Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the power-up dept.

Transportation 190

cartechboy writes Tesla's Superchargers are the talk of the electric car community. These charging stations can take a Model S battery pack from nearly empty to about 150 miles of range in around 30 minutes. That's crazy fast, and it's nothing short of impressive. But what does it take to actually build a Tesla Supercharger site? Apparently a lot of digging. A massive trench is created to run high-capacity electric cables before the charging stations themselves are even installed. A diagram and photos of the Electric Conduit Construction build out have surfaced on the Internet. The conduits connect the charging stations to a power distribution center, which in turn is connected to a transformer that provides the power for charging cars. It took 11 days to install the six charging stalls in Goodland, Kansas. If you thought it was a quick process to build a Supercharger station, you were clearly wrong.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

That's not quick? (5, Insightful)

maliqua (1316471) | about 2 months ago | (#47725003)

It took 11 days to install the six charging stalls in Goodland, Kansas. If you thought it was a quick process to build a Supercharger station, you were clearly wrong.

seems quick to me

No I though it was a quick (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 months ago | (#47725021)

process by just plugging it into the dryer plug at the station. I was clearly wrong.

Recursive Presumptions (4, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 months ago | (#47725425)

If you thought it was a quick process to build a Supercharger station, you were clearly wrong.

If you thought I thought it was a quick process to build a Supercharger station, you were just as wrong. If you thought I cared about how long it tool them to build such as station, you were wrong about that, too. And if you thought I liked java over c, you were still wrong. I could go on -- likely longer than even I, in the name oif pushing a point until it is completely blunt, am willing to do so, but I will refrain in the interest of keeping the peace.

Anyway, as it turns out, TFS serves as a veritable smorgasbord of potential if-then-huhs that can only be explained by somewhat bemused turtles all the way down.

At this time, I'd like to take a moment to thank my dear friend Yurtle.

Re:That's not quick? (5, Informative)

theheff (894014) | about 2 months ago | (#47725083)

The Goodland, KS site was actually one of the fastest sites to go up- 11 days is very quick. The supercharger in Indio, California, for instance, was started months ago and still isn't online.

Re:That's not quick? (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about 2 months ago | (#47725517)

California

Permits, environmental impact statements, public hearings. And heaven help you if construction frightens a kangaroo rat. The entire project will have to be abandoned.

Re:That's not quick? (5, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | about 2 months ago | (#47725093)

Agreed. They're looking into running natural gas through my area. It's going to be at least a 10 year process.

under two weeks for running relatively high capacity power lines to the supercharger station and getting everything hooked up?

As an AC mentioned, I'm pretty sure that building a paved level parking lot takes longer. Building any sort of structure generally takes far, far longer.

Re:That's not quick? (5, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | about 2 months ago | (#47727425)

Not to mention [bammilieu.eu] that building a gas station takes a heck of a lot longer.

It's one thing I don't get about EV opponents. Not only are EVs supposed to not have any new inconveniences relative to gasoline vehicles, and not only do inconveniences that gasoline vehicles have that EVs don't have not count toward EVs, but EVs aren't even allow to have the inconveniences that gasoline vehicles have. It's always stuff like "EVs suck because it takes 11 days to build a fast charging station, but don't bother checking into how long it takes to build a gas station!" or "EVs suck because batteries are flammable (Ed: even though most EV battery types aren't particularly flammable), but don't bother asking about the flammability of gasoline!" or "EVs suck because batteries are heavy and bulky, but don't bother asking about the weight and size of internal combustion engines vs. electric motors!" or "EVs suck because batteries are toxic (Ed: Actually, most types nowadays have little toxicity), but don't bother asking about the toxicity of the several tonnes of gasoline the average driver puts into their car every year, their filling spills and fumes, their oil leaks, etc, and the massively dirty industry that produces all this!" Etc.

I don't get these people.

Re:That's not quick? (-1, Troll)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47727957)

It's a friggin inconvenience to park at a gas station when you're car is outta juice, and they have to have an enterntainment park next to every one of them to keep you busy while you wait the "superfast" recharce of 30 minutes. They can't really exchance Li-ion batteries, like they can propane cylinders, because propane cylinders are relatively cheap, but with an electric vehicle Li-ion you're talking at least $20,000, so how you're gonna drop of your perfectly good $20,000 battery, and exchange it for someone else's crappy one, that's been abused, and it's only worth $1,500. That's a big deal, you can't swallow a cost like that like you can for propane exchange cylinders for instance.
The other big deal of EV's is the limited range, with huge batteries. The energy density of all batteries, including Li-ion is much smaller than fuels, by at least an order of magnitude - i.e. 0.3-1.0 MJ/kg for a battery, and 44 MJ/kg for gasoline and diesel including biodiesel, and something like 20 MJ/kg for Ethanol/Methanol/Liquid Ammonia. Nuclear powerplant generated liquid ammonia is the fuel of the future, because it's carbon neutral. It's the answer to the storage problems of the hydrogen economy - tag it on to nitrogen, and you got no hydrogen storage problem. I don't understand what's so complicated about this.

Re:That's not quick? (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47728059)

If Tesla has stock, there might be a most opportune moment to sell in the future, right when reality of $20,000 just for the battery, smacks everyone in the face. Unfortunately my broker won't let me sell short, he won't give me a margin account, I keep applying, and get no reply. But it'd be really easy money, say 2 or 5 years from now. Of course it's gonna sell like candy at the beginning, due to the hype it gets fr,om Slashdot and the media, and even the California government, for say $40,000 - $80,000 range. It can never compete with a Corolla for instance.
If you ever play Railroad Tycoon II the 2nd Century, you learn that the more you progress away from the heyday of steam, even with available electric and diesel locomotive engines, (and of course competition for passengers from airplanes and cars and trucks for freight being the real killer of rail), you cannot make ends meet, because of engine cost. There is a single theme for RRII 2nd century, is that you get all this wonderful tech, but you cannot afford it, The only way to win in late years, such as past 2010, is to optimize and get the cheapest but still decent engines available. Which is like a prophecy to anyone living under today's minimum wage economy, even with a Corolla, you absolutely cannot afford a $20,000 brand new Corolla on minimum wage, and your only hope is mediocre, but very cost effective used cars, such as mid 90's Saturns with sticks, which you can get for under $2000, which is an order of magnitude. But that is a common theme of the future, for anyone trying to stay out of bankruptcy, engine cost engine cost engine cost. Even with today's fuel prices, it's still the engine cost that makes or breaks your bank account. After housing, which is the worst thing out of what with the economy and inability to compete in the global market place against unfair competition who does not have the same housing and transportation costs that we do, so instead we go home, and sit and cry, boo hoo, unfair competition, we can't compete because our cost of living is high. All you need to fix that high cost of living issue is to buy one of these Tesla's.

