‘We Charge North America’: Seven automakers collaborate to build a new high-powered EV charging network

Graphic by We Charge North America

Detroit — Earlier this week, BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz Group, Stellantis NV announced they will work together to build a new electric vehicle charging network. This new joint venture is called “We Charge North America”. The goal will be to significantly expand access to high-powered EV charging across the United States and Canada. 

The seven automakers are looking to install more than 30,000 high-powered chargers in urban cities and near highway locations. These stations will feature both the Combined Charging System (CCS) and North American Charging Standard (NACS) plugs. The first of the new EV stations are scheduled to open in summer 2024.

These new EV chargers will rival the Tesla Supercharging network. S&P Global Mobility says there are about 16,700 Tesla Superchargers in the U.S. General Motors and Mercedes-Benz have already stated they will adopt the NACS charging systems on their new EVs by 2025. That’s means the new joint venture is in addition to the Tesla partnership for those two automakers. 

There are currently 32,000 public DC fast chargers in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition, there are 2.3 million electric vehicles on our nation’s roads. That is a ratio of 72 vehicles per each charger. This new collaboration will help with that problem.

BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse: “North America is one of the world’s most important car markets – with the potential to be a leader in electromobility. Accessibility to high-speed charging is one of the key enablers to accelerate this transition. Therefore, seven automakers are forming this joint venture with the goal of creating a positive charging experience for EV consumers. The BMW Group is proud to be among the founders.”

GM CEO Mary Barra: “GM’s commitment to an all-electric future is focused not only on delivering EVs our customers love, but investing in charging and working across the industry to make it more accessible. The better experience people have, the faster EV adoption will grow.”

Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe: “The creation of EV charging services is an opportunity for automakers to produce excellent user experiences by providing complete, convenient and sustainable solutions for our customers. Toward that objective, this joint venture will be a critical step in accelerating EV adoption across the U.S. and Canada and supporting our efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.”

Hyundai CEO Jaehoon Chang: “Hyundai’s investment in this project aligns with our ‘Progress for Humanity’ vision in making sustainable transportation more accessible. Hyundai’s expertise in electrification will help redefine the charging landscape and we look forward to working with our other shareholders as we create this expansive high-powered charging network.”

Kia CEO Ho Sung Song: “Kia’s engagement and investment in this high-powered charging joint venture is set to increase charging access and convenience to current and future drivers and therefore accelerate the transition to EVs across North America. Kia is proud to be an important part of this joint venture with other reputable automakers as we embark on a journey towards seamless charging experiences for our customers and further strengthening Kia’s brand identity in the EV market.”

Mercedes-Benz Group CEO Ola Källenius: “The fight against climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. What we need now is speed – across political, social and corporate boundaries. To accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, we’re in favor of anything that makes life easier for our customers. Charging is an inseparable part of the EV-experience, and this network will be another step to make it as convenient as possible.”

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares: “We intend to exceed customer expectations by creating more opportunities for a seamless charging experience given the significant growth expected in the market. We believe that a charging network at scale is vital to protecting freedom of mobility for all, especially as we work to achieve our ambitious carbon neutrality plan. A strong charging network should be available for all – under the same conditions – and be built together with a win-win spirit. I want to thank each colleague involved, as it is a milestone example of our collective intelligence to listen and serve our customers.”

Stay tuned for more details about We Charge North America. It will definitely help ease the minds of electric car owners and those who are considering to buy an EV. Range anxiety and infrastructure are two of the top reasons why people are hesitant to buy EVs at this time. 

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