Public charging needs to improve for EV adoption to really go mainstream. Tesla understood this when it decided to deploy its own proprietary Supercharger network. While there are other players in EV fast charging, work needs to be done.
Today, General Motors announced that it’s partnering with Pilot Company, the folks who own Pilot and Flying J locations, to deploy fast charging locations across the country.
These chargers, capable of speeds of up to 350 kW, will be co-branded as “Pilot Flying J” and “Ultium Charge 360” units. On the back end they’re powered by EVgo eXtend.
By being located along major thoroughfares across the country, it’ll be easy for folks on road trips to stop and top up. Additionally, being located at massive travel centers like these mean drivers will be able to get snacks, get a full meal, use the restroom, and have access to amenities that just aren’t available when you’re relegated to charging normally in Walmart parking lots.
A total of 2,000 charging stalls will be installed, with most having a canopy to protect from the elements and pull through stalls, which are critical for EVs when towing is factored in.
“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 Chief Executive Officer. “With travel centers across North America, Pilot Company is an ideal collaborator to reach a broad audience of EV drivers.”
Obviously, some of this money is coming from the infrastructure bill that recently passed, and the collaboration between public and private entities is targeting 50-mile intervals for available DC fast charging.
Pilot itself is also working on upgrading its locations. Through a “New Horizons” initiative, the company is spending $1 billion to upgrade its travel centers. That means access to free Wi-Fi, expanding seating and lounging areas, better restrooms, and just a more pleasant experience for everyone. Which is more important than ever when EVs are stopping by to charge and dwell.
Tesla and Electrify America target major travel areas for their respective networks, but more charging along big travel routes is the fastest way to solve the road trip problem. It’s exciting to see that Pilot and Flying J locations will soon have desirable locations to stop along the way to your next electric destination.