Re:That's not quick? (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 2 months ago | (#47728185)

It's a friggin inconvenience to park at a gas station when you're car is outta juice, and they have to have an enterntainment park next to every one of them to keep you busy while you wait the "superfast" recharce of 30 minutes.

Why? Gas stations are isolated for a very good reason - the fuel is volatile of not treated with respect. We have doing it right down to an art, but it's still an aspect.

To bring it back to Rei's point: Why are you attacking the slow charge time of an EV as though you HAVE to go to a fueling station to recharge it when you can charge at home? In some cases you can even charge at work!

Battery Swap: It hasn't gone anywhere because California changed up it's rules again, but Tesla built a system to do it. Look up 'core charge'.

Limited Range: I'll admit that the Model S is currently the only vehicle to compete with gasoline for range, but you disregard the higher efficiency of electric motors granting you a lot more range for a unit of energy, as well as the ability to charge anywhere there's an electric drop. Entertainment park? All you need is a sit down restaurant.

I don't think liquid ammonia is the 'fuel of the future' because unlike gasoline or lithium, there's a good chance of it killing you with any tank breakage.

Building times (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 2 months ago | (#47728139)

"EVs suck because batteries are heavy and bulky, but don't bother asking about the weight and size of internal combustion engines vs. electric motors!"

There is a bit of a point to this one, in that the weight savings from getting away from a multiple hundred pound engine to a ~70 pound motor is outweighed by the weight gain to put in a battery powerful enough to utilize that motor over a reasonable difference.

The Model S is notably heavier than it's conventional peers, and the Roadster as well. They carry the weight well, but it's still there.

Otherwise I agree with you. The only thing holding EVs back in my mind is the cost of the battery.

Re:That's not quick? (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 2 months ago | (#47725119)

Dollar General is planning to build a store in my neighborhood. They got approval a few months ago. Yesterday I saw ONE bulldozer parked near an old building on the site, which they plan to tear down. I won't be surprised if the dozer sits there for 11 days doing nothing. I would be absolutely stunned if they went from ground breaking to opening in 11 days, and there's nothing hi tech about a small box dollar store/grocery.

It's the red tape that usually makes these things take so long. How long did they spend wrangling with paperwork before they broke ground? They're not selling food so I'm sure that helps speed up some things.

Re:That's not quick? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47725217)

I've seen a Taco Bell go up in three days. Not completed and opened but the exterior was completed and most of the interior was well defined.

Re:That's not quick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47725281)

When you've got a large crew, following a commonly used plan, things go up real fast. You can easily frame a small two-story house in week with a crew of 4 and someone on the heavy equipment. Roof on and sided in another week. If it's modular stuff with preframed walls, you can have the whole thing done in a week. A house nearby here is about about 3 weeks in, from demolition of the old one, ripping up the old footer and foundation, pouring new ones, and throwing up the frame. They're not an especially large crew (maybe 3 or 4 guys) and demo took a fair bit of the initial time, as does having the guys come in to put your footer/foundation in.

Re:That's not quick? (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 2 months ago | (#47725225)

since Dollar General is trying to buy out Family Dollar, here's my experience with FD. 192 hours from ground breaking to a fully stocked and ready store. they've done thousands. with 3-D printing on the horizon, DG could cut it in half. most of the down-time is damages.

Re:That's not quick? (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 2 months ago | (#47726067)

So, maybe I shouldn't delay in taking my camera down there to get a few shots of the old hamburger stand . I've already had plenty of warning...

And how long does it take... (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 2 months ago | (#47725139)

to build a gas station? 11 days seems easy-peasy.

Re:And how long does it take... (4, Interesting)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47725341)

As far as I could discern, in the 11 days listed here all they did was install the charging ports at a place which already had suitable electrical infrastructure (at a hotel parking lot). It wasn't a full service station in the middle of nowhere. Also, look at service capacity. It takes ~30 minutes to "refuel" a Tesla Model S with 150 miles of extra range. A gas station, meanwhile, will easily do 400+ miles in less than 5 minutes, so it has about 16x higher overall throughput - for a single gas pump you'd need to install about 16 charging stations. Now of course gas stations don't always have fully occupied pumps and that's the point, so that almost whenever you arrive, there's a free pump available. Replace all the cars on the long-distance highway with EVs and you'll need a service station about an order of magnitude larger in size (i.e. your typical 12-pump gas station [wisegeek.com] becomes a parking lot with over 100 chargers [blogcdn.com] ). Hydrocarbon fuels have their advantages and high energy density is one of them. The problem isn't the fuel itself, it's the source. If we made hydrocarbon fuels (e.g. dimethyl ether [wikipedia.org] ) from electricity in a carbon-neutral way, you could view them as a very dense chemical battery with pretty much infinite cycles, no charge loss, insanely quick recharge times and all support infrastructure already in place.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 months ago | (#47725499)

Now of course gas stations don't always have fully occupied pumps and that's the point, so that almost whenever you arrive, there's a free pump available.

Well, there's likely a pump available. It isn't generally going to be free. Tesla charging stations, however, at least for the time being...

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47725523)

Tesla superchargers are free because there's not that many of them around and the Model S is incredibly expensive, so there's markup left over for them to do this. Believe you me that once they start rolling out the "el-cheapo" (well, still Mercedes/BMW-type money) model and start producing in large volumes, it won't be free no more.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 months ago | (#47725575)

Yep, most likely that'll be exactly how it goes.

However, right now, it's kind of fabulous. :)

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47725657)

Oh sure, but then, if you can afford a $70000+ car, fuel costs aren't probably all that much of an issue for you anyway.

Re:And how long does it take... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47726577)

Tesla superchargers are free

They are not free. You purchase lifetime access (for the vehicle) if you select some specific options when you purchase your vehicle. It costs you additional $2k or so to get supercharger access.

Re:And how long does it take... (2)

putaro (235078) | about 2 months ago | (#47726989)

Superchargers aren't "free" - you pay $2K for access and then it's "free" for the lifetime of the car. This guy thinks that Tesla actually makes money on the program [seekingalpha.com]

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47727609)

The article is neat, but I find the author is somewhat overoptimistic in assuming that 75% of the gen 3 model will be supercharger enabled. $2000 extra on a car that costs $70000 base is hardly going to break the bank. But on a car that costs less than half of that, it can significantly tip the scales of buyer choices. They're not the penny-pinching culprits that the sub-$20k market are, but still, $2k for an option of questionable use frequency is going to make a lot of people scratch their heads. Also, as they proliferate, they're going to have to deal with vandalism. A gas station is a neatly concentrated resource with oversight, security and even they still get vandalized. Imagine how attractive a target a parking lot with lots of shiny unattended charging stations is going to be?

