The Tesla Charging Network

Discussion in 'Hybrid, PHEV & EV Electric Cars Forum' started by gangzoom, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. IronGiant

    IronGiant
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    The likelihood is that they will all plug into the National Grid though...

    I echo your sentiments over the Government running it though.

    I'm curious as to how Tesla can set up a bank of superchargers so easily, without needing their own substation installed.
     
  2. gangzoom

    gangzoom
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    Why industry bosses say electrification will have consequences | Autocar

    Articles like this really show the total lack of ambition/imagine the current auto industry have towards EVs.

    Whilst Tesla is pressing ahead with rolling out charging solutions in the real world, the men in suits are still coming up with excuses to keep the status quo.....

    2025 no seems to be a random figure been flung around for when EVs can go 'mass market'. In 2025 I would have been driving EVs for 10 years, and our Tesla 8 years old!!!

    The question around charging really shoudlnt be about why Tesla can get it so right, but why the rest of the autoindustry is so stagnant and devoid of vision.

    The CEO of Microsoft once said the iPhone had 0% chance of gaining any significant market share. The old guard need to realise the game has moved on, and get their act together before its too late.
     
  3. lovegroova

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    What exactly do they say that points to them wanting to preserve the status quo?
    The PSA guy rightly pointed out that as governments have instructed them to build EVs, then governments will have to provide the infrastructure to charge them all (which they should anyway, as discussed in the other thread).

    Tesla are most definitely not mass market, and all EVs put together are not mass market. You said this yourself the other day when you pointed out the number of EVs you'd seen during your travels in the USA.

    It's one thing for a tiny manufacturer to set up charging stations, Tesla sold just 76,000 cars in the whole of 2016. VW sold 10.3 million cars in 2016. Setting a up a charging network for that number of cars is a different kettle of fish altogether.
     
  4. lovegroova

    lovegroova
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    I think they do need one - this planning application contains some useful information:
    DC/15/2587/FUL | Planning Application - Installation of (i) 8no charging heads for recharging electric vehicles (ii) 4no Supercharger cabinets to power the 8no charging heads (iii) Substation with wooden enclosures (iv)Low level lighting (v) 1no non-illuminated parking sign (vi) Access Road | Elveden Inn Brandon Road Elveden Suffolk IP24 3TP

    "Planning Application - Installation of (i) 8no charging heads for recharging electric vehicles (ii) 4no Supercharger cabinets to power the 8no charging heads (iii) Substation with wooden enclosures (iv)Low level lighting (v) 1no non-illuminated parking sign (vi) Access Road"

    And this link is to the site plan: https://planning.westsuffolk.gov.uk...89F4/pdf/DC_15_2587_FUL-SITE_PLAN-1038991.pdf
     
  5. gangzoom

    gangzoom
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    There is nothing easy about it. Tesla spends a huge amount of effort behind close doors negotiating access/land/power supply. It actually only takes them a few weeks to do the physical work of installing the chargers, but getting all the right signatures take months to years.
     
  6. IronGiant

    IronGiant
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    Interesting, so there is also a proposed HV cable to supply the substation. So everything from scratch.

    So I see :thumbsup:
     
  7. gangzoom

    gangzoom
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    Jus comeback from holiday and had a perfect demonstration of why a good, reliable, multi-site, fast charging network virtually solves all the range issues associated with EV.

    We live 110 miles away from Heathrow, once a year we go on holiday abroad via Heathrow park the car in longstay. This is probably one of the longest drives we do, and one trip where I really don't want to be worried about charging issues, especially given the long fight before/after the drive.

    When we left the car in Heathrow it had 56% charge, it used 2% when parked up for 10 days presumably to keep the various electronic monitoring systems working, but still had enough range to get us home without stopping - just.

