Commercial Supercharger "kit"

Commercial Supercharger "kit"

Hey all I love the superchargers and fully agree on their necessity for Tesla's future success. Ultimately Tesla has plans to roll supercharger's out nationwide and when they execute these plans will be great. I however feel Tesla's plan to focus on the road trip aspect of Superchargers will ultimately leave only narrow corridors of superchargers. And while I'll be able to drive coast to coast, once I've arrived somewhere the lack of efficient/available charging infrastructure is a serious impediment, and also ultimately limits the useful ness of my Tesla if I choose to stray outside the cocoon of the Supercharger network…

Tesla needs to license Super Charger "kits" to any reasonable business that is willing to install them and allow these business to run them as they see fit (free or fee) - ultimately this will create an eco-system of superchargers, some run by Tesla, and others available in locations Tesla would never consider.

This will speed roll out, share the capital cost of this infrastructure and every super charger installed will add value to the network as it will increase the availability and practicality of the super charger network…

We shouldn't limit our selves to Tesla's plans (grand though they are) we should augment those plans and leverage those plans to achieve Supercharger network nirvana…Tesla needs to let other's help them succeed in this space and one step on that path should be an independent Supercharger network along side the Tesla super charger network.

RonaldA | 28 maart 2013

Anything to connect Toronto and NYC with superchargers....PLEASE!!

hsadler | 28 maart 2013

Not sure I understand how you are limited. There are multitudes of chargers out there - throughout the country.

Unless you feel you are entitled to 'free' charging everywhere.

A business would not be prudent to install a 'Supercharger' that would only serve one type of car.

shop | 28 maart 2013

Most people, when doing inter-city trips, will stay overnight in the destination city. This means they don't need a supercharger as long as they can charge overnight. Many hotels have charging stations or outlets now, and as electric cars get more popular will continue installing them. As for visiting private homes, people can now make do with dryer plugs, but again, as electric cars get more prevalent, I expect people will start installing 240V receptacles in their garages. For new home construction, if an electrical panel is in the garage, installing a nema 14-50 receptacle should only add say $100 to the cost of a new home. It'll be interesting to track to see which large tract homebuilder does this first for their new homes. It would definitely be yet another advertising "feature" of the home (along with data structured wiring, etc.).

dortor | 28 maart 2013

I'm not entitled to "free" charging, but time is money and Superchargers are "time". From a practical point of view my travel plans are radically altered if I can plan on 30 min of charging vs. 4-8 hours of charging. So while there are other chargers out there none of the current infrastructure provides any meaningful charger in less than 1 hour

and I never said this alternate network would have to "free"

as far as compatibility - if this network gets installed other cars could/should developer "adapters" - which Tesla "licenses" the design - like Apple did with the 30-pin iPod/iPad/iPhone dock connector - which led to an explosion of peripherals making those devices more valuable

Concrete example: I didn't drive my family to San Diego when I was in LA - because I didn't have two full days and one full overnight to spend charging the car - if there was a Super Charger in San Diego where I could charge (free or fee) in less than an hour we would've made the trip.

dortor | 28 maart 2013

We have a 'proven' solution that it doesn't take overnight to charge one of these vehicles. We should not be limited by restricting our plans to those that fit with in the "Tesla Tier 1" Supercharger network.

Supercharger technology should be available outside the scope of Tesla's plans - albet in different scenario's (fee vs. free - may not branded as Tesla Superchargers)…

Restricting people to "overnight" charging for travel plans outside the supercharger network will ultimately limit the utility and appeal of Electric cars to a broader audience…

there shouldn't be an "outside" of the supercharger network - and if Tesla were to license Supercharging "kits" and allow free or fee I believe the supercharger network would get built out faster and there would be few if any locations for which overnight charging would be a requirement.

We know what the best technology is, why are we willing to settle for less - it's not mythical it exists and is proven to work. We should be working to make that technology the default technology rather than settle for 2nd and 3rd class charging…

time is money and opportunity, and I do not always have infinite time…

Kleist | 28 maart 2013

dortor - SC are serious industrial installations. They need something like 480V 2000A feeds... where is this kind of feed readily available? Almost nowhere. What you see is not the challenge, what is underground and behind the scene is. This is not "kits" stuff.

cerjor | 28 maart 2013

If we want to have supercharging stations "everywhere" I think all EVs, regardless of manufacturer, need to use the same plug and protocals.

alfafoxtrot1 | 28 maart 2013

I don't see any reason why TM shouldn't allow anyone that wants to install a supercharger to do so. Sure, it may be expensive and technologically challenging, but if it benefits TM and the network of owners, why not let the installer do his/her own cost benefit analysis?

