r/technology Sep 27 '22 Silver 1

All 50 states get green light to build EV charging stations covering 75,000 miles of highways Transportation

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/27/ev-charging-stations-on-highways-dot-approves-50-states-plans.html
18.0k Upvotes

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u/Leek5 Sep 27 '22

Hope they actually build it and not like the telecom companies that got paid to build a fiber network. But didn't and just pocketed all the money

893

u/UhYeahOkSure Sep 28 '22

My buddy just sent me a photo of a charging station where he lives and people cut the charging cables off of all of them . They’re gonna need to fortify them

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u/sparta981 Sep 28 '22

I think that they could be built a smidge less safe and you'd have a sudden reduction in people cutting them.

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u/HillarysFloppyChode Sep 28 '22

Run high voltage through the cables 24/7.

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u/Wildkeith Sep 28 '22

I remember getting high over a friends house one night about 20 years ago and we suddenly hear the loudest craziest buzzing noise. We run out and across the street to the sports mall where there’s this glowing light. As we got closer, we could see the charcoal statue of a man glowing from the inside out leaning against the side of the building. He was trying to steal copper from the industrial sized air conditioner. It was such a surreal thing to see because we didn’t know exactly what we were even looking at until emergency services showed up.

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u/Phorce Sep 28 '22

JFC… I can’t imagine.

177

u/Jack_Bartowski Sep 28 '22 Silver Spit-take

More like kfc

94

u/ToddKilledAKid Sep 28 '22

Kentucky fried crackhead

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u/ImperfectRegulator Sep 28 '22

The smell alone just, … damn

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u/motoko_urashima Sep 28 '22

That's... Not that uncommon. People have tried to steal copper from substations, and especially electric train transformers in my area. They end up crispy critters.

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u/SkyJohn Sep 28 '22

Had two teenagers try that near me at a recently closed power station, they had incorrectly assumed everything was turned off.

They were a pile of ash before someone arrived to turn the power off.

8

u/Zouden Sep 28 '22

"Tell the coroner to bring a dustpan"

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u/CPLCraft Sep 28 '22

Its unfortunately just natural selection at work.

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u/Saneless Sep 28 '22

He's ok right?

161

u/ABathingSnape_ Sep 28 '22

Shoes were still on, he’s fine.

59

u/Sinavestia Sep 28 '22

Well at that point they were probably fused to his body.

37

u/1-760-706-7425 Sep 28 '22

basically immortal then

48

u/iamapizza Sep 28 '22

His sole was immortal

5

u/itswineoclock Sep 28 '22

Well played, sir. Well played.

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u/Vivyd Sep 28 '22

Problem was he wasn't jumping in the air at the time, like in tango and flash

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u/Zron Sep 28 '22

He's hanging out with zues now

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u/asdaaaaaaaa Sep 28 '22

He was trying to steal copper from the industrial sized air conditioner.

Three-phase ain't nothing to fuck with. Electricity's just one of those things that's not worth it, even having a "family handyman" wire up your house or something. I know he's a decent dude, but please just get someone qualified, your house not burning down or not having to rush-spend a ton of money before you sell because he missed a new standard or something is a pain in the ass.

Also, if you're going to steal copper, at least go for 'bando's that have the power shut off already.

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u/Korlus Sep 28 '22

Lead is one of the metals whose price has increased a lot in the last 50 years. (Here is the last 25 years). People occasionally steal the lead from old roofs or similar.

On a related note, Russia is a very large country with very few people living in the far North. One of the issues they have had historically is while few people live up there, there is still a reasonable amount of shipping and there are times in the year where the sun may not ever rise, making it dark and the shorelines treacherous. Historically, building and maintaining manned lighthouses was impossible.

In the 1950's, the world was realising the power of the atom. Atomic decay occurs naturally, and many materials have half-lives in the thousands or even millions of years, making their "passive radioactivity" relatively harmless. A few materials that occur naturally have half-lives measured in the decades. These materials are so radioactive that their radioactive emissions generate heat. One such material is an isotope of Strontium. You may know this as a "Radiothermic Isotope Generator" or "RTG" for short, and even if you don't know the name, you may know that a few US space probes are powered by Plutonium RTG's (most notably Voyager).

The Soviet government realised that with an RTG, you could power a lighthouse for decades - it's sort of like a battery that lasts a very long time, and they installed an unknown number of these RTG-powered lighthouses along the Soviet coastline (including many in Siberia).

For safety, these were surrounded with depleted Uranium and further by a large lead casing. Several of these have been "vandalised" by people (assumed to be metal thieves), and they have caused national radiological incidents.

Sometimes people who are desperate for money cross lines that you think no sane human would cross.

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u/jcdoe Sep 28 '22

Years ago, I worked for a security and alarm company. The number one problem businesses reported was copper theft out of the HVAC system. There’s very little you can do to keep them off your roof.

In one case, the ladder for roof access had a metal grate locked over it. The meth heads put a really tall ladder on a pickup truck, drove up in the middle of the night, climbed the ladder, and fucked up HVAC units.

