VW ID.4 electric SUV will come with 3 years of free charging on Electrify America’s network

skyote

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I'm confident there will be some sort of partnership & offer, but it could take many different forms. Hopefully we hear something soon.
 

thrill

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I've thought for awhile that offering free lifetime charging to the original owner (perhaps extended if the vehicle stayed in the immediate family) on the original vehicle would be a good incentive to encourage paying the high price tag of new EVs. I don't think on average it'd be that expensive to fund, as the vast majority of people are going to be charging at home anyway, but the marketing value of it would be pretty significant.
 

davrow_R1T

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Offering x years will not affect my purchase decision at all. I travel by car only a few times per year and do the majority of my charging at home.

Far better ( for me! :cool: ) would be a set number of kWh with no expiration date.
 

DucRider

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Offering x years will not affect my purchase decision at all. I travel by car only a few times per year and do the majority of my charging at home.

Far better ( for me! :cool: ) would be a set number of kWh with no expiration date.
The xxx kWh per year/month is a much better plan in my opinion. If it is truly free and "all you can eat", it promotes hogging the chargers and plugging in at every opportunity even if a charge is not needed. Tesla has bounced around on if (and how much) free charging is offered with their various models.
 

ajdelange

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The CCS charging space in the US, while much better now than it was when most of us placed our Rivian preorders, still looks pretty puny compared to the Tesla network. The rumors of poor reliability still abound and the prices are high enough that operating a Rivian is going to cost me more in "fuel" than operating my Lexus SUV. That alone negates one of the strongest arguments for switching over to BEV. Both these factors are negatives for Rivian. Presumably time will fix the first of them but the second is easily fixed by an energy subsidy by Rivian for the first X000 miles or the first y years. As most charging is done at home it wouldn't cost Rivian that much to offer it (I figure the value of the "free" charging I get with my X to be about $128 a year) and, as this thread indicates, the competition is doing it. I therefore think that Rivian will almost certainly offer something along these lines.

If it is truly free and "all you can eat", it promotes hogging the chargers and plugging in at every opportunity even if a charge is not needed.
I think that in the vast majority of cases laziness will be more powerful than greed. I have free charging but I won't drive 10 minutes each way to get it because it is so much more convenient to plug in at home. Also the wise man knows that fast charging is harder on his battery. That factor will, however, become a "don't care" pretty soon with the new "million mile" chemistries.
 

timesinks

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prices are high enough that operating a Rivian is going to cost me more in "fuel" than operating my Lexus SUV
It was probably hyperbole, but taking things too literally is what makes the internet fun. As you point out, most charging is done at home. That charging is much cheaper than filling up a gas tank. Broad strokes and averages here, so your mileage will vary (literally) depending on your driving patterns and your actual electric and gas costs.
  • Rivian consumption is about 450Wh/mi
  • A Tacoma gets 23 mpg hwy (consumption 0.0435 gal/mi)
  • Average home energy cost is 13.19cents/kWh
  • Looks like EA is charging 33cents/kWh, but let's throw a buffer onto that and say public DC charging is 40cents/kWh
  • US average gas price is $2.164/gal (wow, that's way less than we pay on the West Coast, but that's neither here nor there)
  • US average is 13,500 miles driven per year
So Rivian "fuel" cost is 0.0593$/mi with home charging and 0.18$/mi with long distance road trip charging. The Tacoma (using the highway number) is 0.0941$/mi -- or about twice as much as home charging but half as much as road trip charging. A little algebra later (feel free to check my work), we find the break-even point is 3892 fast-charge miles and 9608 home-charge miles. Or 28.8% of miles driven on fast-charging before the Tacoma's cost of fuel would be cheaper. And that's generously using a more comparable vehicle than your gas-guzzling Lexus SUV.

