Inside Electrify America’s plan to simplify electric car charging

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

  1. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    In the early days, Musk offered to make Tesla superchargers available to other manufacturers in the hope the EV industry would quickly move to a uniform standard. No one took him up on the offer.

    I had high hopes for Electrify America, given its ambitious rollout plans. It's one of the reasons I've put a deposit down on a Lucid Air as well as a Rivian R1S. However, your comment is the second mention I've seen of very high charges for using EA stations. (I have free life-time charging on my 2015 Tesla. My brother has to pay for supercharger use with his Model 3, but he has driven it from Atlanta to Naples and been charged less than $30 for the ~650 miles.)

    When charging my Tesla at home, my energy costs for driving it are about one-third of an equivalent ICE vehicle. It it's going to cost as much to drive a Rivian on trips as an ICE vehicle, one begins to wonder what's the point. Yes, there are other advantages of driving an EV but, as you pointed out, there are trade-offs with things such as less availability of dealer support and repair/maintenance. Taking lower fuel costs out of the equation changes the cost/benefit analysis somewhat.
     
  2. EyeOnRivian

    EyeOnRivian Well-Known Member

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    I happened to be poking around A Better Routeplanner (ABR) a couple of weeks ago and also saw the same thing - Rivian's R1T and R1S vehicles were added in addition to the 3 battery pack options for each EAV. This was my take away.
    * The six Rivian selections were all marked "alpha". So this is about as new as you can get which implies to me a few things. ABR has not done much testing yet; they're working with pre-production Rivian specs which could change; no empirical data yet that represents real-world charging and range performance for each EAV and kWh BP.
    * By the time Rivians roll off the assembly line, and even later by the time one would roll into my driveway, I can only imagine the charging station landscape will have changed/improved. And like you said, we'll have a better picture of how Rivian addresses the fueling and service/maintenance segments.

    So at this time I'm not putting too much behind what ABR comes up, though it is interesting to see some of the differences / pitfalls of a given road trip given what we and ABR know today. Thanks for providing your trip scenario. I think your 3 major segments is very on point.

    BTW, wouldn't the answer be a CCS (Rivian) to Tesla (charger) adapter vs Tesla to CCS? :)
     
  3. Feathermerchant

    Feathermerchant Active Member

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    The amount of time you spend charging has nothing to do with your battery size. That's right. It all has to do with the efficiency of the vehicle you are driving. The Tesla model 3 uses about 1 kWh for 4 miles traveled. Rivian says 180 kWh pack will take you 400 miles. That's about 1.8 times the energy use as the Model 3 and so about 1.8 times as much time charging. Now a larger pack can be charged faster because it is larger but you need to have a charger that's capable. The Model 3 long range (75 kWh pack) can be charged at up to 300 kW. The Rivian may be able to be charged faster but will require more than a 350 kW charger to make a real difference.
     
  4. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    #34 ajdelange, Aug 9, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
    Roger the comment on alpha version. But we can look at what Rivian advertises at the moment which is 400 miles range on a 180 kW battery and deduce from that that the mileage us going to be something in the neighborhood of 400/180 = 2.2 mi/kWh. ABRP has uses 1.97 mi/kwH as the default @65 mph but you can change it if you want to try other values to see how that might change things. Clearly there are lots of other things they do not know such as drag coefficient, effective frontal area, rolling resistance etc. But I feel certain that the ABRP people came up with as good or better guesses at these than I could and so feel quite confident that what ABRP predicts will be a pretty good approximation to what actually will happen with a Rivian.

    Of particular significance to the charging time calculation is that we/they do not know how Rivian will taper charge. If it takes 3 hours to charge at the 50 kW chargers available today that suggests that it will take 0.5 hours to charge at 300 kW but that assumes no taper or that a 350 kW charger tapers exactly the same on a percentage basis as a 50 kW charger which I doubt. It may be that the charge starts at 300 kW but drops, as it does with the Tesla cars, as SoC gets above 50%. A big part of the Tesla charging strategy is based on this such that one tends to make more frequent charges from low to moderate (20 - 60% SoC for example) charges than higher final level charges (above 80%). This will very probably be the case with the Rivians too but right now the Rivian network does not make that as convenient as the Tesla network does. I too hope that will change by the time they deliver my R1T but I can't help thinking over and over that the only thing that will get me to quit worrying is that Tesla to CCS adapter by which I mean one that plugs into the CCS connector on the car and into which one can plug a Tesla charger.

