BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes and Stellantis announced Wednesday they will team up to build a nationwide network of 30,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030, with the first stations expected to open next summer. Photo courtesy of General Motors
July 26 (UPI) -- In an effort to drive EV sales, seven major automakers are joining forces to build a nationwide network of 30,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030, with the first stations expected to open next summer.
BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes and Stellantis announced the charging network Wednesday, which will "make zero-emission driving even more attractive for millions of customers."
The automakers hope to eliminate long-distance EV range anxiety due to what many drivers say is a shortage of vehicle charging sites.
"The better experience people have, the faster EV adoption will grow," GM chief executive officer Mary Barra said in a statement Wednesday, as the network was announced.
"We're creating an unprecedented new charging network joint venture with six other major global automakers to expand access to high-powered charging in North America and accelerate EV adoption," Honda wrote in a tweet.
"North America is one of the world's most important car markets -- with the potential to be a leaders in electromobility. Accessibility to high-speed charging is one of the key enablers to accelerate this transition," BMW Group chief executive officer Oliver Zipse said in a statement.
Currently, there are fewer than 8,700 direct-current, fast-charging stations in the United States and Canada with fewer than 36,000 charging plugs, according to the Department of Energy.
While the new network is expected to have 10 to 20 high-powered DC charging plugs for each of the 30,000 stations, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that 182,000 fast chargers will be needed by 2030 to support more than 30 million electric vehicles, as U.S. electric vehicle sales is expected to exceed 50% of all car sales in the next seven years.
According to the International Energy Agency, the number of electric vehicles on the road will jump from 4% in 2020 to 18% this year.
The joint venture of automakers plans to use federal, state and private funds to install the new charging stations, including National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funding from the United States.
The network will be accessible to all battery-powered vehicles from any automaker. All stations will include the standardized Tesla North American Charging Standard ports, as well as Combined Charging System plugs.
Each station will be placed in convenient locations, along major highways and vacation routes, and will provide access to amenities, such as food service, retail and restrooms.
The joint venture also announced plans to power the entire charging network with renewable energy.
"The fight against climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. What we need now is speed -- across political, social and corporate boundaries," Mercedes-Benz Group chief executive officer Ola Källenius said in a statement.
"To accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, we're in favor of anything that makes life easier for our customers," Källenius added. "Charging is an inseparable part of the EV-experience, and this network will be another step to make it as convenient as possible."