In 2016, the US oil and natural gas industry defaulted on $39 billion in high-yield energy debt, more than twice as much as the $15 billion in defaulted debt in 2015, according to Fitch. One in three US oil and gas exploration companies defaulted on high-yield bonds in 2016. In addition, more than 200 North American drillers and oil field service companies have been forced into bankruptcy in the two-and-a-half-year oil bust. But energy analysts now believe oil and gas bankruptcies will slow dramatically next year as climbing crude prices ease financial pressure on shale oil and gas drillers.

The EVgo charging network has created the world’s fastest electric vehicle charging station.  Located in the US city of Bakersfield, California,  the site offers 350-kW fast charging. To be opened this year, it will serve as a waypoint between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, enabling electric cars with ranges of 200 miles or more to comfortably make the 270-mile trip without skimping on climate control or lowering cruising speeds. Under 350-kW fast charging, a vehicle with a maximum range of about 310 miles would be able to gain 80% or nearly 250 miles, in less than 20 minutes. Currently, the charges 0n the Los Angeles-Las Vegas route are 50-kW.  The station will initially have four DC fast chargers with up to 350 kW. EVgo said the station can expand later to accommodate up to eight chargers. The test chargers will be compatible with both CHAdeMO and CCS/Combo standards. Charging at 350 kW was unthinkable a few years ago—either because it would incinerate the battery or greatly reduce its service life. It is now possible to do this through some very careful cell manufacturing and pack designs that include precise thermal monitoring and cooling.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted in a tweet that his company is aiming well beyond 350 kW for a future upgrade to its Supercharger network. The Supercharger interface typically charges up to 135 kW, although Tesla officially rates its hardware at 120 kW.

At the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show this week ChargePoint announced it has developed what it calls an ultra-fast DC charging station that can deliver up to 400 kW. The ChargePoint Express Plus is aimed at cutting-edge cars that charge quickly and have long ranges, like the Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt — cars that could be taken on long trips, if there were enough high-powered charging stations spaced along highways. The high power of the Express Plus chargers will potentially better serve electric transit, like buses, and service trucks that are out on the road all day. A quicker charge means more time on the road delivering passengers and packages. ChargePoint operates the world’s largest EV charging network, with more than 28,000 spots to plug in and charge.

 

 

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