Perth to Albany - thought experiment

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jonescg
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Perth to Albany - thought experiment

Post by jonescg »

Katherine and I had the pleasure of attending the Albany Sustainable Living Fair on the weekend. I was invited to give a short presentation on the Electric Highway, which has now evolved into the RAC Electric Highway. Despite the grey weather and very welcome rain, there was a pretty good turnout. Lots of interest in EVs down there, and the PV+EV combination is pretty compelling.

Now, my old '88 Honda CRX is still running on petrol. I still harbour plans to electrify it; one powerball kind of thing... It was driven 410 km along Albany Highway, and back again. My average speed was just shy of 100 km/h when I was on the road. Remarkably, it delivered 17 km/l owing in part to a fair tailwind. It returned about 15.5 km/l on the return trip, as the winds were more north westerly. Not bad for a loaded car with two adults (it is only a 2 seater).

On the way down, I did a little thought experiment. What if I was driving a Leaf? What if there were fast chargers located along the way? How long would it take?

Now, my car was pretty uncomfortable as it was a 36'C day and there's no air conditioning. So it felt good to stop in North Bannister (84 km) for a 20 minute leg stretch and an iced coffee. The fruit and veg seller was there, so we picked up some goodies for the trip.

We pushed on to Williams (another 66 km) where we stopped for 40 minutes to have lunch.

The next leg was to Kojonup (a further 96 km), where again the lack of aircon meant a cold drink and leg stretch was on order. I don't think we stopped any longer than 25 min, but the visitor centre is pretty cool. Had a great chat to the staff there who agreed a fast charger would be a great addition to the car park Image

We continued on to Mt. Barker (103 km), where a local cafe offered cold drinks and misting fans (in exchange for lemons - they were desperate for lemons!). Again, by the time we got out for a stretch, had something cool to drink and used the facilities, about 30 mins had elapsed. It's a slight downhill trip to Mt Barker too.

Finally the run down to Albany (51 km) was met with cool, humid air and the windows were lowered in celebration Image You drop about 300 m so it would have been quite an easy run in an EV.

All up we were travelling for about 6 hours and 15 minutes. If we had been able to fast charge in North Bannister, Williams, Kojonup and Mount Barker, our trip would have taken no longer than what a normal, dawdling couple in a 27 year old Honda would have taken.

Image

On the return trip, the weather was much nicer. We left Albany for Mt Barker (51 km) and had a pie at the bakery, which has a huge solar array on the roof. Apparently their power bill went from $7000 a quarter to just $1000 Image. Obviously their early morning baking was not benefiting from the PV array, but that's a huge saving. We were here for a good 35 mins or so.

After fuel and pies, we pushed all the way to Williams (212 km) where we stopped for a coffee and a browse of the nursery. Easily 45 minutes elapsed, as the longer stretch needs longer breaks.

The next leg was all the way to the Yule-Du roadhouse (124 km) where that coffee had finally caught up with me. We then rolled back to our home in the suburbs about 28 km further on.

This trip was much quicker, but included a 212 km leg which would call for a sizable battery for an EV - about 35-40 kWh worth, which is what I intend on fitting to the CRX. Alternatively that Powerball could have funded the purchase of a Tesla where I could have easily made the leg to Williams before stopping to charge.

So in conclusion, I figure some fast chargers along the Albany Highway would make for a pretty quick commute on electrons, even if you have to stop every hour. I was cruising at about 90 km/h for the most part of the return trip as we were behind a couple of caravans, and I really didn't feel like going any faster anyway. I also never felt like I was holding anyone up, nor did the cars behind ever feel like they couldn't get around me.

If it takes 6 hours in an ICE, and it would take 6 hours in an EV with a minor inconvenience of plugging in, I reckon this EV road tripping is a pretty good deal! Image
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Post by acmotor »

Agreed, nice thought experiment.
I dream of such infrastructure.

One Fly in the ointment though is what if someone else has plugged in just before you ? That changes the trip time.
What if the FC is faulty .... Seems that is a regular. The power side of things probably ok but the swipe card system is faulty. How do you plan to handle these issues ?

You did point out the obvious future though.... Just get a Tesla (or similar advanced EV) and the charging highway becomes redundant as the Tesla would do the trip with ease without a recharge enroute.

