This week, Tesla introduced a new wall charger that can plug directly into a NEMA 14-50 standard American wall outlet. The new wall charger is similar to the company’s second-generation mobile wall connector but with the ability to provide 40 amps (9.6kW) to long-range Model S, X, and 3 vehicles. Mid- and standard-range vehicles still charge at 36 amps, much like the mobile wall connector.
The new wall charger can be used wherever an applicable wall charger exists, without the need for an electrician to come out an install the charger. Both the new wall charger and the electrician-installed wall connector cost $500, but the new charger that is NEMA 14-50-compatible obviously won’t require electrician’s fees if you have an accessible outlet. Still, Tesla recommends its electrician-installed wall connector “for new installations.”
The Tesla Wall Connecter offers the fastest charging speeds, but according to Tesla, this new wall charger is 25 percent faster at charging than the Gen 2 mobile wall connector. As far as charging speed, it seems to sit somewhere between the high-end hardwired charger and the mobile charging kit.
5,000 chargers in Maryland
reported on Wednesday that the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) authorized four of the state’s biggest utilities to install 5,000 residential, workplace, and public chargers.
Ratepayers would be charged for the project, which is probably why the PSC denied the utilities’ original plan for a network of 24,000 charging stations. The said such a plan would have made Maryland second only to California in terms of network size.
The Old Line State has pledged to have 30,000 electric vehicles on its roads by 2025, but the 24,000-station plan would have added 25 to 45 cents to each customer’s bill per month, the wrote. At the end of 2017, there were 10,000 electric vehicles on Maryland’s roads, and 1,200 public charging stations.
One interesting component of the PSC’s decision is that it required the utilities to incorporate time-of-use rates into any residential chargers that they install. This would encourage customers to charge their vehicles at low-demand times by offering them cheaper rates for charging during those times.
Building the bus routes of the future
Utility Dive reports that bus maker New Flyer has created a new division to help public and private transit agencies plan routing and infrastructure for electric buses.
The new arm, called New Flyer Infrastructure Solutions, will provide design and engineering services, hire contractors to execute the plans, certify infrastructure, and test and commission buses and their charging networks. New Flyer claims that it’s the first bus maker in North America to offer all these services in one.
The infrastructure question is an important one when it comes to managing fleets of buses. Electric buses have some unique benefits (notably, replacing a diesel bus with an electric bus reduces carbon dioxide emissions significantly), but they also have limitations that diesel buses don’t have due to the extended period they often spend charging. This means transit agencies can’t just go out and buy a new fleet of electric buses; a logistical overhaul is needed to really make the system work well. New Flyer evidently sees a market in getting these agencies… up to speed.