DC Fast Charging Is Our Biggest Problem To Mass EV Adoption
What were doing in this video is, we are talking about dc, fast charging and just charging stations in general a little bit on the economics behind them, but i really want to open the door for conversation of charging electric vehicles. You know we review a lot of the cars here on this channel. The cars are getting amazing. I think we have some major major major issues in terms of dc charging – forgive some of the wind, but there are some unique solutions, which is why we came here to estes park. To take a look at this freewire dc fast charger were going to talk a little bit about why this is so special. It weighs about the same as that. Tesla model 3 right there, actually its pretty amazing and then well talk about some level. 2 stuff. Some trickery when it comes to station installations and some of the problems that are that site hosts are facing lets just start talking about dc charging well go in depth next year into a whole series, but i want to open the door, see your opinions, love to Hear what you guys think in the comment section of this video, especially because this is an area were going to be covering a lot more as time goes on out of spec has partnered with charity stars to give away a 2022 tesla model y performance. Now this particular car is a dual motor, but if you win the sweepstakes, you can actually win or have a chance to win.
A tesla model live performance 0 to 60 in three and a half seconds. Bigger breaks, gon na be awesome. So all you have to do is go to charitystars.com reviews where you can have a chance to enter to win the sweepstakes of the tesla model y performance once you enter and go to check out. Youll have 250 bonus points applied at your cart at checkout charity. Stars is a groundbreaking platform that helps raise money for charitable causes, so again visit charitystars.com reviews for 250 free entries into the sweepstakes. The charity that were supporting is the jamie kimball foundation. Its a charity whose mission is to reduce the amount of interrelationship, violence in families – and we are so happy to partner with charity stars to give away a tesla model y performance. This is the freewire boost 150, and it was actually just installed here in estes park. Only two three weeks ago, brand new installation and uh. What was so great is, i just got to meet the site host. Here we had a quick conversation about the economics of the station, so ill be able to share a little bit more about the cost of dc charging. Why this station is so important to use as a dc fast charger were also going to try it out, because i kind of want to see how it works. So what do you say? We start with connecting and activating the tesla using the chatimo adapter, the ccs adapters that are out there.
It was ctec now its electron. The aftermarket ones, dont seem to have good reliability based off of initial reports by people like my friend tom malogne. Who is really the charging guru love tom and what were going to be doing, though, is using the provided not provided purchase, tesla chatimo adapter. The problem with this, though, is its only 125 amp adapter. So the way dc charging works is the charger has to match. The voltage of the cars battery pack in this case our model 3, is at about 21 state of charge, so its going to be really low, so we might get 30 kilowatts out of this thing i dont know well see so join me over here. Im going to load up the ev connect app, which is by the way, not the best app to use this should be on like chargepoint or something like that were going to go to dc fast charging were going to go to chatimo. It says 120 kilowatt available on chademo im, going to tell you right now. I dont think thats possible this by the way might be one of the last versions of the old freewire. I believe they do 150 kilowatts. Now this one says only 120 im, not sure what it is. The price here is 45 cents per kilowatt hour. Remember that its important well talk about the economics here in a little bit, at least with the ev connect app, i can pay with apple pay.
So, im going to show my face: double click, hopefully theres enough money in the account. If you guys keep watching our videos, we can do that uh. It says submitting payment connecting take a look at this plug in vehicle. To start it says charging session starting up. Oh that worked well and now the car says its communicating and charging look at that. The car says about two hours, one hour and a bit: no its going down check that out 38 kilowatts right there and then take a look here on the screen. This is super neat itll show our battery pack percentage at 20 percent, the chargers delivering 43 kilowatts, but the cars only getting 37. The rest is going to battery pack heating on the vehicle. Theres. Also always some charging losses, but teslas got some weird thermal management stuff that as soon as you plug in to even a kind of a low power situation, uh, it targets the hottest temperature required for dc fast charging. So its just running the two motors inefficiently thats. How model 3 heats up its pack about seven kilowatts and thatll? Go so were going to charge up here and let this go. You can actually charge two different vehicles on this particular unit at once, but theres some things depending so before we get into the whole site. Let me explain this free wire charger. Let me explain a little bit about how this works. Why its special – because i havent yet told you the secret sauce under here – is a 160 kilowatt hour battery pack and that is so important for number one reason: being site demand charges.
