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VW Fallout: $2.0 Billion for ZEV Infrastructure Buildout

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by RubberToe, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    I wanted to start a new thread about this settlement that is separate from the main VW Dieselgate thread. This is a very large sum of money, and given the amount and that some of it might end up in Hydrogen (No !) I believe the thread is appropriate for the "Energy, Environment and Policy" sub-forum.

    The first good article that I saw on the web was at Green Car Reports. Here is the link:

    How to use $2 billion VW diesel fine for electric-car charging: advocate offers advice

    The financial aspect of this is that of the $2.0 billion, $800 million (40%) is coming to California, with the rest split across the rest of the country. The $800 million gets distributed at the rate of $200 million every 2.5 years. The funds are specifically designated for infrastructure for ZEV's.

    The author goes on to discuss how the money will be used, and who will oversee the actual implementation. I found myself in agreement with his analysis of the current situation, and also his list of "pitfalls" to be avoided. I'll go into more detail concerning each of these below.

    The authors first recommendation is to install a national network of DC fast chargers. He points out that Tesla has already essentially done this, which confirms that it is possible to roll out a national network of fast chargers that would enable any EV that is properly equipped for using them to travel long distances.

    Looking at the cost of the Tesla Supercharger stations, I remember reading in a thread here that the cost per station might be $250,000. Even if you assume that the cost is double that, at $500,000 per station you are looking at a network that could be built that has 4,000 total stations in the U.S. The $800 million for California could build 1,600 stations. Right now Tesla has 282 Superchargers in the entire U.S., so the deployment of anywhere near the 1,600 in California or 4,000 in the U.S. would basically cover everyone's long distance travel, no matter where they happened to live, or wherever their destination. Given that this could be accomplished, it is imperative that it be done right.

    The author suggests that Tesla might be interested in installing CSS and CHAdeMO stalls at their existing sites, and even maintaining the sites. I'm not sure that Tesla would be interested in doing this, for a variety of reasons. Tesla has already "figured out" how to not only build a nationwide network of Superchargers, they are doing it as we speak. Tesla has superior hardware compared to the CSS/CHAdeMO stations out there, both from an operational perspective (charging time, # of stalls, cable size !) and a cost perspective. Why would Tesla want to then sign up for installing and/or maintaining someone else's inferior hardware. And then, you have the problem of non-Tesla vehicles not working on the Tesla installed combo chargers for whatever reason, and it ends up on Tesla's plate to figure it out.

    The abysmal state of DC fast charging compared to Tesla Supercharging almost doesn't even need to be stated, as anyone who follows the development of fast charging knows. I have personally used 3 CHAdeMO stations, all of which were located in non-freeway accessible locations. All had a single stall, supporting either CSS or CHAdeMO. Two of the three were free, and the other required a phone call (not if you have their card) and 5 minutes of discussion to get started charging. Others have pointed out that since no one is typically responsible for maintaining the stations, they often do not work, and break down frequently.

    It has been my opinion for a long time now that the Tesla connector and Supercharger network would "by default" become the defacto EV charging standard. The sheer number of Tesla's that will be produced and the fact that they all (sorry Roadster's) can work on the same system that provides nationwide coverage I believe will make any other standard that is not as fast or that doesn't cover the same area obsolete the day they start building it. But unless somehow the other automakers decide to switch to the Tesla fast charging system, there are going to be multiple standards around for a while. You would hope that the people doling out the $2 billion for charging infrastructure spend some time pondering this. Maybe as EV's become more prevalent, and site owners can have a captive audience for 45 minutes, they will be the ones who end up maintaining the stations. With a gas stop only being 5 minutes, you see the basic convenience store model. For a 30-45 minute charging stop, many more possibilities arise.

    The author also mentions workplace charging as a good area for investment. This covers the minority of people who either: 1) cannot charge at home but could buy an EV if they could charge at work, and 2) people whose round trip commute exceeds their EV range.

