Electric vehicle owners traveling between Tucson and Phoenix no longer have to worry about whether their vehicle will work at a particular charging station.
On May 12, GOe3, a company that concentrates largely on renewable energy, kicked off its campaign to create a route with universal charging ports that will work with all makes and models of electric vehicles.
This will eliminate the hassle of having to worry about proprietary plugs that are predominately found across the state and country, says Bruce Brimacombe, founder and CEO of GOe3.
“There is a battle of the plugs. This is something that is just broken in America, and we are looking to fix it,” he said.
The ultimate goal is to provide coast-to-coast universal charging stations. The Tucson-Phoenix route was the first of those efforts.
“We are looking at having one to 10 universal charging stations every other month. We don’t want to slow down,” said Brimacombe.
While a current brand of slow charging universal stations exist in the U.S., GOe3’s stations will be fast-charging, capable of charging a vehicle in 15 to 45 minutes depending on the make.
That, in many cases, is about the amount of time a family would spend at a gas station or rest stop along the way, says Brimacombe.
“The average person, between filling up their car, using the restroom, looking around a convenience store and making a purchase, takes 19 to 25 minutes,” said Brimacombe. “For couples, it’s 25 to 35 minutes, for families, it’s up to 45 minutes, and by that time you could have a fully charged vehicle.”
For those electric vehicle owners in a hurry, the fast-charging universal ports will provide an 80 percent charge to many vehicles in less than 10 minutes.
“Our whole mission is to think from the consumer’s side and not the manufacturer’s side,” said Brimacombe.
GOe3 implemented the universal charging stations at three points along the interstate – one in Phoenix, one in Casa Grande and one in Tucson.
Brimacombe estimates that as electric vehicles continue to increase in popularity, vehicle prices will fall, and charging stations will increase.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are currently 9,539 electric stations and 24,409 charging outlets in the United States.
One of the main reasons for their increasing popularity – even beyond the obvious cost savings of gasoline – is the fact electric vehicles require minimal maintenance.
A study conducted by the Institute for Automotive Research concluded that electric vehicles will, on average, save drivers close to $2,000 per year when compared to gasoline vehicles.
“You just don’t have the maintenance nightmares,” said Brimacombe. “If you buy a Tesla, which is the same price as many Audis, BMWs and Mercedes, you’re really saving yourself money in the long run because electric vehicles really only have seven moving parts on them, so there’s less to go wrong.”