Tuesday, November 10, 2015

First Public CCS DC Fast Charger in New Jersey Getting Action

This CCS DC Quick Charge station is located on my property at 148 Valley Road, Montclair, NJ
Back in August I posted an article that announced the opening of the first DC fast charger in the East Coast Express Charging Corridor. That station was installed in Hartford, Connecticut. The Express Charging Corridor when completed will connect Washington, DC to Boston, Massachusetts with CCS DC fast chargers, located no more than 50 miles apart, and is being funded by a joint venture between BMW, Volkswagen and ChargePoint.

About three weeks after the station in Hartford was installed, I installed one on my property in Montclair, NJ. It was the first public CCS station in the state that wasn't installed on BMW property. BMW has had a few CCS fast chargers at their North American headquarters for a few years now, as they have been testing CCS since 2012, when they were using a modified BMW ActiveE with CCS capability as a test mule for the then yet-to-be-released i3.
So far the DCQC station is getting plenty of use from i3 owners
CCS fast charge infrastructure had a slow start, frustrating many i3 owners. It was difficult to watch the Asian standard CHAdeMO stations and Tesla Superchargers continue to proliferate, while CCS stations were as rare as White Rhinos. However the pace of CCS deployment has really picked up, and with the East and West Coast Express Charging Corridors beginning to take shape, it's starting to look like CCS is finally getting some traction.

The station I installed is the smaller of the two that will be used in these corridors. I have the 24kW, CCS only DC fast charger but there is another unit that will also be deployed on many of the direct highway locations. That unit is a dual head, CCS and CHAdeMO station and is capable of delivering up to 50kW. Because of the location on my property (not situated on a highway), and the primary tenant is a restaurant where people typically spend an hour or more, the 24kW unit made more sense, and it costs a LOT less. The lower power draw will also help me to avoid or minimize demand charges from my electric provider.
The eGolf owners were very pleased when they realized the DCQC in my lot was close to the route they planned to take to Massachusetts. They only had to drive a few miles off of their route to stop by and Quick Charge
I installed the station a little over two months ago and it's definitely getting use. I've had at least a couple dozen different i3 owners stop by and use it, and I recently had an eGolf owner who was driving from Delaware to Massachusetts stop by to charge up. I was talking to them about the trip and how long it would take to stop and charge at level 2 stations and how happy there were when they saw my DCQC station pop up on the Plugshare map.

Fast charge infrastructure is monumentally important for the mass adoption of plug in cars. Tesla knew the success of the Model S, and probably even the entire company, would hinge on how quickly they could cover large swaths of the US and other key markets with Supercharger access. They have been installing them at an incredible rate, and have installed more than 500 worldwide in under 3 years.

Nissan has also done their fair share with regards to DC fast charge infrastructure and has subsidized much of the costs of hundreds of CHAdeMO installations. Personally, I'm hoping Volkswagen steps up and commits to installing even more infrastructure than the current plan in light of the current dieselgate scandal. Making a commitment to assisting the proliferation of cleaner electric cars would be a good first step in restoring public confidence at this point.

We are getting there. EV charging infrastructure, both level 2 and DC fast charge, is still really in its infancy, but we're definitely making progress in some areas of the country (mainly the coasts). I remember back to 2009 when I was driving my MINI-E and there wasn't a public charging station within a thousand miles of me. In fact, the closest one may have even been 3,000 miles away in California.  Now there are tens of thousands of them in the US. I can only imagine how things will look in another five or six years.

The Plugshare map on the left shows only CCS DC Fast charge stations on the East Coast. Just a year ago at this time there were none in this view. Within a couple of months, there will be dozens more of them as the Express Charging Corridor locations are finished. The large gap south of my restaurant (the blue dot) will hopefully be closed by year's end. The pace of CCS deployment is definitely picking up, and I believe will only continue to accelerate from here on.


  1. Hi Tom,
    We would like to do the same at our property off Route 55 in Millville/Vineland.
    We are within 10 seconds of the highway...perfect location for those on their way to Cape May.
    Please give a call as your time permits as we would like to have insight into equipment and installation costs.
    Best Regards,
    Joe P.
    856-825-0305 / 609-319-3857 Mobile

  2. Tom, I hope a few land on Long Island soon!
    Ed B

    1. Talk to the dealers there, Ed. BMW recently revised the DCQC program for the dealers, making it much easier for them to get the unit free from BMW if they pay for the installation. It starts at the dealers.

    2. Tom, that sounds like a good idea. I will give that a try!

  3. Nitpick: when you refer to the map and say "just a year ago at this time there were none in this view" that is a slight exaggeration. We got the first CCS station east of the Mississippi here in Georgia in Summer 2014.

    Now we've got about 30 (!) of them, and Georgia Power is continuing their dual-standard rollout and will be reaching out along highway corridors. We can't wait!

    1. Georgia was definitely ahead of the curve with DCQC. I remember searching on Plugshare last year for CCS stations and don't remember seeing any on the east coast until the fall. Maybe it wasn't listed as soon as it went up? In that case if you went back 18 months there wouldn't be any. Since then look at how many have come up. It's great to see this :)

  4. None here in the Dallas Fort Worth Area even though we are selling lots of i3s locally. For this kind of market they would be a huge addition as typical trips are 30-40min to go anywhere. Can't wait for a roll out down i35 all the way to San Antonio.