The U.S. needs to massively expand the number of charging points available to keep pace with the boom in EV sales, and a new joint venture wants to help speed up that process.
Electrify America and TravelCenters of America are teaming up to provide 1,000 EV charging points along major U.S. highways over the next five years. The two firms plan to launch the first chargers later in 2023, eventually rolling them out to 200 TravelCenters across the country where they’ll offer up to 350 kW of power to fill even big batteries in less than 30 minutes.
Currently only a handful of EVs, such as the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Porsche Taycan, GMC Hummer, Lucid Air and various Teslas can make use of such fast chargers but that will change as more automakers adopt 800-volt charging tech.
The installation and operation of the chargers at TA/Petro sites will be handled by Electrify America, and they’ll be included on EA’s charging network, meaning customers will be able to access and pay for charging using the company’s existing smartphone app.
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Electrify America LLC is already the largest open DC fast charging network in the U.S. and together Electrify America and Electrify Canada plan to have over 1,800 charging stations offering more than 10,000 individual charters in operation across North America by 2026.
But industry analysts fear the charging infrastructure isn’t growing past enough to keep pace with the number of EVs that will soon be relying on it. Last month a report from S&P Global Mobility predicted that the 1.9 million EVs in use today could swell to 28.3 million by the end of the decade.
Based on that calculation the U.S. will need 2.13 million Level 2 chargers and 172,000 Level 3 chargers by 2030. When you consider that there are currently only 126,500 Level 2 chargers and 20,431 Level 3 units in operation today, it’s clear that an awful lot more needs to be done.