Electrify America DC fast chargers at San Francisco Premium Outlets, Livermore, California
Electrify America's second round of electric-car charging installations has won approval from the California Air Resources Board.
The company announced plans for its second round of public charging stations in October, including adding more California cities, helping rural residents install home chargers, filling in gaps in highway networks, and installing more fast chargers for heavy bus and truck fleets.
Electrify America is a division of Volkswagen, formed as part of the company's settlement with CARB and the EPA to promote electric cars. Part of that effort requires Electrify America to build a network of public charging stations—primarily DC fast chargers—which can charge cars from all automakers, not just Volkswagen Group products.
With VW's luxury brands Porsche and Audi in the forefront of new efforts to develop faster, 350-kilowatt fast charging, however, Electrify America has led efforts to install such fast chargers in the U.S. The hardware can charge any electric car, as it's required to do, because the units can also charge at slower rates.
Under Volkswagen's settlement agreement with the EPA and CARB, it is spending $800 million building the fast charging network in four phases, $200 million at a time. Of that money, 40 percent is directed to California, which represents about 40 percent of the U.S. car market.
Regulators must sign off in advance on the company's plans under the settlement agreements to approve that the plans are in the public interest.
With this rollout, Electrify America plans to expand into three new California regions: the Riverside-San Bernardino corridor in eastern Los Angeles, and the Santa Cruz-Watsonville and Santa Rosa regions in Northern California.
Its plan calls for rolling out different types of charging stations in three main formats, most consisting of a mix of Level 2 and mainly Level 3 chargers in suburban locations and along highways between cities, as well as fast-chargers in cities. This plan also represents the first efforts to provide incentives for more home and public chargers for low-income drivers in rural areas.