By on February 5, 2015

Tesla Supercharger Night Party

According to a new study, federal funding of EV charging infrastructure would do more to increase EV adoption rates than what tax credits do now.

The National Science Foundation discovered that the total amount of credits dispersed between 2011 and 2013 came out to $1.05 billion, enough to build over 60,000 charging stations had the subsidies gone towards such things; the figure is equal to half of all gas stations in the United States. In turn, an additional 60,000 stations would boost adoption rates to five times the current rate.

Another part of the study focused how EV and PHEV owners charged their vehicles, looking at ways to bring low-cost, more efficient charging to the home. Most owners use a standard 120-volt outlet for overnight charging, while direct-current charging boosts recharge rates four to six times above alternating-current charging, but at a cost of $15,000 to $25,000 for the equipment.

As for outside of the home, the NSF developed an intelligent charging system that would optimize charging costs at malls or parking garages, while managing the charging itself to reduce strain on the electric grid.

The study comes as the U.S. will likely fall short of the 1-million EV goal set by President Barack Obama for the end of 2015; just over 250,000 EVs have been sold in the U.S. since 2010.

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97 Comments on “Study: US Better Off Funding EV Charging Infrastructure Over Tax Incentives...”


  • avatar

    While I agree that well placed EV infrastructure will do a lot to encourage EV ownership, government funded schemes so far have tend to miss the mark.

    There are news articles almost on a weekly basis detailing EV Charging equipment going largely unused. When its somebody elses’s money, no one seems to care where the equipment gets put. ANy funding needs to be targeted to where the equipment will actually get used.

    After the home, the best possible location for EV charging equipment is at the workplace. It essentially doubles the range of an EV used for commuting. This will allow apartment dwellers a way to easily charge an EV even if their apartment complex does not have that capability.

    Simply mandate the installation of EV equipment for all new office buildings and parking lot remodels and initially use govt tax incentives to pay for it in place of the individual consumer tax incentives. The equipment could be activated by your office security badge to prevent weekend/evening pilfering and track who is using the equipment.

    • 0 avatar

      “After the home, the best possible location for EV charging equipment is at the workplace. It essentially doubles the range of an EV used for commuting.”

      If I could charge my car at my office, or at the movie theater or at the mall or at the grocery stores (walmart), I’d be more likely to want to own an EV.

      I’m at work from 9 – 3
      I’m at the mall – normally 1 – 2 hours.
      I’m at the movie theater at least 2 hours (4 hours if it’s a Michael Bay movie)

      Either of these time spans is more than enough to regain 50 miles or more.

      The only way to solve range anxiety is to:

      a) make charging stations ubiquitous
      b) make charging “points” (free sockets) ubiquitous
      c) make battery swap stations ubiquitous
      d) decrease the price of EV
      e) make EV the same size as spacious mid-sized sedans and large-sized sedans.

      Then I’d be more likely to desire to buy an AWD EV – regardless the power output.

      10 years from now, EV with the performance of the Model S P85D could be typical.

      But we need more advances in electricity generation. Solar panel WINDOWS. Solar “sides of buildings that face the sun”.

      I don’t like windmills cause they kill birds.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree free level 1 or Level 2 charging would increase EV adoption. The more the merrier. I fear the days of ‘free charging’ will go away, most merchants do not appreciate the boost it will give to their primary business. A few notable exceptions are Kohl’s and Whole Foods.

        BTW Wind Turbine Threat to birds is overblown, and by a wide margin.

        A great number more birds are killed annually flying into buildings than are killed by wind turbines.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-04-21/beware-the-blades-of-death-world-s-top-serial-bird-killers-

        I take it you don’t like buildings either. :-)

  • avatar

    Falling energy prices work against the whole EV movement. Even at 7 USD per gallon for gasoline, the EV’s popularity remains iffy in the country where I live. So far (2007-2014), the fiscal incentives to boost the sales of low to zero emission cars have costed the Netherlands (with a population of 16 million) 6 billion euro (7.5 billion USD). To translate this to the U.S. situation, that would come down to 150 billion USD. There’s a lesson to be learned here.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Due to their high up-front costs, I don’t believe people buy EVs to save on costs (despite the fact that electricity is much cheaper than gasoline, even now).

      Comparing full lifecycle costs between EVs and traditional cars already comes out in EVs’ favor; thus the reason they don’t sell more is for other reasons, such as range, ability to charge, lack of education, limited availability, etc.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    In other words, things you can physically see as a benefit ahead of significant investment are of greater influence on actions than things you cannot physically see which only happen after significant investment.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Instead of credits to EV buyers, the government would have been better off giving the credits to gas stations that install charging stations for EVs and allow them to charge the car owner for the electicity, just as they charge for gasoline/diesel. When you give the market an incentive to provide something, it will provide it more efficiently than government ever could.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Even better, do like what they do with gasoline. Sell the power at near cost and make the real money on the higher profit food they’d buy and eat while the car is charging.

      • 0 avatar

        Indeed. There are several MAPCO/BP Gas stations with rapid charging units in the Nashville area. When the units were free to use for the first few months, I stopped and ate breakfast on the way to work a couple of times per week.

