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The supercharger business

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by Twiddler, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Twiddler

    Twiddler Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    Central TX
    Does anyone have any experience with privately-owned EV charging stations? One would think that a private individual (“investor”) could contract with a business and electricity provider to fund the installation of, say, a single charging device, wherein a portion of the proceeds would go back to the initial investor. Moreover, the contract could be arranged with an electricity provider who supplies xxx% renewable energy. Just a thought – would seemingly be a great side business, allow individuals to place chargers in their own areas of interest :love:, and help to individually build this infrastructure, which (particularly in the south) is a major impediment to EV adoption. Any ideas? :confused:
  2. alexkiritz

    alexkiritz Member

    Feb 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    It's certainly not a great side business right now.

    There's a number of problems. First, you're competing with free electricity from other chargers so people aren't very willing to pay for it. There is also the impediment of demand fees where electric companies charger you based on your max power consumption, something like $15 per kw in California. In other words, right off the bat your first customer costs you over $1000. I know one guy in San Bernardino who owns a few 7/11 franchises shut his quick charger down(the only small business owned quick charger in So Cal) because no one told him he would have to pay a massive demand charge. The electric companies are changing the policies surrounding this with this so it could get better.

    The supercharger problems will be double since the CHAdeMO chargers only use 50 kw. If it was simple enough for someone to set up a supercharger station as a side business I think Tesla would have already had them set up. I think Tesla will want to control the whole system themselves to maintain a high level of quality and availability. The one main quick charger in southern California located at Mitsubishi headquarters goes down every other week. Half the time it is because someone broke the handle off.

    I think your best bet would be to put in a few 100 amp chargers and a collection jar.
  3. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

    Jul 29, 2010
    Bradford on Avon, UK
    Agreed, IMO we are years away from a sustainable charging business (if ever).

    My suggestion is that *you* all get together and setup a non-profit that donates low cost Charging Stations to businesses who want customers to stay for a while (hotels, clubs, restaurants, etc). Then market these Charging Stations to EV drivers and encourage them to get involved. The costs will be modest and the rewards for you as a driver huge - for example I can now travel around most of the UK charging at 32A and 70A using more than 230 simple and reliable Charging Stations :smile:
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Aug 20, 2006
    Unless they have a box full of used Roadster cells "trickle charging" under the demand rate, and then ready to "dump/download" that charge to a Model S that eventually pulls up.

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