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Will the new CCS enabled superchargers have long cables?

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We've seen the announcement that Tesla will open 3,500 supercharger stalls (probably new ones) to use by CCS cars and, announcing this in concert with the White House, will presumably receive federal money to do this. The question is, just how big an opening of the network is this?


In particular, none of the supposedly "leaked" diagrams of Tesla's "magic dock" -- sometimes depicted as a NACS to CCS adapter built into the stall which can be unlocked and used by CCS cars, and sometimes shown as a dual-cord stall -- show an ordinary length charging cord. All Tesla drivers know it can be fairly hard to get the Tesla cord into their car's port which is right at the rear corner of the car. No other car has the port exactly at that corner (or the opposite front) though the Lexus and Mitsubishi have it somewhat close, and maybe an e-Tron could pull it off with a slightly longer cord. Hyunda/Kias could use it if they parked half a parking space over which we don't want.

Tesla could, to be sneaky, keep their cord and say "we support CCS" but for very few cars. They don't care that much about the bad press this would bring. Tesla cords now use liquid cooling and you can't just stick an extension cord on them.

The expansion is not that much. Tesla has 17,000 chargers now and says it will have double that (34,000) in the same timeframe, so only 10% of their stalls will support CCS. These will presumably be only new installations, and possibly not all the stalls at a station to boot. There are some places like Oregon where getting grants requires having a 350kW station, which Tesla can presumably support with their new V4 supercharger which handles up to 1,000v.

The WH announcement talks of even more money beyond the $5B NEVI program being administered by the states. That program puts a lot of rules on stations which don't match the way Tesla designs stations -- and usually stupid rules, though a few of them, like support for plug-and-charge and exporting stall availability status to appear in other apps, make sense. Screens, credit cards and 150kW minimums at all times on 4 ports are mistakes that come from the government and lobbyists designing your charging station.

Tesla has many other avenues to discourage non-Tesla use of these 10% of their chargers. They will charge CCS drivers more, but they are also offering a $1/month membership according to reports which will bring the price down. Nothing would forbid them from giving power priority to Teslas (or members) except at the 4 NEVI stalls. And they could make only a few stalls support CCS, making the stations less attractive to CCS drivers. (If a station has 32 stalls and only 4 support your car, you may feel less inclined to use it.)

Or will they, as they have said they want to do, embrace the CCS cars -- give them good prices, make all stalls support CCS and put longer cords on all stalls, at least for a CCS cord?

29226473908_ba75f13246_b.jpg

"Tesla Supercharger" by Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine is marked with CC0 1.0.
Admin note: Image added for Blog Feed thumbnail
 
It is probably done that way so that if the door is left open while driving, the wind or any object being struck will close the door instead of breaking it off. I.e. a similar reason why rear-hinged car doors ("suicide doors") are uncommon on cars. On ICEVs, fuel doors on the side of the vehicle are generally front hinged rather than rear hinged, probably for the same reason.
Wind isn't going to break a door off. And the big issue with doors that stick out that far is that you can hit the side of your garage while backing out, and literally rip them off, which I've almost done twice on my Outlander PHEV. One time, the "charge port is open" alert came just in time and I stopped literally about 1" short of ripping the door off. If the door had been designed like Ford should have designed it, I'd park it on the other side of the garage (at least until I got the Tesla) and the door would have hit the side of the garage but would have been forced closed instead of being ripped off.
 
The connector is large, and the cable is rigid enough that you probably would have a hard time having it run into that door, so I don't think the door design is particularly bad. Nobody designed CCS cars to plug in to very short cables, these are the first CCS chargers to have short cables. Tesla stalls were not designed to charge vehicles with ports other than at the corner.

I do think the USA should switch from CCS to NACS, but I am less in favour of forcing everybody to put the charge port in the Tesla location. To my mind the charge port should actually be on the rear, not the side (same corner) on Teslas. That way a Tesla could plug and unplug itself, though the plug might have to change in height with some cars.
 
Frankly, it doesn’t really seem to impair the mating cable attachment, but Ford or other OEM if that were truly the case COULD make the hinge mechanism a lift off option - for short duration removal of the door completely for this circumstance.. not optimal, but certainly doable. In the RED MACH E example I can’t imagine that the door is impairing cable optimumization though.
The connector is large, and the cable is rigid enough that you probably would have a hard time having it run into that door, so I don't think the door design is particularly bad. Nobody designed CCS cars to plug in to very short cables, these are the first CCS chargers to have short cables. Tesla stalls were not designed to charge vehicles with ports other than at the corner.

