A new EV public charging network joint venture will be created in North America by seven major global automakers.
BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis have joined forces to create "an unprecedented new charging network joint venture that will significantly expand access to high-powered charging in North America."
The companies said they are aiming to install at least 30,000 high-powered charge points in urban and highway locations "to ensure customers can charge whenever and wherever they need."
The seven automakers say their charging network will offer an elevated customer experience, reliability, high-powered charging capability, digital integration, appealing locations and various amenities while charging. The goal is for the stations to be powered solely by renewable energy.
The new charging stations will be accessible to all battery-powered electric vehicles from any automaker, as they will offer both Combined Charging System (CCS) and North American Charging Standard (NACS) connectors.
The first charging stations of the as-yet-unnamed network are scheduled to open in the U.S. in summer 2024 and in Canada at a later stage.
According to initial plans, the charging stations will be deployed in metropolitan areas and along major highways, including connecting corridors and vacation routes, so a charging station will be available "wherever people may choose to live, work and travel."
Each site will be equipped with multiple high-powered DC chargers and will offer canopies wherever possible, as well as amenities such as restrooms, food service and retail operations, either nearby or within the same complex. A select number of flagship stations will include additional amenities, although the press release did not offer specifics.
The new charging network promises to offer a seamless integration with participating automakers' in-vehicle and in-app experiences, including reservations, intelligent route planning and navigation, payment applications, transparent energy management and more.
In addition, the network will leverage Plug & Charge technology for a more user-friendly customer experience.
The coalition includes two automakers that have already announced they would equip their EVs with NACS connectors from 2025, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz Group. The others---BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Stellantis---said they would evaluate Tesla's NACS connectors on their vehicles, but neither has committed to implementing the port on its EVs yet.
The automakers expect their charging stations to meet or exceed the spirit and requirements of the U.S. National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program, and aim to become the leading network of reliable high-powered charging stations in North America.
The seven partners will establish the joint venture this year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.