Invest in charging stations?

FutureBoy

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Not sure if this belongs in charging or in investing.

I wish I could start buying empty land pots and start putting in charging stations. Does Tesla allow others to build out Tesla charging stations? I know there are other companies but at the moment Tesla has such a head start, I’d like to build out for Tesla vehicles.

Anyone know if this is possible?

 

Crissa

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Tesla leases plots but it's pretty slow at request.

You would have better luck building CCS1 stations and welding adapters to them.

-Crissa
 

JBee

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I can imagine getting the network capacity installed on a good location is harder than getting the supercharger themselves?

Superchargers have significant peak load, which is network capacity you still pay for even if no-one is charging EVs with them.

It would be nice to have a Megapack boosted Supercharger setup to get around those limitations, but they are not cheap, or readily available.
 

ldjessee

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I can imagine getting the network capacity installed on a good location is harder than getting the supercharger themselves?

Superchargers have significant peak load, which is network capacity you still pay for even if no-one is charging EVs with them.

It would be nice to have a Megapack boosted Supercharger setup to get around those limitations, but they are not cheap, or readily available.
Here is what I thought about. Buy an out of business or failing gas station or car dealer lot (lots of those have died over the last two years). Drop as many battery packs as you can (Tesla or otherwise). That way your network capacity (max/peak load capacity) is lower (thanks to the batteries) and put everything under a PV awning/cover.

Increase bathroom size and cleanliness, gear some interior area to sitting, offer slow WiFi connection for free, fast for fee. Stock higher price drinks and food items, but less of them, as with longer charge times, customers per hour will be lower.

If you managed to swing a dealer lot in foreclosure, then you can decide if you want to offer simple maintenance and care (tire rotation, replacement, wipers, wiper fluid, detailing, wraps, paint protection, etc), but that is something I would have to study more before I pulled the trigger on that part.

Guess you could offer showers and such for those on longer road trips like truck stops do, but I would think that would only work if very close to major highways.

Oh (drove past old Kmart building getting torn down after sitting empty for years), also failing big box stores. They usually have lots of roof space for PVs and with EVs, parking them inside is not a big deal.

Also, with all that interior space, you could even offer private lounges (think 4 drywall walls with a wall mounted big screen, couches, desk and chair). Again, offering a limited service for free, but a premium service for a fee... like TV, WiFi/internet, etc.

Take that giant parking lot, turn some of it to green space... maybe park like areas, picnic benches, etc.
 

charliemagpie

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Read a report the other week of a few service stations being sold at record amount prices.

What surprised me was they were sold as going concerns, 3 – 5 % return.

I guess I have taken 2 things out of that.

1. They expect to get their 3-5% for many more years.. And an appreciated asset when it comes time to sell. Good luck! There goes our Superannuation fund monies.

2. I think best to wait for liquidation and bankruptcy. Need to bypass goodwill if one is to basically repurpose and refurbish.
 


JBee

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Being in property development for some 20 years, I would not recommend that anyone should buy any property at all to setup a EV charging station. Petrol/Gas stations are not always the best location for EV charging, this is because although they might be better for vehicle access they mostly lack any nearby amenities. Gas stations, at least in my experience, don't make money from fuel sales anymore, rather from convenience store purchases. And even then a 3-5% ROI is lower than what I'd expect from any other retail investment.

And even if you managed to score a fuel station for a bargain, there will still be a real estate asset cost that needs to make a return. The biggest handicap will still remain network connectivity though, and the likelihood of a big box store having enough electrical capacity is greater than a fuel station. But this is all fairly conventional developments, and with similar returns as everyone else will have.

The biggest item for energy based ROI is TOU (Time of use).

If you have charging assets sitting there unused you have all the overheads, but none of the returns. Network connections have considerable fixed monthly costs, plus capital costs of a mega pack will be more than a old fuel station property, and a network connection to run that probably half of that again, even if the powerline is nearby that can handle that capacity. Just for comparison we pay $6k here just to get a quote for a new house connection. That's for the quote, not the bill to put in the connection.

