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Report: China considering large investment in electric-car charging technology

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Comments (56)
  • tanel025
    , contributor
    Comments (111) | Send Message
     
    Standards for electric car chargers in China were created just a month ago, now such an investment plan. China takes it very seriously, but of course they would also push their own EV industry to take an advantage at local market first. Imported cars are probably also allowed to charge at these stations, the question is, at which cost. Could Tesla stop building their own stations in China?
    26 Aug, 07:05 AM Reply Like
  • David at Imperial Beach
    , contributor
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    Tesla could, but won't. The Chinese standard (according to Tesla) is very similar to the European standard. No standard is capable of supercharger speeds. Tesla will provide an appropriate adapter or cable so Tesla can make use of such facilities, but that won't stop them from also building supercharger stations.
    26 Aug, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • hughesrd
    , contributor
    Comments (143) | Send Message
     
    I'm continually surprised an authoritarian ex-communist state advances so quickly on the economic and business front. Is it because their leaders are often engineers by training while ours are attorneys? Looking at Congress today, one clearly understands the founders' skepticism about democracy and the fear of faction because of parties.
    26 Aug, 07:11 AM Reply Like
  • David at Imperial Beach
    , contributor
    Comments (4198) | Send Message
     
    Any authoritarian or totalitarian government can be faster and more responsive and more decisive than a democratic and deliberative and collaborative government. That is, in fact, why they have been so popular throughout the millennia and why democracies are historically quite rare. A system of checks and balances takes time. A clearly defined hierarchy taking orders from the top can move millions of men in 24 hours.
    26 Aug, 09:35 AM Reply Like
  • Vico Confino
    , contributor
    Comments (210) | Send Message
     
    Vico Confino 2012 Tesla 85
    Great comment. I have seen the enemy and it is attorneys. Greedy, self centered, egotists with out a shred of concern for their fellow man or country.
    I am learning to speak Chinese and hope to live for the day when they take control of this country. Justice will then be served upon those who have caused so much pain and misery.
    Teslarian
    26 Aug, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • SKVAM
    , contributor
    Comments (83) | Send Message
     
    Utterly foolish. Don't you get it? Do you read the news? The Chinese despots are in league with the corporations. That is the definition of fascist, the united corporate and business leadership. The Chinese created their companies, gave them protection, cheat, lie and steal for them, allow them to plagiarize and copy. Hardly honorable.

     

    And by the way, hope you like your name Confino, because they regularly confine human rights advocates and "lawyers," and beat parents who protest the death of their children in collapsed school buildings because the local arm of Peking stole the good cement for their own buildings, roll tanks over students, commit ethnic genocide in Tibet, and THIS is what you call "shred of concern." Are you blind, utterly blind?
    26 Aug, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • rjfriesen@comcast.net
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    So amazing to see a determined China outstrip the archaic, oil-dominated, overtaxed actions of the US. Little wonder that McKinsey predicts that more Fortune 500 companies will have their HQs there than are here in 20 years. Our innovation is dragged into the mud because neither party in government is able to move to support what's best for America.
    26 Aug, 07:27 AM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (1010) | Send Message
     
    Lets be fair Congress has the purse strings and will never let Obama take a victory lap. Many republican members of Congress can be seen on YouTupe videos saying they will never pass a bill asked for by Obama.
    26 Aug, 07:40 AM Reply Like
  • David at Imperial Beach
    , contributor
    Comments (4198) | Send Message
     
    What's fair about that? The Republicans and Democrats antagonized each other to the detriment of the country for at least a generation before Obama got into power. And Obama's "victory" is a disaster for the US healthcare system. His attempt to claim victory in the face of this horrible snafu is entirely unmerited, to say the least. Both parties long ago lost any sense of being sent to WDC to work for the best interests of ALL the people of the United States of America. I say through all the bums out and get a fresh batch. I refuse to waste my vote on a Republican or a Democrat any more.
    26 Aug, 09:46 AM Reply Like
  • JDoe20
    , contributor
    Comments (429) | Send Message
     
    David, yes it is so much better to throw your vote in the trash rather than vote for the lesser, some time much lesser, of two evils.
    That is how we got to the sorry state we are today.
    26 Aug, 10:03 AM Reply Like
  • Vico Confino
    , contributor
    Comments (210) | Send Message
     
    Great comment.
    Wake up Americans.
    Teslarian
    26 Aug, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • jim15936
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
     
    Moving headquarters to China, Venezuela or Cuba or any other 1-party state is corporate suicide, (ever heard of "nationalization")? Several companies are moving to Canada, where the top corporate rate was lowered to 15%, vs. the top US rate of 35%. That's fine, producing 20% more profits for all its investors. We will keep losing US companies to Canada, until the stupid and greedy pigs in Congress and the White House match the 15% rate.
    26 Aug, 06:55 PM Reply Like
  • Randy Carlson
    , contributor
    Comments (1462) | Send Message
     
    A philosophy of government that consists of "No and Don't and Can't and Won't" will not lead us to do what needs to be done.

