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California to gain new EV charging stations under NRG settlement

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by inventor00, Mar 24, 2012.

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  1. inventor00

    inventor00 Orange County Prius Club

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    California to gain new EV charging stations under NRG settlement - latimes.com

    California to gain new EV charging stations under NRG settlement
    Most of a $120-million settlement with NRG Energy is to be used to build at least 200 public fast-charging stations and install wiring for 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locations in California.

    By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
    March 23, 2012, 6:44 p.m.
    In a big boost to current and prospective electric car owners, most of a $120-million settlement with an energy company will be used to build a vast network of charging stations in California.

    The money will be used to construct at least 200 public fast-charging stations and install wiring for 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locations across the state, Gov. Jerry Brown said Friday. He also announced that he had signed an executive order laying out the foundation for 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles to be on California's roads by 2025.

    The fee-based fast-charging stations are to be installed in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley. For a typical electric vehicle, the station can add 50 miles of range in less than 15 minutes of charging.

    The settlement with NRG Energy Inc. stemmed from accusations of inflated costs on long-term power contracts involving plants co-owned by NRG and Dynegy Inc. during the energy crisis of 2000 and 2001. Six years ago, NRG acquired Dynegy's interest in the energy plants in question as well as the responsibility to resolve the allegations.

    Even as consumers have grown more familiar with electric cars, adoption of the vehicles in the state has been slower than many environmentalists, clean-tech firms and car companies would like because of a lack of public infrastructure to support the cars. The new network, the governor's office said, "is a breakthrough in encouraging consumer adoption of electric vehicles."

    John O'Dell, senior green car editor at Edmunds.com, owns a Nissan Leaf and has an in-home charger but said the lack of public charging stations "limits it to second-car status."

    "I liken the home charger to kind of a tether," he said. "Without public charging, I've basically got a 35-mile leash on my car."

    The settlement to create an "Electric Expressway" will turn "range anxiety into range confidence" for EV owners, said NRG Chief Executive David Crane.

    "It breaks the chicken-and-egg problem that electric vehicles have. Their greatest limitation is where to charge them," he said. "In the normal course of business it's tough to build a charging infrastructure unless there's enough electric vehicles. It was always which comes first."

    The settlement "will launch a virtuous circle in which ever more Californians will feel comfortable driving EVs," said Michael R. Peevey, president of the California Public Utilities Commission.

    "Growing EV sales will, in turn, attract ever more investment in charging infrastructure to our state," he said, which would in turn create more jobs, cut air pollution and help the state achieve its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

    The governor's office said $100 million from the settlement would fund the fast-charging stations and the installation of the plug-in units and electrical upgrades, at no cost to taxpayers. The remaining $20 million will be directed to ratepayer relief.

    To use the fast-charging stations, consumers will be able to pay for monthly subscriptions or pay as they go. The price of the monthly subscriptions has not yet been set, but the pay-as-you-go price will be between $10 and $15 per use, an NRG spokesman said.

    "This executive order strengthens California's position as a national leader in zero-emission vehicles," Brown said in a statement, "and the settlement will dramatically expand California's electric vehicle infrastructure, helping to clean our air and reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

    Nissan on Friday lauded the "landmark" commitment and said more than 40% of the 11,000 Leafs sold in the U.S. are being used in California. The company said the settlement "paves the way for widespread adoption of this critical technology."

    :cheer2:
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  2. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I saw that on the front page this morning, but I'm having a hard time seeing how it's viable to travel long distances when it takes almost 30 min to charge for 70 something miles range.

    Also, does 'a' charge station mean there is one charging bay at that station? It would seem to be multiple charging bays.
  3. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Really, $10 to $15 to go 70 something miles while waiting almost 30 minutes to get that? You gotta be kidding, right?
  4. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Three Things:

    1 - What's WAY WAY cool about this is that Aerovironment (AV) is beginning to work on an "EV highway" all the way down interstate 5, from the Canadian border to the California border. By having Chademo Q.C.'s every 50 miles, the entire central valley of the 3 states becomes accessable. Thus, the NRG installs will certainly help put to bed, the arguments put forth by numerous hand wringers. Namely, (due to 240v charging from empty) it's said that charging takes hours, and that's just too long.