        Now that it costs $10 to fill up my LEAF, I stopped going to the MAPCO. They are not making any money on the charging or the food!!

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      While your particular policy may be effective the overgeneralization is completely off the mark. In every first world western industrialized country the government is usually the most efficient service provider and remains so as long as there is consistent monitoring and management. The difference in profit margin alone makes the government more effective.

      But at this point the need for infrastructure is more about providing low cost loans/grants to just install infrastructure everywhere. Make it near ubiquitous and people will shift over in droves.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        What are you actually claiming, and what is your evidence? There are enough wiggle words in that as to make it meaningless to anyone actually paying attention. OTOH, props for your mad propaganda skillz.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Word salad

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          I’m pointing out that the delivery of services such as utilities (i.e. power generation, water purification, etc.) and health services are two particular areas where the government in Western Europe and the US (in the case of utilities) have consistently proven that they are cheaper for offering the same benefit for less than the private market.

          Now to explain in simple terms the aspect of private enterprise needing a profit margin. When you run a business you need to make money at a greater rate than you spend it. You’re following still, yes? So, the government doesn’t necessarily NEED a profit margin though it usually has a small due to market variances in purchases versus revenue. So if electric Co. needs to make 15 cents of profit for every dollar they generate in revenue the Gov-owned Electric Co-op doesn’t need that 15 cents out of every dollar.

          The issue in local government has been problematic because there is little management knowledge in how much services cost in the open market. Though that has gotten better as privatization has become less prevalent but use a more managed approach to analyzing the private market for per-unit costs.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Condescending word salad, much better

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            So, Lie2me, when did I kick your puppy that you decided to become a moron that gets upset after I explain in graphic detail why my argument makes sense?

            Is it because you can’t compete or because you think being anti-intellectual will get under my skin? Word Salad is a defense for simpletons who can’t follow an argument. If you want to challenge the argument, do so.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Condescending and hyper-sensitive

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Awww, now you’re just trying to troll. You get no more attention until you decide you can behave like an adult. :)

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Well, I guess that covers the ‘tude. On to the issue – ELECTRICITY service providers.

            Everyone understands that not needing to make a profit means you can offer lower prices. It’s why we all want to move to the Soviet Union.

            At any rate, pun intended, I can see how a government can be cheaper in a highly regulated monopoly industry. So as long as we aren’t going to be asked to accept the ridiculous notion that a government is more efficient in a competitive market I can see your point that they are cheaper except where they are not.

            Carry on.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Actually in a competitive market the government is still usually cheaper. If you do a mild amount of research into local public services (street repair, trash removal, etc..) the government usually comes out cheaper on those services. It isn’t uniformly so, but more often than not they are cheaper. But again this is a sign of ‘you’re old, I get it’ where you reference the Soviet Union for not making a profit which was a command economy when you could have easily referenced Singapore, Norway, Sweden, or Germany who all excel in every measured facet of living standard over us and still have a private sector providing the majority of goods but recognize the benefit of government services to provide basic utilities and essential services.

            The USSR collapsed 20+ years ago because they never had the kind of economy that could expand at the same rate as the US and the US intentionally closed markets to their exports. It’s more than just ‘capitalism good, communism bad’ because capitalism didn’t prevail so much as socialism won the fight while capitalism got all the credit. Long story short (and I know, too late) the argument that government is an inherent bad is a completely false lie made up by the Reaganite/Goldwater conservatives to sell their brand of governmental oversight (i.e. limited to none). The evidence has never bared out in their favor and while competitive markets are good for providing services completely discounting the government from being an actor in them based on an ideological position is just bad thought process.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            If you didn’t have such a dickish attitude about your points, which by the way aren’t all that revelationary, they might be worth consideration and you’d probably have a better social life

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Actually…

            There is nothing after that which validates the use of actually.

            Street repair? That pretty much wraps it up. Yes, it’s cheaper for the city to get the complaint, inspect the fault, schedule the repair, pay the union wages while not accounting for the union pension, and accept the shoddy work than it is to do get the complaint, inspect the fault, bid out the work, pay some minority a premium to subcontract a white guy to pay the union guys (which is demanded by the city) and charge for the actual cost of that because he must fund the pension, and then inspect it to a standard that is much higher, and cut a check a month late, and do it all with extra corruption that comes whenever a contract is created by a government.

            Yes, the USSR collapsed…weasel…wiggle. The socialist countries who have made tons of reforms did have an economy and most importantly had relations, business, and guidance from us. One empire and related socialist countries failed while another did not. Take the U.S. out of the equation and it all fails to get far. You never seem to even realize that the Western Socialists could only succeed because of us. We fueled the military protection, we had the markets giving everyone the economic answers, and they benefitted. Just like the Russians and the Chinese copied much of the West’s tech, much of the West copied the how to answers from our test sheet.

            Get rid of the awesome answer factory of American markets, and the euros would have had to figure out everything for themselves rather than simply decide to do so many things just like we had.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            @Lie2me – The fact that I get harangued here at TTAC has no factor on my social life. Contrary to popular belief I’m actually quite happy for the most part. Then again I minimize my contact with conservatives who are anti-government because I don’t want to constantly butt heads on issues that are near and dear to my heart.

