BMW and Volkswagen are investing over the next 12 months in new public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along heavily traveled routes on the east and west coasts of the U.S. The companies have joined forces with ChargePoint, which currently operates more than 20,000 public charging stations.

Plans call for some 100 fast-charging stations to be built by the end of 2015 using the Combined Charging Standard (CSS) protocol. The stations will be compatible with all EVs, regardless of the manufacturer.

All stations are expected to be fitted with two 50-kW DC fast chargers, or 24-kW DC Combo Fast chargers with the SAE Combo connector, along with a 240-Volt Level 2 charger. The 50-kW fast chargers can recharge an EV battery 80% of its capacity in about 20 minutes or about 10 minutes faster than the 24-kW chargers.

Chargers will be placed along Interstate 95 and are intended to connect Boston and Washington, D.C. The West Coast network will connect San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego in California with Portland, Ore. Distance between two stations will not exceed 50 miles, which means that road trips along these routes in almost any electric car currently available for purchase will be possible. The companies say that most of the stations will be installed at rest stops, restaurants and shopping centers. Almost all stations will be funded by the two German manufacturers.

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