     

    Neither is the philosophy that it is government's responsibility to guarantee every person's individual success going to drive innovation and competitiveness.

     

    For our country to win, it will be necessary to embrace the future and leave the past behind us, for otherwise it is we who will be left behind. This means some old, established industries must perish and new industries nurtured to replace the old. This is not going to be comfortable for investors, for employees or for executives, either for new companies or established ones.

     

    But it's the only way forward. Not every new company or new idea will succeed, nor will every old company or mature concept fail. Still, the winners will win and the losers lose. And, successful investors will be those who invest in the winners and short the losers before the others figure things out.

     

    Oh, there's nothing like a little philosophy on a Tuesday afternoon...
    26 Aug, 08:37 PM Reply Like
  • Randy Carlson
    , contributor
    Comments (1462) | Send Message
     
    David,

     

    Obama Care doesn't fix our health care system. It was never designed to do that. What is does do - or attempts to do - is address problems with how we pay for health care. Care for the indigent, the uninsured and the under-insured was going into the healthcare system 'overhead' which was driving up prices and the cost of insurance for those who were buying insurance. Forcing everyone (or at least almost everyone) into the insurance pool is a practical solution to the shifting of the costs of under-funded care onto the backs of those buying health insurance and/or health care services an 'list' price.

     

    In order to 'fix' healthcare, we must address cost effectiveness of medical services, procedures and products. Right now, consumers of medical care are virtually blind when it comes to choosing providers, services and products. How can one choose the right doctor when the success / fail performance of doctors is a carefully guarded secret? The same is true of virtually every medical procedure, service or product out there. And, on top of consumers with virtually no information upon which to choose best cost/performance options, these consumers are generally isolated from the cost because we have a third-party-payer system.

     

    For forty years or more, we have counted on insurance companies with access to outcomes information to 'police' the system toward cost effectiveness, only to find that the natural conflicts of interest of insurers has corrupted the process.

     

    One approach might be to 'socialize' health insurance (not healthcare) with something like 'Medicare for all'. We might also consider the combination of negotiating set fees across the industry and restricting insurance providers to be non-profit entities - as some European countries do.

     

    What ever we do choose to do, it remains scandalous and unacceptable that we in this country are paying more than twice as much per person for medical care while suffering shorter life expectancy. Surely we can be smarter than this.
    26 Aug, 09:03 PM Reply Like
  • Frank Greenhalgh
    , contributor
    Comments (1838) | Send Message
     
    A generic charging station for all vehicles will give China's EV sales a boost. Tesla could probably also use them but not at the supercharger level.
    26 Aug, 07:27 AM Reply Like
  • noob
    , contributor
    Comments (385) | Send Message
     
    I know the Supercharger bypasses the onboard AC/DC conversion, and other tricks, to allow a much higher current charge rate but is that something which is really proprietary - considering the patents are more/less public domain now?
    I think we need to get ourselves into some standards, J1772 is nice, but CHAdeMO has a much higher power transfer rate although the protocol is very different from Tesla. The problem with J1772 in the US is that no one really bothers to wire it beyond 30A, making it rather useless for anything other than a gesture, either in charging or in the type of EV you have. The 30-minute performance is pretty significant, especially for anyone traveling. Until then, the J1772 could be easily replaced with a simple 120V house plug.

     

    Eventually there will be some consolidation around a common AC/DC Charger and a DC high current charger. Meanwhile...?
    26 Aug, 07:50 AM Reply Like
  • tech01x
    , contributor
    Comments (723) | Send Message
     
    If you really look at what it means to build an EV charging infrastructure, you'll see that there really should be two kinds of chargers - a slow one and a fast one. This is not the same thing as a gasoline/diesel fueling infrastructure and the car owner habits are very different.

     

    30A charging is very effective for overnight charging. I agree that it is not useful at somewhere like a Kohl's or Walgreen's for anyone but the most desperate. Therefore, 30A chargers at hotels is very important, but not so much at shopping locations. Shopping locations could use 60-80A J1772, but only really at places like shopping malls, not Walgreens.

