General Motors has presented its concept for simplifying electric car charging for US customers under the name ‘Ultium Charge 360’. The “holistic approach” is supposed to cover all charging scenarios, public and private.
The most important innovation probably concerns public charging. Here, GM says it has signed agreements with seven major charging networks in North America: Blink Charging, ChargePoint, EV Connect, EVgo, FLO, Greenlots and SemaConnect – but not the charging points from VW subsidiary Electrify America. GM says that further functions and cooperations may be added. The US carmaker is also involved in helping make some of the charging points itself: last summer GM announced that it would build 2,700 fast chargers with EVgo.
Via an app (such as ‘myChevrolet’), the company’s electric car customers will soon receive real-time information on almost 60,000 charging points in the USA and Canada. The app finds stations along a route and can start and pay for charging processes – in other words, a classic EMP service that brings together charging points from different providers via roaming.
A map of the 60,000 charging points now accessible for GM customers in the USA still shows their uneven distribution: the majority of charging stations are located on the east and west coasts of the country, while the density of charging points – and thus the usability of the GM charging network – decreases rapidly in the middle.
GM has not yet provided further on charging practices and prices. What seems clear, however, is that the company has understood the customer’s desire for a charging experience that is as simple as possible. “GM agrees with the customer need for a robust charging experience that makes the transition to an EV seamless and helps drive mass adoption,” said Travis Hester, GM’s chief EV officer. “As we launch 30 EVs globally by the end of 2025, Ultium Charge 360 simplifies and improves the at-home charging experience and the public charging experience – whether it’s community-based or road-trip charging.”
Although the new charging service is named after the new Ultium platform for electric vehicles, the services should be usable with all electrified GM vehicles, including, for example, the current Chevrolet Bolt.