Electric Vehicle Chargers

Blog – Company News

Here are blog posts with company news for Sunspeed Enterprises.

Sunspeed Launches Indiegogo Campaign

Posted by on 12:38 pm in Company News, Electric Vehicles | Comments Off on Sunspeed Launches Indiegogo Campaign

Sunspeed Launches Indiegogo Campaign

Sunspeed Enterprises, the developer of the The Pacific Coast SunTrail Route, a first of its kind, strategic network of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station hubs along scenic Pacific Coast Highway in California, is launching an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to help raise money for future installation points along the planned 700-mile route. 

The “EV Chargers at Madonna Inn, Pacific Coast SunTrail” crowdfunding campaign is live now and readily accessible by clicking here

It offers a wide variety of contribution options, chief among them, excellent discounts from 10 to 50 percent off EV charging, for up to 20 years, at any Sunspeed Enterprises charging station.

“Our Indiegogo campaign is perfect for EV drivers that frequent the California coast,” said Richard Sachen, CEO of Sunspeed Enterprises. “There isn’t an EV charging deal out there that comes close to offering the discounts and duration of our perks.”

What You Get:

  • $50: 10% off charging for 10 years
  • $100: 10% off charging for 20 years
  • $250: 25% off charging for 10 years
  • $500: 25% off charging for 20 years
  • $1,000: 50% off charging for 20 years
  • $10,000: free charging for life
“Like many new companies with an ambitious, strategic goal, we face many challenges,” Sachen said. “Our Indeigogo campaign will help us raise money we need to take the next steps toward developing  the SunTrail Route, a network of thirty to forty EV charge hubs along California’s iconic Pacific Coast Highway.”
ABOUT SUNSPEED ENTERPRISES

Sunspeed Enterprises is developing The Pacific Coast SunTrail Route, a first of its kind, strategic network of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station hubs along scenic Pacific Coast Highway in California. The initial stage of The SunTrail Route will consist of 30 to 40 EV charging station hubs between Malibu and Eureka. The first hub, at Point Reyes Station in Northern California, opened last year.

SunTrail Charging Hubs will include:

  • Two Level-2 AC (220v) medium speed charging stations
  • Two Level-3 DC (480v) fast charging stations (delivers full charge in 1/2 an hour)
  • Credit and debit card payment options
  • RFID reader
  • 24” LCD display
  • Smart phone payment processing
  • 24/7 security and emergency call button
  • LED lighting with motion detection
  • Solar PV panels (where feasible)

Does it really cost as much to own a Ford Taurus over 10 years as a Tesla? Answer may surprise you.

Posted by on 9:00 am in Company News, Electric Vehicles | Comments Off on Does it really cost as much to own a Ford Taurus over 10 years as a Tesla? Answer may surprise you.

By: Richard Sachen, CEO, Sunspeed Enterprises 

Someone at an Electric Vehicle (EV) user’s meeting once told me that it costs as much to own a Ford Taurus for ten years as to own a Tesla. The costs are just spread out over time for the Taurus owner. Is that right? Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 5.05.20 PM

Well, I decided to check that out and the short answer is that when comparing the top of the line of each model, no. It’s the same answer when comparing the bottom of the line of each model, no. But, just as you can construct a scenario where an EV built and operated off coal generated electricity isn’t as green as a highly efficient gas-burning car, you can construct a scenario where you’ll pay (a little) less for a Tesla over ten years than a Taurus.Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 5.06.00 PM

First, let’s take a look at the cars.

The 2015 Taurus comes in 4 styles – the SE, SEL, Limited, and SHO. The prices are based on Ford’s website and a Northern California zip code. Ford currently offers a $3,000 rebate on the Taurus, which has been deducted from the prices below. The Taurus has a 19 gallon gas tank which is used to calculate the range.

 Model  Base Cash $  Top Cash $ Mileage (City/Hwy/Combined) Range (City/Hwy/Combined)
SE $24,880 $28,014 19/29/23 361/551/437
SEL $27,300 $34,976 19/29/23 361/551/437
Limited $32,230 $41,842 19/29/23 361/551/437
SHO $38,045 $42,512 17/25/20 323/475/380

The 2015 Tesla Model S comes in three styles – The 60, 85, and P85D. The prices are based on Tesla’s website and a Northern California Zip code. Tesla includes a $7,500 Federal Tax Credit and $2,500 California incentive, which has been deducted from the prices below. The supercharger enabled option is included in the Base Cash $ for models that don’t come with it standard.

