General Motors is teaming up with Pilot Flying J to build a national fast-charge network for EVs.
The partnership between GM and Pilot will help accelerate EV sales by filling in gaps along the charging infrastructure. Access to charging stations remains American drivers’ top concern over buying or leasing an EV, according to a July Consumer Reports survey.
Plans call for 2,000 charging stations – including 350-kilowatt DC fast chargers – at roughly 500 Pilot and Flying J travel centers at 50-mile intervals. Any EV brand can access the network, but GM said its customers will receive benefits such as discounts, exclusive reservations and access to real-time availability and route planning through the automaker’s apps.
EVgo will install, operate and maintain the network through its eXtend program, which supplies charging stations to customers such as gas stations and retailers.
Dominant players such as EVgo and Electrify America have emerged, but the automotive industry is still struggling to unify the patchwork of charging stations nationwide so that EV drivers don’t need to worry about running out of range or searching for a station that will service their brand.
GM’s total $750 billion investment in charging infrastructure includes a partnership with EVgo to add more than 3,250 fast chargers in American cities and suburbs by the end of 2025.
In June, GM said it will equip its battery-electric models with “Plug and Charge” capability, joining a growing list of automakers focused on streamlining the EV charging process by enabling drivers to easily plug in and automate payment at a range of different charging stations.
Tesla also plans to open its Supercharger network in North America to non-Tesla EVs.
President Joe Biden’s administration is helping push efforts along with a plan to allocate nearly $5 billion over the next five years to build thousands of EV charging stations. That money is part of the $7.5 billion Congress approved in November to fund 500,000 EV charging stations.