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Monday, June 27, 2011

Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Needs & Costs

There will likely be three levels of charging methods:

1) traditional 110 V plugs in homes that will take 8 hours to charge an EV;

2) 220 V/40 A plugs in homes and businesses that will take 3.3 hours to charge an EV; and

3) new retail-based, fast-charging DC stations that take 10-30 minutes.

An international standard is still being developed and debated.

However, because a residential home typically draws 2.2 to 5 kW, and EVs consume 3.3-6.6 kW at 240 V/32 A, the U.S. will have to add massive amounts of capacity to its electrical grid.

Tesla Motors is marketing its all-electric Roadster model, 2-dr, 2-passenger, 53 kWh Lithium-ion battery, using a 208/240-V, 70 A (draw) outlet the charging time is about 3.5 hours by a 16.8 kW wall-mounted, in-house charger, range 244 miles, sticker price $109,000, or $101,500 after federal tax credit, or 96,500 after California tax credit.


Nissan is marketing its all-electric Leaf model, a 4-dr, 5-passenger hatchback, 24 kWh Lithium-ion battery, using a 220/240-V, 40 A outlet the charging time is about 8 hours by the 3.3 kW on-board charger, range 100 miles, sticker price $32,780, or $25,280 after federal tax credit, or $20,280 after California tax credit.

General Motors is marketing its plug-in hybrid Volt model, a 4-dr, 5-passenger sedan, 16 kWh Lithium-ion battery, using a 220/240-V, 40 A outlet the charging time is about 4 hours by the 3.3 kW on-board charger, range 40 miles after which a 1.4 Liter, 4 cylinder gasoline engine provides power for another 340 miles, sticker price $41,000, or $33,500 after federal tax credit, or $28,500 after California tax credit.

Ford will be marketing its all-electric Focus model, a 4-dr, 5-passenger hatchback, 23 kWh Lithium-ion battery, using a 220/240-V, 40 A outlet the charging time is about 4 hours by the 6.6 kW on-board charger, range 100 miles, sticker price $33,000, or $25,500 after federal tax credit, or 20,500 after California tax credit.

Nissan prices its Leaf battery at $375-$400/kWh which appears to be lower than of the Volt and Focus. Nissan offers an 8-yr/100,000 mile warrantee, the same as the Volt; Ford has not announced a warrantee yet.

The actual driving range usually is less than its rated value, because of the way the EV is driven, roads with hills and snow, high and low outdoor temperatures, heating, air-conditioning, battery aging, etc. At the expiration of the warrantee, the EV range is expected to have degraded by 10%-30%.

An in-house charger, if needed, costs about $2,200 installed, or $1,100 after California tax credit. A house must have suitable electrical wiring capacity.

The EPA rating for the Nissan Leaf and the General Motors Volt is about 35 kWh/100 miles. Larger light-duty EV vehicles, using more kWh/mile, will also be needed. Medium EVs may use 50 kWh/100 miles and larger ones 65 kWh/100 miles. (Sustainable Plant, 4/27/2011, The Energy Collective, 2/2/2011)

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