The vast majority of usage patterns are going to result in a lower cost of fuel. It won't be true for everyone (long distance, long term road trips, for example), but even with outrageous fast charging pricing, the break even point is quite a few more miles than most people realize.
 

ajdelange

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I didn't put it quite correctly when I said that operating a Rivian was going to cost me more than operating my Lexus. I left out the critical phrase "on a road trip". This, of course, makes a huge difference in the impact of the sentence. The fact that the Rivian will cost me more on a road trip does not defer me in the least because most of my driving isn't road trips but rather involves charging at home where my effective cost is about 5¢/kWh because of solar panels.

Let's examine my oversight a little more deeply. What was clearly foremost in my mind was that on a long trip the Lexus is cheaper. That thought is going to be foremost in the minds of many when comparing Rvian to Lexus (or whomever) and that is because EA charges so much (especially noticeable becuase the competition, Tesla, charges less. Still a black eye and still covered by an EA subsidy from Rivian. Beyond the black eye is the perception "Wow, I'm getting free gas" when the reality is that you are getting free gas only when you use the subsidized network which won't, for most drivers, be much of the time.
 

jjwolf120

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US average gas price is $2.164/gal (wow, that's way less than we pay on the West Coast, but that's neither here nor there)
You should take into consideration that you often pay higher gas prices when on a road trip in an ICE vehicle.
 

discsinthesky

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You should take into consideration that you often pay higher gas prices when on a road trip in an ICE vehicle.
Especially if you're going to the kind of places where Rivian's are marketed as being suited for - small, rural towns where I've found it's typically more expensive to fill up.
 

azbill

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One of the factors in electricity costs that is often overlooked is the "demand charge". I get hit with this charge for my home use by Arizona Public Service. The demand charge is based on my maximum peak usage between 3 and 8pm on weekdays, that means the worst day for the month, not an average. The "demand charge" ends up being 25%-30% of my monthly bill. My car is programmed not to charge during those hours when I am at home.

I read an article about Electrify America a couple of months ago where they described how these demand charges cause them to lose money. They had a situation where 4 Audi Etrons were charging at the same time at one site in California during peak hours. Their demand charge due to that session was $1500 for that month. Obviously they are trying to get the regulators in each state to change the rules for them, but this does not bode well for keeping the cost of fast charging low.

I know that some ChargePoint sites in CA jack up the per KW charge during the peak hours, but they only support 50KW rates, which helps to keep the demand charge low.
 

ajdelange

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Demand charges are kind of unusual for residential users, AFAIK, because residential users have fairly small "crest factors". For example in Virginia (where I am not currently charging a BEV) my peak demand is only 2.2 times my average where as in Quebec (where I am charging a BEV) it's 4.5. In industry it can be much greater than this. A utility must install plant sufficient to cover peak demand even if the energy drawn during peaks is less than the average for the facility. They thus encourage customers to "level" to the extent possible i.e. to keep the crest factor to a minimum.

My utility in Virginia adds demand charges to the bills of customers who install solar cells. They do this to discourage people from doing this to the extent possible. At least they say they are going to charge for peak demand and list what it is on the bill but they have not, thus far, actually charged for it. Nonetheless I set charging levels in my car to be low enough that the peak demand when I'm charging isn't much over the average (low crest factor).

A charging station is clearly not a residential establishment and, where there is, for example, a heavy rush hour spate of charging, a huge crest factor. In places where demand charges are punitive that makes them expensive to operate and ultimately, the user pays. The operator of a charging network has some recourse. He can try to negotiate something with the utility and/or he can go the state rate commission and try to get legislation passed to block the utility from imposing these charges "for the sake of the environment". Or he can, when all the stalls at his station are full, throttle them all back to reduce the peak load. But the fact remains that the utility must install switchgear, transformers and wire sufficient to sustain the maximum demand of a station. Someone has to pay for this.
 

jjwolf120

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Their demand charge due to that session was $1500 for that month.
This is why they have installed Tesla battery storage at some sites.
 

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ajdelange

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What the post said was that they are kind of unusual. The fact that a state, or even a few states have them does not make them commonplace. They are, therefore, kind of unusual for residential customers (unless one has solar).


NREL Data Catalog https://data.nrel.gov“Maximum demand charge rates for commercial and industrial electricity tariffs in the United States” ID: #74 Direct link to the data: https://doi.
 
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