Saturday, September 7, 2019

Animation of the Electrify America network build-out

On the 1st of May, 2018, there were zero stations live.

This animation runs from May 2018 to July 2019.

The range circles on this map represent a Chevrolet Bolt, Jaguar I-Pace or Nissan Leaf Plus.

Orange dots represent charging stations.  Yellow shows how far you can go on a charge.  Cream shows how far you can go, and still return to a charging station on a charge.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

ElectrifyAmerica continues to expand its network

The ElectrifyAmerica network has grown dramatically since its first station opened, 7 months ago.

On the re first of May, there were no stations live.  There are now 48 stations live, with a total of 214 CCS chargepoints, and 49 Chedemo chargepoints.

The most interesting thing is that is has already become a useful long-distance journey network, enabling a fully-charged Chevrolet Bolt or Jaguar I-Pace to start a journey in SW Maine, and get all the way to Dallas or San Antonio in Texas; to Wyoming; or to W Colorado, practically to Utah.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

100kW CCS charger to go live in UK 'soon'

An I-Pace chargers at the 4-vehicle charger at Victoria service Station, Morley

Alfa Power built and operate what is the currently the UK's fastest CCS charger.  The 60kW charger at Brighouse in West Yorkshire went live in September.

Since then, they have put more 60kW CCS chargers live in Morley and Huddersfield

Now, Alfa Power have claimed another first - the first CCS charger in the UK running at above 60kW.  They've made a significant jump, too - achieving 120kW.

The charger has been installed tested and put live at Morley, but it is not yet open to the public.  when it does open, it will be capped initially at 100kW, with 120kW being unlocked later, "when the market requires".

Monday, November 26, 2018

Fast charging in Belgium

Circle shows Jaguar I-Pace EPA range (234 road miles).
From de Panne in the North-West, to Arlon in the South-East is 209 miles by road.  The circle scales that up to 234 miles - the EPA range of the Jaguar I-Pace.

Today, Belgium has 93 CCS DC Fast chargers (at around 75-80 locations)

(For comparison in Belgium, there are 51 Tesla Superchargers and 102 Supercharger stalls, at 9 locations).

Density is higher than in France, and lower than in the Netherlands.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

When will BEVs replace ICEVs? (part 1)

The very short answer?


The short answer

It takes about 8 doublings of EV sales to go from “What are EVs?” to “Remember those gasoline cars?”

We’re about three doublings in. Each doubling has taken about two years so far, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Slow down is unlikely to set in before the process is mostly complete, for 3 reasons:

  • new technology starts as a choice, but soon becomes the only option available
  • the changeover doesn’t start slow and gradually grow. It starts tiny, grows exponentially fast, until things are happening in the blink of an eye.  And then it’s over and done. 
  • the support infrastructure for the old tech withers away once you hit the middle of the change.

By the time the change is noticeable, it’s almost complete.

The long answer (part 1)

Switchovers in general

Generally, things change on an S-shaped curve, (technically a “logistics curve”).

They start really slowly and grow exponentially quickly from that teeny-tiny base.  Once about a quarter of the market has swapped, things are really starting to happen fast. And they keep happening fast until the change is virtually complete, and only a very few stragglers and hold-outs remain.

The swap from film cameras to digital cameras happened in less than 10 years.

In 1995, it was a lot of effort to buy a digital camera. They were expensive.  They were fragile.  They had terrible picture quality - the camera filled in information to get the pictures to end up at 640 x 480 pixels.

 Less than 10 years later, it was very difficult to buy a film snapshot camera.   Three years after that, film cameras were rare and expensive.

The graphs show I was pretty typical. I bought my last film camera in 1997.  In 2003, I bought my first "proper" digital camera.  This digital camera was not simply a tech toy, but was now my regular snapshots camera.

With the film camera, I would walk to the nearest photo shop, pay to get my films developed, 24 or 36 pictures at a time; I would pay extra to get them to digitise my photographs and supply them on a CD, along with the prints, and I would pay for my next batch of blank films.

The digital camera was about twice as expensive to buy as a film camera, but the operating costs were much lower.  I bought some memory sticks, and once I had them, I could re-use them over and over, so I never had to pay for blank film after that. I never had to pay for processing the film. I didn't have to pay to have the pictures digitised. And I only needed to pay to print the good pictures.  No more prints of someone's thumb over the lens, or of people with their eyes tightly shut.

So, higher initial purchase cost, but much lower operating costs.  High end film cameras still produced much better pictures, but for snapshots, the quality was perfectly adequate.

And soon it becomes hard to find anywhere to develop your rolls of undeveloped snapshot film.  It becomes hard to find anyone making or selling snapshot cameras, or film for them. Not impossible.

Comparing the sales curves, something odd happens.  Film cameras keep growing for the first few years of digicams.  Once the sales of digital cameras start to be noticeable, in about 1997 or 1998, the sales of film cameras start to tumble. And fast.

And yet, digital cameras never really reach the same heights that film cameras reached in 1997.

And here's why.

The answer is of course is that technology changes so fast, that digital cameras ever really got a foothold before they were replaced.  By cameras built into mobile phones and smartphones.

And now, it’s getting harder to buy a standalone snapshot camera, because smartphone cameras have just about completely taken over.

You can look at similar changeovers that have happened recently - dumb mobile phones to smartphones, cathode-ray TVs and monitors and flat-screen TVs and monitors, CDs to MP3s to streaming services.

First almost no-one has the new thing - the new thing is more expensive, and not actually as good. Then they get to be only a little more expensive, and not too much worse. And then lots of people make the swap. And the new things gets cheaper, and gets to be on a par. And the support for the old thing starts to disappear, until it becomes a speciality item, if you can get it at all.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Ecotricity announces it has solved its CCS problem

Dale Vince announced yesterday that the intermittent faults with their CCS electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers will be fixed within the week.

He made the announcements on the FullyCharged Show yesterday.

Dale is the founder and a director of Ecotricity, a power generating company. Ecotricity also operate the Electric Highway, a web of connected routes of EV fast chargers in the UK.

He says that the fault was intermittent, and affected chargers on networks across Europe.

As at Thursday, 4th October, 200 of the Ecotricity DC Fast Chargers had received the fix, with the final 100 or so to receive the fix by 11th October.

This is good news - half of the random sample of Ecotricity CCS chargers I was checking out on Tuesday were out of service.

It seems to have been a software fault - he says the manufacturer of the affected chargers has developed a technical fix which has now been proven and tested. In identifying and developing the fix, Ecotricity were working with Audi, BMW and Jaguar, as well as the manufacturer of the chargers.

Ecotricity were early movers in providing charging for long journeys - starting off with providing 240V 3-pin sockets at motorway services. Currently, they have a de facto monopoly in providing DC Fast Chargers at motorway services for Chademo and CCS users. Initially, they also aided Tesla in getting access to motorway services, but at some point this ended up in legal action between the two organisations.

Ecotricity's CCS chargers are mainly ChadeMo chargers which have been retro-fitted with CCS software and connectors.

For the first 5 years or so, Ecotricity chargers were free to use. Now there is a fee per kiloWatt, with a substantial discount for Ecotricity power customers. The chargers are still a loss-leader.

Other facts and figures :

50,000 members of the Ecotricity charging scheme;

~ 1.3million miles of charging provided per month;

98% of charge events are successful;

4% load factor.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

I-Pace customer deliveries start in France

Blooweels electric car hire got an I-Pace for their fleet last Friday (28th September 2018)

They have multiple branches across France.