One of the largest public fast-charging networks in the US has a huge announcement, as EVgo introduces prefabricated DC fast chargers for easier installation at new charging stations.
With the prefabrication approach, EVgo expects to cut the average station installation time in half and save an average of 15% in station construction costs at eligible sites.
Not only that, the prefabrication also includes new features to elevate the EV driver customer experience, the company says. A prefabricated station skid can be equipped with lighting and security cameras, integrated with canopies, and additional elements, like Wi-Fi, can be added to boost cellular connectivity.
The modular and scalable design starts at six fast-charging stalls, as shown in the photo. EVgo says that “all charging equipment — including dispensers, power cabinets and any additional necessary equipment — is assembled in a single base frame before being shipped to the fast charging site”, which enables consistent, high-quality assembly in a controlled environment.
The station can be pre-commissioned at the fabrication facility, and once installed, the skid frame will also be covered with synthetic turf, providing a layer of cushioning to help safeguard connectors that may be dropped – “another key feature to further enhance resiliency”, EVgo notes.
In other words, there are many benefits behind the prefabrication, previously used by Tesla for Superchargers and later Megapack battery energy storage systems.
Dennis Kish, EVgo’s COO, said that prefabrication is critical for EV charging:
“There are roughly 30,000 fast chargers in the U.S. today, and by 2030, industry analysts estimate we’ll need more than 300,000. Innovations like this prefabrication model are critical to scale EVgo’s network and build the infrastructure needed to meet the growing demand for public charging. Prefabricated stations can not only help us save time and cut costs, but also elevate the customer experience by providing popular features drivers want.”
The prefabricated and standardized DC fast-charging station might not fit everywhere, but it may quickly become a trendy, dominant solution on the market.
EVgo already has prefabrication projects underway at multiple locations in Florida, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Texas.
The first prefabricated EVgo DC fast-charging station will be built in Texas. Construction will begin this month, with a goal of opening to the public by February 2024.