            @LC – Whatever? Seriously, whatever. I provide you the information and you insist on living in a fantasy land. It makes me sad that you’re so wrapped up in your own completely unfounded views but whatever helps you sleep at night, champ. This is one of those times I just resign myself to teaching the youth in my classrooms and remember you’ll age out of society before those young educated minds will.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            While you are believing your own nonsense and sucking down tax payer dollars for spewing it to kids it must be easy to think that those who disagree are just idiots. Sorry if I’m not ready to swallow all your tripe just because you claim to know all about everything.

            Nothing in my street repair example is false. If you try to do business with or run a city you might get it. It’s amazing how much of your kind of nonsense is true except for when it fails in front of your very eyes because you actually were responsible to get something done. Our Mayor is a total lefty who actually does a pretty good job because she realizes the limitations of your dogma. If I were like you, I suppose I would find nothing to give her credit for.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “you’ll age out of society”

            ‘you’re old, I get it’

            With any luck on the way home from his tax payer supported teaching job he’ll get run over by a government subsidized bus driven by a boomer

            Karma is such a wonderful thing

          • 0 avatar
            an innocent man

            I don’t think Rain-X is aware that some of us were around to live the history that he reads about. He actually thinks Norway won the cold war.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “you’ll age out of society”

            To where? Another society?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Rain-X thinks if he outlives everyone, he wins

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I always thought that it was better to burn out than to fade away.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Whatever happened to “Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse”?

            Kids today, *sigh*

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I actually watched “Knock on Any Door”, the movie your quote comes from (well, it’s based on a book that has the quote too), a few weeks ago. I doubt many people under 25 know who Humphrey Bogart is, nevermind John Derek, who actually said the line.

            John Derek married himself some impressive women. He was married to Pati Behrs, a Russian ballerina and family member of Tolstoy, Ursula Andress, Linda Evans, and Bo Derek.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            I’m sorry, where did you get your degree in US history from? You didn’t, you read newspapers and believed the unmitigated propaganda that came out of your TV? Great story. By the way, Norway didn’t win the cold war, I’m well aware of that if your strawmen arguments weren’t so pathetic I would try to explain my position but your own nationalistic ideologies prevent any facts from getting through. Suffice to say the Europeans benefited from the US’ global hegemonic military power but their model of social welfare could be duplicated in the US and should be. We’re the only first world country with a 3rd world rate of poverty.

            Suffice to say, I love old people, I also love liberal old people who voted for FDR, Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson. Those people who actually fought WWII and Korea and still came home to vote for civil liberties for all and protection of the weak from the strong.

            You chose a profession where you work in the private sector, don’t cheer so loud because you’re an expendable cog in the machine we call an economy. The fact that you call it ‘taxpayer subsidized’ simply eludes to the fact that if you had to pay full price for the education I provide along with my colleagues we would have far fewer advancements. So keep stamping your feet and shouting the anti-intellectual phrases. It really doesn’t make me change my view, if anything it reinforces why I have to educate students because they get so much misinformation from the supposed ‘elders’ who are supposed to know better.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            An educated student who possesses critical thinking skills has the intelligence to absorb what you teach as what they learn through their lives and discern for themselves which is more correct given a circumstance.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “I’m sorry, where did you get your degree in US history from? ”

            Exactly where all liberal arts degrees come from, other ivory tower dilettantes as yourself.

            I suppose the academic dole is a step up from the SSDI variety but it’s not a very tall step. If you think that giving each other gold stars impresses anyone outside of your social club then you’re only kidding yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            You equating yourself with actual, truth seeking scientists, philosophers, and educators, is like me trying to put myself in the shoes of paratroopers with combat wings and ole Stomin’ Norman. Actually, it’s worse.

            The study is likely correct. The real question is whether any subsidies are a good idea, and the answer should be that it should only be considered when there is a surplus. In the meantime, a tax break (never a credit) might be a reasonable compromise.

            Why not just make EVs tax free?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            City utilities are generally cheaper than the for-profits. That’s probably an indication that free marketeers don’t have any unique talents that allow them to get more power down a pole or more waste through a sewer. (And getting customers isn’t much of a challenge.) Utility providers are not in a particularly tough or innovative business.

            It’s not a black-and-white world; there is some stuff that government does or can do well. We don’t want them running everything, but playing the communist card is just lazy and we expect a better work ethic coming from you hardworking up-by-your-bootstraps capitalists.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “In every first world western industrialized country the government is usually the most efficient service provider and remains so as long as there is consistent monitoring and management.”

        Perhaps there are some that can do it, but consistent monitoring and management tends not to manifest itself in places where there’s little incentive to do so. The inept government management of electricity delivery in my area has led to significant increases that have made the rates among the costliest on the continent. It’s a lot easier to get foolish decisions past the taxpayers than shareholders.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Instead of credits to EV buyers, the government would have been better off giving the credits to gas stations that install charging stations for EVs”

      No, chargers are too slow to make it work.

      Gas stations as is usually breakeven on the fuel and make money on the convenience store. What also helps them is high turnover — the average car is at the pump for just a few minutes.

      EVs need much more charging time, which means that more real estate is needed to serve the same number of customers per day as would a conventional gas station. The cost of the land and the typical lot size of a gas station make this a losing proposition.

