The Smart City Podcast

Learn About the Challenges, Successes and Impacts of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

March 17, 2022 The Smart Cities Team at ARC Advisory Group Season 7 Episode 1
The Smart City Podcast
Learn About the Challenges, Successes and Impacts of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
Show Notes Transcript

Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure is being implemented at an unprecedented rate, and now with government incentives spurring installations that rapid growth continues its acceleration.

In this captivating Smart City podcast, the ARC Advisory Group team discusses, in detail, answers to the following questions:

What are the basics and who are the stakeholders in the Electric Vehicle transition?         

What can residential customers expect from utilities?     

How do EV owners living in an apartment, or a condo charge their EV?    

What can fleet owner expect from utilities?         

What can property owners and private charging companies expect from utilities?              

How do government policies influence the role out of EV charging infrastructure?  

Join ARC's own Rick Rys, Peter Manos & Jim Frazer as they discuss developments in this rapidly expanding domain.

 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | One to another episode of these Smart city podcast by RC Advisory Group. Today I'm joined by our senior energy analyst Rick Rish at a RC as well as peer mentors who has deep experience in the utility industry. Welcome aboard gentleman and we're looking forward to a fascinating discussion today. How are you?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Great. Happy to be here.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Very well.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | It to be here. Thanks Jim.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Great. Hey, Rick, before we get started, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | That's all. I have a background as a chemical and electrical engineer. I've worked extensively with process control systems for.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Uh Foxboro Company, which became Invensys, which became Schneider Electric.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | I designed and built and implemented control systems, especially in the oil, gas and chemicals.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | More recently I've been working at a RC as a market analyst for the last five or six years ago, and I've focused on the electric utility sector. So I cover transmission and distribution, SCADA systems, substation automation, microgrids, grid scale batteries. I'm also a light Commissioner in my current town of Princeton, Massachusetts, where we own and operate two wind turbines. And we have a very small rural electric grid that we we manage all the distribution system.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | In addition to that, I designed and built my own net zero house, so I am kind of a grid interactive customer or or certainly experimenting with that with my utility. I have an electric vehicle that is controlled by our utility, so that's roughly my background. Thanks.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Well, thanks. Thanks Rick and Peter. You're relatively new member of the A RC advisory group team. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Yep.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Sure. I'm director of research here, a RC and electric power and smart grid and.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Or this great energy sector team. Here they are, see. And I've been in the utility industry most of my career. I.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Started a con Edison in New York after engineering school and had great assignments all over the generation, transmission and distribution aspects of of con Ed and I didn't utility industry ever since consulting clients across those those areas. And aside from my engineering degree, I also have an MBA in marketing and finance and.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Before the engineering degree, I had got a BA in philosophy which I still utilize as much as the other skill sets to ask the right questions and you know, bring value looking at.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Trends in the industry and what solution providers and utilities and energy companies are grappling with.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | So yeah, you know, with the energy transition. So our topic today is so.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Along with the Advanced Analytics and industry best practices, operational excellence, operational excellence, so Israel, things that I focus on a lot and.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | And forward to our.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Great.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Bring some value here about electric vehicles today.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Well, of course, of course. I'm Jim Frazer, vice president, smart cities here at ARC. And you know, I do have a degree in engineering and and an MBA. And in this particular sector, I have worked in developing some U.S. Department Transportation API interfaces for EV charging that actually were developed many years ago but are in the process of being published in the next six months or or a year. But we thought we'd take this time.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | In this podcast to discuss the particulars about, you know, electric vehicle charging system, installation, implementation, benefits, challenges.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | As well as some business cases, it's energy and in particular energy in transition is a renewed focus of a RC in the in this year and in coming years. And this is just one of a number of coming podcasts on the energy industry in general and on energy and transition in particular. So with that, we've have collected a number of questions about the EV infrastructure deployment.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | In in North America, in the United States and elsewhere around the world, and we might as well just get started with those questions.
 |  Question 1
 | Jim Frazer
 | Gentlemen, the first question we have today – a two part questions is “What are the basics of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and who are the major stakeholders in this electric vehicle transition”?
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Rick, would you like to take that one?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah, sure. Well, you know, clearly the stakeholders are EV makers.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | The EV fleet managers that include be things like school buses or commercial buses or rental car makers that are moving to electric vehicles.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | The real estate developers, the charging stations and also the commercial charging providers and of course clearly the utilities are a major stakeholder because they are providing the power to electrify transportation. On a larger level, electrifying transportation as part of the overall goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And there really are very few options outside of electrifying cars and moving away from fossil fuels.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | I would also mention that lithium batteries will dominate for at least for the next five years and there is a move toward a lithium iron phosphate chemistry which is safer. It does not use nickel or cobalt and has more charge cycle. 
