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Electric Vehicle information for Atlanta and Georgia

public charging stations in metro Atlanta and beyond

EVSE-mapThis public charging fact sheet (PDF) explains the basics of public charging, starting with the fact that most EV owners actually don’t even need it because they charge at home and start every day with a full battery. The PDF is two pages long and designed to be printed out double-sided and then distributed at EV outreach events when people ask us about charging away from home. This originally started out as as a map of the metro Atlanta area, demonstrating how EV charging was spreading, but by now there are many hundreds of stations in metro Atlanta alone, and so this has evolved into a general fact sheet on public charging, including an overview of the plug standards, the different charging networks, and how to use Plugshare (more on Plugshare below).

From 2014 to 2016, Georgia Power rolled out an initial network of “charging islands”, each which feature both Level 2 and dual-standard DCFC stations for a nominal cost. EVgo, previously partnered with Nissan, got further support from BMW and upgraded most of their DCFC stations from Chademo-only to dual-standard.  Those two independent efforts saturated Metro Atlanta with DCFC stations, and gave Georgia the beginnings of a statewide network that could support all EVs, not just one make. Away from Atlanta that initial network provided sparse, fragile coverage of north Georgia and middle Georgia, and cities in neighboring states were now reachable by short-range EVs.  You could finally do a roadtrip in your EV!

In 2018, Volkswagen started rolling out their Electrify America charging network. These DCFC stations feature a minimum power of 150 kW, and up to 350 kW, and offer multiple stations at each site — at least four and sometime as many as ten. Contrast this with the first wave of DCFC, such as the Georgia Power rollout above, which offer 50 kW and typically have only a solitary station at each location. The Electrify America stations have been built on highway arteries between cities, and south Georgia (along I-75) and northeast Georgia (along I-85) have finally been covered, enabling faster travel to Florida and to points northeast. This same kind of infrastructure was deployed across the entire country — as of summer 2019, the United States now has a nationwide network of DC fast charging stations. This is already done.

People new to EVs tend to get pretty confused and frustrated about the different plug types and power levels offered by these stations. ChargeWay is a marketing company in Oregon that came up with a way to simplify the world of EV charging, using a color code and a number. Check out the Green Car Reports article on the ChargeWay concept, which hopefully will indeed catch on nationwide.

When charging at a public station, you should be aware of proper charging etiquette.

EV charging stations are everywhere, but they don’t stand out like gas stations. They’re in the corners of shopping mall parking lots, mounted on the sides of buildings, and in parking garages. Plugshare is a crowdsourced system that EV owners have used for over a decade to find these stations. The map below shows what metro Atlanta looks like — zoom in and find a station near you and go take a look! Once you get your first EV, install the free Plugshare app on your phone, incredibly useful for finding stations on the go. Use it after a long day driving all over town if you find that when you need a little bit of a charge to make it home, or use it to plan an epic EV roadtrip!