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GM launches new partnership to have ~60,000 public chargers from 7 networks on the same app in US & Canada

GM is launching a product called Ultium Charge 360, which basically consists of a new partnership to have around 60,000 public chargers from seven networks on the same app in the US and Canada.

The automaker is about to start bringing its first next-generation electric vehicles based on its new Ultium platform to market starting with the Hummer EV, the Cadillac Lyriq, and more to come in the next few years.

With the new platform, GM also wants a more extensive charging strategy.

Last year, the automaker announced a partnership with EVgo to deploy over 2,000 new fast-charging stations.

Now GM is announcing Ultium Charge 360:

Today General Motors introduced Ultium Charge 360, a holistic charging approach that integrates charging networks, GM vehicle mobile apps1, and other products and services to simplify the overall charging experience for GM electric vehicle owners. Ultium Charge 360 builds on GM’s existing charging efforts to provide GM EV owners more confidence and convenience when it comes to EV charging.

A big part of Ultium Charge 360 is a partnership with seven charging networks:

It basically includes all main charging networks in North America except for Electrify America.

It will enable GM EV owners to access data from those networks in one location, namely GM’s app or in-vehicle software.

Here are some other features of Ultium Charge 360:

  • Access to ChargingGM will continue to work with a variety of third parties, including charge point operators, electric utilities and government agencies to make home, workplace, public and fleet charging ubiquitous for customers.
  • Mobile Apps: GM will continue to update the GM vehicle mobile apps to provide an even more intuitive mobile experience that makes navigating to a charging station, plugging into a charger and paying for charging simple.
  • Products and Services: To help ensure the transition to an EV is seamless, GM is working to offer EV owners charging accessories and installation services tailored to their lifestyle. For example, GM will cover standard installation of Level 2 charging capability for eligible customers who purchase or lease a 2022 Bolt EUV or Bolt EV in collaboration with Qmerit.

In addition to introducing Ultium Charge 360, GM is also announcing other parts of its EV infrastructure strategy today:

  • GM now has signed agreements with seven major charging providers: Blink Charging, ChargePoint, EV Connect, EVgo, FLO, Greenlots, and SemaConnect. Through their GM vehicle mobile apps, EV customers will soon be able to easily see real-time information from nearly 60,000 charging plugs throughout the US and Canada, find stations along a route, and initiate and pay for charging.
  • The first GM and EVgo sites are now live in Washington, California, and Florida, nine months after a commitment to add more than 2,700 fast chargers in cities and suburbs by the end of 2025 was first announced. Each site is capable of delivering up to 350 kilowatts and averages four chargers per site. GM and EVgo are on track to have approximately 500 fast charging stalls live by the end of 2021.

Electrek’s take:

Some interesting points here:

GM didn’t talk about Electrify America, the biggest charging network which is noticeably absent from the list of their partner networks but did say in a press conference preceding the news that they would be open to other CPOs and that they were focused on the experience.

In the same conference call with reporters, GM also dismissed a question about Plug and Charge standard – inarguably the most important feature and future of electric vehicle charging. GM clearly will have to adapt this standard and hopefully the Lyriq and Hummer will have to get there. As of Now Ford’s Mustang and Porsche’s Taycan are the only Plug and Charge capable EVs in the US though Volkswagen has said it will also be coming to the ID.4 via Software update.

It almost feels like this is an exercise in futility and all hands should be in the Plug and Charge standard. Apps are neat but people just want to plug in their cars and have it work automatically every time.

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