DRIVEtheARC Fast Charging Corridor Now Open From Monterey To Lake Tahoe

DEC 26 2017 BY MARK KANE 15

The DRIVEtheARC corridor of fast charging stations in Northern California is up and running.

There are 55 fast chargers, installed at 25 locations between Monterey and Lake Tahoe.

DRIVEtheARC Fast Charging Corridor

The project, announced 12 months ago, is funded by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) (Japan’s largest public R&D management organization) and until further notice charging is free.

The dual-head 50 kW chargers (CHAdeMO and J1772 Combo) have now been added to the EVgo charging network (950+ total).

According to DRIVEtheARC, chargers were installed at key high-traffic retail partners along the route to create a true inter-city charging network.

Press blast:


From Monterey to Lake Tahoe, 55 New EV Fast Chargers Have Been Installed at 25 Locations

Sacramento, Calif.  DRIVEtheARC, a corridor of electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations spanning from Monterey to Lake Tahoe, today announced the completion of the chargers’ deployment and its official grand opening on the one year anniversary of the projects official launch. A collaborative effort between the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) (Japan’s largest public R&D management organization), and the State of California’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, in partnership with Nissan Motor Co., Nissan North America, Kanematsu and EVgo, DRIVEtheARC encourages longer and more frequent trips with EVs by increasing the ease of long distance travel along one of California’s most frequented travel routes. As 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 and research and information exchange between the U.S. and Japan.

DRIVEtheARC has also announced the start of a real-time SOC data link service with NissanConnect via the DRIVEtheARC smartphone app. The app will also provide more accurate range advice, and users will be able to select a recommended station based on the cruising range and charger availability data. By the end of 2018, the app will include trip planning and voice recognition features. The app was created in partnership with Kanematsu, a global trading house with expertise in electronics and information technology. Driving statistics will allow Nissan, Kanematsu, EVgo and NEDO to analyze and measure charger use patterns to support future EV charging projects globally.

“At Nissan, our goal is to increase widespread EV use so that we can benefit the environment on global basis; the opening of the DRIVEtheARC corridor represents a big milestone for the further adoption of EVs,” said Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Chief Sustainability Officer of Nissan Motor. “A robust public EV charging network is a key factor for stimulating further EV utilization and eventual EV market expansion. We are delighted to be able to provide Northern California with a fast charging network that covers major points of interest for drivers.”

As the global leader in EV sales, Nissan partnered with DRIVEtheARC as part of its ‘Infrastructure for All’ strategy. Nissan has played a leading role in growing the number of EV fast charging stations in the U.S., allowing it to provide Nissan LEAF drivers with access to the largest metro area network of fast charging stations in the country. DRIVEtheARC enhances the existing EV infrastructure Nissan has supported as part of its ‘No Charge to Charge’ promotion by connecting the metropolitan areas of Monterey, the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.

As the project’s local partner, EVgo managed the installation of the DRIVEtheARC infrastructure with the deployment of 55 EV fast charging stations at 25 convenient locations. Fast charging stations were installed at key high-traffic retail partners along the route to create a true inter-city charging network. EVgo now operates 950 fast chargers in over 600 locations nationwide, covering metropolitan areas where 90 percent of new electric cars are sold.

“After months of hard work, we are thrilled to announce the grand opening of DRIVEtheARC,” said Terry O’Day, Vice President, Product Strategy and Market Development at EVgo. “The corridor provides drivers with the charging infrastructure needed to go from surf to ski in Northern California. We hope the opening of DRIVEtheARC will pave the way for future EV integration in the state and continue to encourage EV drivers to travel farther distances, without the stress of finding somewhere to charge.”

For more information about the DRIVEtheARC project and app, please visit:

* The service will be available to limited LEAF users due to the experimental nature of the project.

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15 Comments on "DRIVEtheARC Fast Charging Corridor Now Open From Monterey To Lake Tahoe"

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So is it just free for Leaf users, but available to others if they pay or is it only available to Leaf users period?

It’s kinda “free” for Leaf owners. Makes sense since Japan/Nissan paid for them.

FREE if you have the 2-year EZ-Charge card. That is a 30-min charge, with a 1-hour delay between charges.

“FREE” if your BEV is CHAdeMO and you have the “Drive-the-Arc” smartphone app. Beware that the app frequently does not work. It works by you needing to request a “free ticket” for a specific station.

