Seven OEMs plan to form N.A. charging network to rival Tesla's

Seven OEMs plan to form N.A. charging network to rival Tesla’s

The joint venture is between BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz Group, and Stellantis NV.

Seven automakers – BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz Group, Stellantis NV – are creating a joint venture to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles in North America, by making EV charging more accessible and convenient.

The joint venture will include the development of a new, high-powered charging network with at least 30,000 chargers to make zero-emission driving even more attractive for millions of customers, the automakers say.

The joint venture will leverage public and private funds to accelerate the installation of high-powered charging for customers. The new charging stations will be accessible to all battery-powered electric vehicles from any automaker using Combined Charging System (CCS) or North American Charging Standard (NACS), and are expected to meet or exceed the spirit and requirements of the U.S. National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.

The joint venture aims to become the leading network of reliable high-powered charging stations in North America, according to the automakers, and is expected to be established this year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

The first stations are expected to open in the United States in the summer of 2024 and in Canada at a later stage. Each site will be equipped with multiple high-powered DC chargers and the joint venture intends to power the charging network solely by renewable energy.

Focused on charging ease, the stations will be in “convenient locations,” the automakers say, 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 an 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 and travel.

As more electric vehicles are introduced and the rate of consumer adoption increases, the demand for fast and reliable public charging also 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 NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) estimates that 182,000 DC fast chargers will be needed to support 30-42 million plug-in vehicles expected on the road by 2030.

With U.S. electric vehicle sales expected to exceed 50% of total U.S. sales by 2030, the expansion of reliable charging infrastructure will become even more critical to widespread electric vehicle adoption.

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