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Old 12-30-2011, 07:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ChargePoint and Other Shortsighted Thinkers

Right now a rush is on amongst ChargePoint and Blink and other EVSE makers to get their equipment out there and establish a footprint. Since ideal spots for this equipment are limited, being a first mover may have long term advantages.

The basic model for these guys is that they install the equipment at little to no cost for the site owner, and then they share the revenue from the EVSE. The problem is that the rates they are charging are exorbitant.

Recently, I used a charging station in Virginia Beach at Solar Services. They charge $3 for the first hour and $1.50 after that. Here in Virginia, a full four hour charge at home costs me about $1.20 or 30 cents an hour. Thus they are charging ten times for the first hour, and 5 times after that. I realized instantly that it would be cheaper, way cheaper to burn gas, but I just wanted to try it once to see the thing work. It took some haggling over the phone to make it happen but eventually it did work. Clearly in a vehicle like the Volt where there is an option to burn gas, no one is going to pay that rate, because it is cheaper to burn gas. Perhaps in a BEV like the Leaf, if you had no other option you would pay this rate. I was particularly disappointed that Solar Services would charge such a high rate, given the source of their electricity.

In the Volt one dollar of gas will let me drive 13.33 miles, based on 40 mpg and $3/gal gas.

One hour of recharge gets you approximately 10 miles of driving therefore 75 cents/hour is the breakeven point. Any higher charge and it is cheaper to burn gas. And of course it is more convenient to burn gas, you donít have to track down a charge station just go wherever you want.

I believe site owners who agree to this are being very short sighted. The average household income for a Volt owner is $187,000. These are people with disposable income. These are people that you pay big bucks to attract to your store through ads and targeted promotions.

Many people are probably thinking, they are making $187,000 a year, and they paid north of $40,000 for a car and they are balking at paying $1.50/hour to recharge? Yes they will, because these are people who donít shy away from math. They understand it is cheaper to burn gas. Or in the case of the Leaf, they will understand that you are ripping them off to recharge there.

More importantly, an EVSE is the ultimate loss leader to bring wealthy buyers to your retail operation. Stores like Walgreenís and Kohlís understand this which is why the chargers they are installing are free, at least for the time being. I believe their chargers will remain free when they realize that sales generated far exceed the costs to operate charging stations.

And this will remain the case for probably the next 5 to 10 years, because EVs will command a premium for that time frame.

Interestingly, while an EV owner will not pay significantly more to recharge at your store than they would at home or to burn gas, they would be willing to drive miles out of their way to go to your store over another store if you offered charging not available elsewhere.



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Old 12-30-2011, 09:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: ChargePoint and Other Shortsighted Thinkers

Amen.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: ChargePoint and Other Shortsighted Thinkers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charged Up
Interestingly, while an EV owner will not pay significantly more to recharge at your store than they would at home or to burn gas, they would be willing to drive miles out of their way to go to your store over another store if you offered charging not available elsewhere.
Absolutely! When my wife and I visit North Carolina, we always try to get to the Kildaire Farm Rd. McDonalds in Cary, just because they have a charging station. In fact, the manager told me that I was the first to use their "Charge Point" charging station. They're about 20 miles away, but we go there because we want to give them the business. Plus, I enjoy answering questions and talking with phev curious patrons.
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: ChargePoint and Other Shortsighted Thinkers

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKalkas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charged Up
Interestingly, while an EV owner will not pay significantly more to recharge at your store than they would at home or to burn gas, they would be willing to drive miles out of their way to go to your store over another store if you offered charging not available elsewhere.
Absolutely! When my wife and I visit North Carolina, we always try to get to the Kildaire Farm Rd. McDonalds in Cary, just because they have a charging station. In fact, the manager told me that I was the first to use their "Charge Point" charging station. They're about 20 miles away, but we go there because we want to give them the business. Plus, I enjoy answering questions and talking with phev curious patrons.

Out of curiosity what is the price for recharging services at the McDonalds in Cary?



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Old 12-31-2011, 06:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: ChargePoint and Other Shortsighted Thinkers

Charged up wrote...
"Out of curiosity what is the price for recharging services at the McDonalds in Cary?"

Charged up: When I first sent in for it, I was given 20 free charges . So far I haven't exceeded that, so I don't know the current price.