     

    DCFC installations like CHAdeMO so far are a complete waste of money. If they were cheap to do, that's one thing. But at $30-60k each for 20kW to 62kW charging, that's nonsense.
    26 Aug, 08:35 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3894) | Send Message
     
    Actually the so-called 30-amp solution "Level 2" charger (at 240 volts or 7.2 kW) at most commercial charging stations is fine for "topping off" while shopping at Kohls, or getting a coffee and sandwich. A half-hour charge with the Level 2 charger yields roughly 3.6 kW-hr, which should be good for another 10-12 miles range.

     

    Again we are talking about weekday commuting, chores and errands, sports and theater events, normal driving routines, and shopping trips here, not cross country vacation journeys, where ultra-fast charging is essential.

     

    The short range (sub-100 mile) EV concept envisions using opportunistic charging at charging stations at normal places of business, schools, churches, shopping centers, etc., as ubiquitous as parking meters and handicap parking spots. It would establish the new habit of always parking the vehicle at a charger and charging it enroute, much like feeding the parking meter, while attending to other matters.
    27 Aug, 03:37 PM Reply Like
  • Lensman03
    , contributor
    Comments (1591) | Send Message
     
    Regarding building standardized DC fast chargers, the problem here is that different EVs have different maximum charge rates. The Model S has a significantly larger (more kWh) battery pack than any other EV, and it uses cells optimized for high power. As a result, if has more power output... and can be charged at an equally high power rating.

     

    Ideally, public "DC fast chargers" should have a selector for what charge rate the EV can accept. But is it worth the money to build public chargers which can charge at the rate the Tesla Model S can accept, when Tesla has its own SuperCharger system?

     

    And looking to the future: As EVs are engineered to accept faster and faster quick-charging, aiming for that sweet spot of 5-10 minute charging, how fast are existing DC fast chargers going to become obsolete? Unfortunately, we can't build to a standard for future EVs, because we don't know how they will be engineered, or even what kind of electrical storage system will become the future standard. Flow batteries? The "all-electron battery"? Graphene-enhanced li-ion or li-sulfur cells? Quantum dot tech? Looking further into the future, possibly an onboard small nuclear-electric "Mr. Fusion" generator?

     

    The future of EV tech is uncertain, even though the dominance of pure EVs is assured.
    27 Aug, 05:50 PM Reply Like
  • John Bingham
    , contributor
    Comments (905) | Send Message
     
    Lensman,

     

    Fast DC chargers don't need a selector for the charge rate as it is the car's BMS that determines the charging current. This is why the chargers have to establish a "handshake" with the car before charging can start.

     

    We saw this in action when Tesla upgraded the Superchargers from 90 kW to 120 kW. An over-the-air update to the cars allowed the 85 kWh cars to accept the new maximum charge rate, but the car still controls the input current depending on the pack size and state of charge.
    28 Aug, 03:45 AM Reply Like
  • tech01x
    , contributor
    Comments (723) | Send Message
     
    Tdot,

     

    The EVSE infrastructure is supposed to last a long time. It makes sense to invest dollars wisely here. In 2020, it is unlikely that people will have BEV's with a short enough range to make it worth plugging into a 30A charger for a 15 minute Walgreens stop. Take a look at the charging habits of a Tesla Model S 60kWh owner. It's not the same as a 24kWh Leaf owner. By 2020, one would hope that the Leaf will likely have a 35 or 40 kWh pack. No point in plugging into a Whole Foods 30A EVSE for 30 minutes except for a very few desperate folks. Once you have enough range to comfortably handle your daily routine even in the dead of winter and a few side trips, you don't need the same kind of L2 charging infrastructure.

     

    Further, a 40kWh Leaf is likely to DCFC at 70+kWh. That makes all the 50kWh and lower CHAdeMO EVSE's a waste. The cost of a 50kW CHAdeMO EVSE would have to be amortized over 3-5 years instead of closer to 10+ years. They literally will not be able to charge enough money to make it worth it.

     

    On the other hand, even with 40kWh or 120kWh packs, a 80A J1772 will likely be worth it at a hotel or shopping mall. A stop of 1 hour is likely to gain 60 miles, which is definitely worth it. A stop overnight at a hotel will fill a 120kWh pack. That cost, $2200+installation can be amortized over a very long time. We have too many EVSE's in the wrong places. We need them at shopping malls, hotels, resorts, theme parks, recreational parks, ski resorts, etc. Places where people travelled potentially a long distance and need destination charging for many hours. Further, we need many plugs, not a single one or two.

     

    As for the changing DC standards, let the automobile companies sort that out. Government should help the L2 infrastructure, especially to seed the 1 or 2 in the right places. The sweet spot right now is a Clipper Creek 48A model for $899 if one doesn't need to charge for electricity.

