Commercial, Distributed Energy Resources - July 28, 2023
Seven Automakers Create EV Charging Network
Seven major automakers – BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz Group, and Stellantis NV – are creating a joint venture to accelerate access to charging for electric vehicles in North America.
The joint venture will include the development of a new, high-powered charging network with at least 30,000 chargers to increase the number of zero-emission drivers and will be powered solely by renewable energy.
Leveraging public and private funds to accelerate the installation of high-powered charging for customers, the new charging stations will be accessible to all battery-powered electric vehicles from any automaker using Combined Charging System (CCS) or North American Charging Standard (NACS) and are expected to meet or exceed the spirit and requirements of the U.S. National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.
The joint venture is expected to be established in 2023, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
The first stations are expected to open in the U.S. in the summer of 2024 and in Canada at a later stage. Each site will be equipped with multiple high-powered DC chargers, making long-distance journeys easier for customers. In line with the sustainability strategies of all seven automakers, the charging network will be powered solely by renewable energy.
The stations will be in convenient locations offering canopies wherever possible and amenities such as restrooms, food service and retail operations either nearby or within the same complex. Initial plans call for the deployment of charging stations in metropolitan areas and along major highways.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, as of July 2023, there are 32,000 publicly available DC fast chargers in the U.S. for use by 2.3 million electric vehicles, a ratio of 72 vehicles per charger. The NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) estimates that 182,000 DC fast chargers will be needed to support 30-42 million plug-in vehicles expected on the road by 2030.
“North America is one of the world’s most important car markets – with the potential to be a leader in electromobility,” said BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse in a statement. “Accessibility to high-speed charging is one of the key enablers to accelerate this transition. Therefore, seven automakers are forming this joint venture with the goal of creating a positive charging experience for EV consumers. The BMW Group is proud to be among the founders.”