- BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Stellantis and the Mercedes-Benz Group will collaborate in a new joint venture to install at least 30,000 high-powered electric vehicle chargers along major highways and in urban locations in North America, the companies said Wednesday.
- The chargers include two plug options: the Combined Charging System and Tesla’s North American Charging Standard.
- The first charging stations will open in the U.S. in the summer of 2024, the companies said in a statement.
The joint venture will leverage both public and private funds to build the network to build a high-powered EV charging network in North America. By including the CCS plug, the joint venture can access $7.5 billion in federal funding available under the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand the EV charging network in the U.S.
“North America is one of the world’s most important car markets, with the potential to be a leader in electromobility,” BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said in a statement. “Accessibility to high-speed charging is one of the key enablers to accelerate this transition.”
Participating automakers will allow EV drivers to access the network via their vehicle’s infotainment screens, with features such as route planning and navigation and energy management. The network will also leverage more convenient plug & charge technology to allow drivers to pay for charging sessions without using an app or credit card.
The charging locations will offer amenities such as canopies with restrooms, food service and retail options within the same complex or nearby. The joint venture also plans to build flagship charging stations that offer premium amenities.
“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,” CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. “The better experience people have, the faster EV adoption will grow.”
The joint venture charging network announcement comes as the participating automakers accelerate their electrification plans, which will increase EV charging demand in the U.S. Joint venture partners General Motors and Mercedes-Benz are also adopting Tesla’s North American Charging Standard for their future EVs to gain access to roughly 12,000 additional Superchargers as part of an agreement with the electric automaker.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that 182,000 publicly accessible DC fast chargers are needed to create a large enough network to support up to 42 million EVs in the U.S. by 2030. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are roughly 55,000 EV charging stations in the U.S.
The joint venture partners intend to use renewable energy to power the network.