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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We all compare charging when out and about to purchasing petrol. Those who haven't transitioned to EVs use refuelling as their benchmark and even those of us who have transitioned tend to talk in petrol station-like ways. Yet for the vast majority of current consumers (pun intended) the major fill-ups are done at home. Many of us are buying just a tiny percentage of their power from the roadside.

If you are trying to make a profitable business from selling electrons, then the business model has to be vastly different from the purveyor of petrol and diesel. We assume, no we demand, that electricity is sold in a similar way to liquid fuel but perhaps that is not sustainable. I used to have to fill up once a week, while in the past year I have filled up once in total! Plainly the supplier is going to want to charge at a different level when I consume so little of their product.

I wonder if ultimately charging has to become a secondary service. That what they will have to do is tempt us to stop and shop, or take a seat and eat. And that while we are there, well we also have 'very keenly priced electricity for your replenishment' as well. That Tesla is doing this by selling cars and providing the recharging as their secondary service. That ultimately maybe charging will be taken over by supermarkets, shopping malls, pubs, restaurants, sports venues and who knows what. That no-one will be an electricity-first vendor.

So what about those without off-street parking? I think that maybe that is a different problem but with the same solution. That overnight slow charging will also become a secondary service. In many cities you pay to park, perhaps there is a different rate for EVs and lots of slow charging points (what we call fast charging but you know what I mean - not rapid) mixed in the pool of parking places. So a charge will be secondary to the parking - which will be the primary service - or the cost of being allowed to use the streets at all or some other benefit - maybe getting a charge when you go to the gym for example.

Just a thought.
 

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We all compare charging when out and about to purchasing petrol. Those who haven't transitioned to EVs use refuelling as their benchmark and even those of us who have transitioned tend to talk in petrol station-like ways. Yet for the vast majority of current consumers (pun intended) the major fill-ups are done at home. Many of us are buying just a tiny percentage of their power from the roadside.

If you are trying to make a profitable business from selling electrons, then the business model has to be vastly different from the purveyor of petrol and diesel. We assume, no we demand, that electricity is sold in a similar way to liquid fuel but perhaps that is not sustainable. I used to have to fill up once a week, while in the past year I have filled up once in total! Plainly the supplier is going to want to charge at a different level when I consume so little of their product.

I wonder if ultimately charging has to become a secondary service. That what they will have to do is tempt us to stop and shop, or take a seat and eat. And that while we are there, well we also have 'very keenly priced electricity for your replenishment' as well. That Tesla is doing this by selling cars and providing the recharging as their secondary service. That ultimately maybe charging will be taken over by supermarkets, shopping malls, pubs, restaurants, sports venues and who knows what. That no-one will be an electricity-first vendor.

So what about those without off-street parking? I think that maybe that is a different problem but with the same solution. That overnight slow charging will also become a secondary service. In many cities you pay to park, perhaps there is a different rate for EVs and lots of slow charging points (what we call fast charging but you know what I mean - not rapid) mixed in the pool of parking places. So a charge will be secondary to the parking - which will be the primary service - or the cost of being allowed to use the streets at all or some other benefit - maybe getting a charge when you go to the gym for example.

Just a thought.
All of the above is valid BUT, people's requirements are so varied, both in space and time that there is no one model or right and wrong on this. Ultimately all chargers are good, they need to be truly ubiquitious.
 

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its a good point. Its also why I’m not that worried about Shell or ionity pricing - for the same reason that even if a ‘tank’ of electricity is as expensive as petrol (or even more expensive), that may only be used a few times per year on longer trips and the vast majority of your charging will usually be much cheaper at home

although we do need to consider off street parking and how that is billed - and how that is balanced between the needs of local residents to charge affordably and businesses to make at least some profit. Maybe council/government funded access for slower chargers on street at reasonable rates, still leaves enough rapid charging capacity for more margin to justify the expense of installing/maintaining?
 
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This is a subject that has been debated for years without resolution. We can all tease out the various areas of conflict and go on to propose solutions. But over time, as both car tech and charging systems evolve those early proposed solutions start to become undermined. Years ago I was shouted down when I dared to suggest that existing liquid sales outlets would make perfect EV stations. They had the locations, real estate, power supply, and many with toilets and mini-markets. Back then the resistance was caused by cars with 80 miles range and 40 minutes charge times.

Now that even basic EVs have a 200 miles range and the growth of at least 150 kW Rapids, with a bank of 6 or 8 per location the reason to speak against the use of existing facilities becomes less by the day. Certainly, large investors are starting to agree and are keen to pour funds into turning existing fuel stations into EV hubs,

The hardest nut to crack concerns people without home charging. Such people often have an existing problem of overnight parking near to home. Combine that with nightly trying to find a parking space that also happens to have a pole charger and the resultant inconvenience will deter millions from converting to an EV. Absent the provision of a charger at every street parking place that is an issue that will rumble on. Perhaps the solution is to use the present refuel system after all. Gradually install Rapids where petrol pumps are withdrawn. Urban dwellers can then load 100 miles as they pick up tomorrows milk and bread at the co-located shop. And travel far and wide along familiar routes that they have used for years that avoid paying motorway petrol prices as they stop at other urban fuel places just as they have always done.

