By on August 19, 2020

Electrify America, the U.S. company Volkswagen had to create as part of its diesel emissions penance, announced Wednesday that it will work with Love’s Travel Stops to bring ultra-fast electric vehicle charging stations to seven locations in half a dozen states.

While much of the group’s work has revolved around servicing areas (often through business partnerships) where EVs tend to proliferate, the plan has also been to bolster the national charging infrastructure by providing routes that could help facilitate long-distance travel.

The new charging stations  located in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Florida, New York and Arizona  will account for a combined 28 EV chargers and should available for public use by early 2021. In its announcement, Electrify America said previous work with Love’s allowed it to complete a cross-country route between Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.

While a drop in the bucket in terms of nationwide charging coverage, partnering with Love’s seems a wise move. With over 500 locations in most American states, the travel stops tend to be among the better options for those journeying long distances. They’re also usually designed with sufficient distractions and amenities to make waiting for a recharge easier to endure. The deal is good for Love’s as well, since EV drivers will be required to linger a bit longer than their gasoline-dependent contemporaries — likely leading to additional purchases.

“As we continue building charging stations at accessible sites, Love’s Travel Stops was a perfect fit because of its convenient locations near major highways,” said Rachel Moses, senior manager for site acquisition, development and strategy at Electrify America. “Providing EV drivers with the opportunity to charge their vehicles at Love’s locations will help instill confidence for longer interstate trips, and can encourage more consumers to consider making the switch to electric.”

Electrify America said Love’s customers will have access to chargers ranging in power from 150 kilowatt (kW) to 350 kW — depending on location. Five of the sites are already open, with the planned stations in New York and Arizona being added “soon.”

While taking a company at its word is always perilous, Electrify America has done a pretty good job at establishing functional charging routes between states. Granted, you’re totally out of luck if you happen do be driving through North Dakota. Yet a cross-country journey is still possible with a little advanced planning, and coastal trips (which have the highest density of chargers) should be easier still.

The company also has helpful map of its station locations one could peruse before setting out, and the map proves that it’s been quite busy over the past few years. But it’s still only a sliver of what the country needs before EVs can be driven around as carefree as gas-powered automobiles. Large gaps in the nation’s charging infrastructure remain, and many more rural and remote charging sites will need to be added if electrification is ever to go mainstream.

[Image: Electrify America]

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15 Comments on “Love’s Truck Stops Adding EV Charging Stations...”


  • avatar
    JimC2

    I just want to say that I wold love (pardon the pun) to see them make money off of these.

    Part of me is curious what the business plan for them looks like. Out of all the details, I doubt that the added electricity draw is a huge bump to the average Love’s.

    For trip planning, I wonder how many miles of range the average customer will get for plugging in for 30 minutes. You could probably squeeze a few more miles out of it by running the a/c on max and making the interior extra cold while the car is charging… speaking of which, I assume the charging stations will be in the shade??

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “You could probably squeeze a few more miles out of it by running the a/c on max ”

      The better designed EVs can cool the batteries prior to charging. According to Tesla, using a 250kW V3 supercharger a Model 3 LR operating at peak efficiency (probably at 60 or 65 mph) will pick up 75 miles in 5 minutes. Of course, at real world speeds and and once it’s past optimal charge rate, that rate will drop off as the car charges. However, newer technology batteries will be lighter and increase the efficency a bit. They also might withstand maximum rate for a longer period of time. So, those rates might improve.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Good. I like to see something like this outside of the Tesla network. Would be beneficial to adoption for this to take off.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Love’s has always had electrical outlets available for EV drivers, albeit they were 110volt. And they were FREE. I’ve used those 110volt outlets on occasions when we used our Induction plate to heat up some food after gassing up the RV.

      The outlets were located on the side of the store, away from the gas/diesel pumps, and easily accessible from three sides. Not easily blocked by brodozers.

      In our case I used a 25ft 14gauge extension cord to run from the outlet to the Induction plate.

      These new chargers won’t be free and will charge faster than a 110volt outlet.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “the plan has also been to bolster the national charging infrastructure by providing routes that could help facilitate long-distance travel.”

    Yes – good plan. Installing chargers where people don’t need them is a waste of time, and is the reason some charging companies have failed. I think of this every time I see a charger at a grocery story or an urban parking garage. EVs arriving at these spots have already charged at home, and have likely traveled only a short distance.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    Since Love’s is primarily a rural watering hole, I expect a lot of these to be blocked by good ol’ boys in their brodozers.

    • 0 avatar
      FerrariLaFerrariFace

      This. It will only take a single MAGA-driven semi to block an entire row of chargers.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        I’m sure it will happen somewhere (and certainly there are always a few inbreds like that who give the majority of big truck owners a bad name), but if Love’s is charging for the electricity then it’ll be good business to encourage those people to move.

        Not to pick on only one stereotype, because I’m sure that somewhere there is also a virtue signaler blocking a diesel pump spot (out from under the awning and made that way for extra tall vehicles to fit) with an electric car or a gasoline hybrid.

        ;)

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “I expect a lot of these to be blocked by good ol’ boys in their brodozers.”

      Not much of a match for a 5000lb AWD drive EV with 762 hp, 920 ft-lbs of torque, and a good tow strap.

      Actually, finding brodozers and other ICES in EV spaces is a rare event for me. It’s actually been a couple of years at least since I’ve seen one in a charging space. EVs that park in the space and don’t charge is far worse. That I see all the time. At least pretend you’re charging by sticking the plug in and not be so obvious you were just looking for a parking space close to the building.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Most brodozers are 3/4-ton trucks weighing close to 8000 lb. Even if it had tires with a coefficient of friction of only 0.7 and the 5000 lb EV was on perfectly clean pavement with brand new supercar tires having a coefficient of friction of 1.0, the truck will be dragging the EV around the parking lot.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @rpn453: Not when the brodozer is parked. Like someone’s going to let you hook up a tow strap while they’re in their vehicle anyway? There are some staged videos out there of people demonstrating that parked pickups can be dragged.

          I’ve only encountered one ICEing situation in maybe three years. ICE drivers are pretty good and respectful of the spaces. The biggest problem are other EV drivers that think it’s a general parking space reserved for EVs and they don’t want to walk far. The reason I know they don’t charge is that they don’t bother plugging in the cable which would cost money.

          By the way, in a tug of war, the instant torque on the EV would have a pickup moving in reverse at a decent speed before it could build up enough power to pull the EV. At that point it would have to overcome inertia.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            The funny thing is I bet a lot of bro truck drivers as well as electric car drivers have something in common, that is being a bit of a gearhead or just liking machinery- like my nephew who, even when he was barely old enough to walk, was fascinated by the construction equipment tearing up their city street.

            While most regular people certainly wish everyone else would share their beliefs, few are inclined to passive-aggressively harass random strangers in some weird attempt to force it…

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            It would be easy for a 5000 lb AWD EV to drag a half-ton that is in park in 2WD. Even a 3/4-ton in park in 2WD should be pretty easy.

            With a really good jerk and excellent tires, maybe it’s possible to get a parked 8000 lb truck locked in 4WD moving enough to keep the dynamic friction up to the point that it can be maintained. But I’d have to see it to believe it. I can only imagine an EV hooking up and then the brodozer driver coming out and dragging the EV around like this, except with far less effort involved:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQM_UmUsz_0

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