In a groundbreaking move, seven major global automakers have joined forces to create a joint venture aimed at revolutionizing electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across North America. BMW Group, General Motors (GM), Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz Group, and Stellantis are collaborating to establish an unprecedented high-powered charging network. The venture is set to significantly expand access to fast and reliable charging significantly, ensuring customers can charge their EVs conveniently and seamlessly whenever and wherever they need.
Ambitious Charging Network Plans
The primary goal of the joint venture is to install a massive network of at least 30,000 high-powered charge points in both urban and highway locations. By doing so, the automakers hope to make zero-emission driving even more appealing to millions of customers across North America. The charging stations will be equipped with both Combined Charging System (CCS) and North American Charging Standard (NACS) connectors, making them accessible to all battery-powered EVs, regardless of the automaker.
The charging network is planned to go beyond merely fulfilling the necessary charging infrastructure requirements. It will be designed to deliver an elevated customer experience, catering to EV owners’ needs and preferences. This means offering high-powered charging capability, ensuring reliability, providing digital integration, selecting appealing locations, and incorporating various amenities for customers to enjoy while charging.
Customer-Centric Approach and Digital Integration
With an aim to make EV charging as convenient and hassle-free as possible, the network will focus on customer comfort and ease. Charging stations will be strategically located in metropolitan areas and along major highways, including connecting corridors and popular vacation routes. This extensive coverage aims to offer charging access wherever EV drivers may choose to live, work, and travel.
The charging stations will be integrated seamlessly with participating automakers’ in-vehicle and in-app experiences. This integration will enable customers to access services such as reservations, intelligent route planning and navigation, payment applications, transparent energy management, and more. Leveraging Plug & Charge technology will further enhance the customer experience, allowing for a truly vehicle-integrated and user-friendly charging process.
Renewable Energy and Sustainable Focus
In line with the sustainability strategies of all seven automakers, the joint venture plans to power the entire charging network solely with renewable energy sources. This commitment to environmental responsibility aligns with the global push to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change.
Timeline and Future Prospects
The joint venture aims to establish its presence this year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The first stations are anticipated to open in the United States during the summer of 2024, with Canada to follow at a later stage.
“We intend to exceed customer expectations by creating more opportunities for a seamless charging experience given the significant growth expected in the market,“ said Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares. “We believe that a charging network at scale is vital to protecting freedom of mobility for all, especially as we work to achieve our ambitious carbon neutrality plan. A strong charging network should be available for all – under the same conditions – and be built together with a win-win spirit. I want to thank each colleague involved, as it is a milestone example of our collective intelligence to listen and serve our customers.”