When it comes to charging an electric vehicle on the go, there’s two ways to do it as a manufacturer. You can either build out your own network, like what Tesla does with its Supercharging network or what Rivian will be doing with its Adventure Network. Or, you partner with the big network providers and integrate it all seamlessly with the software you have.
General Motors is taking the latter approach (and so is Ford) by creating a Ultium Charge 360. It works by interfacing with the software on GM vehicles and the various charging networks that are already available across the country.
Ultium Charge 360 will provide access to fast charging by working with current suppliers. It’ll improve the mobile app experience on GM vehicles. It’ll also partner with providers to provide services, such as free level 2 charger installation for 2022 Bolt EUV or Bolt EV customers.
“GM agrees with the customer need for a robust charging experience that makes the transition to an EV seamless and helps drive mass adoption,” said Travis Hester, GM’s chief EV officer. “As we launch 30 EVs globally by the end of 2025, Ultium Charge 360 simplifies and improves the at-home charging experience and the public charging experience — whether it’s community-based or road-trip charging.”
The General currently has agreements with Blink Charging, CharePoint, EV Connect, EVgo, FLO, Greenlots, and SemaConnect. Customers will soon be able to see real time charging station status, initiate a charge, and pay for the charge through GM’s mobile apps.
This is similar to what Ford is doing with its FordPass Network, and from our experience works well (as long as you’re not using Plug&Charge). What is very interesting, and worth noting, is that the partnerships do not currently include Electrify America.
Electrify America has tons of stations and support up to 350 kW fast charging, which the new 800 volt GM Ultium vehicles would support. It’s a surprise to not see it listed.
The first Ultium-ready, which means supporting 350 kW, EVgo chargers will be live by the end of the year, which should include 500 fast charging stalls.