Electrify America Reopens High-Power Charging Stations Following Potential Safety Issues

The stations were quickly shut down after issues regarding liquid-cooled charging cables surfaced.

byStephen Edelstein| UPDATED Jan 29, 2019 1:28 PM
Electrify America Reopens High-Power Charging Stations Following Potential Safety Issues

Electrify America, the organization created to spend $2 billion of Volkswagen diesel-cheating penalties on zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, has reactivated its most powerful charging stations. The stations were temporarily shut down over what Electrify America called a "potential safety issue" involving their liquid-cooled charging cables.

The stations were reopened after "extensive testing" of the cables by supplier Huber+Suhner, according to an Electrify America press release. Huber+Suhner had recommended that all customers stop using charging stations with these cables after a short circuit occurred in a similar cable at a test site in Germany.

The affected stations were among the most powerful of their kind available to the public, able to charge at a rate of 150 kilowatts to 350 kW. That power allows for quick charges even for cars with the largest battery packs. However, not every electric car currently on sale can charge at that rate, meaning relatively few drivers were affected. All stations also remained open in some capacity, using different plugs, Electrify America noted.

Only the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) DC fast-charging plus were affected. All affected stations also had plugs for the alternative CHAdeMO DC fast-charging standard, lower-power 50-kW CCS DC fast-charging, or slower Level 2 AC charging. Note that Tesla electric cars use the Silicon Valley company's own Supercharger standard for DC fast charging.

Electrify America was created to spend money paid by Volkswagen as part of its diesel-emissions cheating settlement and plans to install 2,800 charging stations nationwide by June. While the money being spent is VW's, Electrify America stations are open to electric cars from all automakers.