     
  5. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    A less efficient car requires that you take on more energy to drive a given distance. This requires more frequent charging unless you install a larger battery. Installing the larger battery means you can charge less frequently but you must charge longer. You still have to take on the extra energy required of the less efficient car. This is illustrated in the example in No. 30. I can skip a charge but I must charge longer. Of course in that example a large part of the extra time is required because with CCS I have only chargers of limited capacity available.
     
  6. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    Tesla superchargers do an electronic handshake with the car being charged to be sure the car is authorized to use the charger and on what terms (unlimited free charging, limited free charging, billed charging . . . or blocking charging if privileges have been revoked). Tesla superchargers don't have credit card readers and bill any charging costs to a card on file with Tesla. Unless the car is authorized by Tesla to use the supercharger, I doubt that an adapter will be of much use. Since other automakers declined Musk's invitation to help make Tesla superchargers the industry standard, I believe Musk has since decided that only Teslas can use them. Also, as the use of superchargers has neared capacity in some regions (with waiting lines occasionally forming), Tesla no longer wants other brands to use its charging network.
     
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  7. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    An adapter would be useless without an agreement between the two companies. I take the existence of the J1772 adapter as proof that charging Rivian on the Tesla network is technically doable. It's a matter of the companies working out an agreement. There are no problems with the communications protocol and no problems with credit cards that can't be solved by linking a couple of computers together. An agreement certainly would solve Rivian's Fueling Segment problem and at the stroke of a pen. Would it be in Tesla's best interest too? Only they know. And while it is true that Elon Musk has said he will allow any OEM to use his network as long as they share the costs the way he determines cost may be unacceptable to other manufacturers. That has been the case to date. Part of Elon's genius was that he knew that he would have to swallow the cost of charging his would be customer's cars, at least initially. Others should learn from his example. I see tremendous advantage to Rivian in a cooperative scheme but if I were privy to the details of what Tesla actually would demand of participants in such an agreement I might well change my mind.
     
  8. Hmp10

    Hmp10 Well-Known Member

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    If Rivian is thinking about striking a deal with Tesla for charging, it's getting late in the game. Questions about charging are one of the biggest worries that confront people who are on the fence about whether to jump into EV's or into a particular brand. I think one of the smart marketing plays Lucid Motors made was to announce an alliance with Electrify America near the time they started taking deposits. People who were deciding whether to put down a deposit already had one of their biggest questions answered.

    Given that some Tesla superchargers are already operating near capacity, I doubt Musk would be interested in taking on additional users until Tesla had time to build out the network further to accommodate added traffic, and I suspect he would want some capital contributions from other EV makers to do that. Also, supercharging has not thus far been operated as a profit center for Tesla the way Electrify America is planned as a profit center for Volkswagen (hence the big difference in the rates they charge), so the question would arise as to whether Tesla would charge other cars on a not-for-profit rate structure, charge other cars at a higher rate than Teslas, or raise the rates for all users.

    If all the manufacturers had gotten on board with Tesla charging at the outset and worked out a unified pricing structure, the landscape would be much simpler. Now that a major player has turned charging into a profit venture with the involvement of the U.S. government (EA's creation and business plan was the result of a plea deal whereby the government refrained from criminal prosecution of VW for its emissions scandal), the landscape has gotten more complicated.
     
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  9. Feathermerchant

    Feathermerchant Active Member

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    The Tesla Supercharger does handshake with the car to identify it to it's database to allow charging and calculate $ charges but it also handshakes to determine the electrical charge rate requested by the vehicle. Any car that uses the Supercharger network must be able to do both things. A simple adapter will not work.

    As far as charge tapering (reducing charge rate) that is determined by the vehicle maker based on many things such as battery temperature and state of charge. There are also other limitations. Once the cell voltage reaches 4.2V the charge rate MUST be reduced or cell damage will result. How much depends on cell chemistry and temperature among other things.
     