    2 - The even more picky-you-nie hand wringers will complain that, "... if I pull into a Q.C. station, and there's already someone else waiting, I may still have to wait for an hour". More chargers means more overlap. More overlap means more availability. Plus, since many/most of the Q.C.'s designed (already) can be reserved via smart phone, pc, or regular land line, you're more likely guaranteed to have a spot waiting for you ... AND/or you'll know if it's available or whether it's reserved already.

    3 - The more & more Chademo Q.C.'s that cover the landscape from state to state, the less and less likely it'll ever be that GM will be able to FOIL the existing Q.C. network, by introducing the ungodly Frankenstein monster plug deliberately designed to be incompatible with the majority of 'quick chargeable' EV's running around the landscape. You gotta laugh at that ... GM working hard with the SAE, to make up a new plug design for non-existent EV's ... much less non-existent quick charging EV's. If GM spent less time trying to mock & sabotage the competition, and more time building a reasonably priced PHEV like the PiP, they'd be WAY ahead of the game.

    .
  5. spwolf

    spwolf Senior Member

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    do we know whats the actual price per kwh?
  6. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    The network working on San Diego county QC's expect it to me more like $5 ... but you KNOW we live for drama. :rolleyes:
    But let's say it WAS $15:
    Land barge gets 18mpg
    to go 64 miles it takes 4 gallons
    4 gallons costs $16.

    And for the nay sayers, there's the whole, "you got any better idea" ... response. Maybe best to wait to come up with another plan? Maybe after gas hits $7 or $8 dollars like it is in much of the rest of the world - then the $15 charge will be ok?

    When did we become a society with a mindset that we can't invest in things unless it's cheaper and quicker.
  7. Keiichi

    Keiichi Active Member

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    Actually, this is a good step for EV cars, in my opinion... The sooner there are more charging points along the way, the more likely the EV movement will go.

    As for 30 minutes to gain 70 miles, I would say this would encourage people to stop and smaller locations for a lunch or what not on long trips.
  8. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    That's about how long it takes most people to eat lunch. This should work out perfect in shopping centers that have a bunch of restaurants.
  9. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    True there may be charging stations near restaurants, but if Leaf's case, if it's good for 70 miles, one cannot eat a meal every 1hr and 10 minutes (60 MPH cruise on highway).

    If you have a Model S, say with 150 mile range, wouldn't that take close to an hour if low and need to fully charge up with fast charge?

    People talk so much about range, range, .... how about charge time and the frequency whereby someone would need to recharge on long trips?

    In my other thread in EV car section, a team went 600 miles in a Leaf in a car rally ....
    but it took 3 days to do so.
  10. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    This was reported on the front page of our local paper this morning ...

    I wonder if most people get the same thought as me when they figure the logic ...

    ok, it takes 'about' 30 minutes to fast charge and that's good for about 70 miles .... ok, if I'm traveling 60 MPH, I'll run thru that charge in 1 hour and 10 minutes .... so, I'm going to have to wait around for 30 minutes after every 1 hour and 10 minutes of driving?

    Obviously they are going to put these stations along I-5 which runs from Canada to Mexico thru WA,OR and CA. They are intending this for long distance travel. Welp, they will need to reduce charge times and increase driving range.

    I don't think people would mind a 30 minute break every 2 1/2 or 3 hours, but every 70 minutes, forget it.
  11. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    At 60 MPH, that would be 30% of the time waiting for recharging. This article is mainly talking about fast charging stations which would seem to be along I-5 the main north-south highway thru CA, OR,WA.

    I've heard it said 'the inconvenience of going to the gas station'... with theoretically 30% of trip time spent recharging, how inconvenient will it be going to the fast charging station?
  12. Keiichi

    Keiichi Active Member

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    Cycledrum - compared to 13+ hours on a TRICKLE CHARGE to get the same result, every 70 - 90 miles... 30 mins is a hell of a lot better cause there is an L2 charger than to spend a day literally hanging out next to some place you HOPE has a place to charge in general.

    And while I still want longer range EVs... Right now, the LACK of electrical charging points is going to hurt EVs until there is an actual charging point stations beyond the sparse, sporadic charging points there are now or hoping you can find an outside outlet to run a charging point. You realize most of the chargers with the vehicles are under the assumption the outlet is within about 10 feet of the car... Right now... There IS barely even 1% places to actually use the chargers you get with the car.
  13. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    2012 Nissan Leaf Hatchback Consumer Reviews

    Well, owners seem to be digging their Leafs. Most see them for what they are - commuters for going to work and maybe some side trips. I'm sure Leaf is a great 2nd car, for some the only car and they say it often becomes the most used car in a household.