      Charging isn’t much of a business. It isn’t necessary to give away the electricity, but it requires someone who is insensitive to land costs. The corner station is not that someone; a suburban shopping mall might work.

      • 0 avatar

        Rapid chargers are plenty fast for Gas Station EV charging. There are half a dozen gas stations so equipped in Nashville.

        Many non EV drivers make false assumptions regarding EV’s and their charging needs.

        1. Only a small fraction of EV’s need rapid charging at any one time. Home charging takes care of 80% of charging needs.
        2. An EV does not necessarily ‘fill up’ each time it needs a charge, it needs enough to get where its going, which maybe just an extra 10 miles. A partial charge can be done in the same time as a conventional gas purchaser.

        I agree the convenience store is the money maker not the fuel. So if an EV stays for say 10 minutes rather than 5, there is an opportunity to sell more to this captive audience. This is a huge benefit to the convenience store.

        5 miles from my work there is a BP/MAPCO station. When the service was free I’d stop once or twice a week for a charge on the way to work and get breakfast and maybe pick up a 6 pack of craft beer to take home. Now they charge $10 for $1.60 of electricity I don’t anymore. They are making a great profit on the electricity when they sell it, but nothing if I don’t stop.

        As for land? An EV rapid charger and parking space take up less land than a gas pump and parking space do. You could theoretically have more rapid chargers than you could pumps on the same piece of land.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          You can get gas in a few minutes.

          You can’t get electricity in just a few minutes.

          This isn’t that complicated.

          • 0 avatar

            Let’s examine those ‘few minutes’.

            While you are pumping gas, you are a slave to the pump until it stops. You pop inside the store to pick up what not and pay for that. Probably 5 minutes minimum for both transactions.

            The EV driver plugs in, and immediately goes inside the store to get what not. He has a few extra minutes to look around the store and picks up something additional, pays for it and leaves. Unplugs car and is ready to leave. Same 5 minutes.

            Both drivers may spend 5 minutes at the gas station, but the EV driver spends nearly all the time in the convenience store. The gas customer spends most of the time on the forecourt buying the low margin gas.

            It isn’t difficult to see the EV driver spends more time in the store among the high margin products the store owner wants him to troll around.

            As you say it isn’t complicated. The EV driver is worth more the store owner. He gets enough electricity to drive 10 miles, which is all he needed to get home.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You have a very vivid imagination.

          • 0 avatar

            I’ll take a vivid imagination over being dullard any day of the week. :-)

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Yes, it’s very imaginative to not allow facts to interfere with an argument.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Yeah, those EV types spend a ton on cigarettes, beer and pork rinds in the Quik-Stop while their Leafs are charging

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s odd for someone to argue with a straight face that refilling a gas tank takes as much time as it does to add electricity to a battery.

            It isn’t possible to charge a mobile phone that quickly, let alone a car. Then again, I also couldn’t get him to understand that diesel MPG and gas MPG couldn’t be directly compared. (Reminiscent of BAFO, he freaked out and made oddball accusations instead of just wiping the dust off of his Google to look it up.)

          • 0 avatar

            You seem to not be able to get out of your head that one doesn’t necessarily have to ‘fill’ a battery to get where you’re going.

            Comparing fill up to fill up, yes a full battery recharge takes considerably longer even at rapid charging speeds.

            To get one that last 10 miles to home where you do 80%+ of your charging. 5 minutes seems reasonable.

            Gas car drivers often fill up each time they visit a gas station. Understandable since every time they need more gas they have to visit the gas station, they can’t refuel at home. This is inconvenient, so they fill up to minimize the number of stops they have to make.

            The EV driver charges at home, his refueling takes less than 3 seconds of his time. On occasion it maybe necessary to visit a Rapid charge station to complete a journey. Since ‘fuel’ is available at his home the driver puts enough electricity in to get him home. No point in wasting time on a ‘fill up’. So instead of waiting 30 minutes he waits 5.

            The refueling model is different between gasoline and electric vehicles. Maybe one day that penny will drop for you.

            A rapid charge station makes no more or no less sense wherever it is located, be that a gas station or a funeral home.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            A five minute charge provides next to nothing. Get real.

          • 0 avatar

            Here’s a few facts for you.

            At 40 kWh charge rate 5 minutes gives you 3 1/3 kWh total electricity. My Nissan LEAF driven in the winter gets about 4 miles per kWh.

            3 1/3 x 4 = 13 1/3 miles

            No imagination necessary. I have an extra 3 mile buffer to make that last 10 mile leg of my journey.

            In the summer I routinely get 4.6 miles/kWh
            So in the summer that 5 minute boost gives me

            3 1/3 x 4.6 = 15 1/3 miles.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            A gasoline powered car gets enough energy for a few hundred miles of travel in a few minutes. But if you want to claim that 15 > 300, then nobody is going to be able to stop you.

  • avatar
    redav

    I find the 110V charging at home interesting. I guess that it’s so they can save money on not buying installing a charger. Personally, I would prefer a simple plug (like the 110V plug) that goes into a 220V outlet. I have no problem running a dedicated 220V circuit into my garage, but I have no desire to spend thousands on a charger.

