General Motors, Pilot, EVgo Partner to Build EV Charging Network
A nationwide DC fast charging network will enable coast-to-coast electric vehicle travel.
There is a strong consensus among those in the auto industry that the key to widespread public acceptance of electric vehicles (EV) is increased access to public charging. Although the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that 80 percent of EV charging is done at home, the public believes a network of DC fast charging stations offering the ability to travel long distances is the only path to growing an EV fleet.
Image used courtesy of General Motors
Collaborating on a Charging Infrastructure
To that end, several collaborations have been announced to build a charging infrastructure. One of the latest is a DC fast charging network created by General Motors (GM) and Pilot Company (operating as Pilot and Flying J). The network will be installed, operated and maintained by charging company EVgo, one of the largest charging companies in the U.S.
The 2,000 charging stations will be open to all EV brands and located at 500 Pilot and Flying J travel centers across the country. GM EV owners will receive special features, including exclusive reservations, discounts on their EV charging, and integration into GM’s EV apps to provide real-time charger availability and assistance with EV route planning—a useful set of functions when traveling across the country in an EV.
“We are committed to an all-electric, zero-emissions future, and ensuring that the right charging infrastructure is in place is a key piece of the puzzle,” said Mary Barra, GM Chair and CEO, in a GM news release. “With travel centers across North America, Pilot Company is an ideal collaborator to reach a broad audience of EV drivers,” she added.
EVgo will provide charging facilities at Pilot and Flying J travel centers. These will include DC fast chargers (capable of up to 350 kilowatts (kW) of charging capacity). Features like canopies will help protect customers from inclement weather while charging. For electric pickup trucks and SUVs pulling a trailer, pull-through capability will be available on some chargers to allow convenient charging.
In addition, EVgo and GM are working on adding more than 3,250 fast chargers located in cities and suburban areas in the U.S. before the end of 2025.
Long Distance Travel by Electric Vehicle
Many EVs available in the U.S. now have a range of more than 200 miles on a charge and building a network of reliable charging points along frequently traveled Interstate routes will make cross-country travel practical.
“GM and Pilot Company designed this program to combine private investments alongside intended government grant and utility programs to help reduce range anxiety and significantly close the gap in long-distance EV charger demand,” said Shameek Konar, Pilot Company CEO, in the GM news release.
Image used courtesy of Pixabay
The goal is to place charging stations at 50-mile intervals across the U.S.
“Our travel centers are well-equipped to accommodate EV charging with 24/7 amenities and convenient proximity to major roadways across the country. We look forward to collaborating with GM and the U.S. Department of Transportation to make convenient coast-to-coast EV travel a reality through our national network of travel centers,” said Konar.
Increasing Access to Charging Infrastructure
Although cities and suburbs have been the focus of much of the growth in charging infrastructure, rural areas have typically been underserved. Even with a range greater than 200 miles, EVs can pose concerns for those who live at a distance from a major city. Potentially, the GM and Pilot collaboration with charging stations located every 50 miles on the Interstate highways could bring DC fast charging to people who don’t live in or near big cities.
“EVgo, GM and Pilot Company share a commitment to building an electric fueling network that increases access and makes the shift to electrification as frictionless as possible for all. We look forward to this collaboration and ensuring the EVgo network provides nationwide coverage, including critical corridors for road trips,” said Cathy Zoi, CEO of EVgo.
Feature image used courtesy of Pixabay