     

    Nissan and the rest of the automobile world's insistence on 24A or 30A L2 charging and then splintering with ridiculous CHAdeMO or CCS is really a disservice to the EV movement. Imagine if Nissan shipped the Leaf with 80A J1772 instead of spending all that idiotic money on CHAdeMO in the U.S.

     

    Why is Tesla's Supercharger network not a splintering? It's because the Tesla Superchargers are the only ones that are 90+kW and most are now 135kW. They have the only cars that can charge at that rate. If CHAdeMO and/or CCS was being done at 135kW and the other automakers had cars the market that actually charged at that rate, then we can talk about standardization. It's quite simple... CCS can adopt the Tesla system - the Supercharger protocol is related to CCS anyways.
    28 Aug, 01:26 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3894) | Send Message
     
    Businesses can also be "incentivized" to install L2 EV chargers with tax breaks, just as consumers are incentivized to buy EVs and Plug-in Hybrids. The token 10-cents per kW-hr (typical electric rate) is small, but there is no reason why they could not charge, say, a dollar per kWhr, or $5 per hour, whatever the market might support.

     

    Independent vending machine type electrical contractors could even make a business around installing pay-chargers at business locations like Starbucks and Walgreens, splitting the profits with the store owner, or else paying rent.

     

    If nothing else, EV owners could plug in while dining at the Old Country Buffet to keep the AC or Heater running on low, so the cabin interior is already at a comfortable temperature when ready to depart. Which saves range by reducing the load on the AC while driving.
    28 Aug, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • Lensman03
    , contributor
    Comments (1591) | Send Message
     
    John Bingham said:

     

    << Lensman,

     

    Fast DC chargers don't need a selector for the charge rate as it is the car's BMS that determines the charging current. This is why the chargers have to establish a "handshake" with the car before charging can start. >>

     

    I'll take your word for it that it's standard in DC fast chargers to have the BMS set the charge rate. But I know in practical terms, this doesn't always work, as I've read about BEV owners returning to their car after plugging it in, and receiving an unpleasant surprise because the charger fed the car more current than it could handle, and the BMS shut off the charging.

     

    At best, the charger can only perform a properly working electronic "handshake" where the electronics and/or software of the charger and the car are designed to be compatible. In the context of the article above, the China market, it seems unwise to expect all public chargers in that country to be able to perform an electronic handshake with a Tesla Motors car. China has established or is establishing its own national charging standard.
    29 Aug, 01:53 AM Reply Like
  • Randy Carlson
    , contributor
    Comments (1462) | Send Message
     
    Lensman,

     

    This charger compatibility problem sure makes a strong argument for the SuperCharger approach - a 'walled garden' where Tesla controls both the car and the charger sides of the interface...
    29 Aug, 03:26 AM Reply Like
  • Lensman03
    , contributor
    Comments (1591) | Send Message
     
    Randy Carlson said:

     

    << Lensman,

     

    This charger compatibility problem sure makes a strong argument for the SuperCharger approach - a 'walled garden' where Tesla controls both the car and the charger sides of the interface... >>

     

    Yes, but only so long as it's only Tesla Motors cars which can be charged rapidly enough to accept the high current of a SuperCharger. There is a very good reason that all auto makers standardize certain things, like tire rims and the hole/pipe in the car which a gas pump nozzle fits into.

     

    GM, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, VW et al don't each have separate gas station networks, for a very good reason. Incompatibility at gas stations would hurt -every- car maker's sales. For the same reason, sooner or later, different EV makers won't each have their own proprietary DC fast charger network, as TslaM and BMW are now building in China.

     

    At least Tesla Motors did offer to share its SuperCharger patents, so it's not like Tesla Motors -wants- to bear all the cost for building a worldwide network of DC fast chargers all by itself.
    29 Aug, 08:58 AM Reply Like
  • Randy Carlson
    , contributor
    Comments (1462) | Send Message
     
    Lensman,

     

    I would take issue with your last point. I think Tesla would be very happy indeed to bear the cost of building all those SuperChargers - provided other manufacturers were paying ~$1,500 / car up front for 'free' road trip recharging... In fact, that would be a 'killer' business for Tesla, and a road-kill future for Exxon.
    29 Aug, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • Lensman03
    , contributor
    Comments (1591) | Send Message
     
    Randy Carlson said:

     

    << Lensman,

     

    I would take issue with your last point. I think Tesla would be very happy indeed to bear the cost of building all those SuperChargers - provided other manufacturers were paying ~$1,500 / car up front for 'free' road trip recharging... In fact, that would be a 'killer' business for Tesla, and a road-kill future for Exxon. >>

     

    I agree, -if- other auto makers were paying for those to be built. But they're not.

