ChargePoint – Partnering to Scale EV Charging in the USA

Context of Transport Climate Action

Across the United States, 27 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation have increased by about 16 percent since 1990, and the transportation sector is the second-largest contributor of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, behind only the electricity sector.

By increasing access to charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) ChargePoint is working to accelerate EV adoption and the transition away from fossil fuels. EV charging infrastructure, especially Express DC Fast stations that allow drivers to charge full electric vehicles from 0-80% in just 20-40 minutes, mitigates ‘range anxiety’ one of the largest barriers to EV adoption.

Of 36,000 total commercial Level 2 chargers in the U.S., ChargePoint has over 24,000 charging points across the country (just under 70% of the market) and has partnered with BMW and Volkswagen to expand Express DC Fast Chargers along both coasts of the United States. Express charging along highly trafficked routes will facilitate long-distance EV travel to support EV adoption and lower greenhouse gas emissions, which benefits all communities.

Description

ChargePoint, a California based corporation and the largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network in the world, has partnered with BMW and Volkswagen to create fast charging corridors across both coasts of the United States available for all EV drivers. The installations will occur both within and between major metropolitan areas, strategically spaced at a maximum of 50 miles apart.

The philosophy of EV charging is fundamentally different from that of fueling a traditional car. While drivers tend to gas up a traditional car only when it nears empty, charging an EV is more analogous to charging a cell phone – drivers “sip” energy whenever it is available to ensure the vehicle has as much range as possible at all times.

However, due to limited EV ranges and inaccessibility of fast chargers, drivers have generally been unable to engage in long-distance travel in pure EVs. Express DC Fast Chargers allow EV drivers to “gulp” energy when needed, similar to the way a traditional driver fuels up. This virtually eliminates the instances where a traditional gasoline vehicle is needed. As more EVs replace traditional vehicles, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation will continue to fall.

Implementation 

With funding from BMW, Volkswagen, ChargePoint and public grants, the aim is to install 100 Express DC Fast chargers across both coasts in the initial phase, with plans to expand the program across the country. These newly installed DC Fast charging stations will be added to the growing ChargePoint network.

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.

Each fast charging location along the express charging corridors will include up to two 50 kW Express stations which dispense up to 200 miles of Range Per Hour of charging (RPH), or 24 kW Express stations providing up to 100 RPH of charging. Locations will also include ChargePoint’s Commercial Level 2 chargers, currently the most commonly available public charging stations, which are compatible with all electric vehicles and dispense up to 25 RPH of charging.

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Benefits

By alleviating range anxiety and increasing access to fast charging, the express charging corridors make EV driving more practical for more drivers and encourage the transition to driving on electricity.

ChargePoint stations have already delivered more than 11 million charging sessions. Thanks to ChargePoint’s network, EV drivers have avoided over 35 million kilograms of CO2 (35,000 tonnes CO2) and have driven over 250 million gas-free miles. Once the networked express charging corridors are fully deployed, we anticipate that these numbers will increase even more rapidly as more people transition to driving on electric.

On average across the U.S., driving an EV currently creates about 50% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a gas car based on the fuel sources on the electricity grid. As we take carbon-intense fuels off the grid and add renewable energy sources, the climate benefit of driving EVs relative to gas cars will grow. The fast charging corridors and broader EV charging network that ChargePoint is building is laying the groundwork for the transportation sector to transition to fossil fuel-free driving. Supporting EV driving also improves local air quality by containing emissions near power plants.

Potential for scaling up

These corridors are part of the greater ChargePoint network, which has grown to over 24,000 EV charging spots – and is growing by 400 spots on average a month. We will scale the express charging corridors the same way we have rapidly increased the number of public charging stations.

As part of this network, drivers can easily connect to the Express Charging corridors in the same way they do other ChargePoint stations –from the palm of their hand. Through our free mobile app, drivers will be able to easily navigate to chargers based on their need, availability and schedule flexibility.

DC Fast Charging is not limited to BMW, Volkswagen or ChargePoint. The need to accelerate deployment is well known across the industry. Just within California, for example, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that as many as 775 Fast Chargers could be needed by 2020 to support robust EV growth.

Moreover, although EV driving is most prevalent along the east and west coasts, there are also highly trafficked corridors in other parts of the country where similar express charging corridors will encourage greater EV adoption.

Selected references

http://www.chargepoint.com

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/science/in-california-electric-cars-outpace-plugs-and-sparks-fly.html

http://www.chargepoint.com/news/2015/0122/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/22/us-autos-electriccars-charging-idUSKBN0KV28L20150122

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1096446_bmw-vw-and-chargepoint-to-build-100-ccs-fast-charging-sites-for-electric-cars

 

PROJECT INFORMATION

Location:

United States of America

Start:

2015

Finish:

On-going

Tags:

USA, Mitigation, Passenger cars, technology, Partnerships

Organizer/s:

ChargePoint

Contact/s:

erin.mellon@chargepoint.com

"This is likely to have a positive impact on electric vehicle adoption for consumers who are not moving to EVs because of that fear,"
– Don Anair, deputy director of the clean vehicles program for the Union of Concerned Scientists