 Model  Base Cash $  Top Cash $ Mileage (MPGe)(City/Hwy/Combined) Range(City/Hwy/Combined)
60 $63,070 $88,320 94/97/95 238/206
85 $72,570 $101,320 88/90/89 292/261
P85D $97,170 $120,920 88/90/89 292/261

The next step is to look at the costs of ownership.

There is a lot of variability and the assumptions made can greatly affect the outcome.

The expenses will include State Fees, Insurance, Repairs, Maintenance, Depreciation, and Fuel. Financing and time value of money will not be considered.

State Fees (CA) 

10 year Taurus SHO $1000

10 year Tesla $1300

$300 advantage to the Taurus 

Insurance Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 1.04.35 PM

10 year Taurus SHO $14,780

10 year Tesla $22,740

$8,000 advantage to the Taurus

Repairs

10 year Taurus SHO $4,000-14,000 – Major engine or transmission repairs can run up the bills quickly.

10 year Tesla $0-10,000 – a battery replacement can be costly for a Tesla, around $10,000 for this model, though the cost is expected to drop by the time it needs to be replaced.

This could run from a $6000 advantage to the Taurus to a $14,000 advantage to the Tesla. To get a single number, I’ll subtract the max advantage for the Taurus from the max advantage for the Tesla.

$8,000 advantage to the TeslaScreen Shot 2015-01-15 at 5.14.12 PM

Maintenance

10 year Taurus SHO $6200 – based on planned maintenance costs

10 year Tesla $4,750 – based on pre-paying the dealer for annual maintenance

$1,400 advantage to the Tesla

Depreciation

Estimate that cars retain 20% of their value after 10 years. This may be high for the Taurus, and low for the Tesla, but, since the Tesla doesn’t have historical numbers to compare to, this estimate will work.

Taurus SHO Value at end of 10 years:           $42,512 x 0.20 = $ 8,502

Tesla 60 Value at end of 10 years:                  $64,070 x 0.20 = $12,614

$4,000 advantage to the Tesla

So the tally before accounting for fuel is…

Taurus Advantage                                       Tesla Advantage

$300 State Fees (CA)                                      $8,000 Repairs

$8,000 Insurance                                             $1,400 Maintenance

=============                                          ==============

$8,300                                                             $9,400

A small victory for the Tesla, but for practical purposes, I’m giving no advantage to either car. Repair costs are too volatile to give one car the advantage over the other.

Fuel

This is where things can get interesting. The cost of gasoline and electricity both broadly follow the same curve, but electricity moves at a much slower rate. The amount each car is driven also affects the comparison, since every mile driven increases the operating cost of the Taurus much more than for the Tesla.Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 12.55.58 PM

To determine the ten-year cost for the Taurus, I’ve set a low/medium/high price for gasoline, a low/medium/high mileage driven, and used the Taurus SHO 20mpg to determine fuel cost.

To determine the ten-year cost for the Tesla I’ve set a low/medium/high price for electricity, a low/medium/high mileage driven, and used the Tesla P60 2.8 miles/Kwh to determine fuel cost. Here’s the table I came up with.

  Taurus SHO – 20mpg Tesla P60 – 2.8 miles/kwh
Annual Mileage $3.00/gal $4.00/gal $5.00/gal $0/kwh $.12/kwh $.24/kwh
50,000 miles/10 year $7,500 $10,000 $12,500 $0 $2,143 $4,286
114,000 miles/10 year $17,100 $22,800 $28,500 $0 $4,856 $9,771
170,000 miles/10 year $25,500 $34,000 $42,500 $0 $7,286 $14,571

I set the low price for gasoline at $3.00/gallon. That seemed reasonable a few weeks ago when I started this analysis, but the price has dropped below that since. Because the drop in gasoline prices is so precipitous, unpredicted, and quite frankly below the cost of production for most shale oil and fracking-enabled wells, I’m going to stick with $3.00/gallon for the low. $4.00/gallon was the average 6 months ago and I think that is the more likely price stabilization point. $5.00/gallon is set as a high, if it goes much higher than that in the next ten years, then the increase would cause a decrease in demand. You can simply half the $4.00/gallon numbers to see how they compare to the Tesla numbers. For any given mileage, the cost for $2.00/gallon gasoline is higher than the high cost for electricity on a Tesla.

