Maine Leads the Nation in DC Fast Charging Technology

Our EV Corner column is written by Barry Woods, Senior Director of E-Mobility.

The Rivian electric pick-up truck charges in Gardiner.

As more of us get experience driving electric, we come to realize that one of the few times we actually need public charging is to assist the battery in going longer distances. Tesla’s Supercharger network is perhaps the best current example of a DC Fast Charging (DCFC) network designed to allow drivers to cross the entire country by stopping briefly to charge up and continue on their way. Non-Tesla drivers have had “charging envy” (the opposite of range anxiety) when they passed one of their myriad charging clusters.

DCFC Network Expands

This is changing. Maine has begun a serious effort using Volkswagen funding (and soon federal infrastructure money) to grow out its non-Tesla DCFC network and now has 14 locations functioning or under construction. The speed of DCFC technology has been increasing as well as the vehicle batteries’ capacity increases, and Maine has now activated the first public ChargePoint DCFCers capable of 150 kW in the country, courtesy of a partnership between ChargePoint, Efficiency Maine Trust, and ReVision Energy. ChargePoint owns and operates its new Express Plus 150 kW chargers at Maine Turnpike’s Kennebunk (north and south) and West Gardiner service plazas. These chargers are three times as fast as the older 50 kW versions and many newer model EVs can take advantage of them to compress charging times.

Our project manager Dan Robinson witnessed this firsthand:

Proterra electric school bus stops to charge at Kennebunk.

“Within minutes of the Gardiner commissioning, we had a brand-new Rivian R1T with temp plates pull in. The owner was very excited to see the additional infrastructure. He was able to charge quickly and continue on his way North. At Kennebunk North plaza, also within minutes of commissioning being completed, the brand-new Proterra/Thomas school bus destined for Old Town ME, pulled in for a charge right out of the build factory in Kennebunk, WC Cressey and Son. We were able to get the driver on the ChargePoint app and charging before they headed off to the next DCFC on their route, Skowhegan Hannaford – part of the Phase 1 build.”

First in the country

Master Electrician Bill Levay inside the Proterra electric school bus

These are the first public facing 150 kW ChargePoint chargers in the country. ReVision is proud of its team for helping get these in the ground and save time for EV drivers. These projects are part of the State of Maine’s ongoing efforts to grow a fast charging network for non-Tesla vehicles that offers fast and reliable charging for residents and tourists to enjoy the state and help its environment through reduced carbon electrification. Look for more news on ReVision’s ongoing role with electrifying transportation, including ReVision branded public charging to help further the transition and allow us to spread clean energy throughout New England!