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Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom UltimaDork
7/21/21 12:23 p.m.

Read in some other auto magazine's email today; plenty of related quotes and coverage, but nothing so solid I want to link it here...

Anybody heard anything?

That would certainly change the calculus on charger availbility without having to buy a Tesla. Presumably it wouldn't be cheap "out of network" but that's really secondary. Depends for now on the other makers providing a Tesla adapter as well...

https://www.exboyfriendrecovery.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/curious.jpg

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/21/21 12:31 p.m.

I'm not sure what you're referencing, but IIRC Tesla's network has always been open to all in theory, but none of the other OEMs have been willing to talk/pay to gain access.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom UltimaDork
7/21/21 12:46 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I didn't want to link an article to another car mag, and none of the other news sources stood out as great coverage, so I thought I'd leave it to folks to search, but that's about the size of it.

That's interesting; I guess I assumed that the proprietary connector was as good as a statement of intent to remain separate, but of course network credentials and an account are just as important. It hadn't occurred to me that Tesla wasn't withholding their advantage in infrastructure rollout as a sales tool for their cars.

I guess it makes sense that for enough money, they'd be willing to sell some of that capacity given that the others will need to invest in infrastructure anyhow. If their charging station lead is going to eventually dwindle out of necessity, why not be the ones building/selling(/branding/controlling) as many stations as possible?

Thanks!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/21/21 1:17 p.m.

IIRC they have been willing to open it for a long time, but are requiring any participants to release their patents. Not a lawyer so the verbiage is not correct, but basically that's the cost. And the OEs said aiiiiiieeee no. I think that Aptera is using it, though.

The Tesla connector is proprietary because it's the first one. The others came later. In Europe, they're switching over to CCS and I expect that will happen here as well. 

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom UltimaDork
7/21/21 1:20 p.m.

Looks like it's not really... news. Or going anywhere. Except in a kind of backward way where Tesla may end up moving to the new standard.

Feeling good about my decision to lapse the subscription of the mag that emailed me the "news" in the first place...

I have once again let myself be led to believe something was news just because it was reported... blush

STM317
STM317 UberDork
7/21/21 1:36 p.m.

Just to clarify, the story is rooted in a recent tweet from Elon where he said "...we’re making our Supercharger network open to other EVs later this year.” as part of a response to a guy tweeting about the Supercharger network.

There was a follow up question about where it would happen, and his response was “Over time, all countries.”

 

So the stories just boil down to "CEO tweeted something" and nobody knows any details, or if it will actually happen at all, let alone if it will happen by the time the CEO claimed it will.

nocones
nocones UberDork
7/21/21 1:58 p.m.

I'm really surprised that Tesla isn't really actually in the market of trying to replace BP/Conoco/Mobil.  That's where the future is.  If you could own the first nationwide replacement of gas stations with Charging stations and be the company making transactional income off charging you will be king of the world in the next 10-15 years.  

Yes obviously gas stations will retool but they are starting from only having the locations not the knowledge/skill of getting the power, administration of the chargers, etc.  Tesla has the contacts/contracts and skill to put charging stations everywhere.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/21/21 2:03 p.m.

I think the Tesla network is partially open to non-Teslas in the UK - because it uses CCS there. Something about authentication allowing them to charge. I'd love to know more but getting good information related to anything Tesla is almost impossible. Maybe I'll ping some friends on the inside. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/13/23 4:20 p.m.

So the past week or two has been really interesting. Ford announced they would be adding support for the Tesla chargers to future Fords fairly soon, and existing Fords will be able to use them with an adapter starting in 2024. Ford basically shamed the other networks for being crap. This was pretty big news.

Then GM jumped on board. Based on what I'm hearing from my friends inside Tesla, I'm not sure this was expected.

And now a bunch of networks have stated they're going to start installing Tesla (aka North American Charging Standard or NACS) plugs on their chargers as well. They'll undoubtedly also be installing CCS plugs because that's what the federal incentive money requires (right now), but the nice thing about electric cars is that the electricity is the same :) It's like having different nozzles attached to the same gas supply and not like having to deal with gasoline vs diesel. It will be interesting to see 

It sounds as if this is basically just a matter of the connector itself. From what I understand, the communication and tech stack is still the same. This means that my Tesla - which does not have the CCS-compatible modem that was installed in all Teslas shortly after - will not be able charge at a non-Telsa charger as it doesn't speak the language. I can install that modem, and it's only for cars built before Q3 2019 or so. That's before the Model Y and fairly early in the Model 3 run.

