Seven Automakers Join Forces for North American Charging Network
General Motors, BMW, Honda, Hyundai and more will roll out their own network starting in 2024.
The electric vehicle charging infrastructure landscape continued its rapid change on Wednesday when seven automakers jointly announced a new charging network. While the last few weeks have seen automakers announcing their adoption of the Tesla-based North American Charging Standard (NACS) plug left, right, and center, today's announcement is even bigger. Like Volkswagen before them with Electrify America/Canada, these automakers are forging ahead with their own, currently unnamed network.
The full lineup is a big one: General Motors, Stellantis, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. A Genesis spokesperson also confirmed to AutoGuide that the luxury brand is part of the collaboration. The target is "at least 30,000 chargers" across Canada and the United States. For reference, Electrify America has 3,592 Level 3 chargers and 116 Level 2s, according to its consumer site. (Electrify Canada adds 124 chargers, all Level 3, across four provinces.) The press release even includes the bullish goal of becoming "the leading network of reliable high-powered charging stations in North America."
Funding for this venture will come from a combination of public and private funds, including use of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) funding in the US. The first stations, expected to become operational in summer 2024, will show up along major highways and vacation routes. Both NACS and CCS plugs will be available at all stations. Crucially, the network won't require yet another mobile app, but will work with the existing systems of the partnered automakers. The network will also use Plug & Charge technology for even easier payment. The press release states that amenities will be nearby or in the same general area, while "a select number of flagship stations will be equipped with additional amenities."
The unnamed network intends to exclusively use renewable energy. How it plans to do that, either directly or through the purchase of credits, remains unclear.
Interestingly, this will not affect Mercedes-Benz' plans for its own charging network, which it announced at CES this past January. A Mercedes spokesperson confirmed this to AutoGuide, while adding that the multi-maker announcement "represents our commitment to supporting the expansion of charging networks to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles."
As previously mentioned, the first US stations will open in 12 months or so. Canadians will have to wait until "a later stage."
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Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.
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