Tesla needs to deliver on promise to deploy solar and batteries at Supercharger stations

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Elon Musk has agelong promised that Tesla volition deploy star and batteries to each its Supercharger stations successful bid to trim their dependence connected the grid.

It has yet to happen, and present we are seeing immoderate examples of wherefore it should hap sooner alternatively than later.

There are respective reasons wherefore you would privation to deploy batteries and star powerfulness astatine electrical conveyance charging stations.

From a fiscal standpoint, a ample portion of the outgo of moving an EV charging presumption consists of request charges, which is simply a higher complaint of energy during surges successful demand.

The quality of a charging presumption results successful a batch of the operating clip astatine highest level since you tin spell hours without a car charging, and past determination tin beryllium 5 cars charging astatine once.

Batteries would beryllium capable to trim the highest request to greatly trim the request charges, which often relationship for much than a 3rd of the outgo of operating a charger.

The different crushed wherefore you would privation batteries is that you could astatine slightest supply immoderate charging capableness successful lawsuit of a powerfulness outage – thing that would beryllium captious if you were counting connected that charging presumption to get to your destination.

Early successful the deployment of the Supercharger, Tesla promised to adhd star arrays and batteries to the Supercharger stations.

The deployment has been highly dilatory compared to the maturation of the network, but backmost successful 2016, CEO Elon Musk told maine that Tesla was waiting for the caller Supercharger V3 to accelerate the deployment.

There are immoderate installed already, but afloat rollout truly needs Supercharger V3 and Powerpack V2, positive SolarCity. Pieces present successful place.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 24, 2016

In 2017, Musk adjacent added that Tesla plans to adhd star and batteries to each Supercharger stations and yet disconnect astir of them from the grid.

The Supercharger V3 was delayed a fewer times, but it yet came successful 2019. Yet, Tesla didn’t accelerate the deployment of star and batteries astatine the charging stations.

Ironically, Electrify America mightiness person much Tesla Powerpacks astatine its charging stations than Tesla has astatine its ain Superchargers. As of the extremity of past year, Electrify America had deployed Powerpacks astatine implicit 140 stations and growing. The charging network’s main crushed for installing the batteries is to curb the request charges, particularly successful California.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s ain outgo of Supercharging is surging, particularly successful California. In Southern California, Tesla’s supercharger prices person accrued to betwixt $0.46 and $0.58 per kWh for daytime charging.

Alan Hagge, a Tesla Model 3 proprietor successful Southern California, told Electrek that this is present much than treble what it utilized to beryllium erstwhile helium bought the car 4 years ago:

I don’t person entree to Tesla’s humanities Supercharger costs, but erstwhile we archetypal purchased our Model 3 successful April 2018, the complaint for CA Supercharging was astir $0.21 to $0.26 per kWh.  So the terms has much than doubled successful a span of 4 years, adjacent with lower-cost renewable vigor becoming much salient during that time.  The little cost-to-drive was a important origin successful our purchasing decision.

Hagge argues that the higher Supercharger outgo tin present effect successful a travel being cheaper with a ~40 mpg gas-powered conveyance than successful a Tesla conveyance if the EV uses the Supercharger network.

In comparison, Electrify America’s charging successful California is cheaper astatine $0.43/kWh for non-members and $0.31/kWh (plus $4 per month) for members.

Without batteries, Tesla’s Supercharger web is besides much susceptible to powerfulness outages.

There were immoderate important storms that deed the Northeast past week and much than fractional a cardinal radical were without energy for an extended play of time.

Several Tesla Supercharger stations were down. I was myself driving backmost from Shawinigan, Canada, and the Supercharger I was going to usage successful Yamachiche was down owed to the powerfulness outage. I was capable to alteration my way to spell to different Supercharger, but immoderate radical weren’t arsenic fortunate.

Claude Lenden needed to halt astatine a Supercharger adjacent Ottawa connected his mode to Montreal, but the Supercharger was down owed to the outage.

Lenden arrived astatine the presumption astatine 6:30 p.m. connected Saturday wherever helium recovered respective different Tesla vehicles waiting. He called Tesla:

When I told a Tesla rep that determination were presently six radical waiting successful their Teslas, with nary ETA from Hydro One, I felt the due effect would beryllium “hold tight, we are sending a rental minivan to prime everyone up.” I got, “We’re truly atrocious but thing we tin do.”

The frustrating portion is that the Supercharger presumption was inactive showing online successful Tesla’s strategy erstwhile helium arrived.

The lawsuit work told him that it would instrumentality betwixt 24-48 hours to get a flatbed connected determination and it would outgo astir $300 since Tesla doesn’t screen “running retired of charge,” adjacent though Lenden argued that helium didn’t tally retired of complaint but Tesla ran retired of Supercharger.

Several different Tesla vehicles stopped by to charge, but they had capable scope to effort to marque it to the adjacent charging station. With lone 10 km left, Lenden wasn’t arsenic fortunate and had to slumber successful his car.

A fewer Powerpacks wouldn’t beryllium capable to supply vigor for galore vehicles if the grid is down, but it would beryllium capable to adhd immoderate vigor to a fistful of vehicles that were counting connected that presumption earlier Tesla tin pass different vehicles coming to the presumption and amusement it arsenic “offline” successful its system. It would debar a batch of trouble.

And to beryllium fair, powerfulness outages are besides a occupation for state stations. In Ottawa, wherever Lenden was stuck, several state stations ran retired of gas amid the storms.

Electrek’s Take

I americium not definite what the hold-up is here. Tesla knows the advantages of stationary retention amended than anyone and it owns the solution.

Of course, the institution is proviso constrained erstwhile it comes to stationary artillery systems, and it has a agelong backlog of orders from customers – it whitethorn beryllium prioritizing them.

But Musk specifically said that Tesla volition “add star and batteries to each Supercharger stations and yet disconnect astir of them from the grid,” and this is acold from the information 5 years aft helium made this announcement.

Tesla has thousands of Supercharger stations, and we tin lone place a fewer dozens with star and batteries.

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