    The author closes with the obvious argument that whatever system is deployed, it needs to be made future proof. Tesla's Supercharger network is already future proof: You can travel on long distance trips in your Tesla, provided there are Superchargers on your route. No other current DC fast charging system in combination with any other available manufacturers cars can make this claim. Stopping every 4 hours to charge for 30 minutes works, stopping every 1.5 hours to charge for 30 minutes does not work. All that has to be done is duplicate the Tesla ecosystem, or improve on it if possible.

    I'll follow this up with additional comments as I find out about how the decisions will be made, who will be making them, and hopefully we might be able to have some influence on the process. Anybody planning on spending $0.01 or more of these funds on Hydrogen Fuel Stations with the idea that "if you build them, they will come" had better be ready to defend those decisions when there are 500,000 Tesla's on the road come the end of 2018 and 200 Mirai's.

    RT
     
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  2. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    If I were Elon I would cut a deal with VW to help using the tesla SC infrastructure
     
  3. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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  4. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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  5. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    It's incredibly irritating to see that some of the money is going towards H2. Building expensive stations for extremely low production vehicles, with little indication of interest among consumers, seems rather wasteful.
     
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  6. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I sure hope that the decision makers do take into account the lopsided ratio of BEVs to FCVs and allocate the funds proportionately. Hydrogen filling stations are orders of magnitude more expensive to build than a basic EV charging station. I don't want to see any of that VW settlement money spent on a hydrogen station. The state of California is already wasting an absurd amount of money on hydrogen.
     
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  7. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    With VW not producing hydrogen powered cars, it will be interesting to see what they propose regarding Hydrogen. It looks like ARB has the final say since they are providing "comments" to VW's submitted plan that need to be "addressed". I still haven't found any information on the timing of the first $200 million phase. Maybe we will need to wait for the final approval of the consent decree before that information gets released. One would hope that the ARB would accept public comments prior to sending their comments to VW.

    If nothing else, the fact that there are 30 months between each $200 million investment means that it will be at least January 2019 before the second round takes place. Any money wasted on Hydrogen stations in the first tranche can be used as evidence for no further investment in the following tranches. In that regard, it is good that the money is being spread out like that. Hopefully we don't need to wait 30 months for the first $200 million to arrive.

    RT
     
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  8. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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  9. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    If CARB doesn't invest this in the Tesla SC Network, they should consider moving their HQ somewhere else. Standardization on one charging platform is the most important inhibitor to EV adoption.

    There is a reason every gas pump has the same specs, why wouldn't EV's do the same thing?
     
  10. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

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    If Tesla built a Supercharger to Chademo adapter it would kill the Chademo standard, and the Tesla standard would prevail.

    How about this money is used to buy Supercharger to Chademo adapters at $10,000 each by the regulators, they sell them to consumers for $2,000. Tesla uses the $9,750 profit to expand the network.

    Then, one standard, the best standard, wins, and there is a huge piggy bank for SC development.
     
  11. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

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    #11 trils0n, Jul 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
    It looks like VWs fines, just in CA, are considerably greater than the total amount Tesla has spent building the entire Supercharger network. Just assume 700 Supercharger locations x 250k per location = 175 million.

    EDIT: Lets round it to 200 million for 700 superchargers, just for ease of napkin math.

    If the money can be put to use with even 1/3 the efficiency that Tesla has deployed their capital (doubtful), then CA's EV infrastructure will be crazy awesome.

    EDIT: So lets say half (400mil) goes to EV, and half to Hydrogen (shudder), and 4x the cost of Tesla Supercharger stations, that still means 350 Supercharger equivalents. 350 supercharger equivilent charging stations in CA alone. More than current US total
     
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  12. cpa

    cpa Member

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    The cynic in me states how this will play out.

    The State of California will put this infrastructure out to bid. Companies like ChargPoint and EvGO will resurrect their business model from the '00s when all that TIGER money was available to jump start public charging locations. These companies will design and implement the cheapest and often competing technologies that will charge at today's rates of approximately 50kW. Charging locations will be one or two unit installations, often isolated from major corridors. Maintenance and repair and parking enforcement will be up to the property owners who are willing to participate. In short the vast amount of this money will be squandered and the charging stations will languish due to ICEing or damage or failure.

