Our 2016 EV driver and potential driver surveys came to a number of interesting findings, but perhaps the most interesting was how much respondents required or strongly desired superfast EV charging (read the full 70-page report for free). The problem, of course, is that only Tesla had a single superfast (aka high-power) EV charging station. It has a vast network of these Superchargers.
Now, we finally have the groundbreaking for our first non-Tesla superfast charging station — a 350 kW station from EVgo, which provides the largest network of public “EV fast chargers” in the USA. EVgo sent out the press release about this groundbreaking … er, groundbreaking … moments ago.
Interestingly, this initial station is in Baker, California, which is home to the World’s Tallest Thermometer. EVgo doesn’t make the connection explicit, but that’s an interesting place to break open the market when you consider that electric vehicles are one of the most important solutions to societally catastrophic global warming.
I imagine it’s no accident that this groundbreaking announcement comes right after the first deliveries of the Chevy Bolt, the first long-range “affordable” electric car available to consumers in the United States, a car which has already won the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year award. (It’s also a finalist in our 2017 CleanTechnica Car of the Year competition.)
Yes, it will incorporate a solar canopy and backup battery storage, and it will work for cars that have CCS fast charging capability as well as ones that have CHAdeMO fast charging capability. The superfast charging station is projected to be completed by June 2017. It will be able to serve up to 8 cars at a time once completed.
To be clear, 350 kW is extremely powerful. Tesla’s Superchargers have a max power output of 120–135 kW (adding ~170 miles of range in 30 minutes to a current Tesla car). Other EV fast chargers (aka DC fast chargers) have a max output of 50 kW or less, charging an EV’s battery up to approximately 75 to 100 miles in 30 minutes. Of course, specific electric cars need to be designed to be capable of superfast charging, but that is certainly something automakers are working on. [Edit: This article has been modified slightly to update current Tesla Supercharging capability.]
You could say that 350 kW charging and long-range affordable electric cars are basically the only remaining technological hurdles to completely mass market electric transport, and EV leaders are jumping over both beginning this month.
Given the 30 or so benefits of electric cars even without those, I think you have to be in a fringe case for an electric car to not make more sense than a gasmobile even today. Nonetheless, for sure, high-power EV superfast charging is an inevitability given its convenience and it is highly desired, so it’s super exciting to get this announcement from EVgo today!
Here’s the full press release from the EV fast charging leader:
EVgo BREAKS GROUND ON THE FIRST PUBLIC HIGH-POWER ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION, CONNECTING LOS ANGELES AND LAS VEGAS AT WORLD’S TALLEST THERMOMETER
Leader in Electric Vehicle Charging to open the First High-Power DC Fast Charging Station in the U.S. Capable of up to 350kW
Charging the Next Generation of Electric Vehicles More Quickly and Conveniently than Ever
LOS ANGELES – Dec. 15, 2016 – EVgo, operator of the nation’s largest network of public electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations, today announced it has broken ground on the very first High-Power U.S. public charging station in Baker, California, home of the World’s Tallest Thermometer. EVgo is turning up the heat on EV charging with a station capable of charging at a rate of up to 350kW. The new chargers being installed are seven times faster than any fast chargers currently available and represent a new level of convenience for EV charging.
When complete, EVgo’s High-Power charging station at the site of World’s Tallest Thermometer, will link Southern California to Las Vegas, furthering EVgo’s position as the leading national fast charging provider. The High-Power Charger complements EVgo’s existing fast charging stations throughout California and the U.S., allowing EV drivers to travel with confidence.
“EVgo is laser focused on the needs of our customers, and they want faster charging at more locations,” said Terry O’Day, Vice President, Product Strategy and Market Development at EVgo. “The World’s Tallest Thermometer High-Power station is an important step for the EV industry, as this new standard will open the EV market to even wider audiences. When this station opens to the public next year, EV drivers will enjoy a new level of freedom.”
The World’s Tallest Thermometer High-Power station will include four High-Power DC fast chargers capable of up to 350kW each, and can accommodate expansion of up to eight chargers in the future. The site will include a solar canopy to help power the chargers, as well as backup batteries. The High-Power chargers will be compatible with the two protocol standards used by all EV manufacturers, CCS and CHAdeMO. EVgo expects the project to be completed by June 2017.
By owning and operating charging stations, EVgo provides EV drivers with better service and enables them to go faster and farther with their electric vehicle. EVgo offers the most convenient fast charging options to EV owners, with more than 800 DC fast charging sites in over 60 U.S. markets. EVgo utilizes a variety of flexible payment solutions including pay-as-you-go, low-cost membership plans and unlimited charging for customers of partner automakers, including BMW, Nissan and Ford.
EVgo leads America’s electric vehicle revolution. Our mission: Build the nation’s largest EV charging network while improving the planet and boosting the economy. We put the right chargers in the right places. Together we unite the EV movement for all, making it unstoppable. EVgo provides access to hundreds of public charging sites across the United States. To find out more, or to join the EVgo network, visit www.evgo.com. Connect with EVgo on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.