BMW, VW Help ChargePoint Set Up EV Fast-Charging Stations Across US
People residing in the US are being given a reason to buy battery-powered electric cars. German automakers BMW and Volkswagen have joined with ChargePoint to build a network of charging stations for electric vehicles and hybrid cars.
The most important factor that hinders the purchase of electric vehicles is that customers need a place to charge their vehicles. If there are not many charging spot outs there on the road, just like the petrol stations, customers simply won’t buy electric vehicles.
BMW and Volkswagen are aware of this problem and they have taken their first step towards solving this problem by partnering up with ChargePoint.
As a part of this deal, ChargePoint will set up at least 100 chargers along the east and west coast of US by the end of 2015 as BMW and Volkswagen look forward to promote the sales of their i3 and e-Golf electric cars respectively.
A hundred chargers is not a big deal for US as there are already over thousand charging spots found across the country. However, these charging spots will be able to fast-charge the vehicles — capable of charging an EV to an 80 percent charge in less than 30 minutes.
ChargPoint is the operator of one of the leading EV charging networks, with more than 20,000 charging ports in North America. According to Tom Gage, chairman of EV Grid and an expert in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, BMW and Volkswagen helped in funding the development of US charging network.
Gage thinks that most of the people would rarely be using these charging stations, but knowing they exist will remove a major purchase barrier.
Many electric vehicles are capable of driving less than 100 miles on a single charge, which is a very short range. With this deal, the companies hope to set up charging spots with 50-mile gap. So in theory, EV drivers would be able to go from Portland to San Diego on the West Coast or from Boston to Washington DC on the East Coast while staying charged.
However, stopping after every 50 miles for 20 to 30 minutes is still a pain for people who continuously travel by road. Realistically, people might start considering purchase of electric vehicles when they would be able to go 100 miles on a single charge. So there is still a long way to go for EVs to become a norm. But we are getting there.
The strategy of setting up ports along the coasts is similar to Tesla’s which also started with setting up its Supercharger ports along the coasts before connecting the entire country.