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Would you pay for privately owned superchargers?

Discussion in 'North America' started by MichFin, May 8, 2015.

  1. MichFin

    MichFin Member

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    I ordered my 85D for June delivery and I'm totally excited. But the more I think about it and look at the map these superchargers are very limiting. I also read lots of posts about crowded superchargers or having to go out of the way.

    So my question to all of you is would you pay for a supercharger? Think about it there are gas stations and rest stops dotted all over the U.S. that have plenty of space for 6-8 parking spots. And what a business that would be to have customers come in pay to charge and have 20-30 minutes of time to waste in your shops to spend more money. Think about it if you paid $.50 per kwh a stop for 50 kwh would cost you about $25. That would give the station about $12-15 profit. At about 20 cars a day that would be $86,400 per year not including what you spend in the store. Those numbers would make good business sense. Also, keep in mind with the addition of 500,000 Tesla in 2020 there is no way these super chargers can keep up.

    Tell me what you think.
     
  2. Panu

    Panu Member

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    We pay for Superchargers when we by a Tesla. There are also a lot of chargers where you pay when you use them. The more electric cars the more chargers there will be. In Europe I have never seen a crowded Supercharger but maybe some day I will.
     
  3. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    What Panu said. We already have paid for superchargers. I have traveled to over 50 distinct SC's and have NEVER had to wait--not even once--and most of the time I am all by myself. So my answer would be, No.
     
  4. MichFin

    MichFin Member

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    Let me clarify these would not be owned by Tesla. They would be owned by private businesses. Kind of like gas stations on the side of the highway.
     
  5. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    The "lots of posts" are about a very small number of superchargers, maybe 2 or 3 out of the 200+ in North America, and more are being built to alleviate that. Even if you have to wait, it's rarely more than a few minutes to start charging. It's just not something to worry about.
     
  6. Panu

    Panu Member

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    We already have quite many of those at least in Finland (mostly CHAdeMO). The first Supercharger is just opening in Finland now so yes many Tesla owners have paid for very expensive electricity on these chargers.

    For me it does not really matter whether it's prepaid like with Tesla or pay when you use. The problem with pay per use is often that paying has been made very difficult (you need an RDIF or mobile app etc).
     
  7. MichFin

    MichFin Member

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    I'm looking at my state Michigan and we have 1 Super Charger and two being built soon also I consider anything other than supercharger not viable for daytime charging. Now I know you only need them for road trips but if I want to go somewhere I need to plan my trip around these waypoints... But if there were 100's of them around the state that charged $25 I could be free to go anywhere with any route.

    Then I see posts complaining about paying $20 for overnight charging at a hotel. Where do most people stand on this?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Panu,

    CHAdeMO How do you pronounce that? or do you just read the letters? How long does that normally take to charge 50kwh?
     
  8. Panu

    Panu Member

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    I don't know and certainly could not describe in writing how to pronounce. The problem with most (DBT) CHAdeMO chargers is that Tesla or charger limits the charging to max 25kW.
     
  9. MichFin

    MichFin Member

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    "limits the charging to max 25kW" just enough to quench your thirst :) All of Michigan has 1 Cha-demo (that's how I'm saying it).
     
  10. jgs

    jgs Member

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    It's from Japanese so the syllables should all be equally stressed. I do it as "cha-deh-moe". Fun trivia: "The name is a grammatically awkward pun for O cha demo ikaga desuka in Japanese,[SUP][1][/SUP] translating to English as "How about some tea?", referring to the time it would take to charge a car." (CHAdeMO - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In many languages the word for "tea" is some variant on "cha". Arabic, Turkish and Russian are three others I know of.)
     
  11. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    If the supercharger network doesn't grow large enough to make these stations redundant, then yes, I likely would use them. Assuming they aren't charging ridiculous prices.

    If gas stations changed to offer a variety of charging solutions (Supercharging rate being one of them), I'd pay the cost for electricity plus a reasonable mark-up for overhead of the equipment. And I'd likely go inside, buy a coffee and a snack and sit down to wait. And maybe a bottle of pop or a bag of chips for the road. If they were big enough to offer the typical items you need on the way home (loaf of bread, litre of milk), I'd probably buy those items too just because of the convenience.

    It makes me ponder what the corner store / fuel station of the future will look like.
     
  12. jgs

    jgs Member

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    I very much doubt you could make much of a business case for anyone other than Tesla to deploy actual Tesla Superchargers. If I were business looking at this, I would probably first consider installing some kind of combined fast charger (CHAdeMO/CSS and probably high-power AC). It wouldn't be as good as an actual Supercharger for Teslas, but if I were going to charge for its use, there would be no way for me to compete with a nearby Supercharger (for free) anyway, and if there is not a nearby Supercharger competing with me, the Tesla guys will hold their nose and use the inferior charger. And by offering a different standard, I'd also be able to attract people driving other cars, who will need the charge more than the Model S driver does anyway due to their vastly inferior range.

    Tesla also seems to be doing pretty well at getting HPWC destination chargers adopted. There are a few in Michigan now. Someone just announced on the Michigan Tesla Club group that he's installing one up near Traverse City (Tesla Motors Club - Enthusiasts & Owners Forum). And of course there are a fair number of places with other kinds of destination charging (J1772, NEMA 14-50, etc.)

    I have to admit I haven't done a road trip with my car yet, but I've planned out a few and for the most part it doesn't look to me as though I'm going to be "very limited". This will especially be true once the Supercharger network is fully built out – there are some big holes right now, for example driving from Ann Arbor to Dallas would require a significant detour last time I looked. But the buildout seems to be moving pretty fast now.
     