    Obviously there needs to be public charging stations to see how well things work out with that.
  14. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...I like the word tether which I have also used in some posts in the context of giving new young teen drivers an EV to keep them tethered to home.
  15. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Finalization of U.S. standard for Level 3 connector to come in 2012

    This article says a standard for L3 in US is supposed to happen this year.
    Apparently CHAdeMo is what, 62.5kW capability, but pumping gas in a car is equiv. to 5,000 kW .... have a tea break and shop while charging :)
    ----------

    "According to Krammer, although CHAdeMO works, its major drawback is that it requires a second charging port in addition to the 110- to 240-volt AC port—which drives up both space and cost requirements. In addition, SAE's Byk says that CHAdeMO uses an older communication standard not expected to work well with coming smart grid technologies. Also, it is less safe because instead of relying on the physical contact with the ground to shunt short circuits, it relies on a ground fault interrupt, which monitors the line for imbalanced loads and shuts it off if it senses a surge. It is like the difference between having an alternate pipe for the sewage to drain into (physically grounded) and having a way to shut off a burst sewage pipe (ground fault interrupt).

    Gaining a competitive advantage
    Even so, Nissan says that CHAdeMO meets the needs of electric car drivers now and into the future. "As of today, CHAdeMO is the only proved DC quick-charging system," says Hideaki Watanabe, corporate vice president, Nissan Motor Co. "We are working with our partners to deploy CHAdeMO throughout the world, and we didn't want to take a 'wait and see' approach. We wanted to be a proactive player and deploy fast charging solutions now."

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fast-charging-electric-vehicle-standards&page=2
  16. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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  17. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I can't see anyone driving all the way from LA to seattle in a leaf as anything but a pr demo. A 75mile EPA range EV is not really practical for long distance travel. A PHEV seems much more suited for this mainly local but sometime long distance travel.

    What a charging infrastructure does is get rid of range anxiety. Many people are not comfortable running on empty, and these stations allow drivers to top off, or occasionally take a 200 mile trip. San Diago to Napa makes a lot of sense here if california wants to sell that large number of EVs.




    Yep.
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  18. Keiichi

    Keiichi Active Member

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    As I said before... The reason I am not sold on the Leaf or the Volt right now is just the lack of basic electric infrastructure. While the Volt does have a Gas Range Extender, EV vehicles in general are not going to be adopted too easily until there is a bit more showing of an Electrical Infrastructure. Even in Santa Barbara, there are very few places for electric cars to plug into, but those are the standard 110v outlets and not L2 chargers. And at the University of California, Santa Barbara, they use Electric Carts, but again, not many places for non-University vehicles to actually plug into to really make EV vehicles practical at the moment.

    The venue here is that this will allow vehicles, such as the Volt and the Prius Plugin, and perhaps some of the higher end EVs to make use of the stations, but if there is more encouragement to put out several more within cities as well as routes, the EV vehicle will be more likely to be accepted.
  19. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Just keep thinking and saying...
    Bigger, Better, Badder, Batteries.......
    Solar powered charging stations, OK at night you can use the "Grid"...
    Thousands more charging stations......
    Faster charging technologies....
  20. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    EVs are intended mainly for daily life (going to work, going to the market, etc), and being able to charge in 30 minutes at lunch, the grocery store, the mall, and so forth will double the urban range of daily life. Fast chargers in urban areas is GREAT news!

    How often do most people go on 600+ mile trips? Once or twice a year, maybe? Many will likely use their Prius or rent a Prius for that. But maybe in the future (let's just assume people decided they don't want to burn an ounce of fossil fuel out of their own personal desire) - then maybe in the future we just need to realize that these 600+ mile trips are goig to take a little longer. That's just the way it is. Right now, you can take a plane from one state to another in a few hours or you can spend a week driving. But people DO still drive. If you want to drive an EV instead of a Prius, that's fine. It's going to take longer. That's just the new reality.

    THE GREAT THING about this new EV highway is that it will ELIMINATE the opponents of EVs from being able to say you are tethered to your city and can't drive from San Diego to Sacramento. Now you can. Sure, it will take a little long BUT you will NOT be tethered!
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