Being positive about charging highways, what would your estimate on usage be, given the number of FC equipped EVs in WA and the intention to make the trip ?
What would your estimate of life expectancy be for a charging highway given technology changes in EVS ?






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Post by mikedufty »

It was a 4 hour trip when I lived in Albany. Maybe a little more when my Subaru got to the point where I had to stop to fill the oil and check the petrol on the way. Easily done without a fuel stop in most cars. Would be nice to have charging stations, but I can see why the coastal run to Augusta has been selected first.
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Post by jonescg »

acmotor wrote: Agreed, nice thought experiment.
I dream of such infrastructure.

One Fly in the ointment though is what if someone else has plugged in just before you ? That changes the trip time.
True, you would have to wait. You could have a second charger if the demand was there. Or, while you waited you could be getting a 3-7 kW charge from an adjacent level 2 point, and swap vehicles once the first car was done.

We mustn't think of fast chargers like we think of fuel bowsers, as most of the local traffic would be fully charged from home. It's a bit different in places like Williams, as one day there may well be people who travel 50 km in to use it, but North Bannister is only a fuel/pee stop so it's unlikely anyone other than highway travellers will be using it. Large PV arrays will be backing up the chargers, as Western Power will have gone into receivership by then Image
acmotor wrote:What if the FC is faulty .... Seems that is a regular. The power side of things probably ok but the swipe card system is faulty. How do you plan to handle these issues ?


There is always this risk. With a bit of luck, basic resets can be done by the user, or by a locally trained person nearby. A quick phone call to head office will ensure that the charger is available if a card was faulty. And as the technology matures they will no doubt become as reliable as your phone.
acmotor wrote:You did point out the obvious future though.... Just get a Tesla (or similar advanced EV) and the charging highway becomes redundant as the Tesla would do the trip with ease without a recharge enroute.


So all those Superchargers and DC Fast chargers in Norway, EU and USA are left dangling in the breeze are they? They are very well used - and people still charge at home too. FCs mean you can leave home with a half charged battery and it's still OK. Catering to this level of comfort and convenience is the expectation, since that's what we currently do with our existing service station network. We'll have to pay for it too, but all convenience comes at a cost. There will always be a need for fast, convenient charging. However I can't see there being a need for more than two chargers per town, at least until demand increases tenfold.
acmotor wrote:Being positive about charging highways, what would your estimate on usage be, given the number of FC equipped EVs in WA and the intention to make the trip ?
What would your estimate of life expectancy be for a charging highway given technology changes in EVS ?


There are currently about 200 EVs in Western Australia, with half of them being production, fast charge capable machines. Based on growth in the EV sector, a thousand EVs in the state by 2020 is possibly a little conservative. I would imagine the Perth-Augusta route will be well used by leisurely EV road-trippers, and more commuter-oriented routes like the Albany Highway will have three or four stations, possibly 75 kW+ capable depending on demand.

As long as a Tesla S with it's humongous 85 kWh battery is priced well over $100k, there will always be a market for cars with smaller packs, and thus range. One fast charger extends the useful range of every EV who uses it, which is definitely cheaper than buying an extra 50 kWh of battery you'll rarely use. I reckon there will be a sweet spot at 30-40 kWh. Most people drive for 200 km before stopping for about half an hour anyway, which is enough time to get a useful charge in.

I can only see FC use increasing over time, not decreasing. Even as Teslas get more affordable, people will still use a charger if it's convenient, and if they need it. Having 10% of the vehicle fleet being electric would mean that one in ten cars on the highway at any given time will be electric. About half of these cars are on a journey that is longer than a single charge, so they will need an FC. Ten charges a day per station? Not out of the question.
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Post by acmotor »

I think we need to consider the almighty dollar when trying to extrapolate EV usage into the future.
I am considering here the future, not just our immediately perceived charging wishes.

We can all imagine and dream but the reality may be....

EV Charging, in those countries where there is more public EV charging, is freeeeeeeeee, this is the case in particular with the Tesla supercharging model. If not free, then definitely not recovering costs.
This is not a sustainable model for the future, despite us EV folk liking it.
We can not judge 'customer acceptance' if it is free.

