Electric Vehicles Slow Charging
FILE - In this Thursday, April 22, 2021 file photo, White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy, left, talks with EVgo Chief Executive Officer Cathy Zoi, before the start of an event near an EVgo electric car charging station at Union Station in Washington. If the auto industry is to succeed in its bet that electric vehicles will soon dominate the roads, it will need to overcome a big reason why many people are still avoiding them: Fear of running out of juice between Point A and Point B. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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Automakers face a threat to EV sales: Slow charging times

18 Comments
By TOM KRISHER

If the auto industry is to succeed in its bet that electric vehicles will soon dominate the roads, it will need to overcome a big reason why many people are still avoiding them: Fear of running out of juice between Point A and Point B.

Automakers have sought to quell those concerns by developing EVs that go farther per charge and fill up faster. Problem is, most public charging stations now fill cars much too slowly, requiring hours — not minutes — to provide enough electricity for an extended trip.

Concerned that such prolonged waits could turn away potential EV buyers and keep them stuck on gas-burning vehicles, automakers are trying to cut charging times to something close to the five or 10 minutes of a conventional gasoline fill-up.

“It’s absolutely the target to get faster and faster,” said Brett Smith, technology director at the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank. “It’s not there yet, but it’s one of those things that moves the needle more toward a competitive vehicle for a lot of people, this ability to fast charge.”

The latest generation of EVs, many with ranges around 300 miles per charge, can accept electricity at a much faster rate than previous models could. So fast, in fact, that most charging stations cannot yet accommodate the vehicles' advanced technology.

It can now require hours to fully charge an electric vehicle because most stations operate on a home-like alternating current. Direct-current fast-charging stations, by contrast, are hours faster. But they can cost tens of thousands of dollars more.

The high cost is something the Biden administration will have to consider as it develops incentives to encourage companies and governments to build 500,000 charging stations nationwide by 2030. Among the possibilities being discussed are grants, with $15 billion in spending over five years to build the network, including fast chargers along highways and in communities. Details are being worked out as the administration negotiates its infrastructure plan with key members of Congress.

Of the roughly 42,000 public charging stations in the United States, only about 5,000 are considered direct-current fast chargers, according to the Department of Energy. The rest are like home chargers; they require roughly eight hours to fully charge longer-range batteries, longer than anyone wants to wait to charge a vehicle on a road trip.

And most fast chargers can pump out only about 50 kilowatts per hour — requiring roughly an hour to charge an average EV to 80% — even though newer EVs are capable of being charged must faster than that.

“It’s one of the big barriers for someone who is not living with a battery-electric vehicle yet,” said Alex Tripi, who head’s Volvo’s electric vehicle marketing. “It will continue to be for a while.”

Limited by technology, early electric vehicles charged at ridiculously low speeds when compared with recent models. When Nissan's Leaf first went on sale more than a decade ago, for example, it could take in only 50 kilowatts per hour from a fast charger. That meant it took a half hour to charge it to 80% of its small battery, just 58 miles.

A new long-range version released in 2019 nearly tripled the range per charge. Because it can take 100 kilowatts at a fast charger, it can get to 80% — 181 miles — in 45 minutes.

Newer EVs can be charged even faster. But they far exceed the capacity of most fast chargers. Ford's Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning can take in 150 kilowatts per hour. Hyundai's Ioniq 5 and Porsche's Taycan are over 200 kilowatts.

The Hyundai, with 300 miles of range, can go from a 10% charge to 80% in just 18 minutes, much closer to gasoline fill-up times. (Automakers tend to quote charging times to 80% of battery capacity because it takes much longer to go from 80% to 100%; the final 20% is often slowed down to prolong battery life.) Hyundai knows there aren't many chargers now that can fill the Ioniq that fast. But it says it's ready for a future when more quick chargers are more widely available.

“Hopefully the infrastructure will improve across the U.S. for this to be a whole lot more viable," said John Shon, senior manager of product planning.

Tesla, which has its own private charging network of 25,000 plugs worldwide, leads just about every automaker. Its newer chargers can crank out up to 250 kilowatts and 175 miles of range in about 15 minutes.

Electrify America, a charging network funded with money paid by Volkswagen as punishment for its emissions cheating scandal, says it's ready for the newer EVs. Having installed fast chargers since 2018, it runs more than 600 stations with 2,600 plugs nationwide. All can pump out 150 kilowatts. That means they can charge a typical EV with 300 miles of range to 80 percent of battery capacity (240 miles) in roughly 45 minutes. Over half of Electrify America's stations can pump out 350 kilowatts, which charge twice as fast.

A fast-charge fill-up to 80% of battery capacity varies by state but typically costs around $16.

Even Tesla owners, who can access the nation’s biggest fast-charging charging network, risk running out of juice on road trips, especially in rural areas. On Monday, one such driver, Dan Nelson, said he had to stop at a Tesla station near Ann Arbor, Michigan, for more than 20 minutes to make sure his Model 3 had enough charge to reach his rural home 25 miles away.

