Hold on a minute Tesla, a pack of prominent automakers has joined together to build a rival charging network, just as the U.S. electric-vehicle market leader looked like it was running away with an industry standard.
General Motors and Jeep maker Stellantis, along with BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Mercedes-Benz, said they’re starting a U.S. EV charging company targeting dominance of fast charging in North America.
The joint venture said it plans to install a minimum of 30,000 chargers in urban areas and next to major highways and powered with renewable energy, the first in the U.S. scheduled to be operating next summer.
Tesla currently has the biggest high-speed EV charging network in the U.S. and recently made deals with multiple automakers to let owners of their models use much of its North American network and switch their upcoming EVs to Tesla’s port design. The deals moved some industry watchers to predict Tesla’s charging infrastructure and design, called the North American Charging Standard, or NACS, would become the industry standard, replacing the CCS charging connector.
Now the newly formed automakers group appears set to change the narrative. Its public chargers will support both the NACS and CCS standards.
Establishment of the JV, which will be contingent on regulatory approvals and closing conditions, will use public and private funds to build the network, though it didn’t specify sources or estimated costs.
“GM’s commitment to an all-electric future is focused not only on delivering EVs our customers love, but investing in charging and working across the industry to make it more accessible,” said GM CEO Mary Barra, whose company made a deal with Tesla last month to switch to its charging technology and let its vehicle owners use Tesla’s charging network.