BMW and Volkwagen team-up creates 100 fast-charge stations for EVS

23 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

BMW and VW Team Up to Make EV Charger Networks Anyone Can Use.

Besides making an all-electric car that seat seven, looks great, and offers exhilarating performance, Tesla’s great coup has been delivering up to 265 miles of range on a single charge.

One of the biggest challenges with electrical vehicles is the ever-present range anxiety–the fear that you’ll run out of juice before you reach the next charging station. And because that’s still not enough for drivers who want to take the occasional road trip, Elon Musk is building a vast network of “supercharger” stations so customers can charge the battery in just half and hour.

Now the American divisions of BMW and Volkswagen are teaming up to build 100 direct current (DC) fast charging ports across the US to improve long-distance travel. The 100 additional charging stations will be tied in with ChargePoint’s current 20,000 stations in North America. “Many of our customers voiced the concern about availability of public chargers,” said Robert Healey, BMW’s head of EV infrastructure, in a phone call. “We listened to them and we have committed to building out the infrastructure. The group has already begun construction of the ports in San Diego and plan to get all 100 up by sometime this year. “The build out schedule is literally as fast as humanly possible,” said Healey. “We’re fully funded and fully staffed. Prices vary, but about $.50 per kilowatt-hour is standard, which means “filling” the e-Golf will run you 12 bucks if you’ve managed to completely drain the 24 kwHr pack. The capacity of each hasn’t been finalized, says ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano, but most stations will handle just one or two cars at a time but could be expanded later.

Installation should be a snap, he says, given ChargePoint’s experience dealing with permitting and construction, and the project is fully funded—although no one involved in the project is saying what it’s gonna cost. Last year, Tesla opened up its patents to the Supercharger system that would, in theory, allow for other electric cars makers to adopt the technology and use Tesla’s infrastructure. By using a common standard, we can get a significant gain over doing it ourselves. … There’s 20,000 plus charging ports out there for 280,000 electric cars. Automakers, trying to meet EV mandates in California and elsewhere, have a vested interest in seeing EVs gain traction with consumers. “We’re not viewing our technology as proprietary when it comes to charging,” Healey says. “We want to insure that we’re using the same type of charger that other manufacturers will adopt, so we can support programs like this, and support further development of e-mobility within the US.”

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