Mar 17

VW Reveals Tesla-like EV Charging Plans

 

By Jeff Nisewanger

Volkswagen expects to build fast DC charging sites in the U.S. over the next two years that would rival and in some ways exceed today’s Tesla Supercharger network.

This news comes via a draft plan released by the California Air Resources Board a couple days ago in advance of a board meeting later this month. Final approval of the plan is on track for April with construction to begin soon after.

Volkswagen says it plans to spend a total of $200 million in California over the first of four 2.5 year investment cycles. A further $300 million would be spent nationally in states other than California. In total, VW expects to spend $2 billion over 10 years as one part of its recent settlement of claims related to its cheating on 2.0 liter diesel engine emissions.

As part of this first cycle of its investment plan, VW would spend $120 million on EV charging infrastructure in California.

About $65 million of that would go toward long-distance highway corridor fast DC charging at 50 locations. Each location would typically have about five chargers or charging stalls. All of the chargers would be next-generation units designed to support a maximum charging rate of at least 150 kilowatts with about half of the chargers supporting a rate of up to 320 kilowatts, according to Volkswagen’s draft plan. The sites are being designed to be “future proof” for medium to long-term use rather than just meeting the immediate needs of today’s electric cars.

About 25 of the new highway charging locations would be built along the I-5 and US-101 highways which independently run between the Oregon border and the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. Smaller numbers of stations would be added to intersecting highways throughout the state consistent with a broader plan to build a nationwide network.

SEE ALSO: VW Settlement May Supercharge non-Tesla DC Rollout in US

Almost all existing non-Tesla DC charging stations support between 25 and 50 kilowatts in the United States so VW’s stations could support charging at up to three- to six-times faster when plugged into some future electric vehicles. Even some existing cars may be able to charge somewhat faster than they can on today’s chargers.

A further $40 million would be spent on metropolitan area community charging at up to 350 locations in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, and Sacramento. These locations at workplaces, public parking garages, and multi-family residential buildings would get a mixture of 150 kilowatt and 50 kilowatt DC chargers plus so-called Level 2 AC chargers supplying 240 volts typically at up to 7 kilowatts.

Some $15 million would be set aside to cover ongoing maintenance, networking, and other operating fees. VW says they may be able to pay for some electric utility peak grid demand charges from these funds but customers of the sites will have to pay the cost of ordinary electricity. Estimated customer prices for using the new VW-owned stations are not yet known but they will be available to be used with all DC-capable car models and will not be located at or near VW dealerships.

The new California highway corridor charging and community charging efforts combined would cost $120 million and be located at 400 locations with a total of 2,000 to 3,000 charging stalls. Both the CHAdeMO and CCS standard plugs used by non-Tesla EVs would be supported.

Tesla has built a proprietary fast DC Supercharger network of its own since late 2012 that supports maximum theoretical charging rates of up to 145 kilowatts at just over 50 Supercharger locations in California. Some current Tesla vehicles can charge at a peak rate of about 120 kW at these stations.

Most of these Tesla sites are located along highways away from large metropolitan areas and are primarily intended for use by travelers on long-distance trips. Roughly 33 of these rural locations have a combined 260 charging stalls in California versus VW’s plan to build about 50 locations with 250 charging stalls along highways by the summer of 2019.

Tesla’s remaining 20 or so California locations are in metropolitan areas with roughly 180 charging stalls that serve highway travelers as well as some local drivers. Some of VW’s 350 community charging locations will likewise have 150 kilowatt and 50 kilowatt charging but the plan is vague about how many.

Tesla’s overall nationwide Supercharger network has just over 350 highway and metropolitan locations. Full details about Volkswagen’s charging infrastructure draft plans for outside of California have likely been filed with the EPA but are not yet publicly available. However, the company has talked about building 200 highway fast DC charging locations nationwide with a further 300 metropolitan locations on its Electrify America website.

By the time VW has completed its first buildout of charging stations in 2019, Tesla itself will likely have greatly expanded their Supercharger network to support an expected wave of less expensive Model 3 sedans hitting the road late this year.

