Inside Electrify America’s plan to simplify electric car charging

Discussion in 'Tech: Batteries, Charging, Alternative Energy' started by EyeOnRivian, May 6, 2019.

  1. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    #1 EyeOnRivian, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    Nice article on the progress of Electrify America (EA) installing chargers across the US. Click on "Inside Electrify America’s plan to simplify electric car charging"

    Some where on this forum I believe there is a thread or comments made about if Rivian will provide free or subsidized charging at least for the early vehicle purchasers. So the following excerpt from the article caught my eye ...

    "If you get charging through an OEM-negotiated program (and so far, that means Audi, Porsche, and Lucid), expect to pay even less."

    So do you think or have heard if Rivian will or is negotiating a pricing program with EA or anyone of the other dozen or so networks out there today like EVgo and ChargePoint? (Hey Rivian, if you're reading this ... <wink> <wink>) I had read somewhere Rivian approached Tesla about this and charging adapters to use their network but Tesla wasn't cooperating.
     
  2. kumarczar

    kumarczar Member

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    In an ideal world I think it would be great if all electric vehicles had a single supreme network that could charge and and provide destination stopping for users. Tesla's supercharging network is currently superior to all other charging networks currently, but I can see Electrify America becoming a threat to Tesla if they do have enough OEM programs from lots of brands. If Rivian could use Tesla's supercharging network without it breaking that bank in royalty fees that would be a great start, but eventually I would love to see Electrify America being the sole supplier and provider for fast charging for all brand who choose to use their services, which in turn would help bring down costs per charging session over time.

    But the issue remains that Rivian wants its customers to have the ability to charge their vehicles at national parks, popular trails, and places of adventure where Electrify America might not be planning on placing chargers or chose not to. So Electrify America would need to expand dramatically very soon in order for them to be relevant and useful for Rivian owners as well as other brands, in order to make them a first choice to become their sole charging provider.

    Also since Ford has a deal and alliance with VW (who own Electrify America) and now Rivian has ford investments, doesn't hurt to think that that intertwining of relationships would help.
     
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  3. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    I think it will be a very long time before most charging enterprises turn their attention to places such as trailheads in national parks. Electrify America has the most ambitious plans, but their early emphasis beyond highway charging is bringing charging to urban users. Even Phase I of their plans includes charging stations in multi-unit housing structures and public parking garages in 17 major metropolitan areas, and Phase II focuses on expanding urban penetration further. EVs make more sense for urban driving than any other kind, but many urban users face serious challenges in dealing with charging, keeping a huge potential EV market partially inaccessible right now. (This is one of the reasons Tesla fell so flat in its early foray into China.)

    Electrify America is owned by VW so, beyond having to fund a charging network in order to avoid criminal prosecution in the U.S. for its diesel emissions scandal, Electrify America has a strong incentive to build a network as Porsche, Audi, and VW enter the EV market. One of the reasons I put a deposit down on a Lucid Air was its early decision to negotiate charging arrangements with Electrify America.

    I read an article (I can't remember where) that suggested that, even with access to nation-wide charging infrastructure by Electrify America or anyone else, Rivian is still planning to put its own chargers near trailheads in major national parks. I think this makes sense given its customer base -- invest your own limited capital only where no one else is likely to serve your target market.

    I also suspect only a small fraction of Rivian owners will be climbing mountains or running riverbeds with their vehicles in locations so remote that a highway charge won't get them there and back.
     
  4. Alan Burns

    Alan Burns Well-Known Member

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    Look at all the electric power companies serving cities, towns, burgs and rural areas in the US and Canada. They have substations and junctions along all the paved roads EVs will be traveling. EV charging will be a growing industry and these power utilities already have the infrastructure in place to support charging stations. What is so hard about them locating charging stations as part of their substations?

    Remember Chevron, Shell and BP have announced they will be in the EV charging business with charging stations at all their existing gas stations while building new EV facilities where needed.

    I notice Nissan dealers I have drive through at a few locations block their Leaf charging stations with ICE vehicles after hours rather than installing credit card readers with open access.
     
  5. Feathermerchant

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    I think installing a charging network in metro areas first and then along highways is being done for financial reasons. But it is a mistake. What are people concerned about most when it comes to BEV's? RANGE. With today's 230+ mileage cars there should be no problems commuting and other metro running around. You leave the house every day with a 'full tank'. But taking long trips with no certainty of being able to charge 2 or 3 times a day? That's a good reason not to buy an electric car or truck. Look at what Tesla did. They have built only a few metro stations. Most superchargers are away from metro areas so you can travel.
    https://www.tesla.com/findus?v=2&se...3,-142.6513671875&filters=supercharger&zoom=5
     
  6. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    #6 Hmp10, May 7, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
    I lived in a downtown Chicago for eight years in two different condos. Most of my friends and coworkers also lived in high rises. None of us would have been able to charge an EV at home, as our buildings' garages were not wired for charging. I wasn't able to buy my first EV until I had a private garage to wire for charging. I bought my brother a Model 3 last year. He lives in downtown Atlanta and has access to only two charging plugs in his multi-tower condo complex. There was already one other Tesla owner in the complex. My brother cannot plug his car in to charge unless he is sure he will be available to unplug and move it as soon as it is charged. Sometimes he cannot get enough "plug time" for a trip and has to start with a partial charge and get to a supercharger station as soon as he can.

