Seven major global automakers, including BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and Stellantis, have formed a joint venture to create a new electric vehicle (EV) public charging network in North America. The aim of this partnership is to significantly expand access to high-powered charging stations across the region.
The companies have set a target to install at least 30,000 high-powered charge points in urban and highway locations. This initiative aims to ensure that customers can easily charge their EVs whenever and wherever they need to. The joint venture intends to provide an elevated customer experience, reliable charging infrastructure, high-powered capabilities, digital integration, appealing locations, and various amenities for customers during the charging process.
Renewable energy will be the sole source of power for these charging stations, aligning with the automakers’ commitment to sustainability. Furthermore, these stations will be accessible to all battery-powered electric vehicles, regardless of the automaker, as they will offer both Combined Charging System (CCS) and North American Charging Standard (NACS) connectors.
The first charging stations are expected to open in the United States in the summer of 2024 and subsequently in Canada. Initially, the stations will be deployed in metropolitan areas and along major highways, including connecting corridors and vacation routes, ensuring accessibility for EV drivers in various locations. Each site will be equipped with multiple high-powered DC chargers and amenities such as restrooms, food service, and potentially retail operations.
The joint venture aims to seamlessly integrate with participating automakers’ in-vehicle and in-app experiences. This integration will include features such as reservations, intelligent route planning and navigation, payment applications, and transparent energy management.
To enhance user-friendliness, the network will leverage Plug & Charge technology. Two automakers, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz Group, have already announced their plans to equip their EVs with NACS connectors from 2025. The remaining partners, including BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Stellantis, will evaluate the integration of Tesla’s NACS connectors but have not committed to implementing them yet.
The automakers are committed to meeting or exceeding the requirements of the US National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program, ensuring that their charging stations align with industry standards. Ultimately, they aim to establish the leading network of reliable high-powered charging stations in North America.
The joint venture is expected to be established later this year, pending customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Through their collaboration, these major automakers are working towards a greener future by enhancing the accessibility and convenience of EV charging infrastructure across North America.