One detail that is known about the national non-California plan is that of the $300 million budget for this first 30 month spending cycle the large majority of it, some $250 million or twice California’s $120 million amount, will go towards building charging infrastructure.

VW has no plans to fund hydrogen fuel cell vehicle filling stations during this first round of spending but may do so in the future. California is strongly encouraging VW to add hydrogen fueling investments in later years.

The new electric chargers are expected to support flexible payment schemes including both simple credit cards and subscription-based plans. VW said they aim to create shared billing agreements with other charging providers. This presumably would be similar to or include the ROEV Association being created to link the billing systems of ChargePoint and EVgo.

EVgo, a spin-off of the NRG electric utility, today has a nationwide network of over 900 DC charging stations at over 600 locations but they are 50 kilowatt or less and are often clustered in big cities leaving large gaps without charging on the highway.

State grants approved by the California Energy Commission last year would add about 100 additional fast DC highway corridor charging sites over a similar two year time period finishing by late 2019 with typically only one or two chargers at each site. Some of those new state-funded sites will include chargers capable of up to 100 and 125 kilowatts. ChargePoint, one of the four service providers to receive the CEC grants, says it plans to begin installations later this year using its recently revealed next generation station hardware.

The good news for Tesla drivers is that they can utilize nearly all of these new charging locations by using a $450 CHAdeMO adapter sold by Tesla. However, the existing adapter is limited to about 50 kilowatts and will not be able to take full advantage of the faster new chargers. Tesla joined the CCS standards consortium last year and there is speculation that they could release a new higher-powered adapter in the future.

At California’s request, VW has plans to concentrate a further $44 million towards so-called Green City initiatives that seek to demonstrate transformative use of electric vehicles within a city. Sacramento has been tentatively identified as the first city to be targeted to receive services such as electric car sharing along with electric delivery and taxi fleets.

In order to promote public awareness of electric vehicles, VW plans to spend about $20 million of its California budget and a further $25 million or so from its non-California national budget. About half of that spending would go towards television ads beginning this fall.

SEE ALSO: Volkswagen Embraces EVs So You’ll Forget Dieselgate

VW says their expenses for personnel and other administrative overhead would be about 8 percent of the overall budget or $16 million out of California’s $200 million during the first 30 month spending cycle.

The company has already held a round of meetings with suppliers and plans to begin negotiating contracts this month. It says it does not intend to “reinvent the wheel” and will purchase hardware and software from existing companies. It plans to operate the network in a sustainable long-term fashion “in line with the same economic constraints faced by others in the charging industry”. In the past, ChargePoint has strongly urged that VW not be allowed to use its diesel settlement funds to unfairly dominate the industry.

Further details about VW’s plans may be revealed at a CARB public meeting in Riverside, Calif. on Friday, Mar. 24.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 17th, 2017 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 31


  1. 1
    Dan Petit/Petit Technical College

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (7:13 am)

    This will go a very long way to establish long distance and convenience feasibilities of BEV’s.

    Partial charges to simply facilitate the remaining miles to get home would extend the utility of each charge station in heavily scheduled places.

    Proportional billing for actual limited usage , like a gas pump, would also be desirable, as this was not an option with one of the charging stations I tried when we first got our Volt.
    The debit card was billed the full $9.75 for a typical 3.75 hours at L2, but I didn’t want to wait that long, nor did I need the full charge, of course, as I was just trying out the system.

    One thing that ought to be kept in mind when planning these charging station layouts:

    ********************************************************************************
    * Try to orient the driver’s side to be away from the sunlight when parked to reduce sun exposure. *
    ********************************************************************************


  2. 2
    bro1999

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (7:47 am)

    Anyone know what VW might charge for use of its charging network? They may have to spend the money to build the network, but they certainly don’t have to offer access for free.
    Perhaps there is something in the settlement that outlines this?

    Then again, I don’t think the people that crafted the settlement had it in mind for VW to be able to profit off a network it would need to build as a penalty for the dieselgate scandal.


  3. 3
    Frankizoid

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (7:50 am)

    The beginning of the END!


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    Frankizoid

     

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (7:52 am)

    bro1999,

    I suspect that they won’t even be able to put their LOGO at these sites, but good question, who will end up getting paid for when they are used?


