Like all charging providers, EVgo is working hard right now to improve what the company is doing and make for a better driver experience. This continued in November with an advancement in EV charging construction speed and a deal with rental car company Hertz. Let’s take a look at each announcement and why they’re important!
EVgo Uses Pre-Fabricated Stations To Speed Up Construction Time
As we’ve reported before, EVgo is in a partnership with GM and Pilot Truck Stops (Which includes Flying J-branded truck stops). This partnership, along with others, has led to EVgo doing a lot of station construction, and often in situations where the layout is pretty much the same at every location. For the GM partnership, this involves multiple stations under an Ultium and Pilot or Flying J-branded canopy, much like the canopy that’s over the top of the gas pumps.
When you do the same thing enough times, and know you’re going to do it again over and over, it makes sense to try to find ways to hurry the process along. In this case, EVgo’s doing something that Tesla has already been doing for a while, but the company is adapting and improving on it to make it work better for EVgo stations.
By utilizing prefabricated modules, the aim is to cut the average installation time in half and save around 15% in construction costs at suitable sites. The design is also scalable, starting with six fast charging stalls per unit. This prefabrication module not only standardizes EVgo’s construction process and station layout, but also utilizes a modular skid. To make sure this approach actually nets the cost and time savings, this new approach is being tested in key markets around the United States.
The EV driver experience is also elevated with numerous features, such as seamless integration of Wi-Fi infrastructure to enhance cellular connectivity. Prefabricated skids are designed to be future-proof, accommodating lighting, security cameras, and canopies for shade and protection from inclement weather (which should also mean better station reliability). Once installed, the skid frame is covered with synthetic turf, providing cushioning to safeguard connectors that will inevitably fall on them.
Through prefabrication, EVgo assembles all charging equipment, including dispensers, power cabinets, and any necessary additional equipment, in a single base frame before shipping it to the fast charging site via semi-truck. This process enables EVgo to get stations up faster while also ensuring consistent, high-quality assembly in a controlled environment. Additionally, it allows for pre-commissioning at the fabrication facility, further expediting deployment timelines.
One of the big advantage to all this is that the same skilled staff are doing the most complex tasks, and then leaving the normal electrical work for local electricians. This means that the stations should almost never suffer from problems that are caused by improper installation (a problem all charging providers have found to be more common than they’d hoped).
“There are roughly 30,000 fast chargers in the U.S. today, and by 2030, industry analysts estimate we’ll need more than 300,000. Innovations like this prefabrication model are critical to scale EVgo’s network and build the infrastructure needed to meet the growing demand for public charging,” said Dennis Kish, EVgo COO. “Prefabricated stations can not only help us save time and cut costs, but also elevate the customer experience by providing popular features drivers want.”
EVgo is currently implementing prefabrication projects in various locations across Florida, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Texas. The initial deployment of this innovative method will take place in Texas, with construction scheduled to start this month. The site aims to be open to the public by February 2024, and EVgo plans to do many more such installations next year.
Discounted Charging For Hertz EV Renters
Hertz and EVgo have recently partnered to introduce a special deal for drivers renting any EV model at a Hertz location nationwide, basically giving them one year of cheaper charging. But, before you run out and do a one day local rental to get in on it, keep in mind that it’s only available to new EVgo customers.
“Hertz is committed to providing an exceptional rental experience and the widest choice of vehicles possible to meet our customer needs and preferences, including a variety of EVs at a range of price points,” said Wayne Davis, Chief Marketing Officer at Hertz. “We’re thrilled to partner with EVgo to provide our EV renters with more affordable and accessible charging options to support a smooth journey.”
Hertz customers who are interested in taking advantage of this exclusive promotion with EVgo can find more information on the company’s website. For Hertz EV renters, signing up for this promotion is also possible in person. Just look for the QR code when renting the EV and associate it with a new EVgo account.
“When people experience an EV for the first time, whether through a rental or riding along as a passenger, they see the benefits firsthand of quieter operation, smoother handling, quick acceleration, and of course, no tailpipe emissions,” said Maggie Tallman, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Solutions at EVgo. “By partnering with Hertz to expose new drivers to the electric experience, we can inspire more prospective EV drivers to make the switch and welcome them to the electric revolution.”
It’s important to keep in mind that many people use rentals as a way to dip their toes into the water of EV ownership. If it doesn’t work out, they don’t have to go through the trouble of trading a car back in or terminating a lease. Renting locally or renting for a short road trip can help someone get a lot more information about how it works, and if they’re happy with it, they’d consider buying one.
From EVgo’s perspective, it gives them an opportunity to snag some new customers when some of the renters turn around and buy an EV. With a discount to keep them visiting EVgo stations and the work of installing the app out of the way, EVgo’s hooked a new customer. From the customer’s perspective, it’s always nice to save a few bucks.
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