Re:And how long does it take... (3, Informative)

w_dragon (1802458) | about 2 months ago | (#47725529)

The only places you need quick-charge station are places where people will be traveling long distances. Most of the time people will charge overnight at home. Most highways have areas where you could easily build a huge lot with rapid chargers. I suspect the larger issue most places will be finding and transporting enough power to charge perhaps hundreds of cars at one time.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47725641)

The only places you need quick-charge station are places where people will be traveling long distances.

Which is why I said "long-distance highway". I'm quite aware that with EVs you wouldn't want to do all of your charging on public charge points (in fact, that's another big problem with EVs in urban areas without private parking, but it's besides the point subject here).

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

EETech1 (1179269) | about 2 months ago | (#47726271)

So...

What would 100 Tesal owners talk about while they waited 30 minutes for a fill-up?

No... No... No!!!
My car is the most awesome car in the world...

Oh. Elon... He makes the best rockets too ya know... dummass NASA pork...

Did I mention My car is the better than your car?

So... What kind of gas mileage do you get?

I'm so glad we have this place to hang out and talk Tesla...

Re:And how long does it take... (2)

silentcoder (1241496) | about 2 months ago | (#47727985)

Why would they talk at all ?
According to the register's review the Model-S has just about the most awesome sound system ever built into a car.
I can tell you, if I had one (and man I want one !) and I was in a super-charger station, I wouldn't be talking to anybody - I'd be cranking up some Twisted Sister at max volume and rocking the damn casbah !

Re:And how long does it take... (2)

aXis100 (690904) | about 2 months ago | (#47725561)

If everyone starts driving EVs, they wont all need to charge at a charging station. Most people will be charging at home overnight, it's only the long distance commuters (maybe 10%) that will need to charge on the go.

Seems like a workable solution.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47725649)

If everyone starts driving EVs, they wont all need to charge at a charging station.

Which is why I said "long-distance highway". I'm quite aware that with EVs you wouldn't want to do all of your charging on public charge points (in fact, that's another big problem with EVs in urban areas without private parking, but it's besides the point subject here).

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

Rei (128717) | about 2 months ago | (#47727703)

(in fact, that's another big problem with EVs in urban areas without private parking, but it's besides the point subject here).

It's also irrelevant. Even if everyone was suddenly sold on the concept of EVs, it would take decades first to be able to ramp up production to match that of gasoline cars, and then to phase out all of the gasoline cars on the road. It should be obvious, yet someone seems to pass right over EV opponents, that the first adopters are going to be those for whom it best suits their situation, and that it will only slowly migrate - over decades - down to an increasingly broad section of the population.

If humans are incapable of recognizing and responding to a slow, patently-obvious, decades-long-process by merely building power outlets, then the species unworthy of the term sentient.

(And just an extra FYI: The majority of people, in my experience, who live in urban areas without private parking take public transportation and don't own any car... but maybe you're referring to some other situation I'm not familiar with).

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47727751)

building power outlets

But that's the thing, an EV charge point is not just a power outlet. You need a billing system. You need a security and safety system. For fast-charges you need a high-power AC-DC converter substation. It's not just the outlet you have in your garage.

in my experience

Your experience is different from my experience.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | about 2 months ago | (#47727997)

>>in my experience
>Your experience is different from my experience.

And THIS ladies and gentlenerds is why anecdotes are scientifically useless - because there is ALWAYS a counter-anecdote that says the exact opposite... ALWAYS.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47728083)

Agreed, I don't like anecdotes and I wasn't the one who used an anecdote to buttress my points. My response here was to simply show that the argument being presented is a personal anecdote.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 months ago | (#47725609)

Replace all the cars on the long-distance highway with EVs and you'll need a service station about an order of magnitude larger in size (i.e. your typical 12-pump gas station becomes a parking lot with over 100 chargers). Hydrocarbon fuels have their advantages and high energy density is one of them.

Assuming you know you're going on a long trip and start out with full battery you should have a 250 mile range starting out. Top it off with 150 extra and you can go 400 miles with half an hour of downtime, I don't know about you but I wouldn't drive that far in one stretch anyway, so it would be taking up a parking spot while I eat anyway. Sure, technically it's more tanking and less parking but the car takes up the same space anyway.

Also most of the time most people (who consider getting an EV anyway) will have a gas station in their garage/parking spot, which happens to be where it was going to stand anyway so it consumes zero extra space. Despite the efficiency difference there'd probably be less space spent on gas stations in inner cities. It'd probably become an add-on service for malls and parking garage top off your car while you're shopping.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47725775)

And what if I don't know? And even if I do know, why should I need to worry about prepping the car a day in advance for the trip? What is this, the 1960s? And if I do decide to make a detour, why should I have to worry about range and whether I'm gonna be able to limp back to the nearest public charging point? And once I'm there it may not be the type I need for a fast charge, so settle in boys, this is gonna take a few hours. That's why I think a good efficient gasoline or diesel car or even range-extended EV is such a great idea. The infrastructure is already in place, not need to rebuild it again. The technology is mature and we have lots invested in it. I have a real problem with Elon selling Tesla as "accelerating the advent of sustainable transport", as if EVs were the only way to do it. Like I said before, the fuel isn't the issue, it's the source of the fuel. Make that source zero CO2 and the need for EVs disappears.

Also most of the time most people (who consider getting an EV anyway) will have a gas station in their garage/parking spot

And what about people who live in densely populated urban areas without private parking spots? Are they simply stuffed because they can't afford to move to the suburbs? Unless somebody invents a super-high-density battery that allows quick recharging (in a matter of minutes - perhaps by pumping and replacing the electrolyte or a liquid electrode), people are going to remain with high-energy-density hydrocarbon fuels.
For my last vehicle purchase I strongly considered an EV like the Leaf, but unfortunately that was simply a non-starter. Massively expensive and very limited in range and where I live the charging opportunities are very few and far between, not to speak of not having a place to charge it at home (I live in an apartment building, like most people in the city). Even if I did have a place to charge it at home, I would be severely limited in where I could travel with it, always having to worry about availability of public charging points or rigging up something non-standard. And when I had an honest look at the expense, how clumsy it would be and that it was the only car in my family, well, I decided for a hybrid instead.

Re: And how long does it take... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47726753)

This just in, humanity just beginning to use electricity to power personal vehicles and the transition and technology, which is in its infancy, is not yet complete.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | about 2 months ago | (#47728011)

>Like I said before, the fuel isn't the issue, it's the source of the fuel. Make that source zero CO2 and the need for EVs disappears.

