Automaker Consortium Battles for US BEV Charging Dominance

Seven global automakers have joined together in a bid to battle Tesla’s dominance of BEV charging infrastructure in the US.

Tesla has recently been seen as having won the battle as the go-to electric car charging stations with both Ford and Volvo announcing its vehicles will now be able to use the installations and Volkswagen in talks to do the same. However, some traditional carmakers are fighting back with a consortium, including BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis, in a joint venture to create an extensive nationwide charging network for BEVs.

The joint venture will include the development of a high-powered charging network with at least 30,000 chargers compared to Tesla’s current 1,800 super chargers throughout the country. It hopes to use both public and private investment to accelerate the installation of high-powered charging for BEV owners. The new charging stations will be accessible to all BEVs from any automaker using Combined Charging System (CCS) or North American Charging Standard (NACS) and are expected to meet or exceed the spirit and requirements of the US National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.

The consortium hopes its network will become the leading network of reliable high-powered charging stations in North America. The joint venture is expected to be established this year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Its first stations are expected to open in the US in the summer of 2024 and in Canada at a later stage. Each site will be equipped with multiple high-powered DC chargers. In line with the sustainability strategies of all seven automakers, the joint venture intends to power the charging network solely by renewable energy.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, said: “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.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_  and Threads

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