  5. 5
    Kdawg

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (8:24 am)

    50 to 100 stations active by the end of this year? Seems ambitious. I’d like to know when I would see one in the Michigan area.. if ever.

    California is strongly encouraging VW to add hydrogen fueling investments in later years.

    Why?…. why?

    In order to promote public awareness of electric vehicles, VW plans to spend about $20 million of its California budget and a further $25 million or so from its non-California national budget. About half of that spending would go towards television ads beginning this fall.

    It seems like if any state is well aware of EVs, it’s California. This money would be better spent on states that currently have low EV adoption rates.


  6. 6
    Schmeltz

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (8:28 am)

    I don’t know about this. It seems VW is putting the cart before the horse. They hardly offer any vehicles in their lineup to charge at these places. Every other week they have a concept vehicle, but they don’t produce any of them. They’re always 3 years away, (they say).

    Tesla has a good thing going now in my opinion. Why not shake hands with them, and throw money into broadening the Tesla charging network using the Tesla standard, and pay Tesla a royalty to use their network? It’s a win-win. It gives Tesla working capital, greatly expands the Tesla charging network, and at the same time it gives other manufacturers like VW or whoever a place to charge their cars, and no R&D on VW’s behalf.


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    MotoBCT

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (8:39 am)

    bro1999,

    I believe the agreement was they had to provide the infrastructure but it is not owned by VW.

    Electrify America will establish the contracts for the electrical services

    https://www.electrifyamerica.com/our-plan


  8. 8
    Kdawg

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (8:50 am)

    Schmeltz,

    It’s a punishment. It’s not meant to be what’s best for VW, but what’s best for fuel efficiency in the US. I’d rather the money go to CCS (and Chademo) because it covers more vehicles than just proprietary Tesla. Tesla has adapters if needed. VW has already signed onto CCS. I don’t see them wanting to change over to Tesla now. That would require engineering, and how would that affect their cars in Europe which use CCS?


  9. 9
    bro1999

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (9:16 am)

    Kdawg:
    Schmeltz,

    It’s a punishment.It’s not meant to be what’s best for VW, but what’s best for fuel efficiency in the US.I’d rather the money go to CCS (and Chademo) because it covers more vehicles than just proprietary Tesla.Tesla has adapters if needed.VW has already signed onto CCS.I don’t see them wanting to change over to Tesla now.That would require engineering, and how would that affect their cars in Europe which use CCS?

    One of the stipulations was that any charging network can’t be proprietary (so VW couldn’t make a VW-only network).

    Has to be built using one of the existing standards (likely CCS since VW vehicles are outfitted with CCS ports). Probably will include CHAdeMO too though.


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    Dave

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (9:27 am)

    Dan Petit/Petit Technical College,

    I have no idea of the basis for this, but in many cases the reason that charging stations don’t charge by the kWh is that state regulations don’t allow it.


  11. 11
    Mark Z

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (9:44 am)

    More charging locations will help as more buyers choose plug-in vehicles.

    Charging the BEV each night at home has worked well. Soon, Tesla will be examining the house to discuss Powerwall options. Maybe the A/C this summer will run on Tesla power during “Power Save Days”. One thing for sure, Tesla, the city planning department and the electricians will be involved with the details of the installation.


  12. 12
    George S. Bower

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (10:09 am)

    sounds good in Ca. but not sure about the rest of the country.

    At least they understand the importance of short charging times (high power).

    Kdawg:
    Schmeltz,

    Tesla has adapters if needed.VW has already signed onto CCS.I don’t see them wanting to change over to Tesla now.That would require engineering, and how would that affect their cars in Europe which use CCS?

    With all the Model 3’s coming , these new VW stations will be welcome. I’m sure Tesla will have an appropriate adapter ..either chademo or CCS.

    Looking forward, I hope Tesla ups the charging speeds on the model 3 compared to S and X. Just the fact that the 3 will get better mi/kwh means it will charge faster on existing chargers but I’m hoping Tesla has changed the cells in M3 to allow higher C rate charging also.