     

    There is a fairly recent SA article which presents figures to substantiate a claim that overall, the SuperCharger network is a money-maker for Tesla Motors. While that may indeed be true, I rather imagine TslaM would rather be spending its capital expanding its production and engineering new cars.

     

    Every dollar spent on the SuperCharger system is a dollar that's not spent on actually building more Tesla Motors cars, nor improving Tesla Motors' ability to build more. Nice as the SuperCharger system is, it doesn't prevent one drop of oil from being burnt in a gas guzzler, and that is Elon Musk's stated goal. Not at all to say SuperChargers are a waste of TslaM's money-- they clearly are not-- but SuperChargers only enable the Model S to prevent oil from being consumed.
    29 Aug, 05:56 PM Reply Like
  • Randy Carlson
    , contributor
    Comments (1462) | Send Message
     
    Lensman,

     

    I wrote that article.

     

    The bottom line is that if BEVs are going to replace general market ICE cars, there has to be a 'road trip' fast charging solution. The combination of a BEV slightly smaller than the Model S (e.g. Model III) with ~250 mi EPA range and hooking up to ~120kW chargers delivers road-trip 'block speeds' identical to an ICE car. Such a solution must include both the chargers, the charger network (to achieve coverage), the battery design, peak utility load alleviation, AND appropriate financial engineering to make it happen.

     

    So far, ONLY Tesla's SuperCharger network, station designs, cars and 'free-for-life' business model meet ALL the requirements. Not only has Mr. Musk offered participation in this road-trip solution to other manufacturers by opening up Tesla's patents, he has a business model that will yield phenomenal returns to Tesla shareholders.
    30 Aug, 01:18 AM Reply Like
  • Lensman03
    , contributor
    Comments (1591) | Send Message
     
    Randy Carlson wrote:

     

    << Lensman,

     

    I wrote that article. >>

     

    Ah. Well then, no doubt you agree with the author. <^_^>

     

    << The combination of a BEV slightly smaller than the Model S (e.g. Model III) with ~250 mi EPA range and hooking up to ~120kW chargers delivers road-trip 'block speeds' identical to an ICE car. >>

     

    I confess I couldn't follow the reasoning of your "block speed" argument, but I stopped trying, because it obviously fails a reality check. There is no way that refilling a gas guzzler and continuing the journey could take as long as recharging a BEV and then continuing the journey. That will remain true until PEV charging speeds come down to the range of 10 minutes or less.

     

    Tesla Motors realizes this:
    http://bit.ly/Um46nT

     

    And your argument that one of the stops to recharge per day "doesn't count" because you have to stop for lunch anyway, also fails a reality check. One complaint about the SuperCharger locations is that none of them are within walking distance of a nice restaurant. At best, you can get fast food. Some locations don't even have that within reasonable walking distance. While I personally have no objection to fast food, I think the average Model S owner would like something better when on a road trip.

     

    I'll say this again: We EV supporters should stick to facts and truth when arguing the merits of BEVs. We should leave the truth-twisting and cherry-picking of facts to the anti-EV crowd. When we descend to their level, we just give them ammunition to argue it's all opinion and that nobody's position is objectively true.

     

    I won't claim that my opinions are all 100% true; I suffer from biases just like anyone else. But I do try to stick to the facts, and when someone demonstrates that one of my points is wrong, I concede the point and change my position accordingly.

     

    The debate here would be much more meaningful and productive if everyone did the same.
    30 Aug, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • Randy Carlson
    , contributor
    Comments (1462) | Send Message
     
    Lensman,

     

    If you assume ICE block speed calculations only include the time needed to put gasoline into the tank, you are implicitly assuming the driver has unlimited bladder capacity, etc. If one includes reasonable "rest stop" times for both ICE and BEV, then it comes down to whether the BEV can accept enough charge during the rest stop times, or if the rest stop times have to be extended. As the charger power increases, one reaches a point of parity and this does NOT require the BEV to be charged in the same time it takes to fill the ICE car's tank BECAUSE unlike the ICE fueling case, the BEV's recharging is done 'unattended' so the charging time does not add to the time for one's 'rest stop errands'.

     

    The 'point of parity' does of course depend on what one assumes reasonable rest stop duration is likely to be, and this does vary between different drivers and different 'missions'.

     

    The 'food at SuperChargers' issue is kind of silly. If one has traveled routes like Interstate 5 in California it is at once obvious 'premium' restaurants are, well, at a premium... SuperChargers do seem to be located at good restaurants where they exist along major routes. Here are some photos from the Harris Ranch Restaurant located on I5. There is a SuperCharger station in the parking lot.

     

    http://bit.ly/Y1iR1q

     

    (Harris Ranch is a large supplier of premium beef in California, and it appears that vegetarian menu selections may be limited.)