One nice thing about this is the Tesla connector is actually really well designed. The CCS one is a big chonky thing with a higher force required, so this is generally an upgrade. Tesla also uses the same connector for Level 2 charging, so no more J1772 adapters.

The speed of this has been a little dizzying.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/13/23 4:35 p.m.

I'm all for whatever gets us to a common standard, whether that's Tesla's NACS or CCS. Ford and GM are two huge dominoes to tilt the whole thing in Tesla's favor.

It'll be interesting to see what the other automakers do, particularly VW, who has invested so much into Electrify America. Not that they had a choice....

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/13/23 4:54 p.m.

I suspect the VW group will be the most resistant to put the actual connectors on their cars, but they'll probably offer adapters. Electrify America has been tapdancing so far, I believe. I'm waiting to see what the Koreans do.

But I think the important thing here is the underlying protocol. The plug is just a plug. I can charge a USB-A device off a USB-C outlet using an adapter, because I know the electricity is the same. If the Fords and GMs learn to speak Tesla, they can use the Tesla plugs with an adapter. And I think that's what we're seeing here. I'm going to confirm.

As it is, this move makes electric cars more standard than gas cars, which have to deal with two completely incompatible fuels and various grades of those fuels. After this week, we're basically dealing with two different plugs, like the aforementioned USB-A and USB-C. Once the non-Teslas get the plug and charge integration it'll be fantastic. No more futzing around with apps and payment.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE SuperDork
6/13/23 4:54 p.m.

In reply to Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) :

EA has clearly lacked good maintenance and direction; their poor state is something of a meme.

Tesla's old legal requirements on the plug were pretty bad, but the fed forced them to be more open with NACS. It being much smaller and having the AC and DC ports being shared is a huge boon to things like E-motorcycles who have to watch all their used space, and CCS is pretty big. 

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE SuperDork
6/13/23 4:57 p.m.

Also, to no longer have to fuss with apps and payment is gonna require all new infastructure from Tesla; they've basically offloaded the math and payment processing for the charging onto the car itself instead of having a terminal to scan your credit card like a gas station. Until Tesla shows off new charging "stations" we're stuck with apps angry

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/13/23 5:55 p.m.

Teslas have to authenticate with the supercharger, and the supercharger takes care of payment processing - I confirmed that with a friend on the inside. The reason that the Magic Dock superchargers require an app for non-Teslas now is because only Teslas can do that authentication with superchargers. There's an ISO standard called Plug And Charge that's intended to, well, standardize this behavior and like any committee standard it's a bit messy. There's apparently also a simplified DIN version of it.

It's pretty likely that the superchargers will get an OTA update that will support the Plug and Charge protocol. Apparently Superchargers get updated at least once a month anyhow. So probably, when you plug in your Ford and it starts speaking Plug and Charge over the data pins, the supercharger will know what to do. The car owner will have to have payment info on file with Tesla. Older Fords/GMs and other non-Teslas that don't speak P&C might still have to use the app, as they'll have to do with any charger -it's still not a very common implementation from what I understand.

So, teach Teslas to speak Plug and Charge, teach Superchargers (and other networks, if not done) to speak Plug and Charge and make sure the right connector or an adapter is available and all of a sudden the charging world looks much less confusing.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
6/13/23 6:20 p.m.
nocones said:

I'm really surprised that Tesla isn't really actually in the market of trying to replace BP/Conoco/Mobil.  That's where the future is.  If you could own the first nationwide replacement of gas stations with Charging stations and be the company making transactional income off charging you will be king of the world in the next 10-15 years.  

Yes obviously gas stations will retool but they are starting from only having the locations not the knowledge/skill of getting the power, administration of the chargers, etc.  Tesla has the contacts/contracts and skill to put charging stations everywhere.  

Well said. Plus the reliability of the Tesla network is (according to locals*). Really good where others often have non functioning chargers 

*   To qualify that statement  only a few have ever needed to recharge.  One had difficulty getting the electrician to install his charger  so for a few weeks he charged at a nearby Target 's Tesla super charger.  

