Automakers Announce Joint Plan to Open 30,000 EV Charging Stations Nationwide
Major automakers last week announced plans to nearly double the network of fast electric vehicle charging stations nationwide. The plan is designed to lessen consumer “range anxiety” over the lack of sufficient and reliable EV charging stations necessary to go on longer trips without fear of running out of charge. The plan calls for adding 30,000 fast chargers in urban areas and along highways, according to a joint statement by General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, BMW Group, Mercedes-Benz Group and Stellantis N.V.
The U.S. EV network currently has approximately 32,000 chargers as of July, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The first stations are expected to be open by summer 2024. Currently, fast chargers use direct-current (DC) electricity and can charge an EV battery to 80 percent from empty in 20 minutes to an hour, much faster than the four to 10 hours it would take a “Level 2” charger. About 77 percent of the 142,000 EV chargers in the United States are Level 2 chargers, while about 22 percent are fast DC chargers according to the DOE. However, both Level 2 and DC fast chargers have proved unreliable as drivers increasingly report encountering broken equipment and confusing payment methods. A recent national survey found that 1 in 5 EV owners who visited an EV station could not charge, due to system malfunctions.