Nice to have, better than the Bolt’s poor CCS network. Still, 99% of the stations are 2 stalls only so you’re stuck waiting during busy times. Most also only do 100A so they aren’t really 50kW.

It’s nice to see these gas-guzzling Earth crushing cars taken off the road and replaced by efficient electric cars

Nice. I looked at plugshare, saw them there.

Still nothing on the I5 between San Fransisco and LA. The middle of the state looks like a charger desert. But then nobody takes the I5 between SF and LA right? Actually it is one of the most heavily traveled corridors in the world.

Didn’t you get the memo? We all have to travel by “high speed train” as soon as the cash sucking project is completed in 5-20 years.

It’s disappointing how the high speed rail project has gone, but it would be pretty awesome if it actually was installed. The drive between LA and SF is fairly crap whether you’re in an EV or not. Much better off traveling it in 2 hours by high speed rail.

re: I-5 charging deserts. State of California Energy Commission project # GFO-15-601 was successfully bid last year and is now under construction. This is its goal: “California is in the process of completing DC fast charging on highway corridors through the central California region to the Mexican border, including the Bay Area and Los Angeles regions. This solicitation seeks to install DC fast charging on I-5 and SR 99 from the Oregon border to Oceanside as well as US 101 between San Jose and Buellton” The first DCFC station (CCS + Chademo + Level 2 J1772) under this contract came on-line last month in Redding and is already “Saving drivers’s bacon”. The plan is for stations to be spaced every 20-30 miles, with a minimum 50 kW rating and with infrastructure pre-installed to allow future upgrade to 150 kW. Solicitation GFO 15-603 also bid last year and covers 101 from SF to the Oregon border, I-10 to Las Vegas, and other inter-regional corridors. By this time next year, the state’s existing fast-charge deserts on I-5, I-10, 101, 99, and 101 should be bristling with 100’s of charging options for all DCFC-equipped vehicles. The only “deserts” that might still remain… Read more »

Don’t forget about the I-8 “charging desert”.

Yeah, that one sucks.

I-5 to Oregeon also needs more and better fast chargers! But the coastal population rules CA it’s that simple. Inland, who cares?

Good for NorCal… However, not a good idea for charging to be completely free.
Haven’t the operators learned from past experience?

I’m curious: Why would a national Japanese organization be involved in this (as opposed to Japanese carmakers who sell EVs)? It’s not like there’s are any basic research issues remaining with ChadeMo chargers, or EV charging at <70kWh — it's only a matter of investment & infrastructure planning.

I wish there’s a network to AZ in Socal. Everclear is still illegal in CA while pot is legal. EC is useful in cleaning the circuit board and making jello shots while pot is not as useful.

BTW: the 950+ DC that is stated EVgo had mid-November; passed the 1000 mark on Dec 5, 2017.

Note: from InsideEV write up above, “charging is free” only applies to CHAdeMO equipped vehicles; and is only a temporary incentive to encourage EV drivers to try driving parts of the ARC.

BTW: I personal drove the route back in mid-September during National Drive Electric Week in my Kia Soul EV. I charged at all but 3 locations that were not yet completed. Of note, EVgo has another 5 DC chargers on Nevada side of Lake Tahoe not part of Drive The ARC. These DC connect I-80 to Highway 50 via Highway 395 running from Reno, NV south to Minden, NV with EVgo DC midway in Carson City.

All EVgo location have both CCS Combo and CHAdeMO connections. All Drive The ARC locations have multiple (2-3) DC chargers so a single hardware failure is not likely to stop a journey.

Almost all the DriveTheArc locations have two chargers. Whole Foods Roseville has 3 chargers and Raley’s El Dorado Hills and Nyack Shell in Emigrant Gap have 4 chargers each. That is how you get 55 chargers at 25 locations. All chargers are the same model from BTC since they require special software to support the DriveTheArc activation.

Any CHAdeMO equipped vehicle can use these for free. However, you have to set the vehicle in your profile in the DriveTheArc app to a vehicle that has CHAdeMO from the factory in order to get the Promo Ticket that allows free charging. This is especially important for RAV4 EV users that have the JdeMO fitted on their car. I have my profile set to Soul EV even though I drive a RAV4 EV. I have used the Milpitas and South San Jose DTA locations with suceess. I had to revert to my EVgo card in Marina because I hadn’t figured out the profile vehicle trick yet.