“DRIVETHEARC” EV Fast Charging Corridor Breaks Ground In Northern California – 50 New Chargers By March 2017

NOV 16 2016 BY MARK KANE 42

50 new dual-head fast chargers (CHAdeMO and J1772 Combo) are to be installed between Monterey and Lake Tahoe in California, at over 20 high-traffic locations locations under the new project DRIVETHEARC.

"DRIVETHEARC" EV fast charging corridor breaks ground in northern California

“DRIVETHEARC” EV fast charging corridor ribbon cutting

A ribbon cutting ceremony recently took place at El Dorado Hills, California.  DCFC station installations are to be completed by March 2017.

A separate facet of the project will be the collecting and analyzing of the usage data from the project, which will be completed in September of 2020.

The DRIVETHEARC network is a joint international project, which includes:

  • Japan’s largest public R&D management organization, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
  • State of California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development
  • Nissan Motor Co. and Nissan North America
  • Kanematsu
  • EVgo
DRIVETHEARC location map

DRIVETHEARC location map

The new charging stations will be running on EVgo network. More about the project and locations can be found here.

Here is the full presser on the new profect:

"DRIVETHEARC" EV fast charging corridor breaks ground in northern California

“DRIVETHEARC” EV fast charging corridor breaks ground in northern California

“DRIVETHEARC aims to increase the ease of long-distance EV travel along one of California’s most important travel arteries whilde studying EV use and driving patterns through a smartphone app that will provide a user-friendly charging experience.

It is a joint international project promoted by Japan’s largest public R&D management organization, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) – under the agreement between NEDO and the State of California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and in partnership with Nissan Motor Co., Nissan North America, Kanematsu and EVgo.

Announced at a press conference alongside the ribbon cutting ceremony at the DRIVEtheARC Station at Raley’s in El Dorado Hills, California – which will host four DRIVETHEARC EV fast chargers – dignitaries from NEDO, Nissan, Kanematsu, EVgo and various California state government offices gathered to share details of the fast charging corridor and its potential impact in forwarding EV adoption in California. The project to collect and analyze data will be completed in September 2020, while installation of the 50 fast chargers along the corridor is expected to be completed by March 2017. This will provide drivers with multiple fast charging points per site at the more than 20 high-traffic locations that are part of the project.”

"DRIVETHEARC" EV fast charging corridor breaks ground in northern California

“DRIVETHEARC” EV fast charging corridor breaks ground in northern California

“An integrated international cooperation, NEDO is funding the DRIVETHEARC corridor as part of its mission to improve energy conservation and promote new energy technologies, as well to help facilitate government relations, research and information exchange between the U.S. and Japan. In partnership with Kanematsu, a DRIVETHEARC smartphone app is also in development and will provide users with key real-time convenience features such as navigation to charging stations within cruising range and will help reduce charge waiting times with charger vacancy information. Captured driving stats will be available to users, and Nissan, Kanematsu, EVgo and NEDO will analyze and measure charger use patterns to better inform future EV charging projects globally.”

“As the global leader in EV sales, Nissan is also partnering in DRIVETHEARC as part of the automaker’s ‘Infrastructure for All’ strategy. Nissan has played a leading role in growing the number of EV fast charging stations in the U.S. from 250 stations in 2013, to an anticipated 2,000 stations by 2017. This provides Nissan LEAF drivers with access to the largest metro area network of fast charging stations in the country. The DRIVETHEARC corridor enhances the existing EV infrastructure Nissan has supported as part of its No Charge to Charge promotion, by connecting the metro areas of Monterey, the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.”

“As a global trading house with expertise in the electronics and information technologies business, Kanematsu has been collaborating with Nissan and EVgo to release the new DRIVEtheARC smartphone app. The DRIVEtheARC smartphone app is designed for the DRIVEtheARC stations and the EVgo stations. It navigates EV drivers to optimal stations based on cruising range and charging station status. The app enables EV drivers to monitor the real-time status of the charging stations, select an appropriate station, and charge their EVs using the app’s authorization process or conventional payment authorization methods. The EV cruising range feature based on NissanConnect Data Link Service will be available in the spring of 2017.