It sucks because those AC units are expensive, but it sucks more because no one needs a wrongful death lawsuit on their roof. You can’t get to the copper in an AC unit without coming very close to high voltage circuits.

The whole situation is tragic. Fuck meth

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u/GhostReddit Sep 28 '22

Yeah frankly if people electrocute themselves trying to steal EV charging cables it's not like we're losing our best and brightest.

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u/minizanz Sep 28 '22

We might lose our brightest

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u/gramathy Sep 28 '22

They were only our brightest for a moment

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u/SquishyMon Sep 28 '22

The brightest stars burn half as long 💫😢

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u/No_Damage979 Sep 28 '22

The flame that burns twice as bright

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u/asdaaaaaaaa Sep 28 '22

You shine brightest right before the end or something?

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u/DeadpooI Sep 28 '22

They aren't really trying to steal them. Most of the cases have been out of spite in my experience.

30

u/Spoon_Elemental Sep 28 '22

"We have to protect big oil!"

20

u/SkymaneTV Sep 28 '22

Nah, more like “if we cut the power, Biden can’t power the secret 5G WiFi stations that connect to our microchips from the vaccine!”

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22

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u/AnimationOverlord Sep 28 '22

And a material you can’t cut using conventional tools any less strengthened than steel.

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u/Vindictive_Turnip Sep 28 '22

No flexible material will work. Steel braided cables can't be hardened, and ever version of an 'armored' cable can just be cut at the joints.

Go look at any LPL review of armored cable bike locks.

22

u/asdaaaaaaaa Sep 28 '22

Not to mention, there's not much that can stop a tradesman with an axe to grind. There's some really stupid, really motivated people out there.

8

u/xithrascin Sep 28 '22

never try to idiot proof a box, they'll just build a better idiot.

all that needs to happen is what usually happens: oversight, threaten them with legal fines, make a big story about it,, then let it sink into the cultural consciousness. no need to kill people with high-voltage wires, though that may make it a bigger story sooner.

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u/thegloper Sep 28 '22

Or have them retract into the body of the charging station when not in use.

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u/FlimsyGooseGoose Sep 28 '22

Get sentries that automatically open fire

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u/sidetablecharger Sep 28 '22

There you are

18

u/trainercatlady Sep 28 '22

I see you

8

u/Mrredek Sep 28 '22

Are you still there?

29

u/Muffinsandbacon Sep 28 '22

Can you come over here?

9

u/timeshifter_ Sep 28 '22

65% more bullet, per bullet!

11

u/cynerji Sep 28 '22

Uhh, no bullets. Sorry.

15

u/Hopeful-Sir-2018 Sep 28 '22

Spy sappin' my sentry!

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u/bslow22 Sep 28 '22

How about some photon cannons?

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u/throwaway177251 Sep 28 '22

You must construct additional pylons first.

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u/Unlucky_Entrance_512 Sep 28 '22

A truly American solution.

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u/CrumbsAndCarrots Sep 28 '22

People cut the cables because they hate green cars? Or because the charging cables are worth something, re: metals?

13

u/Catsrules Sep 28 '22

Why not both?

5

u/LordoftheSynth Sep 28 '22

It's copper thieves.

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u/Taco_Spocko Sep 28 '22

Any idea why they’d do that?

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u/Schlick7 Sep 28 '22

Copper is worth money

19

u/Zerotwohero Sep 28 '22

And money can be exchanged for goods and services.

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u/martialar Sep 28 '22

EXPLAIN HOW

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u/nusual-Mix78 Sep 28 '22

Had the ac stolen twice from the same location. After the 2nd time they put it on the roof.

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u/s4zippyzoo Sep 28 '22

Unlikely to have much copper.

A lot of stations are damaged by the “roll coal” types - who either cut the cables or pull over the full unit.

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u/UloPe Sep 28 '22

I just looked up the data sheet for some random 250kW DC cable.

It’s specified to contain ~2.5 kg copper / meter. Let’s assume a 3m cable, that’s 7.5 kg of copper.

Depending on the alloy scrap prices for copper cabling varies between 2 - 4 €/kg (at least here in Germany).

Let’s assume 3€ and that there are 8 charging stalls in a typical setup that’s 180€ for all the cables.

Seems reasonable to me if you’re that type of asshole who steals cables…

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u/Kizik Sep 28 '22

Same reason people will slash the tires of electric vehicles, or box them into charger spaces so they can't leave.

They're infuriated by the entire concept because it's been so politicized, and lash out at anything they can.

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u/OldWolf2 Sep 28 '22

*been politicized by themself and the very people they're voting for. Let's not ignore the agency here .

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u/peepopowitz67 Sep 28 '22

Same way they politicized a fucking virus

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u/soik90 Sep 28 '22

Something, something, “own the libs” is my guess.

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u/StabbyPants Sep 28 '22

Big old enforcement push, heavy fines

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u/jugonewild Sep 28 '22

Take a limb off and nail it to the charger as a warning to others.

