San Francisco-based EV charging company Volta, today announced the nation’s first and only free, public-access DC fast charging network.
The new fast charge stations can add up to 350 miles of range per hour and are compatible with a wide variety of the most popular electric vehicles. Volta will install the first 150 EV charging stations nationwide over the next 12 months at busy retail locations with strategic real estate partners.
Effectively enabling Volta to better match driver needs with each destination’s charging amenities, the fast chargers will be placed alongside Volta’s Level 2 stations to accommodate quick visits to places like grocery stores and coffee shops.
“Volta’s free DC fast charging program represents a shift in the industry that no other publicly available charging brand can match. For the first time, electric car drivers will be able to experience the satisfaction of quick and free charging at places where they already spend their time. Imagine getting the equivalent of seven gallons of gas free every time you visit your local shopping center,” said Scott Mercer, Volta’s Founder and CEO. “Our charger network is designed to intelligently expand the critical infrastructure needed for electric vehicle adoption, while inspiring the public to ditch gas and go electric.”
Unlike other public-access charging networks, drivers will pay nothing for their first 30 minutes of Volta DC fast charging, the equivalent of receiving up to 175 miles worth of free fuel. The average US driver travels around 13,000 miles a year in their vehicle. If exclusively using Volta’s free charging network, this could save approximately $1,155 in equivalent fueling costs per year. To provide this service, Volta optimizes the convergence of electric vehicles, real estate owners and brands. Brick and mortar locations benefit by attracting upscale customers and hosting them for longer while sponsoring brands leverage the stations to generate meaningful uplift.
Volta will leverage a combination of data modeling and venue customer behavior to determine the optimal ratio of Level 2 and DC fast EV charging stations for each location. The new Volta DC fast charging stations will range in power from 50kW to 100kW, with charging initiated via Volta’s mobile app. After the initial free, 30-minute charge is completed, drivers will have the option to pay to continue their session.
Volta’s recently announced funding will be used to accelerate the deployment of DC fast charging stations across the country. As with Volta’s existing network, the new DC fast charging stations locations will be selected using data-driven models that forecast charging trends. This strategy has led Volta stations to have the highest utilization of any public network with ultra-convenient locations such as shopping centers, supermarkets, event venues and sports stadiums.
The first Volta DC fast charging station will be available for use in Norwalk, Connecticut, later this month. The company will subsequently focus on major metropolitan areas including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C.[source: Volta]