On the EV side, the Tesla has an advantage in that Tesla promises to provide free electricity for life with the cost of the car. Tesla chargers are free, so a driver could conceivably only charge at free chargers for ten years incurring no cost for fuel. Since I know a few non-Tesla EV drivers who have done the same thing for 5 years, this is not too far fetched a scenario. The $0.12/kwh rate is based on the US average cost for electricity. $0.24/kwh is double the $0.12/kwh rate and a doubling of electricity rates is probably less likely than $5.00/gallon gas.

Advantage Tesla – $7500 to $42,500, though for the average driver with average prices, the advantage is about $18,000

Putting it all together

So, when it comes to ten year cost of ownership, it looks like the two factors that most influence cost are the cost of fuel and the cost of the vehicle. The extra cost of insurance and fees for the Tesla is balanced by the extra cost for repair and maintenance for the Taurus.

For the average scenario, the Tesla has an $18,000 advantage in fuel costs.

The base Taurus ranges from $25,000 to $38,000 while the base Tesla ranges from $63,000 to $97,000. The Tesla costs from $26,000 to $72,000 more than the Taurus. Subtracting the $18,000 in fuel savings, which means the Taurus is less expensive by $8,000.

So, based on average costs, this myth is certainly NOT CONFIRMED, but is it PLAUSIBLE?

Can we construct a scenario where the Tesla is cheaper? It turns out yes. How do we do that? First, don’t compare the average, but compare the outliers.

Use the lowest cost Tesla at $63,000.

Don’t replace the battery, but accept the reduced range, for an $8,000 advantage on repair.

Use only free charging for $0 electricity cost.

Compare that to the highest cost Taurus at $43,000

Budget for the highest repair costs for the Taurus for an additional $6,000 Tesla advantage.

Use higher gas price and mileage assumptions for the Taurus.

So to make the Myth plausible, the Tesla would have to make up the $20,000 cost difference between the lowest cost Tesla and highest cost Taurus.

Here’s how to do it

$ 8,000 – don’t replace the Tesla Battery

$ 6,000 – budget for spending the high-end amount to repair the Taurus

———-

$14,000 – Not quite there yet. We still need $6,000 in cost savings to make this work.

$22,800 – Instead of the $18,000 advantage used above, use only free charging for the Tesla and save the entire fuel cost. (This gap is enough to make the Tesla cheaper over 10 years just by itself.)

———-

$36,800 – We’ve made it, under average usage and $3.00/gallon gas, the Tesla is cheaper

$11,200 – let’s keep going and see if we can get a better Tesla by increasing mileage driven to 170,000 miles.

———-

$49,000 – That’s close, but the $49,000 plus $43,000 cost of the Taurus isn’t quite enough to get a $97,000 Tesla.

$ 8,500 – Add some more fuel cost by driving 170,000 miles and paying $5.00/gallon for gas.

———-

$57,500 – We made it and a P85D is now less than the Taurus.

This myth is PLAUSIBLE.

Is it feasible? Yes, it is feasible to save $20,000 or more over ten years by stretching the battery life of the Tesla to ten years and using 80% or greater free charging. The Tesla will still have over 100 miles of range at 10 years if the battery isn’t abused and that’s more than most EVs on the market have to start with. If you’re located close to a Tesla supercharging site or your employer offers free charging as a perk, you can eliminate fuel costs altogether. On the other hand, it’s not really feasible to depend on the Taurus being a lemon that requires high repair costs or that gas will go to $5.00/gallon, so don’t use this analysis to justify buying a P85D. Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 1.01.57 PM

Now, some people will say that it’s not fair to compare a Taurus to a Tesla. The Tesla has better acceleration, better handling, more trunk space, greater comfort, and is considered a luxury car. The Taurus, even the SHO, is not a luxury vehicle. US News puts the Tesla in the Super Luxury segment where it ranks #2 coming in second to the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and ahead of the 2014 Audi A7 and 2014 Porsche Panamera. The class also includes models from BMW, Lexus, Jaguar, Hyundai, and Cadillac. With the exception of the Cadillac ELR, all of these vehicles get lower gas mileage, and cost more up front. With less of an initial cost gap to make up and with the other car costing more to operate, the Tesla will be less expensive over ten years than all the cars in that class except, possibly, the Cadillac ELR.