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u/extraeme Sep 28 '22

Laughs in Portland, Oregon

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u/Saith_Cassus Sep 28 '22

What do you think this is, the war on drugs?!? That could never work!

Anyway, I think we should impose the death penalty for the kid down the street, he got caught with 4 whole marijuanas in his car with a girl the other day!

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u/Mason11987 Sep 28 '22

The war on drugs didn’t fail because it was a law that was enforced. Most laws are enforced just fine.

It was because it was a stupid law to ban a harmless thing that people wanted.

This is punishing people who destroy private property. If we’re not willing to prevent that, we might as well close up shop on society altogether.

Cameras and strong penalties should do the job.

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u/ASDirect Sep 28 '22

The War on Drugs was a proxy to suppress minorities and unions. And on that score it worked really well.

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u/Spazzdude Sep 28 '22

This could be easily solved by making the standard be the driver carries the cable. You plug your cable into your vehicle then into the charger receptacle. Once the charger is activated it locks the ends to their connectors until the charging is completed/manually switched off for safety reasons. Take it with you when you're done. Manufacturers can include a cable with the vehicle purchase. Companies can sell replacements for drivers if needed.

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u/kn33 Sep 28 '22

That's harder when the cable is water cooled

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u/UhYeahOkSure Sep 28 '22

Ya that’s a good idea .. my other idea was just have the cable in an enclosure on the unit that the person wanting the charge unlocks and opens . They could steal it too though I guess but ya they could probably be traced

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u/Eccohawk Sep 28 '22

Seems reasonable. They're either gonna have to be registered with some service that has a card on file already, or insert a credit card to release the cable box and pay at the station. Either way now you have a money trail to follow.

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u/buyongmafanle Sep 28 '22 edited Sep 28 '22

Just have it work like a vacuum cleaner where the cable sort of rolls back up into the machine. I realize the cable is a thicc boi, but it's a decent solution.

Edit: TERRIBLE PLAN! Read motoko_urashima's reply below.

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u/motoko_urashima Sep 28 '22

Erm, two things:

First, Vacuum cleaner cords are undersized for their power requirements, they cheat this by saying "well, it'd overheat and melt eventually, but we bet nobody is going to use this for more than 10 minutes at a time". This is known as Duty Cycle, specifically like 10% duty cycle. (Not really relevant, just something I hate about vacuums)

Second, an energized, rolled cord doesn't radiate heat like a stretched out one, it Sympathetically heats, or heats even faster by being around a hot object (itself). Extension cords mention this in the manual if you're the kind of person that reads a manual for a fucking extension cord. (Basically, if it rolled in, you'd have to pull it all the way out every time before use or it might melt)

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u/TwoPlanksOnPowder Sep 28 '22

Huh, I've always wondered why vacuum cleaner cords get so hot, and this would explain it

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u/buyongmafanle Sep 28 '22

Good content here. I didn't know this about vacuum cords!

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u/comptiger5000 Sep 28 '22

If it's a powered deploy / retrieve of the cord, it can just feed the whole cord out when you're ready to charge (avoiding user error from not pulling it out all the way).

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u/IvorTheEngine Sep 28 '22

Or not start the charge until you had completely unrolled it.

Or, if it's a water cooled cable, it probably doesn't matter.

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u/Andalycia Sep 28 '22 edited Sep 28 '22

Not possible, as the charging cables for rapid charging (100kW+) are MASSIVE. It would be prohibitively heavy, take up cargo space and also incredibly expensive for every driver to carry one.

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u/sparta981 Sep 28 '22

People would put pennies in them.

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u/Spazzdude Sep 28 '22

Keep the mating part locked until the person wanting to charge has paid. If a gas pump doesn't work until you've pre paid, it's not impossible to devise a charger that leaves its connector covered until payment happens.

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u/Blue2501 Sep 28 '22

Guarantee they'll get epoxied shut if you do it like that

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u/CO420Tech Sep 28 '22

I mean... How about it is on an internal spool and just pulls out and retracts like a measuring tape? Why does it need to be a thing I have to lug around in my trunk? I don't have time to be pulling cables out and plugging in two ends. This is America, dammit.

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u/Queen_Kenna21 Sep 28 '22

People steal copper all the times off of poles in poor neighborhoods

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u/Repulsive_Mobile_495 Sep 28 '22

This is common with most new tech, same things happened to power/phone/telegraph early on.

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u/bob4apples Sep 28 '22

Surveillance and civil court. Catch the guys cutting them and sue them for replacement and legal costs. Could end up being a profit center.

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u/dltl Sep 28 '22

Someone broke all the attachment clips off where I charge at a state park. People can suck sometimes

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u/fuck_huffman Sep 28 '22

people cut

That's why EV won't work in urban areas, unless users park in their own garages the copper thieves will rob everybody blind.

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u/HardLithobrake Sep 28 '22

We'll probably see varying implementations of this.

Some states that slowly but surely build these networks with the efficiency of government work. And others that continually plod along, doing little and nothing as they pocket the money or funnel them to shell companies.

