In the middle of the Mojave Desert, between Southern California and Las Vegas, lies the future of electric vehicle charging.
An EVgo station in Baker, Calif., promises a refueling experience that's about as close to a gas station for EVs as currently possible. In fact, no EV on the market can handle all the power coming from the liquid-cooled cables of the 350-kilowatt direct-current charger.
DC chargers have become the next wave of technology in this second front in the battle for auto electrification.
While auto manufacturers and their suppliers figure out how to make EVs appealing to America's gasoline-addicted consumers, the industry is also pushing for newer, better and faster technology to speed the recharging process.
At the Linq Hotel in Las Vegas, Tesla is also showing a big push forward. Its new V3 Supercharger unit in the hotel parking lot puts out 250 kW — enough to give a Tesla vehicle up to 75 miles of fresh range in just five minutes, with peak charging rates of 1,000 miles of range per hour, the automaker said.
Next door in Arizona, Volkswagen Group and charging partner Electrify America are running 350-kW units at a global test center in Maricopa.
As a crush of new EV models are set to hit the market in coming years, ultrafast chargers are in the works to ease chronic consumer anxiety over battery range. And going forward, even faster technologies are on the horizon.