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What's a fair price for the supercharging option?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by VolkerP, May 25, 2012.

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What's a fair price for the supercharger access option

  1. no extra cost

    38 vote(s)
    44.2%
  2. < $500

    24 vote(s)
    27.9%
  3. $500-$1,000

    14 vote(s)
    16.3%
  4. $1,000-$2,000

    8 vote(s)
    9.3%
  5. > $2,000

    2 vote(s)
    2.3%
  1. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    Since Tesla still doesn't lift the cover on supercharger option for the 60kWh equipped Model S, I turn to TMC community: what would you find a reasonable cost for that option?

    Notes:
    • This option is only available for 60kWh Model S, since it is included in the 85kWh pack at no extra cost.
    • Pricing is "TBD" according to Model S options and pricing
    • The unavailability of the supercharging option for 40kW has already been discussed here: No Supercharging for 40Kwh

    attachment.php?attachmentid=6240&d=1337879399.png
     
  2. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    I'd say about $1000, so with Tesla's pricing strategy, probably $950.
     
  3. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

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    I think it has to be some kind of per-use charge or subscription. Unless additional hardware is needed on the car to make it work.
     
  4. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    Depends on what's included with that. Is it just access? Is it free charging?

    At Oregon rates, $2000 in electricity gets me 100,000 miles, so charging $1000 for supercharger access would be insane even if it was free to charge since I'm only going to use superchargers very rarely.
     
  5. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    You wouldn't be paying for electricity, you would be paying for the convenience of having the fast charging, as well as the cost of putting up the chargers. A charger might cost $50,000 to install, and if you need an average of one charger for every 100 Teslas, that would be an investment of $500 per customer with access. Allowing more people access would make it more common to have to wait for use of the charger, so with increasing numbers of people with access, the required investment goes up. The remaining $400 would be electricity (?), maintenance and profit.
     
  6. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    No offense to anyone, but I'm not really a fan of this kind of question on the forum. You're of course free to ask it, but remember that Tesla watches this site pretty religiously, and they've also mentioned that they even use it for free market research.

    If Tesla was going to charge more than we suggested here, they're probably going to do it anyway. If Tesla was going to charge less, we've just opened up our wallets and offered to pay more. If Tesla were my company, a significant response to a higher price might encourage me to raise it. We just can't win.

    It's like walking onto a used car lot, the car salesman says he'll sell you the Buick for $4995, and you say "I think $6500 is more reasonable...I'll pay that instead."

    OT I know...just something to think about.
     
  7. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Figure the electricity cost only for 8 years of ownership:

    1 supercharge per month to 50% 40 kwh @ .15 per kwh: $576 + 10% heat losss= $633
     
  8. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    #8 ckessel, May 25, 2012
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
    Right, I get that, but at $1000 I'd arrange to never use it. For the few long trips I do, I'd be better off using gasoline. $1000 is far too much premium for that charging convenience.

    On the business model side, I think a "pay for access" model is going to turn people off and inhibit adoption. You don't pay for access to a gas station. I think it'll need to be usage based in some fashion, perhaps in combination with a "per use" or access fee. Something like $5 + .0x cents/kWh.

    Part of the problem is whatever business model goes in now and works today is almost certainly going to have to change as usage and adoption ramps up. EV charging stations owners should really plan a short, medium, and long term business model and how they're going to transition. For example, they may want to handle "validated charging" much like "validated parking" if you have lunch/dinner at the nearby vendor.
     
  9. zdre

    zdre 40kWh Model S P6415

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    #9 zdre, May 25, 2012
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
    Reasonable price is FREE for all three battery packs! :biggrin:
    Although I wouldn't mind paying $5 every time to use.
     
  10. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    To some extent I agree with Todd. Also ponder that we don't know this option consists of. Is it extra hardware that needs to be installed at manufacturing time? Could it be installed later? Or is it purely a subscription fee to give you access to super-chargers (in which case the poll could miss the train purely from pricing structure)? Maybe I missed a memo, but I haven't heard any of those details...
     
  11. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    I fully agree. In the UK we've already seen this happen with all the vendors who started with access cards (RFID) now lining up to say they always intended to support PAYG :wink:
     
  12. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Supercharger access should be free. A perk to owning the car that makes people who already own other electric cars want to get a Tesla. Also something to convince new buyers cross shopping all the available EVs that Tesla is superior because of this exclusive perk.
     
  13. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    If I have to answer...+1.
     
  14. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I wouldn't mind paying something for using the supercharger. Once enough Model S sedans are delivered, there will be more competition to use the Supercharger (will be years, granted). It's possible someone could always elect to charge or top up at the Supercharger each day instead of charging at home. Probably wouldn't be a smart thing for the health of the battery but it's possible. Charging a nominal fee for the electricity and maintenance (maybe $3-5) would be acceptable to most people. For the cost of a gallon of gas, you can charge your car up and go 160-250 miles depending on your battery pack.

    Free would be better though. Whatever it is, it should be as high as some of the fees proposed for DC fast charging which makes it as expensive as filling up an ICE.
     
  15. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    I think this is basically a question that's equivalent to the "lease or buy batteries"-question. Both sides have their pros and cons. If you don't pay for access, but only pay for use, the cost of use can be so high that people won't use them. I know that Statoil here charges $7.5/15 minutes for CHAdeMO charging. Filling up 62.5 kWh would cost $37.5...

    What is better, paying exorbant prices at the charger, or paying a fixed amount at purchase plus a small amount per use?
     
  16. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Since Tesla decided to go their own way with the Supercharger network, I think it's as vfx said a perk to owning a Tesla. It should simply be written off as a cost for doing business for Tesla but they should at least be able to recoup their operating and maintenance costs for the chargers.
     