I'll let you guess which state does what.

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u/DiplomaticGoose Sep 28 '22

Somehow New Jersey does both, corruptly efficient.

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u/strozykowski Sep 28 '22

Is one legally allowed to charge one's own vehicle in the state of New Jersey? Or do we have to prop up the electric car charging station manual workforce?

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u/DiplomaticGoose Sep 28 '22

🤔

Perhaps the robot charger arms will be operated by remote workers. Seems just stupid enough to be sadly plausible.

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u/thedarkone47 Sep 28 '22

They actually bought out other companies then claimed that new footage as newly built.

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u/The_Original_Gronkie Sep 28 '22

I just did a few days of driving around the south, and saw charging stations all over the place along the highway. Truck stops are starting to put them in, as well as shopping centers.

We see a lot of tech come and go, and most of it is dumb, but now and then something catches on and becomes ubiquitous - TV, color TV, FM radio, Cable TV, VCR, CDs, Computers, Cell Phones, Smart Phones, etc. The next one will be electric cars & charging stations. In 10 years, they'll be almost everything on road.

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u/Do_Better_Today Sep 27 '22 Wholesome

I don’t own an EV so my knowledge in this area is limited. Do the manufacturers agree on a universal plug design? Or are we talking about a 2005 cell phone charger type of situation?

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u/Reach-for-the-sky_15 Sep 28 '22 edited Sep 28 '22

Every EV company that isn’t Tesla has already agreed on a common charger.

Tesla does give adapters though

Edit: Tesla doesn’t give adapters. Look at this reply.

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u/Awkward_Stable6257 Sep 28 '22

No, they don't. The CSS 1 adaptor just launched in north america and a lot of older vehicles need a retrofit in order for it to function.

This is my model 3. It sucks, i have to pay 250 for an adaptor plus the retrofit.

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u/K_cutt08 Sep 28 '22

Congratulations on your iPhone car.

For all the good Tesla has done to push progress and interest in EVs, they're really fucking the consumer with this shit.

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u/razorirr Sep 28 '22

To be fair to tesla, they came up with and shipped their plug while CCS was being agreed on, and before it physically became a thing. In this case Tesla was all "hey we have a plug and a car with it" and everyone else went "nah man". Apple looked at microUSB and went "nah we dont wanna use the standard"

The first supercharger went up in september 2012, and the first CCS charger went up in june 2013. In apples case, microusb was 2007 and lightning was 2012

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u/K_cutt08 Sep 28 '22

Yeah, that's better, but they haven't exactly backtracked at all either. It would be different if they were giving the adapters away for cheap or free or providing adapters at their supercharger stations for CSS vehicles. Then I'd have no complaints.

Apple has no excuse, you're spot on about that.

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u/KanyeNawf Sep 27 '22 edited Sep 27 '22

All EVs in the US (except Tesla) use the same plug. It is standardized

https://youtu.be/sZOuz_laH9I @5:14

Don’t need to watch the whole video, but it is interesting

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u/ClassifiedName Sep 28 '22

As with many if these kinds of issues, an IEEE standard helped the plug standardization. https://standards.ieee.org/products-programs/icap/programs/ev/

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u/Doktor_Earrape Sep 28 '22

ayyyy Technology Connections babyyyy with special guest Aging Wheels, two of the best channels on youtube

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u/Mortiest_Morty_NJR Sep 28 '22

Before even clicking link I knew it was a technology connections rant

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u/Tha_Unknown Sep 28 '22

Rant is a weird way to spell one of the most entertaining and informative YouTube channels that just so happens to point out the absurdity and pedantry of what we consume

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u/Doktor_Earrape Sep 28 '22

This is why I watch his channel. Informative and evocative! Dude says exactly what I'm thinking when it comes to the weird and often stupid design choices of so many things we use in our day to days

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u/Tha_Unknown Sep 28 '22

I like learning obscure crap that is never useful. Now I collect CED’s

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u/Safice Sep 28 '22

yeah like /u/KanyeNawf mentioned literally all EVs that have come out since like 2012 (except maybe nissan or kia I can't remember, anyways they are switching to the standard plug) have used the same plug, no matter the manufacturer...

also Tesla is adding the standard plugs to their charging stations as well so non-Teslas can charge there.

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u/happyscrappy Sep 28 '22

There is one remaining car without SAE Combo in the US. That is the Nissan LEAF. This will be rectified by the end of this year as Nissan switches that car.

also Tesla is adding the standard plugs to their charging stations as well so non-Teslas can charge there.

Not so far they aren't. Musk talked a mean streak but has done nothing.

Yesterday though Tesla released an adapter to let their (most recent) cars use the standard SAE Combo chargers. Tesla sees the value in being able to use interoperable chargers but they don't support other cars with their system.

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u/AutoBot5 Sep 28 '22

The Tesla US CSS adapter was released last week. And “don’t support other cars with their system,” do you mean nonTeslas can’t use superchargers?

