Black & Veatch and SAI Group will build a coast-to-coast network of more than 2,000 fast-charging electric vehicle stations for Electrify America.
Black & Veatch, which has worked with Tesla to build a network of its supercharging stations, will engineer, permit and construct about 70% of the stations along highways and in cities on 484 sites in 39 states, according to the June 7 announcement.
The network is expected to be completed in a year and could be “a key milestone to help spread the adoption of EVs,” says Dean Siegrist, associate vice president of Black & Veatch’s Transformative Technologies business. “There will be more charging stations and more charging options that will allow [EV drivers] to get over range anxiety.”
Electrify America was created as part of Volkswagen’s $2-billion settlement in the U.S. over VW’s emission cheating scandal.
Electrify America’s EV stations will have 160-kW chargers with dual cords that can charge a Nissan Leaf to 80% in seven to 10 minutes, says Maryline Daviaud Lewett, director of business development for Black & Veatch’s Transformative Technologies business. Typically, it takes four hours to charge a Leaf at a home.
Each station will take six to nine months to design, permit and build, says Siegrist. Electrify America and Black & Veatch are in early discussions about including battery storage at some sites to store electricity at off-peak times to save money.
The stations are likely just the tip of the iceberg for such work in the U.S. There were more than 16,000 public charging stations in the U.S. at the end of 2017, according to University of Michigan research, compared to about 112,000 gas stations.
“We see electric vehicle evolution and specifically the EV charging infrastructure segment as a viable, long-term growth opportunity for our business,” Marc Lamoureux, vice president of SAI Group, said.