Do EV fast charging stations do business smart for existing gas stations?
Oil giant Chevron appears to be exploring exactly that, with a deal that will result in the rollout at some US Chevron and Texaco gas stations of DC fast chargers capable of providing range. 200 miles in 15 minutes.
The charger for the refueling stations will be the Boost Charger, from California-based FreeWire Technologies, capable of plugging into existing low-voltage service while still providing a high-energy charger that would otherwise require electrical work requirements and grid upgrading.
The Boost charger has two connectors, providing output up to 200 kW for CCS standards or up to 100 kW for CHAdeMO standards. Or they can charge two CCS vehicles at the same time with up to 100 kW each.
Despite that output, they only require a 27 kw input from the mains – thanks to an onboard 160 kwh battery.
FreeWire Boost Charger
Because of that lower, more constant power demand, FreeWire says it can “seamlessly connect to existing infrastructure without heavy construction costs and complex permitting restrictions.” Previously, the company said installation costs were 40% lower than conventional fast chargers, which start a little above $10,000 without any complications.
FreeWire says it will support chargers with “power management software with custom analysis/design and branding”—perhaps to help the company understand it will expand into the fast charging business like how.
You may be surprised at the answer. Last year, a BP executive suggested that on a margin basis (money in versus out), charging electric cars is roughly the same as filling up gas.
BMW i3 charging at the EVgo fast charger at Chevron station in Menlo Park, California
Chevron confirmed that the program includes both company-owned refueling stations and independently owned stations.