Volkswagen's Electrify America to Install Hundreds of New Tesla Powerpacks

Tesla is helping charge third-party electric cars. Electrify America, a Volkswagen subsidiary created as part of the “dieselgate” settlement, announced Monday plans to fit more than 100 of its electric car charging stations with Powerpack batteries over the course of this year. The move will enable charging points to more effectively supply power without overloading the grid.

The move plans to use the business-focused Powerpack, giant batteries aimed for use with renewables, to pair each site with 210 kilowatts of storage, or 350 kilowatt-hours. These will work alongside the United States’ first cooled-cable 350 kilowatt-hour chargers, far more powerful than Tesla’s current 120—kilowatt-hour “superchargers,” enabling cars to charge up at speeds of around 20 miles of range per minute. The batteries will allow Electrify America to reduce running costs by offering battery-supplied power during peak energy times. Its modular design means the company can add further storage over time.

The Powerpack next to an Electrify America charge point.
The Powerpack next to an Electrify America charge point.

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Tesla develops the Powerpack for use with renewable energy sources like wind and solar, enabling buyers to store power and distribute when needed. The firm’s biggest installation to date is the 100-megawatt facility in Hornsdale, South Australia, used to help the renewables-dependent state avoid blackouts. Other consumers include the Manchester Science Park, using the batteries to create an “energy island,” and the Netherlands’ LomboXNet charging facility that uses solar energy to power electric cars.

“Our stations are offering some of the most technologically advanced charging that is available,” Giovanni Palazzo, chief executive officer of Electrify America, said in a statement. “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. Tesla’s Powerpack system is a natural fit given their global expertise in both battery storage development and EV charging.”

The company plans to roll out these fast charging stations over the coming year. Plans cover locations in 17 metropolitan areas and traffic corridors in 42 states.

With the company planning to invest $2 billion in the next 10 years in electric car infrastructure, Electrify America may roll out more ambitious plans at a later date.

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Media via Electrify America, Tesla