Is the CCS charging network good enough?

Cosmacelf

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I am just not impressed with Electrify America. Sure, they are fixing some problems, but do we really trust VW?
What are the obstacles to Rivian partnering with Tesla's SC network? Maybe RJ could call Elon and say, "Look, EA is charging people twice as much as it costs to drive an ICE car. If you really want to encourage adoption of EVs, let's make a deal on Rivian using Tesla's SC network."
Elon has consistently said that they would partner with anyone IF they pay for access. Ie. You can’t use the Supercharger network for free.

Tesla now charges most new Tesla car owners fees for amount of energy used, but Tesla is no doubt still subsidizing the costs somewhat.

So I’m pretty sure RIvian could partner with either Tesla or EA or other networks if they wanted to subsidize customer access. That’s the question here. Will RIvian subsidize long distance charging?
 

EyeOnRivian

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They are only planning on selling 20,000 vehicles a year for the first year.
I see you're taking a page out of Rivian's "under promise and over deliver." ;) Even RJ is more optimistic with a 20,000 to 40,000 target of EVs produced in their first full year (2021).

All in all I don't think your question has a simple answer.
But why can't it be. The industry needs to stop building more proprietary or specific connector type only charging stations. There needs to be even more standardization developed and imposed across the EV and charging station industries. It's not like I can only buy gas, say, from Shell, but not from Amoco. Gas is gas. Electrons are electrons. Standardize the delivery system and I would think most of this nonsense goes away. ... Have I oversimplified it, probably, but we need to start somewhere. Remember when there were about a dozen or so different charging cords for cell phones. That industry has finally got that down to 2 or 3 ... well, until they develop a new and better one that will just so happen help increase their sales with everyone having to buy new charging cords again, but I digress.

My view on Tesla is that they're in a unique position where they are both an auto manufacturer and power supplier (to a degree). The SC network could be thought of and marketed / re-branded as Tesla Energy (e.g. Shell gasoline) and less of as charging stations that belong to "members of the (Tesla) club." ... (One can only dream.)
 

Cosmacelf

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The industry needs to stop building more proprietary or specific connector type only charging stations. There needs to be even more standardization developed and imposed across the EV and charging station industries.
Well, we know why Tesla went proprietary in the first place - they were ahead of the standards. The standards weren't anywhere good enough for what Tesla needed at the time.

And while CCS and Chademo duke it out as "official" standards, the reality is that in 2019 in the US, over 62% of new car plug in sales were Tesla, and for pure BEVs (the ones that would use a charging station), it probably rises to 75% or so.

The point being that in the US, the standard that most people use is the Tesla proprietary one.

Anyways, I am very leery of anything being "imposed" on what is still an emerging and quickly changing technology. The market will sort it out eventually.
 

Cosmacelf

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I do understand why other EV manufacturers stayed away from Tesla charging compatibility. It feels too much like helping out a competitor. And if your sedan isn’t quite as good as a Model S or Model 3, the last thing you want is your customers comparing notes with Tesla drivers at every Supercharger they visit.

But that works in reverse too. RIvian has unique and well thought out designs. In this case, I think RIvian would benefit from the chance to introduce RIvian vehicles to all those Tesla drivers. Tesla drivers are a very brand loyal bunch. But seeing RIvian vehicles charging at Tesla super chargers would, I think, supercharge Rivian sales.

I really do think it would benefit both Tesla and Rivian for Rivian to have Tesla compatibility.
 

ajdelange

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Much to my surprise in checking back on my charging records from last summer I found that Circuit Electrique (owned by Hydro Quebec I believe) charges less than Tesla. Thus the fact that EA is so much more expensive that Tesla cannot all be attributed to the fact that Tesla is subsidizing to some extent. There is clealy more to it than simply that. Quebec is really, really big on green so they may be subsidizing Circuit Electriqe and, of course, their cozy relationship with Hydro implies low cost for the energy they are dispensing. Average cost for an SC charge in Canada (in USD) was $0.30/kWh whereas for CircuitElectrique it was USD $0.23.

Average cost for an SC charge in the US was $0.33. The single non SC charge I took there was from an EVGo station where it cos $0.54. Thus good news for Canadian owners (or travelers) at least in Quebec. It won't cost you more to operate your Rivian than it does to operate your comparably sized EV. The downside is that most of the Circuit Electrique chargers are 50 kW. PetroCanada has installed quite a few larger chargers along the TCH. Don't know their rates.
 

ajdelange

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I really do think it would benefit both Tesla and Rivian for Rivian to have Tesla compatibility.
I agree but then neither of us is privy to the details that might motivate one or the other of the companies to think otherwise. It is very clear that it would benefit the owners of Rivian vehicles (and the owners of ipace and Etron too were it available to them).
 