The other reason, of course, is you can install this in areas with less available power. For example, the grid connection to this charger is only 37 kilowatts. I believe peak 36 kilowatts it might be and we are currently outputting 43 kilowatts. So what its doing in theory is maxing out the grid and then using the internal battery pack to supply the rest. Now this type of solution, doesnt work well for high utilization chargers, but up here in the mountains, you could probably charge 10 12 15 vehicles in a day without really any issue and by the way worst case, youll get 36 37 kilowatts still not bad. So the free wire charger itself has two different 75 kilowatt modules inside. This is for the boost charger 150 and i dont know exactly which one this is. I know they just had some updates recently, but i lets just proceed. It might be a 150. I dont know, but anyway, you have two different 75 kilowatt, basically ac to dc converters or really dc boosters, that feed off the battery pack. I guess in this particular case and what the car is doing right now is its using one of those to supply the 43 kilowatts. So if we rolled up with a another, i dont know ccs powered vehicle lets just say its a pulse star, 2, whatever it is wed plug the ccs connection in by the way site design for tesla stuff its kind of awkward.
You know its never perfect to have. I guess you really cant have a perfect site layout with stations uh plugs on either side of the car, of course, but thats you know just another situation we can get into we. I really want to do a whole video on site design, especially especially with ada requirements, wheelchair access, disabled person charging. Well, we have a whole project going into that. I think is really important, but essentially, if you plug in another vehicle here, it can only accept up to 75 kilowatts. I believe its one brick per port. And then, if you have a high power vehicle here like if we plugged in a rivien and it was taking, you know 150 kilowatts maxed out at that point, you would not be able to charge two vehicles until that vehicle ramps down, and then you only have One brick available: we saw a similar type of solution to this. When we were in europe with the enb chargers, they have individual bricks. I think four of them four 75 kilowatt bricks, leading to those 300 kilowatt chargers and then it kind of just dynamically chooses how and when to prioritize different uh vehicles in terms of charging power. One question i did have for the freewire team, which they kindly answered, was if were charging a uh high power vehicle at i dont know, lets just say: we have a leaf uh charging at 50, kilowatts on the chatimo or 60 kilowatts on the chatimo and again The polestars here getting 75.
when the leaf unplugs it will ramp and then convert that second brick to charge the existing charging car, which is great. I know that sounds really crazy if youve never dc charged before youve – probably already clicked out of this video, but its a really neat unit. Uh costs about, i would say, 160 thousand dollars – is what the site host said that he paid for it, and this entire charging station installation cost him about 220, 230, 000 and heres. Why thats an issue uh colorado has funding for charging station installation depending on certain things. Now, apparently, i and im not sure exactly how it works. What the site host was telling me was that for estes park, most of the money allocated for this town went to a charge. Point installation, which is, i believe, four dc fast chargers at 62.5. Kilowatts, each actually im pretty sure it should be a 125 split, but it was never set up correctly. So each post is only 62 and a half and we can get into the cpe 250 situation, which are those charge point units those are only 200 amp limited. So i was told by some of the free wire engineers here by the way that the chatimo is limited to 160 amp and this ones limited to 200 amp um and it might be even a little bit more or less. I i wasnt totally sure on all the specs on this thing, but either way its pretty cool so 200.
Something thousand dollars to put this installation in and lets talk about. Why or the the government incentives for, for example, each one of these blink posts is 12. 000 to put in and whats special and the reason that the site host went with blink in this particular case was. It was the only level two solution that he could find that could deliver 80 amp output. That could be billed so clipper creek has great 80 amp units charge point. You know those stations there. Those are usually only 6.6, maybe 7.2 kilowatts which to me is just like come on guys 32 amps out of those things, thats just crazy. So here, 12 grand a piece colorado only provided 12 000 worth of assistance for this entire site installation, and that was for these particular posts. Now the site host wanted to just put in one post of level twos, but then his grant would go down to half. So he said: okay well put in four 80 amp level, two chargers, but technically theyre, not 80 amps, because he also did something pretty creative. The reason that that has a battery pack, the dc fast charger, is for site demand charges so lets just break down. The pricing of dc charging really quickly come on over here with me, this is a meter thats fed directly from his transformer. It runs at 240. Volts – and this right here has a limitation of 35 kilowatts here in this town set by the energy provider.
If he goes over 35 kilowatts, which theyre capable of delivering the power of course, then he gets build, demand charges and if you get two demand charges in a month, you build it the entire year at this crazy, high electricity rate. That just makes it astronomical to run so. The whole goal of this site, installation, which i really love, is to have no demand charges ever, which might lead to possibly a business case to dc fast charging, which is the ultimate goal of my next one. To two to three years of research is to find profitable ways to charge electric cars and yeah okay. Anyway, what hes done is? He ran a separate line, a separate grid connection for each one of these posts, so technically this charger and that charger are treated as two separate entities, its a really smart idea to put each charger on its own thing. He has two uh. You know 19 point something kilowatt chargers and that will actually put him over his demand charge. So theyre software limited to 17 kilowatts, each 17 and a half something like that, and that puts him right before he will ever dip over his demand charge. So you can plug in all these level. Twos hell max out his grid connection and hell never go over. The only thing he does have to pay is a 26 dollar per month grid connection fee to have these connected, but i think thats, a really smart idea.