    What they should do is pay Tesla to develop the SC technology that can be adapted to any BEV out there. Correct me if I am wrong, but Tesla's male plug that is inserted into our cars could be swapped out for another (CCS or CHAdeMO) by reworking the pin connections, right?

    Then, these locations should be located along major highways at places like truck stops or large gasoline stations where the chances of ICEing are substantially reduced. Tesla would have the contract to maintain these units when broken. And have at least two (preferably four) stalls available. The location could charge for the electricity by the minute or however else they determine.

    I just hope the various governmental agencies can figure out the best method to make this windfall work to the best for everyone. But I have my doubts.
     
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  13. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    I am hoping that this money is used in a good, EV friendly way. As opposed to being used primarily to fight Tesla. The cynic in me thinks that they will use this money to install more hydrogen and more L2 DC charging in all the wrong places.

    There is a lot of money that needs to be spent to enable widespread condo/apartment L2 charging, as well as destination charging. We're talking 40 to 80A J1772's, roughly at 1:3 or 1:2 ratio per BEV. Per 100,000 BEVs shipped, there needs to be about $75-100 million in L2 charging infrastructure. DC charging is definitely not the way to go, as government has shown that they really can't figure out what/where/how to make that happen.

    It is in VW's best interest for this money to be put into CCS v1 in the short term, so they will try to make that happen. If they have to spend this money on EV charging, the best way is to choose the plug that Tesla's and Leaf's can't use.
     
  14. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    More on this in my next post. Hopefully this will not be the case :)

    RT
     
  15. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Finally had a chance to read through the entire California section of the agreement. Here are some of the relevant passages with timelines shown below. Lots of legalese to wade through, but clearly a lot of effort went into this. Much of it to prevent VW from doing anything scurrilous as you will see, and ultimately the ARB has the upper hand with respect to almost all of this...

    Section 1.10 defines what "ZEV Investments" are:

    [​IMG]

    The call out to the possible use of funds for "ZEV autonomous vehicles" without requiring a consumer purchase is interesting, that seems unlikely in the first go around, but 30 months from now things could change quite a bit.

    And the verbiage about "zero emission transit applications" , even specifically mentioning Los Angeles, has me wondering whether some of these funds might end up purchasing battery powered busses that the Los Angeles Metro is currently having staff study.

    [​IMG]

    Section 2 is the National ZEV Investment Plan, which I'm skipping over since this thread is focused on California. The National Plan is described on pages 151-162. Many of the penalties prescribed for late required document submittal do seem the same between the National Plan and the California Plan.

    The settlement papers were filed with the court on 6-28-16, but it looks like the next step is a hearing on 7-26-16 for preliminary approval. I'm guessing that will end up being what is referred to as the "effective date", an important term since all the deadlines in the settlement are with respect to the effective date. The "Effective Date" is defined as: "The date upon which this Consent Decree is entered by the Court or a motion to enter the Consent Decree is granted, whichever occurs first, as recorded on the Court's docket".

    [​IMG]

    Within 30 days (8-25-16), VW needs to submit whats called a "California Creditable Cost Guidance" proposal. I'm not going to get into the details of that section, but the basic idea is that VW will not be able to bypass the intention of the Consent Agreement by doing anything that is financially questionable (i.e. leasing office space at artificially high rates, personnel compensation rates, etc.).

    ARB will work with VW then so that the final cost guidance is submitted within 60 days (9-24-16).

    [​IMG]

    Within 120 days (11-23-16) VW must submit the spending plan for the first $200 million. Subsequent investment plans are then due at 29 month intervals (4 total). VW will be required to post a public version of each draft and final plan on a website, which includes everything mentioned in section 3.3.2. This is extremely detailed information, some of which I will discuss further below.

