The move will nearly double the number of EV stations in America. Currently, there are about 43,000 similar charging stations across the country.
The new stations are slotted primarily for rural parts of the country — “charging deserts.” These areas have been slower to make the shift to electric vehicles than the coasts. But with General Motors electrifying its entire fleet by 2035, it wants to ensure its customers can easily make the shift to EVs.
“We want to give customers the right tools and access to charging where and when they need it, while working with our dealer network to accelerate the expansion of accessible charging throughout the U.S. and Canada, including in underserved, rural and urban areas,” GM President Mark Reuss said in a press release.
General Motors is working with its dealers on the EV charging stations. It says 1,000 dealers have already signed on, with as many as 10 Level 2 chargers per dealership.
Level 2 charging stations aren’t as fast as Level 3 (which can charge up to 80% of battery power in about 30 minutes), but they are more affordable and can work with existing infrastructure, making them easier to install — key considerations for a project goal of 40,000 stations.
The chargers aren’t just being outfitted for General Motors’ vehicles, either; the company says the chargers will have industry-standard J1772 charging plugs that work with most electric models.
Not everyone is applauding the program, though. Peter Johnson at Electrek says the slow charging stations may turn some car buyers away from EVs, especially if their only charging option is at a car dealer.
“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to hang around a GM dealership or some adjacent location for three hours to charge up my electric vehicle — and that’s on the low end. Realistically, it will be more like six to eight hours,” he writes.
He says focusing on underserved areas is important and offers another solution.
“Instead, it would make more sense to go with fast chargers like Ford has laid out, or at the very least, give the option,” Johnson writes. “If GM is planning for 3,250 fast chargers to be installed by the end of 2025, why not go ‘all in’ and offer level 3 to dealers where it would make the most sense?”