Curly fries are brain food

Had a “happy hour” coupon for Arby’s, beef and cheddar sand, medium fry and medium pop, for $5. Headed over for lunch around 2:30. Mob scene. Had a bit of weather yesterday. Seems some folks don’t have power, so they are leaching off Arby’s WiFi, as well as getting some hot food.

So, as I sat, munching my curly fries. I thought:

Why did I buy Tesla? “Emerging standard” story, ignited by both Ford and GM signing on to the Tesla charger standard. Now, GM has signed on to their alternate charger network, along with Strabismus. “Emerging standard” story, just went poof.

Drove home to sell the Tesla. Seems Mr Market had the same epiphany. In the time I was OTL, the stock fell from 263 to 257. Small gain, had turned into small loss.


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I don’t think it is an alternate charging network - they will be using NACS & CCS1 - so all will be compatible. Why would this cause you to sell something you thought was worth an investment? I don’t have any Tesla and don’t care for all the cult members wandering around; but are you making buy decisions that flightily (?) or are you investing?


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It’s absolutely an alternate charging network that is being considered. Not alternative connection standards for the plug, but someone else besides Tesla owning the chargers.

Kind of like Shell and Exxon are alternate networks for gasoline.



GM is the flighty one, signing on with Tesla, then, a few weeks later, signing on with the alternate network. That changed the “emerging industry standard” calculus. I’m kicking myself for taking a day to realize that… I had thoughts of jumping on the next Microsoft, but seems the automakers don’t want to see money going to a competitor, so are trying to lock out Tesla. Yes, the chargers will support both standards, but what standard will GM, and other members of the consortium, optimize their cars for?

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I guess I don’t understand - If I have an EV and I can go charge at either place I’m happy there are more charging stations. Of course, I don’t have an EV and perhaps there is more to the charging than I’m aware. I look forward to learning more.


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Here’s my understanding from outside the bubble of EV ownership.

There are two useful ways to charge an EV. You can use a 220v alternating current outlet very much like one you might have at home for an electric dryer or water heater. Or you can use high voltage DC current (something like 200 volts up to 600 volts or more). In terms you might have seen or heard before, the AC is a “Level 2” charger and DC is “Level 3.” (Yes, there is a level 1 - which is pretty much useless so I will ignore it.)

AC gets the job done, but can take a few hours. Perfect for charging at home overnight, or at work or a hotel or any place where you will be for several hours. DC can be a whole lot faster, charging a car up to near full in less than an hour for the higher voltages to perhaps 2 hours at the lower DC voltages.

Then there are the plugs - the plug a car has that you need to use to connect a charger. (Kind of like the different USB plugs we’ve had in cell phones over the years.) There are several competing standards out there around the world. In the US we currently have two survivors - the Tesla standard (NACS) and the other one, CCS. (There is also CHAdeMO, which has lost the standards war, but still needs to be supported because there are cars out there still using it.)

One thing to keep in mind with these plugs is that they are not just for the power delivery. There are additional connections that allow the car to communicate with the charger while the charge is in progress. These allow for some charge optimization (faster or slower as needed) and for billing (particularly in Teslas, where the car identifies itself to the charger so you never need to pull out a credit card). Probably some other stuff, too.

With plugs, there are also adapters. (Remember getting an adapter to use your old 30 pin iPhone devices on a “new” phone with the lightning port?) Adapters are available to convert between your car and the charger if there is a mis match. Adapters usually entail a loss of efficiency in some way - slower charging because of loss of the communication that is needed for the fastest charging rates to be done safely, or the need to actually pull out a credit card to pay for the charge, for two examples.

One data point is that Tesla chargers could not be used to charge a non-Tesla car. The charger simply refuses to work. The news lately tells us that Tesla has reached an agreement with a couple of car makers that will allow those cars to use Tesla chargers. I haven’t seen the details, but I suspect that involves those car makers installing a Tesla charge port in their cars. Which is why we won’t see anything for a couple of years yet. New model cars will need to be tweaked to communicate with Tesla chargers. I don’t think adapters will be allowed, just cars that natively support the Tesla charge standard - NACS.

So Tesla has their (proprietary for now) charging network that only Teslas can use. And there are other charging networks, like EVgo and ChargePoint and Electrify America that all the other cars use. The latest news has a bunch of car makers getting together to create another charging network. This will be the first to support both CCS (the non-Tesla plug) and NACS (the Tesla plug).

After reading over this before posting, maybe I’ve gone into the wrong details here. But I’ll leave them anyway.

The short version is that there are places to go where you can plug in your EV, and there are different plugs that different EVs need. When talking about the places, those are the charging networks. When talking about the plugs, that’s the charging standards.



I may be reading too much into it, but here goes:

GM says it is not paying Tesla to allow GM cars to use Tesla chargers. No royalty, in other words. Tesla stands to make more because they own the charging network, so any GM car that charges there will make money for Tesla. Tesla also gets to (effectively) be the standard, something not true in Europe, where regulators are requiring a different one.

But because GM didn’t sign “exclusive” with the Tesla chargers, they are now free to open up their own, or join any consortium doing so.

In my view, Tesla got “not much”, while GM got a wide network of chargers, the freedom to have even more if they want, and they apparently want. I think Tesla got the short end of the stick.

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That was the narrative I bought, “emerging industry standard”.

