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Rival Charger Networks

Rival Charger Networks

Had a conversation with a stranger recently who told me that Tesla was being ganged up on by rival EV makers who were excluding Tesla from some charging infrastructure they were creating. He made it sound like it was a real threat to Tesla. I've tried googling both within this forum and outside -- found some references to fines from VW Dieselgate kickstarting a manufacturer-agnostic network. But nothing indicating any progress toward that goal, or why that would be a threat to Tesla. Anyone know what this is about?

SamO | 9 mai 2018

ha ha ha

Electrify America is the VW reparations vehicle. Threat . . . I don't know if they've opened 2 chargers so far, so I'm not sure how threat-ish they are acting.

I've found a deep pool of misinformation when it comes to competitors.

BTW . . . New Audi Dieselgate scandal.

http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/08/investing/audi-diesel-emissions-investig...

DonS | 9 mai 2018

It is more of an issue that the committee approved the backwards compatible CCS system that is a total kludge compared to Tesla's connector. Backwards compatibility won out over the better ergonomics and technology. It will be up to Tesla to create adapters, or to add a second plug like Tesla does for the China market.

ckcland2 | 9 mai 2018

talk is cheap.... competition has a lot of ground to make up. In the spirit of EV's I hope these other companies can chase Tesla

SamO | 9 mai 2018

@ckcland2,

+1

For the sake of humanity . . . but Tesla can do it themselves if nobody else jumps in the game.

Tesla is opening about 1 Supercharging stations per day, worldwide.

And the station size is getting bigger, with 16, 20, 40 and even 50 stalls. This is much grander than anything even contemplated by any other auto OR charging company (China excepted) and Tesla started installing the largest in 2017.

Tesla is at least 5 years ahead.

But GM spends billions on advertising. If they took $150,000,000 @ $15,000 per stall (last Tesla estimate) they could build 500 CHEVYCHARGER stations with 20 stalls each. Charge whatever you want to offset energy costs and capture your customers charging time by offering them stuff they might like and want.

It's not hard.

Rumi11 | 9 mai 2018

From what I have read, it does seem like the Wolkswagen/Electrify America chargers aim to be a bit faster than the current Tesla Superchargers, but they will also charge "gas like" prices. No competition.

JayInJapan | 9 mai 2018

@Rumi11, anyone can make “faster” charging systems. The only problem is creating batteries that can take more power and heat during the process. Current batteries won’t last long charged too fast.

SamO | 9 mai 2018

Nope. 350kW will not be for a single car. Maybe a bus, but not a car.

It will be split between 2-5 cars.

Wheeeeeeee.

I mean Tesla splits the 120kW but each person can draw the ful amount when unpaired.

Tesla-David | 10 mai 2018

@SamO, +1, totally agree, Tesla is at least 5 years ahead of its competitors with the Supercharging Grid. Anybody who has taken their Tesla on cross country trip can appreciate how good it is in facilitating long distance travel. Any Bolt owner by comparison would struggle to make the same trip.

Rocky_H | 10 mai 2018

@DonS, Quote: "It is more of an issue that the committee approved the backwards compatible CCS system that is a total kludge compared to Tesla's connector. Backwards compatibility won out over the better ergonomics and technology."

I don't fully agree, because what is "better" does not always stay static over time. Yes, what Tesla has is better now--way better. Their 120kW using 400V is much higher than anyone else is doing with CHAdeMo or CCS. But, the North American proprietary Tesla connector is somewhat physically limited on voltage. The pins are fairly small and close together, so they could not go up to 800V charging voltage with that connector. But the CCS connector (both the Type 1 and 2) is a bit more future-proofed as far as DC speeds. It uses two big fat pins spaced very far apart, so it can use much higher voltages. That is how they have their roadmap to support much faster charging speeds in the future that Tesla can't get to with their connector.

But at the moment, there obviously aren't any cars from any other manufacturers that can use anything like those fast very high voltage charging speeds, so Tesla's lead for right now is very big. But that charging speed may become relevant in the next 10-20 years.

dmm1240 | 13 mai 2018

bump

dmm1240 | 13 mai 2018

Bump

spuzzz123 | 18 mai 2018

OK so here's another supercharger related question. Seems like a lot of folks here believe that the supercharger network is the biggest differentiator that Tesla has. Let's assume that's true and that it propels Tesla to be the dominant market leader in a hugely expansive EV market. ICE market shrinks and EV rivals try but fail because they didn't invest in the vision that Tesla did, when it was critical. Please accept this hypothetical for purposes of my next question.

Isn't there a pretty good chance the US Government deems that advantage to be anti-competitive and passes litigation that forces Tesla to share its infrastructure? I don't think that is unprecedented -- I think its happened to the wired-telephone industry, maybe railroads, who knows what else.

If I were a Tesla investor I would feel massively betrayed by the system. Innovation and guts to invest in the future and stick to the plan would be essentially punished. But as an EV fan who wants to see us kick our oil addiction, it would be fantastic. Conflicted emotions here I guess.

