Now that most major auto manufacturers are producing electric cars, we can look to the next phase of the plan: infrastructure. Save for Tesla, we’ve not heard too much about charging stations implemented in a big way. Today, VW and BMW are announcing a joint venture with ChargePoint to bring a series of fast charging stations to the East and West Coasts of the United States. Their goal is to get roughly 100 fast chargers implemented between Boston and Washington DC, and from Portland, Oregon to San Diego.
Robert Healey, Head of EV Infrastructure at BMW of North America, said “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.”
Both BMW and VW introduced electric cars recently, with the i3 and e-Golf, respectively.
The charging stations will include up to two 50 kW DC fast chargers, or a 24 kW DC combination fast charger/SAE combo connector. The 50kW stations will allow the i3 and e-Golf to charge to 80% in 20 minutes or so, while the 24kW stations can achieve the same charge in 30 minutes.
Stations will also include Level 2 chargers, a more ubiquitous charging standard. Much slower, a Level 2 charger can provide 25 miles of range for each hour a car is on the charger, taking about 4 hours to replenish completely.
West Coast installs have already begun, with the first stations going in near San Diego. The first phase of 100 chargers will likely be completed by the end of 2015.