STM317
STM317 PowerDork
6/14/23 6:06 a.m.

I think Tesla is going to have to change/update at least some of the Superchargers to accommodate this. Physically speaking, Teslas charge port is in the rear of the vehicles, and the vehicles are expected to back into the spot in order to charge.

They use a pretty short charge cord as a result:

https://www.autotrader.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/TeslaSupercharger-e1650484073375.jpg

I've seen some pics of non-Tesla EVs having to do some pretty unconventional parking maneuvers when using Tesla Superchargers in order to be able to use the short Tesla charge cables. I'd bet Tesla makes some changes to the Superchargers (longer cords, a NACS cord and a CCS cord, etc).

It's my understanding that not all Superchargers have a physical payment option either. So either the chargers get new hardware, or the non-Tesla EVs get software as Keith said. It seems like most of the frequent issues users have with non-Tesla chargers involve payment and/or communication between the vehicle, the app and the charger, so there's potential for improvement but also potential for hiccups if Tesla runs into similar issues as the other charging networks. Hopefully they can get it figured out.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/14/23 10:29 a.m.

I've never seen a Supercharger with a physical payment option, but maybe the Magic Dock ones (the only ones that work with non Teslas today) have it. 

One thing that I think helps with Supercharger reliability is that they apparently "fail open". If the charger can't authenticate with the home office, it charges anyway. The first priority is charging the car. This is a side effect of the car company owning the network, you don't want one of your cars stranded. I've come across this once, my free trial period was over and the car charged. I then got a note letting me know I needed to sort out payment before I used a charger before. But the first priority was mobility.
Other networks fail closed, if you can't pay you don't get juice. Their priority is getting paid. Note that gas station pumps tend to use wireless communication to authenticate as well, so this is obviously technology that can exist  I suspect that only Tesla had the motivation to make it robust, as they are the only network that actually builds their own chargers instead of just buying them from a third party.

It's likely much easier for the Superchargers to get updated than try to retrofit all the vehicles on the road. Since the Plug and Charge standard exists, that should just be an OTA software update. Then cars with properly implemented P&C will be able to, well, it's right there in the name :) The cars that don't have it will probably always have to use an app. 

There will definitely be physical challenges with existing stations. Superchargers were designed with a standardized charge port location, and opening up the network means that's no longer the case. It's not a difficult problem to solve technically, it's merely a lot of work. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/14/23 10:40 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I do hope you mean ice instead of gas, as the fuel that gas cars use as well as the pumps are pretty standard around the country- I can get gas in every state at every station that sells gasoline. And my car will fill. 

 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/14/23 10:44 a.m.

And there is a huge difference between Tesla and all of the gas sellers, at least until Tesla starts generating the power to their stations. 
 

Right now, Tesla is more like the maker of the pumps and take some of the cost of the fill up.
 

What the system needs as I see it is the utilities to be allowed to make money selling electricity to cars at stations. That would incentivize the provider of the power to make charging stations that they make money from. It would also put incentives in place to upgrade the grid system.  Profit potential is pretty powerful. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/14/23 10:49 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Sure, and if I put 85 octane in my turbo Miata it'll break a bunch of pistons. Or if I use E85 in the wrong car it could go as far as dissolving fuel lines. And if I don't use a lead additive in my old cars, the valve seats erode.

There's a pretty wide spread of liquid fuels in use. Sure, you can get them all into the tank one way or another, but even "gasoline" varies pretty strongly from state to state and from grade to grade. Most cars can handle most of them, but not all. And the gas in a diesel car/diesel in a gas car mistake is not all that uncommon. Sometimes being able to fill your car at any pump is a problem :)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/14/23 10:54 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

I don't think all gas stations make their own fuel either. Some of the big ones, sure, but there are a lot of pure resellers. 

