BMW, VW & ChargePoint Complete West/East Coast Express Charging Corridors

SEP 13 2016 BY MARK KANE 52

ChargePoint Express 100

ChargePoint Express 100

BMW, Volkswagen and ChargePoint have announced the completion of charging infrastructure project launched more than 1.5-year ago.

The idea was to install DC fast chargers (CCS Combo) along the East and West Coasts corridors (perfect for the new 238 mile Chevy Bolt EV…or a plug-in BMW or VW too we suppose), and then make them publicly available for all EVs through the ChargePoint network.

In total, 95 DC chargers (24 or 50 kW) were installed (some of them are additionally equipped with CHAdeMO plugs).

The Express Charging Corridors Initiative covers about 1,160 miles on the west, and 450 miles on the east side. Chargers are installed about every 50 miles, within half mile from major route.

“Drivers can access the DC Fast chargers along the most heavily populated and highly-trafficked regions primarily along Interstate 95 on the East Coast, enabling EV travel from Boston, through the New York City and Philadelphia areas to Washington, D.C., and along Interstate 5 and Highway 101 on the West Coast, connecting metropolitan areas from Portland, Ore., through the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles to San Diego. Branches from the main Corridors extend to popular destinations such as Cape Cod, the Hamptons, the Jersey Shore, Lake Tahoe, Napa, and Sonoma.

The chargers are strategically positioned both within and between relevant metropolitan areas, spaced approximately 50 miles apart, in convenient locations with access to restaurants, shopping centers, rest stops, and more. These DC Fast charging stations, connecting cities along the corridors, have been installed within a few miles of major highways, prioritizing both safety and convenience.

The corridors are designed to make longer distance EV travel easier, with faster charging time than standard Level 2 public charging. Drivers can locate stations through the ChargePoint mobile app or website; in BMW i3 vehicles via BMW ConnectedDrive, either in-vehicle or via the app; or in Volkswagen e-Golf vehicles by accessing the Volkswagen CarNet® app via smartphone or smartwatch or in-vehicle.”

“Each charging location along the Express Charging Corridors offers either 50kW or 24kW DC Fast charging with the SAE Combo connectors used in the BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf electric vehicles (and in many other EVs with DC Fast charging capability). Many locations also offer CHAdeMO connectors, for vehicles equipped with these ports. All stations are publicly available and can be easily accessed with the ChargePoint mobile app or a ChargePoint card, or for BMW drivers, a ChargeNow card.”

BMW, Volkswagen and ChargePoint Announce Completion of Electric Vehicle Express Charging Corridors on the East and West Coasts.

BMW, Volkswagen and ChargePoint Announce Completion of Electric Vehicle Express Charging Corridors on the East and West Coasts.

Robert Healey, Head of EV Infrastructure for BMW of North America said:

“BMW’s vision for an innovative, more convenient future of electric mobility encompasses the continued rollout of a robust public infrastructure throughout the U.S. to benefit our customers and all EV drivers. The partnership with VW and ChargePoint demonstrates the efficiencies of industry cooperation for building robust public DC Fast charging while encouraging consumer interest in electric vehicles such as the BMW i3.”

Dr. Hendrik Muth, Senior Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America said:

“Volkswagen’s investment in this expansive public EV charging project sets the blueprint for future EV charging infrastructure in the United States. These charging corridors will add greater flexibility and convenience for current e-Golf and other EV drivers, and reduces one more barrier to increased EV ownership.”

Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint said:

“At ChargePoint, we make driving electric an easy choice for anyone. The Express Charging Corridors extend the power of the existing ChargePoint network to simplify long-distance travel for EV drivers and enable more people to make an EV their primary vehicle.”

Categories: BMW, Charging, Volkswagen

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52 Comments on "BMW, VW & ChargePoint Complete West/East Coast Express Charging Corridors"

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Just in time with the Bolt launch.

Keep in mind that many of the CCS are only 24kW.

But the Bolt at least have enough range to plan ahead and skip over to the 50kW version.

24Kw isn’t as desirable, obviously.. but given the choice of nothing (which is what we have down the interstates between Dallas, Houston, and Austin) I’d happy take 24Kw. That means it would take an hour to recharge our i3. I could live with that.


Anything is better than nothing.

But the new Bolt will at least capable of doing BC to BC at 50kW rate….

BC == ?

Some people say British Columbia to Baja California

The famous British Columbia to Baja California rally for EVs…

It looks like ALL the CCS stations between Sacramento, CA and Salem OR are the 24 kW variety. That’s 536 miles so the BOLT would be forced to use the 24 kW stations. If you assume the EPA combined range of 238 would be worth about 200 miles driving the speed limit on interstate 5, the trip from Sacramento to Salem would still require something like 4 hours of charging at 24 kW. Starting with a full charge, an 85 kWh Model S would only need to stop at superchargers for about an hour to make the same trip (at least if the driver planned things out properly and didn’t encounter any crowded superchargers along the way).

Sure, a 2x more expensive Tesla should win…

But CCS will get better.

Is CCS better than SC back in 2012?

