Non-Residential EVSE Cost Webinar (Text Version)
This is a text version of the video for Non-Residential EVSE Cost Webinar presented on Feb. 17, 2016.
Sandra Loi: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to today's Clean Cities webinar. I'm Sandra Loi from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Today's webinar will feature a discussion on cost associated with non-residential EVSE or electric vehicle supply equipment.
Margaret Smith from New West Technologies will provide an overview and discussion of EVSE cost information, included in the Clean Cities Report recently released on the topic and available on the Alternative Fuels Data Center. We also have a panel of EVSE experts on today's webinar to answer questions from the audience about EVSE cost. They bring a diverse perspective and experience in installing EVSE around the country.
Mr. Dennis Smith, National Clean Cities director, will kick off today's webinar and introduce our speakers. In a moment, I will pass it off to him to get us started. Before we begin, I will go over a few items so you know how to participate in today's webinar.
As noted at the start of the webinar, all attendees are in listen-only mode and will remain so through the entirety of the webinar. When you logged into today's webinar, by default, you will be set to listen in using your computer's speaker system. If you would prefer to join over the phone, just select "telephone" in the audio pane and the dial-in information will be displayed.
We will be hosting a question-and-answer session at the conclusion of the presentation. We encourage you to submit questions as the presentation takes place. You can do so by typing your questions into the questions pane of the control panel. We collect these and address them during the question-and-answer session at the end of today's presentation.
We are recording today's webinar, and it will be posted and available within ten days on the Clean Cities website. Without further ado, I'd like to pass the webinar over to Mr. Dennis Smith. Dennis, you may begin.
Dennis Smith: Thanks, Sandra, and welcome, everyone. Again, I'm Dennis Smith. I'm the National Clean Cities director calling from our Department of Energy Headquarters office in Washington, D.C. I hope many of you are familiar with Clean Cities and have been working with us, now, for some time. And we want to really expand today on the information that we can provide you on these non-residential electric vehicle charging devices and equipment.
And essentially, what we mean by that is that we're going to be focusing on equipment not installed at people's homes, so at commercial applications and other types of places. You probably know that we've really supported electric vehicles for many years in our program, and we provide various online tools and resources to help educate drivers about the vehicles and about their charging options and to coordinate and link them with charging station providers and hosts. So this is another step in that direction.
You know, one of the frequent questions we get is really wanting to know about the cost of these charging stations and the charging equipment. So recently, we sponsored this report that we put together on the cost associated with, as I mentioned, the non-residential electric vehicle supply equipment or EVSE, as a lot of people refer to it. This document really consolidates a lot of the most current information that we have on this into one resource. We wanted to keep it as brief as possible but also provide insight into all the different factors that can affect the cost. We've done this for some other fuels in the past, and it's been very helpful for people to get a handle on it.
I did want to mention that Linda Bluestein, who's the co-director of the National Clean Cities program, wanted to be on the webinar and was going to host it today, but she had a scheduling conflict. So I'm pinch-hitting for Linda, but she's really our point person on the electric vehicle activities in the Clean Cities program and has shepherded a lot of that work.
Today, Margaret Smith's going to be providing the overview, and really she was the lead person and happened to put together this report. Many of you know Margaret. For the past six years, she's provided programmatic and technical support to our Clean Cities program as part of New West Technologies, one of our technical support contractors. And she works with us here on various activities, such as organizing the Clean Cities training initiatives and fine-tuning tools and developing exactly this kind of resource. In fact, Margaret worked on a similar reports and tools for both natural gas and propane refueling station pricing. So that goes along with it here.
I wanted to also tell you, briefly, about who's going to be on the call on the panelists today – be available for a Q&A. Charlie Botsford is with us. He conducts business development activities in the AeroVironment's Energy Efficient System's group and is the project manager for the West Coast Electric Highway. Charlie has a wide range of experience, relative to electric vehicles, renewable energy systems, power electronics, oil refining, and air-quality issues.
And then, also, we've got Randy Schimka with us today. He is an electrical engineer and who is on the Clean Transportation team at San Diego Gas & Electric, where he works with employees, customers, and providers on all aspects of electric vehicle charging projects and vehicle grid integration. Randy walks the walk. He actually owns two EVs and has driven over 70,000 all-electric miles in the last five years, including 20,000 miles of EV road trips with his son. So thanks for that, Randy. We like people who actually do walk the walk here.
And then, from the Idaho National Lab, we've got Jim Francfort. He's been the manager of DOE's advanced vehicle testing activity, which some of you know as AVTA, at the Idaho National Laboratory since 1994. During that time, they've collected operations and test data from 22,000 electric vehicles and over 17,000 charging units in order to evaluate all the different options and what the petroleum reduction benefits are of these kinds of advanced vehicles and the charging infrastructure. So with that introduction, I guess, Margaret, we'll turn it over to you to give the initial overview.
Margaret Smith: Thank you very much, Dennis. We would like to leave plenty of time for questions at the end of this webinar, so I might move quickly through some of these slides, but the slides and recorded webinar will be posted online. So you'll be able to check them out if you want to take a closer look at the presentation.
So if you want more detailed information about EVSE costs, you can download the Cost Associated with Non-Residential EVSE report from the Alternative Fuel Data Center, the report that Dennis just mentioned. This report pulled together the most recent and robust sources of information regarding EVSE costs, and the primary sources for that information were from the EV Project, a report by the Electric Power Research Institute, which is referred to as EPRI, and the West Coast Electric Highway.
The EV Project deployed Level 2 and DC fast-charging EVSE from 2011 to 2013 and Idaho National Laboratory, or INL, collected EV Project data and has published many lessons learned white papers about their findings. EPRI conducted a study on installation cost for level two EVSE installed in the 2010 to 2013 timeframe, and the West Coast Electric Highway project installed DC fast chargers across Oregon and Washington between 2011 and 2015. We also gathered anecdotal information from many interviews with EVSE owners, manufacturers, and installers, as well as utilities.