The electricity regulations are fairly varied from state to state. In some, only utilities are allowed to sell power IIRC, and I think Tesla is considered a utility there. I don't think there's anything stopping utilities in most states from opening charging networks. They already make a profit selling the electricity to the other charging networks. Like so many other industries, there's quite a difference between being a wholesale or retail business and many companies don't do both. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/14/23 10:55 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

But the pumps are the same, and you can fill up anywhere without an adapter.  The option of octane is just that, an option. Just as is e85. You chose to build a car that required the optional fuel. You could have built it for the nominal fuel. 
What you are suggesting is that it's a challenge to find a specific pump to fill up your car, and that you might need an adapter to fill it up. The reality is that you can fill up at every single gas station around the country. Which is the end goal for ev's. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/14/23 11:07 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Agreed, that's the end goal. But an adapter isn't the end of the world, and it allows the transition to work without orphaning entire carmakers. If CCS goes away with no way to replace it, there will be a lot of dead Fords. So it won't go away. This change allows for those Fords to charge at even more places, it's only good. 

 Sometimes the adapter is part of the pump, as with the Tesla Magic Dock. That's not exactly a problem. Sometimes you carry it with you, like my collection of laptop USB adapters or the J1772 one that's been stashed away in our Model 3 since I got it.

With EVs, you have to have a compatible pump but the fuel will work. With ICE, you can use any pump but you have to choose a compatible fuel. Our current ICE fuel situation is not perfect, we're just very used to it and accept the downsides. Getting the wrong fuel can result in an expensive repair. Not being able to charge can result in a tow truck ride. 

Filling up my diesel truck in the middle of Ottawa Canada is a real challenge, as it uses a fuel that is not in great demand so it rarely available at stations. I had to carry octane booster on the Targa Newfoundland because my stock compression crate LS3 didn't much like the very low octane fuel available in the outports. So it's not as universal now as you're saying. Like I said, we're just used to it so we accept it and the workarounds. Even today, networks like EA offer multiple plugs at every charging location just like gas stations have multiple fuel dispensation options. It's not that different. We can navigate this.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/14/23 11:33 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to alfadriver :

I don't think all gas stations make their own fuel either. Some of the big ones, sure, but there are a lot of pure resellers. 

The electricity regulations are fairly varied from state to state. In some, only utilities are allowed to sell power IIRC, and I think Tesla is considered a utility there. I don't think there's anything stopping utilities in most states from opening charging networks. They already make a profit selling the electricity to the other charging networks. Like so many other industries, there's quite a difference between being a wholesale or retail business and many companies don't do both. 

My point is incentives to build more "pumps".  The oil companies have a good reason to make sure there are almost 150,000 gas stations around the country, all of them have at least 4 pumps to fill up vehicles with gasoline- as they all make really good money selling their product for vehicles.

Right now, the companies that make electricity don't have that incentive- electricity is electricity.  And I think there are "utility" limits on them being able to sell their product at enough of a premium to saturate the US with charging stations.  Otherwise, they should be doing it, as well as upgrading the infrastructure as the future is seemingly pretty obvious where they can make billions of dollars selling electricity to EVs.  

Right now, the vehicle makers are the ones who are deciding on how their vehicles get charged.  If the utilities got together and said- "this will be the way because we plan on putting in 100,000 charging stations"  every maker would quickly adapt that and the problem would be solved.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
6/14/23 11:49 a.m.
alfadriver said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

But the pumps are the same, and you can fill up anywhere without an adapter.  The option of octane is just that, an option. Just as is e85. You chose to build a car that required the optional fuel. You could have built it for the nominal fuel. 
What you are suggesting is that it's a challenge to find a specific pump to fill up your car, and that you might need an adapter to fill it up. The reality is that you can fill up at every single gas station around the country. Which is the end goal for ev's. 

You miss the fact that 95+% of the time you will fill up right at home.  Your electricity is cheaper than it is at the super chargers.   In very rare times will you need to top off. 
     If you are one of those ever more rare families that go on long car trips for your vacation instead of flying  chances are you will "fill up" at the motel and maybe spend 15 minutes mid trip adding 150 miles.  That should have you on the road for 10 hours straight.    
     If you like to drive 20 hours non stop save one ICE  or hybrid  car for that purpose. ( or rent one) 

  Toyota claims  they have traveled 900+ miles on one charge.  And they can charge that battery in 6 minutes. 
   Porsche talks about it in the future.  
    But the reality is most people don't go on long (1000 mile) driving trips.  If they do they would confirm  the motel has charging capabilities.  
   
      

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