    [​IMG]

    The above part seems key. VW needs to meet with CARB 20 days before any submittal to see whether CARB would like any further details. Part of that is that CARB can point VW to what it thinks may be better "investments". VW must also submit every 6 months an update on the schedule and investments.

    [​IMG]

    This requires a list of everything that will be installed, where it will be installed, when it will be installed, operating model, and most importantly the collection of utilization statistics and maintenance for 10 years. Plus a toll free number to a live operator.

    I think the aspect of the utilization data that may be important is if CARB makes then install H2O refueling stations, and no one uses them. That will be readily apparent in the statistics, and that information can be used as an argument in the 3 subsequent tranches against installing any more H2O refueling stations. That presumes they are underutilized versus the charging stations.

    [​IMG]

    I thought this was an interesting part: No funds to be used for research, including wireless charging research.

    [​IMG]

    And the big hammer. VW is going to do what CARB tells them to do.


    [​IMG]

    And the yearly reports will come out on April 30th, and be made publicly available.

    [​IMG]

    I'm not going to list all 5 sections where the penalties are defined for missing the deadlines, but they are all about the same as the above. There are $50,000 per day fines possible for not maintaining the installed infrastructure. Seems like a pretty good incentive to me.

    A brief summary, but this all seems quite good to me. The maintenance is addressed. A website will let us know how all the money is being invested. Hopefully the website will allow for public input. Usage reports will be made available yearly. By the end of this year, we should know how that first $200 million is intended to be spent. If the entire package as a whole is found to be inadequate with respect to how Tesla deployed their Supercharger network, you can be sure that VW and CARB will be made aware of how a long distance charging network can be deployed, and what the costs should be. Maybe with some of our input if necessary. ;)

    RT
     

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  16. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Thank you, RT!

    Nicely done, and I will give this a more thorough read later this week.

    Cheers!
     
  17. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Ok, preliminary approval granted by the judge today, exactly as expected. A couple stories that I read stated that the final approval will come on 10-18-16. Still not sure whether this preliminary approval today represents the "effective date" mentioned in the documents above. I'll check the CARB website later to see if I can find the answer. I might send them an e-mail if I can't find out relatively soon.

    RT
     
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  18. renim

    renim Member

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    NRG's network in California would be a key cost input for this.

    VW/BMW were THE key automakers backing the CCS in an attempt to delay/frustrate global Chademo rollout. (Not GM, Ford, Mercedes, etc). Unfortunately for CCS backers, 2 vehicles occurred that they underestimated.

    1) Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (major fast charge capable car in EU)
    2) Tesla Model S/X (major fast charge capable car in USA)

    Due to an industry wide delaying tactic of using CCS versus Chademo, the industry squandered it potential to compete with Tesla SC. So is now relying on Too Big to Fail. GM, Ford, FCA, Mercedes, these all have significant government stakeholder/union issues. CCS is seen as a must not be allowed to fail solution.

    VW (Audi,Porsche) and BMW are 2 of the 3 main manufacturers most at risk due to Tesla. So it is absolutely imperative that any network they fund combat Tesla and/or Chademo. However, Chademo has morphed into both a market standard, and an industry standard. So expect any rollout under settlement to provide equal backing for Chademo and CCS. How this affects Tesla SC? I don't know. Obviously Tesla SC network is the user model for how a network should be..

    Somehow I suspect the Whitehouse's recent $4.5 billion loan guarantees are intended to mesh with the EPA/CARB settlement.

    a cautionary tale ...
    "'Blaming' drivers of the UK's most popular EV for wanting to charge their car."
    Ecotricity blames £6 charge on Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs ‘clogging up’ network | Motoring Research
     
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  19. voyager

    voyager Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  20. voyager

    voyager Member

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    Sorry for my previous mail that was to show how old diesel technology can result in the opposite of what a car makes wants (make profit). Feels out of tune with this excellent thread.

    Perhaps a dumb question... But shouldn't the government insist on standardizing supercharging stations, and even demand that all EV makers opt for the same standardized connectors? The comparison of course is with gas stations, where drivers tank the same gasoline, using the same nozzles.
     
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