DRIVEtheARC, a collaborative demonstration project to install a large corridor of electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging stations in Northern California, has completed deployment and marked a grand opening on the one-year anniversary of the project’s official launch. The project installed 55 new EV chargers at 25 locations spanning from Monterey to Lake Tahoe.
A collaborative effort between the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) (Japan’s largest public R&D management organization), and the State of California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, in partnership with Nissan Motor Co., Nissan North America, Kanematsu and EVgo, DRIVEtheARC encourages more trips with EVs by increasing the ease of long-distance travel along one of California’s most frequented travel routes. As an integrated, international cooperation, NEDO is funding the DRIVEtheARC corridor as part of its mission to improve energy conservation and promote new energy technologies, as well to help facilitate government relations and research and information exchange between the U.S. and Japan.
DRIVEtheARC has also announced the start of a real-time SOC data link service with NissanConnect via the DRIVEtheARC smartphone app. The app will also provide more accurate range advice, and users will be able to select a recommended station based on the cruising range and charger availability data. By the end of 2018, the app will include trip planning and voice recognition features. The app was created in partnership with Kanematsu, a global trading house with expertise in electronics and information technology. Driving statistics will allow Nissan, Kanematsu, EVgo and NEDO to analyze and measure charger use patterns to support future EV charging projects globally.
“At Nissan, our goal is to increase widespread EV use so that we can benefit the environment on global basis; the opening of the DRIVEtheARC corridor represents a big milestone for the further adoption of EVs,” says Hitoshi Kawaguchi, chief sustainability officer of Nissan Motor. “A robust public EV charging network is a key factor for stimulating further EV utilization and eventual EV market expansion. We are delighted to be able to provide Northern California with a fast charging network that covers major points of interest for drivers.”
Nissan partnered with DRIVEtheARC as part of its “Infrastructure for All” strategy, and the car manufacturer has worked to provide Nissan LEAF drivers with access to fast charging stations across country.
As the project’s local partner, EVgo managed the installation of the DRIVEtheARC infrastructure with the deployment of 55 EV fast-charging stations at 25 convenient locations. Fast-charging stations were installed at key high-traffic retail partners along the route to create a true inter-city charging network. EVgo notes it now operates 950 fast chargers in over 600 locations nationwide.
“After months of hard work, we are thrilled to announce the grand opening of DRIVEtheARC,” says Terry O’Day, vice president of product strategy and market development at EVgo. “The corridor provides drivers with the charging infrastructure needed to go from surf to ski in Northern California. We hope the opening of DRIVEtheARC will pave the way for future EV integration in the state and continue to encourage EV drivers to travel farther distances, without the stress of finding somewhere to charge.”
For more information, check out the DRIVEtheARC website here.