Electric Vehicles

Electrify America now has two cross-country charging routes

Lincoln and other automakers are creating all-electric vehicles that can utilize vast charging networks like Electrify America's.

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

It's not just the Tesla Supercharger network that's making it easy for electric vehicle (EV) drivers to get across the country in their battery-powered car. Electrify America has announced that two cross-country charging routes will be complete by the end of the summer.

The routes allow coast-to-coast DC fast-charging. Electrify America charging stations are, on average, about 70 miles apart. They're located in metro areas and near highway routes near shopping and dining amenities.

Electrify America cross country routes Photo courtesy of Electrify America

The first route runs from Los Angeles, California to Washington, D.C. It spans 11 states and over 2,700 miles. It runs along Interstates 15 and 70. I-70 is a main east-west route of travel. It runs through major cities including Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, and Pittsburgh. In L.A., Denver, and Washington D.C., there are multiple charging locations available.

By the end of this summer, EV drivers will be able to traverse the second route, which can take them across the Southern U.S. from Jacksonville, Florida to San Diego, California. The route primarily sticks to Interstates 8 and 10. Interstate 10 runs through numerous cities including Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Tallahassee.

These two routes join two other major routes. One takes drivers up the East Coast of the U.S. from Miami, Florida to Portland, Maine. The other covers the West Coast, allowing drivers to charge along the route from Seattle, Washington to San Diego, California.

To date, Electrify America has more than 435 operational charging stations with over 1,900 DC fast chargers, and another 100+ sites in development. Of the completed charging stations, more than 300 are located near major highways to accommodate regional and cross-country travel.

In 2019 alone, Electrify America opened DC fast-charging stations at an accelerated pace of approximately 1.2 per business day. By the end of 2021, Electrify America plans to install or have under development approximately 800 total charging stations with about 3,500 DC fast chargers.

Trending News

 
 

The Audi E-Tron is an all-electric SUV.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Customers who purchase or lease an all-electric Audi E-Tron or E-Tron Sportback between March 2 to April 30, 2021 may be eligible for a subscription to Arcadia to power their vehicles with renewable energy. Here's how it works.

Arcadia connects renters and homeowners across the U.S. to wind and solar energy through utility data and billing technology. Users utilize renewable energy certificates to purchase their power from those renewable energy sources. Audi describes the process:

"In select markets within Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island, Arcadia's platform connects qualifying customers to community solar projects in their area. These customers are allocated a portion of the energy output from their community solar projects and earn credits on their power bills as the projects generate power and add renewable energy to their local grid."

Based on customer polling by Audi, 85% of E-Tron customers and 90% of E-Tron Sportback customers state that environmental impact is either "important" or "very important" toward purchase considerations.

Qualified customers who get one of those two vehicles can get a complementary subscription for up to five years. Participating Audi E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback customers may also be eligible to receive up to a $750 credit toward their electricity bill through the Arcadia platform with a subscription.

This isn't the first partnership between Audi and Arcadia. The company collaborated in 2018 and 2020 with similar initiatives.

Audi's E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback are assembled in Brussels, Belgium in a plant that is certified as carbon neutral. The automaker has set the goal of reducing vehicle-specific carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2025 and is set to achieve carbon dioxide neutrality globally across the lifecycle of its vehicles by 2050.

Both E-Tron models are capable of charging from zero to 80 percent battery capacity in about 30 minutes using a public DC 150-kilowatt fast charger. The 2021 E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback have EPA-estimated full-charge ranges of 222 and 218 miles, respectively.

Trending News

 
 

A new level of cooperation between power companies could help string together a more viable electric vehicle charging network.

Photo by kristinapong detraphiphat/Getty Images

Chargepoint, Electrify America, and EVgo are America's biggest charging networks and each has varying success stories with installation. Even in 2021, none have prolific enough station spread to bridge the gap between stations to make electric vehicle owners as confident owners as owners of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles while on the go.

This week, six major utility companies together have announced a plan that would seamlessly connect a network of DC fast chargers to major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast through the Midwest and South, and to the Gulf of Mexico and Central Plains.

The Electric Highway Coalition is made up of American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy Corporation, Southern Co., and the Tennessee Valley Authority energy companies. They will each take the necessary steps to provide EV charging solutions within their own service territories giving EV drivers the ability to venture across their territory without service interruptions.

This is an effort that some power companies have already undertaken on their own, but with limited success. Georgia Power, the largest Southern Company subsidiary, has installed fast chargers across the Atlanta metro area.

Each utility company will select its own building sites and build its own charging stations. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that it can cost upward of $50,000 to install a single DF fast charger.

Electrify America has been on a tear, making numerous new charging station announcements over the last year. In August they announced a partnership with Love's Travel Stops to install chargers at their locations. A month before that the company completed its second cross-country EV charger route. In February 2021 Electrify America debuted new solar charging stations in California and recently they began selling home chargers via Amazon.

In September, the Edison Electric Institute forecasted that there will be 18 million EVs on US roads in 2030. A number of automakers, including Jaguar and Volvo, have made announcements saying that their lineups are headed into fully-electric territory. Other, like GM and Land Rover, have committed to offering electric vehicles alongside ICE cars and trucks.

"Throughout the ages, travelers have had to figure out how to get from point A to B. From feeding and watering horses, to filling gas tanks, and now recharging batteries, ensuring that there are convenient places to accomplish these tasks is critical," said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "With this effort, we are working to help drivers see that EVs fit their lifestyle and their travel plans, wherever the road might take them."

Questions remain surrounding the strength and capability of the U.S. power grid and what impact adding millions of vehicles to the grid will have. Hurricane-prone areas of the country, like Florida, Texas, and Louisiana are often without power for weeks during the worst weather, meaning that residents of those areas would not be able to move around town due to lack of charging capability. Similarly, ice and snow storms can have devastating effects on power, as can long, hot summers and cold winters.

New to electric charging? Nissan has an etiquette guide that might help.

Trending News