Electrify America Launches Congestion Reduction Pilot In California

New Pilot Program Limits EVs To Charge Up To 85% Capacity...

Electrify America (EA) station. (Electrify America).

Electrify America (EA) has launched a new pilot program to alleviate congestion at its busiest stations in Southern California. Known as the Congestion Reduction Pilot, this initiative limits EV charging sessions to 85% capacity. Once an EV reaches this threshold, charging stops automatically, followed by a 10-minute grace period for drivers to relocate their vehicles before incurring idle fees. The goal is to encourage prompt charger turnover, thereby reducing wait times for other users who rely on these high-utilization stations.

Electrify America (EA) station. (Electrify America).

With California aiming for an all-EV fleet by 2035, the state boasts over 100,000 public chargers. However, with over a million registered electric cars and light trucks, densely populated areas are experiencing significant charging congestion. This is exacerbated by the longer charging times compared to refueling traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.

This pilot program responds to customer feedback highlighting frustrations over extended wait times caused by some EVs lingering on chargers longer than necessary. Initially implemented at stations not typically used for long-distance travel, EA aims to minimize disruptions for drivers requiring a full charge for lengthy journeys. They assure that nearby charging alternatives will remain accessible for those exceeding the 85% limit.

EA is closely monitoring the pilot’s impact and gathering feedback from users at the initial 10 selected locations in Southern California. The stations were chosen based on usage rates and proximity to ensure comprehensive evaluation of the program’s effectiveness. Updates to the list of participating stations are expected as EA evaluates performance and customer sentiment.

The 85% charging limit can impact practical range considerations for EV owners, particularly those planning long trips. For instance, the upcoming 2024 Dodge Charger Scat Pack First Edition, with a 260-mile range on a full charge, would yield approximately 221 miles under these guidelines. This limitation could influence potential EV adopters who are concerned about range anxiety, potentially steering them towards plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or hybrid vehicles.

Electrify America (EA) station. (Electrify America).

As the automotive industry evolves, balancing efficient charging infrastructure management with supporting widespread EV adoption remains a critical challenge. EA’s pilot program represents a proactive step towards optimizing charging station usage while ensuring EV users’ needs are met effectively. However, could it keep those on the EV fence from making the jump if the program is rolled out nationwide?