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US Government Support Needed for Home EV Charging

Curt Renz

Well-Known Member
Mar 5, 2013
6,394
81,771
USA
Rather then building as many as 500,000 EV charging stations, the US government should take advantage of the fact that the overwhelming majority of EV charging is done in home garages.

As is already the case in some locations, they should pass a law that all new home garages must have 240-volt electrical wiring and the proper electrical outlets to charge an electric car. This would not cost the government and its taxpayers anything. They should also consider offering full or partial credits to those who install such electrical improvements in existing home garages.
 

Janus

Member
May 30, 2019
235
159
Bay Area
The more useful rule would be in shared dwellings (i.e. apartments and condos) and homes without dedicated garages (i.e. only street parking).

They already have these laws in CA. Here, virtually all new residential constructions (including single family and apartments/condos) must be setup for EV charging. It makes EV ownership much easier for a much wider range of people.
 

Boeingpilot

Member
Oct 11, 2018
111
270
Central PA
Rather then building as many as 500,000 EV charging stations, the US government should take advantage of the fact that the overwhelming majority of EV charging is done in home garages.

As is already the case in some locations, they should pass a law that all new home garages must have 240-volt electrical wiring and the proper electrical outlets to charge an electric car. This would not cost the government and its taxpayers anything. They should also consider offering full or partial credits to those who install such electrical improvements in existing home garages.
what, more government subsidizing EVs? I personally think they should be building any charging. It should be private businesses developing
 
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Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
50
40
USA
I'm with less government meddling. So far, their track record is $hundreds of millions spent, a few $millions of value. Note that I'm including Fool Sell support, Clean Diesel, AFV mony, etc.
The commercial sector will do a much better job.
It will also make my job easier in selling EVs to conservatives, some of whom are convinced they are just liberal pork projects.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,635
9,764
United States
There are already ordinances in several places requiring new construction to be 'EV Ready'. Which makes perfect sense... the cost of doing this in the construction phase is a fraction of the cost of doing it after the fact. Nothing wrong with elected representatives hiring professionals to solve a problem that the market has been unable to successfully address... not everything is best left to the whims of market forces. That's why we elect sheriffs instead of paying off a warlord. ;)
 

Curt Renz

Well-Known Member
Mar 5, 2013
6,394
81,771
USA
what, more government subsidizing EVs? I personally think they should be building any charging. It should be private businesses developing
No subsidizing. It would cost the government and its taxpayers nothing. Homebuilders (private business) would wire the new garages for EV charging. It would be a minimal added cost passed on the homebuyer. It would cost far less than eventually having to redo the wiring in an already built garage. It would add value to the home when resold.
 

TunaBug

Member
Mar 27, 2021
15
17
Kirkland, WA
I don't think new house construction would address much. New single family home construction may be an important indicator for the economy, but it's actually a small number of homes compared to the total. Some quick googling, that I haven't double-checked, has 213 million homes in the US, and a decade average of 700,000 homes constructed per year. In other words, yearly new home construction accounts for just 0.3% of homes. So perhaps a mandate would raise awareness (a good thing) but it would have little practical benefit.

I agree with the responses about not wanting to increase the size/power of the federal government. I would be less opposed as this got more local (i.e. state, county, or city laws).

I don't like the current system of tax credits for installing EV charging at home. The intent is good, but it's offset by the electricians charging more. Unfortunately I do not have a better alternative in mind.

But there ARE a couple of areas where I would like to see federal involvement: The US DOT getting involved with highway infrastructure, and a mandate of a plug. For example: federal dollars for Level 3 charger every 100 miles with CCS plugs (ok, a Tesla plug would be better, personally, but I think that's naïve). I'm also a fan of beefing up the electrical grid to support a huge increase in the number of cars being charged: perhaps assume that most cars on the road in 2060 will be EV: now is the time to start planning and working towards a grid that supports that.

