A pioneer in EV charging stations is reinventing the service station

Charging an electric car is a wildly different experience than filling up the tank of a car or truck with an internal-combustion engine. 

In the heyday of highway motoring, full-service service stations used to do much more than just fill up gas.

In a 1960’s commercial, Texaco bragged that its full service service stations were much more than just run-of-the-mill gas stations. Its attendants would not only fuel up your car, but also inspect vital components, such as the battery, wipers, engine oil levels, fan belt, and radiator. Plus, they’d clean your windshield.

Today’s electric cars do not get the same sort of treatment, as many of them are self-serve charges built near busy big-box shopping centers, highway rest stops, parking garages or shopping malls, where drivers, exposed to all sorts of stormy weather and temperatures, have to figure out what to do for the 20-or-so minutes it takes to charge up. 

However, Electrify America is trying out a new solution.

The company, known for electric fast charging, is seeking to redefine the EV charging game by opening up the “flagship” location of its new indoor charging station. 

Electrify America

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Set to open on Feb. 9 in the South Market (SoMa) neighborhood near the heart of San Francisco, Electrify America’s new charging station acts more like a rest stop than the public charging stations of yore. 

Here, electric cars and their owners are situated inside a building open 24/7 with round-the-clock monitoring and security. While vehicles charge at one of 20 of Electrify’s next-gen 350 kW chargers, drivers can recharge themselves in one of two dedicated lounge areas equipped with bathrooms, food and beverage vending machines and free Wi-Fi. 

“We’re committed to making EVs accessible to all, particularly in dense urban areas like San Francisco,” Electrify America president and CEO Robert Barrosa said. “Our expertise in building over 250 stations in California and more than 900 in North America uniquely positions us to bring high-quality charging infrastructure directly into communities where people live and work and support EV adoption across the state.”

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Electrify America says that the San Francisco station is part of a larger vision for the company’s charging station future, which aims to “meet the growing demand of EV drivers.” The company also says that it aims to open more flagship facilities in other metro areas nationwide.

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