General Motors has reaffirmed its stance that investing in third-party companies is a better strategy for setting up a network of electric vehicle chargers in the United States, as opposed to building its own charging infrastructure.
Speaking to The Detroit News, GM executive Mike Ableson said that funding third part companies is the “best use of our capital, not to build our own charging networks.”
Ableson, who also serves as GM’s vice president of global strategy, moved into the newly created role of vice president of EV infrastructure late last year.
GM recently aligned itself with Virginia’s Bechtel Corp. to build fast chargers in the United States. GM will provide Bechtel with data to will help determine the best place to build the charging stations, while Bechtel will engineer and build the chargers themselves and work with local jurisdictions to acquire permits. The data for this project was obtained through OnStar.
Earlier this year, GM also partnered with third-party charging companies EVgo, ChargePoint and Greenlots, linking their data with the in-vehicle MyChevrolet app. This has enabled Chevrolet Bolt EV owners to receive real-time data on charge points and their availability.
“Price and range are directly under the automaker’s control,” Ableson said. “When it came to charging infrastructure, (GM) decided we needed to get a team in place to address that, which involves working across some industries that traditionally haven’t worked together so closely.”
GM’s strategy is different than that of Tesla, which has a vast network of its own electric vehicle chargers spread across the United States and in parts of Canada. Additionally, Porsche has developed its own charge stations and is setting them up at dealerships, although the dealers must pay out of pocket to install the charging arrays. The German manufacturer plans on setting chargers up at other places owners may visit often as well, such as golf country clubs and hotels.
Rivian, which unveiled concept versions of an electric pickup truck and SUV last year, will also set up its own charge points in so-called “adventure locations.” GM nearly entered a partnership with Michigan-based Rivian, but turned down the deal as it would have prevented Rivian from partnering with other automakers as well. Ford subsequently invested $500M in the company.
Source: The Detroit News