General Motors (GM) and Pilot Company (Pilot and Flying J) are collaborating on a national DC fast charging network in the USA. It will be installed, operated and maintained by EVgo through its eXtend offering.
This is great news and the partnership will help to accelerate the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), increase access to charging and help enable long-distance electric travel across the USA.
This project demonstrates how public and private entities can come together to build out the nation’s charging infrastructure. The new charging network will be located along American highways, connecting urban and rural communities, the East and West Coasts and different metropolitan areas.
This network of 2,000 charging stalls, co-branded “Pilot Flying J” and “Ultium Charge 360”, will be powered by EVgo eXtend. They will be open to all electric vehicle brands at up to 500 Pilot and Flying J travel centres.
GM customers will receive special benefits like exclusive reservations, discounts on charging, a streamlined charging process through Plug and Charge and integration into GM’s vehicle brand apps providing real-time charger availability and help with route planning. This collaboration is expected to enhance America’s electric vehicle driving experience.
The Pilot and Flying J travel centres plan to feature numerous fast charging stalls provided by EVgo. These include high power fast chargers capable of offering up to 350kW.
EVgo, which is also working with GM to add more than 3,250 fast chargers in American cities and suburbs by the end of 2025, was chosen as a strategic collaborator because of its expertise in building, operating and maintaining DC fast charging infrastructure.
Many of these new sites will feature canopies to help protect customers from the elements while charging, as well as pull through capability allowing convenient charging for electric pickup trucks and electric SUVs pulling trailers.
Mary Barra, General Motors CEO, said: “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. With travel centres across North America, Pilot Company is an ideal collaborator to reach a broad audience of EV drivers.”
Shameek Konar, Pilot Company CEO, said: “GM and Pilot Company designed this program to combine private investments alongside intended government grant and utility programs to help reduce range anxiety and significantly close the gap in long-distance EV charger demand.
“Our travel centres are well-equipped to accommodate EV charging with 24/7 amenities and convenient proximity to major roadways across the country. We look forward to collaborating with GM and the US Department of Transportation to make convenient coast-to-coast EV travel a reality through our national network of travel centres.”
Third-party research shows that widespread access to highway charging, particularly in underserved urban and rural areas, is a significant barrier to mass electric vehicle adoption.
Cathy Zoi, EVgo CEO, said: “EVgo, GM and Pilot Company share a commitment to building an electric fuelling network that increases access and makes the shift to electrification as frictionless as possible for all. We look forward to this collaboration and ensuring the EVgo network provides nationwide coverage, including critical corridors for road trips,”
“Through EVgo eXtend, we are demonstrating yet another innovative pathway to help America electrify — and showcasing why EVgo’s technology and industry leadership make us the partner of choice to site hosts, automakers and drivers alike as we work together to deliver a cleaner future of transportation.”
This collaboration is targeting the installation of charging stalls at 50-mile intervals across the US. For GM, this development is one more step of its nearly $750 million investment in EV charging infrastructure.
This includes enabling access to more than 100,000 charge points in the US and Canada through its Ultium Charge 360 ecosystem. The company will also be collaborating with EVgo to build out a network of 3,250 charging stalls in major metro areas by 2025. GM will also be installing up to 40,000 chargers in local dealer communities through GM’s Dealer Community Charging Program, focusing on underserved rural and urban areas
This project builds on Pilot Company’s recently announced “New Horizons” initiative to invest $1 billion. This is to fully upgrade its travel centres with more premium amenities and offerings that aren’t typically available at current EV charging locations.
Guests will have access to free Wi-Fi at most locations, expanded seating and lounge areas, and updated and modernised restrooms. They will also feature on-site restaurants including Pilot’s signature fresh hot and cold deli, premium coffee, and shopping for travel essentials and souvenirs while their vehicles are charging. Pilot and Flying J travel centres are open 24/7, ensuring that team members are always onsite to provide consistently high service to guests.
Beyond this program, GM and Pilot Company will continue working with key stakeholders to use new and existing public-private programs to accelerate the development of more public electric vehicle charging infrastructure.