EVSE safely delivers electricity from an electricity source to a plug-in electric vehicle, and there are three most common types of EVSE. AC Level 1 connects to a 120-volt AC power supply and provides about 5 miles of range for every hour of charging. AC Level 2 connects to a 208- or 240-volt AC power supply and typically provides about 10 to 20 miles of range for every hour of charging.
DC fast charging is the highest power option for charging a vehicle. The majority of DC fast chargers on the market supply 50 kilowatts of power, which adds about 50 miles of range in 20 minutes. There are lower and higher-powered DC fast chargers that are also available.
Plug-in electric vehicles or PEV drivers will primarily charge their vehicles at home, but there is also a need for non-residential EVSE in workplace, public, and fleet settings. Our conversation today will be focused on those non-residential EVSE settings. Today, I'll discuss the cost of the EVSE unit hardware itself, installation costs, and operation and maintenance cost. We'll also touch on incentives that can help reduce the cost of buying and installing an EVSE.
EVSE units primarily depend on these factors. First, the charging level and amperage rating, which determine the amount of power that will come from the EVSE. In general, EVSE that provides more power costs more money. If an EVSE has multiple charging ports that allow to charge two, three, or four vehicles at the same time, that unit will cost more than a single-port unit, which only charges one vehicle at a time.
The mounting system is another important cost factor. The simplest and lowest cost option is to mount the EVSE on the wall. If it's mounted on a pedestal, it might cost about $500.00 to $700.00 more due to the material and manufacturing cost of the pedestal.
EVSE units can be networked or non-networked. The network units are connected to the Internet and send data to a network host's computer server. They're typically part of a charging network that has one organization managing a group of EVSEs. Each charging network has its own business model for the features they offer to a charging station host, and these additional features can provide communications capabilities, for instance, allowing drivers to use an app to see where you're charging station is located and know if it's available for use.
They can also include access control to restrict the use of EVSE to specific drivers and point-of-sale technology so that drivers can pay for their charging session. There's also energy monitoring, energy management, demand response, and more features. An EVSE with more advanced features has a higher price tag than a more basic unit, and these features may be included as part of the package of a charging network. You can also have a non-network EVSE unit and purchase secondary systems that can provide many of these additional features.
So let's look at Level 1 EVSE units first. They cost from $300.00 to $1,800.00. And the lowest end of that cost range is a basic cord set that, on one end, plugs into a 120-volt outlet, and the other end connects to the vehicle. You can purchase a cord set or a wall-mounted Level 1 unit for about $300.00 to $600.00. On the higher end of that cost range is a pedestal-mounted unit with access control and cable management, like in the top right picture here.
Now, we'll look at Level 2 EVSE units. Single-port Level 2 EVSE units cost from $400.00 to $6,500.00, and the main cost factors are the mounting system and additional features. Now, the graphic on this slide illustrates the difference between Level 2 EVSEs throughout that cost range. Not all EVSE manufacturers and models will fit exactly within these descriptions and price ranges, but it gives you a sense of the difference between a $500.00, $1,500.00, and $5,000.00 Level 2 EVSE.
A basic wall-mounted unit costs about $500.00 to $1,000.00. A basic pedestal-mounted unit costs about $1,200.00 to $1,700.00. A pedestal unit with some low-level data collection, so a few features, costs about $1,700.00 to $2,700.00. And then, you can find pedestal-mounted units with many advanced features for $3,000.00 to $6,000.00.
Now, looking at DC fast chargers, the DC fast chargers that can charge 1 vehicle at a time cost from $10,000.00 to $40,000.00. The biggest cost factor is the power output. DC fast chargers commonly have a 50- to 60-kilowatt power output, but there are 24- or 25-kilowatt DC fast chargers, which would be on the lower end of the price range.
The very high end of that price range is a 250-kilowatt fast charger. That highest-power model would likely be only fleet use, which requires replenishing the vehicle battery very quickly. DC fast chargers can come with a range of advanced features that also affect the price.
Now, in order for a vehicle to use a DC fast charger, it has to be compatible with the connector. The two connectors shown in the bottom right picture here are the SAE J1772 combined charging system or combo connector. And on the right is the CHAdeMO connector.
So the Nissan Leaf, for example, uses the CHAdeMO standard, so it would need a CHAdeMO connector in order to use the DC fast charger. And the BMW i3 uses the SAE standard, so it would need a combo connector. There's also a third fast charger standard that is only compatible with Tesla vehicles.
The DC fast charger pictured on the left on this slide is from the EV project. It has two ports with CHAdeMO connectors, so two vehicles can be connected at the same time. However, it only charges one vehicle at a time. Having two ports allows one vehicle to plug in while another is being charged, and then the fast charger will automatically start charging the second vehicle when the first one's finished.
The DC fast charger in the middle picture also has two ports, one with a combo connector and the other with a CHAdeMO connector. This one, as well, only charges one vehicle at a time, but it is compatible with a larger range of vehicles because it has two connector standards.
So now that we've gone through the cost of the EVSE hardware, let's talk about the installation. Installation costs include paying a contractor to connect the EVSE to your electrical service. That may require a new or upgraded electrical service. One of the biggest reasons installation costs have such a large range is that labor rates vary substantially across the country and labor can account for 60 percent of installations costs.
For the purpose of this discussion, we're including permitting and inspection costs within the installation cost range. There may also be additional costs incurred during installation to meet Americans with Disability Act or ADA requirements. I'm going to talk in more detail about each of these installation cost factors and provide example cost ranges from past installations.
It's important to keep in mind that every site is different, and the only way to accurately estimate how much installation will cost at a given site is to bring a contractor out to conduct a site evaluation. An initial site evaluation should include determining the electrical capacity of the site, the location of distribution or services lines, the required electrical capacity for the type and quantity of charging stations, and the best location for the charging stations.