You are aware that burning gasoline is a massive (I mean a SERIOUSLY masssive) source of CO2 in and off itself right ?

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47728073)

That's why I said "make that source zero CO2" - carbon neutral hydrocarbon fuels [ipt.ntnu.no] .

Re:And how long does it take... (5, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#47726125)

Replace all the cars on the long-distance highway with EVs and you'll need a service station about an order of magnitude larger in size (i.e. your typical 12-pump gas station becomes a parking lot with over 100 chargers).

Complete brain-damaged nonsense. With fossil fuels, you HAVE TO fuel-up at a station, every single time.

With electric, MOST people will fuel up, slowly, overnight, at home.

In addition, gas stations MUST be large and separate facilities you have to go out of your way to drive to/from.

EV charging stations can be (and ARE) just regular parking spaces with a small device at one corner. That means you just stop for your normal food and restroom breaks, and incidentally, your vehicle is getting fueled up with no extra time or effort from you.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47727673)

With electric, MOST people will fuel up, slowly, overnight, at home.

I was talking about long-range driving, i.e. by definition more than a pack can support. That's the designated target use of the supercharger network.

In addition, gas stations MUST be large and separate facilities you have to go out of your way to drive to/from.

No, they don't have to be large. The only reason they are large-ish is because they often double as convenience stores. Remove that, make the station just the pumps with card paying and they can be incredibly compact. Most of the time you also don't have to drive to and from them - they're placed conveniently along routes most people take frequently, so typically you just need to make a brief stop there once or twice a month for a couple of minutes.

EV charging stations can be (and ARE) just regular parking spaces with a small device at one corner.

Where the device costs a considerable amount of money. Musk himself said that a Supercharger station costs ~$150000, which for 4-6 charge points then brings the cost to ~$10k-$20k per point. You see the charge points aren't just your regular 220V/16A outlet, they're fairly smart units. They need to be fed by a high-powered AC-DC converter which needs to hook up to a high-power transformer substation, high-power cabling buried below the frost line, billing hardware at each point, security monitoring and connectivity and in places with solar charging the cost more than doubles due to the panels and li-ion batteries. Calculate the cost of adding that to almost every parking spot on a lot and the numbers for your construction project will take quite a hit. Keep in mind, I'm not talking about the occasional Tesla vehicle going by. I'm talking about a future where this is the dominant form of transport.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

Rei (128717) | about 2 months ago | (#47727723)

Not to mention that they can be a loss leader. 250Wh/mi at a commercial power rate of $0.08/kWh is two cents per mile. So a 150 mile charge is $3. There are lots of businesses that would pay $3 to keep a potential customer there for half an hour, esp. if said potential customer will likely feel appreciate and that "he owes them". Charging can also be "free with purchase", and businesses can limit the charge rate if $3 for a half hour chage is too steep of a loss leader for them.

All this ignoring the green cred / pr advantage of offering said charging in the first place.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 2 months ago | (#47726759)

Look at a typical service station on I-95 or I-5. They typically have a large parking lot, so people can leave their car and go eat something. So simply electrifying some of the parking lot spots would be quite enough to replace the pumps.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47727479)

And how much would that cost? At present building a parking lot is pretty much the cost of pouring the asphalt. You're proposing we turn a lot of those parking spots into pretty expensive charging stations with safety systems, billing systems and presumably security systems (to avert vandalism). And given the low cost of charging and resultant very tiny profit margins for the facilities providing the services, would it be economical for them to do so?

Re:And how long does it take... (3, Informative)

Rei (128717) | about 2 months ago | (#47727513)

Now of course gas stations don't always have fully occupied pumps and that's the point, so that almost whenever you arrive, there's a free pump available.

That actually doesn't help your argument any. The longer it takes to fill up, the more you smooth out the random demand fluctuations.

Let's say the time per pump is 5 minutes and the time per charger is 30 minutes, so we have to build 6x more chargers to service the same number of vehicles (and that you have to build the charging stations more frequently due to the range). So we'll compare a 4 pump gas station with a 24 charger EV station. So let's say that we get the following rate of people arriving (picking some numbers at random):

1:00: 1
1:05: 0
1:10: 6
1:15: 7
1:20: 3
1:25: 0
1:30: 0
1:35: 2
1:40: 1
1:45: 8
1:50: 6
1:55: 0
2:00: 1

What happens in these scenarios? First, gasoline:

1:00: 1 pump in use
1:05: 0 pumps in use
1:10: 4 pumps in use, 2 people waiting
1:15: 4 pumps in use, 5 people waiting
1:20: 4 pumps in use, 4 people waiting
1:25: 4 pumps in use, 0 people waiting
1:30: 0 pumps in use
1:35: 2 pumps in use
1:40: 1 pump in use
1:45: 4 pumps in use, 4 people waiting
1:50: 4 pumps in use, 6 people waiting
1:55: 4 pumps in use, 2 people waiting
2:00: 3 pumps in use, 0 people waiting.

What about the charging station?

1:00: 1 charger in use
1:05: 1 chargers in use
1:10: 7 chargers in use
1:15: 14 chargers in use
1:20: 17 chargers in use
1:25: 17 chargers in use
1:30: 16 chargers in use
1:35: 18 chargers in use
1:40: 13 chargers in use
1:45: 14 chargers in use
1:50: 17 chargers in use
1:55: 17 chargers in use
2:00: 18 chargers in use

With the gas station, 23 people needed to wait, some of them for a rather long time. With the charging station, nobody needed to wait. Despite the fact that the charging is 1/6th the speed, that doesn't actually imply you need 6x more chargers. In the above example, we see that the gas station should have had 8 pumps while the charging station 18 chargers, or 2.25x more.

More on the other problems with your post in just a second - I just felt that this particular aspect deserved a whole post on its own.

Re:And how long does it take... (1)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47727715)

With the gas station, 23 people needed to wait

Yeah, but how long on average did their stop take? Of those, 20 people took an overall 10 minutes for the stop, including 5 minutes of waiting and for only 3 it took a total of 15 minutes (10 minutes waiting). So the total time taken to service these people (and top up a lot more range, of course) took 305 minutes.
Meanwhile, on the charger, all 35 users had to stop for 30 minutes, for a total of 1050 minutes. So even with 4.5x fewer pumps the stop times were overall 3x shorter. Again, the gas station is over an order of magnitude more efficient.

Re:And how long does it take... (3, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | about 2 months ago | (#47727671)

As for my other issues with your post.