EV charging will be a source of revenue to government and businesses in the future.
I shudder to think that home EV charging would probably be on governments list of things to make illegal unless the method of taxation for road funding etc changes.

Folk will simply want the advanced EVs that have range for their requirement / expectation and will not be prepared to pay $50 or much more for a public charge.

An estimate of a further 800 EVs in WA in the next 5 years, I feel, sadly, is just not going to happen with '100km' range EVs so the likely smaller pool will struggle to justify FC expenditure.

Tesla's 85kWh pack is not big, energy wise. Still way less than the true energy in a tank of petrol.
I would hope that 100kWh in a suitcase size is the near future for us. If you leave home without that charged then don't expect a free charge.

I really believe in EVs. I drive one. I still want FC highways, about three years ago.
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Post by Gabz »

tesla isn't free it's ~$3000 upfront cost.

USA it's not free.....
blink charge money

so does http://www.nrgevgo.com/ and chargepoint it depends on the site owner to select the price.

the UK is free on 1 network only. and Europe i can't read enough German or french to work it out.

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Post by Gabz »

jonescg wrote:
True, you would have to wait. You could have a second charger if the demand was there. Or, while you waited you could be getting a 3-7 kW charge from an adjacent level 2 point, and swap vehicles once the first car was done.


not sure why you've gone back to type 1 considering all the sites will have to have 3 phase onsite to support the fast chargers why not put in type 2 sockets like you already have in Perth.
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Post by jonescg »

Cause only Teslas could actually use them. No other production EV has a type-two connector...
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Post by jonescg »

acmotor wrote:
I really believe in EVs. I drive one. I still want FC highways, about three years ago.
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Careful Tuarn - you don't want to see a "Do not serve this customer" poster stuck to the side of the FC Image
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I guess I'm a bit skeptical about the requirement for it now. There are about 1 million households in Perth, and 55% have more than one car. I'd guess in most of those cases it is rare for both cars to be needed for a long trip at once, so there is an excellent market opportunity for about 550,000 more electric cars before any fast chargers are needed at all. At the moment the super highway is good for publicity and making people think about cars, but I think price is the major thing holding EVs back.

Once there are a few thousands of them around, the justification is there for charging stations to be useful, and get people thinking about changing the other car.
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Post by jonescg »

Pretty much my sentiments too, Mike.

Price is the biggest hurdle, followed by range. Range is easily solved at the expense of price. Price will go down with more sales, and more sales will happen when range is no longer a handicap...   Image

I guess the coastal route and the Albany Highway represent the majority of potential long distance EV trips in the state. The hardware should be operational for at least 15 years, and by then their use will have filled out. We do know there is a need for fast charging infrastructure - it's just a matter of being strategic with it.

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"If not free, then definitely not recovering costs." is worth pondering.

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jonescg wrote: Cause only Teslas could actually use them. No other production EV has a type-two connector...


so Renault and Mercedes are never coming to Australia.. might as well just put in 15amp power points based on the current production cars in Australia...
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Post by acmotor »

and 32A for i3 of course.
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Sadly no. Renault said they won't bring the ZE fleet to Australia until more favourable federal EV policy was implemented.

http://www.caradvice.com.au/242753/rena ... 0-pricing/

Which is pretty pissweak in my opinion, but that's the sum of it. If the Motor Vehicle Standards Act of 1989 was erased or substantially amended, we might be able to import cars from all over the world, left hand drive and all. Then we will need the type-two connectors.

32 amp capable J1772 will suffice for most slow charging.
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Gabz wrote:
jonescg wrote: Cause only Teslas could actually use them. No other production EV has a type-two connector...


so Renault and Mercedes are never coming to Australia.. might as well just put in 15amp power points based on the current production cars in Australia...
Yep - that would do me - and most DIYs. Use EVs around town first. The FC hype is marketing not a necessity IMO.
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jonescg wrote: Sadly no. Renault said they won't bring the ZE fleet to Australia until more favourable federal EV policy was implemented.

http://www.caradvice.com.au/242753/rena ... 0-pricing/

Which is pretty pissweak in my opinion, but that's the sum of it. If the Motor Vehicle Standards Act of 1989 was erased or substantially amended, we might be able to import cars from all over the world, left hand drive and all. Then we will need the type-two connectors.

