GRA
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Re: Vancouver to set fees for Electric car charging

Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:51 pm

Randy wrote:GRA,
If we assume that Blink's 49 cent per kWh price is about 35 cents per kWh above many people's price to charge in their garage, do you think you can run a nationwide charging business on that margin and make money?

Considering employee wages, network payments, electric bills, host payments, insurance, maintenance, call center, credit card fees, etc?

I don't think it is a business that can be profitable at this time, therefore I don't consider 49 cent per kWh retail electricity pricing to be a "rip off" or "gouging"...It's just the cost for a convenient charge away from your garage.

Just like you can buy a coke for less at the store to drink at home, but at the movies or at a sporting event it costs a lot more because of many of the same factors to run a business...

I wish more EV drivers would recognize that. Public charging can't be free or even low cost long-term if you want a business to stick around and offer it...

I've said many times that I don't believe there's a viable business model for public for-profit L1/2 charging, unless the utilities do it and cut out the middleman (and maybe not even then). Only the truly desperate will pay $0.49 kWh from the wall ($0.54 - $0.58 to the battery) for L2, when gas is far cheaper. I think the only hope for profitability is where they are used for demand response, to soak up excess wind/solar. Much the same is true with for-profit QCs, but there's a bit more room there. I see public L1/L2 as a loss leader (i.e. marketing, like free or validated parking) at businesses, but where L1/2 is essential are places like multi-family dwellings, at work (see demand response) or tourist overnight destinations.
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.

SageBrush
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Re: Vancouver to set fees for Electric car charging

Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:40 pm

DaveinOlyWA wrote:
SageBrush wrote:I read parts of the source document
http://council.vancouver.ca/20170627/documents/rr1d.pdf

If I read correctly, the proposed fees are
L2: $2 per hour plus any applicable parking fees
DCFC: $16 per hour plus any applicable parking fees

The crazy cost is 91 cents for each credit card transaction. That is not money to the city; it goes to financial services vendor(s).


that is a huge difference from $16 plus kwh rates!

Yep. The media reported that the per mile cost would ~ 50% of ICE so I figured there had to be a misunderstanding by OP and took the time to track down the source.
2013 Model 'S' with QC & rear-view camera
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Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado

SageBrush
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Re: Vancouver to set fees for Electric car charging

Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:45 pm

GRA wrote:I've said many times that I don't believe there's a viable business model for public for-profit L1/2 charging

Vancouver disagrees with you -- read the city council report.
They estimate the investment is paid off after 1.25 years using $2/hour rates
I personally think their estimated occupancy is way optimistic, but even an error or 300% puts them in enviable territory.
2013 Model 'S' with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California with 63.9 Ahr after 22k miles
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado

GRA
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Re: Vancouver to set fees for Electric car charging

Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:12 pm

SageBrush wrote:
GRA wrote:I've said many times that I don't believe there's a viable business model for public for-profit L1/2 charging

Vancouver disagrees with you -- read the city council report.
They estimate the investment is paid off after 1.25 years using $2/hour rates
I personally think their estimated occupancy is way optimistic, but even an error or 300% puts them in enviable territory.

If the fees are high enough to be profitable, then very few people will use them, and if they're low enough to get lots of use, they lose money. To date, I don't know of a single for-profit charging company which has to pay a utility for the electricity that's profitable. Chargepoint makes money, but then they aren't responsible for electricity or anything other than the equipment and billing.

I'm happy that Vancouver thinks they can succeed where businesses have failed, but let's just say I'm skeptical. I'm reminded of the old joke about how to become a millionaire - start as a billionaire and buy an airline. OTOH, Vancouver's going from free to fee, so at least they'll reduce how much they're losing.

My closest Blink L2s were put in at the behest of my city government in a city-owned public parking garage right downtown, with all the inside wiring run externally in wall/roof-mounted conduit, and just a few feet of trenching required to bring the power inside from the transformer so costs were relatively low, yet they see minimal usage @ $0.49/kWh member/$0.59/kWh non-member. Vancouver's talking about curbside chargers, with all the extra costs associated with that.

The ($0.59 kWh member/$0.69 kWh non-member) co-located Blink CHAdeMO QC gets a bit more use than the L2s because you're not stuck there for hours, but even with gas at $3.20 gallon, as some nearby stations are, it's still cheaper per mile than the L2s unless you're driving a car that gets 23.5 mpg or worse, and anyone who's concerned about fuel costs will be driving a more fuel-efficient car and/or filling up at a less expensive station. The station I normally use is currently $2.76/gal, or $0.46/gal. cheaper than the stations closest to the L2s/QC.
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.

DaveinOlyWA
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Re: Vancouver to set fees for Electric car charging

Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:27 pm

The reality is the only company that can make money on public charging services is the electric company. They could easily bill 10X their power cost and undercut any competition. Seattle City Light among others are looking into it. Pretty sure they can swing pretty good infrastructure improvement deals...with themselves.
2011 SL; 44,598 miles. 2013 S; 44,840 miles.2016 S30 (build 10/2016)"low water marks" 26,100.2 miles.363GID Ahr 79.55Hx95.35%kwh28.1QCs227,L2's 237
My Blog; http://daveinolywa.blogspot.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

SageBrush
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Re: Vancouver to set fees for Electric car charging

Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:19 pm

@GRA said "To date, I don't know of a single for-profit charging company which has to pay a utility for the electricity that's profitable."

