General Motors is setting up a partnership with Bechtel to build a network of charging stations for electric vehicles that would stretch across the United States.
A formal announcement is still in the works but key executives from both companies have confirmed for various news outlets that a venture is in the works. GM and Bechtel will set up new joint venture to solicit financing and to build and operate the charging network, which would be targeted on large urban areas and along interstate highways.
The GM-Bechtel charging network will mine data from GM’s OnStar unit to determine where EV owners park. “Charging infrastructure is a significant need and we believe that this market is really going to grow,” a top Bechtel executive said recently, according to the website Seeking Alpha.
Privately held Bechtel is a global engineering, procurement, and construction leader, has received the No. 1 ranking Top Contractor for the past 21 years, according to Engineering News-Record and has a long record of involvement on major construction projects, ranging from the Hoover Dam outside Las Vegas, back in the 1930s to nuclear power plants to facilities for handling the distribution of liquid natural gas.
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“Our hypothesis around fast charging is that people charge where their cars [are] already spending time, right?” Mike Ableson, GM’s vice president of EV infrastructure and charging, told CNN.
The potential joint venture would combine the strengths of both companies. to create the infrastructure. Bechtel will use its expertise to engineer, build, and sort out permits for the stations.
While GM will provide the data from OnStar will to determine where owners tend to park their cars and the routes EV drive, part of the plan also calls for placing charging stations in areas where they could boost electric-car adoption.
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GM already sells the Chevrolet Bolt and is prepared to launch other models, such as a new Cadillac EV, as expands to its electric vehicle portfolio. Back in March, GM said it was investing $300 million in an assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan, where in now builds the Chevrolet Bolt assembly plant to produce a new Chevrolet electric vehicle that will bring 400 new jobs to the plant.
CNN Business noted that the plan for a broad charging networks as GM plans to roll out 20 new electric cars by 2023. To ensure there will be plenty of places for future customers to charge their newly purchased electric vehicles, GM’s been working to expand its stake in chargers as well.
The company announced a deal in January to collaborate with EVgo, ChargePoint and Greenlots, three of the nation’s leading electric vehicle (EV) charging networks, to enable access to the largest collective electric vehicle charging network in the United States.
(To see more about GM’s deal with other charging companies, Click Here.)
This will include more than 31,000 charging ports. GM plans to aggregate dynamic data from each of the EV charging networks so owners of the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EV can have a more seamless charging experience with their GM vehicles.