Pandemic or not, Americans love a good road trip and this year we’re hitting the open road in record numbers. As wanderlust travelers trade plane tickets for gasoline, they’re saving money while social distancing, and now–thanks to Electrify America–highway hitters can save more than that by choosing an electric vehicle (EV) for our summer adventures. Last week, the EV charging company completed America’s first cross-country charging corridor powered with fast-charging direct current electricity. Now EV owners can road trip from coast to coast at half the cost of a gas-powered drive. And all of this with the added benefit that at zero emissions, we’re conserving more than just dollars.
Electrify America’s new route goes from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, Calif. with charging stations 70 miles apart along 2,700 miles spanning 11 states. By the end of summer, a second route will be complete, allowing road trippers to drive from San Diego, Calif. to Jacksonville, Fla. As the electric-car infrastructure division of Volkswagen, Electrify America is giving Tesla a run for its money, and with this new corridor, they’ve got the largest open DC fast-charging network in the U.S. While Tesla’s exclusive Supercharger network used to be the only option for fast, road-trip sustainable cross-country charging, Electrify America’s chargers are for everyone, whatever your choice of EV might be. In addition to these new east-west routes, Electrify America has a north-south route on the East Coast running from Portland, Maine, to Miami, Fla. There is also a Direct Current Fast Charge (DCFC) corridor on the West Coast from Seattle, Wash. to San Diego, Calif.
Anthony Lambkin, director of operations at Electrify America, says: “Electrify America’s primary goal has always been to advance electric vehicle adoption in the U.S., and that starts by instilling feelings of confidence and freedom in consumers when it comes to EV ownership. The completion of our first cross-country route is a significant step towards that goal – by making long-distance travel in an EV a reality, we hope to encourage more consumers to make the switch to electric.”
There are two main challenges in making the switch to zero-emissions transportation — one being “range anxiety,” more of an issue at the initial rollout of electric vehicles, and the other, the availability of DCFC infrastructure. Today EVs can travel more than 200 miles on a single charge, with Tesla Model S and other higher-end models clocking in ranges of 400 miles. It really comes down to charging — how fast and how accessible is it? Companies like Electrify America are working hard to make fast-charging more available and in the last five years, we’ve seen the number of public EV chargers in the U.S. increase by about 40 percent per year. We’ll need a whole lot more as experts estimate 35 million EVs will be driving American roads by 2030. With other major automakers like Audi, Porsche, Jaguar and even the new Ford Mustang Mach-E jumping on the EV wagon, we can only anticipate rapid acceleration in this marketplace.