  10. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    A CCS/CHAdeMo Supercharger does handshake with the car to identify it to it's database to allow charging and calculate $ charges. It tells the car how much current is available (the Telsa SC's do this too but - Feather left that out) and then handshakes to determine the electrical charge rate requested by the vehicle. If the charger needs to reduce or can increase the current available to the car it must signal that to the car (the Tesla SC does this too but this also was left out by Feather). Any car that uses the Supercharger network must be able to do all 4 things. A simple adapter that supports the hardware AND software ICDs will work.

    Thus a Tesla SC and an EA SC are functionally the same. A Tesla SC is capable of charging any car that can charge from a CCS SC as long as there is a hardware adapter available and the necessary software changes are made, both to the charger and the network.
     
  11. Feathermerchant

    Feathermerchant Active Member

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    There is my point. The hardware is easy to make but not so the software. If you are using your adapter and the car catches fire, whose fault is it?

    So here is the thing. The charger has to identify an account to send the bill to. (Car's VIN?)
    The charger has to keep track of the load parameters to know how to calculate the $ amount.
    The CAR controls the charge.

    So this adapter must translate CCS/CHAdeMo to Supercharger and vice versa. It also needs some security so that it can't be hacked.
    Ex - hold a different VIN.
    I believe Tesla also has safeties measuring the wand and/or charge port temperature.

    I think Tesla should open their SC's to everyone. Just require them to use a Tesla adapter and set up an account.
    I'll bet if they did and charged about what they charge now ($) EA would blow a fuse. From what I can tell EA charges 2X or 3X what Tesla does (for the same gallon of gas).
     
  12. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    #42 ajdelange, Aug 17, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
    You seem to want to make the development of an interface between a Tesla SC and another manufacturer's vehicle much harder than it would in fact be. Consider the router in your house that is capable of merging the Ethernet signals from your computer, printer, spectrum analyzer, density meter, scanner, audio interface, Vonage adapter, Apple TV.... with the WiFi signal from your laptop (Apple, Dell...), your Honeywell Thermostat, your Nest security camera, your Leviton light switch... to the WAN and manage a VPN tunnel while shuffling data around to insure QoS on a VOIP line, manage DHCP on your LAN and do it all in such a way that your ISP can bill you for bytes used, block certain ports, throttle your speed, assign you a new IP address.... Controlling the charging of BEVs, even though they can use a handful of protocols, is clearly, orders of magnitude simpler. But you can by a router for $20 (and up - you won't get QoS or VPN for $20). The ability of the industry to come up with an interface between anything and anything else was parodied in a cartoon I saw many years ago in Australia. It showed a nerdy looking guy on his knees in front of a large square device on the floor. The caption was "Norman mistakes the room dehumidifier for a server but interfaces it into the network anyway". I suppose the irony there is that I wouldn't be terribly surprised to find today a dehumidifier that did interface with the internet.
     
  13. Feathermerchant

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    We're not talking about $20 commodities here. We're talking about vehicles costing ~$100,000.
    In addition if you can't charge for whatever reason, you could have a real problem completing your vacation.
     
  14. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    #44 ajdelange, Aug 24, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
    You continue to miss the point but I'll try again. Tesla makes a CHAdeMO adapter. When you plug that into a CHAdeMO super charger the super charger lights up with a display that says "Connected to a CHAdeMO certified vehicle" or something very like that. But it isn't. It's connected to a PCB inside that CHAdeMO adapter which satisfies every requirement of a CHAdeMO certified vehicle (billing, safety, communication...). The charger thinks it is talking to a Kona or something like that but it is in fact talking to a circuit board in an adapter. The fact that this circuit board probably costs Tesla $20 (or less) to make has no relevance here. It is that fact that it is trivially simple to make it that you need to grasp. I had guys working for me that could have designed it and developed the software in a day (each). Use the old rule of thumb for software (double estimate and double again) so make that 4 days.

    So if it is possible to supply a CHAdeMO to Tesla adapter why would you think it impossible or difficult to develop a Tesla to CCS adapter? Do you think there is something in the CCS "standard" that is much more difficult than CHAdeMO? That's nonsense. The challenge here is not the electronics or software. It's the electropolitics. Once the two companies agreed (don't hold your breath) to the interface the development of the interface would be a breeze. Certainly there would be rounds of ICS's and ICD's and all that but the technical problems are trivial.

    The comment that being unable to charge for whatever reason may spoil your vaction is akin to saying that John Wilkes Booth's visit to Ford's Theater probably reduced Mrs. Lincoln's enjoyment of Our American Cousin. IOW I don't see what it has to do with the current discussion.

