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Automakers finally get serious about North American charging infrastructure

Seven automakers are creating a joint venture and work together to build out a new EV charging network across North America. Finally it appears that automakers have decided that just relying on what is already out there isn’t going to work, and are taking matters into their own collective hands.

BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz Group, and Stellantis NV are behind this new high-powered charging network. The focus will be on creating a better customer experience, including better reliability, amenities, and appealing charging locations. They will also focus on making the stations use renewable energy.

The at least 30,000 charge points will be stationed in needed urban areas and along highways where people actually drive and travel. They’ll feature both CCS and NACS connectors — sorry Leaf owners — and will meet or exceed the requirements and spirit of the U.S. National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.

The first stations in the United States will come online in the summer of 2024, with Canada coming at a later stage.

This is all welcomed by EV drivers because the current state of DC fast charging outside of Tesla’s Supercharger network is woefully inadequate. This new network means a ton of automakers have actual skin in the game regarding infrastructure, which should mean that the experience will be better than what is currently out there.

You’ll notice that none of Volkswagen Group is part of this new joint venture. That company is currently the backers of Electrify America and Electrify Canada, and came as a result of a settlement from Dieselgate.

One of the big items opponents to EVs claim is that the infrastructure is terrible and there’s no way car companies can sell only EVs by 2030 or 2035. But as those dates grow near, things are happening to make the experience better and more enjoyable.

This is the first legitimate effort since Electrify America’s rollout to address the infrastructure needs of an EV society, and an excellent opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others and deliver an experience that is both safe and reliable.

It can’t get here soon enough.

Written by Chad Kirchner

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