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | The demand for EV's right now is just insane. We are seeing exponential growth all around the planet and huge investments in batteries and EV factories are being done worldwide, and while Tesla has an early lead, China has invested heavily in electric vehicles and battery production. For example, in January 2021, only 5% of car sales in China were electric vehicles, but this jumped to 19% by November and nearly 30% by December 2021.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | And by the end of 2021, the US had about 2,000,000 EVs and plug in hybrids. and about 110,000 charging stations. Europe had 5.5 million, plug-in electric vehicles and 200 and 75,000 charging stations. However, China has about 20 million electric vehicles and 2,200,000 charging stations, so it's very clear that China has a huge, huge lead.
 | Rick Rys
 | Hydrogen is not likely to be used for significant amount of transportation, and I will mention that China does have about 800 battery swapping stations. Battery swapping is very popular in China for scooters where you can go in and get new batteries -  charged up batteries for your scooters and replace your replace the worn out batteries in your scooter and put him back in for it for a fee. Companies like NEO are experimenting with battery swapping stations so those are the stakeholders.
 | Peter Manos
 | I would also mention a current stakeholder in Internal combustion engine transportation, obviously are the oil and gas companies and the fact that the transition to electric vehicles would if we went to 100% electric vehicles, it would move roughly 33% of the revenue of oil and gas companies to the utility industry because about 1/3 of their revenue comes from selling gasoline too.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Those are interesting insights from both of you.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | In the developed world, electric vehicles, when we think about the adoption of electric vehicles, we tend to think of Teslas, we think of the electrified Ford F-150 pickup truck. You think of the Rivian series of vehicles, and they tend to be at the higher end of the economic spectrum. Those are pricey vehicles. However, in many developing portions of the world, electric vehicles as well as their charging systems drive much smaller vehicles, all the way down to scooters and bicycles.  
 | Jim Frazer
 | Is is the market going to merge in the middle somewhere and when when do we see real mass market adoption of a economy car electric vehicle?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Let me let me start with that answer. You know in China the most popular vehicle, I think it was in 2020, maybe they've lost out to Tesla in the meantime. But the most popular vehicle was the Hong Kong mini. It was a $4400 car, very popular with housewives in in cities. It was not. It was not an elaborate card, didn't have airbags. It would not meet you. As you know, Rd regulations. But it was the most popular car in China for a year or two and.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | So you won't see the hung Mini show up in the US. There are 50 different Chinese car companies and when you go to a a car show in China and you look at the availability of these cars, you know the very popular cars we have here the you know, the the Hondas in the Toyotas that are kind of in the, you know, the entry level for a lot of people.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | You will not be selecting them. These new cars are coming. There will be very much cheaper. These haven't hit our shores yet, but I will mention that these new vehicles are definitely coming.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Well, that's interesting, Rick. That I, I, I and neglected to mention that of course in the developed world there are, there is a plethora of electric vehicles at the very low end known as scooters who have dominated many, many cities so much so that they're struggling with how to manage these scooter transportation issues.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | So let's move on to question #2. So what can residential customers expect from utilities and what about that integration with the utility of the home charger?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Peter, why don't you go first on this one?
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Sure. So you know a big part of the economic model for utilities is going to be changed in a good way as more and more electric vehicles come on board because utilities have.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Power generation.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Capacity, which is underutilized, for example, at night, right? I mean, people turn the lights off and turn your appliances off and go to bed. And so there's a tremendous economic benefit which utilities can share with the residential customers of electric vehicles in in using off peak power. You know, the ratio on the worst days of the year can be cost wise to utility tend to 1/8 to one. You know, the on the hottest summer day or the coldest.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Winter day. Depending on when the utility has peak demand and has to use all of its electric capacity and purchase additional power to meet that demand.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Uh, and on the typical run of the mill operational day of the year, there's easily a 2 to one ratio or 2 1/2 to one ratio between that peak demand.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Uh versus off peak. So a charging your electric vehicle as a residential customer at the lower rate is is a savings to you because utility sharing that savings?
