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Where are the charging stations?

Discussion in 'Roadster 2008-2012' started by pninen, Apr 14, 2009.

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  1. pninen

    pninen Member

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    When? 2012?

    I'm trying to figure if I should order a model-S.

    I was kinda hoping that the volume of roadsters hitting the streets before the model-S would drive the appearance of charging stations. So far that isn't happening.

    There are many things in the way. The present roadster charges slowly, making charging stations along the highways not very useful. Hence, perhaps the slow-charging-roadster doesn't drive the installation of the charging stations that the model-S user would like to see.

    My theory is that faster charging will come to the roadster too, but the delay will have a serious impact on the development of the charging infrastructure.

    Of course this isn't the only problem delaying the charging infrastructure... Lack of standards (or equivalently too many standards), etc.

    I understand the 2-car thing well. My 2nd car is presently a Segway. I use the Segway for the 7 mile commute to work whenever its sunny and I don't need to take a side-trip during the day.
     
  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I think until things are standardized (which a big company like GM with the volt might help put in place), most people will be sticking to at-home charging and known charge points.
     
  3. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Doubtful it will happen fast enough for you. The Roadster doesn't ship in high enough volume to really drive an infrastructure in earnest. At least the type that you are wanting. The Roadster also does not yet have the quick-charging capability that the Model S does, and it is doubtful it will gain that capability all that much sooner if it does.

    So it will be the volume of the Model S that will drive this. Model S won't be in volume until at least 2012, but I am betting not until 2013 or 2014 to get to the volumes that you get what you want. If you want to hedge your bets and have the funds, put down a $5000 deposit now and plan on pulling it if the world is not to your liking by the time your car comes due. If you don't have the funds to make that bet, get something else now which better suits your needs.
     
  4. EVnut

    EVnut DARΞLL

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    #24 EVnut, Apr 16, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
    If it makes you feel better, you can scream at me. Everybody else does. ;)

    You can bet that I do know this... and this answers your next bit as well.

    The answer here, unfortunately, is "yes." There were so many programs that installed these, that today nobody knows or - for the most part - cares who was originally resonsible for them. Basically, they are all orphans today.

    There is only one number to call for any of them: The EAA. We're the only ones who repair them today. NONE of the orgs that originally installed them claim any responsibility, and the warranties are all up. We repair them with our own time and funds and donations from others.


    Hmmm. Really? You mean the key found at the bottom of every charger page didn't help?

    Types of Chargers:
    LP means Large Paddle Inductive.
    SP means Small Paddle Inductive.
    AV means Avcon-compatible conductive.
    OC means another kind of conductive charging station or receptacle.
    $ denotes pay parking.
    R denotes restricted parking -- not available at certain times or under certain circumstances.


    None of this really means much of anything to somebody who doesn't own a car. The EVCN pages are specifically for owners. There have been several charging "standards" in the past, and they all mean something to current EV owners. AVCON is the old conductive standard, SPI is a small paddle inductive charger, and LPI is Large paddle inductive - like the key says. If you car uses one, then you're set. If not, then you need to adapt it. If you buy a Tesla, you'll find out all about this wonderful world of chargers - and all the Teslas will be converted to use the new standard when it is rolled out. And if any of this does NOT become obvious if/when you buy an EV, you can ask one of the several hundred people who know this stuff well. We aren't that hard to find. Asking pleasantly will probably yield better results than demanding, however.

    Oh, and this is what the AVCON adapter looks like:
    [​IMG]

    In fact, there is a whole section on chargers and adapters on my site:
    http://evnut.com/charger.htm See the links at the top for varous sub-pages like Adapters.


    Believe what, exactly? That EVs can work? That there are 2,000 public chargers? Not sure what you mean.

    Ah. You want to believe right now that EVs are a good choice for long distance driving? Save yourself lots of grief and stop believing now. EVs are superior vehicles for fixed-distance commuting. Today they aren't great long-distance vehicles. Right tool for the right job.

    Misses and obscures? Whoa. All I was trying to do was inject some accuracy. I had no intention of misleading anybody. I guess we all have to define what "useful" is on a road trip. I have friends who charge slower than 18 miles per hour on their road trips. And they CHOOSE to take their EVs. Their other option is charging at 120V at about 7 mph, so the 240V chargers at 18 mph seem REALLY useful. It is all relative. There will come a time when we have to decide what we "need" and what we "want" out of our transportation.

    Then my advice is to by an EV and work tirelessly toward making them more perfect.
     
  5. EVnut

    EVnut DARΞLL

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    Oh, and this is a good place to point out that this whole fast charge/range thing is either/or... and not both. For comfortable long distance, we either need higher capacity energy storage, or we need fast charge. There may be a happy balance in the middle there, but in general if you have a huge "tank" you don't need to fill it super fast. If you can fill the tank super fast, then you don't need the tank to be huge.

    If we really wanted EVs to happen (as much as we pretended that we wanted fuel cells to happen) then it would be relatively easy (as compared to H2 fueling station implementation) to offer fast chargers on all interstates. But for some reason the money is/was there for H2, and not available for battery research/infrastructure. Go figure.

    The big question becomes: How much do we want to spend to support the most difficult 10% of vehicles trips (meaning that long-distance travel beyond say 200 miles range is the high-hanging fruit). We can do the sub 200 mile distances somewhat easily and cheaply - and that accounts for about 90% of the vehicle trips made. How much do we want to spend for the other 10% of vehicle trips? Are we willing to spend 100% more money to achieve another 10%? Or is there a better way than to force the situation with EVs that have a sweet spot in the "90% of trips" area?

