The First 150-kW Fast Charging Station in US Opens in Tesla’s Backyard

By · February 28, 2017

EVgo's 150-kW charging station in Fremont, Calif.

EVgo, a network of electric car charging stations, announced yesterday that it deployed the first so-called high-power fast charging station in Fremont, Calif. The station uses a system made by ABB to provide a maximum charging rate of 150 kilowatts, compared to the 50-kW units available today. That will mean much faster roadside pit stops for EV owners, particularly those driving cars with large long-range electric cars. The current public quick chargers can provide roughly three miles per minute of charge, while a 150-kW charger can provide nine miles per minute.

Pushing the limits of quick-charging technology is a step toward reducing roadside refueling times for long-range electric cars down to a few minutes. These ultra-fast charging stations—designed strictly for public stations rather than home charging—are expected to be introduced in the next couple of years, but need to be tested. The new station is now in service, but is not available to the public. It is part of a research effort to study utility impacts, installation standards, permitting, and building and safety requirements. It will also provide a demonstration platform for electrical certification committees and building code officials.

EVgo partnered with Lucky Supermarkets to install the charger at its Mowry Avenue location in Fremont, just a few miles away from Tesla’s manufacturing plant where it makes Model S and Model X vehicles. EVgo and ABB said Fremont was chosen for the high-power charging station location because the area currently has the highest traffic in the EVgo network.

Critically, the first 150-kW stations will pave the way for the potential of even fast public charging—in the form of 350-kW charging, which would allow EV drivers to replenish batteries at a rate of 20 miles per minute. Five automakers have announced a collaboration to build 400 350-kW charging stations throughout Europe.

“EVgo has taken another first step in next generation high-power fast charging that will advance the entire electric vehicle industry,” said Terry O’Day, vice-president of product strategy at EVgo.

The high-power charging station utilizes the CCS connection standard favored by European and American automakers.

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