As all-electric cars increase in popularity, a critical issue for drivers is having sufficient charging resources to stay on the road during longer trips, not to mention paying for the power.
San Francisco, California-based Volta Charging aims to help alleviate range anxiety by rapidly scaling its portfolio of free public electric car charging stations.
“The idea is to put these stations out in front of the community, enticing the public with the idea of converting to electric cars, making their communities more sustainable," said Scott Mercer, Volta Charging founder and chief executive officer.
The company tested the concept in Hawaii in 2010, and in 2014 it moved to California, installing chargers in the parking lots of malls, grocery stores and sports venues.
Volta doubled its number of charging stations during the past six months, with more than half of its install base in California. Its goal is to also add two new networks by the end of the year, spanning from the Northwestern U.S. to Washington, D.C.
But rapid growth isn’t easy, and Volta executives realized they needed help with permitting and design to reach their goals.
The work requires obtaining dozens of local government permits, meeting the needs of businesses where stations are located, and considering variable construction requirements at every physical location.
Black & Veatch brings the engineering and permitting expertise Volta needs to bring many of its charging stations to life as quickly as possible. In some cases, Black & Veatch has obtained permits and brought units online in about a month.