Unprecedented Charging Network Joint Venture for North America

Cars, Features I By Justin Cornelison I July 27, 2023
New Charging Network

In a monumental effort to advance the adoption of electric vehicles and support the growing demand for reliable charging network infrastructure, seven major global automakers have come together to form a groundbreaking joint venture. BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz Group, and Stellantis NV are teaming up to create a high-powered charging network that will significantly expand access to EV charging in North America.

The joint venture’s primary objective is to install at least 30,000 high-powered charging network points across urban and highway locations, ensuring that customers can easily charge their electric vehicles whenever and wherever they need to. This massive charging infrastructure investment is set to make zero-emission driving even more attractive for millions of customers, thereby accelerating the transition to a more sustainable future.

To deliver an elevated customer experience, the charging network will not only focus on reliability and high-powered charging capabilities but also on seamless digital integration and appealing charging locations. The stations will be thoughtfully equipped with various amenities, such as restrooms, food services, and retail operations, making charging stops more comfortable and convenient for drivers. Additionally, the network’s commitment to renewable energy sources aligns with the sustainability strategies of the automakers involved, further reducing the environmental impact of EV charging.

One of the key features of this joint venture is its commitment to inclusivity. Charging stations will be accessible to all electric vehicle customers, regardless of the automaker, and will support both the Combined Charging System (CCS) and North American Charging Standard (NACS) connectors. This interoperability ensures that every EV owner can benefit from the expanded charging infrastructure, promoting widespread EV adoption and the growth of the electric vehicle market.

The joint venture’s first charging stations are expected to open in the summer of 2024, with initial deployment in the United States and later expansion to Canada. These stations will be strategically placed in metropolitan areas and along major highways, including popular vacation routes, to cater to a broad range of customers and facilitate long-distance travel with electric vehicles.

By integrating the charging network with participating automakers’ in-vehicle and in-app experiences, the joint venture aims to provide a seamless and intelligent charging experience. Features like reservations, route planning, navigation, and payment applications will enhance convenience and make the charging process more user-friendly. Leveraging Plug & Charge technology will further contribute to streamlining the charging experience for customers.

The need for a comprehensive charging network is underscored by the rapid growth of electric vehicles. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are currently 2.3 million electric vehicles in the United States, with 32,000 publicly available DC fast chargers. To accommodate the projected 30-42 million plug-in vehicles expected on the road by 2030, an estimated 182,000 DC fast chargers will be required.

With electric vehicle sales anticipated to exceed 50% of total U.S. sales by 2030, a robust and reliable charging infrastructure becomes crucial to support the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. The joint venture’s ambitious plans for a best-in-class charging network are poised to address this demand and foster the transition to sustainable transportation.

The visionary leaders of the automakers involved express their commitment to the joint venture and the future of electric mobility:

  • BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse emphasizes the significance of accessibility to high-speed charging to accelerate the transition to electromobility.
  • GM CEO Mary Barra highlights GM’s dedication to investing in charging infrastructure to drive EV adoption.
  • Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe views the joint venture as a critical step in achieving carbon neutrality and accelerating EV adoption.
  • Hyundai CEO Jaehoon Chang envisions the project as an opportunity to make sustainable transportation more accessible.
  • Kia CEO Ho Sung Song emphasizes the joint venture’s role in accelerating the transition to EVs across North America.
  • Mercedes-Benz Group CEO Ola Källenius recognizes the importance of convenience in the EV experience and the fight against climate change.
  • Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares underscores the significance of a strong charging network in ensuring freedom of mobility and supporting the company’s carbon neutrality plan.

The establishment of this unprecedented joint venture marks a milestone in the collective effort of automakers to listen to their customers and serve them better. By collaborating and investing in a reliable and extensive charging network, these industry leaders are setting a new standard for electric vehicle infrastructure, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and driving the growth of electric mobility in North America. With the first charging stations set to open in the near future, the future of electric vehicle charging looks brighter than ever before.

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