Electric Vehicles

Electrify America, Love's Travel Stops announce EV charging station partnership

Love’s Travel Stops has locations across the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Love's

Electrify America continues to establish partnerships with the goal of building out a nationwide electric vehicle (EV) charging network. The company has most recently partnered with Love's Travel Stops to install charging stations at seven of the company's locations in six U.S. states

The seven charging stations, located in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Florida, New York and Arizona, will have a combined 28 EV chargers and be available for public use by early 2021 - with five locations already open.

Electrify America Photo courtesy of Electrify America

"As we continue building charging stations at accessible sites, Love's Travel Stops was a perfect fit because of its convenient locations near major highways," said Rachel Moses, senior manager for site acquisition, development and strategy at Electrify America. "Providing EV drivers with the opportunity to charge their vehicles at Love's locations will help instill confidence for longer interstate trips, and can encourage more consumers to consider making the switch to electric."

In June, Electrify American announced that it had created two full cross-country charging station routes. 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. The most recent Love's charging station opening in Salina, Utah, helped complete one of those routes.

Depending on the location, Love's customers will have access to chargers ranging in power from 150 kilowatts to 350 kilowatts. Electric vehicles capable of accepting a 350 kW charge can add up to 20 miles of range per minute.

"Our goal is to provide all drivers with safe, convenient places to stop and refuel - and that includes the growing number of electric vehicle drivers," said Frank Love, co-CEO of Love's. "We're committed to initiatives and solutions that reduce emissions, and excited to add EV charging stations at our locations."

Electrify America charging station locations at Love's include the following:

  • Oklahoma - 901 N. Sheb Wooley Ave., Erick, Okla. 73645
  • New Mexico - 1900 S. Mountain Road, Tucumcari, N.M. 88401
  • Utah - 1915 S. State St., Salina, Utah 84654
  • Florida - 45000 U.S.-27, Davenport, Fla. 33897
  • New Mexico - 1028 N.M.-156, Santa Rosa, N.M. 88435
  • New York - 2 Industrial Park Drive, Binghamton, N.Y. 13904 (coming soon)
  • Arizona - 760 S. Quartzsite Ave., Quartzsite, Ariz. 85346 (coming soon)

To view whether a station near you is open and for a full list of Electrify America station locations, visit: https://www.electrifyamerica.com/locate-charger/.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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Electric pickup truck

Ford F-150 Lightning could get tank turn

Ford patented a tank turn feature in late 2020.

Ford

The F-150 Lightning is packed with cool tech and capability, but we're learning that Ford has even bigger plans for its first electric pickup. Inside EVs found an exciting document on the Lightning Owners Forum that shows ford applied to patent a tank turn feature like the one we saw Rivian pull off a few years ago, where the truck spins around a center point using its electric motors. Rivian's tank turn feature still hasn't made it to market, so it's possible that Ford beats them to the punch.

Ford F-150 LightningTank turn allows the truck to spin while almost completely stationary.Ford

Ford applied for the patent in October 2020, but it's just now making its way out. In the document, Ford gives an example of how it could work: "Methods, apparatus, systems and articles of manufacture are disclosed to perform a tank turn. An example vehicle includes a first wheel and a second wheel, the first wheel located on an end of a first axle, the second wheel located on an end of the second axle, the end of the first axle opposite to the end of the second axle, a first suspension coupled to the first wheel, a second suspension coupled to the second wheel, and a controller to drive the first axle in a first direction, drive the second axle in the second direction and decrease a first suspension load of the first suspension and a second suspension load of the second suspension."

As Inside EVs points out, Rivian's tank turn feature employs the R1 T's quad-motor setup to drive each wheel individually. The F-150 Lightning doesn't currently have a four-motor choice and instead offers two motors – one on each axle. It's important to note that Rivian patented tank turn and showed that it could work, but there hasn't yet been a production vehicle that offers the capability. Toyota filed a patent in 2019, but again it's just paperwork at this point.

Ford F-150 LightningNo automaker has brought tank turn to production yet.

To achieve the turn, Ford has a few options. The most obvious would be to offer a quad-motor upgrade in future model years. It's unclear if such a feature is in the works or if Ford plans to provide beefier versions of the Lightning, such as a Raptor variant with upgraded motors. The automaker could also design gearing to reverse the wheels on one side while the others drive forward, or it could use braking to lock the wheels and tighten the turning radius.

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