When it comes to connecting the EVSE to the electrical service, a simple and low-cost installation would run conduit along the wall a short distance to the EVSE. If the EVSE is wall-mounted, like the image in the top right, or a pedestal unit installed close to the wall, like the image in the top left, then the cost to connect the EVSE to the electrical system is about as low as it can get.
However, if the EVSE is placed farther away from the electrical system, there could be high costs to run conduit underground. The bottom left picture shows a trench that has been dug to lay electrical conduit. Trenching costs vary around the country. In some areas, the cost to dig the trench, lay conduit, and backfill is $100.00 to $150.00 per foot for asphalt, for concrete. If you're trenching through soil, the cost is much lower – about $10.00 to $20.00 per foot.
For some sites, directional boring may be a more cost-effective method for installing the conduit and longer runs, whereas trenching opens the ground from above to dig a path, the boring process consists of drilling a tunnel underneath the surface. Since boring is less invasive, there are fewer costs for disposing of removed concrete and restoring the surface to its original appearance. It also has the added benefit of not disrupting traffic flows.
Looking at this picture, you can see sidewalk, trees, and other landscaping near the charging stations. For this installation, boring under the existing sidewalk was preferred over trenching and then restoring the original appearance.
I don't have any figures for how much boring costs because it's very situation-specific. The best way to compare the costs of boring and trenching for a specific site is to get a quote from a contractor.
So now that we've talked about connecting the EVSE to the electrical service, let's talk about the costs that may be incurred ensuring there's enough electricity available to safely power the EVSE. The three fundamental electrical needs for EVSE are, first, sufficient electrical capacity from the utility connection to the electrical panel; second, sufficient electrical capacity at the electrical panel; and third, a dedicated circuit for each EVSE unit on the electrical panel, which is required in most cases.
If there's not sufficient electrical capacity flowing from the utility to the site's electrical panel to meet the EVSE power needs, then there will need to be electrical service upgrades. You'll need to talk with your utility to discuss whether electrical service upgrades are needed or not. Service upgrades, such as installing a new transformer, can add significant cost to an installation. The West Coast Electric Highway project had service upgrades cost from $10,000.00 to $25,000.00.
Now, if there's no electricity currently at the site and you need brand-new electrical service to that location, you'll need to coordinate that with your utility, as well. The EV Project had costs of $3,500.00 to $9,500.00 for new electrical service.
In addition to considering the electricity flowing from the utility to your electrical panel, your installation contractor will ensure there's space on the electrical panel for the EVSE and that there's a dedicated circuit for each EVSE unit, and this may require some electrical panel work. In the EPRI setting, 72 percent of the Level 2 commercial installations required panel work, and those costs will vary based on how much material and labor are required.
It's a good practice to talk with your permitting agency very early in the planning process to make sure you understand the requirements and the costs associated with those requirements. Permitting costs on the EV Project ranged from $14.00 to $821.00. There may be a requirement to have stamped engineering drawings for the EVSE installation. That'll depend on your local codes and your charging station design. In the EV Project, engineering drawings cost from $1,000.00 to $3,000.00.
ADA requirements can have a minimal or a significant effect on installation costs. You'll need to work with your local authority having jurisdiction to determine what they require for ADA compliance. A site might be required to have level parking spaces, accessible signage, van-accessible parking spaces, curb cutouts, and specific connector heights. In this picture to the top right, you can see the EVSE connector is lower to the ground to meet ADA requirements.
Installation may also include costs to ensure the EVSE doesn't get damaged by a vehicle, such as bollards or wheel stops. In some areas, bollards can run $200.00 to $800.00 each, and wheel stops can cost $100.00 to $200.00 each.
So let's look at installing Level 1 charging stations. So offering Level 1 charging could mean letting drivers plug in their own cord set to an existing outlet, as shown in this "free juice bar" picture. If you already have a commercial-grade NEMA outlet on a dedicated circuit by a parking spot, there could be no installation costs for offering this service to drivers. But it is a very good idea to have an electrician inspect that outlet to ensure it's in good condition before using it for Level 1 charging, and there could be a fee for that service.
If you need to install an outlet and dedicated circuit in a parking lot or garage, it costs from $300.00 to $1,000.00 per outlet. If you're installing a wall-mounted Level 1 EVSE, the cost for that would also be from about $300.00 to $1,000.00. Since there's not a big increase in cost from mounting the EVSE unit to the wall, these costs assume you have sufficient electrical capacity at your site.
If you're installing a pedestal-mounted EVSE, the installation costs will be on the higher end of the range because of the cost of placing the pedestal and trenching. Assuming no major electrical work is needed and trenching costs aren't extravagant, a pedestal-mounted EVSE installation could cost $1,000.00 to $3,000.00.
Non-residential Level 2 installations can range from $600.00 to over $12,000.00. These figures don't include the EVSE unit, just the cost for installation. And the main cost factors that determine where a particular installation falls within that range are whether it's pedestal or wall-mounted, the amount of trenching or boring required, the amount of electrical work required, your geographic location, and if the setting is fleet, workplace, or public.
The graph on this slide show the average installation costs in the EPRI study broken out by setting. The blue bar is the cost per port since some of those installations were dual-port EVSE, and the red bar is the cost per EVSE unit. Installing a dual-port EVSE can reduce the per-port installation cost compared to installing two single-port EVSE. You can see the cost of fleet installations are lowest. Workplace is in the middle, and public installations have the highest average installation cost.
The top graph on this slide shows the average installation cost for each of the 13 geographic regions where the EV Project installed Level 2 EVSE. The average installation cost for public Level 2 range from about $2,000.00 to about $4,500.00 with the overall average of $3,100.00.
The variation by geographic region was primarily due to differences in labor rates, permitting fees, and ADA requirements. In the bottom graph, you can see the percentage of the units that were wall-mounted. Nearly 80 percent of the Washington, D.C. units were wall mounted, which correlates to Washington, D.C. having the lowest average installation costs. One factor that contributed to Atlanta having the highest average installation cost is that many of those EVSE units were placed in high visibility locations that required costly trenching across long distances.
