Boost for electric car owners in US – 100 fast-charge points on way

23 Jan 2015

BMW and Volkswagen have reached an agreement to increase fast-charge points across the US, creating 100 new installations that support numerous car models.

Despite it making sense for all electric-car manufacturers to agree on one mode of charging, thus meaning just one infrastructure of charge points would be needed across any area, there’s currently a two-model scenario in operation.

Rather than Tesla’s prioritised supercharger points across the US – which, although open to future use by all cars, appear to remain the domain of Tesla’s electric cars for now – BMW and Volkswagen are building these fast-charge points to the popular SAE standard.

The charging stations – 80 km (50 miles) apart, spanning the entire US – will obviously support BMW’s i3 and Volkswagen’s e-Golf.

But, by featuring 50kW dual-head fast-charge stations, including CHAdeMO charging capabilities, many more car models will be able to use them.

BMW and Volkswagen’s agreement, through a partnership with ChargePoint – a start-up focused on the charging stations network – will therefore be a major attraction for people considering purchasing electric cars, but fear running out of juice.

“From BMW’s perspective, we’re committed to support electric-car mobility, not only for BMW but for others,” Robert Healey, BMW’s head of EV infrastructure, told Forbes.

Most non-Tesla created electric cars offer significantly less power range for drivers, so an increased network is of the utmost importance for an industry that is clearly hampered by a lacking infrastructure.

Collaborations like this could be the only way to speed up the process of creating a network that will attract the numbers of consumers needed to make the industry more economically viable.

Power reading of car via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic