Seeking Alpha

Tesla Motors to go open source with Supercharger network

  • Tesla Motors (TSLA -0.4%) plans to open up the design of its Supercharger system in order to encourage a standard forming in the industry off of the platform, reports Engadget.
  • Though the initiative makes sense to analysts as a convoluted system of manufacturer-specific networks isn't feasible, they also note that there is a touch of risk with giving away the intellectual property.
Comments (88)
  • Skeptic84
    , contributor
    Comments (491) | Send Message
     
    So that go it alone proprietary standard didn't work out for Tesla? Surprise! Who would of thought?
    9 Jun 2014, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • Curt Renz
    , contributor
    Comments (228) | Send Message
     
    No surprise. Elon Musk has always been in agreement with you. From the beginning he has hoped that other manufacturers would make their electric cars compatible for use at Tesla Supercharger stations.

     

    BTW, I believe you meant, "Who would have thought?"
    9 Jun 2014, 01:22 PM Reply Like
  • Esekla
    , contributor
    Comments (3363) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, all technology starts out proprietary, and opening it up to a standard in just a few years is moving very fast.

     

    I wrote back in February that Tesla is more interested in becoming the next ExxonMobile than the next GM. This is one more piece of evidence.
    9 Jun 2014, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • Stephen Pace
    , contributor
    Comments (476) | Send Message
     
    @Skeptic84: Elon's answer has always about increasing adoption of electric vehicles, period. Current car companies saddled with a ICE legacy did not have the vision to build their own charging network. After all, they don't own the gas stations, someone else will build charging stations, right? Only that didn't happen, and the charging stations that did get built are for the most part L2 slow speed 30 amp chargers (the minimum that could receive the tax credit for installation). Tesla is saying, hey guys, get with the program, build long range EVs. I predict other vendors will still fall short in this and Tesla will still be going it alone, probably until Gen 3. At that point, I think the tipping point will arrive and others will either get it or cede the entire space to Tesla.
    9 Jun 2014, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • Tippydog
    , contributor
    Comments (2150) | Send Message
     
    As many of us have been seeing, there are signs that Tesla is losing momentum in Silicon Valley, all before even getting to profitability.

     

    It starts with a trickle....

     

    http://bit.ly/1oNTdnK
    9 Jun 2014, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • aaronw2
    , contributor
    Comments (207) | Send Message
     
    And how well is the standard combo plug doing? There are far more Supercharger stations than there are stations which implement the high-power combo plug which is limited to 90KW (Tesla handles quite a bit more power).

     

    The combo plug has been a complete flop.

     

    Tesla's standard uses the same signalling as the combo plug so an adapter is quite simple. The combo plug is also extremely bulky and is another designed by committee mess. Since the signalling is the same it is easy for Tesla to create an adapter though currently there is no need for this adapter because the charging stations are basically non-existent.

     

    ChaDeMo also is a mess. The cost to implement ChaDeMo is quite high. The ChaDeMo connector is not really open despite the claims otherwise. Typically the connector cost $500 with limited sources and high licensing cost. It also is quite bulky and typically only handles 60KW. There's also huge arguments because it is a Japanese standard which has not been adopted as a standard in the US or Europe.

     

    In terms of high-powered charging like Tesla needs, as of now out of all of the charging standards out there only Tesla's supercharger meets the requirements. The other standards are either non-existent or they don't handle the power requirements. As of now, ChaDeMo chargers are basically limited to 62.5kW. Most available chargers are 20, 25 or 50Kw. Tesla's Supercharger currently handles up to 135Kw.
    9 Jun 2014, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • Tippydog
    , contributor
    Comments (2150) | Send Message
     
    To quote from Cramer's article:

     

    ""It may take up to a year for the rest of the world to realize what just happened, but so be it," he opines. "BMWi3 is the new automotive fashion in Silicon Valley and it will become clear next year." '
    9 Jun 2014, 05:10 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8332) | Send Message
     
    Sure, the limited range, ugly, under performing i3 is going to be the next fashion must have, just like the Aztek was. Face it, the i3 is at best the consolation prize for those who can't afford a Tesla.
    9 Jun 2014, 07:40 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    @ JRP3

     

    Your taste in design aside, it is certainly true that most people can't afford a Tesla.

     

    As far as limited range, the i3 can refuel up to 72 miles of range in not much more than 1 minute, which is a good solution for the times when you have to go more than 72 miles. You start out with 144 miles on board. Hardly a calamity for most people, although as with every car it doesn't fit all imaginable needs and desires.

     

    Tesla has other obvious advantages, such as the ability to fit 5 people instead of 4, and a much larger luggage space.
    9 Jun 2014, 08:12 PM Reply Like
  • Tippydog
    , contributor
    Comments (2150) | Send Message
     
    JRP3,

     

    A lot of people who can afford many Teslas don't want one. Thats the point.

     

    Its glitzy, is too big, too heavy, too hard to park, and its overpriced. Some people with lot of money don't like its big fat ass.

     

    Its identity is turning sour. Not for showy people, but for the more understated successful car buyer.

     

    Its more appropriate for L.A. It will continue to do well in San Fernando Valley for sure.
    9 Jun 2014, 10:17 PM Reply Like
  • Locked Down Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (1380) | Send Message
     
    Haha the i3? Dork mobile...sorry can't hold a candle to the Model S
    9 Jun 2014, 11:01 PM Reply Like
  • Tippydog
    , contributor
    Comments (2150) | Send Message
     
    The i3 is very appealing. Its like the librarian who takes off her glasses and lets down her hair and is a knockout.

     

    The Tesla is not well designed for a lot of the high end car buying market. Not good for women, as everyone has heard. Not good if you don't want to look flashy. Too big, too heavy.

