Driving EV charger adoption by speeding up charging
Jones has a clear view of Electrify America’s mission: “Our job is to increase EV charger adoption. It’s about 1% market share, and we believe that we can move that number with high-speed charging, and facilitate sales of the new vehicles that the OEMs are bringing to market. The consent decree is about increasing ZEV adoption. The methodology is EV infrastructure.”
“We’ve seen the success of Tesla with high-speed charging,” Jones continues. “And if we all agree that, at least in part, the Supercharger network has driven the sales of Tesla – and I think there’s a lot of evidence of that – then this high-speed charging network that we’re putting in should have an equal effect on the other OEMs who are coming out with cars that charge at rates in excess of 50 kW. We want to get to a point where we have an experience close to what an ICE driver does today in public-based fueling. And I believe these stations give us the path to get there.”
As a new generation of EVs begins to appear on the roads, ranges are getting longer, and this means charging levels need to get higher. Several OEMs are developing DC fast charging technologies that operate at 150 kW or above. Porsche has demonstrated a new system that can deliver up to 800 V and 350 kW.
“When you see that from 2018 forward, the majority of the cars that are coming out have over 200 miles of range, from a whole plethora of manufacturers, it certainly is a strong indicator that higher range and faster charging is the way the industry is pushing,” says Jones. “We’re going to make sure that we supply the requisite amount of infrastructure to enable range confidence.”
Jones told us that EA has already charged the first 150 kW production vehicle, although he can’t yet reveal the brand. “The manufacturer was kind enough to provide a vehicle and test it on one of our public chargers, and it hit 150 kW, no problem.”