Another thing that needs government foresight is something to offset the gas tax. Revenue from that is going to dwindle and needs to be replaced. I like the gas tax because it's a use tax without the government actually having to monitor my use, but I don't know how to achieve that for EVs.

Lastly, fossil fuels will not disappear. I think many people realize that neither planes nor boats will switch to batteries any time soon. But what they don't think about is how fossil fuels are refined: distillation of oil to produce gasoline actually produces a whole range of products: jet fuel, gasoline, paraffin, asphalt, and the crap we burn in ships. If gasoline use by cars goes to zero, we'll still be producing those other things, with gasoline as a wasted by product. In the 19th century they just pumped that into ponds and then let it soak into the ground or evaporate or burn. That's clearly not an option, so we need some future planning for jet engines and ships to be burning a wider range of fuels than they do today.
 
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nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,635
9,764
United States
Lastly, fossil fuels will not disappear. I think many people realize that neither planes nor boats will switch to batteries any time soon. But what they don't think about is how fossil fuels are refined: distillation of oil to produce gasoline actually produces a whole range of products: jet fuel, gasoline, paraffin, asphalt, and the crap we burn in ships. If gasoline use by cars goes to zero, we'll still be producing those other things, with gasoline as a wasted by product. In the 19th century they just pumped that into ponds and then let it soak into the ground or evaporate or burn. That's clearly not an option, so we need some future planning for jet engines and ships to be burning a wider range of fuels than they do today.

We've gotten pretty good at turning one hydrocarbon into another. We won't be burning any gasoline because there's nothing better to do with it. A lot of gasoline also isn't distilled but broken down from heavier carbon chains by thermal cracking.
 
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TunaBug

Member
Mar 27, 2021
15
17
Kirkland, WA

Thank you for that. As I was typing "distilled" I knew that wasn't the right term, but didn't look it up. My dad used to work for Mobil Oil research labs, and growing up in the 80s I used to read company magazines that he brought home that discussed these processes. I think my brain pulled "distill" because the different taps on the fractionator to extract different grades of product reminded me of that. IIRC back then the focus was to optimize the processes to produce more gasoline because that's where the demand was. I'm really no expert in this and not aware of the state of the art. Hopefully it's not too much trouble to optimize for other than gasoline as well.
 
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nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,635
9,764
United States
Thank you for that. As I was typing "distilled" I knew that wasn't the right term, but didn't look it up.

You were correct in that... it was distilled and I think most of it still is. Distillation is the physical separation of the different hydrocarbon chains. Just like separating alcohol from water. Cracking is breaking down longer chains into shorter ones. They can also be built back up into longer chains. Both processes are used so we can match supply with demand instead of just relying on the percentage of a barrel of oil that happens to be C8H18.
 

Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
50
40
USA
No subsidizing. It would cost the government and its taxpayers nothing. Homebuilders (private business) would wire the new garages for EV charging. It would be a minimal added cost passed on the homebuyer. It would cost far less than eventually having to redo the wiring in an already built garage. It would add value to the home when resold.
Mandating is still meddling. They government is just as likely to mandate H2 detectors in indoor parking to enable H2 vehicles.
'Today, any home builder who doesn't wire for EVs is just relegating their products to low-end buyers. Just as we see hotels rushing to install EV charging, same with home builders. Their mistake, let them pay.
No government meddling is needed and it keeps things clean and indisputable.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,635
9,764
United States
Mandating is still meddling. They government is just as likely to mandate H2 detectors in indoor parking to enable H2 vehicles.
'Today, any home builder who doesn't wire for EVs is just relegating their products to low-end buyers. Just as we see hotels rushing to install EV charging, same with home builders. Their mistake, let them pay.
No government meddling is needed and it keeps things clean and indisputable.

.... that's why we need smarter government and not less government. If the DOT started designing roads for horses should we abolish the DOT or fire the idiots at the DOT that started designing roads for horses?
 