  13. MichFin

    MichFin Member

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    To me anything less than supercharger or destination charger is not an option... I'm not going to wait around 2-3 hours charging and don't think I should have to. If I'm on my way from Detroit to New York It's not big deal to get off at particular exit where the supercharger exists. But if I have to go out of my way 10 miles as I might in Columbus OH it starts becoming a pain in the butt. Now for the early adopters we're adventurous and think of of as part of experience. But the other 99% will just want more options and I think they will be willing to pay for it too.

    Think about all the gas stations on the side of the highway that are only there to serve travelers as they pull in for 5 minutes. If Tesla does start selling 500,000 cars a year in 2020 there will be a huge demand for it.
     
  14. jgs

    jgs Member

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    Fair enough, if they really do put that many wheels on the road then the game will change. And I hope they do, but it's a long way off. Also, there are a lot of ways for the game to change, including charging "standards" (CSS, CHAdeMO) being upgraded to deliver equivalent power to Superchargers, or alternately (but with a similar outcome) the Tesla Supercharger protocol being adopted as a "standard".
     
  15. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    The key difference is that all refueling of ICEs must happen at gas stations, but only a tiny fraction of EV refueling happens at public charging stations, with the vast majority occurring at homes or offices. We do not need to replicate the network of gas stations to replicate their functionality.

    That said, I agree that Tesla has a lot of build-out to do on the Supercharger network. Some remote locations will probably not need to be expanded, but we've already seen several CA SpC's that have been expanded, and others (e.g. Newark DE) that are sorely in need of expansion. Tesla's focus has correctly been on increasing coverage at this point: it's more important to get Knoxville built than Harris Ranch expanded.

    It remains uncertain whether Model 3s will have free access to the SpC network. I'm assuming at a minimum that there will be a $2k SpC add-on, so if Tesla is selling 500k Model 3's, then they'll have a cool $1 billion of incremental revenue to invest in the SpC network (if everyone buys access). You can build a lot of $250k SpC stations with a billion dollars.
     
  16. jgs

    jgs Member

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    #16 jgs, May 8, 2015
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
    I also have the feeling that you shouldn't underestimate the power of "it's free" in overcoming people's grumpy psychology about how long it takes to charge. If you told me it was going to take forty minutes and cost me forty bucks, I would have less of a sense of humor than I do about "forty minutes and free". (Yes, I know it's not actually free, but it's a sunk cost and it feels free.)
     
  17. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    The question is the same as 'would you pay for a public charger'. The answer is clearly, yes. Most public chargers require payment and they get used. I personally use them as little as possible because I can charge at home for much less. When it's out there where nothing else is, I'm fine paying for it. It's like a bottle of water. At home I can drink water almost for free. But if I'm at a remote location and they are selling water I pay $2 for a bottle of water for the convenience. So it really depends on the location if I'm willing to pay for charging or not.
     
  18. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Yes, there will be a huge demand for Superchargers as production ramps up, but a fee-based business model would be very risky.

    In North America Tesla is averaging more than two new free Supercharger Stations every week and the rate has been accelerating. With this reality it would be foolhardy to start a business model that charges anything let alone $.50 per kWh to gain access to a Supercharger. As the Tesla brand continues to become more well known proprietors of potential host locations will beg Tesla to place free Supercharger Stations on their property to attract patronage and the free Supercharger installation rate will continue to increase.

    Which EV manufacturer do you think has the best chance of reaching 100,000 or more EVs in a year first? I'm guessing we both would bet it will be Tesla. I'm thinking that time will come fairly soon, perhaps as early as 2017. With hundred of thousands of Supercharger enabled EVs being produced each year, year after year, and with production continuing to ramp up to your suggested 500,000 cars per year by 2020, the "proprietary" Tesla charging specification will become the de facto charging "standard". Any serious manufacture planning to build a long range, mass market EV would be ill-advised to invest in the expansion of any other charging specification when the bulk of the market is using the Tesla Standard. Elon has relaxed patent enforcement to facilitate other manufacturers adopting the Tesla specification. The cost of admission for these manufacturers to access the Supercharger network will be to contribute funding to its expansion, as it is currently conceived, a FREE network.

    If Supercharger congestion occurs with increased production there are several approaches that Tesla can take to alleviate the potential problem while maintaining the free business model. With the additional funding from other manufactures Tesla can expand existing Supercharger Stations by adding more Superchargers and stalls, build new stations between existing locations, increase the average charging rate at each station by increasing the charger stack at existing Superchargers and by deploying fee-based Battery Swapping Stations at the most congested Supercharger Stations.

    In short by 2020 I wouldn't want to be in the business of building out any charging network other than Tesla's free Supercharging network.

    Larry
     
  19. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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    In a world where the majority of vehicles are EVs, I can see a business case for more "gas station" like L3 DC fast charging stations. Obviously we are a long way from there right now. Right now, unless your also selling the vehicle that it charges it seems hard to make a business case for it. But not everyone can or will be able to charge at home. There will eventually need to be businesses catering to charging EVs, be it for out-of-towners or locals with no home charging. But I doubt that will look like todays gas station. I expect there will always be some kind of wait to get an EV charged up. I expect these businesses will be more about creating a place where people want to be and spend money, not so much about making money off the charging itself. The last place I want to be is at a gas station.
     
  20. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Exactly!

    'Don't try selling electrons' - Chargepoint CEO

    For public charging everyone that benefits needs to contribute for the system to be economically sustainable.
     

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