1. Actually time yourself going down the highway when you're on a long trip, from the moment you begin to decelerate to begin to get gas, to the moment you're back on the road up to highway speeds, and don't leave out the things people often due during stops long trips (why long trips? more in a second), including bathroom breaks, buying something at the convenience store, cleaning the windshield, heading over to a nearby restaurant to grab a bite to eat, whatever. Time a number of different stops on a long trip and average them out. You'll find they're a lot more than 5 minutes. EVs have all of that extra stuff too, mind you, but a lot of them can be done while charging, and even for the other stuff, you're adding a constant overhead, which reduces the ratio of the non-constant aspect (the actual filling itself).

2. Why constrained to long trips? Simple - because people don't stop at charging stations when they're not on long trips. It's pointless. You charge at home, and maybe when parked at other places like work or a mall if there happens to be a plug near you. It's a great inconvenience of gasoline cars which EVs don't have that one must regularly waste time at gas stations in their daily lives regardless of how long trips are. Overall gasoline car drivers waste a lot more time "filling up" than EV drivers. (and if you disagree and think the mere act of plugging and unplugging gives the edge to gasoline drivers somehow, then that still doesn't help with the wireless EV charging that's getting a lot of focus now, where you merely have to park and you start getting charge)

3. The page you linked for dimethyl ether said nothing (that I noticed) about generation from just electricity and, say, air/water. It did say that in the lab it can be made from cellulosic biomass (although it should be noted that no cellulosic fuel techs have thusfar worked out at a commercial scale). Let's just say you can do that, and that you get the 1000 gallons per acre-year reported for switchgrass.That's 0,93 liters per square meter-year. It's reported at 19,3 MJ per liter, so we have 18MJ per square meter per year. Let's say we lose 5% of this to distribution, and then burn it in a car running at a typical 20% average efficiency (peak is significantly higher, but peak isn't what matters). We have 3,4 MJ per square meter per year.

Now what if we ran EVs on solar panels on the same land? Let's say the solar farm is 50% covered with solar panels and gets a capacity factor (clouds, night, etc) of 20% and a cell efficiency of 20%. 1000W/m, so 20W/m electricity is produced on average. That's 20 joules per square meter per second, so 631 MJ per square meter per year. We reduce it by the average US grid efficiency of 92% and an average wall-to-wheels EV efficiency of 80% and we get 465 MJ per square meter per year. 136 times as land-efficient as the biofuel alternative

Now let's say we leave out all of these lossy bioprocesses behind and generate some sort of biofuel straight from electricity at a very unrealistic 80% efficiency (most processes for realistic fuels are way lower), plus the same generous 5% distribution losses, and that it's afforable. And let's say that they all burn their fuel at an impressive 40% efficiency (even fuel cells, while higher in peak efficiency, generally can't do that tank-to-wheels in real-world vehicle usage). Thus we get 192 MJ per square meter per year, 41% that of the EV. Are you really comfortable with plastering 2.4 times as much of the earth's surface with solar panels? Or 2.4 times more wind turbines, 2.4 times more dammed rivers, 2.4 times more nuclear power plants and uranium mining, etc? Is that, in your view, an ideal solution, even in this comparison highly biased in favor of fuels versus electricity?

Electricity is the universal energy currency, and we shouldn't be wasting it converting it between different forms needlessly. Not only does it mean a dramatically worse impact on the planet, it also means that even if your electricity to fuel conversion process is practically free in terms of consumables and capital costs (the reality generally being anything-but), that you have to pay many times more per kilometer that you drive, as you're (indirectly) consuming many times more electricity.

Re:And how long does it take... (0)

brambus (3457531) | about 2 months ago | (#47727873)

1. Depends on the type of trip. I don't do family trips but instead business and there I stop only when the tank is dry (after ~500 miles) and only for ~20 minutes. An EV that needs 30 minutes every 150 miles would cost me an additional >1 hour on top of that.

2. I'm well aware that the majority of charging done at home. However, here we were talking about Superchargers, which are for long trips, so I compared that to a gas station. Home chargers, are much slower, taking 4-8 hours typically to charge. This means you need to plan ahead. If the next morning you find out you need to make a long trip and didn't charge (or forgot to), you're stuffed. With a hydrocarbon fuel car, you don't need to do that. Oops? Empty tank? No problem, just do a quick 5 minute stop at the nearest service station and be on your way. It's the fact that a hydrocarbon car gets out of your way that makes them so convenient.

3. Here's a paper on its production by way of electrolysis of water and CO2 [ipt.ntnu.no] . Iceland has conducted a feasibility study [www.nea.is] with the following conclusions:

- There are no technical or environmental concerns to go forward with the planned project of the construction of the DME plant.
- Production cost (CAPEX/OPEX) is at a fairly attractive value taking into consideration the contribution to Icelandic society.
- This project is considered to be feasible, subject to a strong and dedicated support by the Icelandic government.

2.4 times more nuclear power plants and uranium mining

I happen to think that nuclear is the way forward, but not in its current form. We need high-temp reactors which give >700C waste heat - that's already good enough to give an appreciable contribution to high-temp electrolysis [wikipedia.org] . Higher efficiency reactors use orders of magnitude less fuel and the waste heat from them is also a considerable resource, so yeah, there are ways to move forward without any increase in Uranium mining. Meanwhile, don't forget to account for lithium and cadmium (and other metal) mining and refinement in the accounting for batteries.

Re:And how long does it take... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47728193)

I think you may be prematurely optimising. The charge stations are the exact size they need to be right now, and for some future time. If it gets too busy, then they'll build another one somewhere nearby. The difference between electric charge stations and flammable liquid ones is that the electric ones can safely go right beside a school or an old people's home or your house. The flammable liquid ones, not so much.

Re:That's not quick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47725345)

The 3D printed version takes two years, and five years' warning so they can pre-build everything the normal way first.

Re:That's not quick? (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about 2 months ago | (#47725349)

It took 11 days to install the six charging stalls in Goodland, Kansas. If you thought it was a quick process to build a Supercharger station, you were clearly wrong.

seems quick to me

Doesn't seem to long to me either - I mean seriously, how long do they think it takes to build a regular gas station? Digging holes in the ground to bury some huge tanks (3 for regular, mid, & high-octane gas, maybe one for diesel) and run piping, conduit for the pump wiring, build concrete 'islands' for the pumps, fill it all in, pave it over, install the pumps, roof over the pumps with lighting, etc... construction of anything takes time and has to happen in a certain (scheduled) order. And I'm sure anyways it takes at least a few weeks (if not months knowing the government) ahead of that for filing plans, building permit, environmental approvals, etc, in most cases.

Re: That's not quick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47726769)

Two tanks! One for regular, one for high. Mid is a mix.

