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GM showcases new Chevy Bolt EUV on hundreds of free Volta electric vehicle charging stations across the USA (photo via Volta).

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General Motors Plans 40,000 EV Chargers Across US & Canada

GM is planning to add more chargers in North America.

Many people do not quite understand the idea of plugging in an electric car at home. Once or twice a week — depending on the range of the vehicle and the amount of miles driven — you connect your EV to the wall charger in the evening and wake up to a fully charged battery in the morning. No going out of your way to find a gas station. No dirty hoses to jostle into place. No credit cards to swipe. Just miles and miles of zero emissions driving.

People are reluctant to buy an electric car if there is no place to plug it in when they are away from home, even if they have more than enough range to get back to their garage. It’s a conditioned response. Some drivers stop for gas whenever their fuel gauge reads half full. They just like the comfort of knowing they have plenty of gas — just in case.

Elon Musk understood this when he created the Tesla Supercharging network. Now almost a decade later, other manufacturers are getting on board. In April, General Motors announced it had signed partnership agreements with several EV charging companies like ChargePoint, Blink, and EV Connect to give its electric car customers access to 60,000 charging points all across North America.

That was welcome news, but those networks don’t always cover rural and low income communities. This week, GM made another commitment to EV charging infrastructure. It said it will install up to 40,000 EV charging stations in the United States and Canada as part of its $750 million plan to bolster its presence in the rapidly growing electric vehicle charging sector.

According to Reuters, this week’s announcement said the company will expand home, workplace, and public charging infrastructure through its Ultium Charge 360 ecosystem and will focus on installing them in rural and urban areas with limited access to support widespread adoption of EVs. The charging stations will be available to all EV customers, and not just those who purchase vehicles from GM, the carmaker said.

4,000 Chargers In Canada

In a statement to CBC News, GM said, “We expect 10 percent of the total number of chargers for the Canadian market.” GM president Mark Reuss said the new EV charging initiative is, “part of our plan to put everyone in an EV, making access to charging even more seamless than before. 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.”

The charging stations will be installed at GM dealerships, various other workplaces, multi-unit dwellings, sports and entertainment venues, and colleges and universities, the company said. CBC says there are roughly 11,000 gas stations across Canada, so 4,000 new electric charging stations will be a significant increase in the number of places where a driver can plug in. The news comes a day after Hertz announced plans to buy 100,000 electric Tesla vehicles, adding to the growing availability and demand for electric vehicles.

Chevy Bolt Production Resumes

Automotive News reports that Chevrolet intends to resume production of the Bolt and Bolt EUV on November 1, saying production would by “limited” for two weeks while it ramps things back up and gets its supply chain in order. LG Energy Solutions started manufacturing new batteries for the cars on September 20. GM must now figure our how to best manage the supply of new batteries to meet the need to replace battery modules in existing cars and full battery packs for new cars.

Those of us who have driven the Bolt and the Tesla Model 3 know which one we prefer, but the Bolt is an important part of getting Americans to start driving electric and it is good to know new ones will soon be available at Chevy dealers across America.

 
 
 
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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we listened?

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