Top 10 Takeaways From Electrify America’s Annual Report

  • Jeff Sabatini has written for many publications over his 20 years in automotive journalism, including Car and Driver, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Sports Car Market magazine. His lifetime car churn includes 30 vehicles: eight GM cars, five Ford products, four Toyotas, three BMWs, two Jeeps, two Chrysler minivans, a Miata, a Mercedes, a Porsche, a Saab, a Subaru, and a Volkswagen.

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Electrify America turned two in February and released its second annual report at the end of April. Created to manage the $2 billion in zero-emission vehicle investments Volkswagen agreed to as part of its settlement with the US Government, the electric charging subsidiary made substantial progress in the previous year. 

 

  • Electrify America is still working through the $300 million it has budgeted for its first of four rounds of spending.
  • The first DC fast charging station on the Electrify America network opened in May 2018.
  • The network includes both DC fast chargers as well as Level 2 chargers located at workplaces and multi-unit residences.
  • Electrify America pioneered 350 kW “Ultra-fast chargers” at some DC fast charging locations.
  • Nine more cities will be receiving investments beginning in 2019.

 

Here are the top 10 takeaways from the report

  1. Electrify America is still working on its $300 million “Cycle 1” investments, the first of four such phases. Building a charging network consumes the biggest part of its budget, projected at $250 million. Eleven cities are targeted: Boston; Chicago; Denver; Houston; Miami; New York City; Philadelphia; Portland, Oregon; Raleigh, NC; Seattle; and Washington D.C.
  2. Electrify America spent much of the year working on securing real estate agreements for its charging stations. At the end of the year 554 sites were in various phases of development, including 355 DC fast charging stations and 199 Level 2 stations. But only 145 sites were actually operational.
  3. Electrify America opened its first public DC fast charging station on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. The station in Chicopee, Massachusetts, was the first 350 kW fast charging station in the U.S.
  4. DC fast charging stations on the Electrify America network may feature 50 kW, 150 kW, or 350 kW chargers. The lower powered stations will be sited in cities, while the 350 kW chargers will be primarily deployed along highways. These so-called “ultra-fast chargers” feature liquid cooled cables and are capable of recharging at a rate of up to 20 miles of range per minute.
  5. Between May and December 2018, Electrify America logged 1,628 charging sessions on its DC fast chargers. Of those, 190 were in California. Total energy delivered was 22,729 kWh.
    Electrify America's DC fast charging network continues to expand.
    Electrify America’s DC fast charging network continues to expand.
  6. By far, the most popular charging standard being used at Electrify America DC fast chargers is the Combined Charging System (CCS). CCS connections represented 71 percent of all charges. Most American and European carmakers use CCS.
  7. In addition to its fast charging network, Electrify America is installing Level 2 charging stations at apartment and office buildings in 11 cities. It completed 52 such stations in 2018, with plans to expand to 215. These typically include four to six chargers, each of which is capable of charging at 6.6 kW.
  8. Electrify America began staffing a customer support call center (833-632-2778) that logged 1,249 calls in 2018.
  9. Electrify America launched a $25 million ad campaign to promote electric vehicles. Six car brands were featured in the ad campaign, which was offered to any automaker that wanted to participate. BMW, Chevrolet, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, and Volkswagen were all featured.
  10. Electrify America plans to spend another $300 million on “Cycle 2” investments, which will begin mid-2019. It solicited proposals for this round of spending last year and submitted the resultant plan to the EPA. Cities that will be receiving Cycle 2 investments include: Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Boulder, Col.; Bremerton, Wash.; Bridgeport, CT; Chicago; Denver; Honolulu; Las Vegas; Miami; New York City; Olympia, WA.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Portland, OR.; Seattle; and Washington D.C.

 


About the Author

  • Jeff Sabatini has written for many publications over his 20 years in automotive journalism, including Car and Driver, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Sports Car Market magazine. His lifetime car churn includes 30 vehicles: eight GM cars, five Ford products, four Toyotas, three BMWs, two Jeeps, two Chrysler minivans, a Miata, a Mercedes, a Porsche, a Saab, a Subaru, and a Volkswagen.

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