Conclusion

The myth that a Tesla is cheaper than a Taurus over ten years is PLAUSIBLE, but barely.

For the average Taurus buyer, they will save money with their Taurus instead of a Tesla over 10 years.

However, the buyer of a Tesla P60 who uses free charging most of the time and doesn’t replace the battery, can feel good that they are saving money compared to just about every vehicle in their class as well as a fully loaded Taurus SHO.

On the other hand, a person buying a luxury vehicle is probably not as concerned with cost. As the only all electric vehicle in the luxury class, the Tesla sends a signal that the owner has money and is ecologically conscious. The ecological impact of the Tesla is a discussion for another paper though.

 

Top 7 reasons I like my Electric Car – Reason 2 – EV’s are better in heavy traffic

Posted by on 9:00 am in Company News, Electric Vehicles | Comments Off on Top 7 reasons I like my Electric Car – Reason 2 – EV’s are better in heavy traffic

By: Richard Sachen, CEO, Sunspeed Enterprises

Since I live in CA, I get to drive in the HOV (carpool) lane even if I’m on my own.

This is a big deal and saves me a lot of time when driving during rush hour. Toyota estimated a few years back when first selling the Prius, that the HOV lane sticker is worth $6,000 more on the price of the car. Not sure if inflation has increased that number, but I can only imagine that the traffic has gotten worse in CA and prices have been steadily climbing. Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 2.47.02 PM

Even better, on those occasions when I’m stuck in traffic, the trip is costing less because an EV doesn’t waste energy sitting in traffic. When you don’t move, you don’t use electricity and driving 25mph can add miles to your range and increases an EV’s efficiency. EV’s going slower use less power because of the reduced drag. I find that I’m calmer when sitting in traffic knowing that while I’m still wasting time, I’m not wasting money and am actually increasing the range on my car.  Another reason why I like my electric car.

Top 7 reasons I like my Electric Car – Reason 3 – EV’s have better Pick-up and Handling

Posted by on 2:00 pm in Company News, Electric Vehicles | Comments Off on Top 7 reasons I like my Electric Car – Reason 3 – EV’s have better Pick-up and Handling

By: Richard Sachen, CEO, Sunspeed Enterprises

Roughly speaking, a gas motor needs to rev up to around 2,000 rpm to have good power. An Electric motor has about the same high level of power at 0 rpm through it’s operating range. Thus the EV really accelerates quickly from a standing start. It’s not hard to squeal the tires from a standing start in an EV with even a moderate amount of horsepower.  The high torque at low speed makes going up steep roads, like the hills of San Francisco, a breeze. Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 2.40.21 PM

Also, the motor retains its torque through a large range of speed, meaning most EV’s only have a single speed transmission. When accelerating, there’s no delay while the transmission engages, no shudder when the gears shift, and you get acceleration whether from a complete stop, or when accelerating at highway speeds.

The batteries in an EV are placed low in the vehicle and give it a lower center of gravity when compared with gas-burning vehicles. The lower center of gravity enhances handling around curves. Overall, having an economy car that handles well and has a lot of get-up-and-go is a nice change.  Another reason I like my electric car.

Top 7 reasons I like my Electric Car – Reason 6 – EV’s are quiet.

Posted by on 4:00 pm in Company News, Electric Vehicles, Environment | Comments Off on Top 7 reasons I like my Electric Car – Reason 6 – EV’s are quiet.

