Should EV drivers target charging stations?
Electrify America, the U.S.-wide open direct current fast charging network established under Volkswagen’s Federal Government’s Emissions Fraud Agreement, now has more than 600 charging stations and 2,600 individual direct current fast charging stations, including the completion of two cross-border and two coastal routes in 2020.
By December 2021, the network is expected to have 800 charging stations and around 3,500 DC fast chargers under development.
With travel starting in earnest in the US summer season and increasing usage of public charging stations, Electrify America has suggested five ideas for how to pass the time while charging an electric vehicle (VW recently launched the ID.4 SUV in the US on the Market, but not the ID .3 hatchback), which seem to focus particularly on first-time owners of electric vehicles and, of course, advertise the new vehicle.
- Rest and relax: Charge the driver and front passenger at the same time with the vehicle “with a short break from self-sufficiency. “In the ID.4, the driver and front passenger can retract the sun protection of the optionally available panoramic fixed glass roof and use the six-way adjustable seats with electrically adjustable backrests to make themselves comfortable.”
- Move: Take the time to stretch your legs and take a stroll around the neighborhood. However, remember to follow the EV charger label and not allow your EV to pick up the charger after you have completed powering it up.
- Enjoy entertainment in the car: Use the Car-Net Wi-Fi hotspot and stream your favorite film or TV show on up to four compatible devices. The Electrify America app sends a notification as soon as a vehicle has reached the desired charge level.
- Treat yourself to a massage: A leading available feature of the ID.4 is its front seats with integrated four-way lumbar massage and memory. After several hours of driving, a massage can be just the thing to get back into action. Take it a step further by enabling the 30-color ambient lighting option for a fun and immersive sensory experience.
- Stop and shop: Most Electrify America charging stations are conveniently located at gas stations, grocery stores, outlet centers, hotels, and major retailers. While waiting for a vehicle to charge, you can buy groceries, have a cup of coffee, shop for clothes, or stock up on household items. If you don’t feel like shopping, treat yourself to snacks while you wait.
This trend towards charging point charging as a destination is starting to grow here in the UK. At the end of last year, Gridserve opened its first electric forecourt near Braintree, Essex.
The site is the first of over 100 sites to be built over the next five years that will provide the much-needed charging infrastructure needed for the mass adoption of electric vehicles well before the gasoline and diesel vehicle ban in 2030.
The forecourt next to Great Notley, directly on the A131, enables the simultaneous charging of 36 electric vehicles with high-performance chargers that deliver up to 350 kW of charging power and add 200 miles of range in 20 minutes.
Together with Gridserve, the project was financed by Hitachi Capital, Innovate UK and OZEV.
Electricity is generated both from the solar power canopies over the chargers and from a network of hybrid solar parks. The UK’s first subsidy-free solar park in Clay Hill is connected to the Braintree forecourt and provides 100% renewable energy from the national grid. There is also a 6 MWh battery on site which helps balance the local energy grid and move energy to periods when it is more valuable. On windy winter nights, for example, the battery can store enough energy to cover 24,000 miles in electric vehicles the next day.
Electrify America announced in February that it had added 30 solar-powered EV charging stations, each with two Level 2 chargers, to its California network.
Drivers charging at the new UK gas station initially paid 24p per kWh of energy (including VAT), which is said to be the lowest ultra-high-power charge rates currently on the market. A typical 20% to 80% charge costs less than £ 10 for an average size EV. Gridserve planned to introduce a tiered pricing structure later.
Retail space includes WH Smith, Costa Coffee, Booths, a Post Office, and Gourmade. The facility also includes a waiting lounge, free super-fast WiFi, “high-end” washrooms, a special children’s area, a wellness area with exercise bikes that generate electricity, and pods for meeting rooms.
The latest electric vehicles are on display upstairs in the building and there are multiple digital screens to help people learn about and find electric vehicles. Gridserve also hires electric vehicle enthusiasts to educate people about electric vehicles and organize test drives.
BP Pulse announced in March that it was expanding its ultra-fast charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in the UK with a range of new charging stations developed in partnership with The EV Network (EVN).
BP aims to double the size of the UK’s bp pulse network to 16,000 charging points by 2030, with a particular focus on ultra-fast chargers.
By 2030, the total amount of charges in the bp pulse network is expected to increase threefold.
The agreement is expected to deliver a significant number of new charging points for electric vehicles in the high traffic areas. The locations are being developed by EVN and each have a number of ultra-fast charging stations and some will become EV comfort and mobility centers with food, beverages and other facilities offered to drivers while they are charging.