New Partnership with BMW and Volkswagen for Nearly 100 Units
Enabling ‘Express Charging Corridors on the East and West Coasts’
￼￼￼BMW, Volkswagen and ChargePoint unveiled plans at the Washington Auto Show to install nearly 100 DC fast chargers enabling express charging corridors for electric vehicles on the East and West Coasts.
The chargers will be linked via the ChargePoint network and accessed using a ChargePoint or ChargeNow card. The network will provide fast-charging for BMW i3, Volkswagen e-Golf and other electric cars.
“The initiative will help meet the large and growing demand for convenient, publicly available electric vehicle fast chargers, including direct current (DC) fast charging locations, and support the adoption of electric vehicles in the United States,” states a release.
No More than 50 Miles Apart
“Nearly 100” DC fast chargers is the initial goal, as the partners plan to expand the program to increase access to fast charging across the country. The ChargePoint network already numbers more than 20,000 charging points in North America.
The new installations will be sited “both within and between relevant metro areas, strategically-spaced at a maximum of 50 miles apart, making it even easier to take long road trips in an EV,” the companies say.
‘Longer Distance Travel a Real Option’
“A robust network of conveniently located DC Fast charging stations will go a long way toward increasing electric vehicle adoption and making electric vehicle ownership even more enjoyable,” BMW of North America EV infrastructure head Robert Healey says in the joint announcement.
“The express charging corridors are another important step in the development of the U.S. e-mobility infrastructure that makes longer distance travel a real option for consumers, particularly along the most heavily trafficked portions of both coasts,” he said, “making the BMW i3 and other electric vehicles even more appealing.”
“Volkswagen believes in a holistic approach to e-mobility in order to create a seamless experience for the consumer,” said Volkswagen of America product marketing and strategy VP Jörg Sommer. “The investment in the express charging corridor will provide e-Golf and other electric vehicle owners with the added support to travel their day-to-day and popular long distance routes.”
Each fast charging location along the express charging corridors is to include one or two 50-kilowatt DC fast chargers, or 24-kilowatt DC Combo Fast chargers with the SAE Combo connector. When charging at a 50-kilowatt station, both the BMW i3 and the Volkswagen e-Golf can charge up to 80% in 20 minutes. They can charge up to 80% in 30 minutes at a 24-kiolowatt unit.
Level 2 Too
The new corridor locations will also include Level 2 chargers, currently the most commonly available public option, compatible with all electric vehicles. Level 2 stations can dispense up to 25 miles of range per hour of charging, providing a full charge for the BMW i3 and the VW e-Golf in 3.5 to 4 hours.
“Our goal at ChargePoint is to get everyone behind the wheel of an EV and provide EV charging everywhere they go,” said ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano. “With strategically-placed stations where drivers need them, these express charging corridors will give EV drivers the freedom to go farther and have an EV as their only car without limitation.”
San Diego First
Installations have already begun on the West Coast, the companies said in Washington, with the first location in San Diego County. The network of nearly 100 DC fast charging ports is to be ready by the end of 2015.
ChargePoint is to “leverage its existing customer base and knowledge on usage to pick strategic locations either where drivers currently charge, or to fill in spaces where there is currently a lack of infrastructure.” EV drivers have logged more than 165,000,000 gasoline-free miles on the ChargePoint network, on which “drivers have collectively avoided more than 6.9 million gallons of gasoline.”
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Source: ChargePoint, BMW and VW with Fleets & Fuels follow-up