By: Richard Sachen, CEO, Sunspeed Enterprises 

One of the first things you notice when turning on an electric vehicle is how quiet it is. It feels more like booting up a computer than turning on a gas-burning car. Missing is the whine of the starter, the chuff of the first cylinders firing, followed by the hum, purr, growl, roar, or whatever noise your gas engine makes when it idles. No puff of smoke from the tailpipe either. The electric vehicle gives its start-up chime, runs its diagnostics, and is ready to drive without a further peep. Once you put it in gear, there car moves quietly where you want it to go.

Hearing the wonderful sounds of nature on the road is made possible through EVs

This quiet has caused some concern, especially with the first electric cars. They were so quiet, that drivers could sneak up on people without being heard. Newer model EV’s have a speaker that generates a low hum when moving forward and a back-up signal when going in reverse to warn pedestrians of the car’s approach. Once an EV gets to highway speeds the tire noise is loud enough to warn people the car is coming.

While I still get road noise when driving on the highway, I hear a lot more of the world around me than I would in my gas-burning car. The reduced noise also means better quality when I’m listening to my tunes too, and who doesn’t like that?  Another reason why I like my electric car.

Top 7 reasons I like my Electric Car – Reason 7 – EV’s don’t stink.

Posted by on 4:00 pm in Company News, Electric Vehicles | Comments Off on Top 7 reasons I like my Electric Car – Reason 7 – EV’s don’t stink.

By: Richard Sachen, CEO, Sunspeed Enterprises

Not to be rude, but gas burning cars generate some gases that don’t smell so good. I don’t have the world’s best sense of smell, so I didn’t think about this until my young son asked me which car I was taking to drop him off for soccer practice, “the stinky car,” or the electric car. He said that our Nissan Leaf didn’t smell bad like the other cars do. Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 9.03.59 AM

When you think about it, even when the car isn’t running, there are often smells of grease, oil, radiator fluid, and gasoline associated with an internal combustion car that just don’t exist with an electric. Once the car starts, you can also get the smells of toxic exhaust, the burning rubber smell when a fan belt gets loose, and dust that the running engine kicks up. An electric car won’t have most of those smells. There is some grease for the bearings, but no oil or gasoline. Some EV’s do have radiators to cool the motor and/or the batteries, but they are much smaller than a gas engine requires. There are no fan belts or fan for that matter in an electric car. There’s also no vibration to kick up dust from an electric motor.

Overall, driving an electric car is not an assault on the olfactory senses.   There’s no exhaust, no fuel except electrons, and none of the other smells we’ve gotten used to driving gas burning vehicles.  Just one of the reasons I like my electric car.

#EVBlitz! @SunspeedE will Tweet about the EV Industry – every hour – 7 Straight Days

Posted by on 11:13 am in Company News, Electric Vehicles | Comments Off on #EVBlitz! @SunspeedE will Tweet about the EV Industry – every hour – 7 Straight Days

POINT REYES STATION, Calif. (Dec. 22, 2014) – In an effort to increase awareness of the burgeoning EV industry and the infrastructure that supports it, Sunspeed Enterprises, a Bay Area start-up that is developing EV charging station networks on rural routes, will embark on a 7 day Twitter (@SunspeedE) Campaign aimed at promoting electric vehicles, renewable energy, and green companies – along with the media publications that cover these industries.

The event, called #EVBlitz, kicks off New Years Day at 9:00 AM PT. From that point forward, @SunspeedE will Tweet every hour – on the hour – for 7 straight days.

“This is a creative way for us to publicize an industry that is bursting with potential and here to stay,” said Richard Sachen, CEO of Sunspeed Enterprises. “It is also a wonderful opportunity for us to connect, via Twitter, with like minded companies and individuals, and also introduce ourselves and our message to the EV community and beyond.”

Companies and media publications are invited to email Sunspeed Enterprises with content related to the electric vehicle industry, renewable energy, environment, or energy policy. Throughout the 7 day campaign, @SunspeedE will utilize #EVBlitz to sign Tweets related to this effort.

Please email our Marketing Manager, Pierre Kacsinta, with content that you would like to see on our #EVBlitz Campaign: pierre@sunspeedenterprises.com

ABOUT SUNSPEED ENTERPRISES

Sunspeed Enterprises is developing The Pacific Coast SunTrail Route, a first of its kind, strategic network of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station hubs along scenic Pacific Coast Highway in California. The initial stage of The SunTrail Route will consist of 30 to 40 EV charging station hubs between Malibu and Eureka. The first hub, at Point Reyes Station in Northern California, opened earlier this year.

