Volkswagen unit Electrify America

Volkswagen unit Electrify America

Seems like a good start, but their hand is being forced by dieselgate. I would think they would have started a nationwide 120kW or better charging network for their future electric vehicles (?).

Volkswagen unit Electrify America will install electric vehicle charging stations at more than 100 Walmart store locations in 34 U.S. states by mid-2019 as part of Electrify's plans to bolster charging infrastructure across the country, the two companies said Wednesday.

"We recognize that electric vehicles are going to grow and become more relevant," Mark Vanderhelm, vice president for energy at Walmart, the world's largest retailer, told Reuters. "We are trying to get out in front of that."

The Walmart charging stations are part of a broader Electrify America project to install 2,000 chargers at nearly 500 charging stations across the country by June 2019.

Wayne Killen, Electrify America's senior director for infrastructure, said that 80 percent of the Walmart charging stations would be at store locations alongside highways, while the remaining 20 percent would be in metro areas.

Killen said the highway locations will primarily provide chargers for trips between U.S. cities but also cross-country journeys along Interstate 10 between Santa Monica, California and Jacksonville, Florida, plus Interstate 80 that runs from San Francisco and Teaneck, New Jersey.

Major automakers including General Motors and Ford have announced plans to invest tens of billions of dollars on families of electric vehicles over the next few years, in a direct challenge to money-losing Tesla.

But a lack of infrastructure for U.S. consumers to recharge their vehicles is seen is as a major barrier to the mass adoption of electric vehicles as consumers remain concerned over their limited range.

"These charging stations will go a long way toward convincing folks that there are a lot of chargers out there," Electrify America's Killen said.

Clusters of four to 10 chargers will be installed at the Walmart charging stations.

VW has agreed to spend $800 million in California and a total of $2 billion nationwide on clean car infrastructure as part of its agreement after admitting to diesel emissions cheating.

Electrify America said on Tuesday it has selected several suppliers, including Switzerland's ABB and South Korea's Signet EV, to install more than 2,000 high-speed electric vehicle chargers by the end of 2019.

Many of the chargers will be able to provide a high-speed recharge for electric vehicles. | 18 aprile 2018

Good for EVs in general, but have my doubts as to the timeline and what they consider high-speed. My guess is the vast majority will be 10kW or under, and a few "high speed" 20-30 kW stalls. Non-Tesla owners will be in for a bad surprise as cars are required to stay for hours to get a needed charge and are charged prices similar to gas. I'd love to be wrong on this.

Sleepydoc1 | 18 aprile 2018

"money-losing" Tesla. Sounds like trying to poke the bear.

Silver2K | 18 aprile 2018

50kW would be a waste also. We need to move forward not backwards. I seriously doubt Walmart locations would even have 50's.

Plus, since most will be at Walmart, they will be iced most of the time | 18 aprile 2018

@Sleepydoc - I noticed that too. I wonder why they didn't say "Bankrupt GM" or "Convicted VW"?

Tesla-David | 18 aprile 2018

Why Walmart, I never shop there, and never will? They would have been better served placing the EV charging stations along major transportation routes like Tesla SCs.

jordanrichard | 18 aprile 2018

VW is doing this to check off a box. How will this be any different than the multiple public charges already out there? Meaning, just as the article said, they are working with "several suppliers". Meaning, just as there is now, there will be varying degrees of quality and upkeep. A bank of 10 chargers is pointless if only 2 work. This will only hurt the adoption of EVs because as Bolt and Volt owners and perhaps Tesla owners who use these public chargers, you can't rely on these actually working.

Once all of these 500 stations are put in, does "Electrify America" cease to exist?

I also liked how they said, "....agreed to spend $800 million in CA". They were forced to.

mos6507 | 18 aprile 2018

"My guess is the vast majority will be 10kW or under"

Why are you guessing that?

Tropopause | 18 aprile 2018

Scripted propaganda, as evident from their insult on Tesla.

SamO | 18 aprile 2018



No integrated charging manufacturer?

Smells like . . . vaporware.


Mike83 | 18 aprile 2018

The VW cheats should pay money instead to owners of EV's since I don't trust them. GM is also untrustworthy and these companies will not get a penny from me. Pay them so they can put solar on their homes and charge their cars. No need to go to a dealershit to charge.

Rocky_H | 18 aprile 2018

@Tesla-David, Quote: “Why Walmart, I never shop there, and never will? They would have been better served placing the EV charging stations along major transportation routes like Tesla SCs.”

Have you not lived or been around smaller towns? That IS putting them along transportation routes. In these smaller cities along the interstates, the Wal-Mart is the largest parking lot in town, and is usually at the edge of town near the interstate exit. That’s the point of how Sam Walton chose to build and expand Wal-Mart. It’s not in the city center of a big urban area, where you have to compete hard against more upscale retailers. Wal-Mart goes for the smaller towns where they can be a one stop shop and get near 100% of the retail market share. So the side effect of that Wal-Mart empire of locations is that VW can get easy-off / easy-on access along the highway system for electric vehicle coverage. It seems they are going with exactly the right plan for this.

@jordanrichard, Quote: “How will this be any different than the multiple public charges already out there?”

1. Easier drivability to get to and from the stations. It makes my skin crawl having to hear about the traffic you people in huge cities have to deal with. Wal-Marts are all about the smaller towns where there is no such thing as a traffic jam. I’ve always lived in smaller towns and getting anywhere is easy and predictable and takes the same amount of time every time. It’s bliss to drive in, so getting to the locations would be easier.

