In a groundbreaking move, seven leading automakers have joined forces to establish a new electric vehicle (EV) charging network. This venture aims to rival Tesla’s Supercharger network, which has set the standard for EV charging infrastructure. The automakers involved in this initiative include BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and Stellantis.
Aiming High with High-Powered Charging Points
The new venture plans to install at least 30,000 high-powered charging points in urban and highway locations. This will ensure that customers can charge their vehicles whenever and wherever they need. The venture also aims to deliver an enhanced customer experience, with a focus on reliability and attractive locations offering various amenities.
“We want EV customers to significantly reduce their charging times from the beginning of the joint venture,” said the seven founding members.
The new network’s stations will be open to all battery-powered electric vehicles from any automaker that uses the Combined Charging System (CCS) or North American Charging Standard (NACS). This covers the vast majority of EVs on the road, with the exception of the Nissan Leaf and a few others that use the CHAdeMO standard.
Aiming for the Best Charging Power
The network plans to start by offering 350-kw connectors, a detail that could significantly help drivers with road-trip charging needs, provided the software and hardware can work together seamlessly. The seven founding members expressed their desire to reduce charging times significantly from the outset of the joint venture. They aim to offer the best charging power available on the market and state-of-the-art charging technology at all times.
A Seamless Charging Experience
Details about pricing and access are still being determined. However, the venture has emphasized a seamless, vehicle-integrated, best-in-class charging experience. The entire network will be powered by renewable energy and will include features like reservations, intelligent route planning, and support for Plug & Charge technology from the start.
A Perspective on the Network’s Plan
To put the network’s plan for 30,000 high-power connectors into perspective, the Tesla Supercharger network currently offers nearly 20,400 DC fast-charging ports at almost 1,900 locations, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Most of these Tesla Supercharging connectors can charge compatible vehicles at up to 250 kw, providing a unified interface and charging experience across the entire network.
Learning from Europe’s Success
In some respects, this new network may be taking cues from successful strategies in Europe. BMW, Mercedes, Ford, VW, and Audi launched the Ionity fast-charging network there in 2017. Over a few years, it helped transform Europe into a stronger EV market than the U.S.
The Future of the Network
The network’s first stations are expected to open in the summer of 2024, with Canada to be added at a later stage. Both GM and Mercedes-Benz, which planned significant fast-charging network buildouts in North America, say that their existing plans are unaffected.
References and Facts
Here are some related news and facts about the article “Tesla Supercharger network gets first true rival from 7 global automakers”:
- Seven global automakers, including BMW, GM, Honda, and Mercedes, are forming a new company to provide electric vehicle charging in the US4.
- The new company aims to install at least 30,000 high-powered EV charge points, including both DC fast chargers and Level 2 chargers, across the US12345.
- The charging network will be built to rival Tesla’s Supercharger network, which is currently the largest in the world25.
- The automakers have not yet announced a name for the new company1.
- The new charging network will be open to all electric vehicles, not just those made by the participating automakers235.
- The automakers are investing in the joint venture to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and to address concerns about range anxiety345.
- Some experts are skeptical about the automakers’ ability to build a charging network that can rival Tesla’s Supercharger network, citing concerns about interoperability and reliability6.