Like other automakers making a big push into electric vehicles, General Motors now understands that building the vehicles is only one piece of the success puzzle. GM
Through the community charging program, GM will provide up to 40,000 level 2 chargers (240V AC chargers) to be installed around the U.S. and Canada. The automaker will work with its dealers and other local stakeholders to find suitable sites to install the chargers. These will be standard chargers that can be used by all EV drivers regardless of brand.
The dealers and community stakeholders will be responsible for finding the funding for installation, operation and maintenance of the chargers. Some of these may be free to use if funding is available while others may require drivers to pay. Either way, making public charging widely available will be key to convincing drivers to switch. This is especially important in currently underserved communities in rural or urban areas. Finding public charging in areas outside of major cities or away from the DC fast charge stations that are usually adjacent to major highways, can often be very difficult.
The chargers GM will supply come from its new Ultium charge lineup. The three branded chargers have been developed with CTEK, one of the leading providers of EV charging equipment. There will be two different 11.5-kW units and a 19.2-kW unit. All are equipped with wifi and bluetooth for easy management including load balancing and over-the-air updates. The more expensive 11.5-kW and the 19.2-kW units also include customizable touchscreens and cameras.
The cameras can be utilized for detecting if a vehicle is parked in front of the charger to help with broadcasting charger availability to drivers as well as providing support. Through the camera and screen, support staff can assist customers that are having problems with charging.
The CTEK/Ultium chargers will all be available to both consumer and commercial customers and start shipping in early 2022. GM has not announced pricing for the chargers.