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Thread: The "Electric Highway"

              
   
   
  1. #11
    EVangelist electriKAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    The article says that "range anxiety" remains an issue with electric vehicles and publicly available charging stations - at workplaces, retail stores and shopping malls - are widely seen as part of the solution.

    Coulomb's ChargePoint Network includes features like trip planning and an iPhone application that gives directions to the nearest available charging station. The network is open to all electric vehicle drivers, and half of the electric vehicle drivers in the United States now have a ChargePoint card.
    Now that I've had my Th!nk City for three weeks, I've come to realize that so called "range anxiety" is BS. You look at the SOC meter and you know how far you can go. You check whether your trip is within that range. Either you can, or cannot make the trip in your EV. Unless you're right on the hairy edge, you should have zero anxiety. So far I've driven nearly 700 miles while my gas car just sits at home. I have not once been worried about getting stuck.

    Another thing I'd like to add. I've got a ChargePoint card and the smartphone app. I have used public charging a few times. Just last Sunday I ran into a Walgreen's and plugged in while I was there. My total charge time was about six minutes. Whoo-hoo, that'll add some miles! Unless you're charging all day at work, or doing a shopping marathon at the mall, public charging stations don't help that much. I am glad to see them because I think they will help to change public perception. But from a practical standpoint, they're not as important as many people think.

  2. #12
    Moderator ZoomSmith's Avatar
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    But from a practical standpoint, they're not as important as many people think.
    I suspected as much. Thanks for the real-world input!

  3. #13
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    "It looks like the "Electric Highway" is going to be greatly expanded, at least in California"

    This power crisis settlement appears to be a little complicated. Here is an article that tries to explain it better.
    http://evfinder.com/evfinder_blogarc...sis_Settlement

  4. #14
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    Someone is trying to put a bump in the Electric Highway. According to the business section of my newspaper, in an article written by Dana Hull of Mecurynews.com, the State is being sued by Ecotality, a San Francicso-based maker of electric car charging stations to overturn the agreement with NRG Energy to build thousands of charging stations in CA. In their suit, Ecotality contends that the State's settlement agreement was illegal and hurts consumers. The claim is that requiring NRG to build $100 million in charging station infrastructure gives them too much of a head start on other companies and will create a charging station monopoly for NRG in California. The lawsuit asks the state Court of Appeals to block the agreement and direct the PUC to cease and desist any efforts to implement it.

    Apparently, no charging stations is better than lots of charging stations, if only one company gets to build them.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by electriKAT View Post
    My total charge time was about six minutes. Whoo-hoo, that'll add some miles! Unless you're charging all day at work, or doing a shopping marathon at the mall, public charging stations don't help that much.
    These "charge stations" are really just plug-in points, offering no more functionality than a dryer plug in your garage. The J1772 connector chargers IMHO is so worthless its a detriment to EVs. It's just a system to get to charge you before closing a simple contactor to power your existing on-board charger, it's not a charger itself at all.

    The path to meaningful EV charging is CHAdeMO chargers sitting around everywhere. This way, your charge station is a charger (note, I'm saying charger, not AC outlet that you activate or pay to switch on like J1772). They send DC straight to the battery. You connect, your bike has a little CAN interface module that tells it how many amps your battery can handle, and what voltage to stop charging at, and it directly charges your battery. No stupid on-board charger needed at all, just a CHAdeMO socket with cables hooked straight to the battery, where it can charge anything from 50v to 500v from 0.5amps to 125amps.

    So, in the case of popping in to charge for 15minutes, you could actually add meaningful capacity to your battery. :-) In fact, if you were a Nissan Leaf for example, you could accept 12kw-hr in that 15minute trip inside walgreens. That's pretty damn useful IMHO.

    To have a charger this powerful, it requires a ton of weight for the required big magnetics and giant caps and big IGBT array and cooling for everything. With CHAdeMO, you put all the heavy expensive parts of charging off the vehicle mounted on a concrete pad rather than every customer needing to buy one with each vehicle and haul it around with them (like J1772 or all other AC based charging requires).

    It kinda makes me sick they want to waste 100million dollars installing a bunch of J1772 based chargers around Cali. The whole concept of AC "fast charging" is just another thing hindering the electric revolution from happening, because it's simply impossible unless you want to add 200lbs and $10,000 of charger to every electric vehicle, which is just ridiculous, when you can mount that equipment outside where it doesn't add weight and cost to every vehicle, and then each charger can be used by everyone who needs it rather than just used by the car carrying it around (like with AC charging).

  6. Likes gasfreeearth liked this post
  7. #16
    Senior Member Skeezmour's Avatar
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    Totaly agree with LFP. Plus with the big DC charging it really would be much more of gas station situation. Most days you don't need it (just like most cars or bikes don't have to go fill up everyday) since your leaving with your 50-300+ mile range already. Only need the fast charging when I'm going outside my normal milage.

