing a working CCS adapter first for let's say $200 ...
 
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cpa

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May 17, 2014
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It was explained during last night’s earnings call that increasing site utilization reduces costs. Superchargers are subject to demand charges of up to $10 per kW per month (these particulars were not shared on the call). A 1 megawatt capable site will have to pay $10,000 per month in demand charges regardless of how many people charge or how many kWh are dispensed. The higher the utilization, the more sessions that demand charge gets spread across, reducing the effective cost per kWh.

Earl, what you say is correct. However, it is slightly misleading in the fact that increased utilization reduces costs. It reduces costs per unit; but it does not reduce cash expended. Many of these costs are amortized costs from construction, plus fixed costs like rent, property taxes, and insurance. Of course the more use, the lower per unit "cost;" hence economies of scale. But there are variable costs that are pegged to use. Perhaps certain locations do not max out on demand charges every month, but in the future they will. Repairs and maintenance will increase with increased use. And total kWh charges go up for every extra kWh flowing through the meter.

For demand charges, I believe that some of the locals here in California have concluded that PG&E nicks Tesla about $25/kW. (Their tariff schedules are notoriously difficult to parse, and it is unclear which tariff Tesla falls under.) But I could be mistaken!

The point that I was trying to make was that the free cash generated from other vehicles will be a couple of bucks per charging session while new construction is easily six figures for an 8-stall V3 set up, and likely seven figures for a 32-stall V3. It will take tens of thousands of charging sessions to pay for one new location. I just do not believe that this is a plausible justification for opening up SuC to other vehicles.
 
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