Volkswagen Group of America has created one of the biggest charging station centers in San Francisco Bay Area. The company has installed 51 EV charging stations at its Innovation and Engineering Center California (IECC) Silicon Valley Campus.
Volkswagen added 40 charging stations to a pre-existing 11. They were financially supported by a grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
Volkswagen employees can use the charging stations for free. The chargers are also open to the broader public, but non-employees do have to pay to use them.
49 of the 51 charging stations were AC chargers, while the other 2 of them were 100 kW DC fast chargers. That said, the power available from the fast chargers may be limited in order to reduce demand on the grid at certain times. “The system is managed by PowerFlex Systems’ patented Adaptive Load Management (ALM) software,” Volkswagen reports. “The software will determine the power delivery based on usage and time of day to help even out the electrical flow avoiding too much strain on the electrical grid and designed to offer lower charging costs to users.”
There are numerous EV charging stations at workplaces across California, but 51 is one of the larger charging centers, and the news is of course notable since Volkswagen is an automaker, and one that has been more optimistic and ambitious about the EV transition than others.
Like me, you may be wondering what Volkswagen’s Innovation and Engineering Center California is. The company shares the following summary: “The IECC has two branches: Innovation Center California (ICC) and Engineering Center California (ECC). The ICC is a strategic pillar of Volkswagen Group’s Innovation Ecosystem whereas the ECC works closely with the Volkswagen Group of America Engineering team developing products for the North America Region. Since opening in 1998 with just three employees, the IECC has grown to nearly 200 engineers, scientists, designers and psychologists all working in synergy to bridge the gap between Silicon Valley technology and the automotive group.”