Electrify America To Install U.S.’ First Ultra-High-Speed Charging Station


Electrify America, the entity created by Volkswagen to fulfill the requirements of the U.S. Federal court settlement as punishment for the diesel-cheating scandal, will be installing the first ultra-high-speed DC Fast charge station in their network this Wednesday, in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

The Chicopee Marketplace will be, as Electrify America states: “The first-ever certified cooled-cable 350 kilowatt (kW) charger in the United States”. Ultra-high-speed DC Fast chargers require liquid-cooled cables to prevent overheating from the intense amount of power flowing through them.

Read Also: Electrify America’s First 350 kW Ultra-Fast Charger Opens Today

Related: Electrify America To Install Fast Chargers At 100-Plus Walmart Locations

Electrify America claims these stations will have the ability to charge electric vehicles at a rate of up to 20 miles per minute. While still not quite as fast as ICE refueling, it is getting the speed of EV charging very close and minimizing the inconvenience of charging times while on long-distance trips.

Electrify America fast charging network

These stations are part of Electrify America’s “Cycle One”, which under the settlement guidelines requires EA to invest $500 million to install, or have under development EV charging infrastructure at US highway, retail, workplace, multi-unit dwellings (MUDs), and other locations by June 2019.

While this is definitely great news for the EV community, Electrify America’s infrastructure plans have not been without controversy. As reported by our own Mark Kane, Electrify America’s stations will favor CCS, the standard used by the Volkswagen group.

Although all stations will support both CCS and CHAdeMO, the CCS side will charge at a higher rate than CHAdeMO.  The CHAdeMO side will be limited to 50 kW at launch, with a promised upgrade to 100 kW in the future, while the CCS side will charge at much higher rates of 150 kW to 350 kW.

To celebrate the event, Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos will be on hand, as well as other Massachusetts State Representatives and Electrify America reps. We’ve posted the event details below in case you’re in the area and would like to witness this historic event in person.


Chicopee Marketplace (Between Home Depot & Mattress Firm)

591 Memorial Drive

Chicopee, MA 01020


Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 @2:15 pm

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44 Comments on "Electrify America To Install U.S.’ First Ultra-High-Speed Charging Station"

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No matter where the future of charging takes us, this one is a good milestone. If the infrastructure had happened earlier it would have been woefully underpowered. Tesla Motors focused on a long distance interstate network like the above graph while everyone else focused on city cars. This really wasn’t bad because anything under 150-mile range is really a city car. With many new 200+ mile versions arriving it is as Tom concludes a historic event.

In the Acela corridor, most driving, even for road trips tends to be in the 200-250 mile range max. With a few strategically placed ultra chargers about 80-100 miles from each of the key cities in the corridor, all it would take is for an increase in the charging rate to say 100kW of some of the 150 mile cars like the egolf, leaf, and i3 to become exceptionally useful even without a battery upgrade. If a 90kWh battery is capable of 350kW charging, it should be possible to do 100kW or 150kW on a battery half the size. That might be the route to creating cheap EVs.

Yes, exactly. The Ioniq EV already fits that bill, but is unfortunately chronically unavailable due to unprecedented demand. That allows for 20 minutes of stopping every two hours of driving, which most people probably would find to be decently acceptable.

Battery capacity is not the issue. Only high voltage EVs (800V-class) will be able to accept > 150kW. Good for Porsche drivers, but even for the Mission-E, the max. power should be less than 300kW.

A nice start but instead of “One Ultra High Speed Charging Station 350 kW to be installed”, I would much rather see “50th Very High Speed Charging Station 150 kW Opened!” We have to start somewhere but a couple 350 kW chargers are a lot less useful than a dozen 150 kW chargers this year and next. Maybe in 2020 the difference will be worth the extra money the faster charge rate costs, but right now, given the BEV fleet that is going to be out there this year and next, 150 kW chargers are much better, for vastly more people, than 350 kW chargers. Being able to receive 50 kWh in 20 minutes or so is huge, being able to move from 50 kWh in 20 minutes to 9 minutes is less important. At least for this year and next. Leave the 250+ kW charger for late 2019 or 2020. Get more of the less expensive ones in sooner. Futureproof the charging stations by ensuring that they can upgrade to faster chargers down the road, but don’t pay the huge delta for the Ultra Fast Chargers right now. There aren’t enough cars that merit the 350 kW chargers out… Read more »

Not sure I follow. This year, EA is going to install several dozen 150kW stations as well.