As the local partner of the project, EVgo is managing the installation of the DRIVETHEARC infrastructure with the deployment of 50 EV fast charging stations at over 20 convenient locations. Fast charging stations are being installed at key high-traffic retail partners along the route to create a true inter-city charging network that will encourage long-distance EV travel in Northern California. The corridor represents the newest addition to EVgo’s national network of over 800 EV fast charging stations across 66 markets.”

"DRIVETHEARC" EV fast charging corridor breaks ground in northern California

“DRIVETHEARC” EV fast charging corridor breaks ground in northern California

Makoto Watanabe, executive director of NEDO said:

“NEDO is committed to its best efforts to realize the objective of the demonstration project with Go-Biz and other California government agency (CEC, CARB, CalEPA, CPUC) support, EVgo’s cooperation as the local partner, and through Nissan and Kanematsu’s expertise and partnership in the execution of this project. We would like to contribute to solving environmental problems by promoting EV use, which will lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and truly hope that we will be able to help create sustainable EV societies in the future.”

CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols said:

“This network of convenient fast-charging stations will make it easier for more consumers to choose fun-to-drive and economical electric cars. NEDO’s investment in DRIVEtheARC will make intercity EV travel a breeze, and by putting more zero-emission vehicles onto our roads and highways, will help California meet our clean air and climate targets.”


"DRIVETHEARC" EV fast charging corridor breaks ground in northern California

“DRIVETHEARC” EV fast charging corridor breaks ground in northern California

Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Chief Sustainability Officer of Nissan Motor said:

“Nissan is determined to widely spread EV use to help benefit the environment on global basis. The U.S. is among the top markets in the world for EV sales, and California represents a staggering 40 percent of all EV sales in the country, making the state the catalyst for furthering the adoption of EVs into the future. An adequate public charging network is one of the key factors for EV expansion. Northern California has a diverse geography but until now did not possess a true inter-city EV fast charging network. We are excited to implement this network and study EV use in Northern California so that we can apply the lessons we learn to future fast charging network projects around the world.”

Terry O’Day, Vice President, Product Strategy and Market Development at EVgo

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide the charging infrastructure, expertise and hardware for the DRIVETHEARC fast charging corridor, and to be working with such a fantastic group of global partners on this project. Our aim is to encourage the feasibility of long-range EV travel in California and provide EV drivers with a convenient, low-cost inter-city charging network that will pave the way for future EV integration in the state.”

Hat tip to Mike I!

Categories: Charging, Nissan

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42 Comments on "“DRIVETHEARC” EV Fast Charging Corridor Breaks Ground In Northern California – 50 New Chargers By March 2017"

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Does California really represent 40% of the US EV sales? I thought someone in the Bolt thread said it was much lower?

It’s good but they need to be the new 150kW capable chargers not the 50kW as it’s just not fast enough.

This is a point that people continue to confuse. Perhaps not you specifically, but to elaborate…

A Model S with a 60kWh battery will not charge much faster than the Bolt EV, even on the Supercharger network. Some do charge a bit faster now, but only because they have a 75kWh battery now that is limited to 60kWh, so they can charge faster.

When the Model 3 comes out, I would be very shocked if they spend the extra money for a larger unused battery. The 60kWh Model 3’s will not charge much faster than the Bolt, maybe 10% or 20% faster. Not 2-3x faster as many believe.

150kW stations will be more helpful when there are commonplace 100kW+ batteries out and about that are non-Tesla.

I am one of the confused. So the limiting factor is the battery itself in a Tesla so why bother with a 145kW Tesla charger if the battery can only recharge at 50kW.

Because the larger battery Teslas can charge at higher rates than the 60kWh Teslas (and most likely the Model 3)

Because the Teslas with larger batteries can start charging at that level even if the charging power the battery can take goes down fairly quickly and because 2 Tesla stalls share those 145 kW.

Tesla not being much faster than Bolt in DC fast charging needs some explanation. Up to about 25%, Tesla is 2X faster even with old 60 kWh models. But Tesla slows down very quickly, and average to 80% battery becomes only about 1.3X faster in terms of kWh. Since Tesla S is less efficient than Bolt, actual miles would be even less.