    With my model S, charging is still slow even at a supercharger. If I pull into a SC with 100 miles in the tank I can only pull 4 miles/minute charging rate so 80 miles of range is still 20 minutes which is a long time.

    To fill the time one usually gets something fattening to eat like an ice cream cone or a hamburger.

    I heard a rumor that MarkZ has gained 30 pounds:)


  13. 13
    George S. Bower

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (10:17 am)

    Mark Z:
    Tesla will be examining the house to discuss Powerwall options.

    All right MarkZ.!! Way to go. Thank goodness for consumers like you willing to spend huge quantities supporting Tesla.


  14. 14
    Mark Z

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (10:20 am)

    George S. Bower: I heard a rumor that MarkZ has gained 30 pounds:)

    That is Fake News! Weight at about 190 hasn’t changed much for years.


  15. 15
    DonC

     

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (11:03 am)

    This is excellent news. With the Bolt EV, the new Leaf, and the Model 3, along with other longer distance BEVs appearing on the market, there is a chance that there will be enough BEVs to support the DC charging network. Would have to be CCS — that is the standard VW signed on for and it’s the US standard — but no doubt at least some will be CHAdeMO. Dual charging stations aren’t expensive but I’m not sure CHAdeMO currently supports charging rates as high as CCS.

    As far as paying is concerned, very few things in life are free, and fuel is certainly not one of them. You pay one way or another. With Tesla it’s a high price for the car and long waits in some places. A system where you always had to pay would be much more efficient and would avoid long lines.

    Kdawg: Why?…. why?

    Because it’s California. But don’t be too critical. Without CARB VW would likely still be cheating and there wouldn’t be any infrastructure settlement.

    Kdawg: It’s a punishment.

    More retribution. It illegally emitted. Now it pays to reduce emissions. Punishment would just be the fine and maybe some jail time for some.

    MotoBCT: Electrify America will establish the contracts for the electrical services

    Thanks for this piece of information.


  16. 16
    Jeff N

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (11:24 am)

    MotoBCT:
    bro1999,

    I believe the agreement was they had to provide the infrastructure but it is not owned by VW.

    Electrify America will establish the contracts for the electrical services.

    My understanding is that VW, through its Electrify America subsidiary, will directly plan, build, and manage the new charging stations and will own the resulting facilities and can operate them for profit.

    Given that they are rolling out new EVs to compete with Tesla, VW needs a competitive Supercharger-like network. They say in the plan that they are trying to use settlement money to pay for utility demand charges which can make up a substantial part of electricity charges for high power DC charging. I’m not certain they will be allowed to do that under the settlement rules. In any case, customers must pay for the ordinary cost of electricity. Settlement money is also being used for maintenance, network management, and other costs so I expect VW to set reasonable prices for people charging their cars. And, of course, most people with 200+ mile EVs in the future will be charging at home for the large majority of their overall charging and would primarily use VW/EA sites during long-distance driving.


  17. 17
    tomjacques@charter.net

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (11:35 am)

    I hope VW learns from Tesla’s mistake in charger placement (locations) far too often a Tesla SC is co-located with businesses like hotels, mall’s etc where everyday patron’s can and do park their ICE vehicles in the stalls.

    Hate to say it but partnering with existing “gas stations” seems like a better approach, they have ALL the amenities travel folks want and I doubt the charging stalls would be used for “parking”.

    Just my opinion.


  18. 18
    Jackson

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (12:10 pm)

    Kdawg: It seems like if any state is well aware of EVs, it’s California. This money would be better spent on states that currently have low EV adoption rates.

    AMEN! Pass the plate, that’s a sermon. [ +1 ]


  19. 19
    HVACman

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (12:16 pm)

    Kdawg:

    Why?…. why?

    Why? Per long-time California investigative reporter Thomas Elias, corruption seems likely:

    “It’s at least partly the result of those past decisions by the Energy Commission, whose members serve at the pleasure of Gov. Jerry Brown. In 2012 and previously, for example, the commission would give hydrogen highway grants only to companies approved by at least one of the eight automakers due to build hydrogen cars. Those grants went mostly to large international industrial gas companies like Linde Group LLC and Air Products & Chemicals Inc.