dortor | 28 maart 2013

Kieist and cerjo you are both correct - I wasn't suggesting this was easy - I was suggesting this is the standard for which we should all be pushing - I'm also suggesting that this sort of thing may be bigger than Tesla can handle on it's own, but they can "help" by documenting, promoting and evangelizing what SC installs can accomplish and what they can do…

as far as standard protocols and such - if you build it they will come - all tesla has to do is let people use their design…I see little advantage for the EV industry for there to be multiple competing charging hook ups - to date the SC design appears to be functional, high capacity, and proven to effectively add range to batteries in a modest amount of time…let the best design win, and let the best design be adopted by the industry

Tesla is in a position to promote other people/institutions/businesses/enthusiasts installing SC like charging stations - this will make things better for everyone…that is what I mean by a kit - sometimes kits and just parts and instructions as to what needs to be done - it's still of value because it's now a to-do list and easily evaluated rather than having to figure it out from scratch…

I do have an overall question - why are people pointing out all the flaws in this plan - would we all be harmed by a bigger, more robust and more available super charger network - do we all delight in overnight charging? Or do we want Electric cars to succeed and do we want to remove any/all barriers to entry. Because IMHO all of these barriers that people are pointing out are exactly the reason why EV will continue to be a special interest car suitable for certain but not all tasks, and currently charging time limits their functionality. I simply believe the goal should be higher to make EV's as effective as any/all cars building out the super charger network should be a top priority - I also believe this to be a task too big for one company and this sort of thing should be shared by the power of the entire economy…Tesla is in a position to have other's help with their vision of EV cars and the business of producing them.

Captain_Zap | 28 maart 2013

The sale of electricity is heavily regulated by multiple agencies on federal, state and local levels.

This document can give you an idea just how complex such an undertaking could be.

shop | 28 maart 2013

A 480V, 2000A service is not cheap or easy to set up. People have banied about $250K price tags (or was it a lot more?) per bay. This ONLY something Tesla can do, not random third parties that have no way of recouping the large time and cost of installing one.

BTW, LA to San Diego (city center to city center) is 120 miles. an 85kW model should be able to do that return trip in one day depending on exact start and end points. Escpecially if your destination had an ordinary EV charger, like the zoo.

Sudre_ | 28 maart 2013

I like this idea but I don't think there is a need for Tesla to do ALL the work per say. There are DC 50kWh chargers on the market I believe. Tesla just needs to make an adaptor. An hour or two should give you enough charge to get to the next Supercharger. If you are going that far with the family to make a 20 minute pit stop your not in the majority. The 50kWh chargers will work for all electric cars not just Tesla. If a company is interested they can buy them now and install. Not many companies outside CA are interested. All they install are 208 volt 30 amp charger.

Besides that, Tesla hasn't even installed 20 Superchargers yet and you are already on them to install more chargers. We currently have no clue where they will install all the chargers. If they have a Supercharger 20 miles outside or every city then you will have plenty of charge (320 miles) to drive around the city.

I do like the idea of companies buying and installing Tesla Superchargers. Please name the ones that wish to pay the thousand a month for the service feed and power usauge. There just aren't enough Tesla's on the road for it to be worth their while.
Hotels have no use for them. People are staying overnight.
Restaurants would have to add $30 on to your meal plus the cost of the add service fee from the utilities.
Gas stations might be a good spot but I wouldn't want to sit there for thirty minutes.
Maybe if cities bought one to attract tourists but again that would just be Tesla tourists.

I would think if New York called and said, "Hey Elon we want to pay the parts and installations cost for a supercharger in our downtown public lot." They would have a charger with Tesla free charging ASAP. That would save Tesla a million bucks. I don't think anyone is making that offer.

ir | 28 maart 2013

It's a matter of puting your money where your mouth is. While Tesla doesn't advertise SuperCharger "kits", you are always welcome to make a business proposal, do the legwork and take it to Elon.

The number of individuals / organizations that can pull off a SC install are not enough for Tesla to actively court.

wraithnot | 28 maart 2013

@dortor- I definitely support the idea of licensing the superchargers to private businesses (although only if I'm not out the cost of an 85 kWh battery if the supercharger malfunctions and destroys my battery). I'd certainly pay $5 or $10 to use one when I was on a road trip that went beyond the Tesla-owned supercharger network.

I think they would be especially handy in urban areas. This would be great for charging at the destination of a trip (especially if the hotel or the relatives you're staying with don't have a J1772 charger or a NEMA 14-50 outlet available). But I think it would also be great for urban dwellers who have to compete for street parking. A half hour charge every few days would allow a lot of single tech workers in San Francisco and silicon valley with plenty of disposable income but no garage to own EVs.

Brian H | 28 maart 2013

Someone reported that after 2 mo. in 2013, the MS was the top-selling EV. So if you're picking "only one type of car" ....