  17. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    I think it is important for Tesla to achieve profitability. Right now everyone is saying; EVs are a dead end, just look at all the companies making them, they're losing money like you wouldn't believe!

    I would rather see Tesla turn a profit and attracting other companies to the market, than get free stuff from Tesla.
     
  18. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I'm not saying Tesla should give away a lot of free stuff but I'd consider the Superchargers also a form of advertising. People will see them installed and hopefully see people using them as well and maybe consider getting a model S. If Tesla were to install 1,000 Superchargers for $50,000 each (50 million total) should they try to recoup that cost over the first 2-3 years? There will probably only be 20-30 thousand Supercharger capable Model S cars delivered by 2015 so the prices would likely have to be as high as you mentioned with the CHAdeMO stations. If anything, the cost of the supercharger network would be hidden in the cost of the 85 kWh pack or the 60 kWh Supercharger option and you would pay a nominal fee per use.
     
  19. AndyM

    AndyM Member

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    I my diverge from the Tesla party line on this issue. I think its elegant that Tesla has designed such a nice charging port. This is an area that really should not be proprietary.

    Perhaps Tesla wanted others to adopt their standard, and that's why they pushed hard for it. I liken this to using USB connectors on smartphones or proprietary connectors (Apple). The only reason why Apple's iPhone connectors are so commonplace is because Apple has a huge market share. Tesla does not have this kind of market advantage.... yet. Nissan, GM, Toyota and Daimler have more inertia to turn into larger EV martkets, and the charger system(s) they chose are going to win out. CHAdeMO seems to be in the lead.

    It will be more difficult for Tesla owners to be EVangelists if the most common fast chargers are incompatible.

    I like the idea of using Tesla-installed superchargers, but I don't think its scalable for them, even as advertising. I see this as a limiting condition as a Tesla owner. Especially here in Oregon where every 50 miles along I-5 is a happy, new CHAdeMO charger - that no one is using. I want to use my Model S as a replacement for an ICE vehicle; relying on a single company to provide the best option wherever I go seems limiting.

    Apple iPhone owners use cables to connect their devices into USB outlets to charge. Tesla owners need to carry along cables/adapters to connect into SAE J1772 DC or CHAdeMO chargers.
    This is unfortunate, but I'm already planning on buying a CHAdeMO adapter, expecting it to be another $500 expense. Even that isn't guaranteed, based on comments made by Tesla employees. Still waiting to see.
     
  20. drees

    drees Active Member

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    +1

    When asked how much they want to pay for a QC - they say either "free" or "no more than what it costs to charge at home". These people completely fail to realize the costs of providing said infrastructure and apparently think it costs nothing to install and maintain.

    We see these sorts of arguments about QC all the time on mynissanleaf.com forums. People for some reason have a severe adverse reaction to paying more to charge (and often paying anything at all) in the public than what they pay to charge at home (and ignore what it cost for them to install their home charging station) when the harsh reality is that they are comparing apples to oranges.

    Even the $50k that Yggdrasill grossly underestimates the installation cost.

    Let's look at an example of what it costs to install a Blink dual-port 50kW CHAdeMO QC station:

    Station itself: $50-80k (don't know exact price, but have seen $80k quoted for the Blink and $50k for a single-port QC station)
    Installation: $10-50k depending on trenching and available electricity

    OK, we have a range of $60k-130k just to install a single station, but for example purposes lets assume that it only costs $50k to install.

    Now for operational costs - utility demand charges $10-$25 / kW demand charge depending on the TOU schedule in addition to paying $0.05/$0.15 / kWh for energy. So if you have a single station which gets used at least once a month, you're going to pay somewhere between $500-1250 in demand charges on top of electricity which will cost $1.25-3.75. Don't forget that you'll have to nearly double those demand charges and electricity cost for a 90 kW capable Tesla supercharger, but let's stick with 50kW for this example.

    Again for simplicity, let's assume that you incur a flat $1500 / month in utility charges.

    And let's assume that one is willing to pay $4 for a 30 minute QC session which delivers 25 kWh since that's a number that someone threw out that they'd be willing to pay ~$0.15/kWh - so just to break even on utility charges you have to serve 375 QC sessions.

    So how many QC sessions is a single station (even a dual-nozzle station which can instantly switch cars to avoid downtime between charges) might we expect it to service? On weekdays, there's likely some peak periods - mornings, lunch and evenings - weekends it's probably spread out more evenly, but reasonably one can expect typical use to fall between 8am-8pm and very little outside of that area. That's a maximum of 16 charges a day, but people don't want to have to wait, so it's likely half that number, or 8 charges a day. At $4/charge that's $32/day or about $1000 / month and you are losing $500 / month on utility charges never mind that you're still paying off the install costs. It appears that a 50 kW 30 minute session will need to cost around $7 to break even and perhaps turn a small profit - coincidentally that's what the QC networks that are popping up are charging.

    Feel free to tweak these numbers to make your own case, but it's pretty clear to me that these things need to happen to provide a truly useful and sustainable QC infrastructure:

    Each site is going to need a number of stations for a couple reason - to minimize wait times and to help manage demand charges. These stations are going to need to be smart and communicating to limit the total electrical demand for the site. For example - install 10 50 kW capable QC stations, but limit total site demand to 200 kW (equivalent to 4 chargers running flat-out). Each station adjusts output such that total demand does not exceed 200 kW. Prices will have to vary depending on demand - charging during peak times should cost more than charging at off-peak times. If you want an exclusive QC station reserved for your use at maximum capacity - be prepared to pay dearly for it - often more than what it costs to drive the ICE.
     

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