     

    The i3 its the sweet spot for a lot of the market. It will take sales from both the Model S and the Model X. It just will.
    10 Jun 2014, 12:22 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8332) | Send Message
     
    The S is fine for women, as the women on TMC will tell you. It may not be great for really short people. That overly dramatic old woman at the shareholder's meeting thought she was making a gender issue when it was really a height issue.

     

    The i3 is no sweet spot, the EV version is not much better than a LEAF, though more expensive, and the hybrid version still provides less range on a charge/tank than a Tesla, and crippled performance when running the ICE. Sure there may be a handful of people who choose an i3 over an S but hardly significant. Most of those weren't really considering the S in the first place.

     

    Unfortunately the i3 is no knockout lurking under glasses, it needs full reconstructive surgery.
    10 Jun 2014, 08:37 AM Reply Like
  • EdwardInFlorida
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    I guess if on the internet, it's "true"? Tesla is far from "losing momentum". With more than 50,000 Model S on the roads, and roughly 13,000 reservations, gearing up for the release of the Model X next year, and the Gen III in three years, I wouldn't bet my money on your statement.
    10 Jun 2014, 09:13 AM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4297) | Send Message
     
    Tesla is entering the red alert danger zone. We know that so far, virtually all of the Tesla sales have been to well-heeled status-seekers. And there was always a question how many of these people there are who want to champion the EV cause, and how long their attention span would be. We are seeing the answer.

     

    We know that US demand has already peaked, and that was before the BMW arrival. It isn't as if this stuff is rocket science (unlike SpaceX). It is a body, a battery, and a motor. Not much more than that. Anybody can do it and everybody will when the economics make sense. The question was always whether or not Tesla could use the "first mover advantage" to build enough brand image and bring in enough revenues to get them into a volume production mode. A month ago, I thought there was at least a 50/50 chance of that. But the wheels are falling off now, and quickly. Delays everywhere, both products and markets, and now the concession to reality about the supercharger viability.

     

    The supercharger thing was never a serious proposition. It was just one of those things Musk threw out there to deal with the obvious range anxiety questions. The only way a private Tesla-only network makes any sense is if two conditions are BOTH true:

     

    1) Tesla is essentially the only EV out there -- or at least the dominant EV supplier; and

     

    2) They can get to the point that there are at least 15 million Tesla cars on the road to use that network.

     

    A year ago it looked like Tesla might be the dominant EV supplier. But now Nissan is blowing the doors off Tesla, and BMW will soon surpass Tesla's production rate. And that is without even looking at the other emerging EV suppliers out there. Tesla is already slipping into niche mode, and that is why Panasonic won't commit to a major capacity spend. Wrong technology and completely insane production goals. Lately, Musk seems to admit that, basically giving up on the idea of rapidly launching that factory to take advantage of a window of opportunity that is practically closed even now.

     

    So here we are with a commitment to build a Tesla-only charging network. The economics of that are horrible and Musk knows it. He is looking for a bailout. He knows he cannot finish that job, but he cannot admit so publicly because the whole house of cards crashes as soon as he officially gives up on either the GF or the SC network.

     

    So we get this stalling gambit. This is just like the GF BS. He is just stalling trying to find a white knight. The problem is that when you treat your competitors (and your partners for chrissake) with such disdain, such arrogance, nobody wants to lift a finger to save you.
    10 Jun 2014, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    cparmerlee,

     

    You don't know what you're talking about. The current supercharger network is Tesla-only, because no other EV can charge from it. The Open Source discussion is about 1) having others build EV's to be able to use it, and 2) having others build chargers for these EV's. Please get your facts straight before criticizing.
    10 Jun 2014, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4297) | Send Message
     
    Fan wrote some nonsense.

     

    I know exactly what I am talking about. Please read more carefully.

     

    The basic point is that a Tesla-only charging network was always an absurd proposition that only made sense when coupled with the equally absurd proposition that the rest of the auto industry would capitulate to the superior intellect of Mr. Musk. It is not sustainable economically. But the "genius" Musk painted himself into yet another corner. He can't afford to build it out, and most certainly can't afford to support it long term, but it would be disastrous to admit just how stupid this concept was from the start.

     

    So he has three options:

     

    1) Humble himself and embrace the other multi-make networks. (Humility is not one of Musk's strengths. so this option is off the table.)

     

    2) Get somebody else to build SC-compatible stations so that Musk doesn't have to eat all that cost.

     

    or

     

    3) Allow other EVs to plug into the network and help pay the costs of those stations.

     

    His stalling tactic keeps options 2 and 3 alive, but at this point I don't expect any better response to that than he got from the giggle factory partners he foolishly pre-announced.

     

    But don't let me interrupt your hero worship if that's what you prefer.

     

    It is amazing to me that the same people who have been proclaiming the Supercharger network as the ultimate weapon in Tesla's arsenal are now so quick to rationalize that all away now that Musk has been forced to give up on that strategy.
    10 Jun 2014, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    cparmerlee,

     

    I see. You do realize that your entire argument is based on the premise that the costs of the SC network are being deliberately hidden right?

     

    You're also assuming that opening their supercharger IP would result in a financial gain to Tesla. If you follow Anton's exchange with me below, you'll see that we see this proposition as a financial negative (opportunity cost).

     

    If you don't agree, then I don't a common baseline to argue with you.
    10 Jun 2014, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4297) | Send Message
     
    Fan wrote: "You're also assuming that opening their supercharger IP would result in a financial gain to Tesla. "

     

    I am assuming no such thing. It is a losing proposition either way. It is a question of how to salvage a bad strategy without bringing the whole company down in the process.

     

    The man went from "The supercharger is our exclusive killer app" to "We need other companies to be on our supercharger team" overnight and you cheerleaders act as if nothing just happened.

