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article imageVolkswagen to install Tesla battery packs at EV charge stations

By Karen Graham     Feb 4, 2019 in Business
Volkswagen's Electrify America said on Monday it will install Tesla battery storage packs at more than 100 charging stations across the United States to keep costs down for drivers charging electric vehicles.
The power packs will be installed during 2019 and will have 350kWh of capacity and be capable of 210kW fast-charging, according to The Verge.
The Tesla power packs draw power from the grid during off-peak hours and store it for use during peak hours. This reduces or avoids demand charges that would be passed along to the consumer. The battery packs will be installed in regions where there's a higher concentration of electric vehicles, particularly on the West Coast and the Northeast.
The power packs are needed because EV car owners can end up paying a high cost when they draw a lot of energy from the grid over a short period of time. This can happen with one electric vehicle at a charging station, or with several all there at the same time.
Tesla Greenwich North Supercharger Station in a rest area of Merritt Parkway in Greenwich  Connectic...
Tesla Greenwich North Supercharger Station in a rest area of Merritt Parkway in Greenwich, Connecticut.
“If you pass the demand charge onto the customer in a high-demand charge market” it can cost anywhere from $70 to $110 to charge a vehicle, Electrify America’s chief operating officer Brendan Jones told Reuters. “If you did that, obviously nobody would buy an electric vehicle.”
Building EV infrastructure
Electrek makes the observation that it's "interesting that Electrify America is using Tesla’s Power packs since Volkswagen, the startup’s parent company, has been developing their own technology to combine charging and energy storage."
However, seeing Volkswagen using Tesla power packs is a sign that automakers need to work together in building the infrastructure required for electric vehicles. Tesla did the right thing in agreeing to provide VW with the equipment needed to meet peak demand.
The collaboration by the two competitors is also a reflection of Elon Musk's public comments on electric cars and the shift in the market to a "more sustainable future."
The Electrify America project is not the first time Tesla's power pack or storage within a charging network has been used. Tesla has already tested this technology in its own Supercharger network. One Tesla supercharger kept a charging station online during a power outage last year.
Looking into the future
The biggest concern to consumers in purchasing an electric vehicle is the limited range of EV's and the availability of charging stations. This makes the lack of EV recharging infrastructure a major barrier to EV acceptance. Elon Musk said “stationary storage” is a growth opportunity for the automaker during his investor's quarterly conference call last week.
“I expect that to grow, I mean, probably twice as fast as automotive for... a long time,” Musk said.
By June 2019, Electrify America expects to have 484 charging stations spread across the U.S. and the company is already discussing using more battery storage packs with regulators for its next round of infrastructure investment, company CTO Jones said, reports Reuters.
More about electrify america, Volkswagen, Tesla, battery power packs, ev charge stations
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