Auto Trends Magazine: Occhiuzzo Debunks 4 Misconceptions Surrounding EV Fast Charging Stations

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Electric Car Charging

Auto Trends Magazine: Occhiuzzo Debunks 4 Misconceptions Surrounding EV Fast Charging Stations

Our co-founder and CEO, Gustavo Occhiuzzo, is quickly emerging as a thought leader in the world of electric mobility, becoming someone stakeholders can count on to demystify obscurities and address falsehoods surrounding the installation and application of charging infrastructure. Like any new technology, resistance to adoption is often based on fallacious notions, some of which may be perpetrated by those with a financial interest in competing technologies. Therefore, countering such notions with facts is crucial if both drivers and site hosts are to make an informed decision about EV adoption. Occhiuzzo most recently addressed four of the biggest misconceptions surrounding chargers in the article below for Auto Trends Magazine.

EVCS charging stations await the morning work rush

Los Angeles, CA – June 25, 2021

Every industry is guaranteed to experience a technological revolution at some point, and currently, we are witnessing a major shift in the automotive industry away from traditional combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles, or EVs. As with any widespread adoption of new tools and technologies, misconceptions abound, particularly around fast-charging stations and how long an EV actually takes to charge. In an effort to address these misconceptions, below is a roundup of the most circulated ideas surrounding charging stations, along with facts and expert information to set the record straight.

Misconception No. 1:

Fast charging stations are not adequately future-proofed for newer generations of EVs.

Fact:

Future-proofing does not mean installing the most powerful chargers now, as the majority of EVs currently available cannot utilize the high 350KW charging rate. In fact, only one EV currently available for purchase can utilize this level of charge. Instead, future-proofing in the context of charging stations means guaranteeing that a site has capabilities to host more powerful chargers when EV charging requirements and economics align. That way, vendors can quickly upgrade charging sites without having to massively upgrade infrastructure.

Misconception No. 2:

Before EVs can be adopted on a widespread scale, more powerful – not just fast – charging stations are required.

Fact:

This is entirely untrue. In fact, a number of studies have concluded the main requirement for the widespread adoption of EVs is an increase in the number of fast chargers available, not more powerful, 350K stations. Additionally, many charging companies are rapidly expanding their networks and placing them strategically to help solve this.

Misconception No. 3:

50KW fast chargers become obsolete the moment they are installed.

Fact:

The majority of EVs currently being manufactured cannot accept a faster rate of charge than 50 kWh, and fast chargers are roughly ten times faster than Level II chargers, with the ability to fully charge an EV within an hour and a half. Additionally, most people are careful to not let their EV charge drop too low, so they only charge their car partially, which is much faster.

It also needs to be considered that once an EV battery begins to fill up, charging occurs at a lower rate regardless of charger output. In fact, after an EV reaches a 75 percent charge, the rate of charge is identical regardless of whether it is a 50KW charger or a 350KW charger.

Misconception No. 4:

Operational expenses are the same for fast chargers as for more powerful chargers.

Fact:

Unfortunately for vendors, the biggest operating expense is the demand charge or the fees applied to the electric bills of business customers. The average cost of a demand charge is roughly $10 a KW per month, so 50KW charging stations will cost the vendor $500 per month in demand charges. A 350KW powerful charger will cost $3,500. To cover these costs, huge utilization is required but, as it stands, with only one EV model suitable to utilize these stations, recuperating these costs is not possible.

Additionally, the industry average is also less than a 5-percent utilization rate right now, so the economics currently does not work for higher output chargers. Let’s say you install four 350KWs at a site and you are unlucky enough to have 4 vehicles charging at the same time; you will be paying $14,000 for that month just in demand charges, not including the actual cost of electricity.

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Electric Vehicles
Electric Car Charging

Navigating California’s New EV Mandate

California’s going all in on electric. On August 25th, Governor Gavin Newsom made a very important announcement concerning the future of transportation in the Golden State: “We can solve this climate crisis if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to cut pollution. California now has a groundbreaking, world-leading plan to achieve 100 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035.” Big and bold, indeed. And while highly encouraging, it brings up a number of questions moving forward.

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Electric Car Charging

How EVCS is Repairing Reliability Concerns

One of the biggest concerns among EV drivers today is the reliability of public chargers. One recent survey from the Department of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley claims as many as 23% of public chargers in the Bay Area alone are, as Wired sums up, “nonfunctioning at any given time, stymied by broken screens, shoddy credit card or payment systems, network connection failures, or damaged plugs.” And that’s in a locale prioritizing the conversion to electric. Testimony from motorists seems to corroborate these findings. A CEC survey of 1,290 EV drivers found that fully 60% had experienced damaged or inoperable chargers, while almost half needed assistance from customer service. We find this wholly unacceptable and have taken measures to ensure that chargers in the EVCS network rise to the standard of operability our customers expect. Here are a few ways we’re doing that:

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Electric Car Charging

Installation of the Month (July 2022): Kenwood Inn & Spa

A key focus for us over the last several years has been the installation of additional chargers at holiday hot spots, tourist destinations, and other key points of interest. Not only will it help dispel long-range travel anxiety among many new EV drivers, but it will also lead to a significant reduction in carbon emissions otherwise generated by gas-guzzlers during peak vacation seasons. Moreover, our egalitarian approach to site selection means we’re just as likely to install a charger at a McDonald’s as we are at a Morton’s since we understand the value in catering to a broad clientele. However, higher net worth individuals continue to drive EV sales in the US (a June 2021 Fuels Institute study specifies middle-aged males with household incomes over $100,000), so catering to venues that offer a luxury experience will encourage even greater participation by this group while serving as a bellwether for lower-income drivers who are attracted to the idea of electric mobility as a symbol of status.

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Mexico to Canada EV Road Trip: EVCS Interview

We sat down with EV owner and enthusiast Anthony Williams, a 60-year-old business owner from San Diego, who recently commemorated the 10-year anniversary of his first trans-American road trip in an EV by retracing the same route to see what had changed in the world of EV fast charging, for better or for worse. Below are some of his insights and feedback.

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Installation of the Month (June 2022): KPC Anaheim Global Medical Center

“For us, healthcare is not only about caring for our patients, but also about investing in the people who live in our communities.” These are the words emblazoned across the home page of the KPC Anaheim Global Medical Center’s website. Facilities like these are attractive partners for us because, like us, their goal is the betterment of humanity. In fact, just replace “healthcare” with “electric mobility” and “patients” with “planet,” and you have the EVCS mission statement in a nutshell. Allying with kindred spirits creates a natural synergy for us through the sharing of core values like customer service and an improved quality of life. Imagine then our excitement when KPC decided to install four of our newest DC fast chargers on their Anaheim property, giving us the opportunity to continue expanding our network southward.

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