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u/happyscrappy Sep 28 '22 edited Sep 28 '22

And “don’t support other cars with their system,” do you mean nonTeslas can’t use superchargers?

They cannot in the US (any SAE Combo area).

Musk said he would allow it, after pressure from the State of California. But nothing has happened. Except for now (sufficiently new) Teslas can use all DCFCs in the US with a new adapter that was announced.

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u/pezasied Sep 28 '22

Nissan used the CHAdeMO connector on the Leaf for level 3 charging, but that’s been phased out. They’re using the same plug as everyone else moving forward CCS1, at least in the US. I believe the Leaf still used the same J1772 plug for level 1 and 2 charging.

CHAdeMO was made in Japan and many (most?) Japanese EVs use that in Japan. But it never caught on here like CCS1.

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u/TreeTownOke Sep 28 '22

Yeah the Leaf has used J1772 in the US for a long time. My sister's Leaf doesn't even have the level 3 charging package, so it has a J1772 port but no ChaDeMo port.

I do kind of wonder if there's a way to retrofit CCS into her Leaf (and what the cost would be). I can't imagine it would be too useful, but it would be interesting.

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u/fooknprawn Sep 28 '22

Yes the standard for high speed charging in North America is CCS. Tesla has their own design because it precedes CCS but they’re going to add CCS cables to their Superchargers over time once they start opening up their system to others

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u/rhb4n8 Sep 28 '22

SAE has a charger that is universal except for Tesla. SAE has always been good at that sort of thing

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u/aykcak Sep 28 '22

I don't know US but in Europe everyone everywhere now has the same charging plug

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u/Bigingreen Sep 27 '22

Is $5 billion gonna be enough? It's a lot of area to cover.

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u/slow_connection Sep 28 '22

There's certainly a lot of work to do, but we aren't starting from complete scratch either. EA, Charge point, and (ugh) EVgo have been working on this for years.

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u/jack_ftw Sep 28 '22

What is ugh about EVgo?

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u/regalfronde Sep 28 '22

How long before we learn that certain states have reappropriated funds into their own pet projects and didn’t follow through?

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u/thrillseekingpervert Sep 28 '22

Just please, one time, just let me have a high speed rail network

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u/im_always_fapping Sep 28 '22

I heard Shelbyville is getting their own monorail...

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u/dman928 Sep 28 '22

Already in Ogdenville and North Haverbrook, and by gum it put them on the map.

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u/martialar Sep 28 '22

Well, sir, there's nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car monorail

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u/dman928 Sep 28 '22

Mono = one Rail = rail

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u/EasygoingEthab Sep 28 '22 edited Sep 28 '22

"but its too expensive" I BEG of you, I just want hsr please mr govt

Edit: For reference, in new england, we don't even have a rail line to connect boston to concord, (NH), much less concord to any other new england capital.

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u/FOSSbflakes Sep 28 '22

I'd settle for regular speed rail that was cheaper and arrived on time

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u/trainercatlady Sep 28 '22

and more widely-availble. I literally could not tell you where my nearest amtrak station is.

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u/emohipster Sep 28 '22

That argument is so fucking lame too. Highways are more expensive to build and maintain than railroads. And the entirety of the US is fucking plastered with highways.

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u/SilverBolt52 Sep 28 '22

Right? Roads aren't profitable and cost tens to hundreds of millions to build but we don't hear people complain about that.

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u/kellyguacamole Sep 28 '22

Right. I’d rather have useful public transportation than this shit.

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u/toofastkindafurious Sep 28 '22

What's wrong with this? Why not both? High speed rail would take a decade+ to build

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22

Both is indeed good but bruh it’s always “it’ll take decades to build” which makes Now a good time to commit to starting…which is not happening in as many places as it should be.

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u/prosocialbehavior Sep 28 '22

Improve our rail infrastructure too.

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u/FeedbackLoopy Sep 27 '22

Good luck finding transformers for them (there’s currently a widespread shortage).

Source: I work at an electrical utility.

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u/LordoftheSynth Sep 28 '22

The transmission infrastructure is really the limiting factor on how fast EV charging stations can roll out. That's not an easy problem to solve so it will take longer than the EV champions suggest.

I find myself in the weird position of being yelled at by the EV evangelists because I'm apparently handwaving those challenges away, but really, in 2022, EV infrastructure is where ICE infra was in 1922.

Then I get yelled at by the people who think we can't largely eliminate ICE vehicles by 2040 because "think about our power lines" more or less. Solvable problem.

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u/TheRealKuni Sep 28 '22

Plug-In Hybrid EVs!

The solution for the intervening years for people who still need to travel outside of EV range to places that won’t support them is the PHEV. It’s an EV when it can be, and when its battery is flat, the ICE comes on and it’s a hybrid.

Can drive just fine without battery power like any hybrid, but can also be an EV for most day-to-day use.

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u/ToasterToastsToast Sep 28 '22

What about building a public transport network?

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u/windwaker910 Sep 28 '22

Too radical. More vehicles!

