Electrify America’s new quarterly report to the California Air Resources Board shows they plan to install DC charging at 160 locations throughout the state using over 600 chargers. At least 50 of those locations will include ultra-fast units located adjacent to major state highways to facilitate long-distance driving.
According to the report, the search for specific charging sites was a major focus of the first 3 months of the year with the company signing 37 leases with property owners. Last year an additional 3 leases were signed. The leases cover the 10-year period of the company’s legal settlement agreement with the state and the federal EPA related to its “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal.
The construction firm being used by Electrify America for its California locations, Black and Veatch, is the same company used by Tesla for its Supercharger sites throughout the United States. Site planning and design is under way and permit filings are expected to begin during the second quarter. All DC charging equipment has been ordered from the 4 suppliers being used and is expected to be delivered to the installation sites during 2018.
All ultra-fast charging sites are being designed and prepared to allow for on-site stationary battery storage to help mitigate utility “demand” fees and to ease loads on the connected grid although only some select sites will get storage in 2018. Some of these locations are intended to be capable of “islanding” in case of grid power outages.
In addition to ultra-fast DC charging, Electrify America has contracted with other charging providers like EV Connect, Greenlots, and SemaConnect to locate, install, and maintain around 1,500 240V charging spaces at workplaces and multi-unit residential complexes in 6 metropolitan areas in the state.
A unique feature of the company’s California plans is the “Green Cities” initiative. The first targeted city is Sacramento where plans are being made for an electric car sharing service, an electric shuttle bus system, and additional charging infrastructure.
A media campaign is being prepared to improve public awareness of electric vehicles and a series of 12 “Discover and Drive” events were held in the state (including 3 held last year). A television ad is being produced which will be aired during the first cycle.
In accordance with requests by California, the company says it anticipates that “35 percent of its business-driven investments within California will be in disadvantaged or low-income communities.”
Planning for the second investment cycle beginning in July, 2019 has also begun with over 100 comment submissions received from government, industry, individuals, and others by a March 1 deadline.