The last couple articles with cost on charger installation indicated that prices are all over the place but 350 kW charger look like they cost 4 or 5 times as much as to install as 150 kW chargers. 2 150 chargers are worth a lot more than 1, or none, 350 chargers.

That may be true, but an additional 150kW charger installation (at a separate location) should cost considerably more than the delta between a 150kW and 350kW charger at a single location.

Personally, I’m excited about the roll out. Gobs of 150kW stations and some future proofing to 350kW as well. We shouldn’t NEED to ever go beyond these levels for personal automotive transportation. The same can’t really be said for 50kW and 100kW stations.

The chargers are rated at 175kW max, 150kW sustained. Perhaps they can use them in parallel for 350kW on one plug, or individually on both plugs at the stall.

I’ll be heading up there tomorrow in my FFE.

Don’t know why they only put in a 50kW chademo, I think the current standard goes to at least 100kW or possibly 150kW.

At what point is liquid cooling needed? Just for the 350kW level? Or is it needed at 150?

Depends on how thick the cable is. You could do even 350kW without cooling but the cable will be too heavy for most people to lift!

Yeah, it depends on the diameter of the cable. Increase the diameter and the electrical resistance is lowered, so less heating; and a more massive cable means a bigger heat sink, so less of a temperature rise.

The problem, as you say, is that if the cable gets too large, then it will be too stiff and/or too heavy for some (or many) people to handle.

A liquid-cooled cable is one solution; another would be to use an articulated, robot-controlled arm instead of a cable. But of course that would be more expensive, more complex, and would be more prone to breakdown, so would violate the KISS principle.

The liquid cooled cable is to keep the cable size as small as possible. The more amps are delivered, the larger the cable needs to be to handle the heat generation. Both the 150 and 350 kW levels are up to 350 amps, just quoted at either 500(ish) or 1000V nominal. The only difference in the two charge levels is the voltage at which it’s delivered, so the cooling needs for the cable are the same either way.

Chademo is only provided because VW has to show good faith with the EA charging stations. But they certainly don’t want to keep Chademo alive.
It is better for all users if Chademo dies quickly and CCS rises as the standard for all cars.

Exactly. Chademo is a dead-man-walking in the US. The quicker it’s fully abandoned, the better.

CHAdeMO needs to go the way of HD-DVD. It’s the inferior standard compared to CCS.

From the presentation is seems the CHAdeMO limitation results from equipment limitations. It takes a while after the standard is set for equipment makers to produce the chargers. I also suspect the equipment makers are looking at the numbers and figuring it’s best to get the CCS product out and then address CHAdeMO. So it’s 50 kW now and 100 kW when the upgrade to the CHAdeMO charger is available.

Funny thing is that a couple of years ago some posters were claiming that CCS was just a ruse to spread FUD in order to delay the adoption of electric vehicles.

I don’t think the difference between 100 kW and 150 kW is a huge deal. The difference between 50 kW and 350 kW on the other hand … .

EA responded to an earlier article about their chademo chargers, to clarify that 50kW is software limited for now, and that they plan (or at least are capable of) to increase the rate and replace the cables in the future.

Chademo should not be upgraded to help in it’s demise. People should be aware, that buying a car with a CCS is the way to to go.

Is there any vehicle in existence (or in development) that can take advantage of >50 kW CHAdeMO? I don’t think even a Tesla with adapter can charge faster than 50 kW.

Next year’s Leaf will.

Kia Soul EV@70kW.

The CHAdeMo is said to be 100kW-capable and only software-limited to 50kW until there are vehicles on the road that are actually capable of accepting 100kW.

The label/marking on the connector should explain everything.

You left out that CCS is also used by the US automakers (except Tesla). And several other automakers. Only Nissan seems to have stuck with CHAdeMO in North America.

Nissan has a lot of Leafs driving around. Also the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the current Kia Soul EV, and the Toyota Mirai (for output only) have CHAdeMO as well.

The Mirai isn’t worth mentioning in an article about high-speed charging. And the others are still sold in minuscule numbers.

The Leaf is not.

No, the Leaf is not. You didn’t mention the Leaf because EVShopper did. My comment was regarding your post, not his, so I meant the Outlander and Soul.

“The Leaf is not.” The amount of Leafs in the US today, comparatively, is still small, and they’re only capable of very low speed “fast” charging. It would be better to embrace a single standard now than to continue with two standards to dispense the same electrons.

Right, the Leaf’s ability to fast charge is severely limited because it doesn’t have a liquid cooling system for the battery pack, and so can’t be charged very fast.

