Hello and welcome to your daily ChargeSmart blog! Today, we will be talking about GM are doing to make EV charging the new norm.
Above: GM's Cadillac EV concept
GM have been in the news quite a bit recently. Mostly because of their decision to shut down Holden along with the revival of the Hummer brand as an EV marque along with the fact that Cadillac will become an EV marque by the end of this decade but there's something else as well.
Before you go off on a rant about how charging is normal and that we’ve been charging our phones, Ipods and whatever else for many many years now. The second part to GM’s statement was that they want to make EV charging normal, even for apartment dwellers. That’s the key here. If you live in a traditional house with a garage, you can just park your car in the garage after work, plug it in and away you go.
However, in an apartment. The process of charging isn’t quite that easy. Apartment parking lots are often just full of concrete and worn out road markings, there’s rarely a charging point in sight. So, what do you do if you’ve got an EV? GM have got an entire team dedicated to looking into just that. They are called the electric vehicle infrastructure team and their whole purpose is to look at a market where EVs and EV charging are mainstream. They predict that this might not be the case until 2025. Being an American company, GM’s main target is to try and create a new normal for the American market first. A market where DC chargers are in short supply compared to the rising number of EVs in the country. Not to mention that experts predict that the numbers will rise even faster over the upcoming years as more car traditional car manufacturers start selling their EVs along with the arrival of EV start-ups like Rivian.
Above: GM will own two full EV brands by the end of the decade
Right, back to GM. They’ve teamed up with Bechtel who’s a large construction company to see how they can improve EV charging at home, in the workplace and at public charging stations. They are also evaluating both personal and fleet charging requirements. Their Bechtel partnership is still in the discussion phase currently but GM are pretty certain it will go through. If the partnership is a success then they could work on urban charging pavilions. What they mean is that they will be installing charging stations, sort of like our current petrol stations where there’s about 5-10 pumps but instead there will be a similar number of charging points in one of these EV stations.
GM have made their intentions clear with this one, that they will not own or operate any of these charging stations. Instead, they will be trying to get investors to put their money into this project using their company’s name as leverage. Once the money’s in, then GM will be out. It’s not a line of business that they are trying to enter. Though, the GM’s VP of autonomous and EV commercialisation also admitted that they don’t believe they will be able to solve everyone’s charging needs with this EV station type model. In fact, he believes that EV buyers don’t generally know how easy it is to just come home and plug in your electric car and then unplug it the next morning to drive to work. Instead he criticized EV manufacturers for talking about DC charging speeds all the time and promoting their own EV fast charging networks.
GM believe that their next generation of EV customers, those who will buy the electric Hummer and Cadillac EVs haven’t yet considered how an EV works and the concept of range. They also believe that this next generation of EV buyers aren’t going to bother with installing any sort of home charging units in their garages. Which is why GM are looking into providing a SKY TV sort of strategy. Where customers can sign up for a monthly fee which covers the cost of GM delivering, installing and managing a home charger for those on their subscription service. That’s their idea of making EV charging normal. I wonder how much it costs for the equivalent of Sky Sport on this package....