     

    Rather than trying to go it completely alone from the outset, the smart move would have been to embrace an industry standard and then design "Tesla extensions" to that standard that would handle larger batteries and more juice. Then they would not have to build a complete independent network for their own customers, they would get revenue from customers of other EV makes, and every time one of those other EV users used a Tesla station, they could use that as an opportunity to advertise. When the Leaf got to the 30% completion point, a screen could pop up with "If you owned a Tesla, you would be on your way with a full tank by now. We are offering a special trade-up price for Leaf customers for the next 30 days."

     

    But this guy has such a dismissive attitude about the rest of the world that he overlooks good opportunities.
    10 Jun 2014, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    cparmerlee:

     

    "Rather than trying to go it completely alone from the outset, the smart move would have been to embrace an industry standard and then design "Tesla extensions" to that standard that would handle larger batteries and more juice"

     

    Again, you don't know what you're talking about. When the superchargers were being _built_, CCS wasn't even finalized yet as an "industry standard", and even then only at less than 1/2 the charge rate. To handle X amount of current, your physical cable has to be a minimal Y diameter in size. Modifying CCS to support higher charging isn't a software change. It's a rip out and replace the proposition. To support your "Tesla extensions" idea, Tesla would've had to build out those chargers themselves, because no one was going to build CCS + Tesex stations to support the low-volume model S. Heck, no one is building the CCS stations now and that has had full industry support for almost a year now!

     

    Musk never changed his views about the purpose of the superchargers - enable long range traveling. He had always been open to licensing it out for other auto companies to use. He's just changing the cost of that license.

     

    I don't know why you feel that Tesla is losing money on the superchargers, but Sidaarth Dalai did a pretty good job of summarizing the costs: http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    I don't agree with some of his predictions, but his cost estimates are conservative enough to prove the point.
    10 Jun 2014, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    @ fan of the underdog

     

    "He's just changing the cost of that license."

     

    From what to what? I assume you mean that it becomes free. What was the price before?

     

    No strings attached? I don't mean paying for usage and other reasonable physical and related infrastructure fees. I mean other strings -- software, changes, who owns the code, who owns the standard, etc.
    10 Jun 2014, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    anton,

     

    I don't have that info on the pre-open source pricing. But as I stated before, whether or not there are strings attached or what those terms are is completely up to Tesla. We'll have to wait for their formal announcement for the details.

     

    One big concern about open source, is that there will be initial attempts to find holes in the infrastructure (every engineer likes to tinker). I imagine there will be a period of time where people will announce such and such vulnerability, and there will have to be security patches installed. But much like with other open source projects, this will ultimately strengthen the network and make it more resilient.
    10 Jun 2014, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • Randy Carlson
    , contributor
    Comments (1736) | Send Message
     
    The economics of a Tesla-only SuperCharger network are horrible only if other manufacturer's cars are not using it. This statement may sound silly - how can a Tesla-only network service other manufacturer's cars? But bear with me a minute.

     

    The thing(s) that make a Tesla-only network "Tesla-only" are the technology of charging control, batteries made from small, 18650 cells, sophisticated, active thermal control and large battery capacity. If you don't have a fast charging solution AND a big battery THAT works under all weather conditions, you don't have a practical electric car road-trip solution. And if you don't have charging stations that incorporate grid-connected storage to allow running more chargers off a "small user" grid connection, either utility demand charges sink your business model, or you have a system goat doesn't handle peak congestion well. Tesla has the entire package of technology - battery, thermal management, charging management, peak demand mitigation in the charger, etc. All in a unified, WORKING system that not only offers compelling range, acceleration, rechage performance, AND manufacturing economics. This is absolutely THE time to get other manufacturers to buy-in and start equipping their vehicles with "Tesla technology" to take advantage of SuperChargers.

     

    I looked at precisely the SuperCharger business model with other manufacturers buying in to Tesla technology a while back: http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    Once other manufacturers start building true long-range electric cars, Tesla can make MORE MONEY supporting other manufacturers' cars with SuperChargers (locked in with Tesla technology) than they can making cars...

     

    This move by Tesla doesn't imply they are entering a financial "red zone" nearly so much as it shows they are once again poised to jump into an entirely new "green zone".
    10 Jun 2014, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5250) | Send Message
     
    "becoming the next ExxonMobile than the next GM."

     

    Never, there are thousands of other stations using open standards already (CCS/Chademo and in China GB/T).

     

    No competitor will use TSLA's fast charging stations even if the specs are "free", it would be a bad strategy and make them dependent on TSLA.

     

    If anything, Chademo and CCS standards will be upgraded in the future if more people buy long-range EVs.
    11 Jun 2014, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • Randy Carlson
    , contributor
    Comments (1736) | Send Message
     
    The many CHAdeMO and similar charger stations that exist to service low charging rate / short range EVs are largely irrelevant to solving the electric car road-trip problem. These stations are located in the worng places and recharge cars too slowly to be relevant to long-range EVs like Tesla.

     

    Anyone can build a high power charger, but if the vehicles are not correctly designed to utilize fast charging without damaging the battery, there is little point - just observe the LEAF battery life issues in Arizona. A charging system provider seeking to serve a combined market of long and short range / fast and slow charging EVs is quickly faced with the fact that most of the deployed resource is used most of the time for low value, slow charging. As the system scales to accommodate large numbers of EVs, it will require 5-10 TIMES the number of charging "slots" to accommodate a given number of road-trip vehicle miles with say the LEAF and 50kW CHAdeMO chargers than with Gen III Tesla's and 120kW SuperChargers. This profoundly effects the economics.

     

    As for manufacturers "tying themselves" to Tesla technology, this is kind of silly. What ever combination of battery / charge management / battery environmental control / charging infrastructure a manufacture chooses to implement, they will to some extent be tied to that choice. If a manufacturer is going to choose a long-range EV battery / system / charging solution, picking the one that actually works would seem rather appealing, especially if doing so requires minimum R&D, technology risk, capital commitment to infrastructure build-out, etc. From this perspective, what Tesla offers looks pretty good.

