knightmb wrote: ↑
Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:10 am
It's easy for Phillips 66 to complain but not long ago in the previous century, you didn't have gas stations everywhere either. The very first ones were just "filling stations" with nothing but a small shed and some pumps. Over the years it has morphed of course into food, restaurants, vehicle service, etc. because that was a business model that worked for people that ran them. I don't see the Phillips 66 complaints as an apples to apples comparison since the business model of "what do you put with a QC station" is still evolving today. Maybe someone should build a VR gaming business next to a QC station or perhaps put a hotdog stands around all QC stations, you never know what people will stick with. I think trying to peg the gas station business model to a QC station model is trying to recycle something familiar into something different all together.
The problem is that the operational demand for rapid 'refueling,' i.e. energy replenishment, hasn't changed. The time, convenience and flexibility advantages remain a huge advantage, so while John Locke's statement that QC is "a convenience not a necessity" is true in the abstract, it's critical in the real world, especially when you're trying to replace a technology that has rapid replenishment with one that only offers much slower replenishment, when customers are used to and will demand the former.
I want the fastest charging I can get on trips. On a typical 'weekend' trip last November in a Bolt, what would normally have taken about 4 hours one-way including a stop for gas instead took 6.5, owing mostly to the Bolt's slow QC. Part of the issue was the lack of QC sites where they'd do the most good given the Bolt's limited range compared to a typical ICE, and a little bit to driving slower than normal just to reach the next charging site, but the rest was the 50kW max. and steadily reducing charge rate. That these charging stops forced me to spend extended time in places I had no desire to spend even a minute was adding insult to injury.
As QC stations proliferate some of these issues will be reduced, but the fastest possible charging will always be considered an advantage in convenience and flexibility, which is why we've seen a steady increase in charge rates. If such charging remains more expensive than the alternative, there's little incentive for non-ideological customers to switch to BEVs.