GRA
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Chargeway: the best electric-car idea you've never heard of

Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:25 pm

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/111 ... r-heard-of

Pretty much everyone knows how to put fuel into a conventional car . . . Electric-car charging isn't quite that simple.

There are three types of charging, for starters: 120-volt Level 1, 240-Volt Level 2, and no fewer than three separate DC fast-charging standards. There are several different plugs, and the same car can charge at different rates depending on the charging station and the network operator—except those rates aren't visible.

And versus the usual array of 87, 89, and 93 octane, consider the names: J-1772, CHAdeMO, Combined Charging Standard (CCS) or "SAE Combo," and Supercharger.

As Matt Teske's wife pointed out, "The plugs look like like Star Wars characters, and the names do too." Teske is a marketer in the Portland area who's worked on various automotive projects for more than a decade and bought his first electric car a few years ago.

The challenge of explaining electric-car charging to novices has nagged at him ever since. Earlier this year, in true activist fashion, he sat down and started sketching. What was needed, he thought, was a simple, uniform graphic way to explain which plug-in electric vehicles could use what kinds of charging—and the speed of that charging. The result is a simple system of color-coded circles for charging standards, with a single number inside to indicate how fast the charging is. The higher the number, the faster the charge. The system is future-proofed and global: new charging methods like wireless can be added with a new color, and China and Europe get a mix of the same colors and numbers with some new, locally appropriate ones added. . . .

An excellent idea, and long overdue. I've spent plenty of time at my local chargers and elsewhere explaining to anxious newbies (not to mention dealer salespeople) the different standards, which ones they can or can't use, and the speeds, and it's simply ridiculous. As PEVs move closer to mainstream acceptance, serious simplification will be needed, or the general public will just throw up their hands and not bother. The only quibble I have is the use of colors alone to differentiate the various types; I'd add shapes (circle, square, triangle, pentagon etc.) to cater for the color-blind.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

2k1Toaster
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Re: Chargeway: the best electric-car idea you've never heard of

Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:52 pm

I am completely against the premise. We need to stop making everything so stupid that Bubba "can understand" without putting any knowledge or thought into it.

Fueling is also quite complicated, moreso than electric. EV's have a single or a couple plugs at most (L1/L2 + L3). Then there are literally a hand-full of EVSE's/DCQC plug standards. The electrons that go in are universal, you are just changing the funnel. In the petrol world you have lots of different types.

E10, E15, E85, E100? Do these same idiots even know there is Ethanol in their "gas" let alone what the "E" even stands for? What about the octane level? Around here we get 81, 83, 85, 87, 91, and 93 at most stations plus diesel. Some stations have various high-E gas like E85, but are really pretty rare in these parts where we don't grow anything... Well not that you can't smoke that is... When I go to my place in Ontario I get 87, 89, 91, 94, and 94-U... What about the stations that still sell E0 and then all the different flavours of diesel or even kerosene that is used in vehicles around the world?

Does the current petrol driving public have any idea what these numbers even are? They either choose the cheapest one available (sometimes forcing in diesel back in the day, or still today sometimes putting in E85/E100) or the most expensive because the car manual says use premium. If I fill up with 81 and drive down to lower elevation, the car is NOT going to be happy. But I am free to do it and I don't think most people would even know.

So why do we have to idiot-proof a plug? If the plug fits, it charges and that should be the level of knowledge a person needs. Eventually the standards will converge. I liken it to cell phones. Remember in the 90's when every cell phone had a different power adapter and size/shape connector? If you lost the power adapter you were SCREWED. Your super expensive Nokia brick just became a brick. Now every modern cell phone uses a USB connector, with things shifting from micro-B to USB-C. There is one obvious gorilla sized exception and they're not going to change unless they're forced to. That sounds exactly like the EV market now. Everyone has freedom to choose their own standard and they don't play nice except in places that regulate what charger needs to be used.
2013 Nissan Leaf SV with every option
2013 Prius C Package 4
2012 Lexus RX450h
2006 Prius Gen II, pIV
2005 Honda Civic Hybrid
2001 Honda Civic EX
1997 Honda Prelude SH
1981 DeLorean DMC12
and more...

