Rove bringing 40-station EV charging center, 24-hour lounge to Santa Ana – Daily News

on Sep14
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Rove, a Costa Mesa-based developer of EV charging centers, will break ground this month on a center in Santa Ana that will feature 40 fast-charging stations, an onsite market, a car wash, a 24-hour lounge, free WiFi and restrooms.

The 1.2-acre facility, the site of a former Hometown Buffet two blocks from the 5 freeway, is expected to open in early 2024 as the first of six charging centers planned for Southern California. The company said it’s also developing charging centers in Corona, Costa Mesa, Long Beach, Torrance and Rancho Cucamonga.

See more: Find out how many electric vehicles are in your neighborhood

In total, Rove plans to open 20 centers in the region by 2026.

Here’s a rendering of the EV charging center Rove plans to open in Corona. (Artist rendering courtesy of Rove)

A groundbreaking for the Santa Ana facility — with stations capable of charging a vehicle in as little as 15 minutes — will be held at 1 p.m. Sept. 28 at 1008 E. 17th St.

Rove CEO Nathan McDonnell said his goal is to make EV charging more efficient and “customer-centric.”

See more: Southern Californians who drive the most are slowest to switch to electric vehicles

“These are all things EV charging should be,” he said. “Our goal is to raise the bar by providing fast charging, clean amenities and onsite support.”

An EV owner since 2018, McDonnell, knows how frustrating it can be to pull up to a charging station and have nowhere to relax while the vehicle is charging.

“A lot of times they’re at shopping centers, and when you get out there’s no shade and no restrooms,” he said. “That’s always been a pain point for me. And depending on the chargers, they can be slow.”

Rove’s direct-current fast chargers can generate speeds of up to 350 kilowatts, ensuring a fast charge, the company said.

The centers will be staffed by three people during the day with a 24-hour security presence. The center’s lounge will be open around the clock with vending machines stocked with grab-and-go food items from the center’s market, McDonnell said.

Rove hasn’t yet revealed who the food vendor will be.

The company also noted that the facilities will generate renewable energy through the use of onsite solar panels and battery storage as a supplement to the electric grid during times of peak usage.

“Nathan and his team have re-imagined the electric vehicle charging experience,” said Mark Longstreth, a partner at New York-based Newlight Partners, which made an initial investment in Rove in 2021. “We are proud to support Rove’s continued momentum to expand charging access and accelerate the transition of our vehicle fleet to clean and renewable energy.”

McDonnell said Rove has secured land entitlements for the other five charging centers, although he can’t predict exactly when they’ll open.

“In some cases, we’re seeing 18 months from start to finish, depending on construction and finalization of the architectural drawings,” he said. “But in other cases that can take 24 to 30 months.”

Rove’s other planned charging center locations:

  • 1341 W. 6th St., Corona
  • 1620 W. Wardlow Ave., Long Beach
  • 1861 190th St., Torrance
  • Rancho Cucamonga address not yet available
  • Costa Mesa address not yet available

In California, the pace of EV sales has picked up, leading the nation. According to a Bloomberg analysis, EVs have gone from 2% of new-car sales in the state to 22% in the past five years. The state ranks fourth in the world for EV sales.

See more: EV maker VinFast’s rally makes it as big as Ford and GM — combined

Nearly 300,000 new EVs were sold in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2023, according to Cox Automotive. That was a record for any quarter and an increase of 48.4% from the same period in 2022.

Tesla was again the largest seller of EVs in the U.S., with more than 175,000 sold, an increase of 34.8% quarter over quarter.

Cox expects to see a million additional EVs on the road in 2023, further fueling the market.

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