Public Chargers: Rapid or Destination

Next to our local Target store a number of these rapid chargers have just popped up. They’re not live yet, and carry no branding, but I suspect they are part of the Electrify America roll out. Included in the set are eleven 150kW CCS spots and one 50kW CHAdeMO one for a total of 12 charging spaces.

While that is impressive, and on a scale I have not seen in many other locations in the Bay Area outside of Tesla’s superchargers (one of which we have at the other end of our little EV-friendly island).

Rapid chargers are something that we certainly need in the infrastructure, but I question whether outside a Target or in a shopping mall is the right place for them. In locations where people are going to be spending longer than 30 minutes, a rapid charger might actually be too fast for most people. In these locations, the slower, so-called destination chargers might be a better fit. By removing just one of those dual 150kW posts, Target could have installed ten rapids (9 x CCS and 1 x CHAdeMO) along with at least 30 x 7kW AC destination chargers.

Aside from servicing four times as many vehicles at the same time, this also takes the pressure off people to leave the store when their car hits the 80% level that most rapids slow down at. If these are at a gym or a movie theatre, it is even worse; who is going to walk out of a movie half way through the show to move the car off the charger?

Where we do need more rapid chargers is along routes like I5 that runs from the border with Mexico right up to the border with California. From San Francisco to Los Angeles there are very few (although more now than there were a year ago).

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