32 amp capable J1772 will suffice for most slow charging.


Don't see how there is much logic in the decision the issue with a type 2 socket system is the cost to driver for the cable, but since perth already has a small network of type 2 socket evse most drivers have already covered this cost. also would of given multiple charging bays for 100% of cars now the fast charger will be used up by a Tesla waiting 3 hours to fully charge instead of just the level 2.

a type 2 socket is in line with what is already deployed and is more future proof. newer cars a trending towards larger on board chargers and australia will go more type 2 cars because the energy distributors will not allow more than 32amps single phase it'll cause too much phase imbalance.

I assumed that Thomas Bräunl would of made all these arguments already through http://theconversation.com/setting-the- ... norm-16277. and am surprised at the decision made.
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Just to be clear, the fast charger will have two bays allocated to it - in the event that a Fast AC car AND a Fast DC car are charging at the same time. The level 2 charger will be available as a third parking bay. It's use will not interfere with the operation of the fast charger. The decision to stick with type-one connectors for level 2 charging was based on the fact that all EVs being brought into Australia will use this standard.

Australia will choose a standard when the winner is victorious. So far, that's looking like J1772.
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jonescg wrote: Just to be clear, the fast charger will have two bays allocated to it - in the event that a Fast AC car AND a Fast DC car are charging at the same time. The level 2 charger will be available as a third parking bay. It's use will not interfere with the operation of the fast charger. The decision to stick with type-one connectors for level 2 charging was based on the fact that all EVs being brought into Australia will use this standard.

Australia will choose a standard when the winner is victorious. So far, that's looking like J1772.


so the Tesla model s isn't an EV ?..it can't be all it uses type 2. so now we say 95% maybe but tesla only just began sales. they registered 65 cars in q4 of 2014 alone in NSW and that was in 2 months ! so how long until that number is more like 60% of EV's use type 1.

I don't expect you to continue to justify the decision now but just want to rant on your pisweak definition of a "fact".


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Post by jonescg »

We had no idea what connector the Tesla was coming to Australia with until November last year.

I personally think we should have gone with type-two in Australia, but for the last 5 years, the only cars we got were Japanese, which all used type-one. Thomas, for his own reasons, decided to install type two connectors everywhere as part of the EV Trial in 2010. Now every EV driver in Perth needs to buy a $300 adapter so they can use the charge points with their Leaf or iMiEV. This causes MASSIVE resentment. $300 can buy you a lot of electricity.

When BMW announced they will be releasing all i-cars with a type-one connector in early 2014, and Chargepoint Australia are only releasing type-one connectors at their shopping centre installs; and most of the public chargers over east use type-one, it was clear that type-one was the 'least loathed' option. Hence the charge stations in the RAC Electric Highway will be a trio fast charger (Fast AC, SAE Combo type one and ChaDeMo) and an adjacent type-one 7 kW charge point.

Besides, Tesla is just as likely to produce all further Model S cars with their proprietary connector, since they plan on installing their proprietary fast chargers everywhere. Which apparently will never get used, because their batteries are so big...
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Post by reecho »

But Tesla are using a bastardised version of Mennekes, running currents way higher than the manufacturer intended, using liquid cooling to compensate, and then internally switching and linking pins to allow fast DC.

And then there's the protocol. Oh dear...

The majority of households in Australia only have single phase power. At home 32 Amp on board charging will be enough for the foreseeable future. (or was that 640k... :-)

Tesla seems to agree here. They supply a 40A single phase "wallbox" as standard.

Until 3 phase onboard charging becomes commonplace on future EV's, Mennekes will play second fiddle here in Australia.
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Post by Gabz »

Betterplace started in Australia with type 2 with $500 for the cable and access to the network.

chargepoint Australia only do type 1 because they only use a subset of chargepoint USA. this is already causing them issues with fast chargers as the fuji units require 200V 3 phase which means they have to source an separate transformer to the device. which means there chademo units retail for $60,000 which make there CT4000 (dual type 1) at $10,000 look value for money.

chargepoint have a good software system but there hardware is dam expensive.

Tesla are still bringing out their 3 phase "wallbox" they are slow even the mobile cable is still "coming soon".
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