Author: Published: May 29, 2019

Dive Brief:

  • General Motors (GM) and Bechtel will partner to install thousands of electric vehicle fast charging stations across the United States, with construction on the first installations expected to begin later this year, the automaker confirmed to Utility Dive.
  • First reported by CNN on Tuesday, GM officials say details on the partnership are sparse because the arrangement remains in a Memorandum of Understanding phase. The stations are expected to be located in dense urban environments rather than along major transportation corridors, according to CNN.
  • GM and Bechtel are planning to form a separate company to develop the charging network, and will seek investment from other entities. The plan could be a boon to GM, which expects to roll out 20 EV models by 2023.

Dive Insight:

GM officials say the partnership aims to address customer concerns when considering the purchase of an electric vehicle.

“This collaboration and future build-out will help alleviate issues with customers’ range anxiety by leveraging GM and Bechtel’s scale, flexibility and proprietary data to provide chargers in locations convenient to EV customers,” the automaker told Utility Dive in a statement.

Bechtel will provide permitting and engineering expertise to the partnership, while GM will tap data from its OnStar system to determine where new fast charging stations should be installed.

The partnership joins a number of other investments in fast charger network development.

Greenlots has been selected by Electrify America to support a $2 billion investment in charging infrastructure across the United States, funded by the Volkswagen emissions scandal settlement. That network will include hundreds of stations in major cities across the country. Tesla is also developing its global Supercharger network.

Public charging infrastructure is widely considered a necessary stop in the long-term adoption of electrified transportation. Bloomberg New Energy Finance projects EVs will represent 28% of global light-duty vehicle sales sometime shortly after 2025.

While there are a little more than 1 million emissions-free vehicles on U.S. roads today, the Edison Electric Institute projects 7 million zero-emission vehicles on U.S. roads by 2025.