Electrify America readies its first charging sites in California

The first five California locations listed by Electrify America as “coming soon” are in varying stages of construction but the community DC charging ones are nearly complete.

The company is building two distinct types of DC charging locations.

So-called community or metro area DC charging locations primarily serve local residents and workers with between three and six charging spaces. Some locations feature 50 kW charging while others may support 150 kW.

Highway corridor locations are designed for long-distance travelers and have between four and 10 charging spaces which are all capable of supporting up to 150 kW CCS charging. Typically two of those spaces support up to 350 kW.

The first three metro sites in California use new 50 kW charging pedestals made by BTC Power of Santa Ana, California. BTC is known for making many of the 50 kW chargers used by charging provider EVgo across its US network.

The new BTC Power units follow the general Electrify America design pattern being followed by the other three vendors supplying DC charging equipment to Electrify America. The new design features tall white dispensing pedestals that are easier to find in parking lots.

See also: Electrify America reveals new DC chargers

As with its highway corridor locations, each metro site supports one charging space with a CHAdeMO cable and connector while all charging spaces contain a CCS cable and connector. Each of these metro charging locations also includes a single 240V AC pedestal.

On non-CHAdeMO DC pedestals, both cables are equivalent which provides redundancy in case of cable or connector failures. One cable or the other might also more easily reach the charging inlet on different vehicle designs.

The spending plan during this first 30-month cycle of construction calls for at least 50 highway sites and about 110 community sites among six metro areas in California. A proposal for the next 30-month plan beginning in July of 2019, was recently submitted for approval by the state’s Air Resources Board.

See also: Electrify America proposes metro DC charging, no H2 stations for CA cycle 2

These first five sites were visited and photographed within the last week.

Elk Grove

This town is 15 miles south of the state’s capitol city of Sacramento.

This location in the Walmart parking lot at the Laguna 99 shopping center is still surrounded by temporary fencing. It seems to be only missing a utility transformer to connect it to the underground medium voltage distribution line.


Montebello is a suburb located near the middle of the larger Los Angeles area. The nearby town hills were once dotted with petroleum field pumps operated by Standard Oil.

The equipment here is the same as in Elk Grove but is arranged differently to match the parking lot layout.


Again, three 50 kW chargers (one of which has a CHAdeMO cable) and a 240V AC pedestal. This is located at the Country Hills Shopping Center near a supermarket.

This photo appears on the PlugShare page for the Torrance location.

BTC is also making other styles of pedestals and higher-powered chargers for other companies.

Altogether, Electrify America is planning to build around 110 metro DC charging locations in California. Others are being built in the 11 metro areas included in Cycle 1 outside of California.


This is a highway corridor design along US-101 and is located at the Novato Fair Shopping Center. Novato is in Marin County north of San Francisco.

The nearly completed conduits appear to indicate that this location will have a long row of 10 charging spaces.


This location is in the parking lot shared by a Motel 6 and an America’s Best Value Inn. It’s just off of I-5 on the edge of this small town only 40 miles northwest of Sacramento and yet it is clearly in the rural Central Valley.

When this photo was taken last week, there was a crew trenching and boring conduit for the high voltage distribution feed running along a nearby street — a lot of work to support four charging spaces (at the moment).

Categories: Charging

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5 replies

  1. Electrify America is moving right along. They have 19 locations up and working now with many more in progress. The goal of 500 in the USA will really workout well for the many companies still building compliance cars. Tesla is still way ahead in range , quantity of Super Chargers and number of cars built and sold.
    I find it amazing they Tesla is so far ahead after all the money and years of programs way back to GM and the EV1. Tesla is also the safest and most American made. All on their own just taking credits and Fed Incentives for owners. Tesla is so impressive. That’s why I own a model 3.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The goal of 500 EA locations will nicely complement the existing infrastructure of 1,100 CCS locations.
    Which compares nicely to the 565 Supercharger locations.
    A bigger numbers of cars sold means you need more chargers. Tesla has 67 cars for each charging stall atm. CCS has 21 or less.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Redundant CCS handles tart aren’t useful, instead of CHAdeMO seems pointedly Anti-Japanese..


    • I agree that Electrify America (owned by VW) seems to be doing as little as possible to support CHAdeMO and that this very likely due to VW’s business interests.

      I’m less confident about whether redundant cabling is useful or not. I suspect that a substantial percentage of charger failures is due to connectors or cables that go bad from physical wear and abuse. I’m trying to look for statistics to back up that assumption.


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