     

    The competing business models - free recharging offered by municipalities / businesses on a "philanthropic" basis is not sustainable or scalable, and the "charge-for-charge" gas station model is not sustainable against a competing price of "free". It is difficult to scale a business that generates no income. And it is hard sustainably price charge-for-charge against "free".

     

    Major oil companies might enter the charge-for-charge business, but it is difficult to see how that business fits with a franchised dealer gas station model optimized for large sales volumes (large numbers of vehicles "recharged" in minimum station area) which drive franchise profitability.

     

    Vehicle manufacturers are unlikely to build-out competing infrastructures for recharging because 1) they would truly have little hope of attracting competitor's vehicles and 2) car companies have never much pursued the gasoline business.
    11 Jun 2014, 05:12 PM Reply Like
  • Daniel Weidelich
    , contributor
    Comments (85) | Send Message
     
    Great insight as always, Randy. Thanks.
    12 Jun 2014, 12:44 PM Reply Like
  • joeinslw@gmail.com
    , contributor
    Comments (612) | Send Message
     
    I think we all .....thought it would work for Elon, because he said he wanted ALL car companies to be in on this from day one, so it's no surprise to me.
    13 Jun 2014, 09:48 PM Reply Like
  • joeinslw@gmail.com
    , contributor
    Comments (612) | Send Message
     
    Hey Tippy you shorters will say anything to try to get the price down won't you?
    Problem that strategy hasn't worked and it won't work, so be prepared to loose more of your money, and with the disgusting lies you posted, I don't feel sorry for you.
    13 Jun 2014, 09:58 PM Reply Like
  • David at Imperial Beach
    , contributor
    Comments (4318) | Send Message
     
    It only makes sense. But the established manufacturers are likely to choose an incompatible system anyway just so they can screw Tesla. I hope they choke on their linguini and Tesla supercharging becomes the de facto standard.
    9 Jun 2014, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • 22460801
    , contributor
    Comments (19) | Send Message
     
    Not so sure others will adopt a different standard. What better way to jump start your own EV sales than by being compatible with an already existing first class network of charging stations.
    9 Jun 2014, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • glemmestad
    , contributor
    Comments (43) | Send Message
     
    Nope, way better to undermine the whole "battery-powered-car mumbo-jumbo", build horrible and sad looking battery-EVs, then in the end turn around to the politicians and say "Hey! We told you so! Electric cars are just made for inner city traveling; you need proper ICEs (or hybrids) and we got JUST what you need!".

     

    What's best technically (short term) and what destroys the threat of Tesla (long term) are two fully different things.
    9 Jun 2014, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • Skeptic84
    , contributor
    Comments (491) | Send Message
     
    "From the beginning he has hoped that other manufacturers..."

     

    But it used to be about licensing the tech to other automakers. Now its going to be an "open standard"(read, free). It still remains to be seen if any one else wants to use the standard, even for free.

     

    Normally, large companies would rather eat worms than validate a competitor's standards, and give their installed infrastructure more value. Likely the industry giants will continue to embrace the existing open standards, even if that means improving them. Why make things easier for an upstart competitor?
    9 Jun 2014, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Curt Renz
    , contributor
    Comments (228) | Send Message
     
    This would likely involve licensing to manufacturers and/or a fee to the owners of non-Tesla cars to recharge at Tesla Supercharger stations. Even if not, this still promotes Musk's goal of all new cars being fully electric with Tesla Motors leading the way.

     

    Keep in mind that built into the price of a Model S is free use of Supercharger stations. Musk h has said there would have to be a similar arrangement for non-Tesla cars to become involved.

     

    When Tesla Motors realized that the established manufacturers would not soon build a network of charging stations, they decided to do it on their own. They've been doing a magnificent job with no indication the others will ever catch up or even begin implementation. Tesla is fast on the road to becoming totally dominant in charging stations as it completely disrupts the oil and automobile industries.
    9 Jun 2014, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4297) | Send Message
     
    Curt wrote "this still promotes Musk's goal of all new cars being fully electric with Tesla Motors leading the way"

     

    Do you understand that the Volt is shipping about the same number as Tesla, BMW is rapidly overtaking Tesla, and Nissan is already doubling Tesla's production -- and they have three large battery factories already in operation? How is "Tesla leading the way on that"?

     

    And likewise, there are ~100 Tesla charging stations, which makes them one of the smallest charging networks. Again, how is that leading?

     

    http://bit.ly/1l4XuPI

     

    Tesla has no leverage on any of these issues. With each delay and daily change in strategies, they are falling farther behind.
    10 Jun 2014, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • SunnyGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    You need to focus on fast DC charging. As far as international fast DC charging networks, Tesla is and will remain the pioneer, as it is a classic chicken and egg conundrum. Your vaunted Nissan doesn't even install fast DC charging stations (CHaDEMO) at its own dealerships; and the few L2 charging stations they install are unavailable during non-business hours.

     

    Same with the CCS "standard"; who is going to install this wonderful CCS network nationwide?

     

    Nissan and BMW are likely thanking their lucky stars for Elon Musk's vision.

     

    And the rest of the world sure should be -- if they could tear themselves away from their TVs and tablets.

     

    Sunny Guy
    25 Jun 2014, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • alen3676
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    The others would want to charge whereas the present supercharger is free.
    9 Jun 2014, 01:34 PM Reply Like
  • tomfrompv
    , contributor
    Comments (4571) | Send Message
     
    I had thought that one of the key assets for Tesla was its SuperCharger network. It was something no other manufacturer had. It was cited by many Tesla boosters as the reason to buy TSLA stock.

     

    Hmm. Maybe its not such a big deal after all? When will Samsung or some Chinese company start producing the units?
    9 Jun 2014, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • hmw news
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Should charge other mfgs. TSLAs will have to wait for Volts.