    • 0 avatar

      One doesn’t have to spend thousands on a charging unit. For several reasons.

      1. They are available from Home Depot for about $600. That’s one reason.
      2. One can run a 240v outlet to your garage and have your portable charging cable that comes with the car modified for both 120/240v use. Costs about $300 at EVSEUPGRADE.com.

      The EV manufacturers have given the false impression that ‘special’ charging stations are necessary which prevents most potential buyers even researching an EV. I suppose they thought they’d make a killing on overpriced EVSE installations and instead dampened the EV market. Greed does sometimes backfire.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      My Schneider Electric charger was $750 in 2012 (Home Depot), and I installed it myself for another $50 in wire and a twin breaker. The convenience is definitely worth it.

      The ‘thousands’ the article refers to are rapid DC chargers (Level 3).

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        SCE, it doesn’t always work out the same for everybody. Guy at my church looked into a PEV, like a Volt, and even had a local Electrical contractor come out to his house to see if his wiring could support it.

        It could, but with a 100-amp service for the whole house he would have to have a separate circuit made between the meter and the 100-amp breaker box which involved removing the meter by the electric company while the tap was made by the contractor.

        IOW, too damn involved, since in NM you cannot pull your own meter since they are electronic.

        That little adventure would have cost him nearly $2000 for the project and that is before the cost of the 230v charger. He would get a 200-amp service meter in place of the 100-amp service meter.

        • 0 avatar

          Your church buddy would have done just fine with the Volt you mentioned. It comes with a 120v portable EVSE that would charge the relatively small battery in the Volt at his home without issues.

          240v EVSE’s are a very nice convenience, but not absolutely essential, or worth spend $2000 on.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          100-amp service should be upgraded for nearly any electrical improvement, and yes, that is expensive.

          I was fortunate to have 150-amp service (high end for 1967, I guess), with gas-fired heat, dryer, and hot water – so no issues.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            JP and SCE, I did help him with an experiment of my own making by using the Electric Dryer port for a 30-amp 220v source, but that periodically tripped the 60/60-amp main breakers when I ran my 208v 3-hp air compressor for the test.

            So we tried the 40-amp Electric Stove/oven port, and the same thing would happen.

            The 60/60 amp main breakers would trip, like when one of his refrigerators, freezers or convection oven would kick on, or when a bunch of appliances were turned on at the same time that the compressor was in use.

            His is a 1972-built home and the 100-amp service is more than adequate for what it was designed for.

            Anyway, he gave up on the PEV idea.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      I have a mobile “swiss army knife” like charger from EMotorworks. It handles 110 to 240 volts and I have adapters for different types of outlets – standard 120, 240 volt dryer, and 240v 50 amp RV outlets. I can even vary the current draw. If I’m somewhere where there’s a problem with the 120 volt circuit, I can adjust the current draw down to a lower level. On the other end of the scale, I’ve been successful cranking up the current draw to 19 amps on a 120 volt 20 amp circuit and getting a 2.2 kw charge rate – close to some cars level II 3.3 kW rate. Loaded with options and adapters, I think I spent around $800, but starting prices are much lower than that. It usually lives outside and has been fine – even surviving a blizzard and heavy rain.

      EMotorworks also has CHAdeMO chargers at somewhat reasonable prices if you’re able to get the 450/850v power.

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      A 220v plug basically means that all the charging equipment is built into the car, at added expense and weight.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        The way EVs are set up, the charger IS in the car. The wall-mounted ‘charger’ is really just a power supply.

        This is intentional, so that any EV can plug into a J1772 cord and receive power under conditions its battery accepts. For example, my 12 Leaf has a 3.3 kW charger, but later ones have a 6.6 kW charger.

  • avatar

    France just decided to give owners of diesel cars older than 13 years 10,000 euro to make the transition to an EV.

    • 0 avatar
      jdash1972

      That’s interesting because diesel fuel has always been subsidized in countries like France, Belgium and Scandinavia. Diesel has been significantly cheaper that gasoline, unlike in the US where, especially now, it’s significantly more expensive. More gov’t waste, they’d be better off just slowly phasing out the subsidies and allow the price of diesel to settle above gasoline and consumers will make the right choice.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Diesel isn’t subsidized. Its simply taxed less than gasoline in Europe. The direction of money flow is definitely from consumer to government for both fuels.

  • avatar
    masterofnone

    Can we get the source of; “just over 250,000 EVs have been sold in the U.S. since 2010.”?
    NIssan LEAF is around 70K. Seems unlikely the rest are 180K, unless EV = PHEV, or EV includes Golf carts?

    • 0 avatar
      harshciygar

      It’s not 250,000 EVs, it’s 250,000 plug-in cars total, so EVs and plug-in hybrids, but NOT regular hybrids. Those numbers are also from back in September, so it’s probably about 300,000 right now.

      So that includes the LEAF, but also the Volt, Tesla Model S, and the dozen or so other plug-in cars sold in the U.S.