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | No. Uh and and gaining gaining revenue, right. I mean, you're you using more electricity than you did before. So it's a win, win and and and customers can expect utilities to offer these.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Tiered pricing plans to make that more economical and that's just the tip of the iceberg. 'cause, there's there's so many other benefits too.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | The electric vehicle being sort of a a an extra node in the distribution system for charging and for potentially there's an economic value potentially to allowing your electric vehicle when it's parked to to act as a stabilizing.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Source for for the distribution system you know to enable the grid should be operated more reliably and to integrate rooftop solar, for example in assisted scenario and Rick I know you've done a good bit of studying of the the systems that enable utilities to have a more dynamic grid with with solar PV and electric vehicles in the mix. So I'll defer to you for some of the additional details there.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah, I I think I I would start to suggest that.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Are utilities, at least in our area here of New England? They're petrified of electric vehicles. What they see is all of these big loads coming home from work between 5:00 and 6:00 PM and plugging in right, and they're plugging in at a time where there's peak loads and, you know, there are peak load events for capacity and transmission as well. And. And so they see these electric vehicles as a threat. So they're still kind of in the early phases of dealing with that threat. Some of our ERP, our local utility, has a program or we will.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Give you a $600 electric vehicle charger with the provision that you must connect it to Wi-Fi connector and have a kind of our service company be able to externally regulate that charging and they would reduce the charging rate during those days that we are likely to have a peak load. This is primarily to change costs, not so much on time of use rates as it is for peak load, for capacity and transmission charges.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | And by doing this that way, the utility can save money. They figured they could easily pay for that. That $600 charger in one year and they.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah, they they would.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Would encourage you basically to to not not charge during those peak load times they would they would actually.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | It would actually remotely adjust your charger and shut it down.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Some of the other things that they're doing, of course, there are possibility we've had, you know, dual meters, one for charger and one for a hot water heater. We've had him in the past some of the utilities in our area are just beginning to experiment with time of use rates, which requires smart meters. There's still a lot of work needed however, to create the markets and incentives for the grid interactive home. That was really the vision of 42222 order, the FERC 222 order, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Uh basically came out with in order and all the utilities and the investor owned utilities and give me the the independent system operators and remote and regional transmission operators are.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Still trying to develop the markets and mechanisms to be able to reward people for be able to compete in the various grid markets, the wholesale energy market, ancillary service, peak shaving types of markets. So far that's not in place. We got a long way to go for the utilities to go that way and I know that I would also as an electric vehicle owner would really like to have the capability of having that be able to get the power two way flow out of my car. In other words, I would like a bidirectional charger which also is referred to as vehicle to grid.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | I could power my house for four days straight, even in the winter. All electric house here in New England. If I could only get that power out of my car to power my house. So that also is not coming in the short term, but several vehicle manufacturers, Volkswagen Tesla once did that, for example, and several other vehicle manufacturers. You can see the new Ford F-150 has an 80 amp bidirectional charger that they're working on with Siemens. So bidirectional charging will eventually come particularly with the lithium iron.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Phosphate batteries that can tolerate that, those charge cycles.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | It, Rick, it's interesting you bring, you bring that up. I I of course living in, you know Hurricane prone part of the of the country in the United States and resiliency is 1 factor that's driving some of those electric vehicle sales in particular that F-150 where residents here do have generators that are gasoline fueled for for the most part.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Uhm, big Rick, you you mentioned vehicle vehicle to grid and before we even go there.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | I'm I'm intrigued by the Wi-Fi connection to EV chargers that you mentioned.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Up the mirror term and more infrastructure specific concern that many folks have is.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | I've heard and EV Charger represents arguably the load of a entire home, and I know that in many neighborhoods you might have three or four or two homes per transformer.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Uhm, what? How's it going to work when I and my neighbor or my three neighbors all decide to plug in their vehicles?
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | And they, and they still want to keep their air conditioning running at their at their residencies. Is that going to be managed by the Wi-Fi connection remotely, or is there a local arbitrage or or could he comment on that a little bit?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah. And we had that exact problem here in our rural town of Princeton, but because in fact, we have a rural town with large spacing between buildings, there was a tendency to put on one transformer for one house. Right. And and one transformer, one house could serve a 200 amp service.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Ah, you know where houses are closed are spaced closer together. You might have one transformer surf three houses. And clearly if those three houses all have electric vehicles.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah, maybe it's it's going to be necessary for the utility to put in more Transformers and be able to handle more load, obviously.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | A few, you know, typically a few customers that suddenly put in EV charger, it doesn't really affect the distribution system all that much and and kind of our existing overhead wiring 13.8 KV wiring is able to handle that, although there's certainly a situations where new new wiring needs to be put in to be able to handle that load. This will be particularly the case, for example with the high voltage DC chargers that you would not find at home. You know these would be the.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | The commercial chargers like a a Tesla Supercharger or ego, or some of the other charging stations, but but yes, utilities will will need to put that in. But on the other hand, utilities see these see electric vehicles as new customers. There's new load coming up and and electric vehicles are taking on the a fair amount of time to to build out the new electric vehicles. So this gives the utilities time to build up that infrastructure and and stay up to speed with the growth in electric vehicles for the most part.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | So so Rick, I mean, I was envisioning that that the, if I have my three neighbors on the same transformer that there might be some type of arbitrage.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Large using software between those three chargers so that I might pay a higher price if I.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | I need to charge my vehicle and my my neighbor might wait because he would rather pay a lower cost. Do you see local? I don't want to see microgrid but but you know, micro bartering platforms like that popping up.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah, I would say yes, but not not right immediately, at least not in our area. You know we do not have smart meters in our town. We don't have a lot of the infrastructure that needs to be in place. We also need more creativity by kind of utilities and utilities, service companies, you know, for a small muni where we have just a handful of lineman in one manager. We don't have any engineering staff to help design and put these in. So we need we need a larger utility service companies and aggregators to start.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Uh performing this function that was really the vision of FERC 2222, the aggregators are going to figure out how to make multiple people participate and set up the programs that will reward people and and or penalize people for using power when that power is very expensive and.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | So it's kind of like the the basics of physics. You know, voltage moves, electricity pressure, moves, fluids and money moves people the utilities need to get that money moves people incentive by building out the business systems and market structures and and in order to reward those customers that can can be a grid, interactive customer and and use renewable power when it's available and even put power back out and the grid when the grid needs that power.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | And you know that it's not just that the grid will will always. It's aside from the grid needing power or vice versa. The other aspect of it is that the very same.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Infrastructure to support more electric vehicles for those residential customers that infrastructure is going to make for a more stable and dynamic grid where reliability will be increased and the ability to have more renewable sources of power will be increased. And you know, I happen to be in New York City when the 2006 blackout happened. And when you look at the.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | The reviews of what actually occurred New York State had a surplus of power generation.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | And when the state had to isolate itself as the cascading.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | How to just trickle down, you know from Canada and across from Ohio around the Great Lakes. You know the transmission lines and a New York set. The system operator said, hey, we've got to open up the circuit Breakers in Island, New York. Well, as soon as they island did it because.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | There was way more generation.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | In New York State, then demand at that moment there were two a couple of large nuclear power plants in that mix that had to shutdown 'cause they would have been overloaded. Now it's conceivable at some point in the future when things are built out, you know, Rick mentioned his town in Massachusetts, doesn't have advanced metering installed. Well, that's true of 35% of electric customers in, in the US, Advanced metering infrastructure is only at the 65% mark now.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Uh and intuitively like to think of how these electric vehicles can charge, can you know, also act as a storage in some scenarios where you could, you know, serve your house during an outage, but if you had 10s of thousands of electric vehicles?