     

    Of course not every SuperCharger offers proximity to restaurants like this one, but then, just how many prime rib dinners does one plan on having while on a single day's drive?
    30 Aug, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3894) | Send Message
     
    Also, most "gas guzzlers" get 450-500 miles of highway driving range, so there could be nearly twice the time and distance between fueling stops.
    30 Aug, 02:27 PM Reply Like
  • molli
    , contributor
    Comments (942) | Send Message
     
    @lensman03 - "One complaint about the SuperCharger locations is that none of them are within walking distance of a nice restaurant. At best, you can get fast food. Some locations don't even have that within reasonable walking distance. "

     

    Mainly a US problem... on the road mostly fast food is the only choice gasoline or electric. Look to Europe... people drive to some superchargers because of the restaurant it is attached to - latest addition is the Kaiserhof... my grandmother did a 500 mile bus tour in the seventies to experience it.
    30 Aug, 04:14 PM Reply Like
  • Lensman03
    , contributor
    Comments (1591) | Send Message
     
    Randy Carlson said:

     

    << If you assume ICE block speed calculations only include the time needed to put gasoline into the tank, you are implicitly assuming the driver has unlimited bladder capacity, etc. If one includes reasonable "rest stop" times for both ICE and BEV, then it comes down to whether the BEV can accept enough charge during the rest stop times, or if the rest stop times have to be extended. >>

     

    I certainly reject the anti-EV argument that a BEV won't be competitive until we can recharge the battery fully in two minutes. Certainly on a long road trip, one wants to visit the rest room, stretch his legs, and perhaps grab a fountain drink or a bottle of water from the convenience store. So that's why I say an approx. 10 minute recharge will be the goal of anyone running an ultra-fast-charge, pay-to-charge station; and the owner of such a station owner doesn't appear to have much incentive to reduce the charge time much below that.

     

    But nobody wants to hang around for half an hour at a rest stop, unless they're getting a meal.

     

    Frankly it puzzles me that you continue to make this argument, Randy, because otherwise you seem to write sensibly and knowledgeably. As I recall, your knowledge of the technical side of batteries is impressive. But your argument here just doesn't fly.

     

    << SuperChargers do seem to be located at good restaurants where they exist along major routes. Here are some photos from the Harris Ranch Restaurant located on I5. >>

     

    Well, since I live in Kansas and not in California, I have no way of investigating the situation for myself. I just remember seeing some complaints on a forum about the lack of anything except fast food near SuperStations. But perhaps that problem was overstated.

     

    Still, I note you only cite a single example of a good restaurant near a SuperCharger. Your question: "...just how many prime rib dinners does one plan on having while on a single day's drive?" ...appears to be an effort to dismiss the issue rather than address it. One does not pick a SuperCharger location based on it being the one in the entire network near a restaurant where you can get superb prime rib. One chooses a SC location because it's in or near the right place to recharge the car.
    31 Aug, 02:03 AM Reply Like
  • Lensman03
    , contributor
    Comments (1591) | Send Message
     
    molli said:

     

    << ...on the road mostly fast food is the only choice gasoline or electric. >>

     

    Speak for yourself. I do eat fast food when driving around my home town, but on a road trip I like to take a break from hours of driving or riding, and eat at a nice restaurant. If you can't find one when you're traveling, then you aren't looking very hard.
    31 Aug, 02:08 AM Reply Like
  • molli
    , contributor
    Comments (942) | Send Message
     
    @lensman03 - find something on I5 between the Bay Area and LA... good luck. Harris Ranch in the eighties was a very nice place, but today it is just a zoo. It may be different on the East Coast or in the Midwest, but in CA we have great restaurants in the Bay Area and LA but hardly anything in between. Go 101 and it is a slightly different story, but it takes an extra 1-2 hrs driving.

     

    I think the whole debate how fast can I refill is missing the point... I am driving 9-10 hrs from the Bay Area to San Diego and all squabble is about the 1 to 2 hrs stopping... for me the other part of the journey the 8 hrs driving is much more important and that is where the electric car shines - smooth quiet rolling down the highway, effortless going up the grapevine, LA stop and go traffic is relaxing... only chauffeured in a RollRoyce would come close.
    By the way - I don't eat fast food. My order of evil is (1) processed food, (2) gasoline & diesel noise and stink,...
    31 Aug, 03:13 AM Reply Like
  • Randy Carlson
    , contributor
    Comments (1462) | Send Message
     
    Lensman,

     

    I have and continue to do quite a bit of "road trip" driving and the rest-stop to driving profile I used for the ICE reference case is based on my personal experience. Is it possible to do a road-trip in a more "obsessive-compulsive" fashion? Of course.