    Until this column exposed that rule, the commission had billion-dollar companies (many of them foreign) decide which other billion-dollar companies would receive tens of millions of tax dollars. This system operated under both Brown and ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    After the rule was exposed, the commission pulled back $28 million in 2012 grants, delaying them about six months while it developed new rules. This might be one reason Air Products, recipient of $14.2 million for 10 stations, had only three open as 2016 began.”

    http://www.dailynews.com/opinion/20160125/bad-energy-commission-choices-haunt-hydrogen-highway-thomas-elias


  20. 20
    MotoBCT

     

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (1:05 pm)

    <a href="mailto:tomjacques@charter.net">tomjacques@charter.net</a>:
    Hate to say it but partnering with existing “gas stations” seems like a better approach, they have ALL the amenities travel folks want and I doubt the charging stalls would be used for “parking”.

    Just my opinion.

    I’m trying to figure out why a gasoline station would want to partner with an EV charging provider. Space on the property would be taken up with a low margin activity where customers sit there for over an hour in most cases while petrol customer flow-through can incur in minutes.


  21. 21
    Nelson

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (1:42 pm)

    George S. Bower: To fill the time one usually gets something fattening to eat like an ice cream cone or a hamburger.
    I heard a rumor that MarkZ has gained 30 pounds:)

    You could drive around with a 16OZ bottle of water and drink it an hour before you’ll need to pull into a Supercharging station. Then you can spend the 20 min. looking for a place to relieve yourself. 🙂

    NPNS! SBF!
    Volt#671


  22. 22
    Mark Z

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (2:35 pm)

    Nelson,

    My favorite stops are at Starbucks. The wait to order, enjoying a beverage and a quick rest stop are completed as the vehicle ends charging. For healthier Supercharging, Tesla features hotel locations. A long walk is required to reach a dining location.

    Owning a windshield washer squeegee is recommended along with extra water for cleaning windows. The long handled squeegee also helps move wash mitts and microfiber drying towels across unreachable roof areas of larger EVs like Model X.


  23. 23
    MnVikes

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (3:05 pm)

    Hopefully the cost of charging is slightly higher than home charging rates. There are too many cheapskates who would clog up charging spots. If the majority of charging is just for longer trips, everyone benefits and not nearly as many charging spots are needed.


  24. 24
    DonC

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (6:43 pm)

    MnVikes:
    Hopefully the cost of charging is slightly higher than home charging rates.There are too many cheapskates who would clog up charging spots.If the majority of charging is just for longer trips, everyone benefits and not nearly as many charging spots are needed.

    This is a good point which people often miss. Since there is no way to provide enough of a free good or service, charges make everything work. Above home charging rates would be a good idea. However, it’s hard to know what that rate is. Because of solar and a huge differential between peak and super off peak rates, my home charging rate is pretty close to zero. Others with unusual demand for electricity some find it close to $.30/kWh or more under some rate plans.


  25. 25
    DonC

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (6:47 pm)

    <a href="mailto:tomjacques@charter.net">tomjacques@charter.net</a>: I hope VW learns from Tesla’s mistake in charger placement (locations) far too often a Tesla SC is co-located with businesses like hotels, mall’s etc where everyday patron’s can and do park their ICE vehicles in the stalls.

    Having sat in the middle of a hot parking lot with absolutely nothing to do while I waited for the car to charge, as long as DC charging will take a significant amount of time, I understand the need to locate the chargers near amenities. I don’t think we can fault Tesla on this score.


  26. 26
    George S. Bower

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    Mar 17th, 2017 (9:09 pm)

    DonC: Having sat in the middle of a hot parking lot with absolutely nothing to do while I waited for the car to charge, as long as DC charging will take a significant amount of time, I understand the need to locate the chargers near amenities. I don’t think we can fault Tesla on this score.

    Hey DonC,

    ATesla supercharging trip is like a trip on a Fred Harvey train trip in the old days.

    There’s a great book:
    “Appetite for America” about the hay day of train travel that I think you would enjoy. google the title.

