DRIVEtheARC fast charging corridor breaks ground in California

Yet another fast charging corridor will soon connect the cities of the Western US. DRIVEtheARC, which will link the metro areas of Monterey, San Francisco, Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, recently broke ground with a star-studded ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new network is a joint project of the state of California and NEDO, a Japanese R&D organization. Other partners include Nissan and EVgo, which will manage the installation of the 50 fast charging stations at 20 locations.


Along with making long-distance electric driving more convenient, the project aims to study EV use and driving patterns through a smartphone app that will provide users with real-time convenience features such as navigation to charging stations and charger vacancy information. The stats will be available to users, and the partners will analyze use patterns to better inform future infrastructure projects.

The charging stations are expected to be up and running by March 2017. The data analysis project will be completed in September 2020.

“This network of convenient fast-charging stations will make it easier for more consumers to choose fun-to-drive and economical electric cars,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “DRIVEtheARC will make intercity EV travel a breeze, and by putting more zero-emission vehicles onto our roads and highways, will help California meet our clean air and climate targets.”




  • cw

    I approve of this. I have been dreaming of this for 3 years now.

  • Will Smidt

    Actually DC Fast charge serves less than 50% of the plug-in cars on the road…then has 3 different connectors….people who can connect use it as emergency charging only….BIG OVERKILL! Most folks won’t even pay the $750 upgrade for DC Fast on the Bolt. Vast majority will charge at home…and buy a vehicle that fits their driving.
    I live in San Diego…take the train to LA on rare occasions I go there…and have NO DESIRE to drive to Vegas. My next car is a Bolt…with no DC connector.

    • Bryan

      Are you kidding? EVERYONE but you will pay the $750 upgrade for fast DC charging on the Bolt.

      • Ramon A. Cardona

        I know we are evolving as to EV’s but lots of Volt owners, as a comparison, have not installed a Level 2 at home. Then, the question begs to be asked: will Bolt owners elect to pay for the CCS when there are none in their area? Even if, and that is a big if, dealers place a CCS unit, would owners go to a dealership to charge? The American “convenience factor” shall speak loudly. CCS/CHAdeMO is faster than L2’s but not fast enough for many. We shall see how this develops. Yes, I read that Chevy shall “require” dealers to have CCS but since Chevy does not pay for electricity, well, you know the drill.

    • adrianrf

      I believe you are wrong, sir:

      together, the Nissan Leaf and Tessa Model S (and X) comprise the largest fraction of EVs sold in North America, by far.

      it’s a matter of record that a large majority of Leaf owners added the DC Quick Charging option to those trim levels that didn’t include it as standard, from 2011 onward.

      am not so certain about Tesla, but my impression is that huge numbers of Tesla owners have purchased adapters, too.

      • Dave_SRQ

        adrianrf: “am not so certain about Tesla, but my impression is that huge numbers of Tesla owners have purchased adapters, too.”

        Maybe, but not me. The chademo adapter is $450, and will allow charging at up to 150 miles per hour at a chademo refueling station. Since I can charge at home, and there are many supercharger stations along the highway in every direction from my home, I have no need for chademo.

        Chademo is less than half the refueling speed of a supercharger station. Now, if I couldn’t charge at home, and I had a chademo close to home or work, then I’d be singing a different tune.

  • adrianrf

    the Pacific Coast Electric Highway is *supposed* to let you drive from Canada to Mexico; Washington and Oregon did their part more than 4 years ago: you can go all the way in a first-gen Leaf, north from Ashland OR to Vancouver BC…

    sure would be nice if Northern Cali would get its collective finger out, and link southward along I-5 from the Oregon border at Ashland.

    of course, Tesla drivers have no problem, with a Supercharger station right at Mt. Shasta; but there’s a 145-mile chasm—plus a 2,000 ft altitude change—for the Rest of Us.

    • John Hohulin

      Agreed! Aside from a couple of Level 1 spots at motels and RV parks, there’s nothing between Fairfield and Redding – 172 miles – far beyond the range of my Soul EV.

      • cw

        Vacaville, Williams, Corning all have 23kw DC quick chargers. All about 40-50 miles apart between Fairfield and Redding. dude.

        • John Hohulin

          I stand corrected, although Vacaville/Fairfield are the same to me. Plugshare shows one Level 2 charger in Winters, but nothing public again until Redding. Still not enough to support a steady EV flow.

        • Dave_SRQ

          FYI – 23kw DC quick chargers are not fast enough for road trip travel. 50kw DC chargers are not fast enough for road trip travel. They would be great for emergency use, or refueling at the mall or at work or at a movie theater, or at hotels for overnight guests or even for neighborhood refueling in areas near condos (which might not allow refueling at home). Heck, even Tesla’s Destination chargers (80A) can replenish up to 50 miles of range per hour.

          But for road trip use, you really need 100+ kw, or a PHEV.

          • cw

            It takes about 25 minutes to fill my car with a 50kw. Works fine for me. Teslas do a lot more than 50 miles of range an hour. Check yer numbers dude & quit hatin. 50kn chargers are most excellent.

          • Dave_SRQ

            @cw, I basically agreed that 50kw IS great for fast charging “around town”. But it’s inadequate for use on a road trip, when you’re trying to drive more than 450 miles in a day. You’re just burning too many hours waiting around while the car is charging. Depending on the car and the battery, at 50kw, you could maybe pick up 140 miles of range per hour of charging. So basically, drive for 2 hrs, then charge for 1 hr, then repeat (best case scenario). And that’s assuming a battery with a 200+ mile range, and an EV which accepts 50kw, and perfect placement of charging locations, and immediate access to a fast charger upon arrival.

          • Dave_SRQ

            cw: “Teslas do a lot more than 50 miles of range an hour.”
            FYI – A Tesla Destination Charger is not the same as a Tesla supercharger. A Level 2 Tesla Destination Charger (HPWC) is capable of charging at up to 20kw. A Tesla Supercharger is capable of charging at up to 120 kw. Big difference. These are TWO different networks. Each with thousands of bays in the USA alone. Both networks deployed by Tesla, however, the Destination Chargers (HPWCs) are largely maintained by retailers, but are still free, and for Tesla use only.

          • adrianrf


            oddly, the limitation that is so absolute for you hasn’t stopped me from doing the Portland OR–Sacramento CA return journey in my mere 24kWh Nissan Leaf, to visit my brother. twice.

            did it take me longer than if I had been compulsively driving a heavily-subsidized, ecology-destroying, blood-fuel-dependent, guzzoline-sucking ICE dinosaur, as fast as I could, for as long as I could keep my eyes open?

            yes. yes, it did.

            but that was OK with me.

            you know, right now, all of us here on Planet Earth are still heading full-pelt towards the point of AGW No Return; which will occur the moment we trigger one or more of several very significant positive-feedback phenomena—such the release of as little as 1 Gigatonne of methane out of the already rapidly-thawing multiple hundreds of Gigatonnes of that incredibly potent greenhouse gas that lie frozen all around the Arctic region—and which recent data now suggests may have previously caused overall temperatures planet-wide to shift abruptly into runaway mode, until attaining definitive Extinction Event levels—not at a leisurely couple-of-centuries pace, either, but in very possibly as little as *10 years*, according to the geological record.

            anyone who has paid even the slightest attention to the abnormally-elevated Arctic temperatures prevailing through this year should be extremely worried.

            after all, it’s already three years and counting since various observers reported finding methane plumes of as much a *full kilometer in diameter* rising steadily from the ocean floor.

            but the prospect of maybe having to wait a few extra hours on your journey so you can use a CO2-free vehicle: well, that’s just completely out of the question for you, isn’t it…?