Electric Vehicles

GM, EVgo partnering to quadruple electric vehicle fast charging capability in the U.S.

General Motors is investing heavily in EV charging infrastructure while preparing to launch its next-generation electric vehicle fleet.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors and EVgo will be adding upwards of 2,700 new fast chargers to the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) charging landscape over the next five years. The move is considered a crucial step to widespread EV adoption.

Currently, EVgo has just 800 fast chargers in the U.S. Despite that number, it is still the leading public fast charging provider in the country. All chargers will be able to power up four vehicles simultaneously and have 100-350-kilowatt capabilities.

The chargers will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. In 2019, EVgo became the first North American charging company to contract for 100 percent renewable energy to power its chargers. GM has a sustained commitment to renewable energy that extends from production to powering its facilities.

General Motors EVgo EVgo currently has 800 fast chargers in the U.S.Photo courtesy of General Motors

GM's Spring Hill, Tennessee plant will run on strictly solar energy by 2022.

"We are moving quickly to bring new EVs to market that customers will love," said Mary Barra, GM Chairman and CEO. "We know how important the charging ecosystem is for drivers, one that includes access to convenient and reliable public fast charging. Our relationship with EVgo will bolster the public fast charging network available to EV customers ahead of increased market demand and reinforce our commitment to an all-electric, zero-emissions future."

The chargers will focus on both cities and suburbs and provide access points for EV drivers who live in multi-unit homes and rental homes who aren't able to install a home charger or those who do not have access to workplace charging.

Customers typically spend 15-30 minutes at a fast charger as opposed to Levels 1 and 2 charging facilities.

These 2,700 new chargers are in addition to the 3,500 that the automaker plans to add at company facilities.

The first of the new charging stations is slated to come online in 2021.

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The new Maps+ app will allow drivers to use a navigation system who had not previously purchased navigation.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors is giving its vehicles a new navigation solution. Maps+, an in-vehicle, app-based way-finding program, will begin rolling out to approximately 900,000 model year 2018 and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of 2021, starting on April 30.

"We know customers want an easy and convenient in-vehicle experience that improves over time," said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. "We listened to customer feedback and developed a product that works seamlessly with our current infotainment systems and provides a highly personalized experience that will iterate throughout the lifetime of the vehicle."

Maps+ was developed in partnership with Mapbox. The new app replaces navigation functionality in already-purchased vehicles that had purchased a navigation system. It provides navigation functionality to drivers of vehicles that did not opt for navigation at the onset.

The new application features Alexa build-in voice control that allows users to listen to music or podcasts using the system's integrated audio apps. A search box allows users to find points of interest, shops, restaurants, parking, and more. There is also embedded speed alert, low fuel recognition, predictive keyboard entry, day and night modes, category shortcuts, rear-time traffic routing, and dynamic mapping capability.

"Our obsession is the driver," said Peter Sirota, CEO of Mapbox. "The map is the canvas for providing the driver with a delightful, easy-to-use experience. From discovering new places to avoiding traffic on your commute to paying at the pump or the plug, Maps+ lays the foundation for an excellent navigation experience. We are excited to build upon this with GM to continue to drive adoption."

GM and Mapbox are committed to continuing Maps+ post-launch, developing new features and improvements based on feedback and metrics.

Maps+ will be available on select vehicles through Connected Vehicle, Premium and App Access subscription plans. Current eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners will be notified when their vehicle is eligible for Maps+.

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And all-electric version of the Chevrolet Silverado is on the way.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Earlier this year, General Motors very quietly teased its forthcoming electric full-size pickup truck. Today, the automaker is giving us a closer look with a new teaser video.

The video accompanies an announcement that says that the Silverado electric pickup will be built at the company's Factory Zero assembly plant in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan. The Silverado electric vehicle (EV) will be built alongside the 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV, which debuted this weekend.

GM has designed the Silverado EV to be an electric vehicle from the ground up, riding on the company's Ultium Platform and keeping Silverado's capability in focus. The automaker says that the truck will offer more than 400 miles of all-electric range on a full charge.

The company confirms that retail and fleet versions will be offered.

"The vehicles coming from Factory ZERO will change the world, and how the world views electric vehicles," said General Motors President Mark Reuss. "The GMC Hummer EV SUV joins its stablemate in the realm of true supertrucks, and Chevrolet will take everything Chevy's loyal truck buyers love about Silverado — and more — and put it into an electric pickup that will delight retail and commercial customers alike."

What will it be called? The teaser photo GM released was labeled "Silverado E". Stay tuned for confirmation on the name.

GM plans to deliver more than 1 million electric vehicles globally by 2025 and earn EV market leadership in North America. With the company's Ultium Platform, virtual development tools and technology, GM has reduced vehicle development times by nearly 50 percent to just 26 months.

The GMC Hummer EV pickup truck and Cruise Origin will also be built at Factory Zero. Reports indicate that a forthcoming Cadillac Escalade BEV could also be built there and be ready for dealerships around the same time as the Hummer EV SUV.

To ready for its new products, GM has invested $2.2 billion in a complete renovation and retooling at the historic GM manufacturing facility. The project is the largest ever for a GM manufacturing site. The plant's paint and body shops and general assembly area are receiving comprehensive upgrades, including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling. The plant has expanded to over 4.5 million square feet.

Late last year General Motors revealed details about many of the new electric vehicles it has in the pipeline.

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