By Paul Rosta
Simon Property Group is expanding its status as a leading retail destination for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations as well as shopping, dining and entertainment. The nation’s largest retail REIT is teaming up with Electrify America to install a new line of fast-charging facilities at more than 30 of its malls and outlets around the country.
Of note, the installations will include the first certified cooled-cable chargers that can provide 150 to 350 kilowatts, a first in the U.S. The products can provide as much as 20 miles of driving range per minute, seven times as as quickly as a 50-kilowatt charger.
“Having been one of the first retail property owners in the U.S. to offer customer EV charging stations, we understand the importance of this infrastructure to facilitate the transition towards smart sustainable cities and advancing Simon’s corporate sustainability ambitions,” said Mona Benisi, Simon’s Vice President of Corporate Sustainability.
The fast-charging EV stations are slated for properties from coast to coast, including such centers as South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Mass.; King of Prussia in the eponymous Philadelphia suburb; Florida Mall, Orlando; San Francisco Premium Outlets, Livermore, Calif.; Santa Rosa Plaza, Santa Rosa, Calif.; Del Amo Fashion Center in Los Angeles’ South Bay area; and Ontario Mills, Ontario, Calif.
Electrify America charging stations at Simon properties near major highways will offer power ranging from 30 to 350 kilowatts; at other centers, the stations will provide up to 150 kW of capacity. Most participating properties will also provide an L2 AC charger to accommodate plug-in hybrids and non-DC-charge capable vehicles.
The plan will add significantly to the EVC platform that Simon introduced in 2011. At most recent report, the company’s inventory included 466 stations, 105 locations and 20 states.
Simon and Electrify America kicked off the program on May 31 with six chargers at Gulfport Outlet Malls in Gulfport, Miss. So that any vehicle with fast-charging capability can use the facility, the station includes a 50 kilowatt connector and dual-handle chargers with 150 kilowatt or 350 kilowatt connectors.
The Gulfport installation is also among Electrify America’s first to provide fast charging capability. In mid-May, the company unveiled a 350 kW charger at Brugh’s Mill Country Store in Fincastle, Va. Electrify America plans to install some 2,000 chargers at 484 stations in 39 states by the end of 2019. That program is the $370 million first phase of a projected 10-year, $2 billion growth strategy.