    We have an 18kw charger in the Manzanita Micro E-Stang and it is nice to be able to charge faster than we take it out. But to carry around 50+kw charger would be HUGE and expensive as LFP said. Personaly I would be really happy to have L14-50 plugs everywhere.

  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by liveforphysics View Post
    These "charge stations" are really just plug-in points, offering no more functionality than a dryer plug in your garage. The J1772 connector chargers IMHO is so worthless its a detriment to EVs. It's just a system to get to charge you before closing a simple contactor to power your existing on-board charger, it's not a charger itself at all.

    The path to meaningful EV charging is CHAdeMO chargers sitting around everywhere. This way, your charge station is a charger (note, I'm saying charger, not AC outlet that you activate or pay to switch on like J1772). They send DC straight to the battery. You connect, your bike has a little CAN interface module that tells it how many amps your battery can handle, and what voltage to stop charging at, and it directly charges your battery. No stupid on-board charger needed at all, just a CHAdeMO socket with cables hooked straight to the battery, where it can charge anything from 50v to 500v from 0.5amps to 125amps.

    So, in the case of popping in to charge for 15minutes, you could actually add meaningful capacity to your battery. :-) In fact, if you were a Nissan Leaf for example, you could accept 12kw-hr in that 15minute trip inside walgreens. That's pretty damn useful IMHO.

    To have a charger this powerful, it requires a ton of weight for the required big magnetics and giant caps and big IGBT array and cooling for everything. With CHAdeMO, you put all the heavy expensive parts of charging off the vehicle mounted on a concrete pad rather than every customer needing to buy one with each vehicle and haul it around with them (like J1772 or all other AC based charging requires).

    It kinda makes me sick they want to waste 100million dollars installing a bunch of J1772 based chargers around Cali. The whole concept of AC "fast charging" is just another thing hindering the electric revolution from happening, because it's simply impossible unless you want to add 200lbs and $10,000 of charger to every electric vehicle, which is just ridiculous, when you can mount that equipment outside where it doesn't add weight and cost to every vehicle, and then each charger can be used by everyone who needs it rather than just used by the car carrying it around (like with AC charging).
    Completely agree, with one caveat. I do quite like the J1772 connector for home charging, just because it's much more idiot-proof, physically robust, and long-lived than existing NEMA-style connectors.
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
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    Battery stats comparison spreadsheet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    The claim is that NRG's business model requires consumers to sign up for a subscription plan and pay a fixed monthly rate to charge their electric vehicle. Many members of the Bay Area EV Strategic Council, formed a year ago to accelerate the mass adoption of electric vehicles in the region, believe that charging stations should be open to any electric vehicle driver, in the same way that drivers of gasoline-powered cars can refuel at any gas station. NRG has agreed to let the 200 fast chargers be "pay for use" and open to anyone for the first 5 years of their operation. After that it is not clear what their model will be, when the agreement sunsets.
    There are several eVGo charge stations in Houston, and it was unclear to me from their web site whether one could use them without a subscription (which was something like $90/month). They certainly steer you towards subscribing.

  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by liveforphysics View Post
    These "charge stations" are really just plug-in points, offering no more functionality than a dryer plug in your garage. The J1772 connector chargers IMHO is so worthless its a detriment to EVs. It's just a system to get to charge you before closing a simple contactor to power your existing on-board charger, it's not a charger itself at all.

    The path to meaningful EV charging is CHAdeMO chargers sitting around everywhere. This way, your charge station is a charger (note, I'm saying charger, not AC outlet that you activate or pay to switch on like J1772). They send DC straight to the battery.
    Is this akin to, or the same thing as, the "Level 3" 480V DC charging I've read about?

    I agree with you, that for charge stations to be as convenient as, say, gas stations, something like this must be implemented. Being able to jack into the plug on my Zero's battery housing and fully charge in 2 or 3 hours without hauling around 4 chargers of my own would be great. I think I'd still want some kind of on-vehicle overcurrent/overvoltage protection, though. I wonder if the prospect of paying for someone's fried Tesla due to a malfunction in the charging station is something on these companies' legal departments' minds.

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  12. #20
    Moderator gasfreeearth's Avatar
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    Yes the trouble with charging stations is they are just basically dryer or stove outlets with a different connector. It's not a "charger" at all as you have to have the charger on your motorcycle. Or in my case 4 of them. thinking about adding more. Sure would like to have DC fast charging and drop all the charger weight off the bike. We're still waiting to see whether CHAdeMO or the SAE proposal becomes the next official standard, right?

    And Clic, you know you can put 4 chargers on that Zero of yours now, right?
    Last edited by gasfreeearth; 24 July 2012 at 0154.
    Charging electric motorcycles Off The Grid in Orlando Florida

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