Re:That's not quick? (1)

fermion (181285) | about 2 months ago | (#47725373)

It is 500 miles from Galveston to Oklahoma City. That is 10 sites if placed every 50 miles along the major highway. That means they could have a major traffic area of Texas wired for the Tesla with six port charging stations in less than four months

There a seven Buc cees flag ship stores, where everyone in Texas stops for at least a half an hour to get gas and a Dr. Pepper Icee. That is three months to wire one of the most popular tourist traps. The other locations may not be big enough to hold a charging station, but lets say another six months more months to wire those that can.

So what we are talking about is in six months with enough crews the major populated parts of texas could be wired for Tesla. The parts of Texas that can afford a Tesla, given the three out four cars at many intersections are mercedes or high end volve, that seeing a Maserati, a Lotus, especially a Rolls Royce is not uncommon. Where every city has at least one highly regarded dealership that sells these 100K+ autos. And yet instead of building infrastructure that would encourage the population to buy a Tesla, a population that has the money to buy a second electric car, they whine like babies because the laws don't conform with their expectations. Rather than creating a demand, they blame regulation for their problems.

Before they started trying to extort states taxpayers o pay for their construction costs I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Now it is clear that they are failing to the old regulation card, instead of profiting with innovation.

Re:That's not quick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47725441)

It took 11 days to install the six charging stalls in Goodland, Kansas. If you thought it was a quick process to build a Supercharger station, you were clearly wrong.

seems quick to me

Yeah. I'd say 11 days is pretty reasonable. I'd guess compared to building a gas station, it's pretty quick.

Re:That's not quick? (1)

jbengt (874751) | about 2 months ago | (#47725557)

It's pretty quick even compared to demolishing a gas station.

Re:That's not quick? (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about 2 months ago | (#47725845)

It's pretty quick even compared to demolishing a gas station.

Yeah, well, when they dig up those tanks they probably have to have some EPA certified company in to dig up the soil and test it for potential contamination (tank leaks) in a lab, etc. We had one the next town over that had been there from the 60's, it closed up for months in the early 90s because the tanks had leaked, they had to cart away tons of soil and replace it with fill, the owners (family owned) filed for bankruptcy I believe because it ran into the 100K+ range, was vacant for years before someone bought the lot and... put a gas station back in there (it's a prime location for one, actually).

Re:That's not quick? (5, Interesting)

mikeiver1 (1630021) | about 2 months ago | (#47726565)

Having just completed a 6 charger installation I can tell you that the digging is the hard part. In our case it was a little over 3 weeks start to finish due to allot of landscaping and blacktop work as well as installing a dedicated half mega Watt transformer complete with piping to the utility service box some 90' under a road that we could not disturb. On the technical side, the prints are fairly detailed and the charging stations and controllers (one charge controller per pair of stations) are well engineered. The insides are modular and have a liquid cooling system for the 12 charge packs. Each charge cabinet is fed with 3 phase, 480VAC at 175Amps. The output of the controller can be as high as 410VDC at 120Amps per charge station. Of course I doubt it ever really gets there. Ultimately, for the electrician, it is a simple install and nothing to technical.

Re:That's not quick? (1)

Rei (128717) | about 2 months ago | (#47727763)

I'm assuming that's not a 30 minute Tesla fast charge station, since that's only 50kW.

The two issues I have the most interest in are 1) whether they use some sort of battery buffer to balance loads on the grid connects (otherwise I think the utility company won't be very happy with the unpredictable megawatt drains ;) But maybe the utility company is handling balancing on their side), and 2) how cooling on the charger is handled. Just simple resistance calcs show that once you get to really high power chargers, you have to cool the wire to the car to keep its heating to an acceptable level at an acceptable cable mass, so I'm curious how they handle that. Personally I've felt that high power rapid chargers should provide coolant for the car itself as well via the charge port. Why should the car have to haul around such a major cooling system and coolant reservoir when the charger already has to have it and has to cool its cable all the way up to the car? However, I've never heard of anyone actually implementing such an approach.

Re:That's not quick? (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | about 2 months ago | (#47727881)

I was thinking the same thing - I'm CERTAIN that building a traditional gas station (including those giant underground storage tanks) takes longer than that !

11 days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47725031)

i think it takes longer than that to build a flat parking lot.

Which shows that they are doing this wrong. (-1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 months ago | (#47725129)

Instead, it should be pre-built and simply drop it in. Even the foundation for the chargers themselves can be pre-built and simply dropped into place.

Re:Which shows that they are doing this wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47725199)

Not entirely sure you know how foundations work.

Re:Which shows that they are doing this wrong. (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47725223)

A foundation is a legal categorization of nonprofit organizations that will typically either donate funds and support to other organizations, or provide the source of funding for its own charitable purposes. This type of non-profit organization differs from a private foundation which is typically endowed by an individual or family.

Re:Which shows that they are doing this wrong. (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about 2 months ago | (#47725445)

whatever, i've played plenty of Dune II. you just build a concrete slab and put it wherever you want.

Re:Which shows that they are doing this wrong. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 months ago | (#47726071)

You obviously do not realize. In this case, they do not have footings on those. Just a base. As such, they can do that elsewhere and bring it in via truck (have to reach the area via car, so, it is right on a parking lot). Taking this approach, they can cut the time needed in half, and possibly the money.

Re:Which shows that they are doing this wrong. (1)

jbengt (874751) | about 2 months ago | (#47725573)

Yeah, just drop them in from high enough, and they even dig themselves into the ground.

Enough of the Tesla circle jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47725163)

These charging stations can take a Model S battery pack from nearly empty to about 150 miles or range in around 30 minutes.
 
And the Nissan Leaf can do about 80 miles in 20 minutes. Seems pretty part for the course from a L3 charger. For the premium you pay I hope that you're not totally flabbergasted by the numbers.

Re:Enough of the Tesla circle jerk (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 months ago | (#47725289)

Takes longer to do a full charge on a Leaf at a L3 charger.

As the minutes passed, the charging slowed. By the 10-minute mark, it was adding two miles of range every minute instead of three. After about 20 minutes, it was adding one mile per minute most of the time. After 30 minutes and a predicted range of 79 miles, the session ended. The battery-level meter showed eight bars out of 12. This being a 67% state of charge, we clearly hadn't reached our goal.

You could get 80 miles on 67% charge, but only if you drove over flat land at 25mph.

n.b. Leaf owner.

Re:Enough of the Tesla circle jerk (2)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 months ago | (#47725333)

And my fossil fuel car gives me 400 miles range in less than two minutes of fueling.

Electric cars are good for many things, but long range driving is not one of them. Not only do you have to plan your driving based on where you can find a suitable outlet, but waiting for half an hour every two hours isn't very competitive compared to gasoline and diesel engines.