2. Land is cheap and plentiful in smaller cities, so Wal-Mart parking lots are huge. There is so much room that they could put these stations somewhere in the lot, and they never get full to be ICEd.

So those are the two main advantages that are unlike what any other charging company has been doing before. But about maintenance and upkeep, yeah, I’m still skeptical about how that would go. | 18 aprile 2018

@mos6507 "Why are you guessing that?" (My guess is the vast majority will be 10kW or under)

Because it sounds impressive to have X number of cheapo charger stalls than X/4 far more expensive DC chargers. Plus I suspect VW doesn't want to provide any real fast charging until they have some vehicle that can actually use it. A very likely strategy is to provide the worst EV charging experience for existing EVs (i.e. Bolt/Leaf), since VW doesn't really have any EV to sell yet and cannot benefit from a charging network. Every EV sale is one less ICE sale that VW might make today, so making today's EV charging as painful as possible means more VW ICE sales.

jordanrichard | 18 aprile 2018

Rocky_H, what I meant and I think I later expounded this point, is that the problem with multiple outfits building these chargers, there is the inconsistencies of reliability and charging capability.

I will give this plan one prompt and that is many Walmarts are open real late or even 24hrs. So unlike the Tesla supercharger locations, there will at least be a place for people to go to late at night while charging.

SamO | 19 aprile 2018

But . . . but . . .Walmart?

Can I be happy that chargers are going places where people actually visit AND

be sad that EV drivers are going to be supporting one of the truly bad actors of the corporate world?

Can I be happy that Walmart installed SolarCity solar panels AND

be disappointed that in 2014, Walmart employees received $6.2 in government assistance?

It's like electing Donald Trump president AND

seeing him convicted, jailed and bankrupted.

Mixed feelings . . .

SamO | 19 aprile 2018

$6.2 billion

Yodrak. | 19 aprile 2018

"Wal-Mart parking lots are huge. There is so much room that they could put these stations somewhere in the lot, and they never get full to be ICEd."

At many commercial locations, including Walmarts, the readily accessible electric source is at the building, so the charger are likely to be located at or near the building, same as the handicapped parking spots. Such charging locations will be ICEd.

Rumi11 | 19 aprile 2018

An article on The Drive (I think) mentioned the speeds would charge a range of 300 miles in a mere 20 minutes! But yeah, gaslike prices, but with less volatility. :-/

Ross1 | 20 aprile 2018

Time to buy VW shares

nadurse | 20 aprile 2018

While the article itself is obvious garbage and bias, I am glad to hear that someone is doing something other than Tesla to further the adoption of EVs. I have heard no such plans from any other OEM to invest in charging infrastructure, even if it was spurned on by dieselgate.

I take it not many of you here shop at a Walmart, but let me tell you this... all the stats you hear about how many people dont know anything about EVs, and you think to yourself, where are these people and how do they NOT know about the existence of electric vehicles? Guess what, they shop at Walmart. They live in smaller cities and towns where Walmart is one of the main store. So the fact that Walmart is jumping on board, even if a half hearted attempt, and that Walmart is inherently evil, it still will help raise awareness and ingrain further in the culture that EVs are a real thing and maybe they might realize that there are a lot of benefits to driving one.

Mike83 | 20 aprile 2018

PR and what VW actually is doing are two different things.

Mike83 | 20 aprile 2018
jordanrichard | 20 aprile 2018

nadurse. They are only doing it because they had to. Now, one could say that it doesn't matter why they are doing it, but it does. Because they are being forced to it, the effort will be half ass and potentially do a disservice to the EV movement.

However I do agree, that this will make EVs seem more normal.

Also, I really don't see why Walmart is seen as something "evil" because they shuttered a lot of mom and pop businesses.. Walmart can not "shutter" those businesses unless the local populace chose to stop going to the mom and pop businesses. Sure Walmart can sell a hammer for half the price of the local hardware store, but again, people made their choice by moving their business over to Walmart. Certainly before Walmart rolled into town, people were able to afford the local businesses prices, or those businesses wouldn't of existed. Blame the people that took their money and "commitment to their local businesses", over to Walmart.

Rocky_H | 20 aprile 2018

Yes, I've watched that documentary, and it was quite interesting. Relating to what @jordanrichard was saying, I kind of characterize it as how early on, they did do very good retailing and grow well and normally. There seems to be what one might expect, where once they had gotten huge, they have been abusing their power in multiple ways that are pretty bad.

Earl and Nagin ... | 20 aprile 2018

If one really wants a good analogy to what VW is likely to do regarding punitive, half-fast installation of EV charging infrastructure, one only has to look at what NRG did.
The good:
- installed many dual CHAdeMO/SAE CCS charging stations throughout CA
- many have more than one station per site, increasing the probability of finding one available
- 50 kW max instead of the wimpy 40 kW and 20 kW CHAdeMO stations Nissan and others have installed
- good lighting
- good locations: many at Walmarts, malls, grocery stores. (sorry they aren't at your favorite vegan bistros but Walmart gets a whole lot more traffic so its a better location IMHO)
- fairly good maintenance
The bad:
- Stops charging at 30 minutes. One must disconnect, and start another charging session (including session charges)
- 50 kW charging rate
- pricing a bit high ~$5/session + ~$0.30/minute or so. (remember, you start a new session every 30 minutes)

Tropopause | 20 aprile 2018

Now we know the reason VW released this news was to divert attention from the scandal posted by Mike83. Nice timing VW.