Looking at all the non-residential Level 2 EVSE and the EV Project, which includes public and workplace EVSE, the average installation cost is about $3,000.00 per unit. Workplace installations, on the other hand, had a lower average installation cost of $2,000.00 to $2,223.00. The graph at the top right shows the distribution of cost for publicly accessible installations, and the graph at the bottom right shows the distribution of cost for workplace installations.
When it comes to DC fast charging, the installation costs range from $4,000.00 to $51,000.00. The main cost factors are needing to extend new electrical service or upgrade existing electrical service, trenching or boring, and the amount of concrete required in the foundation design. The graph on this slide shows the distribution of DC fast charger installation costs for the EV Project. Their installation costs ranged from $8,500.00 to $51,000.00 with an average of $21,000.00 for each DC fast charger.
The West Coast Electric Highway's fast chargers had a higher average installation cost of $40,000.00. These costs were higher than the EV Project primarily because the selected locations were more rural, resulting in costly utility upgrades and trenching.
Orlando Utility Commission was able to install 5 fast chargers for $4,000.00 to $9,000.00 each, and they were able to keep these costs so low by carefully selecting site locations that minimized trenching and electrical work. They also provided training to the electricians on how to install EVSE.
So we've covered the cost of EVSE units and installation. Now, let's talk about operation and maintenance of EVSE. The primary operational cost of EVSE is electricity costs. There are two types of electricity cost: consumption and demand. The electricity consumption charges for an EVSE will depend on how much the EVSE is used. Commercial electricity rates range from 8 cents to 15 cents per kilowatt-hour. The table to the right provides some example scenarios and their corresponding electricity cost.
In addition to consumption charges, many commercial sites may be subject to power-demand charges from the utility. Each utility has its own threshold for demand charges, typically, between 20 and 50 kilowatts. Once a site's power usage exceeds that threshold, there is a fee based on the site's peak demand.
Sites that have a DC fast charger or multiple Level 2 EVSE may encounter demand charges. These charges can be significant and, in some cases, have been over $2,000.00 per month. It's very important to talk to your utility early on in the planning process to find out if they offer any special charging rates for EVSE and how your plans to install EVSE may affect your demand charges. Some EVSE models come with energy management features that can help you avoid or reduce demand charges, and there are separate load management systems that automatically sequence multiple EVSE to avoid demand charges.
Another O&M cost is networking fees. As I mentioned at the beginning of the presentation, some EVSE are part of a charging network, which provides additional features and support. Charging network fees range from $100.00 to $900.00 annually.
Since the technology is relatively new, we don't have much information about exact cost for EVSE maintenance and repair. You may encounter situations where EVSE components need to be replaced or repaired, and it would be wise to include that in your budgeting. Talk with the EVSE manufacturer to find out how much maintenance or repairs could cost for a given EVSE unit.
Regular maintenance is generally not required for basic Level 1 and Level 2 EVSE. If the Level 1 electrical outlet needs to be replaced, the cost of labor and materials may be around $50.00 to $120.00. DC fast chargers do require ongoing maintenance due to cooling systems, filters, and other components not on Level 1 or Level 2 EVSE.
There are a variety of incentives available to help reduce the cost of installing EVSE. The map on this slide shows which states had EVSE incentives as of July 2015 and what type of incentives. There are rebates, tax credits, tax exemptions, grants, loans, and combinations of those. The table provides examples of state EVSE incentives, such as an income tax credit for 20 percent off the cost, $1,000.00 rebate for Level 2, and a $15,000.00 rebate for DC fast charger.
A new federal EVSE tax credit is available for up to $30,000.00 for commercial or public EVSE installed between January 2015 and December 2016. For more information about current incentives, visit the laws and incentives database, which is the available on the Alternative Fuels Data Center.
So here are some tips for minimizing the cost of installing EVSE. When it comes to selecting the EVSE unit, choose the minimum level of features to meet your needs. If possible, select a wall-mounted EVSE unit. If you want to charge multiple vehicles at the same time, consider multiple-port EVSE units, which can reduce your overall installation costs. Work with an electrician to determine the available electrical capacity at your site. Then, choose the quantity and level of EVSE that fits within the available electrical capacity. That will prevent you from having to upgrade your electrical service.
There are many things to consider when choosing the location of an EVSE. To keep the installation costs low, minimize the trenching and boring distance, place the EVSE unit close to the electrical service. Rather than placing the EVSE unit in a highly visible location that would be very costly, place it in the most cost-effective location, and use signage to direct drivers to where they can charge their vehicles. As much as possible, choose a location that already has space on the electrical panel with a dedicated circuit. That can cut down on electrical work costs.
And in addition to carefully selecting the EVSE unit and location, you can minimize overall costs by thinking through your long-term EVSE needs. Contact your utility early in the planning stages to discuss electricity consumption and demand charges, as well as electrical service needs, and look into strategies for avoiding demand charges. You'll want to consider the quantity and location of EVSE that you plan to install over the next 10 to 20 years when installing your first unit, and upgrade your electrical service for your anticipated long-term EVSE load and run conduit to your anticipated future EVSE locations. This will minimize the cost of installing future units.
Consider the electrical infrastructure for EVSE when building a new facility. It is less expensive to install an extra panel and conduit capacity during initial construction than to modify the site later.
And here's summary information about all of the costs that I've just gone through. If you need any help finding contacts for contacting an EVSE manufacturer or installer or getting a site assessment, consider reaching out to your local Clean Cities Coalition. And certainly, use the Alternative Fuels Data Center to find out what incentives are available. That can help cut down on your costs.
I've included some additional resources here that you can consider going to if you want more information. Rather than running through each of these, I want to move towards the Q&A session so we can make sure to have time to answer as many of your questions as possible. So as Dennis introduced, I'm Margaret Smith. And on the line today, we also have Jim Francfort, Charlie Botsford, and Randy Schimka to help answer your questions.