SunTrail Charging Hubs will include:

  • Two Level-2 AC (220v) medium speed charging stations
  • Two Level-3 DC (480v) fast charging stations (delivers full charge in 1/2 an hour)
  • Credit and debit card payment options
  • RFID reader
  • 24” LCD display
  • Smart phone payment processing
  • 24/7 security and emergency call button
  • LED lighting with motion detection
  • Solar PV panels (where available)
  • Weather protection

Sunspeed Enterprises CEO Richard Sachen on KRCB Radio

Posted by on 2:47 pm in Company News | Comments Off on Sunspeed Enterprises CEO Richard Sachen on KRCB Radio

There are more than a quarter-million electric vehicles on U.S. roads today – nearly half of which reside in California. The market for EVs and the infrastructure that supports it, appears to be growing at a healthy rate.

Richard Sachen, CEO of Sunpseed Enterprises, was recently interviewed on KRCB Radio North Bay on the need for an electric vehicle charging station infrastructure on rural routes, the capital investments required to build a network of EV charging stations on the Pacific Coast Highway, and much more.

Link is available here:

logo7http://radio.krcb.org/post/charging-electric-cars-califonria-coast

To learn more about why fast-charge pricing differs from medium-speed charging, please click here.

Sunspeed Enterprises Attending SVForum Startup Expo 2014

Posted by on 2:49 pm in Company News | Comments Off on Sunspeed Enterprises Attending SVForum Startup Expo 2014

Sunspeed Enterprises will be one of many tech startups attending the SVForum Startup Expo on Tuesday, Nov. 18, in San Jose, Calif.

A selected group of tech startups, which includes Sunspeed, will have the opportunity to showcase their product to respected investors, VCs, Corporate Venture partners, and Angels.

“This is an excellent opportunity to present our brand, vision, and business model to potential investors,” said Richard Sachen, CEO of Sunspeed Enterprises. “Investors are keenly aware of the disruptive potential of the electric vehicle industry and are actively pursuing investing opportunities within this burgeoning environment.”

A distinguished panel of Silicon Valley investors, experts and thought leaders will also give their insights on the future of investing and what to expect when pitching to them.

This event is in partnership with Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 2.29.29 PM

Breaking Down the Costs of an EV Charge

Posted by on 1:19 pm in Company News, Electric Vehicles | Comments Off on Breaking Down the Costs of an EV Charge

Not all Electric Vehicle charging stations are the same, therefore it is common to find differences in pricing, particularly in the popular fast-charging connectors that carry higher prices than more conventional charging options.

The price points for the charging hubs on the SunTrail Route operated and marketed by Sunspeed Enterprises, carry a $0.39/kWh charge for 220v, otherwise known as medium or Level-2 charging, and the fast-charging option, or Level-3, is priced at $0.89/kWh.

A fast charger install at the Pt. Reyes Station charging hub in Northern California

A fast charger install at the Pt. Reyes Station charging hub in Northern California

The reason for the premium pricing for a fast charge is two fold: 1) a fast charger carries an overall price tag that is roughly six times that of a Level-2 charger, and 2) it can potentially trigger demand charges during peak usage of as much as $3.00/kWh. Rather than charging a rate above $3.00/kwh during periods of peak usage, we prefer to include a portion of that fee into every fast charge. Consequently, this requires us to charge more for a premium fast charge.

The average charge at our Pt. Reyes Station hub in Northern California is less than 10 kWh ($8.90 at the fast charge rate) worth of power, so the fast charge is roughly $5 more expensive, yet it is done in less than half the time of a medium speed charge. Also, if time is not an issue, consumers can charge for free by using the 110v outlet at our Pt. Reyes Station location.

We pride ourselves in providing a wonderful charging experience for all our customers and are dedicated to building the charging infrastructure required for wider adoption of environmentally friendly electric vehicles.

For additional information about our company, please visit our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter @SunspeedE.

SunspeedPtReyesCharging2

EVs charging up at the Pt. Reyes Station hub on the SunTrail Route, owned and operated by Sunspeed Enterprises