EV charging infrastructure in the US is not great. We have an assortment of different plugs, chargers that vary wildly in speed, and massive deserts without chargers for miles in any direction. General Motors is poised to help out on one of those points — and hopefully, in the process, not make the others worse.
GM announced a program to install 40,000 Level 2 chargers throughout the United States and Canada. The company plans to work with dealers to identify areas that would most benefit from charging infrastructure: dealerships, office buildings, apartments, and more.
GM claims that 90 percent of people in the U.S. live within ten miles of GM dealership, and that adding chargers to each dealer will be a massive improvement in charging availability. However, while the company’s release implies that dealership-based chargers will be available to non-GM EVs, its tricky wording never explicitly states that to be the case. Sometimes you can look at press release copy and just tell a legal department had their hand in the final wording. This is one of those times.
If it’s true, and owners of any make and model can charge at any General Motors charging station, it could be a massive boon for EV infrastructure in the United States. There are approximately 43,000 EV chargers in the country today; if GM splits its investment evenly between the U.S. and Canada, that number goes up by nearly 50%.
Charging infrastructure is one of the biggest hurdles to EV adoption in this country. It’s long been said that Tesla’s greatest strength is the availability, reliability, and convenience of its charging infrastructure; compared to the patchwork nature of competing charging stations, the difference is stark. If GM can provide that same convenience to owners of the Bolt, Lyriq, and Hummer, it could be a major boon to the American EV movement.