Are EV fast charging stations smart business for existing gas stations?
Oil giant Chevron appears to be exploring just that, with an arrangement that will see DC fast chargers capable of delivering 200 miles of range in 15 minutes rolled out at select U.S. Chevron and Texaco gas stations.
Charging units for gas stations will be Boost Chargers, from California-based FreeWire Technologies, capable of plugging into existing low-voltage service while providing the high-power charging that would otherwise require electrical work and system upgrades. network.
Boost Charger units have two connectors, providing outputs up to 200 kw at CCS standard, or up to 100 kw at CHAdeMO standard. Or they can charge two CCS vehicles at once up to 100kw each.
Despite this power, they only require a supply of 27 kW from the network, thanks to a 160 kWh battery on board.
FreeWire Boost Charger
Because of these lower, more consistent power demands, FreeWire claims it can “seamlessly connect to existing infrastructure without onerous construction costs and complex permit constraints.” The company has previously said it costs 40% less to install than typical fast chargers, which start at just over $10,000 barring any complications.
FreeWire says it will support the chargers with “custom branded/designed power management software and analytics” – perhaps helping the company understand how fast it should grow in the sector recharging.
You might be surprised at the answer. Last year, a BP executive suggested that on a margin basis (money in versus money out), electric vehicle charging was close to gasoline fill levels.
Charging BMW i3 on EVgo fast chargers at Chevron station in Menlo Park, California
Chevron confirms that the program includes both company-owned and independent service stations.
In the UK, FreeWire allied with BP in 2020 to help build a gas station charging station there. The company also launched test deployments at BP-owned ampm convenience stores in the United States.
BP led a previous funding round in FreeWire, and VOLVO also invested in the company.