    But as it turned out our 18month old daughter decided to do a poo poo stop half way into the trip, which timed in perfectly with coming up to Northampton services where there are 6 Tesla chargers. So we took the opportunity to feed her and stretch our legs, by the time we were ready to go the car was back up to 90% charge!! So when I got home I didn't even need to plug in overnight because the car still had 69% charge left :)

    Couple with AutoPilot it was probably the most relaxing drive back from Heathrow I've experienced. Have a trip up to Edinburgh via Glasgow coming up that really should finally give me a chance to test out some other SuperCharger sites :)

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Bl4ckGryph0n

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    Emotive language aside that is exactly how I would feel about it. Part of the price paid for a Tesla/Apple/[INSERT ANY PARTICULAR BRAND] is how it is supported. And this is part of it as well. Especially for those original buyers who had it included in the price of their vehicle.

    Nothing wrong with that - there are many premium products that come with premium benefits.
     
  9. IronGiant

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    Nothing wrong with a bit of Elitism, especially if you've paid for the privilege :thumbsup: My thinking was more along the lines of if Tesla is keen on promoting EVs in general then maybe it should be a bit better at sharing :)
     
  10. tfboy

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    Just bumping this thread with a slightly different perspective on it all.
    Yes, Tesla have offered other manufacturers the option of joining in with the Supercharger network. To date, no one has. It's not quite as straight forward as that because of the electrics involved. The Tesla SuC (Supercharging for short) network uses a totally non-standard way of supplying power through the Mennekes Type 2 socket used. So other manufacturers can only tap into this if they design the car to also work in this otherwise non-standard way.

    So now you might think "Hey, Tesla are being hypocritical and whilst they say they invite others, their non-standard system means it's not possible". Well, Tesla didn't do it like that by choice. The simple matter is there is (or rather now was) no other way of getting 100kW+ of power into some batteries. CHAdeMO rapid DC charging is only up to 50kW at best. Now we have CCS which ironically is the Type 2 + some larger seperate DC pins. The CCS is the new European standard allowing for slow to medium AC charging via three-phase power and rapid DC charging via the dedicated DC pins. But at the time, those didn't exist. So Tesla had to innovate.

    The Tesla SuC take a lot of abuse and they have a team of support engineers going round changing the Type 2 connectors and lead relatively frequently because they don't last - the 300 amps going through exceeds the original design spec of the Type 2 connector. It's not cheap, it's frikkin expensive managing this network, and it's only getting more expensive as the number of SuC stations increases. A pair of SuC stalls cost around £50-100k. So you're easily into £1M on SuC sites which have 8-12 charge points. That's a lot of money to fork up when you're (currently!) not getting any real revenue from it. Then there's the OpEx on top, the actual electricity.

    There's also the issue of having a battery system capable of taking in that amount of power. And you can only put so much power into a given Li-Ion cell before it explodes. So the other reason Tesla can get up to 120kW of power into a car is because it has a huge battery capable of taking the hit. Lower capacity 60kW Tesla cars don't take as much power. But they still take more or less the same amount of time as their total capacity is less. So even if other manufactuers had developed the non-standard DC over Type 2 connector protocol thingy, they wouldn't have had cars capable of taking in the power anyway with less than 40kWh capacity packs.

    The SuC network is growing at a rapid pace. There are some places that have been suggested by Tesla owners and within a month or two, a site becomes online. This is amazingly fast. Then there are others where the building works are finished, but still haven't been enabled. Bureaucracy and paperwork will be the issue here. I'm thinking of Fleet services on the M3 and Membury on the M4.

    It's a massively challenging time for the deployment of high powered rapid EV infrastructure which will continue to be required as long as people want to have long distance travel.

    ...and then there's the Megacharger network. That's another kettle (or a few million 3kW kettles) of fish! :p
     
  11. tfboy

    tfboy
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    ...and I'll admit, having the SuC network was a requirement for me going EV and Tesla were the only doing it. Without the SuC network, I wouldn't be able to do a 900 mile drive in a day on my own. That right there is the deal-clincher for me, and I speak from experience having driven from Reading to the South West Pyrenees, practically in Spain, all the way through France. Drive 2-3 hours, stop for 30 minutes for a rapid top-up whilst I have a snack / loo break, etc. It does force you to stop, but it's not a bad thing ;) I arrive arguably 2 hours later than had I slogged through it all with my previous diesel car, filling up just once. But I'm fresh, not knackered, haven't lost the following day to recover. So you see, it's actually quicker than in an ICE :)
     
