Let's hope they are near the highways.
By the end of next year, Porsche will have installed 500 fast charging stations at its dealerships and convenient highway locations all across America. But they aren't the only ones stepping up in terms of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Electrify America—the spin-off initiative that came out of VW's 'emissionsgate' settlement—has just announced that it will be installing 'ultra-fast' charging stations at more than 100 Walmart stores across 34 states by June 2019. Crucially, the charging stations will offer a significant step-up in terms of charging speed compared to what's currently out there on the market:
The Electrify America charging systems located at Walmart stores will offer the first-ever certified cooled-cable 150 to 350 kilowatt (kW) DC Fast Chargers. Electric vehicle chargers that offer this kind of power deliver energy for up to 20 miles of range per minute, which is seven times faster than today’s 50kW DC chargers.
Of course, only cars equipped to charge at those rates will be able to get the full benefit. But even those of us silly enough to consider road-tripping in a 2013 Nissan Leaf will be grateful for additional charging options, and will be able to utilize the 50kW charging option. The Electrify America press release also emphasizes that regular Level 2 charging will be available at most stations too, meaning plug-in hybrids without fast charging capabilities will also be able to 'top up' as they shop or stop for a bite to eat.
Now, one thing I will say is that driving around a Walmart parking lot isn't going to be ideal for someone who just wants to plug in, top up, and get back on the road. But I suspect true roadside ultra-fast charging will be increasingly common in the not too distant future too. So adding these at stores will a) allow folks who do want to take a break a way to charge up and have something to do, and b) also provide options for apartment dwellers who want to charge up as they shop.