Electrify America announced today it has selected key charging equipment suppliers – ABB, BTC Power, Efacec and Signet – to jointly deploy its new ultra-fast electric vehicle (EV) charging systems throughout the United States.
The charging equipment suppliers will share delivery of more than 2,000 chargers across 484 stations in the U.S. The charging systems will offer the first-ever certified cooled-cable 150/350 kilowatt (kW) DC Fast Charger. Electric vehicle chargers that offer this kind of power deliver energy for up to 20 miles of range per minute of charge at 350kW, which is seven times faster than today’s 50kW DC chargers.
“These state-of-the-art chargers will provide the latest in charging technology for today’s electric vehicles and those expected in the future that will feature larger batteries,” said Mark McNabb, President and CEO of Electrify America. “We want to be sure that our systems are prepared for this growing market, and ABB, BTC Power, Efacec and Signet will help us deliver chargers that are ultra-fast, convenient, reliable and future-proof.”
With a focus on both future and present-day electric vehicles, Electrify America’s charging systems will have a range in power from 50kW, the most commonly used fast charging for electric vehicles today, up to 350kW for its highway stations. The Electrify America systems will also offer DC Fast Chargers ranging from 50kW to 150kW for metro locations. An L2 AC charger will also be offered at a majority of metro DC fast charging stations to accommodate plug-in hybrids and non-DC-charge capable EVs.
All charging stations will offer a CHAdeMO (50kW) connector, plus additional dual-handle chargers with CCS1 (50 to 150kW or350 kW) connectors, ensuring that all fast charging capable cars will be able to use the Electrify America stations. Metropolitan charging stations will have three to six chargers with CCS1 connectors, while highway stations will offer four to ten.
The chargers have been custom-designed for Electrify America and have several advanced features including liquid-cooled cables. This is the first time that liquid cooled CCS charging cables have received certification. The cooling is a key factor in enabling higher-amperage charging without a significant increase in the cable thickness for charging power at and above 150kW from 350 amps.
The majority of Electrify America’s ultra-fast charging systems will utilize the RADOX HPC (High Power Charging) System from HUBER+SUHNER which features a much smaller cable cross section than the traditional high-powered cable option. These cooled cables are thinner, more flexible, lighter and easier to handle.
The chargers will have an all new intuitive and informative 15-inch touch screen display, to provide a simplified “Plug-Pay-Charge-Go” experience, including opt-in text notifications for in-session monitoring and receipt delivery.
In addition, the chargers will also feature redundant physical buttons below the display to navigate through the various screens. Credit card readers are included for universal driver access to the Electrify America network. Functionally, the chargers are up to eight feet high designed for optimal visibility and easy vehicle charge port access without complex, maintenance prone mechanical cable management systems.
Electrify America will begin installing the ultra-fast charging systems this spring with the goal of all stations being operational or under construction at 484 sites in 17 metropolitan areas and on highways in 39 states by the end of 2019 as part of its Cycle One infrastructure investment. Stations will be located at convenient parking areas with access to retail, dining, and other facilities and attractions.
“Two of the key issues impacting EV sales today are convenient charging locations and charging speeds that are not fast enough,” McNabb said. “By placing our ultra-fast charging systems in locations drivers enjoy stopping at, we help reduce charging anxiety and increase the public acceptance of electric vehicles. Dramatically increasing the charging speed by offering the first-ever certified cooled-cable 150/350kW DC Fast Chargers is also a significant step, meaning less time is spent refueling.”