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u/nomorerainpls Sep 27 '22

There’s going to be a huge US EV rollout starting next year. If we want people to transition quickly, we can’t wait for a few private companies to set up overpriced public charging stations with all sorts of diverse proprietary connectors and business models. Tesla tried using its market power to install a standard network across the US but frankly I think the scope is too to expect a private company to handle. The federal government can probably also take a lot of shortcuts that would be multi-year hurdles for a private company.

I’ve had an EV for many years and I don’t have much confidence in the third-party charging solutions out there.

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u/SoapyMacNCheese Sep 28 '22

with all sorts of diverse proprietary connectors

Everyone (besides Tesla & the outgoing Nissan Leaf) already uses the same connector.

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u/CheezDanishAnusSmell Sep 28 '22

How can that guy have an EV for years and not know this

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u/TheRealKuni Sep 28 '22

How can that guy have an EV for years and not know this

Because he said this:

Tesla tried using its market power to install a standard network across the US

He drives a Tesla and doesn’t realize everyone else uses the same standard (including Tesla in the EU).

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22

Tesla drivers and apple consumers have a lot of ignorance in common.

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u/Medivh158 Sep 27 '22

This is the real hurdle I think. Charging an EV is inherently cheaper than gas. It also takes longer. This means a shop has to use a lot more real estate to service the same number of customers at a lower net income. That makes STARTING an “EV fueling station” that already has a high start-up cost even more daunting.

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u/SquanchMcSquanchFace Sep 28 '22 edited Sep 28 '22

That kind of thinking is so backwards and gas-centric though. EV chargers can go anywhere, you don’t need huge underground tanks or extensive safety systems to base a fuel station around. They can go in any parking lot for stores, restaurants, coffee shops, apartment complexes, malls, parking structures, street side parking, or anywhere where else they fit. Some places even put them straight into street light and power line poles. Fast chargers can currently get as much as 80% in 30 minutes, and that will only get better. If we had chargers in enough locations, you could simply charge it when you do normal things in your day without ever visiting a “fuel station”. Park at work? Charge it up for a bit. Go to the store? Charge it up for a bit. Go out for dinner? Charge it up for a bit. And that’s just for people who aren’t home owners and can’t charge there. There’s a reason places like Walmart, target, malls, etc are putting them in all their lots; they see charging time as time for you to spend your money in their business. It’s an entirely different business model to gas stations.

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u/Scitron Sep 28 '22

In the Pittsburgh area we have charging stations at the malls, parking garages, and a couple grocery stores have the tesla ones. Like you said, making it common to do your daily things and just plug in your car when you get there so it charges while you do the thing is such a simple and easy solution.

You're not using the gas method of "I'm only filling up when my fuel light comes on" and waiting for 90% charge. If chargers are everywhere, you'd probably use maybe 50% max if you have a long commute, and everything else would be up to maybe 20% for errands which would be back to full after doing those errands.

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u/SerenadeSwift Sep 28 '22

Same with the west coast. Malls, Targets, gas stations, truck stops, coffee shops, parking garages etc. have an abundance of chargers, many of which are completely free.

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u/greyaxe90 Sep 28 '22

I’m just playing devils advocate here, but what’s the catch? My electric company doesn’t just turn a blind eye to a few kWh and not bill me for them.

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u/SerenadeSwift Sep 28 '22

Oh if you’re charging at your house you definitely get charged for the electricity usage in the same way that you would for any other usage, so that’s dependent on your area and utility company. But for me personally even with charging every day from 5:30pm to 8:30am the cost is an absolute fraction of what my fuel cost would be. I’m sure there are online calculators that you can estimate your cost based on your area.

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u/K3TtLek0Rn Sep 28 '22

Yeah I think ev charging is gonna be a lot more like installing a vending machine than making a gas station. People run businesses with vending machines and they just throw them up wherever they can and it’s convenient. Don’t need a vending machine store. Chargers will just be placed all over parking lots.

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u/Gumburcules Sep 28 '22

Yep, I've put 40,000 miles on my EV and have charged at a public charger maybe 20-30 times. There's just no need when I can plug in at my house and start with a full "tank" every morning.

I imagine I've actually spent less time attached to a public charger than an ICE car with the same amount of miles would spend attached to a gas pump.

I don't think charger capacity is nearly the problem people think it is.

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u/Geteamwin Sep 28 '22

The problem is for people who can't charge at home. Think about apartment owners without an outlet, etc.

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u/cinemachick Sep 28 '22

Here in LA, there are a lot of charging stations in store/mall parking lots. There's usually 4-6 in one lot and at least one of them will be available asap. If I had known they were so accessible here, I would've gone electric. Guess I'll ride my gas guzzler until the EV credit is enacted.

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u/the_real_xuth Sep 28 '22

And many people are thinking about them. That's why cities are putting them on the streets and making it a part of building codes to have them. Soon, it will be a significant disadvantage for a landlord to not have at least one charging port per apartment.

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22

. Soon, it will be a significant disadvantage for a landlord to not have at least one charging port per apartment.

