To expand electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, General Motors (GM) and its dealer network will deploy and install as many as 40,000 new Level 2 EV chargers in local communities across the United States and Canada. Although many EV owners charge their vehicles at home or work, the limited and uneven availability of public charging stations has long been viewed as one of the hurdles in mainstream EV adoption.
GM's initiative, which will begin in 2022, will focus on increasing access to charging stations to underserved communities lacking in EV infrastructure.
Known as charging "deserts," these rural and urban areas make EV charging—and ownership—geographically challenging for millions. GM's move to deploy 40,000 chargers would represent a significant increase to the existing 120,000 publicly available chargers in the U.S. today (U.S. Dept. of Energy).
GM's new chargers will be part of a $750 million investment to deliver public charging stations through the automaker's Ultium 360 ecosystem, a large-scale charging station deployment program where GM partners with policymakers, community leaders, and industry groups. To that end, GM will work with its dealers to deploy 40,000 Level 2 charging stations at key locations in the dealers' respective communities, including office buildings, multi-unit dwelling garages, shopping centers, and colleges and universities.
"We want to give customers the right tools and access to charging where and when they need it while working with our dealer network to accelerate the expansion of accessible charging throughout the U.S. and Canada, including in underserved, rural, and urban areas," said GM President Mark Reuss.
Owners of all-electric cars, including non-GM brands from Audi to Volvo, will be able to access the chargers. Individual charging times will depend on the range of the vehicle and its battery technology.
In addition, GM is also introducing its new line of three Ultium-branded Level 2 smart charging stations, which GM will offer to customers through its dealerships. The aim is to achieve a more even distribution of EV charging while improving the overall EV charging experience. According to the automaker, nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a GM dealership.
GM's three Level 2 Ultium Chargers will include:
- An 11.5-kilowatt/48-amp smart charger
- An 11.5-kW/48-amp premium smart charger
- A 19.2-kW/80-amp premium smart charger
All three chargers are Energy Star Certified and equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Each charger can be upgraded over time through over-the-air updates with automatic download capabilities.
GM's charger deployment announcement comes as the automaker ramps up the production of its EVs—such as the Chevrolet Silverado electric pickup—and aims to eliminate gas-powered cars and light trucks by 2035. GM also recently announced plans to invest $35 billion through 2025 on EVs and autonomous vehicle-related initiatives.