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Charging in New York State, uh on a dynamic grid that had full advance meeting infrastructure in place and all the other stuff in place, those two nuclear plants that caused the blackout for New York could have.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Instead, powered down slowly and and during that 15 minute half hour transition charged up a bunch of electric vehicles that just happen to be connected someplace in New York. You know, we take a 10s of thousands of those vehicles to be there available at that moment, but that could have prevented the whole state from having an outage. So it's an odd example, but.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | It it works both ways, sometimes absorbing power button on the part of electric vehicle can make the grid more stable if that makes sense.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Yeah, it almost or not to oversimplify it, but it, but it brings up the the example that electric utilities are transforming from simply being creators of electrons on a on a wire, one end and counting them in billing for them on the other end, they're becoming more akin to ISP's managing traffic of electrons between, you know, a variety of different nodes on on the network.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Yeah, and it needs to be smoothed out for it to be more stable.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Exactly.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah, we we do have a number of utilities around here that have grid scale batteries. You know, of many of them participate in capacity and transmission markets. So those batteries are fully charged and when a peak event occurs, they time that event to discharge during that one peak hour where they're going to be billed for the whole year and hopefully they make that one some other batteries, however, are charged to 50% and could add or subtract to the grid if they were competing, for example, in the frequency control market.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Thanks, Rick. Hey, let's move on to question #3.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | And actually, since we've focused on a residential and rural.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Uh application discussions. Let me ask, how do electric vehicle owners living in apartment or condominium charge their electric vehicle?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah, this is a. This is a pretty big problem if you are one of those people living and want to have an EV and you want to have an apartment and your landlord is reluctant to install a charger, right? In fact, as soon as they ask your landlord to install a charger, you know he's going to have to dedicate that to wherever your parking spot is, so you better have your own personal parking spot that other people are not using. And as soon as he upgrades the panels suddenly that may impose new electrical codes and. And if this building is 20 thirty 50 years old.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | You know, all of a sudden it gets very expensive for the landlord to upgrade the entire electrical electric panels to to the latest electrical codes. You know, here in New England, most new construction is required to put a EV charging circuit in every house. So building building codes require EV charging, but obviously the older houses didn't anticipate EV charging.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | So you do have a lot of incentives alright. However, many of those whose government incentives and subsidies to landlords they may help to benefit the primarily higher income property owners and higher income tenants. This will follow kind of an overreaching pattern of EV incentives in general, which generally raises up some equity concerns by by not helping the the the people at the lowest level of incomes.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Yeah, in indeed. You know, Rick, while it's well not happening in the near near term, wouldn't capacitive charging addressed some of these issues?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Well.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Meaning meaning capacitive charging out, you know, out on a road or you know, in a shopping center at a stop sign for example.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah, well, you're talking about wireless charging, you know, and it's it's, it's.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Correct.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | It's I think it's got a long way to go. You know there are, there are outfits that will sell a wireless charger. You can come home and park over a spot without having to plug it in. You know, for the home situation, it's very easy to just plug in your car. So it's that extra expense of building a wireless charger into your vehicle. 'cause, there's there's equipment required on the vehicle side. And then also on the floor. You know, there's some possibility that buses might be able to charge at various bus stops in this way. But, you know, it's it doesn't seem that it's very likely that.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Yeah.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | The wireless so called capacitive charging is is is a big play at the moment.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | You know and and aspect of this that utilities have to address is that.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | A regulated.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Transmission and distribution electric utility.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | It's often obligated by its state.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Public Utilities Commission to not offer something to one group of of people in its service territory that it's not offering the equivalent to to another group. So when when you get into renters?