NoMoPetrol | 18 mai 2018

I do believe that Elon has a standing offer to any other EV manufacturer to buy in to the Supercharging network so long as their vehicles can handle the charging current output of the SCs. Of course that would irequire that the other manufacturer(s) make an investment in the construction and maintenance of the system. This standing offer should insulate Tesla from any antitrust attempts by either the government or any consortium of disgruntled EV manufacturers.

Since most auto companies would like Tesla to fail spectacularly, the chances of them investing in Tesla any time soon in such an open manner are remote.

spuzzz123 | 18 mai 2018

Cool response, thanks NoMo

jordanrichard | 18 mai 2018

Spuzzz123, that person you spoke with doesn’t know what they are talking about. Most people only know what they read in the headlines. Recently an EV charging site opened in Chicopee MA that is part of this “Electrify America” network. IT is a complete shambles. There are 4 chargers, but not for the same type of charging. Only one is for J1772 type, two are CSS and one is Chademo. Instead of making one charging “pump” that allows you to select what you need, they are specific to certain cars. So you pull up in a Bolt, see only 1 car charging, you figure you are still good to go, because there are 3 available chargers (chargin cables), then you find out after to pull up and get out of your car, you can’t utilize any of the remaining chargers.

Rocky_H | 18 mai 2018

@spuzzz, Well, interesting question, but you're forgetting something. Yes, having a feature that sets your product apart and makes it better is one thing. But being forced to share your stuff? That question can only be applied to companies/products that have been deemed a monopoly because of overwhelming. When you are still less than 2% of the car market, you're not even remotely considered close to a monopoly for that question to even be relevant.

And I like @NoMoPetrol's response too, that there has been a reasonable offer to share, so it is not being held closed.

@jordanrichard, Oh, jeez. I hadn't really thought through those kinds of situations and how frustrating that would be.

Rocky_H | 18 mai 2018

Augh! I got interrupted by a phone call and forgot I had a sentence unfinished.

"But being forced to share your stuff? That question can only be applied to companies/products that have been deemed a monopoly because of overwhelming domination of their particular market."

reed_lewis | 18 mai 2018

Does anyone know where the Electrify America locations are physically going to be? I cannot find a definitive list anywhere.

spuzzz123 | 19 mai 2018

Thanks Jordan, Rocky. Also good responses.

Rocky - agree things are nowhere near a state of monopoly (even within the ev market) so it was more hypothetical way down the road....a lot of ifs would have to materialize but really good discussion

spuzzz123 | 19 mai 2018

So i pulled into a public ChargePoint charging station at a mall today. There were 8 spots. 2 were Chademo so they were out. 2 were combo chargers which I have used before, but they were occupied. The other 4 were labeled ‘dc fastcharging’ and were all available. The pin configuration looked like it should fit the adapter that came w my model 3. But there was one piece blocking me from sliding it on. Are these not compatible w Tesla’s? Or do I need a different adapter?

Earl and Nagin ... | 19 mai 2018

Unfortunately, I fear that @spuzzz123 may be right. Just like Net Neutrality. Under pressure from those who took the cheap route and did not contribute at all to the expensive buildout of the infrastructure but wish to profit and benefit from it for cheap; the government is likely to eventually force Tesla to open up their Superchargers to free charging for every manufacturer, whether or not they contributed to the buildout of their amazing, fast, ubiquitous, expensive, infrastructure.
>>>> diving into bunker >>>>

TeslaTap.com | 19 mai 2018

@Earl "...the government is likely to eventually force Tesla to open up their Superchargers to free charging..."

That doesn't make much sense. All the new charging networks have significant fees - they are not free. If Tesla were to be forced to make it available -
1) It would blow up most EVs on the market today - they can't handle the power available.
2) No EV other than Tesla has a connector - so how could they use it?
3) Tesla could charge a fee that pays back the infrastructure costs, similar to how Model 3 owners pay for usage. Out of network (i.e. non-Tesla) customers might even be charged considerably more.

I do find it surprising that no automaker has taken Tesla up on it's offer to share the network. Full access to another automaker would likely cost less than a day or two of advertising.

jordanrichard | 19 mai 2018

It’s not surprising that no other OEM has jumped on the bandwagon. Like people, companies have egos and after all the mud the other OEMs have thrown at Tesla, it would look very good if they joined the Tesla network, because that means the legacy car companies have acknowledge that Tesla is the leader in EVs/EV charging.

johnyi | 19 mai 2018

Agreed - I'll bet only another startup, or maybe a Chinese brand looking to get a footing in the US, would use Tesla's network.

SO | 19 mai 2018

The superchargers are on land paid for by Tesla via lease to my knowledge. If they were on public property, then maybe the government could force Tesla to open the network. Otherwise I don’t see how Tesla could be forced to do so. But if you get enough corrupt politicians in office, I suppose anything is possible.