    • 0 avatar

      I have sheet with EV sales at

      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2881567/EVSales%20Pub.xlsx

      This was compiled from the following website http://www.hybridcars.com/market-dashboard/ 

      BEV sales are 139,000
      PHEV Sales are 153,000
      Combined sales are 292,000

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Ding, ding, ding…

    The biggest obstacle to (for now) supplementing or (in the future) replacing gasoline as the way the average American fuels their transportation is the infrastructure to refuel.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      No, the biggest issue is the battery cost combined with short life vs. new gasoline powered cars becoming more efficient every year. In addition, we have pretty good real-world evidence that when oil prices get high, market incentives and technological advances increase the oil supply and oil prices quit rising. I bet battery electric cars can’t even compete with expensive synthetic liquid fuels made from coal and natural gas.

  • avatar
    jdash1972

    Charging takes too long unless the car is equipped to handle DC fast charging. No one will hang out at the Circle K for 2 hours drinking a slurpy waiting for their Leaf to gain 40 miles of range. DC fast charging requires a bigger electrical service. I think this is a good place for the gov’t not to get involved and let the market sort things out. When electric cars are good enough and reach price parity with gasoline cars they’ll start selling better. Until then, they’re toys for early adopters and people who can afford to indulge in the geewhiz of something different. Hybrids are the way to go, they’re just a more efficient gasoline powered car, no infrastructure changes needed thank you very much.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed on your first point. I don’t use public chargers for my Leaf because they’re too slow, and its range is too short anyway.

      They could have Level 2 chargers scattered everywhere I travel today, and I still wouldn’t use them.

      If there was a decent network of Level 3 DC chargers, then I’d consider it – except for the high cost of using them. I used a Level 3 charger exactly once (it’s 25 miles from home), and the $3 I spent there is the same as I spend at home for 4 days’ worth of charging. I’m not interested in doing this regularly.

      • 0 avatar
        jdash1972

        I like the idea of electric cars, he’ll I have an electric lawn mower. I like the simplicity. But I need my vehicle to be more versatile, I can’t accept an EV’s limitations. Public charging stations are like restaurants, how many times can you turn a table in a day? A customer occupies a gas pump for 5 minutes, more or less, but it’s going to take longer with an electric car. To serve the same number of cars you need more places to connect, more “pumps” and that means more real estate, greater investment, massive electrical service, etc. I’m not surprised the cost of the charging station you used was so high. Any transition to battery powered cars has to be gradual. Hybrids, then PHEV’s that can make use of, but don’t require, remote charging (like the Volt), then followed by EV’s. Here I am the liberal, arguing against gov’t waste.

        • 0 avatar

          “To serve the same number of cars you need more places to connect, more “pumps”.

          That’s a common misconception. Gasoline drivers understandably apply their fueling habits to EV’s. But they are mistaken.

          On average 80% of EV fueling is done at home. So the number of pumps needed is 80% less!!

          Of those 20% the majority can be fueled slowly at 120v outlets or dedicated 240v stations. There are literally millions of 120v outlets already available for use!! We have plenty of “pumps” already!! No need for “Massive electrical service”!!

          A tiny fraction of EV fueling needs to be rapid. The number of rapid charging stations actually needed is comparatively low and could, with adequate funding, be built very quickly. Tesla will finish covering the entire US in under 3 years for their cars. They will serve the majority of Europe and parts of Asia/Australia in a similar timescale.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      I would point out the irony in your statement if you had the ability to accept that your viewpoint is built on a foundation of self-supporting views and agendas. But really, if a 12 hour charge nets you closer to 300 miles (or 25 miles an hour in stage 1) but reality is closer to any gas station or nominal charging center using more complex chargers that can easily be run off the mainlines going into the building that cut down a 2 hour slushie wait to maybe 15-20 minutes to get you back to about 50-60 miles range.

      Really, the difference in mindset would have to occur as the majority of vehicles sit idle with fuel in them waiting to go at the drop of a hat and we run into a gas station for 5 minutes to put more liquid into that tank. An EV charging center would be used maybe a few times a year by the average person due to blackouts or failure to remember to plug in at home.

      It’s the difference of the models themselves that need to be remembered.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Ironically, the only public chargers that make sense are rapid DC (Level 3) chargers, but the most suitable car for them is the Model S – for which Tesla is installing its own infrastructure.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Would it be possible to build a charging station that is like current gas pumps – regular, mid-grade, high-test…

      EV owners would have to know enough about their cars to actually know which voltage/plug/etc. to use…

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> but the most suitable car for them is the Model S

      They’ve worked well for my Leaf. Usually the furthest I’m going to go in a car is about 100 to 200 miles, so level 3 CHAdeMO charging works well with my Leaf. Still, I said “usually” and the plan for using one of my ICEs for longer trips went by the wayside as EV addiction started taking hold. Now, I’m thinking about a Model 3 PxxD as a replacement for the Leaf.

      A huge advantage of the Tesla network is that it’s “dealer free”. No restrictions of Level 3 charging to the dealerships customers (which is ridiculous – I never need an L3 charge close to home) or the use of the spaces as ICE car display space. I’ve seen both. Nissan needs to move it’s charging network away from the dealers. A major reason I want to move to Tesla is to escape that crap. To be fair, most of the dealers I’ve dealt with are great – it’s just a couple of bad apples and that’s enough to drive me away.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Did they do a study of what it would cost to simply let the market come up with its own charging station solutions and allow the .1% of drivers that would use these stations figure it out for themselves?

