Los Angeles, January 22, 2015 — Volkswagen and BMW Partner with Chargepoint to Build Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Corridors on Both Coasts
In a bold and much-needed move for electric vehicle (EV) owners and potential buyers, VW and BMW announced a partnership with ChargePoint – the nation’s largest EV charging network with 20,000+ charging spots – to initially install 100 fast chargers “along heavily trafficked corridors on both coasts” at 50-mile intervals. #EVexpresscharge
Unlike Tesla’s super charging network, ChargePoint chargers are available for use to the general public through a ChargePoint card or its mobile app.
Volkswagen says the network is “designed to increase the number of fast charging locations to help meet the large and growing demand for convenient, publicly available electric vehicle fast chargers, including direct current (DC) fast charging locations.”
Do we really need more charging stations? The answer is a resounding yes. More than 280,000 EVs have been sold in the United States alone and more charging stations give EV owners and drivers way more flexibility for driving longer distances between metropolitan cities. And with more award-winning EVs coming to market every year – like BMW’s i3 and VW’s e-Golf – a truly useful charging station network is just what is needed to make EV ownership more utilitarian.
VW says these “express charging corridors,” which will be strategically spaced about 50 miles apart, will provide EV owners with access to DC fast chargers along the most heavily populated and highly-trafficked regions, including Interstate 95 from Boston to Wash. D.C. and on the West Coast from San Diego to Portland via LA and San Francisco.
“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,” says BMW’s head of EV infrastructure Robert Healey.“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—making the BMW i3 and other electric vehicles even more appealing.”
VW’s vice president of product marketing and strategy Jörg Sommer agrees. “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.”
ChargePoint says each charging location will include up to two 50 kW DC fast chargers (or 24 kW DC combo fast chargers with SAE combo connector). So, how long do you have to wait for your brand new BMW i3 or Volkswagen e-Golf to charge? It only takes 20 minutes to charge up to 80 percent at a 50 kW station (and about 30 minutes at a 24 kW station). Each station will also include “level 2 chargers,” which are currently the most common charger stations and can fully charge EVs such as BMW’s i3 and VW’s e-Golf within 3-4 hours.
“Our goal at ChargePoint is to get everyone behind the wheel of an EV and provide EV charging everywhere they go,” says 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.”
ChargePoint says it has already begun the first installation in San Diego County with a target of completing both east and west coast networks by the end of the year. The stations, so says ChargePoint, will be located near restaurants, shopping centers and rest stops so drivers can take a quick break while waiting for their ride to fill up for more zero emissions driving.
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