In a rather interesting turn of events, Volkswagen’s Electrify America has decided to purchase and install Tesla Powerpacks at over 100 of its charging stations. In an announcement on Monday, Electrify America stated that the Powerpacks would be installed to help during peak charging times. The battery storage units, which are expected to be installed this year, would have a capacity of 350 kWh and be compatible with 210 kW rapid charging.
The deployment of Tesla Powerpacks to the Electrify America network mirrors the concept utilized by Tesla in its Superchargers. That said, the deal between Tesla and Volkswagen could be seen as proof that even competitors in the electric car industry could work together for a common goal. In a statement to The Verge, for one, Electrify America CEO Giovanni Palazzo noted that Tesla’s industrial-grade batteries are a “natural fit” for his company’s charging stations, considering the Silicon Valley-based carmaker’s expertise on charging networks.
“With our chargers offering high power levels, it makes sense for us to use batteries at our most high demand stations for peak shaving to operate more efficiently. Tesla’s Powerpack system is a natural fit given their global expertise in both battery storage development and EV charging,” the CEO said.
The addition of Tesla Powerpacks to Electrify America is coming at the perfect time, considering that Volkswagen’s charging network is set to support a number of electric vehicles that are coming to the market in the near future. Later this year, for one, the Porsche Taycan is expected to start production, and as mentioned by the German carmaker in a recent press release, the premium electric sedan would be utilizing Electrify America as its partner for coast-to-coast travel in the United States.
Volkswagen has ambitious plans for Electrify America. The network plans to have 3,000 chargers online by the middle of 2019, though only 89 are operational for now. The charging network also fell prey to a shutdown last month when safety concerns emerged from the cables used in the system. If any, the addition of Tesla’s Powerpacks would likely allow Electrify America to deliver more consistent, dependable service to its users.
Ultimately, Electrify America’s recently announced Powerpack purchases show Tesla’s willingness to follow through with the words of CEO Elon Musk, who has continually been pushing for the adoption of electric vehicles to help attain a sustainable future. In a recent set of posts on Twitter alone, Musk expressed his excitement at seeing the entry of other premium electric vehicles to the market. In a later tweet, Musk also stated that Tesla’s true competition is not the “trickle” of rival EVs, but the “flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day.”
Tesla’s battery storage business is set to see a notable rise this year. In the company’s Q4 2018 Update Letter, Tesla stated that it is ramping the production of its Powerpack and Powerwall modules at the Gigafactory. Elon Musk has also noted that Tesla would be ramping the production of its highly-anticipated Solar Roof tiles, which are being produced at the Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, NY.