EV charging is still a new frontier – companies involved in the fast-growing industry still have a lot of questions about what kind of charging, and what levels, will prove to be the most cost-effective.
Fastned, a Dutch operator of public fast charging stations, has published a blog that explores how charging speeds and station capacity affect the total cost of infrastructure.
Fastned CTO Roland van der Put argues that economies of scale can dramatically lower the cost of operating fast charging stations, and translate to lower prices for consumers. Greater capacity may cost more upfront, but can yield big benefits in the long run.
Based on historical data on the fast charging behavior of Fastned’s customers, Mr. van der Put conservatively estimates that a station with two typical 50 kW fast chargers can provide a maximum of 560 kWh per day. With more powerful chargers, a single station could serve more EVs – and accommodate the higher charging levels that will be the norm in the future
“What happens when we upgrade a 2×50 kW station to 4×150 kW or to 8×150 kW?” asks Mr. van der Put. “An existing station has a capacity of 204,000 kWh annually, and an upgraded station more than 1.2 million kWh. A next-generation station thus provides 6 times more capacity on the same land area, and 12 times more capacity with 8 chargers. That’s an order of magnitude improvement.”
“The kWh capacity of a station 2.0 is six times that of a current fast charging station. However, the one-off costs such as permits, grid connection, equipment, construction, installation and project management of a station equipped with four 150 kW chargers are far below that of constructing 5 additional stations. Recurring costs such as technical maintenance and cleaning are only slightly higher for the 2.0 station. Capacity thus rises (much) faster than costs do. Therefore the cost per kWh can decrease.”