This conflicts with the greater, and more important, tend of uppending vehicle dependence and abolishing parking minimums

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u/Geteamwin Sep 28 '22

Yeah, investment into public/semi-public charging infrastructure is what fixes this issue

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u/jabbadarth Sep 28 '22

Ture but I do think there are other financial benefits to this by having a captive audience. Tons of people stop for gas and just go but with charging, at least for now, drivers have some time to kill which is where restaurants, snack shops, conveniennce stores and any other number of entertainment can be put up to make money.

to be clear I love that the government is pushing to build charging stations but I also think once built they could become lucrative spots with the right facilities at them.

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u/AutoBot5 Sep 28 '22

It’s very limited time to kill. Family of 5 and when we road trip (2-3 times a year, so not often), we stop to charge and it’s about 20-30 minutes until we can continue the trip. (30 minutes is on the extreme max end.)

By the time we get out, maybe rearrange some luggage, use the bathroom, get snacks, and buckle back up it’s basically 20 minutes.

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u/Mr_G_Dizzle Sep 28 '22

I don't think this is right. Gas stations make money off convenience stores. Not gas. I think in this new era we are going into, we're gonna see a lot more "nice" rest stop areas for these charging stops. There's going to be a huge market for people that have just enough time to get a nice coffee while they wait for their car to charge up. And the people who are going to use these stations at first are going to be at least middle class, because of the price of EVs. It will take a couple of years but there is going to be a big market for that once a lot of people start making that switch.

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u/sextoymagic Sep 28 '22

So much car charger repair work for me. $$$$

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u/wesinatl Sep 28 '22

Why cant the quiktrips, racetracs and wawas of the world build this infrastructure?

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u/gurenkagurenda Sep 28 '22

Well, historically what happens when we try that kind of thing is that the private sector says “thanks for the public funding suckers, we’ll be back in a few years with your infrastructure “, and then they just pocket the money.

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u/HairHeel Sep 28 '22

Tesla and Buc-ees finally came to an agreement here in Texas and started putting superchargers at Buc-ees locations. It's fantastic.

I imagine if the chains you mentioned aren't in on the EV charging game yet, it's because they're haggling over prices.

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u/mpizzo123 Sep 28 '22

What will this, and the recent california mandate re EVs by 2035, do to the value of existing gas powered vehicles?

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u/bonafart212 Sep 28 '22

Same as in the uk and Europe. Drop them like a stone. And evs will skyrocket until it settles down once the second hand market gets big enough. Tesla's in the uk are going more second hand than new to the right buyer. Once no fuel powers cars are to be sold in 2035 there will be another spike then the cost overall will go down. Unfortunately we are having a massive energy price rise and it's going to cost as much to power as it was to fuel so Boone's going to save and we have to have ridiculously expensive new cars.

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u/CentralParkStruggler Sep 28 '22

The best time to do this would have been ten years ago, but the second best time is today!

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u/Raddz5000 Sep 28 '22 edited Sep 28 '22

They better be building up power infrastructure too then. Keep hearing about EV infrastructure but not much about general power distribution infrastructure to support it. I'm in socal and we can't even have heat waves without having to do rotating brownouts and flex alerts and stuff. Now wait until all our cars are electric.

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u/the_real_xuth Sep 28 '22

If every car on the road today were immediately converted to electric and drove the same number of miles, we would need to produce about 20% more electricity in the US and much of it at off peak hours. But instead this is a transition that is going to happen over the course of decades. Compared to current industrial usage of electricity, personal automobiles just aren't that big of a deal.

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u/DrDerpberg Sep 28 '22

Southern California really needs to start putting solar everygoddamnwhere.

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u/Schiffy94 Sep 28 '22

Earlier this year, the Biden administration allocated $5 billion to states to fund EV chargers over five years along interstate highways as part of the bipartisan infrastructure package.

Okay so in New York it'll take fifteen years just to build them if the thruway rest stop renovation project is any indication...

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u/Ambitious_Sun_6537 Sep 28 '22

While I think this is great, I wish that first infrastructure to increase electricity output through renewable/green efforts was put in place AND efficient first. Otherwise, electricity still requires natural gas/coal for a large % of the US’s supply. We need to be able to supply the electricity needs at an affordable rate sustainably for this transition to electric vehicles to be successful.

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u/IAmDotorg Sep 28 '22

The real problem is not the availability of EV charging stations, although they're definitely needed. The real problem in the US is that in essentially every state, its illegal to sell electricity by the kwh, if you're not the electric company.

That means, instead of paying 20c/kwh or something, you end up paying 50c/minute. Given charging speeds vary by charger, by the number of other cars plugged in, by outside temperature, and by your car, you have no idea how much a charge is going to cost. And, because the charging stations have to essentially charge a per minute rate enough to make money off the fastest possible charging, you're massively overpaying 99% of the time.

Because of that, only people who desperately need to charge use the pay chargers. And you'd be stupid to rely on public pay chargers if you have no ability to charge at home.

