Hybrids are something of an easy sell these days, especially with gas prices rising, but electric vehicles are a different story. They’re still outside the average driver’s comfort zone with many fearful of running out of juice due to the lack of charging stations. Volkswagen has a plan to overcome that issue.
Electrify America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen that was formed after the diesel emissions scandal. The company plans to build 2,000 new electric vehicle charging stations across the U.S. by the end of 2019.
A recently released map shows a network of charging stations that covers not just the usual population centers on both coasts, but the entire country. The typical cross-country drive routes are included and there appears to be plans for charging stations in nearly every state, except for the Dakotas. If you live out there, well, then you’re out of luck.
Right now, there are a very limited number of Electrify America charging stations up and running with a handful of additional stations “coming soon” and the bulk of the stations simply indicated as planned sites. Since there’s a lot still in process, the map is tentative and could change depending on how those planned sites come together.
These 2,000 chargers will be located at 484 stations and have the first-ever certified cooled-cable 150/350 kW DC Fast Chargers. These can deliver up to 20 miles of range per minute, which is seven times faster than 50kWh DC chargers. These fast-charging stations will be located along highways while more urban areas will see chargers with 50-150kW capabilities.
To put that charging power in perspective, there isn’t currently a car on the market that can even handle 350 kW of charging. Porsche has announced plans to produce vehicles with that capability and presumably other automakers will follow, but nothing is confirmed.
This sets up Electrify America to not only provide power to the electric cars of today, but to the cars it hopes automakers will build in the coming years. Although the public might not be entirely on board with the idea, automakers are moving ahead with plans to replace internal combustion engines with electrified powertrains at a steady rate. Electrify America is ready when those cars finally arrive.