7 Major Automakers Unite to Rival Tesla’s EV Charging Network
Seven leading global automakers, including BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz Group, and Stellantis NV, have announced a groundbreaking joint venture to significantly expand access to high-powered charging for electric vehicles (EVs) across North America.
The collaboration aims to install at least 30,000 high-powered charging points in urban and highway locations, ensuring customers can charge their EVs whenever and wherever they need. The first stations are scheduled to open in the summer of 2024, according to the companies on Wednesday.
The joint venture is a significant step in accelerating the transition to electric vehicles in North America by making EV charging more convenient, accessible, and reliable. “North America is one of the world’s most important car markets – with the potential to be a leader in electromobility. Accessibility to high-speed charging is one of the key enablers to accelerate this transition,” said BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse.
The new high-powered charging network aims to elevate the entire EV experience and drive EV adoption. The network will provide a seamless, vehicle-integrated, best-in-class charging experience, based on renewable energy and supported by the quality, reliability, and resources of world-leading automakers.
As more electric vehicles are introduced and the rate of consumer adoption increases, the demand for fast and reliable public charging also grows in parallel. “The better experience people have, the faster EV adoption will grow,” said GM CEO Mary Barra.
The CEOs of the participating automakers expressed their commitment to the joint venture and the goal of accelerating EV adoption across the U.S. and Canada. “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,” said Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe.
Hyundai CEO Jaehoon Chang added, “Hyundai’s investment in this project aligns with our ‘Progress for Humanity’ vision in making sustainable transportation more accessible.” Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz Group CEO Ola Källenius emphasized, “Charging is an inseparable part of the EV-experience, and this network will be another step to make it as convenient as possible.”
The joint venture is expected to be established this year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
This is interesting to see GM and Mercedes part of this coalition, as they have already agreed to adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard. Competition is good for consumers but let’s see if they can actually make these chargers rival the stellar Supercharger network, the gold standard of EV charging for ease of use and reliability.