I say the charge port door is an issue, only because one of the first Fords to try it out had that exact problem, it was shown in the video I linked previously:
Will the new CCS enabled superchargers have long cables?

Start at around 9:30:

First try, cable couldn't reach:
f150_charging1.jpg


2nd try, cable could reach but still couldn't click (you can see the cable pressing against the port door; easier to see it moving in the video):
f150_charging2.jpg


3rd try, finally clicked, cable is pressing even harder against door, F150 owner said he could feel the cable was super strained and he would not be comfortable charging this way:
f150_charging3.jpg


There's only literally a few inches of margin, so every little bit counts.

The truck was from Tom from State of Charge:

This was how he would have had to park to make it work well:
f150_charging5.jpg


He ended up charging at a side stall, and it works much better:
f150_charging4.jpg

I do think the USA should switch from CCS to NACS, but I am less in favour of forcing everybody to put the charge port in the Tesla location. To my mind the charge port should actually be on the rear, not the side (same corner) on Teslas. That way a Tesla could plug and unplug itself, though the plug might have to change in height with some cars.
The problem with a rear port is the back ends up full of crud, especially in winter states. The EV6 uses a rear port location and that was pointed out as an issue:
Is The Kia EV6 Charging Port Location Flawed?
 

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The simple solution to the problem, until the cable length issue is resolved, is for vehicles that need to use the charger from the stall to the left of the space they're parked in to start out by parking in the right most stall that's possible to park in, and for Teslas to start out parking in the left most stall that's possible to park in. Then you only have a problem if the other vehicles and the Teslas meet in the middle due to the site being full. If not, then no one is blocking anyone else.
 
I say the charge port door is an issue, only because one of the first Fords to try it out had that exact problem, it was shown in the video I linked previously:
Will the new CCS enabled superchargers have long cables?

Start at around 9:30:

First try, cable couldn't reach:
View attachment 913860

2nd try, cable could reach but still couldn't click (you can see the cable pressing against the port door; easier to see it moving in the video):
View attachment 913861

3rd try, finally clicked, cable is pressing even harder against door, F150 owner said he could feel the cable was super strained and he would not be comfortable charging this way:
View attachment 913863

There's only literally a few inches of margin, so every little bit counts.

The truck was from Tom from State of Charge:

This was how he would have had to park to make it work well:
View attachment 913866

He ended up charging at a side stall, and it works much better:
View attachment 913865

The problem with a rear port is the back ends up full of crud, especially in winter states. The EV6 uses a rear port location and that was pointed out as an issue:
Is The Kia EV6 Charging Port Location Flawed?
I had already watched that video, and it was what made me conclude the door was not the problem. The cable barely touches the door, and not having the door in the way would at best give you an extra inch perhaps. Yes, in this particular case it is that close that you could argue an inch is important, but in the big scheme of it, it's not the door that's the problem. The car had to almost touch the bollard and bend the cable more than you want anyway. If the door were half an inch shorter it would not be an issue.
 
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The simple solution to the problem, until the cable length issue is resolved, is for vehicles that need to use the charger from the stall to the left of the space they're parked in to start out by parking in the right most stall that's possible to park in, and for Teslas to start out parking in the left most stall that's possible to park in. Then you only have a problem if the other vehicles and the Teslas meet in the middle due to the site being full. If not, then no one is blocking anyone else.
As I wrote earlier when I described this exact approach several times, there is not a problem where the vehicles meet. Nobody is blocked and the station is full and all stalls are in use. As long as there is an empty parking space on the right, which a Tesla could not use anyway, for the rightmost car that uses the left side cord.

The challenge is how to make sure people follow that approach if the station is likely to fill. The signs for non-Teslas should say it. The app should say it when a person with a left-cord car tries to activate a stall. ie. the app should say:
"Hey, it looks like you are not activating the rightmost free stall. Unless that stall is blocked by a car that has not plugged in, please move to that stall."

For Tesla drivers it's harder, as we just plug in. The screen of their car could warn "be sure to go to the leftmost station -- that looks like station 2A right now."

