Electronics and Semiconductors

First stations in coast-to-coast EV charging network open

07 December 2023
The first of 17 EV charging stations have opened up in a collaboration with GM, EVgo and Pilot Travel Centers. Source: Pilot Travel Centers

Automotive OEM General Motors, electric vehicle (EV) charging vendor EVgo and national fuel station company Pilot Travel Centers LLC have opened the first 17 locations of a proposed U.S. coast-to-coast EV charging network.

The fast-charging network is now available in 13 states and will provide similar amenities to existing Pilot and Flying J travel center locations but instead of gasoline and diesel, there are charging stalls, the companies said.

When it was first announced last year, the coast-to-coast network aims at installing 2,000 charging stalls across 500 charging stations at key locations about 50 miles apart in the U.S.

The locations will offer all-day amenities, products and services like:

  • Multiple 350 kW fast-charging stalls
  • Pull-through stalls for EV towing
  • Onsite staff
  • Access to restrooms and food and beverage options
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Plug and charge compatibility
  • Digital app

Next steps

The collaboration plans to have 25 installations by the end of 2023 and about 200 locations open by the end of 2024.

In the spring of 2024, GM and Pilot Travel Centers will introduce benefits to users for discounts on charging and to reserve a charging stall. Additional rewards will be available through the app.

The beginning stalls will be in locations that connect urban and rural communities. The companies said the network will be expanded to highly traveled corridors in states across the nation.

Why it matters

The automotive industry is undergoing its largest transition in history with government mandates and consumer demand, causing the switch to all-electric vehicles.

But to ensure that adoption continues as more EVs hit the road, there will need to be sufficient EV charging stations across the country and the world. Without an established infrastructure, it potentially will pause the adoption of EVs.

Automotive OEMs are seeking to have sufficient charging installations to meet consumer demand even before they have their own networks up and running, which is taking time. So nearly all automakers in the U.S. have turned to Telsa’s Supercharger network, known as the North American Charging Standard (NACS), which has more than 15,000 stations in North America.

While automakers are developing their own charging networks and leaning on others like Tesla in the meantime, oil giants are also getting into the mix as BP recently signed a deal to buy Tesla’s fast chargers for its own network.

Additionally, there are third party EV charging companies developing their own networks as well as working with mainstream oil giants and automakers to build networks. While many agreements have already been made, more are likely soon.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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