    The point being , in many cases the Tesla SC is located next to a nice hotel and restaurant. What little Ive seen of the system has been enjoyable. You park at the SC and check into your room and just walk to dinner.

    The only thing is you can’t be in a hurry. It’s like a motorcycle trip. ….you need to use 50 MPH as your average speed for a days drive. …that’s 8 hrs on the road for 400 miles.

    I don’t have a problem with that.


  27. 27
    Dan Petit/PetitTechnical College

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    Mar 18th, 2017 (7:48 am)

    Going on a long trip, or topping up a charge to complete the destination or waypoint or to get home, most people don’t want to go into a business for long or at more than incidental cost.

    This is why I posted a suggestion to orient the parking such that the driver’s side is away from the sunlight.
    This is especially important in Winter when a cold front had just passed through, and the sky is blue.
    What happens is that since the atmosphere is cold, it is also shallower than when warm. Warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor.

    (BTW, ENVIROFLASH UV daily reporting formulas don’t adequately factor atmospheric depth into daily UV exposure forecasting by zip code, and need updating to reflect reduced atmospheric depth especially on the second day after cold frontal passage.). We add 3 or 4 index numbers at least to the emailed report numbers.)

    The combination of both of these conditions being absent allows for FAR more Ultraviolet “A” and Ultraviolet “B” exposure to the driver and the more utilized driver’s seat upholstery (to become UV degraded.)

    These facts were proven in our study of UV rejecting Window Tint (“Llumar”) which was applied into our 2005 Element (high windows allowed maximum exposures), and was even legally allowed to be placed inside the front windshield.
    The small lower corner for the registration sticker was left bare.

    On high UV “A” and UV “B” days, you could very easily see the harshness of the light purple contrast framing the sticker. (A bit scary actually when you know what the UV is doing to your left side of your face and arm.)

    When it was time to trade it in, the entire front upholstery had remained perfectly NEW in appearance after 5 years.

    So even though there was the “Llumar UV rejecting” film, it was not also “High Heat Rejecting” as well. Therefore, if you want people to use your charging station who want to do a little web work while sitting there, then don’t orient the parking in such a way that they will be UV or heat irradiated.

    It would also be very important if customers were allowed to use their HVAC, which the station I tested last May did NOT allow the use of the air conditioning (presumably since it would have taken more than 3.75 hours to complete the charging, of course).

    We post here last for the weekends so that all the extremely important posts of others can be magnified as focal points of our various concluded research studies that we combine together only *here*.

    So these are some considerations that we have compiled for VW and others over the last 12 years in expectations of these *very days* of designing for Electrified Vehicular Charging.


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    cyaopec

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    Mar 18th, 2017 (9:37 am)

    This is good news. It may actually make the Bolt a viable car for California travel for those who are still unsure as to how robust the CCS network is as it currently stands.


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    LLninja

     

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    Mar 19th, 2017 (9:15 am)

    So are there any of you who might boycott buying a VW or using one of these charging locations with another vehicle to punish VW? I guess if the charging was free, then non VW vehicles could be considered punishing VW.

    I’m in the camp that Cali has their fair share of EVSEs why plow $200m in Cali and only $300m in the rest of the nation. They should be putting in both level 2 and DCFC in all the underserved areas, not the overserved ones. Or at least level it out and take the $500M and spread it evenly to $10M per state.


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    cyaopec

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    Mar 19th, 2017 (9:22 am)

    You’re wrong. CA dominates EV purchases. So it makes sense that most of the stations go here. You don’t realize that 2-2.5 hour drives between Santa Barbara down to San Diego and out to Palm Springs are the norm here. It’s not even a “day trip”. It’s normal driving. Texas, CA and states like Montana, Wyoming, etc had a driving ranger that we consider “normal” that would boggle the mind of most other Americans.


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Eco_Turbo
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    Mar 19th, 2017 (7:46 pm)

    I remember once driving on I-10 east from El Paso, TX going to the Cattleman’s Steakhouse, when I saw a sign that said San Antonio 524 miles. I asked the local with me why would anyone want to know how far it is to a city so far away. He said because that is the next large city on I-10