We have a few questions in the queue. The first one is, "Can you explain what you mean when you said you can buy a non-network station and utilize a third party to collect the same information as a network station?" There are products on the market that can help you measure the amount of electricity you're consuming or provide point-of-sale technology or provide access control – other features that you may want to have on your EVSE unit that, because it's non-network, don't necessarily come with the product itself.
Another question was, "Do these prices include installation costs?" That may have been earlier in the presentation. The prices were separate for unit cost and installation costs.
"Even though the installation cost of a dual-port station is less than two single ports, locating each single port to reach two or four parking spaces actually seems more cost effective, right? Shouldn't we encourage moving cords and not cars?" Well, you guys have heard me talk a lot. Do any of the other panel participants want to address that one? I can repeat the question.
Male: Yeah, please do.
Margaret Smith: "Even though the installation cost of a dual-port station is less than two single ports," I'm assuming that's on a per-port basis, "locating each single port to reach two or four parking spaces actually seems more cost effective. Shouldn't we encourage moving cords and not cars?"
Jim Francfort: HI, this is Jim. I envision a situation like that as a tradeoff. If you have two ports – let's say you have a two-port unit in the middle of four parking spaces. You can charge two vehicles at the same time, and at lunchtime, move the cords over to the other two cars. If you have a single port, theoretically, you have to move it four times, and there's also the question of how much energy goes in.
Depending on the onboard charger, it could be 3.3 kilowatts. Let's say you commute 30 miles to work, get about 3 miles per kilowatt-hour, so you need 10 kilowatt hours. So you need at least 3 hours of charging to make that 30-hour commute. And if you have to charge 4 cars, that's a 12-hour day. Most of us don't like to stay at work 12 hours. Does that answer the question?
Margaret Smith: Yeah, I think so. Thank you, Jim. The next question is, "When can we start to see Level 1 incentives?" That's not something that I know how to answer. Anybody else?
Male: I'm certainly unaware of any.
Margaret Smith: And I'm not aware of Level 1 incentives, but if there are any, then the Alternative Fuels Data Center would include them in their laws and incentives database.
"Is the choice of network, in the case of network-enabled EVSE especially important in deciding which type of EVSE to be installed?" Charlie, do you want to take a stab at that one?
Charlie Botsford: Sure. This is Charlie. The first question to ask is whether you need the data that you would get from network stations, or if you're at a workplace location, if you actually even need to have the data. And maybe you just need to access control, and you can do access control without having a network station. So, if you need the data, need network stations for whatever reason, that's a different model of station. Typically, as you pointed out, Margaret, those are more expensive stations.
Male: And if I could add in addition to access control, which I fully agree with, it's also – it could be a revenue issue. If you want to charge for it, you're probably going to need a network station.
Margaret Smith: The next question is, "Can you speak to any issues related to impacts of station operation in extreme weather: heat, humidity, flooding, earthquake, et cetera?"
Charlie Botsford: Ooh, ooh, I can take that one. This is Charlie. Yeah. Yeah, we have stations out – and boy, not only us, but we've seen stations out in all kinds of weather, and they're pretty robust. DC fast-charging stations – we have a station on the West Coast Electric Highway that's at a pass that gets about 130 inches of snow a year. So yeah, there have been all kinds of weather, so DC fast-charging stations, Level 2 stations, they're pretty robust.
Jim Francfort: Charlie, this is Jim. I think the only thing maybe to think about is sun in the Southwest.
Charlie Botsford: Oh, yeah.
Jim Francfort: On the screens – can be pretty tough, and you want to face the station away from the afternoon – you know, if you have an interface screen, you want to face the station away from the sun so it's not getting beat hot, or put it in some kind of a covered area.
Margaret Smith: Thank you, both. "What type of warranty is recommended for what number of years?"
Charlie Botsford: This is Charlie again. I know our standard warranty for Level 2 stations is 3 years. Some people have one-year warranties. Some people have, I believe, even more than three years, but three years is kind of a standard warranty – parts and labor. DC fast-charging stations typically have a one-year warranty, but you can get extended warranties on those, as well.
Margaret Smith: Thank you very much. And one of our questions was, "Can we send the presentation slides?" The presentation slides will be posted on the Clean Cities website along with the recording of the webinar.
"How sophisticated can low-level data collection be?" Typically – same question, so I guess, "In the range of what Level 2 or any smart EVSE can collect, what's that range between low data collection and more advanced data collection?" Charlie, I know you and I had talked about that.
Charlie Botsford: Sure. This is Charlie. You know, if the station's networked, then the data collection can be pretty much as sophisticated as you want. If it's non-networked, then, as you mentioned, there are some third-party ways of collecting data, you know, FleetCarma and some other techniques. I know the auto OEMs are really getting big into telematics to do data collection. It could be the wave of the future for as far as EV charging goes.
Margaret Smith: All right. Thank you. The next question is, "Have you seen differences in costs for city/municipal facilities with garages that could be either used for workplace and/or public charging?" Jim, are you able to tackle that one?
Jim Francfort: Sure. Sure. Sure. You know, it really can vary so dramatically. I have seen, in California, two Level 2 EVSE installed that cost $50,000.00 for the 2 of them because of the necessary electrical upgrades. But if you go to wall-mounted, non-pedestal, where you can run conduit along the wall, you can really drive the cost down.
So it's really highly dependent on the type of pedestal you choose. Traditionally, we see parking at like municipalities – city halls, where – and I hope there's no mayors on the phone – the mayor may want the Level 2 at the front door of city hall, but the power supply could be in the back, and that adds cost. Cutting concrete, cutting asphalt's a very expensive proposition.
Margaret Smith: All right. Thank you for that. "Can you speak to any issues related to impacts of station operation –" oh, we already went through that one. I apologize. "Have you seen any Level 1 stations that record kilowatt hours? Do you think the leasing of stations will be the future of fleet EVSE purchases/solutions?"