The internal mods in a car to handle 400V and 100A are not trivial, completely aside from the external station issue.

Each station costs about 1/4 of that. The "saving" only happens if TM was going to install near there anyway.

July10Models | 28 maart 2013

Where are you getting 2000A requirement for a supercharger. 2000A @ 400V would be good for10 bays. a single SC only requires 250A MAX. check your math.

Mark Z | 28 maart 2013

A HPWC attached to a 100 amp circuit is a good alternative for businesses that want the driver and passengers to stay longer. For example, a casino, mall or fine restaurant. At 62 mph it would take 2.5 hours for a half charge, but it's better than a power outlet or 30 amp EVSE.

July10Models | 28 maart 2013

1-All overnight establishments NEMA 14-50
2-All restaurants and entertainment venues HPWC
3-cross country motoring - Tesla Super Chargers

I can live with that.

Kleist | 28 maart 2013

@July10Models - that is the service they are putting in at Harris for 6 stations.

( single unit : 90 kWh = 400V/225A, 120 kWh = 400V/300A )

6 * 300A = 1800A.

Yes and think about it - if there would be a single SC serving dortors needs, then next day you have the forum full of complaints why is there ONLY one station.

GoTeslaChicago | 28 maart 2013

I'm sure a 2,000 amp service is not trivial. On the other hand... How many amps are required for a big box retailer like Home Depot or Walmart? They seem to be able to plop those down just about any where, any time.

Docrob | 28 maart 2013

GoTeslaChicago is correct, 2,000 Amps which is enough for 6-10 bay supercharger is really not an unusual connection in industrial or commercial terms. I also agree with Dortor that getting more superchargers out there commercially should be a key plank of the plan and I disagree that multiple chargers in one location is the preferred model. I foresee all sort of businesses like restaurants and petrol stations seeing a benefit in installing one or two supercharger bays. Such an installation would require a very manageable 200-400amp connection.
Similarly hotels could have a single SC rather then multiple level 2 chargers and the valet could cycle the cars through overnight. A single SC could service ~20 cars in a night.

biggator | 28 maart 2013

Aren't the superchargers primarily solar powered anyway?

defmonk | 28 maart 2013

EV charging is a bit like WiFi connectivity in the early days. Finding the right combination of chargers along your route reminds me a bit of how I used to plan for WiFi hotspots. Did the hotel have WiFi? Was there a coffee shop nearby with WiFi? The transformation occurred when chains, like Starbucks, created a reliable expectation of where I could find connectivity. I knew if I booked at certain hotel chains, used airport lounges and found a Starbucks, I was covered. After not too long, I stopped thinking about it. IMHO, MS charging would be similarly transformed by a couple smart deals with hotel chains and a nationwide chain, perhaps like Starbucks. To July10Model's point, it doesn't have to be Superchargers. A commercial version of HPWC, consistently present at national chain locations, would offer tremendous peace of mind and patch the holes in the Supercharger network (that is, the SCs can get you there but then you're on your own).

jjaeger | 28 maart 2013

dortor - what makes you so certain that Tesla has not or is not open to licensing the SC technology? i am under the impression that this indeed may be in the works, but don't take a hard line either way.

Folks at the Scottsdale Tesla store insinuated that Tesla was allowing for a more expansive Arizona SC network to be put in place. If so, great for all of us, although I have not seen any evidence that it's taking place. A bit more time will likely tell the eventual tale for how this will play out. Suggest we all be a bit more open on the possibilities for how Elon will make his goal a reality.

dortor | 28 maart 2013

I don't know one way or the other - but given it hasn't been promoted as "Tesla in combination with other leading businesses" I'm inclined to believe this is a solo effort so far, but I could be wrong.

The point is I think if necessary Tesla should not prevent someone from installing a super charger or HPWC (to many people's point this would also be good).

There is a bit of problem right now in that the SC network is good where it is - but you are a bit on your own once you "leave" the SC network, and the options are very constraining, I don't see people other than motivated adopters working with in these constraints....broad appeal requires fewer constraints and if Tesla can get help in reducing those constraints I would advise them to pursue that course of action.

jjaeger | 28 maart 2013

Understand and also agree with the problem statement. Only suggest that we are very, very early in the process (what TM has all of 7 SCs themselves right now?) and that just a bit of patience will I believe prove things out on the positive side of this.

I did a 1900 mile road trip recently that was 75% SC and 25% other - so fully appreciate the impact that they have. Therefore I assume that Elon being much smarter than me figured this out long ago (hence all his various comments about faster charging rates; coast-coast soon,...).