Cosmacelf

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Much to my surprise in checking back on my charging records from last summer I found that Circuit Electrique (owned by Hydro Quebec I believe) charges less than Tesla. Thus the fact that EA is so much more expensive that Tesla cannot all be attributed to the fact that Tesla is subsidizing to some extent. There is clearly more to it than simply that. Quebec is really, really big on green so they may be subsidizing Circuit Electriqe and, of course, their cozy relationship with Hydro implies low cost for the energy they are dispensing. Average cost for an SC charge in Canada (in USD) was $0.30/kWh whereas for Circuit Electrique it was USD $0.23.

Average cost for an SC charge in the US was $0.33. The single non SC charge I took there was from an EVGo station where it cos $0.54. Thus good news for Canadian owners (or travelers) at least in Quebec. It won't cost you more to operate your Rivian than it does to operate your comparably sized EV. The downside is that most of the Circuit Electrique chargers are 50 kW. PetroCanada has installed quite a few larger chargers along the TCH. Don't know their rates.
Interesting. Hydro Quebec does have some of the lowest electricity rates in North America. And I also wouldn't be surprised if there was a subsidy on top of it since Quebec is pushing green energy very hard.

BTW, this shows the folly of trying to compare $/kWh rates from what you could get at your home versus what you get from a public charging station. People look at their home rates and see $.10/kWh when charging at midnight (me), and feel outraged that a public charger is costing them $0.23/kWh. Running a public charging network is expensive even if you are a utility with a government mandate to provide cheap charges.
 

Cactus

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I do understand why other EV manufacturers stayed away from Tesla charging compatibility. It feels too much like helping out a competitor.
I completely agree with Cosmacelf that Rivian and Tesla could both benefit by sharing the Supercharging network. But initially, Tesla would be helping (eventual) competitors like Rivian. Telsa's SC network has higher power, more capacity, is more reliable and is more extensive than anyone else's. If I were Elon replying to RJ about sharing the SC network with Rivian (see my OP), I might say, "You're right. We need to show the superiority of EVs over ICE. For every 500 Rivian vehicles you sell, pay us the cost of installing one new 12-20 stall Tesla SC station. Have your software guys talk to my software guys to figure out how to get your cars to communicate with my network and fairly charge each customer for supercharger use."
Maybe it would cost Rivian owners a little more to use Tesla's SC network just like it costs a little more for brand name petrol. But that's OK, as long as it's not EA rates.
 

Cosmacelf

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I completely agree with Cosmacelf that Rivian and Tesla could both benefit by sharing the Supercharging network. But initially, Tesla would be helping (eventual) competitors like Rivian. Telsa's SC network has higher power, more capacity, is more reliable and is more extensive than anyone else's. If I were Elon replying to RJ about sharing the SC network with Rivian (see my OP), I might say, "You're right. We need to show the superiority of EVs over ICE. For every 500 Rivian vehicles you sell, pay us the cost of installing one new 12-20 stall Tesla SC station. Have your software guys talk to my software guys to figure out how to get your cars to communicate with my network and fairly charge each customer for supercharger use."
Maybe it would cost Rivian owners a little more to use Tesla's SC network just like it costs a little more for brand name petrol. But that's OK, as long as it's not EA rates.
Yes, in the past Elon has stated that other manufacturers would have to help pay for the Supercharger network. Although no official dollar amount was ever stated, the Tesla discussion forums thought it would amount to about $2,000 per car. But that was when all Teslas had free unlimited Supercharging. With Tesla now recouping $0.28/kWh, a per car subsidy might be less now.

Incidentally, assuming it costs about $500,000 for a 12 to 20 stall Tesla SC (that's the right ballpark), your per car subsidy Rivian would have to pay would be about $1,000, which could be about right.
 

EyeOnRivian

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This YT video seems rather timely for this thread. Alex from his E for Electric yt channel posted an interesting video where his guest Tom Moloughney, an InsideEVs contributor, gave a report of an exclusive interview he had with EA's CEO, COO and I believe the director of technology to understand some of the problems and challenges EA has and is facing.

It's fairly long so I recommend playing it back at least at times 1.25 speed and watching to nearly the end, say until there is 2 minutes left. The YT link below should jump you into the video at the 3:47 mark.


UPDATE: Here's a link to Tom's InsideEVs article for those who would rather read it - "Electrify America Talks Charging Network Problems, Has Solutions"
 
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Cactus

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Thanks for sending this video.
Placing charging stations is a requirement of VW's settlement with the EPA for Dieselgate.
Volkswagen Clean Air Act Civil Settlement | US EPA
As Tom Moloughney indicated, VW is required to pay $2B into ZEV, then they are out. VW should continue to invest if they are truly serious about electrifying their fleet. I wonder how sincere they are.
 

ajdelange

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Seems to me that the equitable way for Tesla and Rivian to share the costs of a potential joint network would be based on utilization. It's pretty obvious that if Rivians took x percent of the juice dispensed in an agreed upon time window they should pay x percent of the electric bill. But that could be carried over to the expansion plans too. Their share of the next periods capital expansion budget would be x percent of the total. If they sell 10,000 vehicles in the first year of sales they'd have 10,000 out of 510,000 (?) users and their share would be 1.96%.
 