GRA
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Re: Chargeway: the best electric-car idea you've never heard of

Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:56 pm

2k1Toaster wrote:I am completely against the premise. We need to stop making everything so stupid that Bubba "can understand" without putting any knowledge or thought into it.

Fueling is also quite complicated, moreso than electric. EV's have a single or a couple plugs at most (L1/L2 + L3). Then there are literally a hand-full of EVSE's/DCQC plug standards. The electrons that go in are universal, you are just changing the funnel. In the petrol world you have lots of different types. <snip details>

Your gas choices seem a lot more complicated that what we have here. It's 87/89/91, or diesel. A few places have E-85 for those that want it, but the average person neither knows or cares whether they've got E-0 or E-10. Except for diesel, they all use the exact same connector, and your engine isn't going to die if you mistakenly put 87 in instead of 91, you'll just have less power; an error the other way just hurts your wallet.

2k1Toaster wrote:So why do we have to idiot-proof a plug? If the plug fits, it charges and that should be the level of knowledge a person needs.

The problem is that given the lack of standardization, you have to know in advance just what type of charging/connectors are available at the site and understand the differences, as there may not be another site within range if you get it wrong, a very different situation from ubiquitous liquid fuels. If we ever want the general public to adopt PEVs, charging needs to be as simple and brainless a process as possible, because most people aren't going to want to take the time to learn. Why should they have to?

2k1Toaster wrote:Eventually the standards will converge. I liken it to cell phones. Remember in the 90's when every cell phone had a different power adapter and size/shape connector? If you lost the power adapter you were SCREWED. Your super expensive Nokia brick just became a brick. Now every modern cell phone uses a USB connector, with things shifting from micro-B to USB-C. There is one obvious gorilla sized exception and they're not going to change unless they're forced to. That sounds exactly like the EV market now. Everyone has freedom to choose their own standard and they don't play nice except in places that regulate what charger needs to be used.

I agree that standards will eventually converge, although what I think we'll see happen first is regional standardization. Probably CCS/Type 2 Menneke's in Europe and CCS/J1772 in the Americas and Oz, GB/T in China and mainland Asia (not sure which way the Middle East will go), CHAdeMO (maybe) in Japan, Korea and a few other places*, and non-standards like Tesla's wherever a company is willing to pay for it - I expect that to be never, as the networks of the major standards will continue to grow, making adding a new one silly. I expect Tesla will eventually convert their SCs over to whatever the regional standard is.


* I believe CHAdeMO will probably go away first, as there's no major technical advantage for either it or CCS, it's used by a more limited number of manufacturers, and it's more expensive and takes up more real estate (on the car) than CCS.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

wmcbrine
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:23 am
Location: Maryland

Re: Chargeway: the best electric-car idea you've never heard of

Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:42 pm

2k1Toaster wrote:I am completely against the premise. We need to stop making everything so stupid that Bubba "can understand" without putting any knowledge or thought into it.

Why? How would this negatively impact you in any way?

rmay635703
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:43 pm

Re: Chargeway: the best electric-car idea you've never heard of

Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:43 pm

wmcbrine wrote:
2k1Toaster wrote:I am completely against the premise. We need to stop making everything so stupid that Bubba "can understand" without putting any knowledge or thought into it.

Why? How would this negatively impact you in any way?

As long as it doesn't drive cost or extra standards I'm fine with it.

Too bad L2 isn't expanded to the full 19KW and the higher 277 volt range

Sadly manufacturers don't utilize the max end of the L2 capabilities, which I think needs build out along with more stall side L1.

The more cars that use full rate L2 the more cost, reliability and size improvements there will be

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