Seven Automakers Form EV Charging Network Joint Venture

electric vehicles

Seven major global automakers have created a new charging network joint venture to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) in North America.

The move will expand access to high-powered charging, the automakers said in a Wednesday (July 26) press release. The goal is to install at least 30,000 high-powered charge points in urban and highway locations so customers can charge whenever and wherever they need.

BMW GroupGeneral MotorsHondaHyundaiKiaMercedes-Benz Group and Stellantis NV have come together to form the joint venture, which will be accessible to all EV customers, offering both Combined Charging System (CCS) and North American Charging Standard (NACS) connectors, according to the release.

“North America is one of the world’s most important car markets — with the potential to be a leader in electromobility,” BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse said in the release. “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 network’s first stations are expected to open in the United States in the summer of 2024, with plans for expansion into Canada after that, according to the release.

“GM’s commitment to an all-electric future is focused not only on delivering EVs our customers love, but investing in charging and working across the industry to make it more accessible,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in the release. “The better experience people have, the faster EV adoption will grow.”

The new charging network will be in convenient locations with canopies wherever possible and will offer amenities such as restrooms, food service and retail operations either nearby or within the same complex, the release said.

The functions and services of the network will allow for integration with participating automakers’ in-vehicle and in-app experiences, per the release. This network will leverage Plug and Charge technology to further enhance customer experience.

For retailers, EV charging stations present a chance to increase customer traffic. As EV drivers wait for their vehicles to charge up, they have time to kill, so walking into retail establishments to grab some coffee and a snack has appeal.