As automakers move quickly toward developing more electric vehicles (EVs), seven automakers have joined forces in a joint venture to develop one of the largest EV charging station networks in North America that eventually will encompass 30,000 high-powered stations.
Companies joining in the venture include BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Stellantis, and the Mercedes-Benz Group.
“With the generational investments in public charging being implemented on the Federal and state level, the joint venture will leverage public and private funds to accelerate the installation of high-powered charging for customers,” the companies said.
One of the main focuses of the network will be to include both “Combined Charging System (CCS) and North American Charging Standard (NACS)” systems that meet or exceed the spirit and requirements of the U.S. National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program, the joint venture partners said.
According to the Department of Energy (DoE), there are currently 32,000 publicly available DC fast chargers for 2.3 million electric vehicles across the United States. That figure leaves much to be desired as “U.S. electric vehicle sales are expected to exceed 50% of total U.S. sales by 2030,” the companies said.
“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,” said GM CEO Mary Barra.
The network is aiming to create a seamless integration of best-in-class services that will include more convenient plug-and-charge technology that will allow users to pay without applications and credit cards.
Charging station locations also will be situated near amenities such as retail locations, food venues, and restrooms.
“The fight against climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. What we need now is speed – across political, social, and corporate boundaries,” stated Ola Källenius CEO of Mercedes-Benz Group.
“To accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, we’re in favor of anything that makes life easier for our customers. Charging is an inseparable part of the EV-experience, and this network will be another step to make it as convenient as possible,” Källenius said.