     

    Very stupid and unlike TSLA.
    9 Jun 2014, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • Curt Renz
    , contributor
    Comments (228) | Send Message
     
    As is written in the article linked at the top of the SA comments:

     

    ...with all costs factored into the upfront price of the car. Musk is very clear that other EV makers would have to subscribe to this same business model if they want to partner up. They'd also have to contribute a "fair" proportion to the maintenance and running costs of the ever-expanding Supercharger network itself..."
    9 Jun 2014, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • tomfrompv
    , contributor
    Comments (4571) | Send Message
     
    As I read it, the standard would be open for all to copy. So some low cost manufacturer like Samsung could built their own units, install them on the grid, and undercut Tesla pricing.

     

    The worry would be that Samsung's version of the SuperCharger would not only have ports for Tesla vehicles but also ports for Nissan, etc.
    9 Jun 2014, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    tom,

     

    That's not a worry, that's the desired outcome. If Samsung builds superchargers for less than Tesla can, then Tesla simply pays samsung the one time fee for Tesla cars to access Samsung's network. Faster DC Fast Charge network for less! Samsung/LG/BYD, or whomever is building them, have to agree to the same fee-for-access/free-fo... pricing plan to get access to the patents.
    9 Jun 2014, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • Curt Renz
    , contributor
    Comments (228) | Send Message
     
    How does one undercut free for Tesla cars?
    9 Jun 2014, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • glemmestad
    , contributor
    Comments (43) | Send Message
     
    Couldn't have said it any better myself!
    9 Jun 2014, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • tomfrompv
    , contributor
    Comments (4571) | Send Message
     
    Not all Tesla cars get SC access for free. Its a $2000 upgrade in the US and $2800 in Europe for the lower cost models.

     

    IF Samsung offers buyers of the 60 KWH model access to their network for $1500, and their network meets the customers needs, the customer will save the money by going with Samsung.

     

    Tesla can counter by lowering its price of course. But thats called shrinking margins. Which is what TSLA bears have been talking about.
    9 Jun 2014, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • tomfrompv
    , contributor
    Comments (4571) | Send Message
     
    RE: "Samsung/LG/BYD, or whomever is building them, have to agree to the same fee-for-access/free-fo... pricing plan to get access to the patents."

     

    Well thats a licensing agreement. Is that what Musk means? Or is he talking about a genuine open standard? Many here are interpreting there is NO licensing fee.
    9 Jun 2014, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    tom,

     

    no fee doesn't equate to no rules. See GPL, FreeBSD, and Apache as all examples of Open Source, but with different rules. You're thinking of something similiar to FreeBSD, which is unrestricted open source. Whereas GPL permits use, but any modifications are required to be opened back to the community.

     

    Open source is simply that: You can see the source code (and thus free to pirate it for private use regardless of the Open Source license terms). Commercial use is restricted (if any) by the terms of the license.
    9 Jun 2014, 04:26 PM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    Tom,

     

    "Tesla can counter by lowering its price of course"

     

    We don't even know the terms of Tesla's Open Source license yet, and you've already created bogus holes in it? You're taking the red herring arguments a little too far.
    9 Jun 2014, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • jfsacal
    , contributor
    Comments (379) | Send Message
     
    LOL, and the rest follows thusly. Clearly the comments that come from pure bias are easy to spot, if you understand this market. Question, if Sammie is able to lower costs, wouldn't that benefit all EV makers? Free (charging infrastructure) would then become a smaller top line element for Tesla specifically. Bias can be very blinding.
    9 Jun 2014, 04:44 PM Reply Like
  • arondaniel
    , contributor
    Comments (870) | Send Message
     
    "IF Samsung offers buyers of the 60 KWH model access to their network for $1500"

     

    Not gonna happen. In the 60kWh, you pay $2000 to enable the supercharger hardware in the car. No way Tesla will enable that hardware for someone else's network for free.
    9 Jun 2014, 11:06 PM Reply Like
  • tomfrompv
    , contributor
    Comments (4571) | Send Message
     
    Guys,
    So what does Musk mean by "open standard"? It can only be copied if you pay for it? And only used if you pay for it? And no car can get a fast charge unless Tesla gets paid?

     

    Doesn't sound "open" at all.
    10 Jun 2014, 12:09 AM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4297) | Send Message
     
    Tom wrote "Doesn't sound 'open' at all"

     

    This is just another case of Musk waking up one morning and saying "You know we are really screwed with the SC network idea. If BMW, Nissan and others are able to out-produce us by such a wide margin, then the SC network will be a liability rather than an asset." (No kidding, Sherlock)

     

    "But wait, I have an idea. No time to write it down. Somebody call the press. I'm going to have a press conference in 2 hours to announce my next big strategy change."

     

    Tesla has no leverage here -- just like the giggle factory. If they have a restrictive license, everybody will just say "Up yours, Elon". The only way this works is if the ubiquitous charging networks are free to support Tesla cars at SC speeds without a big fee paid for the use of the patents. And Musk will have to agree to that ultimately because he doesn't have the means to build and maintain a competitive charging network for his tiny stream of cars and he will never get any partners to build Tesla-only stations for him.
    10 Jun 2014, 01:42 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    @ cparmerlee

     

    This charger-connector thing is looking even more intriguing than the battery factory, in terms of the mystery and the complexity.

     

    At this stage, it's hard to comment intelligently because we just haven't seen what the terms are. There will be a lot of fine print on any charging standard agreement. Who can make changes? Who controls it? And so forth.

     

    I don't want to bet much money either way here, until I have seen/heard at least two things:
    1. The specifics of Tesla's proposal/contract.
    2. What the feedback is from the other auto companies after they and their lawyers and strategists have had a chance to review said proposal/contract in detail.