    Getting back to what the thread is about: In anticipation of the arrival of the Rivian, which now seems more likely than it did 8 moths ago when I plunked down my deposit, I have been experimenting with taking the Tesla into places where there are no Tesla chargers. It has become apparent that one can operate a BEV in those regions relying only on charging with non Tesla charging resources which, really, abound if you look for them a bit. Not as convenient as the Tesla network for sure but do keep in mind that other manufacturers BEVs are on the road. Will there be inconveniences? Certainly, largely related to the fact that the Rivians are only going to give us 2 or so mi/kWh (as compared to the Tesla's 3 - 4). But that will get better as the non Tesla higher powered SCs get installed in more and more places.

    The actual question asked in the OP was as to whether Rivian is rumored to have cut any deals with ChargePoint or EA or Circuit Electrique... Don't know but other manufacturers have done that giving, for example, free charging on a particular network for the first year of ownership. Rivian would be smart to consider that. Tesla also has a deal whereby they will give you a free destination charger and pay for its installation at your place of business. Rivian would be smart to consider doing that too. It wouldn't even have to be Rivian hardware (Telsa's arrangement uses Tesla HPWC's).
     
  15. ajdelange

    ajdelange Well-Known Member

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    Intrigued by Nos. 27 & 28 I put a trip from Cleveland to Disney World into Abetterrouteplanner for the R1T and a Tesla X 100D. Interesting results.

    Distance for the R1T is 1156 mi with time estimated at 23:19 with 4:59 for charging (5 stops longest of which was 1:24) and an electricity cost of $216.

    Distance for the X 100D is 1070 mi with time estimated at 19:36 with 2:33 allocated to charging (6 stops longest of which was 0:42) and an electricity cost of $54.

    In my Lexus SUV (18 mpg @ $2.80/gal) fuel cost would be about $166 and time about 17 hr.

    From these numbers the obvious conclusion is that if cost is most important consideration one should chose the Tesla. If getting there fast is the goal one should take the Lexus and in either case one should cancel his order for the Rivian. It requires an extra 100 miles in order to get to chargers, must take on more charge as it takes (according to Abetterrouteplanner's estimate) 525 Wh/mi compared to the Tesla estimate of 321 Wh/mi and is forced to use chargers which, in some cases, have lower charging capacity than the Tesla chargers.

    We're comparing 3 segment transportation systems here. The vehicle segments are comparable between Rivian and Tesla as far as we know at this point. The fueling segment is, at this point a disaster for Rivian as it blows away one of the touted advantages of electric: cheaper operating cost per mile. With the Tesla the fueling segment is good (and optimum for those owners who have free life time charging). Tesla falls on its face in the support segment. Where Rivian sits RE that segment is yet to be seen.

    Thus, given that its current fueling situation puts it in a worse than ICE cost bracket and in an unfavorable position relative to Tesla and others who give free or reduced cost electricity to buyers for at least some time period what do I think they will do? Learn from those other companies and strike a deal with EA. As there is no such thing as a free lunch the cost, or a part of it, at least, will be hidden in the cost of the cars. This won't amount to that much as most charging is done at home. I calculate the value of free supercharging (which I do not have) would be $39 per year. I am not the type to drive 20 minutes from home to get a few bucks of free electricity to put into my $100,000 vehicle but there are, of course, those who do that and this increases the cost to the manufacturer and takes up supercharger stalls intended for transients.

    I expect, therefore, that the cost aspect will, when the vehicles actually hit the road, be better than it appears to be right now. I also expect that there will be more higher powered DC chargers available and that represents a potential improvement.

    Finally I say to the authors of Nos. 27 and 28 "Where's your sense of adventure/excitement?" If I had to go to Florida tomorrow no question but that I would take the Tesla and it wouldn't be because I'd save a few bucks on gas. I really don't care about the two and a half hours extra in a trip that long as I'd have to break it up into two days anyway. I'm old enough that a stop every few hours is almost necessary anyway. The big plus is that a BEV makes driving almost fun again so I arrive much more rested.

    When it comes to comparing to Rivian though these posts and the simulated trip exercises are really revealing. Big batteries, gear tunnels, and the ability to ford streams are very cool but are they worth 500 wH/mi?
     
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