General Motors is partnering with EVgo and Pilot Co. to bring electric vehicle chargers to highway corridors across the U.S. The companies plan to install 2,000 fast chargers at as many as 500 Pilot and Flying J travel centers starting this year.
GM's previous partnerships with EVgo and other charging networks focused on metro markets. This initiative marks the first expansion to charging along highways. GM also is working with its dealers to install 40,000 Level 2 chargers in their communities.
"We are committed to an all-electric, zero-emissions future, and ensuring that the right charging infrastructure is in place is a key piece of the puzzle," GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement Thursday. "With travel centers across North America, Pilot Company is an ideal collaborator to reach a broad audience of EV drivers."
The charging stations will be co-branded "Pilot Flying J" and "Ultium Charge 360," GM's charging brand, and powered by EVgo, the companies said in the statement. EVs of all brands will be able to charge at the travel centers, but GM customers can receive special perks, such as exclusive reservations and discounts on charging. The first chargers will be installed this year and become operational in early 2023, and the bulk will be installed through 2025, the companies said.
The companies aim to install the fast chargers at 50-mile intervals. They will be able to supply 350 kilowatts of energy, which is beyond the charging capacity of most EVs on the road today.
"We are ahead of it, and that's where we want to be," Travis Hester, GM's vice president of EV growth operations, told reporters.
Pilot and Flying J work with 70,000 trucking companies, but for now Shameek Konar, CEO of Pilot Co., envisions the chargers as a solution for passenger vehicles. When charging demand for 18-wheelers grows, Pilot Co. will be ready, he said.
Pilot Co. has said it would invest $1 billion to upgrade its travel centers with amenities not usually available at EV charge points, such as free Wi-Fi, expanded lounge areas and restaurants on-site. The travel centers are open and staffed 24/7.
GM has committed to investing nearly $750 million in EV charging infrastructure, including 100,000 charge points in the U.S. and Canada through its Ultium Charge 360 ecosystem, a venture with EVgo to build a network of 3,250 charging stalls in major metro areas by 2025, and the program to install up to 40,000 chargers in collaboration with dealers.