A 1X as expensive Model 3 will still probably win in a year and a few months. And the supercharger network was already better suited to trips from Northern California to Las Vegas in late 2012 than the CCS network is now.

Maybe GM will eventually realize they need to put some skin in the charging infrastructure game if they want to compete with Tesla. But so far they have said they aren’t interested in supporting the infrastructure.

GM also neglected to fund a network of gas stations in the early 20th century, so at least they are being consistent.

The key difference is that filling stations made a profit. Until someone figures out how to make a profit from EV charging, the only way the DC fast charging infrastructure is going to be built is if the manufacturers and/or governmental agencies help out.

I think the elephant in the room (when it comes to DC charging) is that the market-rate cost to use such a device simply does not support widespread availability.

I have yet to see anyone explain how these stations are supposed to pay for themselves long-term, and if we can’t solve that problem then we’re simply postponing bankruptcy.

If DC fast charging enhances the value of the cars and the cars sell for more than it costs to build them then it seems like there is some room for the manufacturers to support the infrastructure. This particular article is about VW and BMW doing exactly this and Tesla has been doing this since 2012.

And BLINK, ChargePoint, EVgo, etc. would probably be doing better if their equipment didn’t break all the time. And if they were smarter about where they placed their chargers.

“his particular article is about VW and BMW doing exactly this and Tesla has been doing this since 2012.”

Tesla hasn’t shown it is a profitable business either.

As far as VW/BMW things goes, it pays for the equipment (slow version) but the business host is paying for the hosting.

We still don’t know if it is sustainable on the long term.

Most gas stations don’t make money on gas.

Yeah, GM really owes BMW and VW for these. The Bolt will be the best car to take advantage of those routes.

SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

On a Youtube ride along, the engineer appeared to imply the charger is capable of doing much, but the official statement is 50kw charger on board.

Reinforces the separation of ZEV MOU (memorandum) states from non-ZEV states. In some ways, the “haves” and “have nots” of EV’dom.

Sad, but I don’t believe CAFE standards care if all that counts toward compliance, comes from limited areas.

Almost useless for VW e-Golf drivers. The e-Golf owner’s manual says “Frequent and consecutive high-Voltage charging (including DC charging) can permanently decrease the capacity of the high-Voltage battery.” Great. That means every other charge needs to be L2. So much for long distance driving in any reasonable amount of time.

Leaf also had something like that. Both Leaf and eGolf lack active battery cooling, so that might be one reason. SparkEV kicks butt with its incredibly well engineered battery.

Yes, due to air cooling…


You could do to MX border in San Diego to South WA since about Oct of last year with SparkEV (ie, 80 miles range BEV). To Canada border is still not yet. Not sure why this is news now.

Both Oregon and Washington state have installed electric chargers made by Aerovironment along I-5 as part of the West Coast Electric Highway. This was part of the American Recovery Act of 2008.

These aren’t chargepoint units, but each unit has a J1772 L2 and Chademo DC fast charger.

Too bad GM isn’t interested in the infrastructure at this time.

I found out some interesting things about ChargePoint recently. I was looking at charging stations in Mexico and saw that a lot of stations were on the ChargeNow network. When I went to the ChargeNow world map webpage and clicked on the USA/Canada link the ChargePoint website came up.

All of the ChargeNow webpages had a BMW AG badge on them. The ChargeNow website also indicates that you can upgrade your ChargePoint RFID card to a world wide ChargeNow RFID card. So it looks like ChargePoint is owned by ChargeNow and as a result is also owned by BMW.

When we get these articles on ChargePoint I wish there was some information on the relationship between ChargePoint, ChargeNow and BMW. On the recent article on ChargePoint it looked like a lot of the non-ChargePoint ChargeNow stations were getting counted to come up with 30,000 stations. When we are adding up stations for ChargePoint or ChargeNow I think it’s important to indicate what country or continent those stations are located in.

I have to disagree that the network is complete in California. The only way to get from San Francisco down to Los Angeles using CCS chargers is to go down highway 101, which is a much longer trip than down the more direct route along the 5. Technically, you can do it, but in addition to the extra time charging, you have to spend extra hours on the road. Not optimum.

SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

What’s not optimal also is the complete lack of free Tesla superchargers in San Diego. Count it: ONE station.

Luckily it’s just 1 mile away from my work, but still a PITA to have a single charger for the entire county

SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

I’m quite sure you can get down via Hwy-99 too. Even I-5 has a CCS wherever there is a tesla supercharger. Harris Ranch has both 🙂

There is no CCS charger at Harris Ranch according to both plugshare and ChargePoint. And I certainly didn’t see anything other than Tesla superchargers, the Tesla battery swap facility, and a lonely hydrogen station when I stopped there a few weeks ago. Where did you get the info that there was a CCS charger at Harris Ranch?

SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

Across the way at Best Western Inn. Plenty of CCS chargers is the point.

According to plugshare, the DC fast charger at the Best Western near Harris Ranch is CHAdeMO and not CCS. The checkins from LEAF drivers support this.

Well, you can bet that will change pretty quickly once Bolts hit the road.

