Seven Major Automakers to Double Electric Vehicle Charger Network
Electric cars have been on the rise in the past few years, but one of the main criticisms has been the lack of charging infrastructure on the road. With the recent announcement by seven major automakers, this concern will soon be addressed. These companies plan to nearly double the country’s network of high-powered electric vehicle chargers, in an effort to allay consumer concerns and address what is widely seen as the main barrier to widespread EV adoption.
The seven automakers involved in this major initiative are Ford, General Motors (GM), Stellantis, BMW, Volkswagen (VW), Honda, and Volvo. Together, they are planning to build up to 50,000 public fast-charging stations across the US, which will be three times more than what we have today.
This project is set to begin in 2022, and the stations will be located in cities and suburbs, along highways and at workplaces, making it easier for more people to make the switch to an electric vehicle.
Big news in charging with the announcement of BMW, GM, HONDA, HYUNDAI, KIA, MERCEDES, and STELLANTIS gearing up to build their own network. Certainly more questions than answers, but a few initial takeaways:
> Additional charging infrastructure will be great for EV owners and, thus, support the continued transition to EVs. It’s going to be difficult to build the infrastructure needed to support this transition, so every little bit counts.
> There’s a bundle of cash via NEVI to help offset the $$$ needed to build a network. However, if Tesla wants a project, they’ll most likely get it. Curious how these automakers are planning the cost sharing.
> Will be interesting to see how many States will update their NEVI projects requirements to include both CCS and NACS
> With Tesla’s NACS plug being all but the new standard, allowing one automaker with this much control can be risky for others, especially considering some of the listed automakers haven’t announced a transition to using NACS.
> The first stations are expected by mid-2024. This will either be a mistake in overpromising and underdelivering, or they’ve already got a pipeline of sites today that are close to closing.
– Scott Oltmann, NIO on LinkedIn
One of the biggest questions when it comes to this exciting development is whether the charging software will be fully integrated with all 7 automakers’ vehicles.
According to the joint statement, this project aims to deliver an “integrated, reliable, and customer-focused network,” so chances are the software will be integrated with all vehicles from the automakers involved. The goal is to make the EV charging experience as seamless and convenient as possible.
Another question on everyone’s minds is how the companies involved will get a pipeline of site hosts by 2024. This is easier said than done, considering that electric vehicle charging infrastructure has generally been difficult to build at scale, and there are a lot of barriers to entry, such as the cost of equipment, installation, and management.
These 7 OEMs better have something up their sleeve. In addition to LONG lead times for electrical components (I heard a year for switch gear), utility capacity in remote areas has already been claimed by others.
My feeling is they are going to buy EVgo I would. Besides having an existing pipeline, and an inside line on NEVI funding, they own PlugShare
– Kitty Adams Hoksbergen, Executive Director at Adopt A Charger on LinkedIn
While it’s not clear whether these automakers will buy an existing EV charging station company, they could partner with existing companies, or create a new company specifically to oversee the project. In any case, this is great news for the EV industry, as it indicates that major companies are taking the initiative to make the charging experience more convenient and accessible for drivers across the country.
The plans by seven major automakers to nearly double the US’ network of high-powered electric vehicle chargers is a step in the right direction for the EV industry. The initiative will help address a key barrier to adoption for EVs and spur development of more infrastructure, which is essential to building a cleaner and safer future for all. Consumers now have even more reason to consider an electric vehicle as their next car thanks to the collaboration between Ford, GM, Stellantis, BMW, Volkswagen, Honda, and Volvo. The investment in this project by the automakers signifies a major behavior change in industry leaders as they shift to producing more electric vehicles.
It is a positive and exciting development for those who are looking to make the switch to electric vehicles, and hopefully, will encourage more people to embrace EVs as well.