     

    Until then, we are fumbling in the dark here. I am not convinced that this is a bad idea for Tesla at all, but it's impossible to say for sure until all the details are on the table, and I've seen the comments from the other presumed parties.
    10 Jun 2014, 04:55 PM Reply Like
  • chipdoctor
    , contributor
    Comments (1305) | Send Message
     
    The EV industry does not need yet another charge standard....Tesla should have conformed to the standards that exist (with modification for their models).
    9 Jun 2014, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • aaronw2
    , contributor
    Comments (207) | Send Message
     
    The existing standards are a mess. In the US, the standard is the combo plug which is basically non-existent. The connector is huge and is limited to 90Kw (as opposed to Tesla's 135Kw). Tesla's signalling is compatible with the combo plug, however.

     

    ChaDeMo is not really open. The connectors are huge and as of now ChaDeMo is limited to 62.5Kw. ChaDeMo is patented with high licensing cost. Just the ChaDeMo connector typically cost around $500 each since it is basically only sold by TEPCO.

     

    Both the combo plug and ChaDeMo connectors are huge and quite bulky compared to the Tesla connector which is also easier to insert. Tesla could easily make an adapter for the combo plug. Also, neither can handle the power requirements that Tesla's connector can handle. Tesla's connector is far more elegant than either of the other solutions, both of which were designed by committee.
    9 Jun 2014, 04:22 PM Reply Like
  • Kalud
    , contributor
    Comments (50) | Send Message
     
    Well no, the current other standard were not capable of supporting 120+kW so Tesla made their own.
    9 Jun 2014, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • jfsacal
    , contributor
    Comments (379) | Send Message
     
    Slow, bulky, ugly and confused over fast sleek and travel ready? No cars have been adapted to accept the power of Tesla's chargers, why would Tesla wait for them?
    9 Jun 2014, 04:48 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    Can someone please tell me what is new here? Wasn't it always clear that Tesla had offered other car companies, in principle, to license its charging connector format? For whatever reason, almost all the other car companies got together and decided on another connector.

     

    I agree that the Tesla charging connector is more elegant and it objectively charges faster, so let's not waste time debating that. I'm simply asking what has now changed -- or will soon change -- all of a sudden. What is Tesla offering to its competitors today, that it didn't do 1, 2 or 3 years ago?

     

    Put yourselves in the shoes of any of the other major automakers. What are the pros and cons from their vantage point?
    9 Jun 2014, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    Minus the licensing fee, and advanced info on planned changes to Tesla's "standard".

     

    Open Source not only means that you're free to see how the product was made (not much different from reverse engineering, but you're given the rationale for the engineering decisions too), but you're free to make modifications to the design (depending on the terms of the open source license. e.g GPLv2 vs. FreeBSD). That's my read.
    9 Jun 2014, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    That's interesting. So if it's modified, then what? I'm thinking in terms of compatibility.

     

    The other dimension is why Tesla would like to offer something in exchange for nothing? Or am I mis-reading this? What does Tesla want in exchange, or does it?

     

    Practically speaking, Tesla goes to Ford, Nissan and VW and says... what? Here is a bunch of stuff, take it, it's free. Or: "Here is a bunch of stuff, if you do X, Y and Z."
    9 Jun 2014, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    The latter. I read that they'd still ask for financial assistance with the maintenance and operating expenses, so not exactly something for nothing. This is my source: http://bit.ly/1pdyk9h

     

    edit: looks like techcrunch referenced engadget (taken from a UK launch interview): http://bit.ly/1pcU1WV
    9 Jun 2014, 05:09 PM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    as for "So if it's modified, then what?" I think that's one of the devil in the details, and is really up to Tesla at this point.

     

    If we applied the GPL terms of open source, Tesla could sue the modifier into making it backwards compatible or revoke their no-fee license and sue for patent infringement? Much like the software world, open source doesn't equal "free".
    9 Jun 2014, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    @ fan of the underdog

     

    This is an unsatisfactory explanation. The other car companies would have to pay for the maintenance and operating expense of any other chargers they may build, regardless of the standard. In other words, it's not specific to the charging connector format.

     

    Then again, the other car companies just aren't in the business of building and operating EVSEs (often called, technically incorrect but who cares, "chargers"). Why would they be interested now? Yes, I think they should be involved, at least at this early stage, but they haven't -- to any meaningful degree anyway.
    9 Jun 2014, 05:42 PM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    Anton,

     

    Let me clarify. The modifications to the supercharger "standard" MAY be permitted depending on Tesla's licensing terms. I only mentioned it, because the software world accounts for it. Maybe it's not an option in Tesla's vision?

     

    If we continue with the speculation, and it were an option, I'd imagine the other automakers might want to add some sort of network identification flag that grants the ability to charge at an even higher rate ... for a fee. Kind of tiered non-Tesla supercharger. Free if charging at 90kwh, pay if charging at 150kwh? Or free during sunlight hours, pay at night?

     

    In the end, as you've noted, the automakers currently aren't interested in building evse's, and licensing the tech permits them access to the supercharger network (I'm pretty sure this has to be part of the deal) with minimal expense on everyone's part.

     

    Although Tesla loses out on the license fee, this past year has demonstrated that there weren't much of a chance of gaining any money from that fee anyway. And any additional load on Tesla's superchargers will be offset by the operating/maintenance charges to the licensees. Maybe.
    9 Jun 2014, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    @ fan of the underdog

     

    All of that is plausible. I guess I'm just asking why Tesla would want it to happen, from a financial perspective. Tesla has more money than it could ever spend building chargers. There is no shortage of financing.

     

    So reimbursement can't be the answer. If all Tesla does is to enable the competition for a fee, hasn't it just signed its own good-night ticket? If these chargers are a competitive differentiator -- and they are -- why give it away to the competition, in exchange for "expense reimbursement"?

