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Electrify America Is Testing Out Limiting EV Charge to 85%

green and white electrify america chargers in california
Electrify America Testing an 85% Charge LimitElectrify America

As any EV driver can tell you, there are few things in the automotive world more frustrating than waiting in a long line of cars at an electric vehicle fast-charging station. Electrify America, however, is gearing up to combat this problem. The company has announced the roll out of an all-new Congestion Reduction Pilot program, which aims to reduce the time each stop takes by limiting customers to a maximum state-of-charge of 85 percent.

According to Electrify America, the program will start with 10 stations in southern California. Customers at these stations will no longer be able to charge their car past the 85-percent mark, with the charger automatically stopping the flow of power at that point. Said customers will then have a 10-minute grace period to remove their car from the charger before idle fees begin to pile up.

Electrify America didn’t just pluck that 85 percent figure out of nowhere; instead, they based it on the technology currently employed by automakers. Nearly every EV on sale today sees a major drop in charge speeds above 80 percent, owing to the nature of battery management. By getting people off of the charger before the charge rate dramatically slows towards the top of the battery, Electrify America believes wait times will drop dramatically.

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Under the current pilot program, customers who arrive at a station with an 85 percent state of charge won’t be able to top up at all, nor will they be able to move to another plug to continue juicing. This will be the case regardless of any charging deals made between individual automakers and the charging network.

While you shouldn’t regularly charge your EV beyond 80 percent for battery longevity reasons, there are times when it's necessary. That’s particularly true on a road trip, when you might have long distances between chargers. Electrify America is aware of this, however; the pilot program stations are located well within range of other chargers where users in need of a full battery can blast up to 100 percent.

You can find a list of the participating stations here, which will continue to be updated as more stations are added. The brand will be listening to customer feedback during the program, and ultimately may decide to leave the idea behind if it proves unpopular.

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