GM is close to launching a new wave of electric vehicles and is making sure the charging infrastructure is in place to keep those EV vehicles on the road. The carmaker has launched a community charging initiative that will install as many as 40,000 Level 2 charging stations across North America. The program will give dealers up to 10 chargers that they can place at “key locations” in their neighborhoods, such as apartments, colleges and businesses. Units will not be limited to GM EV drivers.
These chargers will also be available for direct purchase through outlets and online. GM is finally planning three chargers, including a base model of 11.5 kW / 48 amps, a “premium” version of that charger (with a touch screen and camera) and a more powerful model of 19.2 kW / 80 amps. The community’s efforts begin in 2022 and are part of a larger $ 750 million investment through the Ultium Charge 360.
Level 2 charging is not very fast. This is more like a wall charger you would buy for your home (where charging is fine overnight) than a fast option like the Tesla Supercharger or Electrify America fast stations. The distribution is also not as good as it sounds. Vendors may want to install multiple stations in one location to minimize queues.
This could still be welcome news. Many charging network extensions focus on high-power chargers designed for long-distance travel. GM’s community program is more for everyday driving, where you may just need a refill. However, this could be especially useful for some apartments. Residents in these buildings rarely have the option of charging at home, and this could make EV vehicles practical without imposing costs on building owners and tenants.
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