Electrify America News (Well, Sort Of)

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Two recent announcements from Electrify America had one very interesting thing in common: they weren’t about Electrify America. But, if you’re familiar with the company, you probably know that the company has other divisions that start with “Electrify.” In these instances, the news was about Electrify Canada and Electrify Home and their efforts to Electrify not just “America,” but all of North America. Plus, there’s some BMW news in here!

Let’s start with the Electrify Home news.

Electrify Home Has An Earth Day Deal

A lot of people give Electrify America a hard time. Why? Because some drivers have been facing a lot of problems with charging at Electrify America. On social media, drivers have reported that charging their vehicles has been more of a hassle than a convenience. Issues such as chargers being out of service or failing during the charging process are commonly reported, but they rarely leave drivers stranded.

While Tesla fanatics, some pumping the stock and others trying to gain clout with that crowd, would have you believe that Electrify America’s problems are super common and strand drivers, this isn’t really the case. Yes, sometimes charging failures are a nuisance, and we’d like to see the company improve, but the company’s network has proven to be a good way to get across the country as needed.

For those of us who have a mostly good experience with the company, and use their services regularly, it makes sense to keep things simple and in one app. In the Electrify America app, there’s both a “Public” section with the company’s public chargers, and a “Home” section that allows you to manage a home Level 2 charger. It can let you start charging sessions, and even control access to keep unauthorized people from getting a free charge on your dime. There are also settings for things like off-peak scheduling, to get a charge for the cheapest rates.

The HomeStation is built to provide a maximum of 9.6kW (40 amps @ 240 volts), which is almost 6.8 times faster than a standard Level 1 charger. It can also be adjusted to 32 or 16 amps during installation to suit most home electrical panels.

But, to take advantage of any of that, you’ve got to get the charger from the company. Fortunately, they’ve got a deal on that for the week of Earth Day. When customers enter the promotional code “OUREARTH” at the checkout stage, they will be able to claim a discount of $75 on their purchase of HomeStation between April 14th and April 26th.

So, if you’re a fan of Electrify America, and want to get one, head on over to its website and get one ordered while the deal’s still on!

If you’re not a fan, then you’ve lost nothing but a couple of minutes of your time and probably shouldn’t waste more taking me to task in the comments for defending the network (especially if you’ve never used it and only heard about the problems third hand).

BMW Canada & Electrify Canada Partner To Give i7 Owners 3 Years of Charging

Electrify Canada and BMW Group Canada have entered into an agreement to offer new owners of the all-electric BMW i7 luxury sedan a complimentary charging option for three years across the Electrify Canada network. This offer would be available from the date of vehicle purchase. The customers can access the charging stations and keep a check on charging history, examine status of chargers, or locate stations through the Electrify Canada mobile application.

“We’re excited to continue our work with BMW and extend it to Canada to help even more of their customers feel confident taking their EVs wherever they need to go,” said Rob Barrosa, Vice President of Technology at Electrify Canada and Electrify America. “As more EVs like the BMW i7 come to market, fast-charging solutions from Electrify Canada and our ongoing work to expand charging access for customers, will be critical to increasing EV adoption.”

BMW’s flagship 7 Series has received an all-electric powertrain for the first time, resulting in a range of up to 512 km (318 miles) as per Natural Resources Canada. The new electric powertrain can now be fast-charged using Electrify Canada’s 350 kW DC fast chargers, which provide the fastest commercially available charging speed. With these chargers, the i7 can reach its maximum charging power of 195 kW.

“As leaders in the luxury segment, we want to provide our flagship i7 customers with a premium charging experience,” said David George, President and CEO of BMW Group Canada. “This charging agreement with Electrify Canada gives i7 owners a fast and convenient way to charge their vehicles when out-of-home and helps make a further case to go electric.”

Volkswagen’s Got A Decent Opportunity Going If It Can Compete

The automotive industry has become very strictly segmented over the years. Automakers made ICE cars. Oil companies and refiners made fuel. Gas stations (often only making a few cents per gallon after taxes) basically handed the fuel out for just above cost to get an opportunity to sell you a drink and a bag of chips, like a movie theater. Nobody did all of this.

But, with electrification, the landscape is changing. Instead of big players controlling their part of the board, the opportunity to take more of the industry has presented itself. Electrify America started as a penalty for the Dieselgate scandal, but having to build out a charging network has put Volkswagen in a position to be helpful and needed by other automakers, like BMW. It’s also got the opportunity to make money selling things to the drivers of all J1772 vehicles, regardless of who built them. Home charging equipment is a great example, but the global automaker can probably do a lot more.

This leading position in the industry is VW’s opportunity to squander. While my experience with Electrify America has been positive, the minor inconveniences could cause the firm to lose the lead if other CCS providers can give drivers a more hassle-free experience as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and other Dieselgate funds continue to expand the network.

To remain competitive as competitors arrive on the scene, Electrify America needs to meet or exceed Tesla reliability levels.

Featured image provided by Electrify Canada and BMW Canada.

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Jennifer Sensiba

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 get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1985 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba