TravelCenters of America is working with Electrify America to get much-needed EV fast chargers installed at its rest stops across the US. The agreement has Electrify America deploying a sizable 1,000 charging stalls across 200 TravelCenters of America (TA), TA Express, and Petro shopping center locations nationwide.
TA’s goal is to install the chargers over the next five years, with the first ones showing up in 2023. The first installations are slated for locations in Texas and Ohio, according to TA’s senior director of communications, Tina Arundel.
This isn’t TA’s first foray into providing EV chargers; the company has Tesla Supercharger stations in Washington, Minnesota, and Nevada, as well as FreeWire EV stations in California and Ohio. It also has a ChargePoint station in Tennessee.
In a press release, TravelCenters of America CEO Jon Pertchik said the company was intent on expanding its EV charging infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of vehicles on the road. TA currently operates 281 travel centers and truck stops across 44 states and largely offers gas and diesel fuel, truck and car repair services, fast food, shops, and, of course, bathrooms.
Unlike many Electrify America stations found in big box store parking lots and other places, these new ones will be co-branded with TA. They are being purchased from Electrify Commercial, which is the company’s business-to-business EV charging hardware division.
The new stations can charge up to 350kW, which supports some of the fastest-charging EVs available, like the GMC Hummer EV and Lucid Air. Electrify America redesigned its chargers last year with sleeker eight-foot tall ones with easier-to-see screens.
Despite the chargers having an “e-TA” branding, TravelCenters of America is taking a mostly hands-off approach to the deployment and maintenance of them. Electrify America is designing and planning the stations, is responsible for obtaining permits and installing them, and will provide a warranty and 24/7 support for the chargers. For customers, the stations will work just like other Electrify America locations and work through the same app.
Electrify America, Volkswagen Group’s charging subsidiary, has over 800 charging locations in North America. The company has a goal of adding another 1,000 stations by 2026, and its commercial division recently made a deal to install 200 stations at Ikea stores for shoppers and another 225 for its delivery fleet. And while Electrify America is building the new travel stop-bound chargers for TA, the company is working on its own lounges for traveling EV drivers looking to relax.