     

    I'm scratching my head here.
    9 Jun 2014, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    anton,

     

    That's the basis of the conundrum. From a financial perspective, Tesla doesn't stand to gain (at least not directly), and that's why Musk said it was "controversial".

     

    However, if they get everyone onboard their superchargers, then CCS and chademo would die due to lack of support right? Wouldn't becoming the defacto DC charging standard grant Tesla full control?

     

    And I imagine increasing the supply of long range EV's would also drive the demand for more batteries, pushing everyone to build batteries at an unprecedented scale (alleviates their supply issues w/ panasonic) or accelerates the research into higher density batteries. With everyone following the same charging specs now (the chemistry doesn't matter as long as the batteries can handle the charge rate), the target innovations would be lighter, denser batteries that charge faster. By controlling the charging network, he can drive the industry's R&D direction around a specific objective.
    9 Jun 2014, 06:58 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8332) | Send Message
     
    "Then again, the other car companies just aren't in the business of building and operating EVSEs (often called, technically incorrect but who cares, "chargers")."

     

    Actually in the case of fast DC charging they are in fact correctly called "chargers", because they bypass the on board chargers. The superchargers are chargers, not EVSE's. EVSE's are the level 1 and 2 cable interfaces that connect to the on board car chargers.
    9 Jun 2014, 07:46 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    @ fan of the underdog

     

    You are pointing out some of the issues here. If you are any other auto company, you are not going to put yourself in the position of being dependent on anything Tesla does or doesn't do. Period. Tesla is the competition, not your friendly business partner.

     

    I can see the other automakers agreeing to some new charging standard, but not if they are in any way dependent on Tesla.

     

    I need a better explanation.
    9 Jun 2014, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    @ JRP3

     

    Yes, point well taken. You are right. I was thinking of the regular AC chargers, mostly at 240 volt but some at 110 as well. AC chargers outnumber DC chargers by approximately 100:1.
    9 Jun 2014, 08:19 PM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    anton,

     

    Actually, they're all competitors to each other. If they're going to collaborate with anyone, why not someone who isn't very large now and who doesn't have the resources to take their lunch within 3 years? The gen3 won't be ready until 2017. It's not everyone versus Tesla. It's Tesla providing the means for one of the big companies to beat the others.

     

    Ceding control of the charger standard in exchange for instant access to an already extensive charger network is a small price to pay to be able to beat your competitors. And Toyota, VW, and GM see each other as competitors (due to manufacturing scale) more than Tesla (regardless of how we feel about it). All that needs to happen is for one major automaker to sign up, and the laggards will follow (except for Nissan, since they've invested quite a bit on the Chademo infrastructure) to stay competitive.
    9 Jun 2014, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8332) | Send Message
     
    "AC chargers outnumber DC chargers by approximately 100:1."

     

    Actually AC chargers outnumber them by a far higher ratio since they are built into each vehicle. I think what you really mean is low power Level2 EVSE's outnumber DC fast chargers by approximately 100:1.
    10 Jun 2014, 08:45 AM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    @ fan of the underdog

     

    Actually the 3 year horizon of which you speak in this case rounds to zero. Nothing will happen in terms of a non-Tesla car being brought to market with Supercharger compatibility within 3 years. They would have to redesign everything from the battery all the way up. It's a whole new car. So once they decide, it's close to 5 years. A decision won't come until 2015 at the very earliest. That takes us to 2020.

     

    As far as the Supercharging network being "an already extensive charger network" -- everything is relative. We are talking about fewer than 200 stations today. In the big scheme of things, if some other company wanted to go down this path, they could do so. Then again, they may simply not have any such ambition. We don't know. Until they say "Let's do it"... they haven't done anything. My point here is that things can change, but they haven't yet.

     

    I agree that if Tesla were to open up its network, the other auto companies would find it to be a low-risk proposition to sign up, if they could even get a car built to work with it. And that's at a minimum 5 years out. And they would have to convince people in the meantime that the cars sold in 2014-2019 would not be "stranded technology." Good luck on that one.
    10 Jun 2014, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    @ JRP3

     

    Yes, that's what I meant.
    10 Jun 2014, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • fan of the underdog
    , contributor
    Comments (721) | Send Message
     
    anton,

     

    But would you at least agree that the other automakers would rather collaborate with Tesla to beat each other, rather than collaborate with each other to beat Tesla? I think we both agree that going it alone with their own charging network (even if partnered with chargepoint, CCG, etc.) is the least likely path.

     

    Once you've set that baseline condition, the rest of the logic just follows.
    10 Jun 2014, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    @ fan of the underdog

     

    You make and interesting and excellent point. It's possible. I need to give it a lot more thought before I make up my mind, as it were. I will want to hear a lot more arguments from all sides of the issue.

     

    At this (early) stage we don't even have all the facts on the table yet. Much of this will depend on the fine print of the proposal.
    10 Jun 2014, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4297) | Send Message
     
    Anton wrote "Tesla has more money than it could ever spend building chargers."

     

    I don't think so. The real estate adds up, as do the maintenance costs, not to mention the juice itself.

     

    They don't have ANY cash at this point that isn't (theoretically) committed to the (theoretical) giga factory. And that money is all a liability on their books. It isn't part of the company treasury.

     

    If they went to the stock market seeking several more billion in order to build 1000 more Tesla-only charging stations, how do you think that would be received?
    10 Jun 2014, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8332) | Send Message
     
    Cparm,
    Elon recently stated, again, that not only do they not usually have to pay anything for the supercharger real estate but in some cases they are paid to install them.
    10 Jun 2014, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4297) | Send Message
     
    JRP wrote "not only do they not usually have to pay anything for the supercharger real estate but in some cases they are paid to install them. "

     

    I doubt that. Maybe that is true for the odd station installed here and there. And it is true for the stations at the company HQ. But in the "usual" case, not a chance.

