With wires running along almost every street in America where cars drive, putting EV chargers along the curb would seem a natural enough place to put them.
While several other countries such as Britain have begun efforts to put charging stations on light poles, in America, chargers have been sited almost exclusively in parking lots and garages.
Now EVgo, a network of mainly DC fast chargers, has set up the first public fast chargers along the side of the street in Sacramento.
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The new installation, on 6th Street alongside the city's Southside park and blocks from the major interchange of Interstate 5 and the I-80 business loop, includes three 50-kilowatt DC fast chargers and three new 150-kw DC fast chargers that can provide up to 150 miles of range in less than 30 minutes.
The first cars capable of charging at that speed are just beginning to arrive on the U.S. market with the rollout of the Audi E-tron quattro this month.
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The park is a popular place for locals to hang out, with a pond, and a certified farmers' market, and lots of neighborhood restaurants and shops.
The new 150-kw chargers will have both 175-kw Combo plugs and 100-kw CHAdeMO plugs, while the 50-kw chargers will have both types of plugs rated at 50-kw. (Teslas can use an adapter.) All six chargers are made by ABB.
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One challenge was to secure the right of way to reserve parking for EVs at the charging spaces on the street.
“Low-cost and convenient EV charging on our city streets will make it easy for residents and visitors alike to shift to electric vehicles and away from fossil fuels,” said Sacramento Councilmember Steve Hansen. “Now ... users will be able get the charge they need and take time to enjoy the park, walk to Insight Coffee, or enjoy the Sunday Farmers Market.”