Volkswagen is in the midst of a $2 billion investment in its Electrify America charging network ahead of a slew of pure-electric vehicles set to hit the market from a number of its brands, including VW, Audi, and Porsche.
- VW’s Electrify America will have 484 charging stations across 42 states by the end of 2019
- A new app for iOS and Android will locate chargers, give status and allow transactions
- Chargers will be capable of charging at up to 350 kW
- The cost of charging will be roughly 30 cents per minute plus a 1 dollar session fee
As it ramps up to 484 stations (comprised of 2,000 chargers) across 42 states in 17 metro regions by the end of 2019, Electrify America has launched its dedicated smartphone app — available on both Android and Apple.
The new app allows users to find a nearby station and navigate to it. Once they’ve found a station, users will be able to see how many chargers each station has, what their power capacity is, and how many chargers are available. Should they all be taken, the user can have a push notification sent to their smart device once a charger becomes available.
Once at the station, the app will enable EV owners to monitor their car’s recharging in real time. It will alert the user when their vehicle reaches bulk charge (80%). It will also push notifications to the user if the charge slows and when it stops. When the charge is complete, it will also deliver a receipt to the user.
Along with the all-new app, Electrify America has devised two user pricing schemes: Pass and Pass+. Pass will charge users by the minute ($0.30 to $0.35 per minute) plus a $1 session fee. Pass+ users pay a $4 per month subscription fee, but receive a reduced per-minute rate. Plus, Electrify America waives the $1 session fee.
Electrify America said it will bring down the $0.30 to $0.35 per-minute charging structure by as much as 20% in the future, depending on region and electricity prices.
Charging prices will also depend on the charge power levels. This has been broken into three levels: 0-75 kilowatts, 76-125 kW, and 126-350 kW. Don’t worry about plugging your 50-kW-capable vehicle into on of Electrify America’s 350-kW chargers, though. It will only charge you for the rate your car charges, not the rate at which the charger is capable.
“We are committed to increasing EV adoption and are constantly innovating to make the charging experience as convenient and accessible as possible,” Giovanni Palazzo, president and CEO at Electrify America, said in a prepared statement. “With our new app, we put all the information and capabilities you need to charge your EV right in your pocket, making charging with us easier than ever. Combined with our new membership plans, we are streamlining the charging experience at our ultra-fast chargers.”
If you’re wondering “Which car on earth can charge at 350 kW?” You’re not foolish for pondering that. The short answer is: None yet. That’s about to change, though. That’s because the forthcoming Porsche Taycan — the brand’s first pure-electric model — will be capable of such recharge rates. Accordingly, at that 350 kW level, the Taycan will be capable of receiving 20 miles of charge per minute. Pretty impressive stuff.
New Electrify America chargers are coming online all the time. If you want to see how many are available in your area, you can check out the brand’s station locator page. There, you can sign up to receive updates of Electrify America’s growing network.
I honestly can’t wait for more cars beyond the Taycan to be capable of receiving 20 miles of charge per minute. If nothing else, that should hopefully diminish — if not outright eliminate — range anxiety for would-be EV owners.