At the moment, if you want to travel across the United States by electric car, there’s really only one car you’ll want to drive and one charging network you’ll want to use: the Tesla Model S and Tesla’s rapidly expanding network of Supercharger stations.
Of course, not everyone wants or can afford a Tesla Model S, but within four years, you’ll be able to drive any electric car fitted with quick charging capability coast-to-coast. Just like a Model S.
That’s the promise of GoE3, an Arizona-based company with an ambitious goal: electrify routes across the U.S. from coast to coast, using only high-powered DC quick charging stations.
Founded by businessman Bruce Brimacombe, the company — whose name is a reference to the fact that high-speed DC quick charging methods like CHAdeMO, CCS and Tesla Supercharger — says it will roll out triple-head charging stations across the U.S. over the coming four years.
By then, it says, there will be enough rapid charging stations along several major U.S. routes that EV drivers in everything from a Nissan LEAF to a Chevrolet Spark will be able to join Tesla Model S drivers in being able to cross the U.S. without burning a drop of gasoline. The stations it installs, it says, will support CHAdeMO, CCS and Tesla Supercharger-compatible cars.
Earlier this year, John Glenney and his daughter Jill became the first people in the U.S. to drive an electric car from coast to coast, only stopping at rapid charging stations along the way. They did so in a Tesla Model S, taking just over five days to complete the trip and stopping at Tesla’s then recently completed coast-to-coast network of Supercharger stations.
Shortly afterwards, Tesla tasked two teams made up of Tesla employees to make the same trip in an insane 3 day, 4.5 hour cannonball run from LA to New York. They set a world record in the process. But while the high-end Tesla Model S, complete with its 85 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, can travel more than 250 miles on a single charge, cars like the Nissan LEAF are capable of at best 80 between charging stops.
In reality, that means GoE3 will have to build a rapid charging triple-head station every forty five or so miles across the U.S. In some more densely populated areas that might be easy, but in some more remote areas, that equates to installing a DC quick charge station literally in the middle of nowhere.
No shops, no towns. Nothing. Not even power.
As Bloomberg reports (via InsideEVs), GoE3 claims it will fund the installation of the 1,250 charging points itself, then charge customers a fee of around $6 for 100 miles worth of range. But with Tesla offering free rapid charging to its customers at its own proprietary Supercharger stations, we’re not sure any Tesla owner will patronise the stations unless they’re caught short on range.
As for other EVs? While we’d like to think this kind of cross-country 2,800+ mile trip would be the kind of thing that we might like to take in a longer-range EV like a Tesla Model S, we’re not sure a car like the Nissan LEAF is particularly well suited to it.
GoE3 has already installed CHAdeMo compatible quick charge stations in Colorado and Arizona, but it faces a phenomenal challenge to finish the installation of its network by its own deadline. Only time will tell if it is successful.
Brimacombe, a proud Model X reservation holder, says he wants to revolutionize the way people travel. His company’s introduction video — which we note strangely includes clips from seminal films like Who Killed The Electric Car? and Revenge of the Electric Car — has the air of a televangelism informercial about it.
Reservations aside however, we do like the idea of electrifying coast-to-coast corridors with vehicle-agnostic charging infrastructure, if not so much to facilitate long-distance travel but to facilitate the travel from one town to the next in areas not known currently for their electric vehicle suitability .
But what do you think?
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