Reston company plans to reduce electric vehicle ‘range anxiety’

Volkswagen of America’s Electrify America, based in Reston, Virginia, is expanding its partnership with Walmart to create a cross-country network of fast-charge stations for electric vehicle owners and is focusing on locations easily accessible by major interstate arteries to ease the biggest concern among EV owners: “range anxiety.”

Electrify America has already installed more than 120 ultrafast charging stations at Walmart stores in 34 states — including Walmart Supercenters in Emporia and Stafford, Virginia, and Hagerstown and Abingdon, Maryland — in the last year. Most are located at Walmart stores off major highways.

Through its Walmart partnership, Electrify America said, it is opening an average of one new EV charging station every three days.

EV charging stations are generally concentrated on the east and west coasts, and in major urban areas. Electrify America will focus on planting more of them in rural communities and driving routes in other sections of the country.

Already, EV drivers can travel across the country on major routes. Electrify America said, for example, an EV owner can now drive from D.C. to Savannah, Georgia, via I-95 and keep their vehicle charged along the way solely by using charging stations at Walmart stores.

It is the same from Houston to Chicago via Interstates 45, 35, and 44; and San Antonio to St. Louis, via Interstates 35 and 44.

Electrify America’s goal is to deploy more than 2,000 chargers across nearly 500 locations, most located near retail, dining and other facilities.

Electrify America already has more than 140 charging stations along major routes across the country. It expects to more than triple that to more than 480 in 42 states by the end of this year, with each station in its network no more than 70 miles apart.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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