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Uh, you know, if there's a.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | A favorable rebates and tariffs and Ann.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Not just for the electric vehicles, but also for building charging stations. Potentially there needs to be a corresponding program, not just for the wealthy people in the suburbs, but also for the renters in in the.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Medium moderate income, low income communities and.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Those some charging stations and other capabilities.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Oh, you know, that's that's a social.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Obligation that utilities have and and many embrace very positively because of how tide they are to their communities, they they have a stake in the economic health of their and well being of their communities.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Great. Thanks. Thanks, Peter.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | In the interest of time, let's move on to question #4.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Uh, what can fleet owners expect from utilities? And I'll even expand upon that question to ask, you know, what are the benefits of of electric vehicles, two fleets and what are some of the hurdles to, you know, having bulk fleet charging in one location?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah. Let me let me start with this one. You know, clearly fleet owners need to work with utility to get the appropriate power supply and Transformers for depending on the size of their fleet. You know this is many of these fleet owners are going to want to have high voltage DC charging. You know these Chargers can start to consume you know a whole a whole fleet of vehicles may choose maybe consuming more than a MW. You know even the even the small vehicle chargers now are are nearly a quarter of a MW per charger.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | And there's a lot of power going into those eaves, so you could imagine that a collection of school buses or commercial buses, you know, they're going to need powerful charges from their utility and the the larger vehicle fleets are more likely to be able to support things like vehicle to grid and and work with the utility on a win, win aspect where those fleet vehicles might be able to compete in some of these markets. Utilities are much more inclined to deal with a large fleet of of of electric.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Vehicles for issues like vehicle to grid rather than each individual homeowner one at a time, so fluid up fleet owners should be able to make money by exporting power to the grid during peak load times, and utilities could pay for that power and and you could afford the the necessary metering and control infrastructure so that both the utility and the fleet owner can benefit.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | And there's obviously the doing well by doing good, quote UN quote of cleaning the air in the urban areas or other areas where these fleets are being electrified by that fleet owner. So they they need some, they deserve some.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Some check boxes from the marketing perception point of view rightfully for creating a better environment.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | You know, Rick, Rick and Peter.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | There are a couple of times today we we've talked about and introduced, you know vehicle to grid.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Of what are the obstacles to veto vehicle to grid communications and business processes today?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah. Well, I think one of the big obstacles to vehicle to grid and and reluctance for companies to do this for example is.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Some is that it's a lot of wear and tear on the on your battery. So you buy a brand new electric vehicle, right? It's got a kind of an older style battery, doesn't have the new lithium iron phosphate batteries in it yet.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | That battery may be good for you know so many charge cycles. It could be, it could be half a million miles. But those batteries degrade, you know, with every charge cycle and they lose capacity. And and this could affect the warranty on your car. So EV manufacturers are reluctant to open up that.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | That charging for bidirectional flow of power for.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Uh, we because of the way on terror on the on your batteries, the new lithium iron phosphate batteries that are coming out are much more tolerant to that. And and I think that you're going to see bidirectional charging open more in the future and obviously you know bidirectional charging needs to have some type of and it could be that the intelligence is in the charger, not necessarily a smart meter at the point of connection to the home or or fleet but.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | No, it could be right built into the charger and the and the utility could work directly with the charger for all the appropriate business relationships in terms of how much you get paid or how much you buy power for when you charge scheduled charging. I think V 1G is referred to as scheduled charging in V2 is the more the bidirectional mechanism.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | So the the major obstacle today Rick is, is the warranty on battery discharge cycles for private vehicle owners?
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Would you say that?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah, I would say that's that's one of the one of the top priorities. Obviously it's more infrastructure alright. The bidirectional charger typically will have to be done external from the vehicle, right, because it's taking DC power and it has to make a head has to use an inverter and most chargers that are wall chargers today, the level 2 chargers, you know they take a see power and push AC power into the car and within the vehicle itself is the rectifier that converts that to DC. But there's typically no such.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Inverter in the car to bring DC back out to AC at the at the at the charge cable.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | So there's an additional amount of fairly substantial logic that needs to occur there. It's not just a simple transfer switch.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah, definitely. It's not. Yeah, I mean, when you plug in electric vehicle in, you know it has to detect while you plug in AC into me or you plug in DC into me. And if you're plugging AC is at 110 volts or 240 volts and what kind of plug connector is it? And so it interrogates with the communication that when that's occurring and in fact you can't just pull a cable out of your car while its charging because a spark would jump. It has, you have to first of all disconnect with relays the that were designed for breaking that much power flow.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Before you can pull the cable out of a car, so there's a there's a lot of things going on with regards to the the communication and and the transfer of power in in, in a in.