With Karim Farhat, Chief Commercial Officer, EVCS

Tritium is proud to feature our partner EVCS, one of the largest public EV charging networks on the US West Coast. Tritium supplies direct current (DC) fast chargers for the growing charging network. EVCS and Tritium are working together to help more people drive electric. 

About EVCS

EVCS was founded in 2018 and has quickly become one of the largest and fastest-growing public EV charging networks on the US West Coast. EVCS’ mission is to accelerate access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable EV Charging. Powered by 100% renewable energy, EVCS develops, owns, and operates Level 2 and DC Fast charging stations that can be used by all EV models on the market today, including Tesla. EVCS has more than 850 chargers across more than 175 locations and continues to grow rapidly. In addition, EVCS offers EV drivers flexible subscription charging plans. This includes unlimited charging plans designed for gig and high-mileage drivers, with significant potential savings.  

What’s important to the EV drivers who use your network?

EV drivers prioritize several key factors when using our network and charging publicly in general. These include affordability, convenience of charging locations, and reliability. As a publicly accessible charging network, we always strive to optimize the customer experience across all three dimensions. We aim for charging sites that are safe and near attractive amenities. We work hard to ensure that every charger is available and those that are offline are rapidly repaired; and we continue to innovate with first-of-kind charging subscription plans and services that are cost-effective and appealing for a wide range of EV drivers with different needs. We’re committed to establishing EVCS as a trusted EV charging provider, ensuring that our customers have seamless and enjoyable charging experience. 

What is EVCS doing to lower the cost of EV ownership?

EVCS offers a variety of charging services that are designed to fit the unique charging needs of a wide variety of EV drivers. Today, we offer four monthly subscription plans for regular and high-mileage drivers: Our most popular plan, Standard Anytime, includes 200 kWh monthly charging credit (about 720-780 miles range) for as low as $0.25/kWh. Essential Anytime is an entry-tier plan that includes 30 kWh of monthly charging credit (about 105-115 miles range) and is designed for drivers who might rely on EVCS’ public chargers less often. For high-mileage drivers, EVCS offers two very cost-effective charging plans: The Unlimited Anytime plan allows unlimited 24/7 access to any charger in the entire EVCS network, and Unlimited Off-Peak Pro allows similar unlimited access during nighttime. Enrolling in these plans helps EV drivers save significantly on their charging costs. Drivers can learn more and enroll at evcs.com/plans. 

In addition, EVCS works with strategic partners to offer innovative charging plans that are customized to fit their drivers’ needs. Our partnership with Hertz on rideshare EV charging is a great example: Hertz rideshare renters in California get exclusive access to three price-competitive weekly charging plans. The EVCS + Hertz Rideshare Program is very successful, and we are excited to keep expanding our EV charging offerings through strategic partnerships.  

Why is DC Fast charging important for EV adoption?

DC Fast charging is critically important for EV drivers who may not have access to home charging. As EVs hit the mass-market, more prospective EV drivers, especially renters with no guaranteed and dedicated charging spots, need access to reliable and fast charging infrastructure. DC Fast chargers could be placed at destination locations such as public parking sites, grocery stores, shopping malls, gyms, and universities where people can charge while conducting their normal daily activities. DC Fast chargers can also work well at apartment complexes to benefit both residents and the public. In addition, DC Fast chargers are very beneficial near highways and major roads, to minimize range anxiety and meet the commuting needs of drivers; essentially aligning with people’s refueling habits at traditional gas stations. Today, EVCS installs and operates Tritium’s DC Fast chargers at all these locations to accommodate our customer needs. DC Fast charging makes electric vehicles a more viable and practical choice for a wider range of consumers, ultimately resulting in greater EV adoption. 

What are the biggest challenges to building a fast-charging network on the West Coast?

The biggest challenges facing the industry today to build a fast-charging network are finding the best locations, reducing deployment timelines, and ensuring maximum network reliability. Installing a DC fast charger requires a large uptake of power capacity from the grid, usually anywhere from 50 to 350 kW for charging light duty vehicles. Finding the best location for deploying a DC Fast charger requires balancing several factors, including availability of grid capacity, site specifics, and market demand. Subsequently, deploying the chargers requires close coordination with several players, including the EV charging network, the local utility, local permitting jurisdictions, subcontractors, and others. Sometimes, because of potential grid constraints and lack of streamlined processes among the various players involved, deployment timelines can get very long.  

Once the chargers are deployed and commissioned, ensuring they are always available for customer use becomes the main objective. DC Fast chargers are sophisticated machines with several hardware and software technologies that serve various functions: dispense high-power electricity; modulate power output based on EV battery status and grid conditions; connect to and communicate with several EV makes and models; communicate with charging network operator; communicate with the customer charging app(s); payment processing; etc. As publicly available critical infrastructure, these units are sometimes subject to unexpected and harsh conditions (e.g., extreme weather events, vandalism, accidents), requiring rigorous and regular inspection and maintenance to maximize their uptime.  

How is Tritium helping you overcome those challenges?

Tritium has played a significant role in helping us address these challenges and enhance our EV charging network. Our partnership has been invaluable. Tritium offers some of the fastest and most reliable chargers in the market. Chargers like the RT50, RTM75, and PKM150 are durable and fast, delivering speeds of up to 150 kW, which allows vehicles to get a full charge in as little as 30 minutes. The units also occupy a relatively small footprint, which makes them easier to deploy. Tritium chargers also offer seamless payment options to drivers, including convenient methods such as connecting through the EVCS app, online payment, credit-card swipe, and tap payments. 

What is your experience working with Tritium?

If I’m to describe our experience working with Tritium in one word, it’d be “collaborative.” Tritium has proven to be a great partner, and they have made the collaboration process smooth on all fronts. We continue to learn together, grow together, and succeed together, and we look forward to growing our partnership.