I was always accused of 'thinking ICE' - as if that was an insult. The OP also intimates slightly that it is wrong to emulate a tried and tested fuel supply. I disagree. I think that the use of petrol stations to install multiple Rapids is a genius move. And apparently the large corporations agree and together with major finance providers they are beavering away in the background to grab market share in advance of growth - which cannot be a bad thing. That is unless die-hard EV advocates still wish to accuse me of wrong thinking.
 

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Just my thoughts but swamping our infrastructure’s with chargers whether it be slow or fast all have one fundamental problem of the risk of vandalism.
I can think of many roads around where I live that have rows upon rows of terrace houses, with no off street parking, and I can guarantee that if the street was full of cars on charge that vandalism and theft would be out of control. The temptation would be too great for the mindless idiots that patrol the streets at night (and day!), to not create carnage. I agree a rethink has to be found on how charging will happen, but I actually think a whole rethink on how personal transportation will roll out in the future needs to be found before spending billions on charging networks (or what ever wins out).
 

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Just my thoughts but swamping our infrastructure’s with chargers whether it be slow or fast all have one fundamental problem of the risk of vandalism.
I can think of many roads around where I live that have rows upon rows of terrace houses, with no off street parking, and I can guarantee that if the street was full of cars on charge that vandalism and theft would be out of control. The temptation would be too great for the mindless idiots that patrol the streets at night (and day!), to not create carnage. I agree a rethink has to be found on how charging will happen, but I actually think a whole rethink on how personal transportation will roll out in the future needs to be found before spending billions on charging networks (or what ever wins out).
They will have to spend a bit more to install CCTV along with the charge points. Double win for residents.
 

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More fuel is sold by supermarkets in the UK than the oil company branded forecourts. Tesco is the biggest single petrol/diesel brand. They spend millions on building out forecourts and then sell the stuff barely above cost (often below it once you’ve got your 5p off voucher with your shopping).

They won’t be passing on an opportunity to get you to shop in their store and cheaply refuel your vehicle, whatever form that takes in the future.
 

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The business model for rapid charging is very difficult.

If they increase the rates to a level where they could be profitable, then people will just restrict their usage to splash and dash. I suspect that, in time, all rapids will be owned and operated by Motorway Service Areas, McDonalds, Greggs, etc.

As for those with no off-street parking, I know of no solution and I suspect no-one else does either. This is one of two elephants in the EV room, the other being the second hand market for cars that originally had low range and now also have degraded batteries, before we have developed networks of 3rd party battery servicing.
 

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More fuel is sold by supermarkets in the UK than the oil company branded forecourts. Tesco is the biggest single petrol/diesel brand. They spend millions on building out forecourts and then sell the stuff barely above cost (often below it once you’ve got your 5p off voucher with your shopping).

They won’t be passing on an opportunity to get you to shop in their store and cheaply refuel your vehicle, whatever form that takes in the future.
Which begs the question why Morrisons have blundered big time by signing up Geniepoint for their chargers who charge 35p/kwh. (Maybe the don't where a competitor has free charging)
 

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I have often floated out the idea of standardised battery packs in a range of sizes for different sized cars. These would be much like gas bottles in that they would be rented under a deposit scheme and ownership retained by the vendor. These would be, in some Utopian future where manufacturers were mandated or persuaded to design their cars to be compatible, supplied fully charged with a metered energy level and exchanged on a forecourt with a depleted battery by an as-yet undeveloped rapid-fit station (one of several per site). The depleted batteries would then be re-charged on-site ready for the next customer. The one imponderable as I see it (apart from the massive task of persuading the industry to comply) would be assessing any residual charge remaining in returned batteries to be offset against the value of the charge in the replacement. This scheme would cater for the absence of off-street parking and of the inordinate time taken to charge larger batteries on a sustainable basis both for battery damage caused by repeated rapid charging and of the colossal electricity supply required to feed a bank of rapid chargers in rural locations. On site charging would be at a slower rate in charging racks, or off-site again as per gas bottles.
 