And having family out out in NC (I live in CA) - can't wait for the E-W fill out - as the opportunity to drive the car cross country will far out-weigh the standard temptation to jump a non-stop from SFO-to-CLT.

Tâm | 28 maart 2013

Thanks to those who promote Superchargers.

Tesla broke away the industry's charging standard because it can do better.

It bothers me that people still settle for less such as "Why don't you rent an ICE for a road trip." "Why don't you find any outlet: 110V, J1772..."

Fine, If I have to then I must.

However, ancient and obsolete way of charging and obstructionist standards that getting in the way of Supercharging is not what we want to evangelize!

Tesla's Supercharging standard is the solution and we should promote it.

I suspect the finance may be the biggest problem then let's find ways to solve it rather than keep touting the standards that have been promoted by ICE biased companies (Nissan, GM, Ford, Toyota..)

Joel N. Weber II | 28 maart 2013

Given that the design seems to be 12 10kw charger modules connected to two Supercharger cables, and that the charger modules don't seem to run on 480V power, and the likely need for 80% derating, I think 600A at 240V is probably about right for a basic Supercharger installation. (240V times 600A times 80% is 115.2 kw; perhaps you want slightly more than 600A.)

Is there any business owner who has 600A (or more) at 240V already available, who's willing to pay $1500 times 12 ($1500 being the cost of the single charger to twin charger upgrade) who is having trouble getting Tesla to install a Supercharger station? (Obviously, there may be legitimate reasons for the cost of a two bay Supercharger to be a bit higher than this, such as the need for the copper cables and the switching equipment to switch the charger modules between the two cables, and there's the need to pay for the electricity one way or another.)

Brian H | 28 maart 2013

Not individually. Solar City powers the chargers from the grid, and pays for that. It has associated arrays which produce power it sells to the utilities. Over the course of the year, B will be greater than A, so Solar City makes a profit.

So "powered by solar" has a couple of steps to it.

Kleist | 28 maart 2013

OK, OK all your Super Charger enthusiasts, I make you a deal... I'll build you a single station commercial SC anywhere you want...
My utility has a peak price for electricity of $0.55 per kWh. I need to make a little profit and I don't know when you are coming to fill so I'll charge you $1 per kWh. The typical refill is 68 kWh for 200 miles and therefore a refill will cost you $68. Who is interested ?

Kleist | 28 maart 2013

Oh sorry I forgot... There is also the sales tax and. $10 service charge.

Kleist | 28 maart 2013

More fine print... You have to sign a 3 year agreement and fill up at least twice a week at my station.

bobinfla | 29 maart 2013

@Kleist: Well for those prices, I expect to at least get my windshield washed, and my oil checked.....oh, never mind the oil, :)

Kleist | 29 maart 2013

Good idea... Combine this with car wash and detailing, then we charge during detailing. In the package full charge is half price.

In principle I like the idea of comercialized SC e.g. in urban areas for apartment dwellers, question is how to make it a profitable business.

wraithnot | 29 maart 2013

@Kleist: if electricity from the grid costs that much, why buy from the grid? Why not just buy a natural gas microturbine? Might as well toss up a canopy covered by solar panels while you're at it.

Kleist | 29 maart 2013

@wraithnot - yes I can put solar on the roof or buy grid electricity at night for 4 cents per kWh and store it a battery and sell it back to you for 25 cents. But then we are talking about a business like Tesla / SolarCity.

Question was to have a "kit" that e.g. a simple mom and pop restaurant could buy to attract customers without going overboard.

The highest you have at home is HPWC at 20 kW (=60 miles per hr )
Next step is industrial SC installation at 6 times 120 kW (= 6 times 360 miles per hr )

There is nothing in between... Potential options could be
- mini SC at 40 kW ( 240 V / 200 A service, = 120 miles per hr ) perfect for a restaurant not at highways
- CHAdeMO at 50 kW - TM needs to make an adapter
- single 90 kW SC

wraithnot | 29 maart 2013

@Kleist- the current superchargers have a modular design with twelve 10 kW chargers shared between two charging bays. It should be really easy to make smaller/cheaper versions that draw less power.

Fast food restaurants such as KFC use deep fryers that use 3 phase power so getting something better than a residential 240 V 200 A service can't be outrageously expensive or the fast food joints would use deep fryers that run on 240 V.

PG&E (the electric and gas utility in my neck of the woods) tends to offer better rates for EV charging so I bet you could negotiate a good deal for a commercial EV charging business. I don't know the intricacies of the power grid, but I bet you could also purchase cheaper power from a different supplier and just pay PG&E for the transmission costs.

joshuabinder | 17 april 2013

Anyone see this? What do you think? Is it in TESLA's future to head this way?

Brian H | 17 april 2013

Posted multiple times. Use to search for supercapacitor.