For full enforcement, if you plug into the wrong stall, the car could say, "Sorry, please plug in the stall to the left. This stall will not activate for you unless you click agree. If you agree and insist on activating this stall, you will be charged idle fees if the station fills up with an empty stall because of your car. Or click "blocked" if the left stall is blocked and you are in the leftmost available working stall"
 
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Our Kia Niro should work fine at Tesla SC since charge port is on the front....it's left of center which will make it a little harder to reach, but since I can nose in and pull in close to the right edge of the spot, I'm thinking it will work without blocking any space. I'll have to try it once and see.
 
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Our Kia Niro should work fine at Tesla SC since charge port is on the front....it's left of center which will make it a little harder to reach, but since I can nose in and pull in close to the right edge of the spot, I'm thinking it will work without blocking any space. I'll have to try it once and see.
Looking at a photo, it looks like it could reach, but it would reach the cord on the left, which would stop a Tesla from using the space to the left. So you would want to always take the rightmost available space, or at the least a space to the right of another "leftie" car. As I wrote above, the Tesla app should actually forbid you from taking any other space to avoid conflict. I suspect at some stations only the stalls on the right will get magic dock.
 
Looking at a photo, it looks like it could reach, but it would reach the cord on the left, which would stop a Tesla from using the space to the left. So you would want to always take the rightmost available space, or at the least a space to the right of another "leftie" car. As I wrote above, the Tesla app should actually forbid you from taking any other space to avoid conflict. I suspect at some stations only the stalls on the right will get magic dock.
Or to keep it simple and consistent, make all Magic dock stalls assigned by the app, and as you say install them at the end of the row. Or rethink the whole “row” layout and go with islands or another versatile set up.
 
I had already watched that video, and it was what made me conclude the door was not the problem. The cable barely touches the door, and not having the door in the way would at best give you an extra inch perhaps. Yes, in this particular case it is that close that you could argue an inch is important, but in the big scheme of it, it's not the door that's the problem. The car had to almost touch the bollard and bend the cable more than you want anyway. If the door were half an inch shorter it would not be an issue.
I agree it's not the door only as the issue. As I mentioned, a Bolt has a similar door also, but is not an issue there due to the hood being shorter. It's the combination of the left hinged door and the location of the port, basically a double whammy. Eliminating the door however would help in that particular example, given literally he was off by an inch (the difference between connector clicking and not clicking).

Taking out the door, if the space the Rivian was in was not occupied (or he was parking in the Rivian's space), I can see that he would have better margins if he parked his truck angled sideways, taking up both spaces.
 
Or to keep it simple and consistent, make all Magic dock stalls assigned by the app, and as you say install them at the end of the row. Or rethink the whole “row” layout and go with islands or another versatile set up.
Yes, everybody is suggesting the more expensive option of putting the stalls into the pavement, as though Tesla is not aware of that option. They clearly prefer not to do that at most stations, though they do it at some
 
It's because Ford used a stupid charge door design (the same issue affects the F150). They put it way back near the driver door and the door hinges on the left, so it blocks any charge cable that comes from the front (which is the case for most public charging, not just Tesla's). That means their configuration in particular would need significantly longer cables to accommodate (doesn't help they have a super long hood; the Bolt has a similar door design, but the hood is super short so doesn't matter). The blue line @emulajavi put actually would not be long enough for them, there needs to be some extra length beyond that.

Even in their own promo pictures they have the cable almost always coming from the front, so it's not like their designers would not be aware of it:


If the charge door was not in the way, it wouldn't be an issue.

I highly doubt Tesla will change the cables to accommodate them. This rollout was meant to be limited and to provide some more options for non-Teslas, it's not meant to be a primary service. They would have to wait for V4.
The pictures of the V4 dispensers so far don’t show a cable that is all that much longer than V3, maybe 2 feet longer at most. (Though, there are no exact specs published yet.)
 
The pictures of the V4 dispensers so far don’t show a cable that is all that much longer than V3, maybe 2 feet longer at most. (Though, there are no exact specs published yet.)
As per my other post that shows how a F-150 struggles with Magic Dock, the difference is only a few inches (which the placement of that charge door makes absolutely critical). 2 feet would be plenty long enough to account for that.

The car would still need to park in the "wrong" spot, but it'll only take up one space, instead of two or three.
 
