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What should a generic charging station look like?

JenkinsEar

Member
Nov 18, 2017
159
40
Cypress (Houston) TX
I have been reading recently of President Biden's aim of getting 500,000 EV charging stations installed across the US. I got to thinking about some of the ramifications of having such a network. Just off the top of my head, here are a few considerations that I was thinking about--I'd love to see a discussion here of others' thoughts:

1. I would presume that all of these stations would serve to provide charging for all brands of EVs. Would that imply that a standard physical charging interface (plug, software, etc.) would be mandated? Or would stations be brand-specific (think SuperChargers)?

2. Presumably, station owners would be free to price according to market demands. However, I'm wondering what the pricing model would look like. It would seem to me that pricing would need to be based on at least three criteria: number of electrons provided, the speed at which those electrons were delivered, and amount of time a specific kiosk/pump (or whatever you'd call it) was occupied (you'd need some way to discourage EV owners for using the pumps as overnight parking spaces).

3. Should the charging rate be customer-selectable at the pump? Perhaps a slower rate might satisfy some owners' pocketbooks better, but then that would mean the pump would be occupied longer.

4. It's helpful to have remote access to charging status. Should a standard capability to to provide this information in real time be mandated?

The whole concept of a nationwide, non-EV-brand specific, network of stations is laudable, but fraught, IMO. I'd be interested in hearing others' thoughts on this. If this subject has been dissected elsewhere, would welcome pointers/links.
 

Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,598
3,493
Sparks NV / GF 1
Knowing the way politics work (on both sides), it will probably look like the below. Charging will be free, but at tax time, they will want double the cost back, and installation will be paid for by cuts in social security. Ok folks, it's just a joke. And not a very funny one to some. Hopefully no one gets their panties in a bunch..

Actually a good question that I am curious about. Although I won't care much about it unless I get another type of car than a Tesla, it might be nice to have alternative power in a pinch, assuming they use a standard that I can adapt to. It will be interesting to see if this really occurs and how.

images.jpg
 
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cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,633
2,543
SF Bay Area, CA
1. I would presume that all of these stations would serve to provide charging for all brands of EVs. Would that imply that a standard physical charging interface (plug, software, etc.) would be mandated? Or would stations be brand-specific (think SuperChargers)?
If they were to provide L1 or L2 AC charging, they should most certainly be J1772. All mass-market highway legal consumer EV/PHEV automobiles sold in the US since Dec 2010 as new can use J1772 (Teslas need to use their free included adapter).

If they were DC fast charging, they ought to focus on underserved areas for that particular plug type. For instance, putting in Tesla connectors near Superchargers is silly.

Since CHAdeMO is probably toast for the US at this point (as much as I hate to say it), putting in a greater ratio of SAE Combo vs. CHAdeMO makes sense although pulling a VW/EA (e.g. 5 to 7 CCS vs. 1 CHAdeMO) is premature. EA is doing a "good" enough job doing that as it is. If Leaf stops selling in the US or Leaf switched over to CCS in the US, that could mark a point at which less and less CHAdeMO should be installed.

A Leaf driver (I think) i know of liked the setup at Fast Charge your Tesla S/3/X/Y - EVgo where there was SAE Combo, CHAdeMO and Tesla connector via the integrated CHAdeMO adapter at the station. Installing that in places where there are no Superchargers or Tesla destination chargers make sense. It's of (IMHO) lower priority if there are Superchargers nearby.

I wouldn't want a certain brand/network to be mandated (e.g. ChargePoint, Blink, Electrify America, Greenlots, SemaConnect, etc.)
 
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cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,633
2,543
SF Bay Area, CA
Forgot to mention, for location near stores and shopping areas, they should be located far enough away to discourage ICEing. How To Do Electric-Car Chargers Right: New Target Store In CA is perfect. I've charged there a bunch of times in the past.

However, a lot of the EVSE/handles there are now broken and have been broken/abused before. The pics and check-ins at {{ ngMeta['og:title'] }} should give you some idea. It is also great that they have stations that are accessible from both sides of an aisle instead of just one (e.g. against a wall, bushes, lane of travel, etc.)

{{ ngMeta['og:title'] }} were also well-located and I've charged there twice before but they're not accessible from two sides.

Also, unless the expected dwell time is going to be VERY long (8+ hours), installing L1 EVSEs (e.g. L1 PowerPost at Products | PowerPost EVSE) isn't too helpful. They ought to be at least 15 or 16 amp 208 to 240 volt, preferably 30+ amps. Most public/workplace J1772 L2 in the US happens to max out at 30 or 32 amps. The ChargePoint CT4000 and old CT2000 series EVSEs max out at 30 amps per handle.
 

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