Electric cars are great and all, but charging at peak times can stress grids and eliminate some of the cost savings versus gasoline. To help remedy that problem, Electrify America will lean on a little fly-by-night operation out of California known as Tesla.
Electrify America announced on Monday that it will install Tesla's Powerpack battery systems at over 100 charging stations across the US. The installations will happen over the course of 2019. Each site will have a 210-kilowatt battery system that can hold approximately 350 kilowatt-hours of charge, enough to cover several EVs from empty to full.
"With our chargers offering high power levels, it makes sense for us to use batteries at our most high-demand stations for peak shaving to operate more efficiently," said Giovanni Palazzo, CEO of Electrify America, in a statement. "Tesla's Powerpack system is a natural fit given their global expertise in both battery storage development and EV charging."
Tesla's Powerpack batteries are basically massive boxes housing multiple smaller battery pods. They're infinitely scalable, so they can provide power for an operation of just about any size. Reducing grid reliance during peak times -- "shaving" demand, in Palazzo's terms -- will help Electrify America keep its costs in line.
Electrify America, which is a Volkswagen Group subsidiary established as part of the company's penance for Dieselgate, is also the first group to offer 350-kW charging in the US, even though no modern vehicle can accept that much charge yet. But, when they can, those chargers will be able to add about 20 miles of range per minute. After a problem was discovered in a prototype cable, the company briefly shuttered its fastest chargers, but within a couple days, .