GRA wrote:If companies and governments wish to subsidize it in the early stages of deployment, okay, but that inevitably means roll out will be very slow, as is the case with Tesla's SCs and public charging deployment. Gas stations proliferated rapidly because lots of people were willing to build and operate them as a business, as they were profitable.
Tesla's Supercharger network was deployed within about four years across much of the planet to the point that Tesla cars can drive freely over virtually all of the U.S. and also in many other countries.
So, when you say that "roll out will be very slow, as is the case with Tesla's SCs" and when you say "Gas stations proliferated rapidly", we can only conclude that you have a very, very different pair of definitions for the words "slow" and "rapidly" than the rest of the English-speaking world. Do you really read so much history just so that you can distort the facts of history? Let's hope not.
In fact, when compared with the proliferation gas stations in the U.S., Tesla's Superchargers were deployed very rapidly.
Ah, crap, I'd written a long reply, and it's disappeared. Well, a shorter second try:
I do have a different definition, as I look at whether or not I can repeat trips I've previously taken in ICEs in BEVs (Tesla or otherwise). Almost six (not four) years after the first SC was deployed, for off-interstate trips I still can't repeat most of them using SCs and in many cases can't do them at all. I'd given a long list of these trips, but here's just one: From the Bay Area, drive I-80 to Fernley, NV (can do), then across Nevada and Utah on U.S. 50 to I-70 (can't do), then turn off I-70 and visit Canyonlands N.P. (multiple overnight, no charging) and Natural Bridges N.M. (SCs at Moab and Blanding make those possible, albeit may require some care). From Natural Bridges, drive via S.R. 95/24/12 to/through Capitol Reef N.P.to Bryce N.P. and overnight there (can't do, no charging), then drive/to/through Zion via U.S. 89/S.R. 9 (overnight in Zion, limited dest. charging, but can't reach as above); then back to I-70 and return to Bay Area (can do if I can reach St. George, UT). As I'm normally driving to and parking at trailheads that lack electricity, destination charging is almost never an option, nor do I have any desire to re-route myself to or be forced to stay overnight at many locations that do have destination charging. Now, I could make that trip easily at any time in the past 80+ years (i.e. once the roads were built) in the least-expensive ICE I could buy, but still can't in any BEV.
I'd posted elsewhere the deployment numbers for gas stations in the U.S. from "The Gas Station in America", and repeat that here:
Here's the total # of U.S. stations from 1920 to 1990 (remember that the first U.S. gas station only opened in 1913, and the major boom in the U.S. car fleet came after WW1):
1969 236,000 approx.
Owing to SUVs and incredibly cheap gas, the number of stations then started to climb again, peaking in the first decade of this century around 165 or 170 thousand before rapidly decreasing again to the current total, as prices rose and people switched to more fuel efficient cars and drove less.
So, from zero to 15,000 in just 7 years, with a small but rapidly growing car fleet.
So, 7 years to 15,000, versus 5.75 years to 491 SCs (per supercharge.info today), and that's obviously just the U.S. "Gas-station" as defined above was the first purpose-built one, as opposed to gas sold in livery stables, general stores and the like. The latter are more akin to home charging for local use, as they were primarily for rich urban users who could afford luxury items like cars in small numbers. Obviously, the number of places gas was sold had to be greater, as most people couldn't make it at home (although the Model T was designed to run off farm-produced ethanol), but the fact was lots of companies were building stations and running them profitably without any subsidies, so the numbers exploded. Tesla is kind of building this local SC network now, to cover all the people who don't have home charging.
Even if we were to reduce the above number of gas stations by say 2/3rd to represent the "home charging" early period, the density and coverage of stations was much greater earlier, and that combined with the longer range of ICEs plus the ability to carry portable extra energy without adding substantial weight and bulk meant you could go far more places in the U.S. at a similar stage of ICE development.
If individual auto manufacturers have to fund their own networks and operate them non-profit, as Tesla claims it is doing, do you see any such rapid growth in QCs as was the case with the gas stations above? Is there any doubt that the growth of public charging would expand similar to the above if it were profitable, and lots of individual companies (rather than the auto manufacturer) were involved and financing it?