7 car companies join to build 30K EV chargers for North America
Seven of the world’s top automakers—BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and Stellantis—are creating a joint venture to build up at least 30,000 EV chargers in North America, creating what they are calling a “best in class” charging network. The first stations are scheduled to open in the summer of 2024.
The joint venture, which “aims to become the leading network of reliable high-powered charging stations in North America,” will leverage public and private funds. The new charging stations will be accessible to all battery-powered electric vehicles from any automaker using Combined Charging System or North American Charging Standard (aka, the one Tesla uses and that others are rapidly adopting) and are expected to meet or exceed the requirements of the U.S. National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program.
In line with the sustainability interests of all seven automakers, “the joint venture intends to power the charging network solely by renewable energy.”
Focused on customer comfort and charging ease, the stations will be in convenient locations offering canopies wherever possible and amenities such as restrooms, food service, and retail operations either nearby or within the same complex. A select number of flagship stations will be equipped with additional amenities, “delivering a premier experience designed to showcase the future of charging.”
Initial plans call for the deployment of charging stations in metropolitan areas and along major highways, including connecting corridors and vacation routes, aiming to offer a charging station wherever people may choose to live, work, or travel. The functions and services of the network will allow for seamless integration with participating automakers’ in-vehicle and in-app experiences, including reservations, route planning and navigation, payment applications, and more.
As more electric vehicles are introduced and the rate of consumer adoption increases, the demand for fast and reliable public charging grows in parallel. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, as of July 2023, there are 32,000 publicly available DC fast chargers in the United States for use by 2.3 million electric vehicles, a ratio of 72 vehicles per charger. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that 182,000 DC fast chargers will be needed to support 30 to 42 million plug-in vehicles expected on the road by 2030.
Said GM CEO Mary Barra: “GM’s commitment to an all-electric future is focused not only on delivering EVs our customers love, but investing in charging and working across the industry to make it more accessible. The better experience people have, the faster EV adoption will grow.”