DC fast-charging in east, west coast corridors done, say VW, BMW


BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf electric cars using Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charging

BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf electric cars using Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charging

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BMW and Volkswagen have finally completed a network of network of public DC fast-charging sites that use the Combined Charging Standard (CCS).

In January 2015, the two German carmakers announced a collaboration with network operator ChargePoint to build more stations compatible with CCS—which their electric cars use.

Known as the Express Charging Corridor Initiative, it included the installation of 95 DC fast-charging stations along major East Coast and West Coast corridors.

CHECK OUT: BMW, VW, And ChargePoint To Build 100 CCS Fast-Charging Sites For Electric Cars (Jan 2015)

On the East Coast, the network covers the busy Interstate 95 corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C., that also passes through New York City and Philadelphia.

The West Coast-portion covers Interstate 5 and Highway 101, making it more convenient for electric-car drivers to travel between Portland, Oregon, and various California metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, San Diego, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

In addition, "branches" off the main corridors are intended to allow access to popular vacation areas like Cape Cod, the Hamptons, and the Jersey Shore on the East Coast, and Lake Tahoe, the Napa Valley, and Sonoma in California.

BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf electric cars using Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charging

BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf electric cars using Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charging

Enlarge Photo

Charging sites are placed roughly 50 miles apart, generally at rest stops and other areas with nearby amenities.

Each site offers 24-kilowatt or 50kW CCS charging stations, and some also offer stations with the CHAdeMO standard used by the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and Kia Soul EV.

ALSO SEE: When will electric-car DC fast-charging be available everywhere in the U.S.? Poll results

All sites are open to the public, but require a ChargePoint membership and card (or BMW-specific ChargeNow card) to access.

BMW and VW are playing catch-up when it comes to DC fast-charging infrastructure.

BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf electric cars using Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charging

BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf electric cars using Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charging

Enlarge Photo

The Express Charging Corridor Initiative is a rare effort to undertake a large-scale installation of stations using the CCS standard, which is supported by the majority of U.S. and German carmakers.

However, even with 95 new sites, the national network of CCS stations is still dwarfed by Tesla's network of Supercharger stations, as well as the CHAdeMO network.

MORE: Electric-Car Fast Charging: California CCS Sites Two Years Behind CHAdeMO (Apr 2015)

That's because, until now, no carmakers have made a concerted and cooperative effort to encourage the expansion of CCS infrastructure nationwide.

In addition to Tesla's efforts with its own Supercharger standard, Nissan has promoted the installation of CHAdeMO standards to support its Leaf electric car.

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