  12. lovegroova

    lovegroova
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    Only in the weird world of Tesla owners could a journey that takes 2 hours longer be described as quicker ;) :D
     
  13. tfboy

    tfboy
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    Haha. Well, there is the notion of TeslaTime where time is often relative. As a Tesla owner, you eventually get used to the concept :D
    But seriously, yes, long trips take a little longer, but it's such a relaxing experience that you don't see time go by. In my previous car, when I made the same UK - France journey, my goal was to get there as reasonably quickly as possible. Now, it's different. I'm not that worried about the time it takes because, frankly, I don't care. It's such a relaxing, enjoyable moment the actual journey is part of the holiday period and I appreciate it on its own.
     
  14. PRESSTOG

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    Not just Tesla, the same in other EVs "The Quality" of the journey is more important than the time. You learn that quickly after spending time in an EV

    Getting there relaxed and happy makes such a difference (And coming from someone who spends hours and hours a week stuck in M1 traffic) I can tell you my stress levels are so much lower.
     
  15. IronGiant

    IronGiant
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    I sort of see where you're coming from, but it is possible to have a break in a conventional car and so have a more relaxed journey :D
     
  16. lovegroova

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    None of that makes much sense to me - the only difference an electric car would make is that of noise.

    Given that most noise in a modern car at motorway speeds is road noise, is an electric car really that much quieter in those circumstances? (I imagine more so for something like a Leaf vs its equivalents, but less so for a Tesla vs something like an S-Class?) - answers on a postcard, please?

    All I ever hear on a motorway trip is the stereo.

    Then again, if I want a relaxing long trip, I'll let someone else do the driving (train or plane, both of which have the benefit of being quicker, too in many circumstances).
     
  17. tfboy

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    Of course, there's the lack of noise, but it's more than that. As @PRESSTOG alluded to, it's not just the noise, and also something that seems pretty common across all EVs. So I don't think it's us all making it up.
    Maybe it's the lack of vibrations as well, no repetitive engine sound, I don't know. I guess it's not dissimilar to an electric train. You just waft along serenely and enjoy the journey a lot more.

    Like you, @lovegroova, I hadn't anticipated this before I started driving mine and so it's been an unexpected surprise, but a most welcome one. I haven't been in an S-class and came from a diesel Skoda Fabia, so of course the Tesla is infinately more refined. But nonetheless.

    It's funny actually, I ticked the upgraded sound system in my Tesla, and I really enjoy having it. But I also enjoy driving with no music. I've come to appreciate the silence as much as listening to music. :)
     
  18. gangzoom

    gangzoom
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    You clearly haven't actually lived with an EV for any length of time, the smooth power delivery with instant torque is something no combustion engine can get close.

    Even a Zoe is smoother to drive than a S class, there is no comparison, it's physics, providing motion using an electric motor is simply more efficient/refined wham exploding petrol/diesel.
     
  19. lovegroova

    lovegroova
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    None of that makes any difference on a long motorway drive. In other words, constant speed. Hopefully this will help you to help you understand the discussion we are having. :)
     
  20. lovegroova

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    I certainly get it. My Golf is much more relaxing to drive a long distance in than my S2000 (especially if the roof is down in the S2000). The cruise control and improved refinement certainly help, no argument from me on that one.

    I'd certainly expect an expensive big, heavy, long wheelbase car like a Tesla to be more comfortable than a small, cheap hatchback like your old Fabia, hence my suggestion of a comparison of something like an S Class.

    Certainly a Leaf vs Fabia comparison would be a good one. Of course, the journey times to Spain would be much longer in a Leaf due to the more limited range/longer charging times.

    I must say I'm enjoying having a sensible conversation with a Tesla owner. :thumbsup:
     
  21. gangzoom

    gangzoom
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    Ofcourse you never encounter traffics jams or need to change speed on UK M-wys;)


    Saw some refuelling tools of the past with my daughter today, I look fowards to seeing the current Ecotricity and Tesla Superchargers been displayed in the same way in 2050 :).

    [​IMG]
     
  22. lovegroova

    lovegroova
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    We're discussing a trip to the South West Pyrenees. Try reading the thread FHS.
     

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