    I mean, if someone wants to run a car powered on BioDiesel, I really don’t think my tax dollars need to be used to subsidize restaurants providing a convenient way for them to fill up.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      And I don’t want my tax dollars going to funding the Saudi Arabian monarchy’s personal protection model but we don’t always get to be the choosers after we elect people. That’s why it’s a republic.

      But then again if it wasn’t for government support of SA & the middle east during the early part of the 20th century we wouldn’t have had amazingly cheap gas through the latter half. Isn’t it funny how we get touchy when the objects become easier to focus on?

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        So two wrongs make a right? That’s your argument?

        Every dumb Solyndra-type project that fleeces taxpayer is followed by the excuse “but we have wars for oil!” Sorry, but GeoPolitics is a lot more complicated than that. If the majority of cars were electric, we’d still have military bases in the Middle East.

        If you think we shouldn’t have bases in SA, then advocate that position and explain it. Don’t try and tell me giving millionaires a subsidy so they can buy a Tesla is “righting that wrong”.

        If you really want to make people’s head spin, I would say give the $10,000 tax credit but only if your income is under $100,000. That would probably eliminate 99% of the subsidy.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          No, my argument isn’t that two wrongs make a right, my argument is that your anger at say Solyndra is less an issue because it is such a drop in the bucket of our annual budget versus international conflict. It’s more akin to ‘well, you hate that I tipped a glass of milk but I hate that you drove the car through the wall of the house’. But you’re more upset that the government is an actor at all and I was pointing out that the reason why you’re so aware is that it is a visible effort rather than the more invisible hand of actions that we ignore.

          But again, I actually support having bases in SA and all over the world. I’m pointing out that getting upset that we spend a few billion on some infrastructure or a few million on subsidiaries are literal drops in a bucket compared to the expenditures we do to keep gas cheap.

          As for incentives going to the rich, meh? I doubt it would eliminate 99% of them, maybe 30-40% at most. The Leaf gets under that as does the Volt which are both priced as upper-end Fusion/Camry prices which is completely reachable by the average middle-class household if they wanted to.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            Considering the article is about a specific subsidy, it makes sense to discuss the subsidy in question. Not military bases in Saudi Arabia.

            I’m not going to bring up MediCare reform, even though that costs the taxpayer far more money.

            It’s clear your “argument” is to simply change the subject.

            I’d also like to remind everyone that the current Vice President, Joe Biden voted for the Iraq War, along with current Secretary of State John Kerry and former SOS Hillary Clinton. So if the current Administration felt this was such an evil blunder, it obviously had no issue putting these same people in the highest positions of power.

            Something tells me the “no blood for oil!” crowd will conveniently forget all that if Hillary is the next nominee.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Nice, you get to make all the broad blanket statements you want but I bring up an argument to counter your blanket statement and you turn this into a game of how much straw can you stuff in that man before I finally call you on it. The answer is: About where you landed.

            What is there to change the subject on? I agree with supporting further infrastructure spending on this and keeping bases in SA & other places. I just don’t complain when a small but visible investment is being suggested while ignoring the MASSIVE elephant of an investment within the same discussion.

            That being said I again didn’t have a problem with the Afghan war and all the leaders you mentioned were intentionally lied to by the Bush administration that supported a series of actors that made bold-faced lies to the public in support of the invasion of Iraq. If I gave you the same information (or I myself had it) you would vote the same way. But again, you want to turn this into a partisan fight because I’m obviously a liberal and attacking my preferred candidates avoids discussing the topic (but that would be changing the subject, right?)

            Anyways, it was fun to chit-chat, I see you’re going to ride that right-wing mythos horse all around the comments and I don’t have the time to explain away every statement you’re going to misquote or misrepresent. But again, I enjoy reading the comments because this is what middle America thinks and I’m always astonished how their brains cobble together these positions.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            So nobody can discuss the issue at hand without bringing up Middle East foreign policy? Should we shut the site down until it’s discussed to your liking?

            Apparently all of our current leaders were duped by the brilliant George W. Bush despite having access to the same intelligence reports he did.

            Nevermind the fact the New York Times recently released an article where they did uncover that WMDs were in fact found. They must have been duped also.

            http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2014/10/16/new-york-times-reports-wmd-found-in-iraq

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Don’t get yourself in a bind, you again keep making these blanket statements and I keep calling them out and you turn around and get more upset. Simply put: I answered your thoughts with my own, now pull up your britches and deal with it.

            And to be fair, the Bush administration relied on unreliable informants that the CIA had cut loose for being unreliable. The mountains of evidence that they were getting from their own intelligence community countermanded everything the bush experts said. So take it for what it is, whether they actively lied to get to war or simply mislead they still chose to fight somebody who had no actual ties to Al Queda, our stated enemy at the time.

            By the way the article you posted is an opinion piece which more or less keeps the concept of WMDs vague and really amounts to an argument of do the remains of 15+ year old weapons with no active program count. I mean they technically do but the argument Bush used was that there was extreme and active programs that never materialized. Ultimately those veterans suffered because Bush and his administration had no benefit to admitting to those weapons because it would have proven the view that there was no such modern program in effect completely undercutting his argument.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            Listen, you’re the one that wants to talk about Middle East wars and foreign policy when something like taxpayer funded electric chargers is brought up. Apparently nobody can oppose them or question the value because we waste money in the Middle East.

