DRIVETHEARC’s goal is to contribute to promotion of renewable energy and reduction of CO2.


DRIVETHEARC is a collaborative demonstration project between Japan, the U.S., and State of California that will encourage electric vehicle (EV) use and help California meet higher energy and environmental standards through expansion of an inter-city charging network and real-time information services.

The project aims to:

  • Encourage EV uptake and use through efficient public charging station deployment that connects major points of interest in northern California, and by providing real-time charger and vehicle information services for EV drivers. .

The components of the project are:

  • Deployment of public fast charging stations along a popular driving route in northern California, and provision of real-time information services to EV drivers.
  • Analysis of EV driver behavior before and after completion of the fast charger corridor.
  • Evaluation of the business potential of inter-city charging networks and EV real-time information services.


The project will:

  •  Create a dense public charging network across Northern California.
  • Stimulate local economies through tourism enhancement.
  • Enable California to become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly by encouraging and supporting more EV driving. 
  • Strengthen government relations and knowledge exchange between the U.S. and Japan.
  •  Create a business model that can be applied to other cities in the US and beyond.


Who is funding the project?


  •              As part of its mission to improve energy conservation and promote new energy technologies, Japan’s largest public research and development management organization — New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) — is funding “DRIVETHEARC” project.

How is U.S. Federal/California State Government involved in the project?

  •  Based on US-JPN technical collaboration agreement in Nov. 2009, in the area of clean energy, and collaboration agreement between CA-JPN in Jul, 2014, in the area of climate change, vehicles, etc., NEDO and California State Government signed MOU in Sept. 2015 to launch this project. California State Government agrees to jointly promote the project with NEDO.

Why was Northern California selected as the location for this project?


  • The US is recognized as one of the largest markets for plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) and regarded as the capitol of PEVs.
  • The State of California represents approximately 40% of PEV sales in the entire US, with a variety of PEV cars from many different auto manufacturers.
  • Northern California has many major points of interest within a weekend trip’s distance from the Bay Area/Sacramento, but no inter-city charging network had been established yet.
  • DRIVETHEARC project partners see a big opportunity in Northern California to enhance EV travel to destinations of interest through enhanced inter-city charging network deployment.


  • ARC stands for “Advanced Recharging Corridor”, and also reflects the project route shape on the map: Monterey to Lake Tahoe. Project partners hope the charging stations help EV drivers reach their destinations, allowing them to “drive the ARC” – surf-to-ski, emission-free.

FAQs on DRIVETHEARC Smartphone Apps

What capabilities do I get with the smartphone app?

You can:

  • Find charging stations
  • View charging station status
  • View your cruising range
  • Find recommended stations on the way to your destination
  • Initiate a charge using the DRIVETHEARC app
  • Automatic State of Charge (SOC) updates by NissanConnect Data Link Service
Which charging stations' information can I view?

You can view information for all the DRIVETHEARC stations and EVgo stations in Northern California.

How do I view charging station information?

Pins on the map stand for charging stations. You can view the station and charger information by tapping the pin.

Detailed information is available at “Check the station’s availability and request navigation to the station” in the operation manual.

Which charging stations can I use Smartphone App Charging at?

If you are a CHAdeMO EV user, you can use activate the charger using the DRIVETHEARC app.

What is the "FREE!" ribbon that appears in DRIVETHEARC station information?

It means that during the campaign period, you can charge your EV at no cost at that station [CHAdeMO only].

Which EVs can be charged at DRIVETHEARC stations?

All CHAdeMO EVs and Combo EVs can be charged at DRIVETHEARC stations.

How do I start charging in DRIVETHEARC stations?

If you are a CHAdeMO EV user can activate the charger using the DRIVETHEARC app, credit card, EVgo Access Cards, and EZ-Charge Cards.

If you are a Combo user, you can activate the charger using credit card, EVgo Access Cards, and EZ-Charge Cards.

How do I read the QR code on my phone?

First, make sure the DRIVETHEARC app has a permission to access the camera. When you launch the app and open the “Charge Activation” menu,  you will see that your phone’s camera is activated. Line up your smartphone camera with the QR code on the screen, and hold the smartphone steady until the app can read the QR code. When the app has recognized the QR code, it will automaticaly display the result message of Charge Activation.

What should I do if my phone fails to read the QR code?

If you try QR code reading several times and it doesn’t work, please email our customer support line: iPhone users should contact iPhone-support@drivearc.com, and Android users should contact Android-support@drivearc.com.

What should I do if charging fails after reading the QR code?

Please check to see whether you have requested the navigation to that DRIVETHEARC station before. In this process, DRIVETHEARC app internally issues a PromoTicket valid for the smartphone app charging in the requested station. You are not authorized to start charging without this valid PromoTicket even if you could read the QR code.

If you still can’t charge in spite of having a valid promoTicket issued, please email our customer support line: iPhone users should contact iPhone-support@drivearc.com, and Android users should contact Android-support@drivearc.com.

What is the free-charge campaign?

This campaign offers you no-cost charging using the DRIVETHEARC app at the DRIVETHEARC stations.

Which EVs are eligible for the campaign?

This project aims to evaluate EV driving behavior analysis before/after the QC network rollout and real time information service provision. For the project purpose, EV models with capability to provide probe data for before/after analysis will primarily be eligible for the “charge for free” campaign. Due to the specification of the QC protocol of the eligible EVs, chargers don’t recognize the EV models at the time of charging if they also use the same QC protocol. Thus other EV models using the same QC protocol as the eligible EVs will also be eligible for the “charge for free” campaign.

How long is the free-charge campaign period?

The campaign period has not been determined yet. The end of the campaign period will be announced on the DRIVETHEARC home page in the future.

What will happen after the end of the free-charge campaign?

Charging fees will be charged to your own credit card associated with your EVgo account.

What is "SOC"?

It means State of Charge, which is a percentage of the amount of energy left in a battery of your EV.

Do I need to update my EV's SOC by myself?

Yes. To let the DRIVETHEARC app recognize your current state, you need to input your EV’s SOC by voice or keypad.

If you are a NissanConnect Data Link Service user, the SOC is updated automatically when you launch the app, request navigation to a station, and complete charging.

Android Users: please email android-support@drivearc.com

How is the cruising range detemined per each car model?

It is determined based on information from FuelEconomy.gov Web Services. Please refer to http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/ws/index.shtml for more details.

How many stations are recommended?

5 stations at maximum.

Which kind of stations are recommended?
  • Available status stations
  • Stations on the way to your destination
  • DRIVETHEARC stations are preferentially recommended for the users who are eligible to have no cost charge only in DRIVETHEARC stations.
What is "NissanConnect"?

It is a navigation, information, and entertainment system for Nissan cars. Please refer to http://www.nissanusa.com/connect for more details.

How do I contact technical support?

For iPhone Users: please email iphone-support@drivearc.com

For Android Users: please email android-support@drivearc.com