It’s nice to actually have an announcement of a completed project. Many are announced but often times nothing is heard about them later.

As far as I know the last corridor fast charger installed on this project (at least the last 24 kW one) was actually installed the end of May. So it’s actually been 3 1/2 months since the project has been completed, really. It’s this one in New Jersey:

Manasquan CCS fast chargers

I record all fast chargers added to PlugShare worldwide, and been doing so for about a year now. It has been quite interesting to see who and what and when etc.

This is great progress, but there’s one thing that’s sorely lacking in a lot of these installations by ChargePoint, and that is having two chargers minimum.

On the east coast only a handful of locations have two fast chargers. If they are to be locations that can be relied on they MUST have two chargers.

These are the only two locations on the east coast corridor that have two 50 kW fast chargers:

Royal Farms

Hampton Inn

There are 3 or 4 other locations that have 2 24 kW fast chargers, so it’s a good start at least.

Here’s an interesting tally of proposed DCFC cooridoor projects in the US I made. Let me know if I’m missing any.

So far there have been three proposed corridor projects in the US now:

The 61 fast chargers at 41 locations in CA along 101, 99, and I-5
announced this April:

6 fast chargers will be installed by the DOT at service plazas on the I-90 Massachusetts Turnpike. Announced in July:

And the recently announced corridor of 6 fast chargers to be installed on I-70 between St. Louis and Kansas City by the St. Loius utility Ameren Missouri. Announced in August:

There has also been a corridor of 10 fast chargers proposed between Montreal Quebec and Portland Maine, but no timeframe given yet not who would install them.

August 29 2016

Thanks, Brandon, for the information about the MASS DOT plans. Those may be useful for me after they’re complete, and I was unaware of the proposition. I hope they reach their end-of-year target more easily than New York recently reached their date targets for DC installations north of NYC.

Do they really really hate Seattle?

Otherwise, why end at Portland when Seattle is a huge EV hub?

Besides, they are only 1 location short of completing that line to Seattle, b/c there’s one CCS 30 miles north of Portland, and then several ~130 miles north in Tacoma

With the Bolt, that 130 miles is cake 🙂

In California they did great on the 101. But Interstates 5 and 99 are more heavily used north-south routes and have very little fast charging. This still leaves huge holes in the regional and statewide infrastructure.

Nice! Slowly but surely the infrastructure is coming. Before long there will be complete coverage.

It’s a shame they don’t have both CCS and CHAdeMO plugs at all locations.

Hope MB also joins this group. So all VW vehicles like VW, Audi & Porsche should be able to fast charge from here.

But where is the electric vehicle from MB.

You mean the Smart EV or the B-class EV?

The new Smart won’t have DCFC. Sad, but true. With DCFC, I think it’d sell well.

This charger system is not really that great on the Washington DC side. The reason why is a lot of other companies like EVgo are going wild building quick chargers along with Royal Farms.

If you are going to install 100 chargers, is it better to space them out, 1 at a time, 50 miles apart; or is it better to put 3 in 1 spot, and space them 150 miles apart?

Best IMO would be two 50 kW fast chargers per location 50 miles apart on a heavily traveled corridor like I 95.
THAT would really go a long way.

In around a year or so when the next gen fast chargers come on the market one of them should be used along with a 50 kW one.
The corridor project in CA will have two 50 kW fast chargers per location with a stub out for future installation of a next gen fast charger. That sounds like good planning to me. I’m not certain what the spacing will be on those three corridors, but I’m guessing 35-50 miles apart.

Living in Metro Atlanta, I was disappointed with the East Coast corridor stopping in DC and basically covering only half the East Coast. Then I took a look at Plugshare and realized that sufficient infrastructure already exists to drive a Chevy Bolt from Atlanta to DC and beyond. The longest stretch without a CCS is from Durham, NC to just south of Richmond, VA for about 130 miles, which can easily be handled by Bolt.
Now that range in affordable EVs has moved north of 200 miles it seems the previously insufficient infrastructure is actually OK. Could be better, and will get better. Hopefully the gubmint does a good job with those billions VW will be spending and covers the country up in fast chargers over the next 5 years.

And so the proprietary battles continue.
The only standard should be Tesla who has offered to make their patents available to anyone who adds more chargers to the network.
In the meantime not offering dual CCS and ChadeMO capability at all locations is simply shameful

LOL … yeah, Tesla standard for chargers, Tesla standard for solar roofs. Anything else, you would like to add to your Tesla coolaid?

24 kW is fast? There are many EVs going back many years that can charge at 19 kW from an inexpensive AC EVSE. This is pathetic compared to Tesla’s network. So sad. All those times we used to stop at RV parks and charge at 12 kW seven years ago, and now DC “fast” charging is usually at only twice that? And they call this news? Well it is better than watching the political campaign…

Pathetic is a bit harsh, but yes… Tesla is the only EV manufacturer that understands that for EVs, the infrastructure is at least as important as the car itself.

C’mon. One more station between Portland and Tacoma gets you all the way to Seattle. Man up and add another somewhere around Bellingham and you’re connected all the way to Whisteler, BC!