            BTW, Bush’s CIA Director at the time, George Tenet, was appointed by Bill Clinton.

            So I’m sure you’re going to hold the Clintons responsible for the Iraq War when Hillary runs for President? Right?

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            You’re welcome to oppose them. You keep missing my point because you insist on working in vast over generalizations or absolutes. The point is that the infrastructure spending would cost less than our current program to keep oil cheap. In other words: Cost benefit analysis using objective reality suggests we should do that instead of what we currently do.

            Simple as that.

            By the way, the Clinton administration didn’t go to war with a country that destabilized to the point of a warlord/group holding the northern territory. I’m not as worried about her as I would be at Mitt Romney trying for a third go around.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            Yes, I get upset with pork spending like this that benefits a few well connected companies even though there’s other examples of waste in government as well.

            That doesn’t dismiss it, and to bring up Middle East bases makes about as much sense as me bringing up farm subsidies.

            The same arguments for Solyndra are being used for this “it’s just to get it off the ground” despite the fact we’ve been throwing money at solar since Carter was President. It’s about corporate welfare.

            Regarding Iraq, Hillary Clinton voted to go to war with Iraq as a Senator with the intelligence given by her husband’s CIA Director. Along with Joe Biden and John Kerry.

            I just get tired of the hypocrisy and lack of intellectual honesty of the people involved. If you want to scream about Middle East wars over oil, I expect to see the Clintons and most prominent Democrats taking the blame as well.

  • avatar
    ydnas7

    the time for government funding of DC charging has passed, due to the success of Tesla’s private DC charging network and the balkanisation of DC charging standards due to SAE Frankenplug (DC ‘Combo)

    Both Tesla’s supercharger and Nissan’s Chademo are the people’s (market’s) standard, but any government endorsed standard will include SAE Combo. Trying to move DC charging to DC COmbo is a backward’s move that should be avoided if electric cars are to succeed.

  • avatar
    mcs

    I have an idea for a CHAdeMO/CCS charging network. Tesla should install them at all of their superchargers and service centers. Why? The best source of customers for the Model 3 and even the S will be current EV owners. Require registration for the network and when the Model 3 comes out, you’ve got a mailing list. At the service center, “while you’re waiting for your Leaf to charge, would you like to try a Model 3? We’ll text you when your car is ready”. It would be great marketing.

    • 0 avatar

      I like the idea.

      I drove by the new Tesla dealer in Nashville to say Hi. The reception to driving up with a “Competitive EV” as they put it wasn’t was as welcoming as I’d have liked. They didn’t offer to let me plug my car in either while I looked over the cars in their showroom. ( I noticed as I drove off an outlet on each of the parking lot lamp posts)

      As you say we are already converts to EV’s and probably an easy mark for them to sell a car to. They should roll out the red carpet each time an EV drives up.

      Oh well, I’ll just keep driving my LEAF for the time being.

      • 0 avatar
        SWA737

        No offense meant to Leaf owners, but do the Tesla people really consider the leaf to be competition? It seems like a completely different market to me. I haven’t had any personal dealings with the Tesla folks, but I’m wondering if their lukewarm reception was more of a “You drive a $25,000 car and won’t be buying one of our 6 figure designer creations.” thing rather than a ‘competitor’ thing.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The US and US Government wants cheap energy.

    Now it appears the US Government is competing against it’s wishes.

    So, who loses out here?

    Someone must pay for this illogical waste.

    Ah…..the consumer (taxpayer).

    Well, I suppose these people were voted in and it’s what the US wants.

    What a waste of resources. Let EVs stand on there own two feet.

    • 0 avatar

      EV’s will stand on their own feet one day. But what we want to happen is the US being the market leader at that time. If we take a laissez-faire attitude, then Japan, Germany and China will grab the market for Batteries and EV’s and we’ll simply import them instead of oil.

      This is a *golden* opportunity to ditch oil for transportation *and* replace it with domestically produced cars and the energy to power them. This benefits the US economic situation and strategic interests in one fell swoop.

      Worth a few tax dollars if you ask me.

  • avatar
    George B

    Insanity! The biggest barrier to electric vehicle adoption is the COST of the battery, not the range. Charging the battery pack faster reduces its life and increases the cost per mile. A better and much less expensive incentive would be to provide free parking for electric vehicles with a power outlet available for slow charging.

  • avatar

    You have it half right.

    Range *is* an issue for the majority of EV’s today. If all EV’s had Tesla like range they would surely have greater adoption, but as you rightly surmise, cost prevents that from occurring.

    Fast charging from a technical point of view is more efficient in use of electricity. The impact on the batteries life are overstated. The equipment necessary to do it is the barrier. Rapid charging is a fraction of the charging infrastructure needed, but is the one that requires funding for it to happen in the first place.

    I agree that trickle charging in the majority of locations would help leverage the electrical infrastructure we have in the ground at minimal cost and do the most to drive adoption.

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