Sure, but take note of the differences:
1. These L2 spots are hosted by the city and have built-in discounts to the owner.
2. Vancouver differs greatly from the US cities you may be thinking of. Not only do they have a much higher EV penetration rate, they have a relatively large Apt dwelling population that drive EVs.
3. Their $2/hour CAD is a good deal compared to driving an ICE, even if no home charging is available. Petrol in BC costs ~ $1 a liter. It would take a 20 km/liter ICE to match the price.
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Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California with 63.9 Ahr after 22k miles
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GRA
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Re: Vancouver to set fees for Electric car charging

Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:04 pm

SageBrush wrote:@GRA said "To date, I don't know of a single for-profit charging company which has to pay a utility for the electricity that's profitable."

Sure, but take note of the differences:
1. These L2 spots are hosted by the city and have built-in discounts to the owner.

As do my local ones which I described.

SageBrush wrote:2. Vancouver differs greatly from the US cities you may be thinking of. Not only do they have a much higher EV penetration rate, they have a relatively large Apt dwelling population that drive EVs.

I live in the S.F. Bay Area, which has the largest % of PEVs of any urban area in the country and the second largest total. Apartments dwellers are certainly problematic for PEVs, but the answer there is primarily EVSEs in semi-private parking lots/garages at home/work, as it's much cheaper than curbside charging, and you can guarantee people will have a place to charge, which isn't the case with public EVSEs open to anyone.

SageBrush wrote:3. Their $2/hour CAD is a good deal compared to driving an ICE, even if no home charging is available. Petrol in BC costs ~ $1 a liter. It would take a 20 km/liter ICE to match the price.
Yes, it's cheaper, thanks to unprofitable pricing. $1 Can/l equals about U.S. $0.77/l, or U.S. $2.91/U.S. gal. The paper claims that the fees will equate to $0.46 to $0.50 Canadian/l for gas. OTOH, they also give themselves this out:
It is not presently known how sensitive EV drivers will be to user fees. As more market
data is obtained and as the number of EVs on the road increases, it is expected that
user fees will be adjusted and that positive ROIs will be achievable during the useful
lifetime of the infrastructure.

We've had 6 years of experience, and I can tell you that it's well known how sensitive EV drivers are to user fees here, as my local example showed - after all, I believe it was Tony Williams who summarized this as people "just taking the Prius". Further, they describe the order of priority attached to various goals:
The user fee program for City owned and operated EV charging stations will be guided by the
following principles, in order of importance:
1. Turnover
2. Ease of Understanding
3. Encourage home use, lowest power use infrastructure
4. Return on investment on infrastructure
5. Public perception of fairness
6. Inexpensive compared to fossil fuels (maintain attractiveness of EVs over ICEs)

As long as Vancouver is willing to subsidize charging by keeping the rates low enough that gas isn't a better deal (but they lose money), they'll be fine. But that has nothing to do with widespread availability of EVSEs everywhere they'll be needed to enable mass market adoption, which is only likely to occur if it can be made profitable (or else with mandates such as Vancouver and other AHJs have adopted requiring all new construction multi-family housing and businesses to have provision for such facilities built in, but that will take decades to have a significant impact).
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.

SageBrush
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Re: Vancouver to set fees for Electric car charging

Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:07 pm

@GRA
You are telling me what you think is ideal when I'm only pointing out that the public chargers in Vancouver has a captive audience.
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Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California with 63.9 Ahr after 22k miles
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GRA
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Re: Vancouver to set fees for Electric car charging

Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:19 pm

SageBrush wrote:@GRA
You are telling me what you think is ideal when I'm only pointing out that the public chargers in Vancouver has a captive audience.

No, I'm saying that while I'm in firm agreement that Vancouver should switch from providing free charging to making people pay for it, the odds of them doing so while pricing it profitably are minimal. After all, if it were possible to make public charging profitable there would be no need for governments to provide it, but we have 6.5 years of proof showing that it isn't, so barring some major technological breakthrough (like what? it's not as if most of the cost drivers aren't mature), we're not going to see it. Governments exist to do things which for-profit firms either can't or won't do. Of course, Vancouverites could decide that public charging is a public good and tax themselves to fund it even though it operates at a loss, as is the case with public transit.
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.

alozzy
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Re: Vancouver to set fees for Electric car charging

Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:02 pm

The general public seems ignorant of the fact that government subsidies for ICE cars, to cover the hidden environmental and health costs associated with burning fossil fuels, make EVs look comparatively expensive. If EVs were as heavily subsidized as ICE cars (via incentives and infrastructure), then EVs would, without a doubt, be much cheaper than ICE equivalents.

This article discusses the cost implications if consumers had to foot the bill for the true cost of a gallon of gasoline:

https://thinkprogress.org/heres-what-ga ... ed088e8f38

... accounting for the social costs of burning gasoline would add an average of $3.80 per gallon to the pump price, raising the price to $6.27 ...


So, if the price of gas at the pump was $6.27 per gallon, there would be a landslide of consumers switching to EVs. Thanks to oil industry lobbyists though, transparency with respect to the true operating costs of an ICE vs EV will never trickle down to the consumer because governments worldwide are complicit.
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