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GM partners with dealers to install 40,000 EV Level 2 chargers

Kalea Hall, The Detroit News on

Published in Business News

DETROIT — General Motors Co. is partnering with dealers to ramp up the installation of electric vehicle charging stations as it prepares to put more battery-powered cars and trucks on the road.

Through the Dealer Community Charging Program being revealed Tuesday, GM will work with dealers to get up to 40,000 Level 2 chargers installed across their communities starting in 2022. The charging stations will be available to all EV users — not just GM customers. The program is part of GM's plan to invest about $750 million on charging infrastructure through 2025.

GM also revealed Tuesday a new line of three Ultium-branded Level 2 "smart charging stations" that customers can buy through dealerships or online. Ultium is also the brand name for GM's new EV platform, propulsion components and charging ecosystem.

Expanding charging options is viewed as crucial for increasing consumer adoption of EVs, which GM needs to meet its goal of selling 1 million EVs globally by 2025.

"The goal here is really to get chargers in those communities that otherwise wouldn't have them," said Alex Keros, lead architect of EV infrastructure.

GM plans to give its about 4,500 dealers in the U.S. and Canada up to 10 Ultium Level 2 charging stations apiece for installation in their communities. The automaker said it will help dealers "apply for incentives, funding and access to programs to help expedite the deployment of local EV charging."

"The notion is that dealers and the site host would work together to get it installed," Keros said.

GM and charging partner EVgo last year announced they would install 2,750 chargers in 40 metropolitan areas by 2025. More than 100 have been installed so far in eight states, Keros said.

 

GM's new Ultium chargers for residential and commercial use, developed with charging specialist CTEK, include:

— An 11.5 kilowatt/48-amp smart charger

— An 11.5 kW/48-amp premium smart charger

— A 19.2 kW/80-amp premium smart charger

All three have WiFi and Bluetooth and can be upgraded by over-the-air updates with automatic download capabilities. The premium models include a customizable touchscreen and an embedded camera.

Users can set a charging schedule, review charging habits and historical charging sessions, and receive charging status through the GM vehicle brand mobile apps.

The first Ultium chargers will ship early next year. Pricing will be released closer to when the chargers go on sale; GM said they will be priced competitively. Customers can include the cost in their GM Financial lease or financial contracts.

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