Rather than what running one meter for all four chargers and then if four rivians pull up, for example, youre screwed here is another blank space for another free, wired dc, fast charger down the line, but again at 160, 000. Its a lot of money and the site host wants to see if theres utilization and things like that so thats. Why? Having the battery pack here is so important, theres a grid fed connection to this unit of 35 kilowatts which maxes out his you know, grid connection before it goes into demand, charge and then feeds into the 160 kilowatt hour battery pack, and then you can dump into A cart up to 150 kilowatts on ccs, its a great idea. It really is, but then you start factoring in costs. So the site host here is charging 43 cents per kilowatt hour, which is identical to electrify americas rack rate by the way, uh. The reason he did that was just competitive research. He said well, theres no eas in the area, but that, if thats, what theyre charging thats, what hell be able to charge and its actually profitable for him to get charged. So the more people that use this charger, the more money he can make, which is a huge, huge, huge win in the dc fast charging world. If this did not have a battery pack buffer – and he was billed on demand, charges like any other dc fast charger would be thats grid connected.
Even he and i both agree that if, if he got the whole installation for free, if he just showed up – and someone said well put in the entire installation, he said look it, i would never turn it on. It would just lose money, youd be paying every time someone plugs in, because uh youd have to charge a couple dollars per kilowatt hour and maybe more to break, even so, at the end of the day, theres two things that need to happen. To summarize this video for dc fast charging to become, i would say, prevalent in the future. We need either demand charges to go away for dc fast charging installations, which i dont think is the answer, because demand charges are there for a reason. We dont want to stress our grid. We want to have the cleanest electricity and honestly that that, to me, doesnt seem like a great solution and then, secondly, is having some sort of battery buffer or on site energy buffer storage situation. To then make it at least somewhat enticing for site hosts to put in installations like this and support the electric vehicle driving community and for not for it to not lose money. Every time you plug in now, in this particular case, this whole installation again a little over two hundred thousand dollars is, is the site host ever gon na make their money back on the electricity costs? He and i agree, probably not but hes a a eevee enthusiast.
He drives a model y. He wanted to host charging for people coming to s this park and honestly, it was really cool of him to put this installation in its an awesome installation, and you know when we go off roading with a whole bunch of riviens in the future. Well, have those you know 80 amp or 72 amp chargers at this point to charge them up and thats going to be really great well, have this thing here were going to be doing a lot more with this charger in the future as well? Let us know what you want to see again, its close to our house only about an hour away a little bit less, and some of my biggest concerns here are. The charger itself is only rated to work to minus four degrees. Fahrenheit gets colder than that here. Whats going to happen, will it shut down and restart itself? How is it going to keep the battery? You know warm or cool. It gets hot here in the summertime too, so well be looking at the charger. Thermal management well be looking at. You know sort of the utilization well be looking at the costs. We might even interview with the site host and get his impressions after having this site run for a year or so and see what the numbers work out to my biggest concern for the electric future is not the cars. The cars are great. I really enjoy driving them.
We review them here on this channel. My biggest concern is charging all of the cars we need to focus on level 2 home charging. Even just wall outlets in places like airports or condo. Centers are so important and then, of course, utilizing dc charging a only when you need it, but then, when you need it, it needs to not lose money. So we have a serious situation on our hands here. I dont think its being talked about widely enough. I put a thing on twitter, the other day about the tesla supercharger network. You know you know no theres, no profitable business case. Tesla owners were like well, superchargers are profitable because it sells cars yeah, but the charging itself loses money and theres no way around that right now, except for maybe a solution like this big props to free wire for making this solution, seemingly so beautiful. By the way. This little thing is a i guess: energy status indicator, so this will go up as the battery fills thats, pretty cool and um. I think its just this top one here. So right now were at like 30 percent itll fill up thats kind of a cool idea. Great looking chargers really high quality, nice screens, good implementation – i dont, like you, have to use this weird ev connect app to charge them as like an ev road tripper. I didnt even have that app. I had to download it, but people who live in areas with blink chargers probably have it.
At the end of the day, charging is our biggest issue moving forwards in my opinion and were going deep into the coverage of the chargers of the units of the installations and the costs and uh hope. Youll join us for some of these videos over the next year, thanks so much for watching another out of spec reviews. Video. Thank you to cherry charity, stars for sponsoring todays video and well see you on the next one.