Cactus

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ajdelange- I would agree but Tesla is pretty much in the drivers' seat on this one...
 

EyeOnRivian

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I updated my post (#51) with a link to Tom's InsideEVs article.

A couple of quick excerpts:

"Plug and Charge will be introduced in 2020: 2020 will bring the first vehicles that utilize ISO 15118 capability on the Electrify America network. Plug and Charge will dramatically improve the customer experience, as there will be no need to swipe a credit card or even use an app to initiate a charging session. The customer will simply pull up and plug in like Tesla owners do at Superchargers. The station will identify the vehicle and automatically bill the customer's account for the session. "

"... invited me back in six months to check-in and discuss their progress. Of course, we'll take them up on that offer."

Looking forward to both of these.
 

Cougs

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Below is some comments made by some EV users about the available chargers along my route: This shows that CCS charging stations are very rare, not convenient, overpriced at times, etc.......

1. Overpriced. Asking $o.49 per KWH. Did not use it to charge and drove elsewhere.

2. Convenient parking with access to a single charger that has CCS and CHAdeMO plugs. Can charge 1 car at a time. I use the CHAdeMO with my tesla frequently. Pricing is very reasonable. Hoping for a second station here in the future.

3. CCS option was not functioning (This is the only one charger available and if you count on this one to charge then you may be calling a towing vehicle).

4. Too expensive: $6.00 + $0.20/min

5. It is behind a building and if you are driving off of 26th Ave, it will look like a dead end (like one of the pics) but just go through the parking lot behind the buildings. It is free but due the location, I wouldn't go at night.

I am hoping that the number of stalls increase per location and in multiple areas around each town, price is as we are looking for (competitive). Speed of charging is also a concern since not all of these existing stations are fast enough.
 

Cougs

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I am very concerned about availability of charging stations throughout the US. In fact we have just few charging stalls 45 minutes away from where I live in a city of about 400k. Rivian is ignoring this fact and thinking that public chargers will be better by the time they are rolling out their vehicles is a myth. I mapped out a route where I am going to occasionally drive for 9-10 hours or so to find out that I would be looking for anything like a gas station or a Motel to charge for hours. My route is 95% freeway going through major cities and a commonly used highway. In addition some of these locations have just one charging stall and may not be operational. Tesla has more locations, more chargers per locations, and the price is right. This is a reality we are going to face soon.
 

Cosmacelf

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I don't disagree Cougs. Here's what a ski trip looks for me (I'm in California so I am fortunate to have lots of both Tesla and CCS charging options). I used A Better Routeplanner to do these calculations. I assumed a long range latest Tesla Model X, which could be approx. comparable to the longest range Rivian vehicles.

First, the Tesla trip using Tesla Superchargers:

87

Now the same trip using CCS chargers:

88

Three times the cost, longer route, almost an extra hour of travel time. And I KNOW that Tesla works hard to maintain their SC network to ensure uptime. Electrify America, who knows.

Personally, I thought Rivian was nuts not to join Tesla's SC network.
 

Cactus

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But there's still time for Rivian to join Tesla's SC network!!
Maybe someone at Rivian will read this and realize that they can't depend on CCS charging stations, and since there's no time to build their own (like Tesla did), they had better strike a deal with Tesla. They are so silent, who knows. More communication would be nice.

Even if Rivians are great vehicles, if owners don't have a place to reliably charge them on the road, this will get out to the general public and the company is doomed. Audi (VW) doesn't care if the e-tron fails because their revenue comes from selling ICEs. But since Rivian doesn't have ICE sales to fall back on, they had better make the customer experience good. This would include charging on the road.

Does anyone know what are Tesla's terms for other companies to use their SC network?
Think of the press release: "Rivian Joins Tesla's Charging Network" This press release alone will drive Rivian sales. Tesla now has market credibility.
 

Cougs

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I do not know how much it cost to put in a charger or a charging station with few stalls.It will take many years to build a good reliable infrastructure like Tesla throughout the USA. Tesla has many options where I reside and many options by Spokane Washington, Kennewick WA and along the Columbia river Gorge along Oregon and Washington border all the way to Portland Oregon. Also Rivian has no control how much they can charge us consumers. I think that Tesla and Rivian should combine their efforts to install and use charging stations. I am not sure if it is politically correct knowing that Ford and Amazon are investing in Rivian. May be Ford and Amazon should start investing in charging stations in order to help.
 
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