     

    The question I was attempting to answer however was whether, and at what level of charging performance and driving range the BEV road trip experience would be the same as the ICE experience? The answer appears to be that a ~250 mile EPA range, combined with ~120kW chargers does this job.

     

    In California and much of the Southwest, really good restaurants along heavily traveled routes between cities are scarce. I suppose it is the case that most travelers don't want to stop for the hour and a half or more it takes to enjoy a nice meal at a great restaurant. Finding a really good restaurant on a road trip may be a problem, but it doesn't appear to be a "SuperCharger problem", at least not here. In the East, the toll roads carry almost exclusively road trip traffic and have rest-stop / fueling facilities dedicated to serving this traffic. My experience there is comparatively limited, but I cannot recall ever having a great dining experience at one of these facilities...
    31 Aug, 11:54 AM Reply Like
  • jyurow
    , contributor
    Comments (28) | Send Message
     
    Of course, battery swapping can be done in much less time, say around five minutes, which is competitive with a gasoline filling station. The problem of course is the up front cost of the robotic battery swapping facility, around $500,000. I wonder if it could be done more cheaply manually by a small labor force aided by something like a forklift? Battery swapping as a "pit stop"?
    31 Aug, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • Lensman03
    , contributor
    Comments (1591) | Send Message
     
    Randy Carlson said:

     

    << I suppose it is the case that most travelers don't want to stop for the hour and a half or more it takes to enjoy a nice meal at a great restaurant. >>

     

    A hour and a half to eat lunch?? Good heavens, I said a "nice restaurant" at which I can relax and enjoy a meal. In other words, something a step up from fast food or a "greasy spoon". Not getting a seven-course meal at a five-star restaurant! I can't imagine what would justify a 90+ minute lunch or dinner break during a road trip. I don't like to be rushed when I eat, but 45 minutes is plenty.
    1 Sep, 12:17 AM Reply Like
  • Lensman03
    , contributor
    Comments (1591) | Send Message
     
    jyurow said:

     

    << Of course, battery swapping can be done in much less time, say around five minutes, which is competitive with a gasoline filling station. The problem of course is the up front cost of the robotic battery swapping facility, around $500,000. I wonder if it could be done more cheaply manually by a small labor force aided by something like a forklift? Battery swapping as a "pit stop"? >>

     

    Or even a battery swap using a forklift by just the driver alone:

     

    http://aol.it/1pi78k0

     

    But this is restricted to a single fleet of commercial vehicles and trained drivers. Use by a single fleet avoids the problem of who owns the battery packs after swapping.
    1 Sep, 12:24 AM Reply Like
  • molli
    , contributor
    Comments (942) | Send Message
     
    @lens - here is one for you...

     

    At peak times the "nice" restaurant is so packed you can't get in, but as a supercharger user they have a table reserved for you...

     

    http://bit.ly/1rIYqDb
    1 Sep, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • Hmpffff
    , contributor
    Comments (128) | Send Message
     
    You may look back at other big Chinese investment announcements, the Chinese Investment bubble is increasingly under stress, of that 16 Billions, 8 will be ebmezzeled, 4 wasted, and maybe 4 will still be invested.

     

    Also with most of the electricity coming out of dirty coal burning plants, i am not sure its a better solution for air quailty
    26 Aug, 07:55 AM Reply Like
  • tech01x
    , contributor
    Comments (723) | Send Message
     
    Coal is terrible. But gasoline is worse.
    26 Aug, 08:36 AM Reply Like
  • gofx
    , contributor
    Comments (674) | Send Message
     
    @hmpffff,

     

    On China's coal electricity ... they are working on that too...

     

    http://bit.ly/1rTZYX9

     

    "In China, now with 15 operating reactors on the mainland, the country is well into the next phase of its nuclear power program. Some 26 reactors are under construction and many more are likely to be so in 2012. Those under construction include the world's first Westinghouse AP1000 units, and a demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor plant is due to start construction. Many more units are planned, with construction due to start within three years. But most capacity under construction is the largely indigenous CPR-1000 design. China aims at least to quadruple its nuclear capacity from that operating and under construction by 2020."
    26 Aug, 09:01 AM Reply Like
  • jyurow
    , contributor
    Comments (28) | Send Message
     
    Well, at least coal burning power plants don't have wheels!
    26 Aug, 11:43 AM Reply Like
  • All Your Bases
    , contributor
    Comments (187) | Send Message
     