The simple solution to the problem, until the cable length issue is resolved, is for vehicles that need to use the charger from the stall to the left of the space they're parked in to start out by parking in the right most stall that's possible to park in, and for Teslas to start out parking in the left most stall that's possible to park in. Then you only have a problem if the other vehicles and the Teslas meet in the middle due to the site being full. If not, then no one is blocking anyone else.
Yes!
And the right most regular parking spot next to the charger spots should be signed as an EV charging spot (to facilitate this new world we all live in). :)
 
As per my other post that shows how a F-150 struggles with Magic Dock, the difference is only a few inches (which the placement of that charge door makes absolutely critical). 2 feet would be plenty long enough to account for that.

The car would still need to park in the "wrong" spot, but it'll only take up one space, instead of two or three.
Yeah, V4 WILL help, but not enough to SOLVE the new supercharger parking problem.
 
The pictures of the V4 dispensers so far don’t show a cable that is all that much longer than V3, maybe 2 feet longer at most. (Though, there are no exact specs published yet.)
I was interested in doing this anyways, but from the leaked plans that electrek referenced:
Also from overlaying the magic dock screen shot:

Assuming the diagrams are to scale, here are the lengths of the cables (only the cable, not including the handle and strain relief) I measured using photoshop freeform paths (using perimeter tool on resulting shape and subtracting the straight line length between the two end points to get the length of the path):
V4: 121 inches or ~10 ft
V3
: 78 inches or ~6.5 ft
V3 Magic Dock
: 73 inches or ~6 ft

Yes, the Magic Dock version appears to actually have ~half a feet shorter cable than the regular V3 (spy shots captured them replacing the cables too, not just the dock, so the cables are confirmed different). This means V4 actually has a 4 ft longer cable than the V3 Magic Dock. Don't know how a Magic Dock V4 would look, but if it loses half a feet also, then that still means a ~9.5 ft long cable. So actually way longer than a V3, although to be clear, the cable in the V4 does come out approximately 16 inches higher than in the V3 and on the left instead of the middle right, so the practical additional length might not be as much as it seems.

With this info, maybe someone can do a updated calculation on what configurations it would allow.
 
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I say the charge port door is an issue, only because one of the first Fords to try it out had that exact problem, it was shown in the video I linked previously:
Will the new CCS enabled superchargers have long cables?

Start at around 9:30:

First try, cable couldn't reach:
View attachment 913860

2nd try, cable could reach but still couldn't click (you can see the cable pressing against the port door; easier to see it moving in the video):
View attachment 913861

3rd try, finally clicked, cable is pressing even harder against door, F150 owner said he could feel the cable was super strained and he would not be comfortable charging this way:
View attachment 913863

There's only literally a few inches of margin, so every little bit counts.

The truck was from Tom from State of Charge:

This was how he would have had to park to make it work well:
View attachment 913866

He ended up charging at a side stall, and it works much better:
View attachment 913865

The problem with a rear port is the back ends up full of crud, especially in winter states. The EV6 uses a rear port location and that was pointed out as an issue:
Is The Kia EV6 Charging Port Location Flawed?
That’s an F150, not the Mach E you posted pictures of though.
 
I was interested in doing this anyways, but from the leaked plans that electrek referenced:
Also from overlaying the magic dock screen shot:

Assuming the diagrams are to scale, here are the lengths of the cables (only the cable, not including the handle and strain relief) I measured using photoshop freeform paths (using perimeter tool on resulting shape and subtracting the straight line length between the two end points to get the length of the path):
V4: 121 inches or ~10 ft
V3
: 78 inches or ~6.5 ft
V3 Magic Dock
: 73 inches or ~6 ft

Yes, the Magic Dock version appears to actually have ~half a feet shorter cable than the regular V3 (spy shots captured them replacing the cables too, not just the dock, so the cables are confirmed different). This means V4 actually has a 4 ft longer cable than the V3 Magic Dock. Don't know how a Magic Dock V4 would look, but if it loses half a feet also, then that still means a ~9.5 ft long cable. So actually way longer than a V3, although to be clear, the cable in the V4 does come out approximately 16 inches higher than in the V3 and on the left instead of the middle right, so the practical additional length might not be as much as it seems.

With this info, maybe someone can do a updated calculation on what configurations it would allow.

Cable might be shorter, but tip to tail (WITH the dock) don’t you think that ads six inches maybe? The angle of entry makes it even worse though.

ok, all that sounded a bit randy, but you get my point.