BMW And VW Team Up To Build EV Fast-Charging Stations
The companies are working with ChargePoint, the largest electric vehicle charging network, on the effort. The publicly available stations will be added to ChargePoint’s existing network of more than 20,000 charging spots in North America, and can be accessed by anyone with a ChargePoint or ChargeNow Card, or with the ChargePoint mobile app.
Installations have already begun on the West Coast, with the first location in San Diego County.
Tom Gage, chairman of EV Grid and an expert in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, said BMW and VW were among the largest vehicle manufacturers to help fund development of the U.S. charging network.
“Most people will rarely use it, but knowing it is there seems to remove a big purchase barrier” for electric vehicles, said Gage. Many EVs have relatively short driving ranges of less than 100 miles between charges.
During the first phase of the project, the companies are aiming to build nearly 100 so-called direct current fast charging stations, which are expected to be available by the end of the year. They’ll be located along Interstate 95 on the East Coast from Boston to Washington, D.C. and on the West Coast in Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, spaced no more than 50 miles apart. The companies are planning to build these stations at convenient locations such as rest stops, shopping centers, and restaurants.
The BMW/VW endeavor follows the establishment by California-based electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc of an extensive network of fast-charging stations for its battery-powered Model S sedan.
BMW and VW said the ChargePoint DC Fast ports will be able to recharge an i3 or an e-Golf up to 80 percent in 20 to 30 minutes.