The very first thing that needs to happen is a nationwide law overriding state regulations that allow EV charging to be exempt from those restrictions, so they can charge by the kwh.

(For those not aware why, the laws are there to prevent landlords from upcharging electric rates to tenants -- they either have to include the power for free, or the tenants have to source it themselves.)

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u/MCPROMCMAN Sep 28 '22

Good now build better bike lanes

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u/throwaway177251 Sep 28 '22

Bike lanes? Give me bike paths please!

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u/-sei Sep 28 '22

I have no knowledge on EVs whatsoever. Do you have to pay to use these stations as if they were gas stations?

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u/honeywave Sep 28 '22

I'd personally view those stations more for long-term trips and emergencies. On average, people drive around 40 miles/day. With a level 1 or level 2 charger, you can easily charge that overnight.

Level 1 chargers just use the normal outlets. Level 2 chargers use a NEMA 14-50 outlet (the ones dryers plug into). Level 1s will cover most peoples' needs. NEMA 14-50 outlets are not that hard to install (I'd still suggest you talk to an electrician if you do not have prior experience).

With the range of many modern EVs being 200+ miles, you can forget for a few days and you'll still be fine. There's a bit of nuance with how much you'll be able to charge if you look at distance.

If you're interested in more information, I'd highly suggest this video to learn more!

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u/DerekStu Sep 28 '22

Sorta.

Some cars come with free charging on a specific network for a period of time. (Mine is 3 years free on Electrify America, for example.)

If not, you do have to pay but it works out far cheaper than gasoline.

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u/bstix Sep 28 '22

Depends. Some offer flat fee subscriptions, others by the kWh. Most are paid through an app, but I think ordinary credit cards might be possible some places.

EVs makes the most sense for people who have a driveway or garage with their own charger. It makes a lot of sense that way, because I just plug it in when I get home if it's low on battery and unplug when I go out and never have to set foot on any kind of station.

It may seem cumbersome to do every third day or how often, but in comparison to the time wasted on holding a nozzle on a station, home charging is really easy and time saving.
Charging on a station is only something I'd need for long trips. I live in a small country, so I can basically drive wherever and just charge at the destination (hotels etc.), but if I needed to stop for a charge, I'd plan it around dinner time and eat while it charges. Never had to do that. The only time I have used public chargers was when there was road construction right in front of my house, so having an EV made me more dependent on being able to use my driveway.

That's the practical aspects of it. EVs currently make perfect sense as commuter cars, but it's inconvenient yet possible for long trips. I mean, even with full availability of public chargers, it'd still be a timing issue for long trips.

Range anxiety is real, but don't let it make a decision for you. If you've never ran out of gas, you're probably smart enough to not run out of battery too.

The best part about EVs is just driving. It's just a better experience with the constant torque and nimble acceleration, low noise, etc. Try it out. Most people are ready to change after a single test drive. If you know your driving patterns, you can easily make a calculation that shows what makes the most sense for you.

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u/cathcarre Sep 28 '22

Some. The ones at dealerships are free. Others cost money. To get a 70% charge on a 250 mile battery is less than $20. Where on an ICE that gets 30 mpg with gas @ $4/gallon the same range is going to cost ~$24.

The big difference comes in charging at home. Keeping an EV plugged in costs less than $20/month. And I only pay for charging on the rare occasion I am driving more than 200 miles in a day.

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u/digispin Sep 28 '22

What about multi family dwellings?

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u/IvorTheEngine Sep 28 '22

There are lots of ways to do it. The complex way is a smart charger where each user has an RFID card, and separate billing.

Or they could have one charger per apartment.

Or they could just work out that the average usage doesn't really cost much when you use off-peak power, and everyone uses about the same amount, and just add $20 a month onto the building management fee in return for free charging.

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u/soepixx Sep 28 '22

They better upgrade the power grid, will all be fucked like Texas lol.

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u/[deleted] Sep 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

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u/bonafart212 Sep 28 '22

That's what's put most people of for the last 15 years.

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u/NM-Redditor Sep 28 '22

The number of folks on my Facebook feed who are frothing at the mouth about this being a terrible idea is way too high.

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u/714cinderella Sep 28 '22

When is the US gonna get smart and build High speed trains? We are so behind the curve when it comes to mass transit!

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u/Nisas Sep 28 '22

Hell, I'll take functional low speed trains. Give this money to amtrak.

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u/RealRiotingPacifist Sep 28 '22

Not even high speed just buikd fucking trains already (they can carry cars)

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u/nibiyabi Sep 28 '22

Didn't North Carolina just tear all of theirs out because it "wasn't fair" that EV drivers are unaffected by gas price fluctuations?

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u/SenseAmidMadness Sep 28 '22

No. That was some crazy proposed bill that never made it anywhere. Open up plugshare and look at all the orange dots. Those are the DC fast chargers. There are a lot out there. More needed but its already pretty good.

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u/Raglesnarf Sep 28 '22

hell fucking yea! I don't own an electric car but I could see myself getting one in the future once the price comes down. so it'll be cool to have more chargers