Below is the link to Charge Point's frequently asked q's
https://www.chargepointportal.net/index ... aq.html#F3

According to item 2, at this time, the Host (Mac's) has the right to set their own price. Next time I go there, I'll find out. And as I recall, there is a member or 2 here from the Raleigh/Durham area, who may be able to check it out as well.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: ChargePoint and Other Shortsighted Thinkers

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKalkas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charged Up
Out of curiosity what is the price for recharging services at the McDonalds in Cary?
Next time I go there, I'll find out. And as I recall, there is a member or 2 here from the Raleigh/Durham area, who may be able to check it out as well.
No need to go there. Just visit http://mychargepoint.net/find-stations.php and search for mcdonalds cary nc and you'll see the stations are free.

Sounds like neither ChargePoint nor this McDonald's is short-sighted, since ChargePoint lets the station owner set the access and pricing policy, and this McDonald's set it free as a traffic attraction.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: ChargePoint and Other Shortsighted Thinkers

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Originally Posted by bobs
Quote:
Originally Posted by GKalkas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charged Up

Sounds like neither ChargePoint nor this McDonald's is short-sighted, since ChargePoint lets the station owner set the access and pricing policy, and this McDonald's set it free as a traffic attraction.
Sounds like that's another reason to give them the business. By the way, they also happen to be very eco friendly.

"Other sustainable highlights include:

Use of solartubes designed to use 97 percent natural light
LED lighting fixtures
Renewable materials like sunflower seed board and bamboo
Drought tolerant landscape plants"

http://gas2.org/2009/07/06/mcdonalds-de ... g-station/
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: ChargePoint and Other Shortsighted Thinkers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charged Up
Right now a rush is on amongst ChargePoint and Blink and other EVSE makers to get their equipment out there and establish a footprint. Since ideal spots for this equipment are limited, being a first mover may have long term advantages.

Many people are probably thinking, they are making $187,000 a year, and they paid north of $40,000 for a car and they are balking at paying $1.50/hour to recharge? Yes they will, because these are people who donít shy away from math. They understand it is cheaper to burn gas. Or in the case of the Leaf, they will understand that you are ripping them off to recharge there.

Interestingly, while an EV owner will not pay significantly more to recharge at your store than they would at home or to burn gas, they would be willing to drive miles out of their way to go to your store over another store if you offered charging not available elsewhere.
I couldn't wait any longer for the Focus EV so went ahead and bought a LEAF and have been quite happy with it (only since 12/23) --- I'm still very much interested in the Ford C-Max Energi (plug-in hybrid) to replace a much larger vehicle (VW Routan) but back to the point made -- any idea what the average income of the LEAF buyer is; I wouldn't think it would be as high as the Volt but perhaps in the same range?

As to the last comment -- yes, indeed, if a store/location, etc. has an EV charger that is say on the limts of where I can safely get my LEAF to it would certainly weigh in my decision to give my business to them. In my case we have multiple cars so taking the regular ICE is the default if the provider of the EVSE is too high. Where I am, I get a fixed rate of 6.6 cents/kWh which is almost half of your 12 cents/kWh average so the price difference is even that much greater than home charging my EV. What I AM willing to pay a premium on would be the L3 quick charge as do you really want to spend hours versus say 20 to 30 minutes in whatever location you're going to ... a football game (like Soldier Field with its L2 chargers) yes, but a mall or retail complex perhaps not.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: ChargePoint and Other Shortsighted Thinkers

I think charging stations should be established first before making this green cars roll! It's may not be easy for electric vehicle owners to drive long distance if there are not enough charging station on every direction they are taking.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: ChargePoint and Other Shortsighted Thinkers

It's a chicken and egg thing (if you build it will they come?) but as these mfg's have been developing these cars for some time, I think the charger infrastructure has gone through a few waves as well --- over in CA, you'll see 'abandoned' paddle chargers for a previous generation of EV's whereas other parts of the country they didn't have that so perhaps are more willing to spend the money to put some in. I myself like the fact that I can 'fill up' at home each night and not have to depend on an external 'station' but then we have multiple cars so extending range of our EV would simply be a bonus (less use of the ICE vehicles) rather than a necessity.
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