Charlie Botsford: This is Charlie. As far as Level 1 stations, those are operated off of 120-volt circuits, and typically, we haven't seen too many stations – charging stations – out there with that Level 1 that monitor kilowatt hours. That may change the requirement if there's fees charged for EV charging because of the NIST Handbook 44 and 130 requirements because that requires kilowatt-hour transactions.
So it could be that if you have Level 1 and you want to charge money for charging at Level 1, then you need to have kilowatt-hour monitoring and displays and all that. So that could get to be an expensive proposition for Level 1 charging.
We kind of like Level 2 charging better than Level 1 only because the onboard charges from the vehicle operate at a little bit higher efficiency – at 208- or 240-volt power levels – than they do at higher voltage levels than they do at Level 1. And also, when you're wiring a facility, it's a little bit more efficient to wire at the 208- or 240-volt for Level 2. And the stations, whether it's Level 1 or Level 2, there's not a huge cost difference at the basic levels – basic kind of models.
Margaret Smith: And does anyone on the panel have input on the topic of leasing stations?
Male: Hmm, well, yeah, that's certainly one option. I know there's some movement at the federal level. GSA is looking at – just for fleet operations and I don't think that would be for leasing – or leasing stations, but I'm not sure. We've some interest in leasing, but primarily, it' just outright payment.
Margaret Smith: Okay. "Is information regarding the market acceptability of fees for charging available in order to aid decision making?"
Male: Could you repeat that one?
Margaret Smith: "Is information regarding the market acceptability of fees for charging available in order to aid decision making?" I'm guessing that's asking, "How much are people willing to charge – or willing to pay to charge their EVSE or to charge their vehicle?" I'm not sure if it's public or workplace for this particular question.
Jim Francfort: Well, I know in the EV Project, when the fees were imposed on the DC fast chargers, usage dropped off dramatically because they were originally free to try to get people to use them. However, over time, people came back. The reality is, if you've driven to work and you've got more errands to run and you need to charge, you're going to pay. And I believe those sessions were $5.00 per charge session if you're the network, and I think it was $10.00 or $8.00 if you were not in the network. And there's a lot of different models on how you can charge for charging.
Charlie Botsford: Yeah, this is Charlie. I agree with Jim. That opens up a huge topic that could take a couple days to go over. I know if you look at kind of the statistics for workplace charging, what I've seen is something like 70 or 80 percent of the employers, right now, don't charge their employees for workplace charging. And it just could be because it's a low amount of electricity that they have to worry about with their employees, could be that it's early on in the market. Who knows?
There's a lot of interest in being able to charge employees for workplace charging in the future. But currently, they don't, and if you're an employee and you could charge at home for, say, 10 cents a kilowatt hour, but if the business model for workplace charging, if you had to pay the equivalent of 30 cents a kilowatt hour, you might not want to do that. So yeah, that's a huge topic.
Jim Francfort: Yeah, Margaret, if I could just add, the importance of workplace charging should not be understated. We were looking at people that charged at workplace and at home, and 98 percent of charging occurred at workplace than home. People really took advantage of the opportunities to charge at workplaces.
Margaret Smith: Yeah, thanks for bringing that up, Jim. That is important to note. "Have you had much experience with adding energy storage and/or other load management strategies and their approximate costs?" I'll open that one up to the panel.
Charlie Botsford: This is Charlie. I think that might be a great question for Randy since he's down in San Diego Gas & Electric territory. I know they've done a fair amount of work with energy storage and EV charging and looking at that whole kind of business model of how energy storage affects things like demand charges.
Randy Schimka: Sure. Hi, this is Randy. So yeah, we've done a couple of projects down here. We did one where we partnered with Caltrans and ECOtality as part of the EV Project at the Del Lago Park and Ride facility here by North County Fair Shopping Center in Escondido, and we have some energy storage up there, as well as some solar panels that actually cover the parking spaces.
And then, I also worked with – it's the NRG EVgo and Green Charge Networks. They got a grant to put in some battery storage at three different 7-Eleven stores here in San Diego, where they had DC fast chargers, and the goal was to try to not raise the demand that 7-Eleven stores presented on their bill, try to use the batteries to mitigate that demand.
And I wasn't really involved as far as the costs go. I know that the projects were successful, and I think they achieved those goals of mitigating demand, but I'm not really privy to what the costs were. I think I've heard people say that it's quite expensive to do, but I don't really have figures to share.
Margaret Smith: Okay. Thank you for sharing those experiences. "Is permitting and installation very different for Level 2 vs. the DC fast chargers?" I'll open that one up to the group.
Male: Hi, this is –
Male: Charlie, you got this?
Charlie Botsford: Sure. I'll give it a shot. We've seen a big variety of installation costs and permitting costs. We just did a little Level 2 installation in San Diego, and the permitting cost – the cost for the actual permits wasn't drastic or anything. But the permitting activity with the contractor that we were working with, they had to go into the city on four separate occasions, which really increases the cost of the permitting activity, and it was primarily for ADA requirements.
So the permitting, wherever you are, can vary a lot, and cities who pay a lot of attention to ADA, Americans with Disability requirements, that can really boost the permitting activity, not necessarily the actual permits. You know, costs for getting a permit – $100.00 or $200.00 – but all the engineering drawings and everything else that you have to put together to get the permit can vary a lot.
Margaret Smith: Have you seen much variation within like the same location for a Level 2 unit compared to a DC fast charger? I know in one location – and I believe it was in Oregon – if they were putting in a Level 2 unit, they didn't need engineering drawings. But since they were putting in a DC fast charger, they did need engineered drawings because of the weight of the unit.
Charlie Botsford: Sure. Weight of the unit – so you can get into seismic Zone 4 engineering drawings requirement to the load calculations for the electrical panel, the load calculations for the concrete foundation. Oh, yeah, yeah, the list goes on and on for DC fast charging as far as permitting, and it depends on the authorities having jurisdiction, the AHJ, what they require, there's an esthetics, sometimes, that you run into with DC fast chargers that often you don't run into with Level 2 units. Yeah, it's a big difference, trying to get a DC fast charger permitted. That whole enterprise is quite a bit different from a Level 2 station.
