Electrify America wants to make EV chargers as easy to use as gas pumps

Electrify America has unveiled a redesign of its charging stations to make them more consumer-friendly. Changes include labels that clearly show charge levels, a new “balanced charge system” that gives each vehicle the maximum possible charge, and clearer payment options. The updates were made after surveys of EV drivers and are intended to create a more familiar “gas station”-like experience, the company said.

One of the biggest problems with charging stations, they found, is that consumers often do not know the charging speeds of their own electric vehicles – so the current labeling (CCS and CHAdeMO) may not make sense. To that end, Electrify America will retain the CHAdeMo for Low-Level (up to 50kW charging) but use new designations above it: Ultra-Fast (up to 150kW and Hyper-Fast (up to 350kW), not unlike Medium – Grade and premium gas options. It also shows one, two or three flashes for charge level, connector type and CHAdeMO or CCS labeling at the top.

Electrify America aims to make electric vehicle chargers as easy to use as gas pumps

Electrify America

“We want to help ease the transition to EV charging by translating kilowatt ratings into simple names like Hyper-Fast and Ultra-Fast with appropriate colors to help them make charger choices,” said Robert Barrosa by Electrify America.

Additionally, for each pair of chargers connected to a single power cabinet, the company is introducing something called “Balanced Charging” to ensure your EV is getting the maximum kilowatt output possible. For example, when a vehicle that can handle a 150 kW charge pulls into a station, the charger will recognize its capacity and deliver the maximum 150 kW. If another vehicle pulls in with 280 kW of power, it automatically supplies 200 kW to the second vehicle until the first requests less than 150 kW. Any charger that supports this system will be clearly marked as “Balanced”.

Electrify America aims to make electric vehicle chargers as easy to use as gas pumps

Electrify America

Finally, it will also make paying easier. You can top up at a station as a member (via NFC) or guest (credit/debit card terminal), but many users didn’t know which to use. To that end, the company created new labels to indicate that members should tap their phones in the NFC target area. Credit card readers are also more clearly marked so guests can better understand where to insert their card. The company also made it easier to access support in case of problems by making the phone number more prominent and adding a QR code.

Electrify America previously announced it would expand to 1,800 fast charging stations and 10,000 individual chargers across North America by 2026. Many of these chargers will accommodate the latest electric vehicles such as the Porsche Taycan, which can handle a charge of up to 270kW. Also, the company recently unveiled its charging station of the future, complete with customer lounges, solar canopies and more. The company will replace speed, contact and payment labels on all charging stations and said all “new stations will have a balanced charging capability.”

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https://www.engadget.com/electrify-america-10000-chargers-us-canada-by-2026-140040719.html?src=rss Electrify America wants to make EV chargers as easy to use as gas pumps

Russell Falcon

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