    What is needed is a nice +10kWh AC charge where people park their cars for the night and at work. DC charge can then be placed more strategic, for longer travels, like the supercharger network. You can probably create 100's of AC outlets for the price of a DC charge station. Every RV park and marina has these installations, no big deal.
    26 Aug, 08:27 AM Reply Like
  • jyurow
    , contributor
    Comments (28) | Send Message
     
    Peter Uldal wrote: " Every RV park and marina has these installations, no big deal. "

     

    But, sadly, not every apartment building and garage-less townhouse development.
    2 Sep, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • jim90
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    If you visit China you'll not likely see the sun. Why you ask, the smog from pollution is there all the time, pretty much. They really do have to fix it. Cars which have not yet been a large factor, are soon to be with the millions more people who can afford them. That means electric cars are more important there than here.
    26 Aug, 08:49 AM Reply Like
  • Retired Securities Attorney
    , contributor
    Comments (2604) | Send Message
     
    Depends on where in China. In Beijing, true. In Dalian, not so much. I'll be there for three weeks late September - early October. I'll let you know what color the sun is when I get there. :-)
    26 Aug, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3894) | Send Message
     
    It is amusing to consider that if the ambient air pollution in China is severe, the tailpipe exhaust from the newest vehicles with state of the art emissions controls might be cleaner than the air coming in, once the catalysts light off. And some time back, automakers like Volvo proposed treating radiators with catalysts that would help clear the ozone and whatnot at ground level.

     

    In other words, except for carbon dioxide production, the newest vehicles might help clean the air of noxious pollutants from coal plants and older vehicles and motor scooters and such. Welcome to the world of PZEV and SULEV vehicles.
    27 Aug, 03:48 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (4950) | Send Message
     
    That's bullish for the domestic and JVs selling cheaper EVs....it remains to be seen if China uses its new (domestic) GB/T standard for DC charging in this rollout, this looks likely.*

     

    The big carmakers who invested in JVs with Chinese car makers (Denza, Zinoro, Venucia, Clarely...) invested a lot of money and are ready to launch their vehicles later in 2014 and 2015. Some even held back their launches until China added more incentives and infrastructure.

     

    ______
    * China famously eschewed adopting the two existing international standards and plug systems (CCS and Chademo) for DC fast-charging.
    26 Aug, 09:14 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (4950) | Send Message
     
    More on the Chinese standard here for those interested in details: http://bit.ly/1AQJ2FJ (see page 16 and 17 in the PDF).

     

    PS: Typo above. The last brand should read "Carely" (FAW-Volkswagen JV).
    26 Aug, 09:23 AM Reply Like
  • Lensman03
    , contributor
    Comments (1591) | Send Message
     
    The leaders of China are pushing EV tech because of the massive and growing problem with air pollution. For the same reason, they have recently moved to limit or eliminate a red-tape snarl of local and province-level protectionist laws and regulations which made it difficult or impossible to sell an EV outside the locality or province where it was built.

     

    This is one of those "a rising tide floats all boats" things. It will benefit all EV makers, including American and European auto makers. China still has a lot of protectionism, making it difficult for foreign companies to compete there, yet it is now GM's biggest market. So it's a market well worth pursuing, despite the difficulties.
    26 Aug, 09:38 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (4950) | Send Message
     
    "yet it is now GM's biggest market."

     

    It depends on foreign car makers having a) localized production in China and b) "guanxi" with local officials. Both require money and patience.

     

    GM has domestic plants and even "tired" brands like Cadillac sell very well in China...

     

    "GM expects Cadillac China sales to increase by at least 40 pct this year" / "GM China Vice President John Stadwick forecast full-year sales of 70,000 vehicles."

     

    "The strategy of local production, which helps skirt high import duties, would enable Cadillac to be priced more competitively in a luxury car market currently dominated by German brands BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, all of which are heavily made in China."

     

    http://reut.rs/YWfZCX

     

    For foreign car makers without local production and/or JVs with Chinese car makers, high hurdles and taxes remain in place.
    26 Aug, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • Doc's Trading
    , contributor
    Comments (1283) | Send Message
     
    TSLA.... Despite the fact we were stopped out yesterday for a small profit at 261.30, I recommend the short sale of the stock again here at 263-264 area with a buy stop at 267.30. This is our 65th recommendation since Feb of this year. 59 correct, 3 loses and 3 working. Total gains 472 points, loses 12 points.
    more later......
    26 Aug, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • tanel025
    , contributor
    Comments (111) | Send Message
     
    Well this was 4th lose then, as TSLA rose above 270. Shorting Tesla is not an easy task.
    30 Aug, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • thestockbroker
    , contributor
    Comments (461) | Send Message
     
    Look at AVAV
    26 Aug, 01:53 PM Reply Like
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