    Range is one of the big issues for people who have home charging capability and can consider buying an EV. For many people in large cities range is a secondary consideration. Without local charging stations, they cannot even consider buying an EV. Maybe most New Yorkers opt not to fool with owning a car in the city. But high-rise and condo residents in other large U.S. metropolises own cars by the millions. It's a huge but largely inaccessible market for EVs due to charging constraints. I think Electrify America is very wise to look at serving this market. If Tesla doesn't, it's going to give cars that can use the Electrify America stations (many of them soon to be VW products) a big leg up in the urban markets.
     
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  7. Alan Burns

    Alan Burns Well-Known Member

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    My 2016 Terrain is a 4 banger and gets just under 25 mpg on the open road if I don't drive the posted 80 mph. When I fill the tank the computer commonly shows my range at over 425 miles. So the R1T range is pretty close to what I am getting with ICE. Montana is not like higher populated areas where there are 1-4 gas stations at every Interstate interchange but given credit card readers on gas pumps these days it is rare for me not to find gas available more than 100 miles between fills. It is pretty rare these days to find me driving more than 600 miles a day on road trips unlike 20 years back when 800-1000 miles per day was the norm.

    I don't think the 400 (350) mile range of the R1T is an issue but the charging stations is. EA has done their ph I stations through MT already. East from Seattle on I-90 to Butte the south on I-15 south through Idaho and Utah to Salt Lake city where it is I-80 towards Cheyenne and Denver. EA's ph II shows nothing more in Montana with most new stations to be in California and Arizona. That leaves huge areas of MT, ID, WY, UT, ND, SD and NE not served by EA until ph III at best. You can bet California owned windfarms in Montana will be shipping electricity to CA so they don't need to sully their skylines with turning blades. Wouldn't be so bad if the revenues stayed in MT but these go out of state as well.

    I forgot to mention in my last post there are no Chevron, Shell or BP gas stations anywhere in Montana. Mayhaps that will change when these don't need to build new pipelines to ship petroleum but can tap into the existing power grid.
     
  8. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    I forget at which phase, but by full build-out Electrify America is claiming there will be a station with at least four fast chargers no more than 120 miles from another station in any direction. Of course, there is the second issue already looming: lines forming to use those charging stations. It's already a problem at some Tesla superchargers.

    I think the day is coming sooner than we think when almost all chain gas stations will have EV charging stations. Otherwise, they're going to see the return on their land and convenience store investments start to decline.
     
  9. Feathermerchant

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    Right. The oil companies are not going to let this opportunity go to waste. They will convert their stations. Some are already starting to buy charge companies. As far as condos and apartments go, don't you think that when EVs become common, they will use charging stations as features to sell their product?
    In high density areas, there should be some public transportation. In Dallas a lot of the high density residential is close to downtown where there are trains but honestly you can walk just about everywhere.
    Oh and there will be no more of this free charging at work stuff. Except for company work vehicles. We never had free gas at work...
     
  10. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    Investing in charging infrastructure is not only an opportunity for oil companies; it's a hedge against decline in oil consumption. The Saudis are doing the same thing with their sovereign investment fund, through which they're investing heavily in EVs (sometimes quietly and sometimes not so quietly). The Saudis already own a significant stake in Tesla, are the biggest single funder behind Lucid, and appear poised to be the deep pockets for other EV manufacturers who need funding.

    With so many companies around the world getting into the EV game and with some of these EV startups being U.S. based and building their first factories here -- Tesla, Lucid, Rivian, Faraday (until they imploded) -- I hope U.S. government policy regarding EVs is as far-sighted as Saudi Arabia's and China's.

    New high rises going up in most cities are putting some level of EV charging into their plans. However, there is a huge "installed base" of condos and high-rises that would have to do some significant and expensive retro-fitting. Those decisions get made by homeowner association voting, and homeowners who are not yet tuned in to electric driving are stymying some attempts. They don't want to see their HOA spend money on something they don't expect to use. Then every group has its Luddites who inexplicably feel personally threatened by the advent of EVs, such as pickup truck drivers who block Tesla charging stations or people who vandalize them.
     
  11. Feathermerchant

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    When there are electric trucks that outperform their ICE counterparts, they will be converted.
    Maybe instead of infrastructure adds to condos and apartments, we should expect to see 'gas' stations.
    Unless the apartment/condo mgr sees the $$ to be had.
     
