GM to crowdsource charging network for Bolt drivers
After General Motors Co. hit a 200,000 vehicle cap on a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric car buyers in 2018, the Detroit automaker is now partnering with three of the biggest EV charging networks to crowdsource a more comprehensive charging grid for drivers of the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
GM announced Wednesday it is collaborating with EVgo, ChargePoint and Greenlots to aggregate data from each of the three EV charging networks for use in an updated version of the myChevrolet app. Using the data gathered, GM will integrate new features such as real-time data on the health of more than 31,000 charging stations and each station's compatibility with a Bolt — all of which can be accessed through the Bolt's infotainment system.
The myChevrolet app is also expected to get a new enrollment feature for these charging networks, eliminating the need for third party apps and memberships.
“This is a significant step to make charging easier for our customers,” Doug Parks, GM's vice president of autonomous and electric vehicle programs, said in a statement. “By collaborating with these three companies, we expect to reduce barriers to create a stronger EV infrastructure for the future. This is an important step toward achieving GM’s vision of a world with zero emissions.”
GM is expected to finalize the agreements with EVgo, ChargePoint and Greenlots during the first quarter. GM's car-sharing brand Maven Gig already has a partnership with EVgo designed to create a charging network for ride-sharing drivers.
After GM sold its 200,000th electrified vehicle in 2018, the automaker's $7,500 EV tax credit for GM buyers will reduce by half every six months until it hits zero. GM CEO Mary Barra had lobbied to extend the tax credit last year, but President Donald Trump threatened to yank it after the automaker announced plans to idle four plants in the U.S.
GM has committed to a zero-emissions future, promising 20 new electrified or fuel-cell vehicles by 2023. Without the tax credit to encourage adoption of these pricey vehicles, the Detroit automaker likely will increase efforts to remove other barriers to electric vehicle adoption.