     

    When one looks at the various snapshots of the installations to date, it seems a whole bunch of them actually consist of just 2 or 3 ports. Yes, I'd believe they might get by with little or no cost for the space in those cases, but there is absolutely no reason for anybody to pay Tesla for the privilege of using up that space.

     

    A restaurant might pay for that if they are assured they are the only charging point within 10 miles, especially if there are no other restaurants nearby. They know they can effectively hold the Tesla customers hostage for an hour. But I wouldn't be bragging about relationships like that.

     

    If you are talking a regular installation that has 6-10 ports, they aren't going to get that space for free.
    10 Jun 2014, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8332) | Send Message
     
    Why not? 6-10 parking spots that normally generate zero income that now attract people with disposable income and some time to kill. Unless every spot in your lot is always taken, (unlikely to say the least), allowing Tesla to take over a few spots for free makes a lot of sense. Plus chances are if one lot doesn't want to give Tesla a few spots for free there is another one nearby that will. As usual I'm inclined to believe Musk over you. Also, I'm not sure if you realize that "2 posts" charges 4 vehicles.
    11 Jun 2014, 09:17 AM Reply Like
  • videomagik
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
     
    What many fail to understand is that the motivations of Tesla are more environmentally conscious. Granting access to this accelerates the accessibility to the stumbling block for many resisting the EV, "where do I charge my car?" What he's offering is a standardization rather then other EV companies reinventing the wheel. I know, the endless production of "adapters" that we have become used to would be impacted, which is good. How many millions of tech devices and chargers are disposed of every year to be replaced by another configuration. Standardization is a step towards sustainability in a culture that embraces disposability, which is the one we currently live in. Tesla is a visionary and has seen the future...and the future is now.
    9 Jun 2014, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • slevental
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Probably the hope of Tesla is that as a result of giving the technology away for free, drivers of EV from other manufacturers will be able to use Tesla's super chargers. But those drivers will have to pay, of course, for that. So Tesla will be able to make money out of the chargers.
    9 Jun 2014, 06:51 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    @ slevental

     

    That money is inconsequential. This is one of Tesla's major secret sauces, an integral component of being able to deliver a car with so much range and can be refueled so fast. I don't understand how Tesla makes this available to competitors in a way that makes sense. I'm not saying it can't be done; I'm saying I haven't yet seen a business case.
    9 Jun 2014, 08:21 PM Reply Like
  • slevental
    , contributor
    Comments (374) | Send Message
     
    Anton: "That money is inconsequential".
    If this is indeed the case then most likely Musk has a "bigger" idea. Maybe Musk thinks that opening up the super chargers to all will make owning EV more of a main street concept. So it seems that Tesla thinks that having more serious competition but at the same time increasing demand for EV is better for Tesla than remaining in the current situation with a restricted demand with the advantage of not having serious competition. In fact, Musk said just recently that the market is huge and there is enough room for growth by everyone.
    9 Jun 2014, 10:19 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1985) | Send Message
     
    @ slevental

     

    That's a tricky proposition. It sounds more like a cliche. I'm not convinced that more competition is good for a company.
    10 Jun 2014, 10:01 AM Reply Like
  • carlomiami
    , contributor
    Comments (302) | Send Message
     
    Same as google did with their platform, free for all, very smart move !
    9 Jun 2014, 10:01 PM Reply Like
  • Locked Down Investments
    , contributor
    Comments (1380) | Send Message
     
    Opening up the network will allow him to expand the network even faster if other major automakers contribute to the cost of expansion. It's a smart move.
    Makes EV's more attractive to all, faster.
    Does take away some of Tesla's moat however.
    Which is why I have been saying to load up on lithium stocks now while they are cheap and off the radar. Won't be true in a year's time. Guaranteed.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    9 Jun 2014, 11:06 PM Reply Like
  • surferbroadband
    , contributor
    Comments (2057) | Send Message
     
    Opening the supercharging network allows Tesla cars to be charged by other than Tesla Superchargers.

     

    This is a business opportunity for other people like, fast food restaurants that want to get money for people to come and eat, and supercharge the car at the same time.

     

    Mc Donalds offers free WiFi, now offer supercharging for 11cents a kilowatt. That would be $8.80 for 80khw. The 85khw battery would be charged up when you got 5kwh left. Add that to the $6.50 for the Big Mac combo and for less than 20 bucks you got another 250 miles of travel on the road.

     

    I prefer to stop at fast food joints to eat when I travel. I would gladly pay the charging fee in addition to the meal fee. This is a secondary revenue stream and creates mass adoption of the Electric Vehicle.

     

    Open up the standard for other service providers ( service industry is McDonalds and Exxon Mobil gas stations ) and you have moved the electric vehicle industry forward.
    10 Jun 2014, 03:13 AM Reply Like
  • chipdoctor
    , contributor
    Comments (1305) | Send Message
     
    Surfer,

     

    I continue to be amazed by the Teslaphile population. I certainly did not expect the people that purchase $100K vehicle to be frequent patrons of McDs, nor do I expect them to like hanging around the restaurant for a hour or so.

     

    Given the charge time of the Tesla, I would suggest eating at a fine restaurant given the amount you are saving on gas as well as the time it takes you to charge.
    12 Jun 2014, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • TheBanker
    , contributor
    Comments (1343) | Send Message
     
    Think farther ahead in time. Not everyone owning a TSLA is going to be rich. When a $35k car rolls off the line and needs to charge, not all of them are going to be eat at nice restaurants. I'm not sure about you, but I've spent plenty of time with rich folks and they do eat hamburgers, hot dogs and McDonald's. A road trip with a 30 min stop isn't going to turn into an hour long venture into a nice restaurant.
    12 Jun 2014, 09:04 PM Reply Like
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