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July 15, 2022

GM and Pilot plans US EV fast charging network

Powered by EVgo eXtend, network will help enable long-distance electric travel across the US

By Graeme Roberts

GM and Pilot Company (Pilot and Flying J) are collaborating on a national DC fast charging network that will be installed, operated and maintained by EVgo through its eXtend offering.

“This project demonstrates how public and private entities can come together to build out the nation’s charging infrastructure, particularly along American highways, connecting urban and rural communities, the East and West Coasts and different metropolitan areas,” the companies said in a statement.

This network of 2,000 charging stalls, co-branded Pilot Flying J and Ultium Charge 360, will be powered by EVgo eXtend and open to all EV brands at up to 500 Pilot and Flying J travel centres.

GM customers will receive benefits like exclusive reservations, discounts on charging, a streamlined charging process through Plug and Charge and integration into GM vehicle brand apps providing real time charger availability and help with route planning. This collaboration is expected to enhance America’s EV driving experience.

The centres will have “numerous” fast charging stalls provided by EVgo, including high power fast chargers capable of offering up to 350 kW. 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 collaborator due to its expertise in building, operating and maintaining DC fast charging infrastructure. Many of these 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 SUVs pulling trailers.

Third party research showed that widespread access to highway charging, particularly in underserved urban and rural areas, is a significant barrier to mass EV adoption, the statement.

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 project builds on Pilot Company’s recently announced New Horizons initiative to invest $1 billion to fully upgrade its travel centres with more premium amenities and offerings that aren’t typically available at current EV charging locations. Users will have access to free Wi-Fi at most locations, expanded seating and lounge areas, updated and modernised restrooms, on-site restaurants including 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 with staff always onsite.

GM and Pilot Company will also continue working with key stakeholders to use new and existing public private programmes to accelerate the development of more public EV charging infrastructure.

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