Given that SparkEV can charge at close to 2.6C at 50kW all the way to 80%, 3X bigger battery on Bolt could be able to charge at 130 kW (2.6X faster than rating for Bolt) and almost 2X faster than Tesla S.

As for Tesla 3, that’s anyone’s guess. If there’s one thorny issue with Tesla 3, it’s the DCFC speed. I certainly hope they’ll bump it up to SparkEV level or better.

There needs to be some clarification here. The new 60 charges significantly faster than the old 60 and the new 60 will charge significantly faster than the Bolt when plugged into a Supercharger. The taper on the new 60 is much less significant than on the old 80 or even on the 85. Mine will charge at 40 kw all the way up to 100%.

Rates & percentages are meaningless. What matters to drivers is MPH (miles per hour). The original S60 gets about 103 miles in 30 minutes. The Bolt EV will get 90 miles in 30 minutes.

As far as the “new” S60 charging faster, that is because it has a 75kWh battery hidden in there. I doubt for Model 3 prices, Tesla is going to give people an extra 15kWh of battery. Especially when they charge $8,500 to unlock that on the Model S.

It does not matter how big the new 60 battery actually is. Like you said MPH of charge is all that matters. The new 60 will get 100 miles of range in under 20 minutes.

It does matter that bigger batteries charge faster because I don’t think Tesla is going to put a bigger battery in the Model 3 for free.

Comparing the 10 year old tech in the 60/75 battery to the battery in the Model 3 is meaningless. Tesla is not going to put out a new design that charges slower than their current battery. If anything it will be faster.

Yup. Technology doesn’t stand still like kdawg seems to think. I firmly believe Tesla will improve DCFC with 3. I certainly hope they will match or exceed SparkEV’s no taper, 2.6C to 80%. “Fast” should be under 20 minutes, not an hour.

As much as you *want* this to happen, they are still bound by the laws of physics. There’s no magic battery that Tesla is sitting on, waiting only to use next year in the M3. If they had it, they would use it in their current vehicles.

The laws of physics state that a larger area for the anode and cathode will result in higher rate of charge discharge as well as more capacity.

It’s already been stated the Model ≡ will be using the new cell form factor of 20700 and not the 18650 you are thinking of.

This is one of the problems of today, especially in the US. Let’s dumb things down instead have people learn and grow.

Miles per hour can always be calculated if you know the important information.

But there’s no reason to speculate when we have real world data.

I hate to pop your bubble, but my 2015 Tesla with 70kWh battery (only 10kWh larger than the Bolt battery, with nearly the same EPA miles of 238 / 240) can charge at 365 amps * 320 volts = almost 120kW.

No, it won’t do this for long.

There’s no reason that Bolt can’t charge at 100kW.

Next time you are low on charge, take your Tesla to a SC station. Take note of the remaining range. Start charging and time it with a stopwatch for 30minutes. Then report back the total range at that exact moment.

Why? So that we can prove lthat a Tesla will charge faster than 50kW over the entire 30 minutes?

I have done that many times with my 60D. Every single time it gets 100 miles of range in 18 minutes or less. Taper starts at 90% and at 100% I am usually pulling 40 kw.

100 miles is roughly 45% (100/218). If you’re doing that in 18 minutes, it would take 36 minutes to 90% if there’s no taper, and average power would be 90 kW. I doubt that’s true. 90 kW would be enough to keep Tesla moving well above 130 MPH, and we know Tesla overheats when driven hard.

More likely, the taper started at about 100 miles range mark (45% with 90 kW charger) and resulting time of about 45 minutes to 80%, at which point the power has tapered to about 50 kW. That’s what I saw in others who plotted their Tesla charging.

Sorry son, I have watched it charge many times now and what you are speculating just is not true.

150+ kW charging stations are important. 50 kW is not sufficient.

What rate you can charge at depends on a lot of things, the most important being the chemistry of the battery.
There are 60 kWh batteries that can charge 10-20 times faster than Teslas battery and there will of course be cars that will be able to use a lot more than 50 kW.