What could work in the future is standardized batteries you can exchange at any station for any car (no proprietary solutions), and a sealed meter in your car measures how much juice you actually pulled out of the battery (so you won't have to pay full price for a half-dead battery). But without standards, it's going to be tough.

Re:Enough of the Tesla circle jerk (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#47726163)

Not only do you have to plan your driving based on where you can find a suitable outlet,

Give them a little bit of time to develop, and they'll be everywhere. They'll get the infrastructure developed even faster, since it just requires existing power lines, and little no-maintenance boxes at the corner of regular parking spaces.

waiting for half an hour every two hours isn't very competitive

I'd say that's about half-way there... Maybe a bit closer. You're already likely to stop every 4 hours or so, for food and restroom breaks. There just needs to be a charging station next to a few of those parking spots, and you'll get fueled up with zero waiting. You sure won't have to go hunt down a gas station and stand around like an idiot, waiting for it to fuel-up.

Saying how wonderful and convenient gas stations are, is like complaining that nobody runs their own steam boilers anymore... It's so wrongheaded and backwards that I can't even process it.

One of the biggest advantages of EVs and plug-in hybrids is that you can fuel-up AT HOME, overnight, drastically reducing the number of times you have to suffer through stopping at a gas station.

Re:Enough of the Tesla circle jerk (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 months ago | (#47727081)

One of the biggest advantages of EVs and plug-in hybrids is that you can fuel-up AT HOME, overnight, drastically reducing the number of times you have to suffer through stopping at a gas station.

In quite a lot of Europe you simply cannot do that without substantial changes to a lot of things, which is why EV's and hybrids have quite some way to go yet.

Why can't we do that? Lets take the house I just sold - end of terrace, on street unallocated parking, a 1.5 meter pavement between the house and the road, and regularly far too many cars trying to park on the road so you are lucky if you aren't on the next road over.

Without the government coming along and allocating parking on that road, and installing roadside chargers for each parking space with some method of ensuring the right person pays the bill, there is no way anyone on that road is going to be able to own or run an electric vehicle.

Such houses and roads make up probably 75% of Norwich, UK. And that's pretty much the norm in the UK as well, probably a bit worse once you get into Europe proper.

You *NEED* to do breaks. (1)

DrYak (748999) | about 2 months ago | (#47726251)

but waiting for half an hour every two hours isn't very competitive compared to gasoline and diesel engines.

Do you realise that you actually *NEED* to to half an hour break after each two hours of driving ? You need to take breaks anyway, in order not to be too much tired and avoiding increasing your risks of accident due to tiredness and loss of concentration.

So, while you're relaxing, drinking a coffee, etc. why not charge the car, instead of just having it sit idle on the parking lot in front of the cafe/restaurant/park/rest-zone ?

Re:You *NEED* to do breaks. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 months ago | (#47727087)

You do not "need" to take a break every two hours, it all depends on your long distance driving experience. I regularly drive 4 hours without a break, with no ill effects or loss of attention during that period.

Re:You *NEED* to do breaks. (0)

silentcoder (1241496) | about 2 months ago | (#47728239)

Yes, I am absolutely certain that you are an unbiased judge of your own mental performance after 4 hours of driving.
I mean nobody else on earth is and study after study have shown that there is literally NOBODY worse at judging somebody's performance at anything than the person himself but I absolutely certain that you are, indeed, the sole exception that has ever existed.

Now what about all the people who are NOT you ?

Re:Enough of the Tesla circle jerk (1)

putaro (235078) | about 2 months ago | (#47727007)

And in 1900 the same arguments applied against gasoline cars and you could get food for your horse, have a stable to keep it in, find a blacksmith to put new shoes on your horse, etc. just about anywhere.

The technology for EVs is still pretty early and just starting to improve. Give it another 10 years and it will probably address most of your concerns.

Re:Enough of the Tesla circle jerk (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about 2 months ago | (#47725357)

And the Nissan Leaf can do about 80 miles in 20 minutes.

Damn, the Leaf can go 240mph?!?!
Oh... wait, you mean it takes 20 minutes to charge the Leaf enough for 20 minutes? Sigh.

First, the editors buy Tesla stock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47725167)

Profit?

Re: First, the editors buy Tesla stock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47725637)

Isn't there a step 2 where they steal all of Elon Musk's panties?

Gas station (5, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#47725271)

It took 11 days to install the six charging stalls in Goodland, Kansas. If you thought it was a quick process to build a Supercharger station, you were clearly wrong.

And for comparison, just how long does it take to build a gas station?

Re:Gas station (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47725365)

60minutes

Re:Gas station (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47726567)

Who cares. I'm still interested why someone thinks anything taking 11 days is a "long" process.

Then there's the whole scope of what they are looking it. Yeah 11 days to build it. How long to design it? Last time we proposed a new 200kW load on our electrical grid the grid owner wanted 6 months notice so they could conduct a feasibility study. It took us more than 11 days of organizing just to agree on a date for commissioning that suits all parties.

11 days is a blink of an eye for most projects involving construction, and nearly all projects involving a new electrical grid connection.

Heck it took longer than a week for the electrical operator to come out and connect power to a house I bought.

Re:Gas station (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 months ago | (#47727099)

I've seen a gas station go up in a week - its pretty much all modular.

Re:Gas station (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 2 months ago | (#47727555)

I've seen a gas station "go up" in seconds.

Clearly I missed something. (1)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | about 2 months ago | (#47725283)

If you thought it was a quick process to build a Supercharger station, you were clearly wrong.

Was someone suggesting anything to the contrary or did you just needed an excuse for the post?

11 days is pretty fast ... (1)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about 2 months ago | (#47725299)

... I think the record for a large project is 6.

Cant wait to see what lawyers will do with this (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47725385)

Heh 30 minutes .. remember that next time you fill your car up in 5 minutes (how many times a week you do that ?? and isnt that for 300 miles worth of gas?)

Anyway power cables mishandled equals fires and electrocutions etc...
Lets not forget how large these 30 minute parking lots (assuming you get a spot in 0 time before that) will have to be (compared to a gas station)
What do you do for 30 minutes. Will safety requirements (insurancecompany involvement) require you to sit in a safety bunker for that time while your wheeled bomb is being filled up??

Lots of practical issues that will be lots of money making fodder for insurance companies (and government meddling) -- add that to the eventual costs of this technology (and you trendy people at the front end will get it in costly spades).

Im sure all you using such things for your businesses will pass on the added expenses to your customers.

Re:Cant wait to see what lawyers will do with this (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 months ago | (#47725467)

When you say "wheeled bomb" I assume you've gone back to talking about gasoline (and diesel) fuelled cars. They're the only one you fill with an explosive substance.

