The week I spent with the 2015 Kia Soul EV…
Drivers of electric cars in and around D.C. rejoice! eVgo has officially powered up its first fast-charging station in Van Ness.
eVgo Network held an exclusive event with the Washington Automotive Press Association on June 26 to announce its first of 40 public charging stations in the District of Columbia. Each site will have a Nissan-made fast charger that can take EVs from little juice to 80 percent charge in about a half hour.
eVgo is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, and eVgo has built the nation’s largest privately-funded car charging network with nearly 300 Freedom Station ® sites built or committed to across California, Texas and the DMV area.
“We can charge any vehicle with a plug.” – Michael Krauthamer, eVgo Director for Mid-Atlantic discussing the company’s Freedom Stations
While still a blip on the total industry map, adoption of electric vehicles is growing at a rate twice the pace of their hybrid forefathers.
“Hybrids set the stage for EVs,” said Michael Krauthamer, Director at eVgo Network who is leading the charge (forgive the pun) in growing the eVgo Network’s base in the Mid-Atlantic region. “In two years, electric vehicles have grown at the same rate it took hybrids four years to reach.”
eVgo wants to create an ecosystem for EV charging using the cellphone model to give customers what they want and where they need it – from plugging in at the workplace to juicing up the car while shopping.
“We call them ‘Freedom Stations’ because they give drivers the freedom to drive farther than they normally could,” said Krauthamer. The stations are strategically placed in and around the capital beltway.
eVgo isn’t only for all-electric vehicles, however, the company’s Freedom Stations play nice plug-in hybrids like Ford’s Energi line, the plug-in Prius and the Chevy Volt. “We can charge any vehicle with a plug,” added Krauthamer.
The Van Ness Freedom Station® at Walgreens is the first to launch in the District. Stations at the Dulles Town Center, Centreville and in Arlington are expected to go live on the heels of this one. eVgo has already broken ground in Loudon County. As the below map shows, eVgo has plans to expand from the outskirts of Virginia all the way to Towson and Annapolis so that DMV commuters and those passing through in EVs have the comfort of knowing they have plenty of options to charge.
Editor’s note (7/27/13): A reader’s comment brought up the question of whether the stations at Centreville and Dulles Town Center were in fact live and operational. While the construction has been completed at these two stations, they have not yet been fully activated. I reached out to eVgo’s Krauthamer to clarify and received this response via email:
“While we did, in fact, complete major construction a while ago, there is quite a bit of detail that follows construction before a Freedom Station becomes fully operational. The Freedom Station at Dulles Town Center is expected to be powered on within the next couple of weeks. The Centreville site is going through some additional permitting right now, and the timeframe for that location is pending. We’ll be sure to let you know once they are up and running.”
Stay tuned to Be Car Chic for the latest updates to the eVgo Network in the D.C. metropolitan area.