If 2017 was about VTOL aircraft, 2018 is so far shaping up to be about EV charging station companies and the juggernaut progression that is building infrastructure for electric vehicle (EV) mobility.
EV Growth & Charging Infrastructure Expansion Go Together Like Peanut Butter & Jelly
Ten years ago, the main question around the new field of electric mobility (e-mobility) was the chicken and the egg one. Do we need EVs first and charging stations after or vice versa? The answer was a little bit of both, and as we see an explosion of EVs now, the charging station infrastructure is finally booming as well.
EVgo is the latest charging station company to make headways expanding its reach. Its network of public EV fast charging stations is increasing again thanks to an extra 20 new ones in Newport Beach, California.
The City of Newport Beach held a ribbon-cutting ceremony with EVgo representatives for the opening of the new charging stations. They are available for public use at the Newport Beach Civic Center, the Marina Park Community Center and Sailing Center, the OASIS Senior Center, and the Newport Coast Community Center.
According to Terry O’Day, Vice President of Market Development at EVgo: “We are delighted to work with the City of Newport Beach to expand electric vehicle charging options in Orange County with convenient charging options that fit into the lifestyle of our customers. EVs are rapidly becoming more popular and with so many advanced electrified models on the horizon, we at EVgo are working diligently to expand the infrastructure to support our electrified future.
The Charging Infrastructure Plan
One of the highlights of the project is that it includes a mix of both Level 2 and DC fast charging stations. There’s debate on the future of EV charging, but I think there’s a strong case that Level 2 charging is still a viable and potential segment of the industry. If Level 2 can charge a typical EV in 3–8 hours, that’s still a good period of time for home, workplace, or even some out-and-about charging. DC fast charging stations can do 80% in 20 minutes to one hour, but they cost considerably more. As far as down-to-Earth financials, having a station with two fast chargers and four Level 2 chargers means the majority of EVs can charge on the Level 2 chargers while leaving fast chargers for the few who are in a hurry and are OK paying for the premium.
Funding for the projects was provided by EVgo in conjunction with the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s AB 2766 Motor Vehicle Subvention Program, as well as with the California Public Utility Commission. These projects work with California’s initiative to encourage zero-emission transport in the state. You can find out more about Governor Brown’s Executive Order (B-16-2012) if you want to get into the nuts and bolts, but the gist of it is a long-term goal of reaching 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles in California by 2025. The program provides funding sources for projects such as this EVgo + Newport Beach one.
EVgo Keeps Plowing Forward
EVgo already operates one of the largest public DC fast charging networks in the country. It now has over 1,000 fast charging stations in 66 metro areas in the US. These chargers support all current charging standards.
Providing a flexible charging network will help further fuel the mass adoption of EVs. Growing the charging infrastructure is the next important development to get more EVs out there and reassure those still on the fence. Congratulations, EVgo, and thanks for the leadership!