Electrify America opens 3 of 9 planned CA sites by end of 2018

Last November Electrify America predicted that nine of their locations would be open by the end of the year in California. I didn’t quite work out that way.

Of that original list, only three have actually opened:

  • Country Hill Shopping Plaza, 2965 Rolling Hills, Torrance, CA.
  • Walmart Supercenter, 8465 Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove, CA
  • San Francisco Premium Outlets, 2774 Livermore Outlets Dr., Livermore, CA

The Torrance and Elk Grove locations are community charge sites with three 50 kW charging spaces and a single 32A AC charging stand. The Livermore site is a highway location along I-580 with 10 charging spaces although two of them have been initially offline.

Country Hill Shopping Plaza in Torrance.

Electrify America’s location in Elk Grove

The entire Elk Grove site appeared to be offline for several days after initially opening but whatever that problem was it appears to have been resolved now.

Of the remaining six sites, the four charging space highway location in Dunnigan on I-5 just north of Sacramento looks fully ready to bring online but for unknown reasons it still is not open.

An empty transformer pad at the Novato site.

The eight charging space highway location in Novato on US-101 was missing a utility transformer as of mid-December.

Charging dispensers not yet installed in Madera.

The highway site in Madera along I-5 in the Central Valley has made good progress but appears to have stopped construction during the last weeks of busy holiday shopping at the adjacent Walmart.

The scene at Laguna Village in Sacramento.

The Laguna Village site in mid-December was still in the early stages of construction.

The community charging site in Montebello.

In Southern California, the Montebello site has apparently been ready for weeks except for a missing utility transformer as of late November.

The full list of nine planned openings was:

  • Country Hill Shopping Plaza, 2965 Rolling Hills, Torrance, CA.
  • Montebello Plaza, 2401 W. Via Campo, Montebello, CA
  • Walmart Supercenter, 8465 Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove, CA
  • Novato Fair Shopping Center, 900 Diablo Ave., Novato, CA
  • San Francisco Premium Outlets, 2774 Livermore Outlets Dr., Livermore, CA
  • Madera-Walmart, 1077 W. Cleveland Ave., Madera, CA
  • Laguna, Village, 8785 Center Parkway, Sacramento, CA
  • La Mirada, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada, CA
  • America’s Best Value Inn, 3930 County Rd. 89, Dunnigan, CA

In addition to the six sites not yet open at the end of 2018, the company says another 16 are also “coming soon” in California. Several of those appear to be already under construction.

In total, around 160 DC charging sites are scheduled to be open as part of the first cycle plan in California by the end of 2019 including some 50 highway sites.

Electrify America has previously acknowledged that not all of them will be available for use by the nominal end of that cycle on June 30.

See also: Some drivers struggle to use new liquid-cooled charging cables

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Categories: Charging

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6 replies

  1. FYI, the Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise could possibly be one reason for utility transformers not being set in PG&E territory or final power terminations completed. PG&E has a massive task of completely rebuilding almost from scratch overhead electrical service to a town of 25,000 people. That can hold up “non-essential” new electrical service hook-ups.

    Fire-related utility hook-up delays were the reason for the delayed openings of the four state-funded 50 kW Chargepoint DCFC charge stations along I-5 between Redding and the Oregon border this fall. The Dunsmuir, Mt. Shasta, Weed and Yreka stations are served by Oregon-based Pacific Power (different than PG&E). I stopped by the Mt Shasta charge station while it was awaiting utility service and ran into a PP utility foreman checking the site. He said they had to delay power connections because their new service crews were prioritized first to help PG&E and Redding Electric re-build electric utilities after the Carr Fire, than promptly re-assigned to rebuild their own utilities north of Redding due to the Hirz and Delta FIres south of Dunsmuir.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good info, thanks. That sounds like a plausible theory. On the other hand, the Montebello site in LA has been waiting for a transformer for many weeks also and that is likely SoCal Edison territory.

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      • Public utility hookup schedules can be confounding. I’ve been in the commercial construction industry for over 40 years and can vouch that the ways of public utilities are unfathomable.

        It also could be a final building permit sign-off issue. The utilities can not legally set transformers or make final power connections until the customer-side switch-gear is “tagged” by the local permit agency as having been inspected and approved for service. The mysterious bureaucratic ways of building departments are much like the utilities and when they have to coordinate? It is a miracle that anything gets done.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think they may be slowing things down because they are finding their designers are being less-than-perfect with some of their early station layouts – problems with cable lengths plus other functional glitches. Cases in-point:

    re: photo of the Torrance station –

    How is anyone with a charge port on the front-left side of their vehicle (like a Bolt EV) supposed to obey the “no-parking” painted area and park in the slot to the left and still use the high kW charge station? The cable lengths already just barely reach if you pull in head-on to the station.

    re: photo of Madera station – another questionable layout:

    Putting 90-degree head-on pull-in charge stations in a parking aisle that is otherwise clearly designed as one-way with angled parking will be “real popular” with all the non-charging Walmart shoppers as EVs jockey to get turned the extra amount to pull in/out straight. These stations should be relegated to the far perimeter of the parking lot where they won’t encumber the other customers. But it may be marginally better than one other station I saw where they put the charge stations matching the angled parking, but set up such that many EVs would have to back in. That means having to drive into the aisle against the flow of traffic and back in, then pull out the same way.

    EVs get enough undeserved flack from the non-EV-driving public – with recent examples of intentional ICE’ing at certain Tesla charge stations. We don’t need to further create “grumbling” with poor charge station locations and layouts that can create legitimate complaints from non-EV drivers.

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    • Supposedly these stations are being designed under the guidance of general
      Contractor Black & Veatch which has lots of experience with Supercharger sites.

      Clearly they are still learning but I doubt there is a deliberate slowdown beyond avoiding work at some heavily trafficked mall lots in late December. They don’t have the luxury of slowing down — they’re in a mad scramble to install as many sites as possible as quick as they can in order to avoid missing deadlines to badly.

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      • B &V really dialed in the SC installations I’ve seen the past few years, which is why I’m surprised there have been so many layout problems with these B&V-designed EA stations. But maybe the B & V Tesla SC team is separate from EA team and EA’s project isn’t getting B &V’s 1st-stringers.

        Another factor probably in-play is the “California” factor. Most developers and contractors who come here from out-of-state who have not built in CA before are amazed and shocked at how long it takes to permit and build things in CA due to the various specialty permits, reviews, regulations, etc, etc. Even something as simple as a charge station. There are reasons that other EA stations are being built and opening much faster elsewhere in the US.

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