Margaret Smith: Okay. Thank you. We have another utility question for you, Randy. "Have you heard of utility companies offering to meter Level 1 charging receptacles? If so, what kinds of costs have you seen?"
Randy Schimka: So the question is whether utilities will meter Level 1 installations?
Margaret Smith: It says, "Level 1 charging receptacles." So I guess that could be an actual, like, wall-mounted charging unit or maybe a receptacle that someone can plug in their cord set.
Randy Schimka: Okay. I think I understand the question. To a utility, electrical load is electrical load, and so if a customer were to ask for a new electric service to put charging stations in, we would ask for some of the basic specifications about the voltage that they would want and the size of the service that they would want. And it doesn't really matter to us whether it's a DC fast charge station or Level 2 or Level 1 unit. We would size electric service and the associated utility infrastructure for the size that was requested, and they could put whatever they wanted downstream of that meter. I hope that answers the question.
Margaret Smith: I think so. Thank you. All right. The next question – I'm just taking these in order they're received – is, "Do you each have both Level 1 and Level 2 at your workplaces? Do you have a general recommendation for ratio of Level 1 to Level 2 at the workplace? How great is the Level 1 benefit of not having to move cords or cars during the workday with Level 2?"
Male: [Inaudible comment].
Male: Well, I could try to answer that. This – oh, I'm sorry. Go ahead.
Male: No, go ahead, Randy.
Randy Schimka: Okay. So here at SDG&E, we have approximately 200 drivers with electrical vehicles now, and on our main corporate campus where I work, we have about 145 of those drivers here at 1 location. And we've installed a lot of charging stations over the past couple of years, and we have a mixture of Level 1 and Level 2 stations because we've been experimenting with the technology and trying to find out how things work, and it's very interesting that drivers tend to gravitate towards the Level 2 stations.
There's just something satisfying about that faster charging that I think it appeals to people, and some people need it because they might be going out to meetings elsewhere, and some people just sit there all day. They charge Level 2 for a couple of hours and sit there, but the Level 1 stations are also there. And I keep trying to educate people that in a standard 8-hour work day, you can recover about 40 miles of range if you're plugged in all day at the Level 1 station.
So there's nothing inherently wrong with it, and it might be a choice from some companies that are looking, perhaps, to put in more quantities of charging stations at the Level 1 size rather than maybe a fewer number of charging stations at Level 2 for a given cost. So I could see benefits of both. We tend to have more Level 2 units on our campus now because of the direction that we've headed in here recently, but I see that there's benefits for both.
Male: Margaret, if I might just add something, probably when you put in charging infrastructure, you should give your consideration to the future, and that is because everyone's talking bigger batteries, bigger batteries, and so I think that should be a consideration as to whether or not you go with Level 1 or Level 2. We did a study up at SEA-TAC Airport in Seattle, and we were able to use data from the vehicles, but they would be plugged in 2 or 3 days at Level 1, and something like that makes a lot of sense. So but again, bigger batteries should be a consideration.
Male: Yeah, the other thing you might consider, too, is, again, for the future, there's programs – utility programs – that make use of demand response. And you can get more bang for the buck on demand response with Level 2 stations, either 16 amp – or even better at 30 amp, 'cause you just have more room to ramp down on a 30-amp station. Even if you only use it a few hours a day, it gives you a little bit more room for the value of the demand response for the utility.
Margaret Smith: Thank you, all. "Is there any data yet about upgrading existing stations to add capacity in the future if needed; for example, upgrading a basic Level 2 station to a network Level 2 station that can accept point-of-sale? Or if a customer expects they will want that capacity eventually, would it be more cost effective to just buy and install a network Level 2 EVSE right away rather than trying to upgrade an existing basic Level 2 station?"
Male: There's a lot of – oh.
Male: I can try to take a – oh, go ahead.
Male: No. No, go ahead. Please go ahead.
Randy Schimka: Okay. I'm sorry. I was just going to say that I've seen some installations where upgrades have been contemplated and even a couple where it's been attempted, and it would be better esthetically, I think, if the customer could kinda figure out what the endgame is and kinda shoot for that endgame with the initial installation. Not all the pedestals, for example, use the same mounting hardware. Wire sizes may be inadequate to upgrade.
So potentially, it could be a fairly big job to go into a station to upgrade it. If it was originally built without the upgrade in mind, you might have quite a bit of work to do. So for the little bit of extra money that it might cost to go in big in the beginning with sizing or wires or conduit size, I think it pays off down the road.
Charlie Botsford: Yeah, I echo that. This is Charlie. The other thing that I would say is to have a pretty good idea, if it's at all possible, what you want for the end. We've seen, actually, the opposite direction, where people have installed network stations, decide that they don't need the data, and then disconnect or don't even use the stations anymore for networking. And of course, you don't have to do anything to the station itself, but now you've got this expensive station that you don't use anymore, so it's something to – or you don't use for what it was intended in the first place. So the idea is to understand whether you really need data or you don't need, and if you don't need data, then you don't need network stations necessarily.
Margaret Smith: The next question is, "I have been concerned about DC fast charging shortening the battery life and integrity. Is this true?"
Jim Francfort: Do you mind if I take this one?
Margaret Smith: Go for it.
Male: Go Jim.
Margaret Smith: I was hoping you would.
Jim Francfort: Okay. We did a study using six Nissan Leafs, all identical colors, trying to minimize some of the environmental impacts. The temperature was always set at 72 degrees regardless the time of the year, and we drove two of the vehicles and charged them at Level 2. We drove two of the vehicles and charged them at DC fast charging. This is down in the Phoenix area, and we had professional drivers.
And we looked at the efficiency differences. It was in a 270-kilowatt ___ ___ _____ – 270 watts. We showed only a five-watt difference, the minimum. And we also took two of the batteries and tested them in the lab, one on DC, one on Level 2. And the difference for about 50,000 or 60,000 miles, it really was minimal. It was a very, very small percent difference. The fast charge ones lost slightly more data charge. We're talking a couple percent.
