June 17, 2024

Leading automakers partner to create massive EV charging network

Seven of the largest automakers announced today a joint venture to create a sprawling vehicle recharging network across North America. The goal is to install at least 30,000 charge points in urban and highway locations accessible to nearly any EV by offering Combined Charging System (CCS) and North American Charging Standard (NACS) connectors.

The group includes BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz Group, and Stellantis NV. In short, these automakers want their own Tesla Supercharger network.

The project was announced today in a joint press release, noting that the venture is expected to be established later this year, pending customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

The current state of EV charging is poor, and this venture sounds like a good step toward the electric future.

The planned charging locations sound like modern gas stations. Universal compatibility is the goal. With both CCS and NACS chargers, nearly any EV can recharge at these stations.

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.

The first US stations are scheduled to be open in the Summer of 2024, with stations in Canada added later. Stations will first hit metropolitan areas and major highways, followed by popular travel corridors and vacation routes.

The charging ecosystem in North America is lagging behind the rollout of electric vehicles. Shoppers still state — and with good reasoning — that range anxiety is a concern. Over the last few months, more automakers announced they would adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) connectors for their EVs, which would give those owners access to Tesla’s massive Supercharger network. Now, with this announcement, EV owners will have more options.

Questions about this partnerships remain. The announcement lacks any details about ownership and rates. If this venture is approved, it would create the second largest EV charging network behind only Tesla’s — meaning the two largest EV charging networks will be owned by the companies that are making the product.

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