Re:Cant wait to see what lawyers will do with this (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about 2 months ago | (#47725541)

these "safety bunkers" are called "lobbies" by normal people. you know, how gas stations have air-conditioned stores inside where you can buy coffee and soda? you can still afford gas, can't you?

Re:Cant wait to see what lawyers will do with this (2)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 2 months ago | (#47727103)

If you are not insane you are going to take a break after every few hours of driving anyway.
Remember, this is only for long stretches. Most commutes go perfectly with overnight charging.

So what is quick then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47725395)

It took a well known petrol station company in a busy part of town in Perth,WA 11 weeks to change out the petrol tanks underground. 11 days seems fantastic to me to build an entire depot.

Goodland (1)

n2505d (759637) | about 2 months ago | (#47725485)

"It took 11 days to install the six charging stalls in Goodland, located in the northeast corner of the state." 1) Did they bother to look up Goodland KS? 2) 11 days seems fast to me. 3) What would anyone expect in the way of cabling? To quickly charge something like that is going to take cables with some girth

Meanwhile in petrol land (1)

chuckugly (2030942) | about 2 months ago | (#47725629)

Meanwhile I can put 500 miles worth of fuel in my car on almost any corner of the city in about 4 minutes.

Goodland, KS, is not in the NE of Kansas (2)

Streetlight (1102081) | about 2 months ago | (#47725891)

The second referenced article says that Goodland, Kansas, is in the NE part of Kansas. This town is in the North West part of Kansas only a few miles - about 20 miles - from the the Colorado Border. Maybe the authors can't count days as well as read maps, so the article may be wrong.

Goodland, KS, is not in the NE of Kansas (1)

Streetlight (1102081) | about 2 months ago | (#47725931)

The second referenced article said Goodland, KS, is in the North East part of Kansas. Goodland, Kansas, is in the North West part of Kansas and is about 20 miles from the Colorado border on Interstate 70. I wonder of these writers can count days as well as they read maps.

Doing the math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47726433)

In high school (1996) I had a computer studies project on the efficiency of the gas pump. This was just before credit cards were used at the pump. Without using the credit card at the pump it took an average of 14min for a person to pump and pay for gas. With the credit card at the pump it took 3.5 min average. It all depends what you do with your time.

It takes me about an hour to do my weekly shopping for groceries. So an EV charging station beside a 24hr grocery store is a no brainier as everyone needs food and it's going to take 30-60min anyway to buy your food.

Thirty minutes is ridiculous. Swap out the packs. (2, Interesting)

kriston (7886) | about 2 months ago | (#47726523)

Thirty minutes is ridiculous. That is not "rapid" ANYTHING.

The only real solution is to streamline the process of swapping out battery packs, or, ideally, hydrogen fuel cells.

This is where hydrogen fuel cells really make sense. They are the ultimate battery pack. They are interchangeable modules. You stop at a filling station and replace your depleted fuel cell with a full one in fewer than five minutes.

I know Tesla has a battery pack replacement service, but it really needs to be affordable and streamlined and not require expensive robotics.

NOBODY wants to wait thirty minutes for "rapid recharge." The money spent on this infrastructure should, instead, be spent on optimizing the use of hydrogen fuel cells. They are the ultimate battery and they don't wear out.

Re:Thirty minutes is ridiculous. Swap out the pack (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47726715)

So much ignorance in one post, wow.

Re:Thirty minutes is ridiculous. Swap out the pack (1)

itsdapead (734413) | about 2 months ago | (#47727905)

Thirty minutes is ridiculous. That is not "rapid" ANYTHING.

To be fair, the electric model is that most of the time you'll top up overnight (OK, that raises its own issues), and the only time you'll need a charging station is if you're on a road trip, in which case a 30 minute refreshment and potty break every couple of hundred miles isn't such a bad thing.

If, however, there is widespread uptake of electric cars, then it will start to become apparent that, even with demand reduced by home charging, you need one hell of a lot of 6-bay superchargers to match the throughput of a 6-bay gas station (especially since people who e.g. head off for a meal are going to leave their cars plugged in for more than 30 mins). You'd need entire parking lots kitted out with chargers - which, in turn, is going to start needing extra infrastructure to get the power to the site (...perhaps they could run a generator off those nice big tanks at the gas station? :-) ). The trick for the e-car industry is going to be to avoid the crunch point when people start to roll up at the supercharger and find all the bays in use (and no owners in sight) and don't have enough juice to get to the next one.

I know Tesla has a battery pack replacement service, but it really needs to be affordable and streamlined and not require expensive robotics.

I saw the video of Tesla's battery changer, and it certainly seems preferable to a 30 minute recharge. With the weight of battery packs, and the need to build them in to the chassis to save space, I think robotics is probably the only way. Also, its probably too soon in the development of battery technology to introduce a 'standard' pack - maybe a split system whereby part of the battery capacity is in a replaceable, standardised, pack, and the rest is built into the chassis...

NOBODY wants to wait thirty minutes for "rapid recharge." The money spent on this infrastructure should, instead, be spent on optimizing the use of hydrogen fuel cells. They are the ultimate battery and they don't wear out.

Except you can't refill your hydrogen fuel cell at home - so you're going to be straight in to the chicken-and-egg problem of needing the full refueling infrastructure in place before people buy the cars. Unless maybe you have a plug-in/fuel cell hybrid?

Lets face it - the ideal use-case for an electric car is as a and still need another one for long trips. I quite like the look of the BMW i3 (it would probably suit my purposes, as the UK range-extender version hasn't been gimped to suit CA law) but, again, you could buy 3 small city cars, or a fully tricked-out Mini with gold-plated hubcaps and unicorn-fur upholstery for the price of the basic model.

Meanwhile, I've done my bit for the promotion of electric vehicles and bought one of these [poweredbicycles.co.uk] .

No big deal (2)

Animats (122034) | about 2 months ago | (#47726537)

This is a straightforward industrial electrical installation. There's a pad-mounted distribution transformer and meter provided by the power company, a weatherproof load center provided by the customer's electrical contractor, and the Tesla supercharger control unit and outlet stations. No big deal to install. There's a comparable installation at every large standalone store.

That's a small charging station. Here's the build-out of a bigger one. [youtube.com] Black and Veach, which does infrastructure construction for the energy and communications industry (substations, cell sites, etc.) is doing the job. They see it as a lot like building out cell towers. (If you watch that video, you may wonder why the transformers and switchgear are on raised platforms. Probably because there's a flood risk at that location.)

Installing a gas station's underground tanks, which today are dual tanks with leak detection, is a much bigger job. There's a big excavation, lots of plumbing and wiring, and several different trades involved.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?