“There’s definitely improvements that can be made,” said Nelson, who charges at home most of the time.

Bruce Westlake, president of the East Michigan Electric Auto Association, suggested that such anxiety tends to ease as people gain more experience with EVs. He said he is now comfortable running his two Teslas as low as 5% of battery capacity to go farther between charges on trips.

Research by J.D. Power and Associates shows that most people think charging stations are needed at locations where gas stations are now. But in fact, according to the Energy Department, most EV owners charge at home more than 80% of the time.

That means super-fast chargers, which can cost close to $100,000, should be built mainly along highways where people are traveling long distances and need to charge quickly, experts say. They also may be needed in urban areas where people live in apartments with no access to a home charger.

It's far from clear that the automakers can depend on a proliferation of fast chargers across the country to build customer confidence and propel EV sales in the years ahead. The high cost and heavy load on utility grids likely will limit the number of fast chargers to areas where they're needed for quick fill-ups, said Jessika Trancik, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies EV charging.

“As we're approaching this transition," she said, “it's important to be more strategic than just putting them everywhere.”

Charging companies have time to figure out where to build fast chargers, because it would take more than 17 years to convert the entire U.S. fleet of 279 million passenger vehicles from petroleum to electricity — even if every motorist were willing to make the switch, said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint, a charging station company. But the chargers can't come fast enough for automakers, who want more people to buy their EVs to spread development costs over more vehicles.

Romano says fast chargers will be needed about every 75 miles on roads that connect metro areas, and that the United States should get there in about two years. As more EVs are sold, he said, more stations will be built.

“You don't want to put all the infrastructure in for 20 years starting with vehicle zero,” Romano said. “This is about the natural organic growth.”

This means the vehicles are getting ahead of the public charging network, which isn't ready to handle the higher kilowatts that the parade of new vehicles can handle. Experts say there's time for the chargers to catch up as long as EV sales don't take off too fast, and if charging networks are willing to invest in faster systems.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


18 Comments
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They should have made the battery packs as slide-out replaceables.

Service stations could switch from selling petrol or diesel to swopping out batteries for fully charged ones.

That would be a little more of a task than switching a couple of AA cells, but with standardised batteries (and they really should have standardised batteries, because it has worked really well with small batteries for decades), it would be do-able.

Don't these industries ever plan ahead?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

There are a number of reasons why many consumers are leary :

1). Short range per charge

2). Long charging time (compared to fuel fill-up)

3). High up-front cost

4). Rapid tire wear due to the much heavier weight

5). Range reduction when using ancillaries such as heater and air conditioner

6). Relatively short usable service life due to rapid battery life degradation

This article overlooks the fact that rapid charging decreases the charging capacity as well as shortens the battery life(physics and chemistry) . Once the battery has degraded, the cost of replacement is prohibitive.

Overall, these make an EV not practical for the average median or lower income level buyers. The government subsidies to increase the sales of EVs benefit the wealthier class who can actually afford to buy one with the aid of the taxpayers.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

First GBR48 time to do your research; if you think that is the answer suggest to your Government they partner with Chinese firm #NIO and two; try supporting Japan by recommendation for electrifying all vehicle by 2025 by HYBRIDOLOGY using only 2kwh NiMH per car, while lasting long long time and going 60mpg, that’s the best way forward; follow the lead of PRIUS.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They should have made the battery packs as slide-out replaceables.

Electric scooters like Gogoro already have this and it works a charm. Just slide the battery out, put it in the charging rack with the others, and pop in a new one and you're off to the races again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A solution was proposed years ago by a coalition of tech experts and environmental groups.

A uniform battery pack in all cars that can be swapped automatically by just driving in stopping over a automated service spot the machine extracts the depleted battery inserts a fully charged one evaluates remaining power of the extracted battery make a quick calculation and charges for the difference between the fully charged and depleted/partially depleted.

The car is in and out in a few minutes with a full charge.

But automakers especially Tesla rejected the idea, instead going with building their own charging stations most of Tesla's only charge Tesla cars and require a Tesla charge account.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Battery packs in hybrid and electric cars are a money grab scam!

No automaker will just change the no performing cell ( battery packs have dozens of individual cells)

If just one cell malfunctions the car will not start even though it can easily function on the rest.

The car makers will only offer a new full battery pack even though just a quick test can determine the one malfunctioning cell that cell could be replaced at a fraction of the cost of a new battery pack.

I had this problem with my used Prius and a guy in Chiba used a recycled cell to repair my battery pack.

Toyota wanted ¥300,000 or 500,000 ( I can't remember the exact amount) to change the battery pack.

This guy replaced one cell for ¥25,000 labour included and it has worked no problems for 3 years now.

The problem was getting the car to him. Luckily I had a friend with the equipment to tow it there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Hyundai, with 300 miles of range, can go from a 10% charge to 80% in just 18 minutes

These figures are the absolute best case scenario, acheived in a lab and under specific conditions on a closed track. The way they cite these figures without mentioning the massive caveat along with it sounds like a paid ad for Hyundai (again...). Laughable. In the real world it's actually 200 miles and 30 mins.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

AntiquesavingToday  12:31 pm JST

Battery packs in hybrid and electric cars are a money grab scam!......