  12. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    There are already electric sedans that outperform not only ICE sedans but quite a few exotic sports cars, yet many people still dismiss them. Tesla has won Car of the Year. Consumer Guide gave it the highest rating it has ever awarded a vehicle. Motor Trend achieved a 2.249 second 0-60 time with a Tesla P100D. It has gone toe-to-toe against ICE vehicles in handling on professional courses. Race shops have dissected its suspension and found it to be one of the best designed and executed suspensions on the market. It has broken dynamometers that tried to measure its torque at the wheels. It has garnered some of the best crash test scores ever. Yet car forums are full of commentary trashing Teslas and, indeed, the whole concept of electric vehicles as real competitors for ICE vehicles.

    It's going to be interesting to see the reaction of ICE pickup truck owners to Rivians once they're on the road. It's pickup truck drivers that gather to block Tesla charging stations. It's pickup truck drivers that are leading the "coal rolling" movement to harass EV drivers on the roadways. If Teslas and Prius's make them that mad, just wait until electric pickups invade their turf -- which some seem to think are the public roadways.
     
  13. Feathermerchant

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    I think when they see a truck it will be more relevant to them and they will be more accepting.
     
  14. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    #14 Hmp10, May 7, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
    Personally, I think they'll feel even more threatened about change encroaching on their world . . . but I hope you're right.

    (By the way, my dad was a carpenter in rural Georgia, and I learned to drive in his well-worn 1954 International Harvester pickup truck. I have owned more than one pickup truck myself, and I don't have anything against pickup drivers in general -- just the yahoos who think their pickup trucks confer a license to harass EV owners.)
     
  15. ACDC

    ACDC Member

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    As automakers roll out their EV models, if they all gather behind Electrify America, I can see rollout and coverage picking up major steam and it becoming the unified charging network (Tesla aside). To that end, I think it'd be a smart move by Electrify America to strike up partnerships with manufacturers like they've done with Porsche in offering free fast charging to Taycan buyers for free for three years after purchase.
     
  16. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    Porsche and Electrify America are both owned by VW, so this wasn't really a partnership as much as an in-house cross sell. However, Electrify America has partnered with Lucid Motors for charging, but I believe that Lucid buyers will just get discounted pricing from Electrify America unless Lucid elects to cover all charging fees for a certain amount of time.

    With VW and its Porsche and Audi subsidiaries all bringing out new EV's, they may want to keep free charging at Electrify America stations as a perk exclusive to buyers of those brands.

    And of course, no charging is really free. Tesla and everyone else buries it in the upfront cost of the vehicles. Even when Tesla was still offering lifetime free use of superchargers for the Model S, there were limits on its use that escaped the notice of some buyers. Some Tesla buyers who lived near superchargers did all their charging, even for local driving, at those stations instead of at home. They were surprised suddenly to get letters warning them that free supercharging was intended to facilitate long-distance travel and was not a substitute for in-home charging. If these buyers didn't stop using superchargers for local travel -- and Tesla was tracking where they charged and where they drove -- they were told their charging privileges would be revoked.
     
  17. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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  18. kumarczar

    kumarczar Member

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    I recently saw a tweet from Rivian's main twitter account about their presence at the upcoming Overlanding Expo, in the tweet very casually slipped in was the statement "...its batteries recharge on descent & it plugs into America's fastest growing charging network." Does this possibly hint at Rivian using Electrify America as their provider or another source?
     
  19. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    Electrify America is an open charging platform that almost any electric vehicle, including Tesla, can use with the proper plug or adapter. In fact, each EA station is equipped with CCS, CHAdeMO, and J1772 connectors. So Rivians will almost certainly be able to charge at EA stations without the need for any specific agreement between Rivian and EA. The only way Rivian would not be able to charge at EA stations would be if Rivian decided to use a proprietary charging system that was compatible only with Rivian chargers, and that is inconceivable to me. Tesla went that route only because there was virtually no fast-charging infrastructure available when they entered the market. The situation is very different today.

    By the way, Tesla and Electrify America have entered an agreement to install Tesla battery power packs at 100 Electric America stations. (Tesla is also doing the same thing at some of its own high-demand stations.) The power packs will be able to store electricity purchased at off-peak rates for charging during peak times and also to increase the power available for ultra-fast charging when the station is experiencing high demand.
     
  20. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't this be basic regen? Speaking of regen, I'm curious if Rivian will engage regen when the accelerator pedal is depressed or when the brake pedal is pressed or provide both allowing the driver to select between the two? In addition, will Rivian provide settings for how much regen will occur with either method? E.g. I believe the Volt has settings for how much brake regen is to occur when accelerator pedal is depressed.

    Very much inconceivable. Rivian has indicated at multiple events and articles they are using CCS for both of their EAVs. Short of some huge technology discovery, and even then, if Rivian changed to a proprietary charging system it could potentially sabotage new and even existing pre-orders.
     

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