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

23 Jan 2015160 Views

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.

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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 is senior communications and content executive at NDRC. He previously worked as a journalist with Silicon Republic.