General Motors moves to build nationwide electric vehicle charging network

General Motors Co. is working with electric vehicle charging operator EVgo to build a nationwide fast-charging infrastructure as the automaker prepares a major push into battery-powered models.

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the front entrance at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Arlington, Texas. (REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the front entrance at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Arlington, Texas.

The two companies will jointly invest in 2,750 fast chargers in cities and suburbs across the US as GM moves to solve a chicken-and-egg problem that comes with selling EVs: A sparse network of chargers has turned off some potential buyers, but utilities and charging companies have been loath to expand the infrastructure until more plug-ins are on the road.

“We know how important the charging ecosystem is for drivers, one that includes access to convenient and reliable public fast charging," Mary Barra, GM’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Our relationship with EVgo will bolster the public fast-charging network available to EV customers ahead of increased market demand."

Also Read : GM says it can pay off $16 billion loan if US recovery continues

GM has three new electric models coming out in the next two years, starting with the Cadillac Lyriq crossover SUV, which will be shown to the public next week. In 2021, GM plans to sell the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, which is a larger version of the existing Bolt compact, and a GMC Hummer pickup.

The automaker plans to spend $20 billion developing electric and autonomous vehicles over the next five years and has said it will have at least 20 EVs for sale globally by 2023.

EVgo Services LLC’s fast chargers can fully charge an electric-vehicle battery in about 30 minutes, according to the company’s website. That would allow drivers to charge their cars at least partially in the amount of time they might spend running an errand while parked.

Also Read : General Motors teases upcoming Hummer electric SUV ahead of launch this year

The U.S. has 31,446 charging stations with more than 96,000 connections, according to the Department of Energy website. Of those stations, 4,750 are fast chargers with almost 17,000 outlets. By comparison, there are about 122,000 gasoline stations in the U.S., according to the National Association of Convenience Stories.

Research firm Guidehouse Insights forecasts that the U.S. network will have 66,000 fast-charging outlets by 2025.

First Published Date: 01 Aug 2020, 10:07 AM IST
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