GM, and some others, would rather pay out Billions to reinvent the wheel, rather than let Tesla set the standard. Doesn’t sound rational to me, but I’m not a “JC”.

Tesla stock is now back to where it was before I went to lunch yesterday. Wonder what made it tank yesterday afternoon? There was a report Tesla was fibbing about it’s range? “JCs” overselling their product is as old as the sun.



Too much IT background for me - networks are exclusive, nobody gets in to my network. I guess I think of your charging ‘networks’ as ‘brands’ just like Sunoco or Exxon. With my ICE I can go to any brand I want and fill up. I thought the two standards meant that I would be able to do that with my EV (if I had one). Adding the new group would just mean more places to charge. But if there will be restricted access then I guess not.

Thanks for the recap - I’m marking it for future reference.


I think it is more like GM (and others) decided that the Tesla connector standard is better and that the existing Tesla networks of chargers is an advantage to selling EV for road trips. It wouldn’t have taken too many focus groups to get the message that they could sell more EVs if customers could drive on long trips easier…even if people rarely go on road trips. Anyone that has physically handled a Tesla supercharger cable and any of the other DC fast chargers would tell you the Tesla cable is preferable.

That’s why GM (and others) agreed to support the Tesla connector in their future cars (medium term). And for their existing cars that don’t have the Tesla connector built in they will provide/sell an adapter and Tesla will allow them to install the Tesla app to initiate and pay for charging.

Once this was decided GM teamed up with others for the long term play of also getting a piece of the road trip refueling market. So maybe this takes away from Tesla…but more likely it takes away from ChargePoint, EA, Blink and all the other third tier charging companies who don’t have nationwide critical mass of stations and branding.

Who wins?
Tesla wins because more cars can plug into the Tesla chargers and the transition to EV will probably be faster overall. And Tesla isn’t going to make all the EVs. Some people want different styles of cars or a different CEO. Tesla loses because their advantage of being the only one who sells cars that can reliably go on long road trips goes away – but this was going to going away eventually anyway despite Electrify America’s poor uptime as more chargers are installed.
GM (and others) win because they will soon be able to claim their cars can reliably go on road trips by using the NACS adapter and a while later the NACS adapter will be built in.

Who loses?
Car companies that continue to use the CCS charging connector.
In the short term, maybe those companies switching to NACS will have some lost sales while people wait for the NACS connector to be built in.
ICE cars, in general?

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Peter, your overall explanation is good, but you are confusing things with high voltages. You are correct on L1 (110/120vac) and L2 (220vac) charging. (Technically commercial installations are usually 208v and residential 240v).

Most DC fast chargers are 480 volts, such as the Tesla superchargers. They do not vary the voltage to get a faster or slower charging speed. But they do change the amperage.
And since power (kilowatts) is volts x amps this is why you generally see fast DC chargers rated by kilowatts or kw).
Slower DC fast chargers can be around 50 kw to 100 kw. The version 2 Superchargers were 120 kw to 150 kw. Version 3 Superchargers (since ~2019) are rated at 250 kw. Some of the Electrify America chargers are 350 kw as well as the latest v4 Superchargers.
These are all “peak” rates. As the battery charge level increases and/or the battery and cable warm up the charger lowers the amps to protect the battery and the charging station. They don’t change the voltage. (Heat losses in the wires is proportional to amps, not volts)

Note that there are a couple of car models that operate at a higher voltage, like 800v. If a charger also supports this (very few do) then the pre-charging communication picks this value and that voltage stays the same, while the heat is controlled via amps.
The Tesla semi uses 1000v so those chargers have to be able to support that.


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I am a long time Tesla stock owner so of course I will disagree. I can think of four Tesla benefits.

  1. Tesla has the potential to generate decent charging station margins by using powerpacks to buy/store electricity when it is cheapest and sell it back whenever. The more charging business they get, the better. This will be even a bigger advantage when Tesla rolls out its solar-powered charging stations that will allow even better margins. New England's Largest Tesla Supercharger Will Have 'CyberCanopy,' Solar and WiFi

  2. The GM move reduces the pressure on Tesla to build out its charging network. As one of the first movers Tesla placed its chargers in the premium locations along major highways where usage is high. Tesla is probably happy to have the GM consortium fill in the less profitable gaps.

  3. By opening its network Tesla is now eligible for billions in federal subsidies to build more Tesla chargers.

  4. Data. Tesla can gain a lot of data from non-Tesla cars using its charging system. Tesla is also investing heavily into its computing and AI capabilities. It is probably the only car company that can effectively use this additional data. Why Elon Musk Is Letting Ford, GM EV Owners Use Tesla Chargers

Now, as Fords and Buicks and Chryslers and Volvos start plugging into Tesla’s chargers, analysts I spoke with say the company will almost certainly be able to pull data from rival EVs. For starters, it will collect the state and rate of charge of a car’s batteries. Then, by pairing that data with a driver’s credit-card info and the car’s Vehicle Identification Number, Tesla could effectively perform the equivalent of an ultrasound on the performance of its competitors’ battery systems.

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What makes you think they’re reinventing any wheels? All the news articles I find only talk about a charging network, not the charging standard that would be used.

I can’t imagine they would use anything other than NACS or CCS for the charging protocol. I could easily see them providing both.

There’s no new tech here, just a bunch of companies getting together to provide something they all need to sell more EVs.