With electric and autonomous vehicle technology booming, the automotive landscape is changing faster than most people have realized. Automakers, however, are fully aware and are quickly making moves to setup for future success and growth.
Among these companies: BMW and Volkswagen. In fact, in a new deal announced earlier today, BMW and VW are teaming up with EV-charging network operator Chargepoint to build about 100 EV quick charging stations along east and west coast North American highways. The project is set to be finished, rapidly, by the end of 2015.
In a joint statement released today, the group says, “Designed to increase the number of fast charging locations, the initiative will help meet the large and growing demand for convenient, publicly available electric vehicle fast chargers, including direct current (DC) Fast charging locations, and support the adoption of electric vehicles in the United States.”
“With more than 280,000 electric vehicles sold in the United States, EV owners need more charging flexibility while on the go. The express charging corridors will provide electric vehicle drivers access to DC Fast chargers along the most heavily populated and highly-trafficked regions on Interstate 95 on the east coast, from Boston to Washington, D.C., and on the west coast covering and connecting the metropolitan areas of Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The installations will occur both within and between relevant metro areas, strategically-spaced at a maximum of 50 miles apart, making it even easier to take long road trips in an EV.”
This move comes in response to Tesla’s initiative to expand on their own self-built EV charging network, a network that crosses the entire United States and is featured across the world.
Unlike Tesla charging stations, though, these new charging stations will be available to the entire public (Tesla stations are only available to Tesla owners).
According to the statement, each of the new VW-BMW stations will feature up to two 50 kwh fast chargers (delivers an 80% charge in 20 minutes) and 24 kwh chargers (delivers an 80% charge in 30 minutes). The stations will also feature the most basic Level 2 chargers, which deliver 25 miles of range per hour of charging. Wow, that sounds horrible.
Either way, this marks a big investment in EV infrastructure. Oh, the roads are a-changing.