    It is amazing what we think we "need" in our transportation these days. But then I'm a bit biased since the vast majority of the miles I personally travel are by bicycle. :)
     
  6. MarkW

    MarkW Member

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    #26 MarkW, Apr 17, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
    RV Parks, Truck Stops for Public, High Power Outlets...

    RV parks are available all over the country and usually offer fairly high power outlets (often 30 or 50 amp service).

    The Dept. of Energy also runs the "Truck Stop Electrification" program. Idle reduction for heavy trucks is the main purpose, but the resultant higher power, outdoor outlets could recharge an EV too.
     
  7. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    I've heard, and understand YOUR thinking on this Darrell, but as we've discussed in the past PERCEPTION is what this is all about. It is THE hurdle. And if people have the perception that their EV won't be a 'do everything' vehicle the resistance to acceptance will be huge.

    If we build quick-charge highways and people have the perception and confidence that they can travel around the country in their EV and juice up whereever and whenever they need to just like they do with their ICE vehicles then the process of acceptance will be smoother.

    It is, by far, the first and most oft asked question when I've told people I ordered a Tesla. How far can it go, what do you do if it runs out of juice, and how can you charge it on long trip. I know you've heard them too and have made your arguements...and they're good arguements for sure. But in my part of the world people travel longer distances and they do not trust batteries. If spending money to build a quick-charge highway will help overcome those perceptions then I think it should happen.

    Frankly, and I've said it before, I think it needs to be a private entrepreneur that takes up the task of starting to build these quick charge highways. If they can find build a multi-charger type charge station that could accomodate all current and anticipated models of EV, put credit card operated machines along the highway just like gas stations or even located on gas station property next to the pay air and water machines, I think that would help. But they're gonna need start up $$ and they'll need to be willing to wait a long time to become profitable. Obviously strategic placement in California to start would be smart...dropping one of these in Hayes, KS is unlikely to be a wise business decision for a number of years. And yet that may be where they most need to be to get us midwesterners over our perception problem.
     
  8. graham

    graham Active Member

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    I agree with this. People do not like change. They don't want to buy that new fancy DVD player, they want the double-deck DVD / VHS player. Until they get it and realize they never use their VHS player and would much rather only play DVDs. So their next purchase is a DVD only deck.

    People will realize once they have plug-in hybrids that they do not want the hassle, expense and noise of an ICE and will go out of their way in the future to avoid it. But even though that is the case, it is a waste of time trying to convince lots of these skeptics that they would be happier going straight to EV today: that EVs really will handle most of their needs. Most won't listen and need to discover it for themselves before they believe it. Pushing the point only annoys them (even if it is ultimately true).
     
  9. EVnut

    EVnut DARΞLL

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    Oh sure, EVan *WE* have discussed it before. But not everybody on this forum has had the pleasure of being part of our witty reparte. ;)

    There's nothing here to disagree with. It comes down to just one question: How much are we willing to pay for this luxury? We can do anything... if we are willing to pay for it. Hell, we could even make hydrogen cars work to some extent if we were willing to pay the price.

    Heck, I too think that it would be GREAT. This would allow the EV to come ever closer to that mythical "perfect car" status for sure. And this will be part of the natural progression of things. I just don't see it happening in the short term. As it is right now there are many who says that EVs can't work until we have infrastructure, and the infrastructure guys aren't going to put big bucks into installations unless there are enough cars to use them. It is a sticky situation, and not an easy one to throw money at from any angle.

    There are certainly some high-profile companies working on this right now. The bad news is that the direction it is heading is to a situation where driving an EV is more expensive than driving a gas car. And I think that will work against the cause every bit as much as not seeing a fast charger every 10 miles of highway.

    As before, we agree on the basics. We only differ on the details.
     
  10. EVnut

    EVnut DARΞLL

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    I think that many would agree that my forte is the *annoying* part. :tongue:
     
  11. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    Give me a 400 mile battery and then I only need charging stations 2 places:

    1) Wherever I sleep
    2) Wherever I eat on long trips (highway service station)

    And #2 becomes increasingly unnecessary as battery ranges top 500 miles.
     
  12. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    I would even say that 400 miles would enable only #1 for 99% of the time. That is 8 hours of highway driving per day and that is plenty for most people :)
     
  13. EVnut

    EVnut DARΞLL

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    The beauty of this is that none of this is "rocket science." We know how to do high-capacity batteries. We know how to do fast charging. And both get better at a steady pace, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. We just can't afford to wait around for the perfect when the "good enough" is rarin' to go.

    If we all wait for big batteries and fast chargers, we might as well wait on fuel cells.
     
  14. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    Fine. Then we're down to just needing charging at homes and hotels. That's all I want for my Roadster today to be happy.
     
  15. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Agreed - but a "400 mile" battery is very likely not 400 highway miles. Figure a 500-600 mile battery to get your 400 highway miles. At the current rate of capacity increase those cars are only 5-8 years away.
     
  16. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    Fair enough statement and very true but I had sort of figured that it would include a lunch stop and a few poddy stops that you might be able to plug in for a while. A few extra miles if needed.
     
  17. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    Right. So forget all the infrastructure EXCEPT ... Charge where we sleep. Done.

    Other charging locations will spring up to attract consumers. That'll be bonus. And will fade as range increases.
     
  18. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I thought it was potty.
     
  19. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    highway range vs street range aside, at 60MPH, you could go 400 miles in less than 6 hours... with my driving habits, a little over 5 :biggrin:

    Especially along interstate rest stops
     
  20. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    Yes but AVERAGING 60 mph is a hard thing to do. With stops and all you really have to be breaking the speed limit a LOT to average that speed.
     

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