And even if they can’t use the full 100 kW or 150 kW everything above 50 kW will help to cut the charge time which is very important since it’s the Achilles heel of BEVs.

The biggest problem right now is that the 150kW standard is still in the verification phase and probably will not be complete until next year at the earliest. So should all of the charging networks wait a year or so for the standard to be finished? Another option is to install more powerful cables to support the next standard and replace the 50 kW units with 150 kW at some point.

I remember seeing a story on here that a 100 kilowatt Chamo and CSS duel standard charger exists. I think they could at least put these 100 kilowatt ones in for the time being.

Totally agree, at least 100kW is necessary to make 200-mile EVs road trip worthy. But don’t fret – the CEC has future proofing requirements in all of the funding opportunities for DCFC in California. You can see all the details at the link below, but essentially, they ask for:
– One dual standard unit, or a one station each for Chademo and CCS
– At least one J1772 ac station
– At least one expansion stub out for a future station with at least 125kW


50 kW is a lot better than 0 kW but long term we do need to move towards 150 kW

So are there no CCS chargers at these stations??

@Mark, can you add some sort of map to illustrate this initiative?
Something like the one in this link:


Good suggestion, I can add the map from DRIVEtheARC into the story – really helps to visualize it better.

/thanks Assaf

I read this the other day, and I was excited until I saw the route that only cover NoCal. SoCal getting ignored yet again! It’s too bad there’s no route from LA to Las Vegas unless you have 200 miles range EV.

There are multiple grants already issued for the LA-Vegas corridor. One by the CEC, linked below, and I believe there is one funded by the Mojave Air District as well. In fact, Baker, CA is slated to get 4 Dual Standard fast chargers at their fast charge site funded by the CEC. Details are listed in the Localized Health Impacts Report here: http://www.energy.ca.gov/2016publications/CEC-600-2016-008/CEC-600-2016-008.pdf

Summary of the sites for the “North of Victorville to West of Nevada” corridor:

– 16868 Stoddard Wells Rd. Victorville, CA 92394 – 2 DCFC, 1 L2
– 1611 E Main St. Barstow, CA 92311 – 2 DCFC, 1 L2
– 40873 Sunrise Canyon Rd. Yermo, CA 92398 – 2 DCFC, 1 L2
– 72363 Baker Blvd. Baker, CA 92309 – 4 DCFC, 1 L2
– 65845 Cima Rd. Nipton, CA 92364 – 2 DCFC, 1 L2

Not sure what implication this paper has on actual implementation, but I hope they build them. Why isn’t this highlighted, but NoCal route is?

Anyway, if SoCal to “Lost Wages” gets built, it might result in more (happily) lost wages for me. It seems the casinos could chip in some for build-out.

One point that was not emphasized in this story is that you can get free fast charging as a part of this initiative if you follow this criteria:
1. download and use their app
2. provide SOC and trip data through the app
3. use the CHAdeMO port on the charger
4. use the app to start the charger using the QR code displayed on the screen.

One other gotcha is that the software is only implemented on the BTC chargers. Those are only 100 amp DC capable. There are other NRG EVgo chargers along this route that use Nissan and ABB chargers that can deliver 115-125 amps DC. For a Leaf, this may not make much difference, but for Soul EV and RAV4 EV with JdeMO, it will add a noticeable amount of charging time.

Great news for us Californians who are lined up waiting for the Bolt to arrive at Chevy dealers. Timing looks good!

I wonder how much it will cost…

This is good. Now we need the same thing to happen on major north-south routes.

Another EVgo network. These guys seem to be moving right along. What’s the consensus on what is the best network system? EVgo, ChargePoint, Green Lots, AV, Blink, etc.

Evgo is pretty much running the electric car charging station construction show.

Greenlots I think is in decline they have not built that very many new chargers.

I’m glad they are building these 50 new quick charger stations. But I kind of think that EVgo due to the rapid growth of EV’s might have hit a critical mass. Were Evgo might be able to fund the bulk of these new stations on it’s own.

Also on the map a lot of these quick charging stations have been built around lake Tahoe.

Need to fill in the gaps between San Francisco and Seattle