Electrify America to Open its 400th EV Charging Station in the U.S. This Week
【Summary】Electrify America announced it will open its 400th public EV charging station this week. The company has added more than 1,700 individual chargers over the past 20 months as part of its $2 billion, decade-long investment in EV charging infrastructure in the U.S.
As the electric vehicle adoption rate slowly ticks up in the U.S., there is a growing need to build out a nationwide EV charging network, so that electric vehicle drivers can always find a place to charge.
One company spearheading the movement is Electrify America. The company currently offers the largest number of DC fast chargers in the U.S. with plans to expand its network even more.
The Reston, Virginia-based company announced it will open its 400th public EV charging station this week. The company has added more than 1,700 individual chargers over the past 20 months as part of its $2 billion, decade-long investment in EV charging infrastructure in the U.S.
Electrify America plans to construct the largest DC fast charging network in the U.S., eventually exceeding the size of Telsa's planned Supercharger network.
Electric America was born out of the Volkswagen "dieselgate" scandal of 2015, in which the automaker admitted to tampering with emission control devices to mask higher than permitted greenhouse gasses from its diesel-powered models. As a result of the dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen's global reputation was severely damaged.
As part of the retribution for its admission of guilt in the dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen founded Electrify America in 2017 as a catalyst to promote the adoption of zero-emissions, electric vehicles in the U.S. Since then, the company has been busy fulfilling its mission.
Electrify America is focused on building a "future proof" network consisting almost exclusively of newer ultra-fast chargers, which is set to become the industry standard. Many new EV models are capable of reaching an 80% charge in under 30 minutes using a DC fast charger. These DC fast chargers offer electrical power up to 350 kilowatts (kW) for rapid charging.
Some of the new models that accept DC fast-charging are the Audi e-tron, Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf, as well as the Tesla Model 3, although Tesla owners get access to Tesla's own EV charging network.
Electrify America says that 96% of Americans live within 120 miles of a charger and the company has no plans to slow down anytime soon. The company's $2 billion investment in EV charging infrastructure in the U.S. is only around 25% complete.
Over a ten year period, which started in 2017 and ends in 2027, Electrify America is investing $500 million every 30 months on infrastructure and education programs in the U.S. designed to speed the adoption of EVs. The first $500 million phase is already complete and the company is now on its next phase.
In addition to opening its 400th public EV charging station, Electrify America has permits pending for 100 more, as well as an additional 150 EV charging sites in the design and engineering phase.
"We are laser-focused on providing our customers with a high-quality charging experience. Today's drivers need assurances that they will have access to fast and reliable charging services, and that's what we're working to deliver," said Giovanni Palazzo, president and chief executive officer, Electrify America. "We are incredibly proud of our progress to this date, and we'll continue to build out our brand-neutral network to be able to serve even more EV drivers where they live, work, and travel."
In December 2018, Electrify America opened California's first public 350kW EV chargers at a shopping mall 40 miles west of San Francisco.
In May 2019, Electrify America introduced a new companion smartphone app to streamline the charging process, giving customers new payment options and the ability to remotely monitor charging sessions.
The company has also formalized agreements with automakers and EV startups with nationwide charging plans that they can offer their customers, giving them access to Electrify America's nationwide network.
Most recently, Ford Motor Company announced that buyers of its upcoming Mustang-inspired Mach-E electric SUV will get access to Electrify America's network. Joining Ford is Volkswagen's luxury brand Audi, EV startups Lucid Motors and Fisker, as well as motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson for owners of the company's new electric LiveWire motorcycle.
In addition to partnering with automakers, Electrify America announced interoperability agreements with several major U.S. charging networks, including ChargePoint and EVGo, so customers can charge their vehicles on all three networks without having to create seperate payment accounts for each.
Electrify America plans to install or have under development approximately 800 total EV charging stations with about 3,500 total chargers by December 2021.
Electrify America says its committed to providing the best customer experience making it as seamless as possible. The company is also taking suggestions from customers on future EV charging locations for the next two phases its planned rollout.
The company's CEO Mr. Palazzo personally reads every piece of feedback the company receives to help ensure that its is best serving its customers' needs now and in the future.
The public can submit suggestions for the location of new chargers or any other feedback here: https://www.electrifyamerica.com/submissions.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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