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Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
50
40
USA
@nw. Good ideas but do you have any suggestions on how to actually act on them?
Since history shows a bad track record in this area, what do you propose to do differently now that won't lead to the same disasters as before?
I can show you how Tesla has made it in their interest today, independent of government mandates.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,635
9,764
United States
I can show you how Tesla has made it in their interest today, independent of government mandates.

???? How much of Teslas profits do they receive BECAUSE of government mandates ?

A good place to start would be a DOE program similar to what Tesla was running but on steroids. Install EV charging and you get $5k from the DOE for each level 2 charger you install. $50k for each L3 charger. Something along those lines...
 
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Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
50
40
USA
???? How much of Teslas profits do they receive BECAUSE of government mandates ?
Pretty much all of their profit comes indirectly from government mandates, however, this is not what you probably think. They plough all of the predictable cash-flow back into company growth and product improvement. Their profits come out of the gravy that is the sale of ZEV credits to the laggard ICE industry.
Profits only make company owners rich, they don't help a company to grow. Since Tesla is in growth mode, the only value that profits provide is to keep their potential capital sources happy.
As a long-term investor, I would prefer that Tesla made zero profit. I would prefer that they plow all extra money back into growth. They can take profits after they've saturated all of the markets they are taking over. To me, the sooner the better and profit taking only delays that.
 
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nwdiver

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Feb 17, 2013
7,635
9,764
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Profits only make company owners rich, they don't help a company to grow. Since Tesla is in growth mode, the only value that profits provide is to keep their potential capital sources happy.

??? How did Tesla pay for all the Giga factories they're building??? Winks and nods????

Can we please stop with this fantasy that would would have made a fraction of the progress we've made without government nudging the private sector toward sustainable energy? You think it was a coincidence that the EV1 was murdered right after CAISO changed the EV mandate?

Do you think we'd have any non-Tesla nation-wide DCFC without Electrify America? .... do you remember what funded Electrify America? ;)

Are you familiar with the 'Lincoln Highway'? It was the first corporate effort to get a coast to coast highway in the US. Good effort but basically a joke until Eisenhower mandated the US Interstate Highway system. Not everything is best left to the invisible hand....

 
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Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
50
40
USA
Do you think we'd have any non-Tesla nation-wide DCFC without Electrify America?
I agree that EA was launched purely by government action. So was Blink, EVgo, EVConnect, most of the Chargepoint network, and all of the hydrogen infrastructure. Even the first network of public Tesla chargers (70 amp Roadster chargers along CA-101) in California was directly funded by government money.
EA (and the rest of the aforementioned examples) barely works, is hardly used, can't be counted on, and probably requires unsustainable pricing to survive. I'm not, at all, convinced that EA will survive without something changing drastically.
Contrast with Tesla's Supercharger privately funded (with some government bonus) network and the difference is clear.
As far as the EV1: It was killed because GM (and the rest of the auto industry) had managed to convince themselves that EVs are a bad idea and the only reason they did anything was because of government mandates. The CA government flipped from BEVs to Hydrogen Fuel cells as Alan Lloyd retired as CARB chair, leaving to run the CAFCP (California Fuel Cell Partnership). The auto industry used this excuse to kill EVs since they realized that EVs truly were viable but would strand all of their ICE knowledge, IP, and investments.
This is probably the best example of how government meddling screwed things up and why we cannot count on the government for revolutionary breakthroughs such as electrification of transportation.
I won't say there is no value to the government, however, its ability to drive change is severely over-rated by many.
BTW: I had an EV1 for 3 years and 34,000 blissful, gas-free miles. I lived through that debacle.
As far as the Lincoln Highway: Ford and others, privately created the viable automobile. The government, ~60 years later, just created roads to drive them fast on.
You're welcome to believe in and promote government support of EVs and I'll wish you luck. I am likely, however, as I have been doing for the past 30 years, to come back and tell you I told you that it didn't help that much.
 

