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GM and Pilot plan 350 kw . coast-to-coast charging network

Over the next few years, up to 500 DC fast-charging stations will be installed nationwide at Pilot and Flying J travel hubs, as part of a partnership with GM and EVgo announced Thursday.

While the number of chargers at each station will vary, all will be in the 350 kW CCS format, with the majority of them installed between 2023 and 2025, and the entire project will include approximately 2,000 chargers.

Which should sound familiar to anyone following the $7.5 billion figure federal EV charging infrastructure construction, according to US DOT regulations, the project is targeting a distance of 50 miles. During the development of the proposed rule, the minimum standards for the network required four connectors per DC fast charging site.

GM and Pilot's Coast-to-Coast Fast Charging Network

GM and Pilot’s Coast-to-Coast Fast Charging Network

Hardware installation, as well as uptime and reliability will be managed by EVgo, but staff at the travel centers, all open 24/7, will be available to assist with troubleshooting charge with common US charger issues like payment validation.

“This is the world we live in every day, right? We have pumps that fail, we always have pump challenges,” said Shameek Konar, CEO of Pilot Company, in a Q&A session — basically dealing with electricity as fuel. “The benefit of this network and being active 24/7 is that at least you’ll have people around to help you all the time. This will be a set of locations that are completely manned.”

Online payers will be able to earn points at Pilot travel centers, and most of them have a variety of dining options, extended seating and lounge areas, souvenirs, bathrooms and wi-fi. -fi free. GM will cut prices through individual brand apps, and this is the automaker’s first foray into retail charging.

BMW i3 charging at the EVgo fast charger at Chevron station in Menlo Park, California

BMW i3 charging at the EVgo fast charger at Chevron station in Menlo Park, California

The network will be co-branded with “Pilot Flying J” and “Ultium Charge 360” — the latter being GM’s trademark for aggregate EV services — but will be available to EV drivers of a range of brands. .

GM says that many of these locations will have overhead canopies to protect drivers from the elements, and some of them will have the ability to pull over to accommodate larger electric pickups or SUVs. tow trailers.

Fuel retailers and the convenience store industry have been making a similar call to charge rural communities—That, like Pilot locations — is uniquely positioned with roadside services.

Travis Hester, GM EV Growth Operations Manager, told Green car report that the company is using “some really powerful tools to see where to put the charger in which corridor,” and also uses its dealers as input.

The companies have made it clear that while they plan to invest their funds in the network, they have conceived the idea of ​​the potential for combining public funds — specifically, “utility programs and project funding.” government opinion” —in the project.

GM and EVgo expand metro fast charging

GM and EVgo expand metro fast charging

Perhaps because of the nature of the plan and its hopes for public funds, GM won’t disclose the amount of the investment, but it says it’s part of a nearly $750 million investment in charging infrastructure for the company. tram. That already includes a partnership with EVgo to build a network 3,250 fast charging counters in major city areas by 2025. They are also looking for their own agents to help with the installation 40,000 publicly accessible destination chargers (Level 2) in the community.

Konar said Pilot has hosted several Tesla Supercharger sites, but called it “challenging” as only Tesla owners can use them, adding that the aim is to expand the number of chargers per site. web as demand increases.

Installations for the network begin this summer, with the first chargers going live in early 2023.

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