SK Signet has announced that it has signed an agreement with EV charging network Francis Energy to supply it with 1,000 of the company’s 400 kW EV charging dispensers (chargers). Francis Energy may not be as familiar a name as Electrify America, EVgo, or Tesla, but it’s the 4th largest EV fast charging network in the country.
It’s not clear how much of this is happening Ohio, but there’s definitely an Ohio connection. “Last week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the location of new EV charging stations along Ohio interstates, making it the first state to announce charging station sites that will be developed as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program,” a press release from SK Signet notes. “SK Signet and Francis Energy were noted as participants in this project, emphasizing how the partnership will ensure a supply of made-in-America chargers sufficient to meet the administration’s goal of achieving a safe, convenient, reliable, and affordable charging network across the country.”
Francis Energy is based in the center of the USA, with the bulk of its chargers in Oklahoma. However, as it has expanded out, it has reached as far as east Cleveland.
Without a doubt, though, it’s got big plans to expand much further. 1,000 is a very high number of charging ports, no matter who you’re comparing to. “For drivers to continue embracing EVs as a more environmentally friendly form of transportation, EV charging needs to be readily accessible and efficient,” said Jung Ho Shin, CEO of SK Signet. “Our partnership with Francis Energy and deployment of ultra-fast chargers will help make the option of driving an EV a reality for more Americans.”
Francis Energy certainly seems happy with and bullish about SK Signet’s ability to help it do this. “Building a convenient, efficient, affordable, and safe fast-charging network across the country in rural, underserved, Tribal, and disadvantaged communities is only possible with our reliable partner, SK Signet,” said David Jankowsky, Chairman and CEO of Francis Energy. Adds Jankowsky, “SK Signet’s ability to adjust rapidly to an evolving market — including its ability to easily and quickly integrate any adopted standard, including the North American Charging Standard (NACS) into its hardware solution — is a testament to its skill as a world-class organization. We are excited to bring ultra-fast SK Signet stations to EV drivers in America.”
One nice feature with SK Signet’s fast chargers, as well, is that they can offer a reservation ability — drivers can reserve a charger via the app before arriving. I’ve long seen this as a critical feature to making EV charging convenient enough and predictable enough for the mass market to go electric.
If you think this is the extent of SK Signet’s EV charger plans, think again. While 1,000 EV charging ports is indeed a lot, the company has just opened an EV charger manufacturing facility in Plano, Texas, that will have the ability to produce more than 10,000 of the company’s ultra-fast chargers per year once the factory is ramped up.
SK Signet is a South Korean company that is part of the larger SK Group family — but it sure has a strong presence in the USA already.
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