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Not to mention, yeah, not to mention on the utility side, the synchronization and harmonization of the waveform between the D created waveform from the vehicle and the waveform from the utility.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah, I think there's there's clearly standards for that. You know, you have solar panels with battery systems and inverters that have to connect to the grid. And so there's there's definitely a number of of standards. I think it's the IEEE 1547 that communication standard, you know, that. So you're not going. You can't just connect any old thing to the electric grid and push power back into the grid.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | True, one of our questions, let's move on to the next one. We may have answered portions of this. Uh, what can property owners and private charging companies expect from utilities?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Well, obviously they have to expect clean power, right? And you know, power that can can run their charger. I, you know, some Chargers, they some vehicles you can't just charge him with a regular generator because the note the signal is so noisy they will reject it.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | So you have to be able to hold the voltage up. You'd have to, yeah.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | You know, be able to handle that. Obviously property owners you know are putting chargers in, you know, and and of course, you know, Tesla put a very large number of chargers, I think. I think Tesla has 58% of the Chargers here in the US Electrify America, you know, has 14% EV go 8% Chargepoint another 8%. So and and then you have three different charging cables and you know, Tesla has their own proprietary system.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | That maybe there will be start to open up to others. So so you definitely have a mess of cable types between the Tesla cable, the CVA land, the chat demo cables and also different ways of handling the business transactions of credit cards and or card readers.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | You know.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | For handling the business transaction, and I think they'll all go ultimately the way Tesla has it, you walk up, plug your car in, no credit card needed. The communications identifies your car and puts it onto your credit card. I think that will be the the EV charger of the future.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Is that business model all? Is it all moving towards, you know, private networks or are those API APIs open so you know perhaps they public agency or or city could participate in that revenue stream?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Ah.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | I mean the the communication standard. I know that when I don't know all the details of this, but you know when you plug the charge cable into your vehicle, there are communication lines. And I think there's some standard communications that that occur between all electric vehicles and the charge stations to like to identify, you know, the voltage levels and such. So that same communication protocol can easily carry the information about this vehicle log belongs to Richard wrists and he got Richard Rys his credit card on file. So we're going to charge your credit card.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | That that infrastructure is not been put in place on the on the charging systems and not every public charging company are using the same business mechanisms to to do that and and perhaps that's where there does need to be some work on standardization to to allow everybody to use some of the same different banking mechanisms to to, to hit against, to hit credit cards.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Yeah, I'm. I'm. I'm thinking a little bit in the future with within within, you know around the world government incentives to adopt EV infrastructure. You know, what's the revenue share look like for, you know, for the public agency that might own a parking lot, a rest area?
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | You know, public park or something like that, you know? Is that all funnel through a private argue ATM system for example.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | It's interesting. It's interesting.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah. Well, there's yeah, that's different. Complicated question. You know, Tesla put those chargers in so that they could be used by Tesla car owners only. Right. And that gives them a big advantage. You know, maybe these will be showing up at gas stations and they could be combined with with other entertainment or shopping and other situations depending on the total amount of charge time. You also get penalized if you keep your car plugged in once it's fully charged, Tesla will penalize that car owner. We do not want you to sit there with.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Right, exactly.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Car fully charged, occupying invaluable charge charger location, so there's plenty of protocols and business opportunities I think coming in the future and.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Well, Rick, that that's an interesting scenario and it brings up, you know my my question is that you know moving forward into the future, do you see electric vehicle owners congregating at legacy gas stations to be charging or will these chargers be distributed in in you know in, in other places you know around the community?
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Uh, and if so, what's the long term outlook for those pieces of property that formerly housed you, Noah Gasol, you know, a gas or diesel station?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Well, I think first you have to recognize that the average EV owner or you know has a residence and 90% of his charging is going to be done at home. So that's time they're not spending at the gas station where they used to have to go to a gas station to fuel. So that means that fueling at a gas station. But those those people that need to charge their car on a public charging station are typically people traveling longer distances. So you will see a large number of those charging stations distributed across major highways.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | And so those, those are some of the same locations that you have for a fossil, you know, fossil gas stations. So you'll definitely see some overlap there. And and I think you'll also see shopping plazas and entertainment centers and other things that could could occur as you go there. Also a couple of other technologies are covering that batteries are charging faster and charging stations are charging at a faster rate. So the total duration of charging time is is declining has declined, several has declined considerably over the last three or four years.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | And will continue to decline as well as new battery technologies come into play that can accept more current quicker. That puts more load on the utilities to be able to provide that power at those charging stations, but.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | But I I I I see that's kind of the way it's going.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Yeah. So so Rick?
