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EVgo Continues Expansion By Partnering With WinCo Foods In Several States

This year, EVgo has had a lot of good news going for it, especially when it comes to partnerships.

EVgo debuted its Trekkie side in July at one station expansion, when it opened a new station on Vulcan Street in Encinitas, California. The company even provided Star Trek-themed sweets to the occasion! The Star Trek theme didn’t cease with the grand opening, according to popular charging applications like Google Maps and Plugshare. The stations are called after Vulcan characters on Star Trek, such as Spock. Other stations include Surak, named for the “Vulcan father of logic,” T’pol (the first Vulcan to work on a ship from Earth), and Soval, an ambassador who you despise at the beginning of the Enterprise series but respect as it progresses.

Even bigger news came when we heard that EVgo partnered with General Motors and Pilot/Flying J truck stops to install a whole bunch of charging stations around the United States. The overall plan is to build a charging network with 2,000 charging stalls at up to 500 locations.

The stations will be rather nice as well. Their maximum output will be 350 kW, installed beneath canopies to make it much easier to avoid the rain and sun while charging. When feasible, the stations will be set up in a “pull through” format so that electric vehicles with trailers may use them without having to unhitch. They won’t be constructed for electric 18-wheelers or “big rig” trucks, but they’ll be pickup truck friendly.

Truck stops are the most logical next step for electric vehicle charging stations. They’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and in many situations, they have convenient access to restrooms, restaurants, snacks, beverages, showers, and even little churches. More significantly, offering that degree of service does not require any work because truck stops are already doing it for so many other drivers on the road as well as people driving passenger cars along interstate highways.

Now, EVgo’s Expanding In & Near Las Vegas By Partnering With WinCo Foods

WinCo Foods, a family of 138 employee-owned grocery stores, will open the first EVgo public fast charging station in Nevada at its Las Vegas store. The new charging station, at 6101 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas NV, has 350kW and 100kW chargers for four stalls in total. This news extends EVgo’s mission to put charging stations in easy-to-find places for drivers.

“WinCo is happy to play our part in the reduction of carbon emissions in our operating areas,” said Noah Fleisher, corporate spokesperson at WinCo Foods. “We hope the charging station at our Las Vegas store becomes a destination for EV users and can help encourage others to make the change.”

WinCo becomes the latest company to join EVgo’s retail network, which now includes more than 100 locations across the United States. WinCo Foods stores in California, Texas, Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Utah will receive fast charging stalls as part of this initiative. Since opening its Las Vegas station, EVgo has added two additional Winco Foods stores in California. WinCo Foods is extending hospitality from the store to the parking lot by adding EVgo rapid charging stations to its properties. In the Las Vegas market, EVgo currently has 18 locations.

All EVgo fast chargers are compatible with any and all EVs that have the ability to fast-charge. Not only do they have CCS and CHAdeMO plugs, but EVgo branded stations (the new GM stations won’t be EVgo branded) also have Tesla adapters so that they, too, can get a charge when needed. They’ll probably still usually charge at Tesla stations, but it’s always nice to have a backup plan or somewhere to go to avoid long lines.

On the EVgo network, drivers can charge their EVs in four ways: by using the EVgo app, program card, Autocharge+, or credit card. Also, every time they use EVgo to charge up, drivers with an account earn points toward a charging credit through EVgo Rewards.

Why These Stations Are Important

With DC fast charge stations, highway travel gets a lot of attention. The expansion of non-Tesla EV charging took a big leap after the Dieselgate settlement and the creation of Electrify America. This opened up many interstate routes for EV drivers who don’t have the big T on their hoods. Now, that’s going to further expand with the latest infrastructure bill funds.

Highway travel is an important part of the whole EV adoption puzzle, especially when we consider how people buy cars. We don’t buy for our daily needs, but we tend to buy for the longest trips we imagine ourselves doing, even if such trips happen rarely or never. So, it would be foolish to say that these big, high-powered highway stations aren’t super important.

But, at the same time, DC fast charging isn’t all about playing Road Warrior. It’s not uncommon to get too many errands going on a given day in town and find that you’re in need of a boost to finish out your goals before bed (and your home charging station). When this happens, being able to spend 20-30 minutes adding some extra range to get you through the day is very important.

On top of that, there are the EV buyers who don’t charge at home. Maybe they only charge at work, or maybe they only charge at rapid charging stations. To many of us, that may sound silly, but when I had a dog munch a home charging cable, I experienced that myself for a bit. Fortunately, a dealer down the street had just opened a station. So, it’s a good backup, too.

In many ways, grocery stores are the ideal place for a lower speed DCFC station. You’ve got something to do that’s going to take 30-60 minutes, and maybe more for larger family shopping trips, so you’d come out to a car that’s got a decent charge without being inconvenienced. EV charging may seem inconvenient compared to a quick fill-up at the gas pump, but when you integrate charging with things you’re already doing, it doesn’t take any extra time at all.

 
 
 
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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to explore the Southwest US with her partner, kids, and animals. Follow her on Twitter for her latest articles and other random things: https://twitter.com/JenniferSensiba

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