No it is not.

While I agree with the whole situation you presented from the owner's point of view concening "saving money", you neglected to mention Toyota's reason for not offering individual cell replacement: You end up with one good new cell and the rest in used condition. Even if after the repair the tests show that the battery is healthy, they cannot guarantee the length of life of the battery because of the old cells that remain. This is the literal demonstration of 'kicking the can down the road'.

The dealership will simply swap batteries out with refurbished or new iems (depending on what you pay for, both are fine) and not replace the faulty cell themselves. The batteries with faulty cells are sent back to the OEM for refurbishment and resold as such. By having just the faulty cell replaced may be cheaper however you now have mismatched cells, one new, and the rest with considerable mileage on them. This may be fine for the time being however you will no doubt have to change others as time goes on, repeating the whole process.

Toyota's method is a "one stop" solution that adds a further 10 years life to the refurbished (or new) battery. For most people this is the best option, both for battery longevity and vehicle resale value.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The dealership will simply swap batteries out with refurbished or new iems (

Nope!

Unless things have changed no dealer offers a refurbished option.

It is new or nothing.

As for another 10 years not a chance, these cars are not built to last 20 years.

A refurbished from a non dealer will cost ¥150,000 or more.

This "we don't sell refurbished" attitude was recently front and centre in North America over Nissan Leaf owners not even being able to get new replacement due to low or no stock and Nissan refusing to permit refurbished at dealership.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The new EVs all go over 320 KMS, so that handles most of the range worries. An at home charger is good enough for almost all driving, since most daily driving is much less than 320 KMS. Where I live, fast chargers are readily available at many places. Talked to a young man who had just driven his Chevy EV home from college, over 300 KMS away. Although he could have driven home on just the one charge, he stopped and charged up while he had a bite to eat.

The new generation of batteries is supposed to be cheaper, and last over 100,000 miles.

As for battery weight, my Google search says that the Mustang EV weighs about 500 pounds more than the Ford Edge. That seems acceptable to me, given the 300+ mile range of the Mustang EV.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

so that handles most of the range worries. An at home charger is good enough

And who has at home charging?

Only people that have a private parking on their own property, which eliminates most of those in cities like Tokyo, Osaka, London, Paris, New York, Toronto, Berlin, etc... Street parking is a very big part of owning a car in North America, in Japan and most of the major cities in Europe rental Parking is more common and No they don't have power outlets!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ideal scenario for people with country homes and off-street parking. Trickle charge at home overnight, and at the office during the day. Most are used to this pattern already, and very rarely use the expensive fast chargers along the highway.

For urban dwellers who park on the street with no guarantee of a socket, I'm putting my money on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Freedom of movement, or there will be as more hydrogen stations are opened.

Yes, I know that neither system is perfect, but we are adapting, and time, place and opportunity rule in this brave new world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Trickle charge at home will get you just enough power to get you to a fast charging station...

I think it's time to make the move to nuclear-powered vehicles. Japan has proven that nuclear power is safe and cost efficient.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Charge at home overnight will give you a full battery.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

AntiquesavingJune 11  05:09 pm JST

The dealership will simply swap batteries out with refurbished or new iems (

Nope! etc...

........

Ok, leaving the refurbished battery talk out of it, you calling Toyota's method a scam is still wrong, for the reasons I put in my reply. I'm not surprised you didn't acknowledge or refute any of that because it proves your claim is just the cries from someone not financially capable of maintaining the vehicle they own. Can't afford to replace hybrid batteries on a (well) used hybrid vehicle? Then don't get a hybrid....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They should have made the battery packs as slide-out replaceables.

Each company has proprietary battery technology, especially Tesla. It would be very difficult for a shop to stock every battery necessary for every electric car. Pity the family with a well kept older model that is otherwise in great condition but the shops no longer carry batteries for.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For all you kids living in big cities with temperate climates, I have a couple of things for you to chew on. In the high plains, the high desert and Great Basin regions, winters are long and very very cold. The distances between towns can be 100 - 200 km with no services of any kind in between. Most of these little towns are not equipped to charge cars. Tesla has some charging stations but only Teslas can use them. Battery powered cars use up more than half their charge just keeping the batteries warm. When the snow flies most places require cars and trucks to use chains, which restrict speeds to under 65 kph. That means it takes a lot longer to get places and uses up batteries very fast keeping them warm. Driving range falls to a point that some destinations are simply too far apart for an electric car in the winter. For these areas hydrogen or amonia fuel is probably the only fuels practicable. Google Map US 6 between Tonopah and Ely for an example of the kind of driving I am talking about. Elevations range from 1800 - 2300 meters on the road surface. Mountains on either side and it can snow into late May to early June.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you continue north and east on US 6, there are no towns between Ely Nevada and Vernon Utah. There is a little casino and gas station at Border, literally on the Utah/Nevada border but no charging stations. 520km of nothing. Good luck with your electric car summer or winter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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