By Irene Yeh
August 7, 2023 |General Motors, Honda, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Kia, and Stellantis have announced a collective investment of $1 billion to install 30,000 EV charging stations across North America by 2030. This joint venture aims to create a best-in-class network of EV charging stations in the United States and Canada. The first stations are expected to open in the United States in the summer of 2024. Stations will be deployed in Canada at a later stage.
Increased Sales of Commercial EVs
Though there are more than 140,000 charging stations across the United States, the current charging infrastructure is not enough to support the projected amount of EVs in the future. In the United States, EV sales are expected to increase by more than 50% by 2030. Additionally, EVs are also expected to increase in the used car market. Americans purchase three time as many used cars than new ones every year. Up to 40% of used vehicle owners do not have dedicated off-street parking and rely on public charging stations. Furthermore, 80% or more of daily driving amounts to less than 40 miles. EVs with a 250-mile range require a charge of about once or twice a week. As such, it is critical to ensure there are more available and accessible charging stations for EV drivers to use.
Accessible and Convenient
“The creation of EV charging services is an opportunity for automakers to produce excellent user experiences by providing complete, convenient and sustainable solutions for our customers,” says Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe in a press release. “Toward that objective, this joint venture will be a critical step in accelerating EV adoption across the U.S. and Canada and supporting our efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.”
The network is intended to provide a convenient and reliable experience for customers. The stations will be placed in urban communities and along highways so that drivers can readily use their services in their local areas or while on long-distance trips. These charging stations will include amenities such as restrooms, food services, and retail options, much like gas stations or rest stops. Participating automakers will also be able to integrate their in-vehicle and in-app features, such as reservations and intelligent route planning and navigation, to maximize customer experience.
Each station will be equipped with high-powered DC chargers and are intended to be powered with sustainable energy. The addition of these charging stations also comes at a time of a global climate crisis. Companies are now searching for ways to utilize sustainable energy, and the network is expected to contribute to that cause.
“The fight against climate change is the greatest challenge of our time,” says Mercedes-Benz Group CEO Ola Källlenius in the same press release. “What we need now is speed—across political, social and corporate boundaries. To accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, we’re in favor of anything that makes life easier for our customers. Charging is an inseparable part of the EV-experience, and this network will be another step to make it as convenient as possible.”
Tesla, which developed the NACS charging connector, was noticeably absent from the alliance. Currently, it is the dominant EV automaker in North America and owns the most active EV stations—dubbed the Supercharger network—at 17,000 in total. In May, Tesla announced a partnership with Ford to allow Ford vehicles to use Tesla charging stations. As Tesla and Ford are not participating automakers in the 30,000 charging stations installation project, their vehicles will not be supported.