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | And also I'm Jim. I would just stay at that. You know the smaller utilities.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Better.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Are responding in in ways that fit their business model as well. So you have consortiums of smaller rural electric cooperatives in you know the Midwest, for example, who have banded together to Co invest with partners public private partnerships in EV charging infrastructure. So this isn't just the the big players, there's also you know some good stuff going on. And and the other tiers of the market size wise.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | You might be much retail is dependent on in you know on the fossil fuel user.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Uh charging are fueling his vehicle over a few minutes, and then perhaps running into the mini market where where the high margin sales actually occurs isn't it's it's not necessarily on fuel.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | What is the time to charge trend looking like practically speaking Rick, I know it's coming down, but do you in the near term do you see it coming down to a few minutes that's you know, equivalent to the to the fossil fuel charging scenario?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Well, there are some vehicle manufacturers in China that are are trying to promote their battery swapping technology right? In which case some of those battery swaps can occur between one minute and 10 minutes of time depending on how efficient that swapping mechanism is. That really is not taking hold in the US, the US market, most people say I I want to buy my battery. I don't want to have a I don't want to keep swapping to a from a good battery to use battery to an old battery I so. So that's not that's not jumping right in there.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | The speed at which batteries are charging, you know it's possible that some of these, some new battery chemistries, will come up. You know, like super capacitors and or the, you know, some of the new, you know, solid state. Lithium batteries have the potential to be charged at a much, much faster rate.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Neither super capacitors or solid state batteries are imminent in are in in the next three or four years, at least not at scale, so you're still limited to.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Do you know lithium, iron phosphate and lithium nickel metal hydride and some of the other lithium chemistries that are that are out there? They you you're still gonna see charging times, you know, for an empty battery of of of maybe up to 30 minutes. Many people tend to charge.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Uh only, only enough to get them to the next charging station because the rate of charging depends on the state of charge in the battery. When a battery is very low state of charge, it it can be charged at a much higher rate and as the battery fills up to say 90% the amount of time it takes to get from zero to 90 would be less than the amount of time it takes to get from 90 to 100. So a lot of a lot of EV owners will will not charge 200%.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | They will just charge to enough to get to their destination. So as a result that and the fact that charging stations are getting higher and higher amperage, you know, Tesla had 150 kW chargers there. Now the standard charger is 250 kW. There's a there's a number of charging companies out there that that are going to 8, you know to 350 kW and in one charger for for up are not. This is not even a truck. And the truck charges of course they're going to be megawatts of charging so.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | So yeah, charging rates are are coming down, but they're not.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | They're not down to this to the speed at which you can fill a gasoline car.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | You know, and in case in case anyone had the same pipe dream I did years ago about flow batteries. So it's still a pipe dream. Rick had quite correctly referred to solid when he was talking about the batteries flow batteries where the electrolyte is a liquid that is still like does not is not going to fit an electric vehicle application anytime soon. Unfortunately where you could go and actually like change out a discharged so electrolyte for charged electrolyte.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Just ain't happening, unfortunately.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | I think there is some development in the, you know, for the use of sodium. You know you're going to the right left hand side of the periodic table. You see the alkali metals. Lithium is in a very unique spot there. Alright. But one down from lithium is sodium and and there are some developments in sodium batteries and the advantage of sodium is sodium is is like the six most abundant compound on the planet, you know, salt in saltwater is sodium chloride. You can get sodium in in quantity.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | And so it'll be a little bit less rare than lithium. There's plenty of lithium around, but, but still, there are some developments where these new sodium batteries are are not quite up to the energy density of the lithium's, but they may be there may be a source of cheaper batteries in the future.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Cool.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | OK, gentlemen. Hey, our our latewood last question for today is how do government policies influence the role of electric vehicle charging infrastructure?
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Yeah, this is 1 where I think, uh, if you look at Scandinavian countries versus other countries, you know there's a very top down structure and the rollout is kind of dictated and in ways that here it is not and.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | The question of our EV charging stations in the USA and Europe going to be put at the same locations as current.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Uh diesel and gasoline for internal combustion engines versus new locations. It's going to vary a great deal based on you know, the position, location of the.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Well, he, Andy system. You know the infrastructure for bringing them.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | The high power, you know, connections as well as a real estate play and competitive play, I mean.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Uh, Rick, what's what's your take on it?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Well, look at where electric vehicles are the most successful. China, Norway, right. You know, China has spent subsidizing electric vehicles at the vehicle manufacturer level and at the consumer level throughout the things and and subsidizing EV charging stations. That's why they have such a huge infrastructure. Then you take a look at some of the Europeans, you know, the the price of of gas and diesel fuel in Norway is, I don't know, 7 or $9 per gallon, right, US and. And so that's a big impact. Norway has switched over to almost.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Virtually 100% electric vehicles and in some cases, electric vehicles are are looking to be internal. Combustion engine vehicles will be banned from sale and China, for example, charges in Shanghai cost $12,000 license fee to register an internal combustion engine. That's not applicable to Eaves. So all of a sudden you see all of these different.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Ah, in government incentives or disincentives to move from One Direction to the other. Here in the US, we we do not have a a price on carbon. There's no penalty for burning carbon and putting CO2 into the air. At the moment there's a lot of talk about that there's that would have a huge impact on it. Then let me see the VW Dieselgate settlement that provided $2 billion to create electrify America.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | This has had a big impact on how quickly EV charging stations have getting rolled out. There's government tax credits, there's 30% rebates for chargers and and there are different grants that vary by state. So there's a federal 2020 thirty C tax credit for available to businesses for installing EV charging stations. So you can see that.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Government incentives and government policies, you know, really have an enormous impact on on how quickly.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Just the transportation sector gets electrified.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Yeah. And actually, actually, Rick, what I'm surprised that both of you haven't mentioned is that, you know, as part of the USA infrastructure trillion dollar infrastructure bill that passed a month ago, the bottom ministration announced 5 billion to build.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Electric vehicle charging systems throughout the US.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | They are focusing on some critical highways and their thoughts are to have the Chargers within 50 miles of each other and create a string of charger networks across across North America.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Uh, and there is a further funding chunk that goes to rural infrastructure and and, you know, underserved communities. But that's 5 billion that I believe the submittals or do some time in in August maybe August 1st and the first winners of that recipients will be announced sometime in September.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | I would say that a big thing also uh beyond the government aspect, well, the government will have a role is that.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | The number of people employed in in gasoline stations right now is a multiple greater than the number of people otherwise employed in the oil and gas industry. You know, depending on where you look like in the Bureau of Labor Statistics in terms of direct jobs, let's say there's, you know, 600, six, 100,000 people by one reckoning and in oil and gas, there's an additional 900,000 working in gasoline stations and only about 10% of those are in the Food service side of the guest lead station, so.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | You know that's you take 5 billion / 1,000,000, that's 5000 per person for those almost million people in gas stations, that's very low number, right? So this could be a huge economic incentive for those big portion of those jobs to be retained by moving into charging station jobs and.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Uh, you know, having some of the same convenience store?
