A site touted as the largest electric vehicle (EV) charging hub in the U.S. is taking shape at an industrial park in New Jersey, just minutes from New York City.
Power Edison, a New Jersey-based developer and provider of utility-scale mobile energy storage solutions, has partnered with Hugo Neu Realty Management and others to deploy a project featuring more than 200 high-power fast chargers at the Kearny Point Industrial Park, located 10 minutes from the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, a major port serving New York City and the northeastern U.S.
Hugo Neu Realty is a longtime developer of industrial real estate properties in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and California. The company is known for its support of sustainable business practices.
The EV charging hub, which will serve both private vehicles and commercial fleets, is expected to open in about six months, according to Shihab Kuran, CEO of Power Edison. Kuran told POWER there will be more than “200 [charging stations] for land-based” vehicles, with “25 [stations] for marine” vessels.
Some $7.5 billion for EV infrastructure is included in the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill, with $5 billion dedicated to expanding EV highway charging, and another $2.5 billion earmarked to fund EV charging or alternatives such as hydrogen-fueling infrastructure. Biden on Nov. 5, after the bill’s passage by the House of Representatives, said the funding could help build more than 500,000 charging stations, and help make 50% of vehicles electric by 2030.
“You’ll be able to go across the whole darn country, from East Coast to West Coast, just like you’d stop at a gas station now,” Biden said. “These charging stations will be available.”
EV adoption in the U.S. has moved slowly. Only about 2% of all cars sold in the U.S. in 2020 were all-electric, about 250,000 out of about 16 million light vehicles. Utilities continue to look at the impact of EV charging on power demand and the transmission grid. Officials also are studying the economic opportunities and benefits that could come from widespread EV deployment.
Power Industry Veterans
Power Edison is led by a group of power industry veterans with experience in power generation, transmission, distribution, power conversion, and smart grid applications. The company has launched a new subsidiary, EV Edison, which is dedicated to the development of high-power, fast-charging hubs.
“Power Edison is engaged with leading organizations such as Hugo Neu to make EV charging accessible and ubiquitous,” said Kuran. “Power Edison leverages its innovative solutions, including mobile truck and barge battery systems, to develop fast-charging hubs expeditiously. Our utility-scale mobile power solutions allow us to develop charging sites without having to wait for the typical lengthy power utility infrastructure upgrade process.”
The developers in a Nov. 11 news release said they anticipate the charging hub, which will serve the high-traffic Tri-State region in an industrial area powered by the Newark, N.J.-based PSE&G utility, “will power thousands of light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles daily—in addition to charging electric marine vessels. As world leaders meet at COP26, the message is clear that we are significantly behind on climate change action. This innovative partnership is accelerating meaningful community-centric solutions that will improve livability for frontline communities—while reducing harmful GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions.”
“In working with Power Edison to develop this strategically located EV charging hub, we’re bringing about an evolution in the sustainable use of land in this 130-acre industrial campus,” said Wendy Neu, CEO of Hugo Neu Realty Management. “The transportation sector remains the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey, accounting for over 40% of emissions along with other harmful pollutants.”
Prime Location in Industrial Area
Neu said that her company’s New Jersey location is well-suited to host a charging hub. “For decades, Kearny and the surrounding areas have been over-exposed to these pollutants. By deploying hundreds of EV chargers at Kearny Point, we will significantly reduce GHGs to help mitigate climate change and improve air quality for disproportionately burdened environmental justice communities in the area. Our innovative partnership with Power Edison is comprehensive in its approach to transforming this key location [located between the Hackensack and Passaic Rrvers, off Route 9] into model beacons of clean, renewable energy/transportation, while growing local economies.”
“Delivering more than 200 MW and 4,800 MWh of daily capacity, Power Edison’s new hub is an exciting and impactful EV super charging site,” said Pamela Frank, CEO of ChargeEVC-NJ, a business association that advocates for electrification of transportation. “We’re thrilled that Power Edison and Hugo Neu have joined forces with other key players in the electric vehicle charging arena in bringing this electrification-of-transportation project to fruition in New Jersey.”
Yazan Harasis, Director of Projects at Power Edison, said, “Our engineered power solutions will initially offer over 250 kW of power per charger and scale up to over 1 MW per charger as vehicle technology evolves. This enables industry-leading fast charging for light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles alike. Inherent in our design is flexibility, modularity and ability to integrate renewables, batteries and other technologies for added sustainability and resiliency.”
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).