Bill Price

Member
Sep 23, 2018
471
549
Indianapolis
??? How did Tesla pay for all the Giga factories they're building???
smoke.jpg and mirror.jpgmirror.jpg
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,635
9,764
United States
past 30 years, to come back and tell you I told you that it didn't help that much.

You really think affordable EVs would exist at all without mandates??? .... REALLY? You think Tesla would be anything but a niche automaker hand building $100k+ electric sports cars w/o government mandates???? .... REALLY? You think other OEMs wouldn't be falling all over each other to build EVs if there wasn't a ticking clock counting down to no longer being able to legally sell ICE in multiple countries..... REALLY???? Seriously..... REALLY?

This is the problem with the laissez-faire cult.... you redefine history to fit your narrative instead of accepting what was ACTUALLY required to get the results we have. Success of Solar PV? Obviously the free-market as is evidenced by this successful private solar company* Black out in Texas? Obviously all these stupid mandates for wind energy**

*Ignore all the MASSIVE R&D subsidies plus Germany driving down the cost curve for 20 years by paying people to install Solar PV
** Ignore the fact there are no wind mandates in Texas and also no mandates to winterize gas plants that are ACTUALLY supposed to keep the lights on.....

The reality is that without government mandates and subsidies it's virtually certain we would live in a world with completely unaffordable EVs and unaffordable Solar PV. Yeah... government isn't perfect.... neither are private companies. If you want companies to move in a direction without a clear profit motive you need government 99% of the time. Not every company is a Tesla placing mission over money.


I'm not, at all, convinced that EA will survive without something changing drastically.

You're kinda proving my point... then what? Let's say EA fails and only Teslas have access to a DCFC network. Do you think that's a healthy outcome? Economically charging stations are more like roads than gas stations. It's infrastructure with benefits that are too dispersed to make economic sense for any single entity to invest in them. Tesla is doing it because they have a mission. What motivation would the other OEMs have? It's in their interest for EVs to fail.

I would prefer not to end up in a world with separate DCFC for Tesla, Ford, VW, Rivian and GM....

The US Is Real Close to Screwing Up Electric Vehicle Charging Forever

 
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Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
50
40
USA
View attachment 651319
You really think affordable EVs would exist at all without mandates??? .... REALLY? You think Tesla would be anything but a niche automaker hand building $100k+ electric sports cars w/o government mandates???? .... REALLY? You think other OEMs wouldn't be falling all over each other to build EVs if there wasn't a ticking clock counting down to no longer being able to legally sell ICE in multiple countries..... REALLY???? Seriously..... REALLY?

This is the problem with the laissez-faire cult.... you redefine history to fit your narrative instead of accepting what was ACTUALLY required to get the results we have. Success of Solar PV? Obviously the free-market as is evidenced by this successful private solar company* Black out in Texas? Obviously all these stupid mandates for wind energy**

*Ignore all the MASSIVE R&D subsidies plus Germany driving down the cost curve for 20 years by paying people to install Solar PV
** Ignore the fact there are no wind mandates in Texas and also no mandates to winterize gas plants that are ACTUALLY supposed to keep the lights on.....

The reality is that without government mandates and subsidies it's virtually certain we would live in a world with completely unaffordable EVs and unaffordable Solar PV. Yeah... government isn't perfect.... neither are private companies. If you want companies to move in a direction without a clear profit motive you need government 99% of the time. Not every company is a Tesla placing mission over money.




You're kinda proving my point... then what? Let's say EA fails and only Teslas have access to a DCFC network. Do you think that's a healthy outcome? Economically charging stations are more like roads than gas stations. It's infrastructure with benefits that are too dispersed to make economic sense for any single entity to invest in them. Tesla is doing it because they have a mission. What motivation would the other OEMs have? It's in their interest for EVs to fail.

I would prefer not to end up in a world with separate DCFC for Tesla, Ford, VW, Rivian and GM....

The US Is Real Close to Screwing Up Electric Vehicle Charging Forever

Believe what you want.
 

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