If and when Nissan finally starts making a BEV with a proper thermal management system, I hope they also equip the cars for CCS charging, at least for the North American market. It doesn’t make much sense to keep supporting CHAdeMO in North America merely because the Leaf still uses that system.

Not all LEAF comes with DCFC options. And those that does have problems using the network on a hot day with consecutive charging/hwy driving combination anyway that LEAF will throttle back speed to save battery. So, it doesn’t matter.

True, not all Leafs come with DCFC, but neither do Bolts (the best-selling CCS vehicle). Interestingly most of the low-volume CCS cars seem to come standard with the port (e.g. Focus, e-Golf). I’m not sure about the i3.

And the rest of your comment is true, although I don’t know how often the battery would get that hot travelling in most of the US. But even then, full speed is about 45kW, I thought. So the 2011-2018 Leafs cannot use more than a 50kW CHAdeMO anyway. This whole thing about EA “hampering” CHAdeMO is much ado about nothing.

Nissan has stuck with CHAdeMO worldwide and since they’re churning out 10k or more Leafs a month now, I doubt they’re in a hurry to change.

Back when Tesla started opening superchargers, I was at the edge of my seat for each one. It seemed painfully slow to get started. But once they got rolling, boy did things change fast! I sure hope that EA accelerates their roll-out like Tesla did.

I don’t expect it, though. Tesla had to do it to sell cars and survive. EA has to do it as punishment. It won’t help VW in the near term. In fact, it only helps their competitors (notably GM and Nissan). I expect them to drag their feet until their I.D. EVs are ready for prime time.

The Audi etron quattro and the Porsche are going to arrive like tomorrow. Really they need to get those stations build before significant numbers start to hit the street at the end of this year.

We’ll see. But I doubt either of them will show up in large numbers tomorrow.

The Porche is a good point though – they have been advertising its high charging rate. It would be great to have a reasonable (and growing) network of 350kW chargers at the ready.

As a next gen fast charge network proponent, I’m super excited about this first of many 150-350 kW fast charge locations to come in the U.S.
I’ll be going up with a friend in his Ford Focus EV from PA. Another guy I know from MA (the one who took the pictures for the PlugShare listing) will be there in his Bolt. We’ll be some of the first to use a public 150 and 350 kW CCS station in the U.S.!! Article to come on Inside EVs tomorrow with photos of the event. There will be time to interview people there from Electrify America.
Let me know what questions you guys have to ask.

Electrify America have one at their HQ, but it is not powered on yet. There are two ABB Terra HP 175 chargers providing 150-940V at 375A/175kW (limited to sustained 150kW according to ABB) and a dual CCS-headed green top stall ABB HP CP500 CC LD ELA (not kidding) rated for 500A max for each output. The chargers and stall are made by ABB Netherlands in Italy…

Where to start? There is a 350 kW CCS charger sitting at a country store on I-81, in Virginia. It is supposed to open today. I just called the 800 number for VW Dieselgate listed on the unit. They know absolutely nothing about this unit. They can’t tell me when it will be running. They apparently can’t even tell IF it is running. They don’t know if it is a Greenlots, or an EVgo, or who else’s it might be. They have never heard of PlugShare!


If VW had any interest at all in making EVs practical, they would have looked at the PlugShare map, and put their chargers in Abingdon to split the 202 mile gap from Blacksburg to Dandridge. As it stands now, there are FIVE DC fast charge stations between Hagerstown, MD, and Dandridge, TN, and yet it is impossible to make that trip by Bolt.

The charger has a credit card reader (contactless and swipe) at the station. I’d give them a bit of a slack, EA is getting their bearings and showing signs of progress. Don’t forget, they are stepping on a whole lot of toes, including their own:

It didn’t take them long to figure out how to cheat the emissions standards. If they had put as much effort into this, I could drive my Bolt to Tennessee.

Great to hear! Finally something that will make driving non-Tesla branded EV tolerable.

Competition is a good thing! But it has a lot to catch up to Tesla’s SC network.

While 350kW chargers sound great, I think I’d prefer 2+ as many 100-150kW chargers. Get more cars on chargers at the same time, especially given right at this point in time most of the cars can’t even charge at 100kW, and maybe only Misson-E can charge higher than 150kW (and maybe that is how VW will leverage this network to their own advantage, which I have posited previously).
200mi, 20-30min break, really that’s most likely for majority of drivers. EV’s are not gassers, why do we need to treat them as such?