What was the big impact was temperature, the ambient temperature, where it was 105 degrees over the 10,000 miles between battery tests. We would see a loss of capacity of 10 to 12 percent. When it was averaging 75 degrees, we would see loss of capacity about 2 or 3 percent. And so that particular design does not have an ambient – there's an ambient – there's a passive cooling. There's not that active cooling. And so the simple answer is no impact DC fast charging, but impact on very high temperatures.
Margaret Smith: Thank you, Jim. "As a public agency, we typically would use EV units for charging our fleet vehicles. However, we're not authorized to allow charging for employee vehicles. Are there units that can provide both free charging and require employee or public vehicles to pay for their connection time?"
Jim Francfort: Well, I'll take that. Since I don't sell those units, I'm not proposing anything that’s to my benefit. Yes, if you have a smart EVSE, you can get a card or an RFID card that will identify you and the vehicle as a fleet vehicle, and then that electricity can be not billed. And then, employees could have a different card, and that identifies them as a fee base, and they'd have to pay the back office providers, whether it's AeroVironment or ChargePoint or many of the others for that fee. So but you do need a smart EVSE to do – at least partially smart EVSE - to do that.
Margaret Smith: Thank you, Jim. "Is anyone aware of studies on the cost of lost productivity from moving cars frequently during the day? For fast chargers, more moves are required. For lower-power chargers, for example, Level 1 or lower-power Level 2, the cars would not need to be moved as often and thus not interrupt the work day."
Male: Randy, you might have some insight with all the workplace charging you have at San Diego Gas & Electric.
Randy Schimka: Yeah, I'm not aware of any studies with published numbers, but it is a topic that we've been talking about, and I did some rough calculations here in the corporate environment that, you know, we have a lot of different employees that work for the utility. But if you start thinking about how much it costs per minute for an employee to go out and move their car, I'm figuring that it can be anywhere from 50 cents to $1.00 per minute in compensation for an employee to go outside and move their car.
And so I do believe that that should have some kind of an impact into the decision that's made about the charging station that's installed. Some people don't agree, but if there's a lot of swapping that has to go on, I do think that that is counterproductive to the workplace. So I agree with the thought. I just don't have any figures to back it up.
Male: And we did a study at Facebook, as well as a few other work locations, but generally, people were using – they were using – it was Level 1, Level 2 with fast chargers available, and people used Level 2 predominantly, and they would go out at lunchtime, and they would switch the plugs. You'd have a Level 2 charge for 4 hours or so, and that would be sufficient that you plug into the vehicle next to you or the vehicle across the way. And when they did do the fast charging, it was typically at the end of the day when you were getting off of work.
Margaret Smith: Okay. Thank you, both. "What is the cost of upgrading transformers and other equipment on the utility side of the meter?" Randy, this one's starting off with you.
Randy Schimka: Okay. Oh, this is a great question. Well, the first answer to the question is that a lot of the costs are job specific, but here at our utility, when a customer comes in and they have a particular request for service, it'll be at a certain voltage with a certain number of amps.
And so the planner in our utility will look at the situation where they want to put the charging stations and design the service or perhaps the upgrade that's required, and an allowance is actually granted to this whole pricing part of the project. And the allowance that's granted has to do, roughly, with the first year's worth of electricity that's going to be consumed with the new service, and that allowance can actually be subtracted off of the cost that it would take for the wire that goes between the transformer and where the meter pedestal is going to be located.
But as far as the transformer goes itself, which I think is what the question is about, I've seen costs in the region of maybe approximately $20,000.00 or so to install a new transformer, where there isn't one existing. And if the question is about upgrading an existing transformer, there's a very good chance that that type of an upgrade would be paid for by all ratepayers because that's for increasing service.
And so the only time that maybe costs might apply to a job like that would be let's say the customer wants to swap out or the upgrade to be done at 2:00 in morning so as not to disrupt other businesses there in the area. Then, there might be some time – some overtime labor that might be charged. But for business hours' upgrade, that cost is typically paid for by all ratepayers.
Margaret Smith: Thank you for that explanation. Now, we've had a lot of questions about workplace charging, so I wanted to make sure that everyone on the line was aware of DOE's Workplace Charging Challenge, and that they're available to provide technical assistance to employers looking to provide employee charging, as well as give recognition to employers who are already offering employee charging. And you can contact the Workplace Charging Challenge at firstname.lastname@example.org to find resources, or you could just Google "Workplace Charging Challenge."
Now, we had scheduled this webinar for one hour, and we're about 20 minutes past that, so we should probably start wrapping things up. I know there are lots of other questions in the queue, and if we didn't get to answer your question, I encourage you to e-mail the people on the panel directly to try to get those answers. We can try to answer your question or point you in a good direction, and this presentation will be available online. There's a wealth of other resources listed on this current slide.
So I think that this has been a great discussion. I appreciate everyone's participation and time. But I think that it's time for us to wrap up the conversation. Does anybody from the panel have any final comments that you wanted to make before we close?
Charlie Botsford: This is Charlie. I have just one thing. It's a relatively new development called a low-carbon fuel standard in California and in Oregon. And if you're an owner or operator of electric vehicle stations – public stations – you can generate credits that you can sell on the market to the regulated community. So it can make the business case for EV charging stations a little bit better.
Margaret Smith: Thank you very much. Any other final comments? Okay. Well, thank you all very much for your time. Sandra, I don't know if you wanted to say anything else before we closed.
Sandra Loi: I think we're all set. Thank you all for your time. And as Margaret mentioned, we will be posting both the recording and a copy of the presentation slides on the Clean Cities website, and you'll also receive a follow-up e-mail. Everyone who participated on today's webinar will receive a follow-up e-mail. We'll be sure to include that link where you can access today's presentation, and this concludes today's webinar. Thank you so much.
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