Al1 | 19 mai 2018

So called Tesla competition has neither cars to charge, nor chargers to charge the cars, they don't make. True Tesla competitors are luxury ICE cars and Tesla is winning that battle.

Shorts are getting increasingly desperate. They say Tesla doesn't know how to make millions of cars, but the problem is they don't make the same cars. So far they can't make a single model S, or model 3, let alone millions.

Earl and Nagin ... | 19 mai 2018

@TT,
Actually, the Europeans are essentially forcing Tesla to open their charging infrastructure up to all, some states are as well by forcing Tesla to use a standard charging connector and install standard chargers along side Superchargers.
As long as construction permits are required, the government can mandate what does and doesn't get installed and its usage.

TeslaTap.com | 20 mai 2018

@Earl - I forgot Europe uses that marginal alternative to the US connector. I guess Tesla can put in a public charger, such as a low power L2 with 3 kW and charge $20/hour for the useage. As for Europe's standards, there are so many connectors and "standards" it's a total nightmare if you want to travel any distance without Superchargers. You have to have a kit of all these different connectors and cables, with most are quite low in power. I gather China is also forcing a standard too.

Most these alternatives to Tesla's US standard are clunky, poorly designed systems that I feel the prime purpose is to encourage ICE sales. No wonder other car makers are behind these abominations.

Earl and Nagin ... | 20 mai 2018

@TT,
Hence the reason I'm not particularly hot on standardization in general. Standards committees are usually burdened too much with conflicting priorities.

Rocky_H | 21 mai 2018

@spuzzz, That connector that wouldn't fit is called CCS (Combo Charge System), and Teslas can't use it. It's a fast DC charging system basically like CHAdeMO.

Yes, you noticed how part of it looks like the J1772 thing of your adapter. The cars that use it have a port that looks like that big charging handle. The J1772 handles can plug into just the top part for AC charging, and the whole CCS plug can fit in for fast DC charging.

brijsood1 | 28 mai 2019

Here is the transcript of a 22-minute chat with Electrify America. Judging by the info I got and the time taken to generate the info, I do not think Electrify America is going to be any kind of threat in the next 2-5 years...

Live Chat - Alyssa (5/28/2019, 6:41:39 AM): Hey Brij! My name is Alyssa, what can I help you with today?
Brij (5/28/2019, 6:42:40 AM): Hi Alyssa. I am trying to locate a charger near Laguna Beach.
Live Chat - Alyssa (5/28/2019, 6:42:57 AM): Thank you for your interest in Electrify America!
Live Chat - Alyssa (5/28/2019, 6:44:35 AM): I'd be happy to locate an Electrify America charger for you near Laguna Beach, CA.
Brij (5/28/2019, 6:44:59 AM): Go on...
Live Chat - Alyssa (5/28/2019, 6:46:45 AM): It looks like we have one coming soon in Mission Viejo, CA. You can keep an eye on our website www. electrifyamerica.com/locate-charger for when this location opens or we could give you a call once the location is available to the public.
Brij (5/28/2019, 6:47:17 AM): What is the closest one operating RIGHT NOW?
Live Chat - Alyssa (5/28/2019, 6:48:21 AM): Let me take a look, is it okay if I place you on hold for 2-3 minutes while I find that for you?
Brij (5/28/2019, 6:48:21 AM): 6 minutes, and counting...
Brij (5/28/2019, 6:48:30 AM): sure
Live Chat - Alyssa (5/28/2019, 6:52:39 AM): Thank you for holding, our La Mirada, CA location would be the closest open location to Laguna Beach.
Brij (5/28/2019, 6:53:17 AM): How many stalls does La Mirada have?
Brij (5/28/2019, 6:55:11 AM): 12 minutes and counting...
Brij (5/28/2019, 6:56:05 AM): 14...
Live Chat - Alyssa (5/28/2019, 6:56:09 AM): That location has three 50 kw CCS stations, one 50 kw CHAdeMO station and a L2 as well.
Brij (5/28/2019, 6:56:37 AM): So it is no better than a home charger?
Live Chat - Alyssa (5/28/2019, 6:59:13 AM): Your vehicle and the charger will communicate with each other to determine the kw and time for the session, which will be shown on the chargers screen.
Brij (5/28/2019, 6:59:41 AM): I understand that. But what s the fastest capability of the charger?
Brij (5/28/2019, 7:00:27 AM): One more question. What kind of adapter is required for my Tesla Model S?
Live Chat - Alyssa (5/28/2019, 7:02:29 AM): Our dispensers can charge up to 50kw. The Tesla Model S can charge at our DC Fast Charging locations using an adapter available from your Tesla dealer.
Brij (5/28/2019, 7:03:03 AM): OK, thanks. How do I get a transcript of this 20-minute chat?
Live Chat - Alyssa (5/28/2019, 7:04:11 AM): Once the chat is finished you should have the option to download the transcript.
Brij (5/28/2019, 7:04:27 AM): OK. Bye now.