For example running without a battery to buffer line capacity, the last 2MW connection I did cost $330k and was sitting under a existing distribution line. 2MW is 8x 250kW stalls, so $37k each just for the network "connection". If it's a higher voltage distribution line, say 22kV, we then add a transformer for another $50-60k, probably the same for 100m of underground cable at todays copper prices, then another for switchgear etc. And then we still need to distribute that to the chargers, the chargers themselves, siteworks, parking places etc. and that is all without getting to the Megapack. I think you get the point. This is where your cost is, regardless of where you put it.

So if you want to get a decent ROI, you absolutely don't skimp on the location, and buy a run down fuel station at auction, just to throw all the extra cash at it and maybe end up with a EV charging station that is to far from amenities or the hwy that no one ends up using it.

The best way, at least in my opinion, is to do charging stations that avoid all of those overheads and real estate completely, and do it portable and containerized with foldout solar roofs, and plonk chargers down on already existing council owned and run parking lots with lots of traffic, and get the shire to provide the space as a public service, but importantly for no real estate cost. If it doesn't make money there, then move it to where it does, there's no sunk capital for the network connection at that location this way either.

Then instead of a large dedicated network connection setup, you use a fairly conventional commercial shop connection that is typically available on nearly every street, and then you buffer that 24 hour capacity in a Mega/Power pack. If you can get a 3 phase 400V connection, you should be able to get a 100A (40kW) supply from which you should be able to get around 1MWh a day (or about $280 a day in sales).

That's 10 full Tesla MX recharges a day, but more relevantly, around 20x 50kWh partial EV charges, which is about enough to run 2-3 Supercharger stalls 8 hours a day. Remember TOU is key, so if most EV's charge at home at night, then most public charging will be during the day, this is where you want to have the capacity and availability, in a location that the customer are going anyway.

Now if you have the battery storage and that sort of smaller network connection, you can start optimizing. You always have 40kW on tap, so a single Supercharger needs another 210kW, but only for about 15minutes until it starts to taper etc. Then what is the likelihood of two or more starting a full output supercharge cycle at the same time, how many people do top ups at slower rates, etc etc. Load shaping is already something Tesla owners deal with with Supercharger's sharing the same line capacity, so nothing new for the Tesla customer experience and acceptable. This helps milking the connection cost to the max.

You then add the capacity that you have charged into the pack overnight, whilst the charging station wasn't in use by EV's, it's night after all, and put that towards the limited network connection that charges EV's during the day. Charging at night also is cheaper off-peak, so a better return during the day. Now add some foldout solar roofs, that's another 20-30kW (40x60ft size) of power capacity on sunny days (doing 15% or 150kWh), and gets your power cost down by running in the peak time as well. In rural towns you can even feed some power back into the grid to buffer it when the supercharger traffic is low.

At that power level you then can run off a Powerpack rather than a Megapack. They cost around $370kWh in bulk, and come with an inverter and solar input. With solar you need two Powerpacks, without solar three, for the MWh per day capacity system. Solar is cheaper than a Powerpack and makes energy too, so choose depending on location and solar insolation. Place all components into movable modular container with screw anchor footings for container, and foldout solar. Put a undercover sitting area and vending machines in one end. Put Starlink on roof and offer free wifi for patrons. Place anywhere there's a 100A three phase shop power line, place lots of them everywhere in a large number of locations near amenities, and enjoy up to 20-25% ROI. Once you have enough systems setup, register with networks as spinning reserve operator and manipulate peak rates for profit for 100% TOU.

Anyway something like that. Now you just need to get your hands on some Powerpacks. Good luck with that atm... :-(
 

charliemagpie

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It always looks easy.

If you get there…do it competitively, consistently, and ensure ongoing ROI. And when the honeymoon is over, don't stop.

And then, was that even the best option ?.

Look at Tesla and wonder why not just partner with the best in the business and buy TSLA.
 

JBee

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It always looks easy.

If you get there…do it competitively, consistently, and ensure ongoing ROI. And when the honeymoon is over, don't stop.

And then, was that even the best option ?.

Look at Tesla and wonder why not just partner with the best in the business and buy TSLA.
Often the best ideas are bought by Tsla.
 

charliemagpie

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Yes

I think it was in ''who killed the electric car' ? The physicist was working on an idea of solar tiled roofs / electric cars etc

Musk said he admires Edison not necessarily for his new ideas, but his ability to get it done.

Not only is EM a genius creator, buy he also knows a good thing when he sees it.

 

 
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