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | You know it bilitis associated with those those new facilities.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Well, you know, Peter, that, that was my the the impetus for my question about you know about location of charging of chargers because I'm not sure that if I have to spend 20 or 30 minutes charging my vehicle at an existing fossil fuel gas station that I might want to be there, I might have a greater.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Interest in charging at maybe a big box retailer or a restaurant or someplace that just my interaction with that with that retail operation takes well 30 minutes or so rather than five.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | So it'll be interesting to see how that redistribution of retail happens.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Uh in in my mind, I in my in my mind, I was thinking back to, I've done some Rd trips on Route 6 and Route 66 out West and there are the remnants of gas stations very close to each other.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Yeah.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | But that was back when every vehicle, every few miles needed. I got a flat tire or needed spark plug wires or or something.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Uh.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah, it's interesting. 'cause, when you, you know, when you charge an EV, you plug it in, you don't have to stay there by the nozzle like you do with the gasoline nozzle. So you can you can plug your car in and be able to go in for some bit of a restaurant. It's typically going to be fast food. You're not going to have a sit down dining one hour meal while you're charging your EV, but you can certainly plug your car in, have some fast food, do a little bit more adherent, enhance shopping. So maybe some of these shopping plazas that you see at gas stations evolve.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | No, obviously not.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | A little bit differently, as EV Chargers pier.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | That's that's exactly my point, Rick, because I, you know typically you go, you might might feel your car or you you run in, you get a coffee and you come back out and it's a few minutes.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | That interaction model is going to change.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Right. I mean I get a text message on my phone. Hey, charging will be complete in five minutes. Go out and unplug your car.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Exactly, exactly. And actually I've seen the the business case models, the revenue models on chargers and the payback on.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Yeah.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | A higher level chargers on Superchargers.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Is much greater because simply because there's a higher throughput of chart of, you know, charging sessions.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yep.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | And it makes sense and you know.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | That that old saying that it always seems impossible until it's done really comes to mind here that if it is going to get built out, the exact form is going to vary from what we thought. And you know it's it's amazing that the Interstate highway system got built when it did and it turned out it was kind of coincidental like decades earlier as a low ranking Army employee, Dwight D Eisenhower was on a project to drive from coast to coast with an army convoy. They wanted to see how long it would take.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | And they averaged 6 miles an hour. It was miserable. So when Eisenhower became president, he was highly motivated to fund the call for the funding of the Interstate Highway system that we now have.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yeah.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Indeed. And that's what we might be seeing with President Joe Biden's national electric Vehicle infrastructure program that, you know, is launching I I, as we speak. Well, gentlemen, this has been a fascinating hour. We've got a few minutes left. Is there anything else you'd like to add before we close for the day?
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | I just wanna add one thing about my expectation as an EV owner. You know, when I first bought the TV, I was very concerned. I'm gonna run out of power. I need to be able to find a way to get my generator. So if I ran out of power, I could go and pick, you know, go and recharge my car and or, you know, rather than have to call a tow truck and told me to charge point.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | It didn't take very long for owning the car to realize that the digitization of the car and the infrastructure of that of that car is so well thought out that it is almost impossible to run out of electric power unless you intentionally try to do that. So range anxiety that I had even as an early as an engineer and early EV owner and I kind of understood a lot of things that range anxiety quickly subsided and certainly not that range anxiety would would subside even quicker.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | If I knew.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Uh, regardless of what kind of vehicle I owned, that there was an ample number of charge stations within a short amount of time that my car new about where they were and whether they're open and how many of them are in service at this time.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Well, well, Rick, the you know, this national infrastructure program in, in the United States is calling for 500,000 chargers by 2030 and that's, you know, well well in excess of the 45 or 46,000 charges that are out there today.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | Yep. Great. Hey, thanks, Jim for Raw having us on the on the show.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Now change the economics greatly.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Yeah. Thanks so much. Wonderful.
 | 
 | Jim Frazer
 | Alright. Well, gentlemen, thank you. Thank you very much. And for the for all your listeners here, we look forward to seeing you on a next on our next edition of the Smart City podcast. Thank you very much.
 | 
 | Peter Manos
 | Sure.
 | 
 | Rick Rys
 | 
 | 0