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I have often floated out the idea of standardised battery packs in a range of sizes for different sized cars. These would be much like gas bottles in that they would be rented under a deposit scheme and ownership retained by the vendor. These would be, in some Utopian future where manufacturers were mandated or persuaded to design their cars to be compatible, supplied fully charged with a metered energy level and exchanged on a forecourt with a depleted battery by an as-yet undeveloped rapid-fit station (one of several per site). The depleted batteries would then be re-charged on-site ready for the next customer. The one imponderable as I see it (apart from the massive task of persuading the industry to comply) would be assessing any residual charge remaining in returned batteries to be offset against the value of the charge in the replacement. This scheme would cater for the absence of off-street parking and of the inordinate time taken to charge larger batteries on a sustainable basis both for battery damage caused by repeated rapid charging and of the colossal electricity supply required to feed a bank of rapid chargers in rural locations. On site charging would be at a slower rate in charging racks, or off-site again as per gas bottles.
There's more chance of a dirigible tethered above every street with cables dangling down to each EV from an onboard battery bank. :sneaky:
 

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Which begs the question why Morrisons have blundered big time by signing up Geniepoint for their chargers who charge 35p/kwh.
Well at least that network is moving to a flat rate. I'd expect those supermarket chargers to be used more as a result. I'll certainly use them for splash and dash.

I doubt they blundered, as the process to sign any agreement is usually very thorough. As to exclusivity contracts, companies will often have agreements which lock them into a single vendor. I've seen it before where goods from a supplier are significantly more expensive than could be bought elsewhere. However the vendor will have SLA and other contractual conditions to meet. As part of procurement deals, the customer will agree to buy a fixed amount per annum or some other metric, hence why they can't shop around just for a particular product. There's also the hassle factor for procurement departments when they can go to their No1 supplier who can provide an all-singing-all-dancing service.

In the case of Rapid charging, I expect suppliers will at the very least have to report monthly on total usage at all the locations, and response times on faults. For the supermarkets and other locations getting Rapid chargers for zero outlay, I'd be surprised if the process was not much different to the Solar PV Rent-a-Roof Scheme of years ago. ie. the site doesn't pay for the equipment, connection, maintenance, but they get a small % of the income in return for XX years exclusivity. Businesses would be better off owning the equipment, such they could change suppliers, or make their own decisions as the market evolves. In five years time, the market may support 30 Rapid chargers at a supermarket, but if the exclusivity contract means they can't provide that, competitor supermarkets without that limitation would have an edge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have often floated out the idea of standardised battery packs in a range of sizes for different sized cars. These would be much like gas bottles in that they would be rented under a deposit scheme and ownership retained by the vendor.
An interesting thought for sure. Tesla's model S of course did have interchangeable battery packs. Tesla provided stations where the battery tray was rapidly swapped out for a recharged one. Given how few EV vendors there were at the time, this was then an industry-wide standard. So we have sort of been to that possible Utopia turned around and come back again. As we all now know, users just didn't want to do it that way and of course Tesla eventually gave up.
 

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The other difference, which I think gets missed is that with EV charging taking a time period of tens of minutes to several hours or more for fast chargers, the 'value' is now more skewed away from the value of the energy being dispensed and towards the time someone is using and in effect blocking other people from using the charging point. The cost is more the rental for using the infrastructure for several hours.

A petrol pump dispenses £50 of fuel in the space of a couple of minutes and people filling up leave quickly once full, over a day it might dispense hundreds or even a thousand pounds of fuel, the fixed costs of the equipment are a small fraction of the total cost. Whereas a 7kW fast charger dispenses around £1 of energy each hour, at most £24 a day.
 

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............. but I actually think a whole rethink on how personal transportation will roll out in the future needs to be found before spending billions on charging networks ..............
Attempts will be made along the lines of shared vehicles, 'Jonnycabs', and social pressure to use public transport and cycles. They will fail. People want to drive from their front door to their destination with their personal items to hand, in a warm and dry environment listening to their own selection of music or speech and are prepared to pay a high cash price for that. Even local solutions such as sci-fi autonomous taxis don't solve the pleasure and hobby issues, or distance trips. If a Government really gets tough and tries to price cars off the road that would lead to howls of discrimination as the wealthy carry on as usual. Little will change in personal transport except for an improvement in air quality as EV's take over. And keeping them all charged up will evolve as a mixture of urban hubs and main route facilities that will both cater for people without drives and also long distance travel. Just as it does at present for ICE owners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The other difference, which I think gets missed is that with EV charging taking a time period of tens of minutes to several hours or more for fast chargers, the 'value' is now more skewed away from the value of the energy being dispensed and towards the time someone is using and in effect blocking other people from using the charging point. The cost is more the rental for using the infrastructure for several hours.

A petrol pump dispenses £50 of fuel in the space of a couple of minutes and people filling up leave quickly once full, over a day it might dispense hundreds or even a thousand pounds of fuel, the fixed costs of the equipment are a small fraction of the total cost. Whereas a 7kW fast charger dispenses around £1 of energy each hour, at most £24 a day.
Totally. The business case around dispensing high-price liquid relatively quickly and quite frequently is so very different from that for dispensing low-cost electricity slowly and only occasionally.
 

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Totally. The business case around dispensing high-price liquid relatively quickly and quite frequently is so very different from that for dispensing low-cost electricity slowly and only occasionally.
I imagine businesses could attract customers in future for the price of a free or discounted charge.

Think shopping malls, IKEA or anywhere you might spend a few hours.
 
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