GM, partner offer easier, faster payment method for EV fast charging

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Tommy Doran recalled driving to a charging station last winter and having to take off his gloves to pay in an app to charge up his Chevrolet Bolt EUV.

"It's frigid in Michigan," General Motors Co.'s manager of EV infrastructure and EV charging experience told The Detroit News. "That's not nice at all."

Now, GM customers have access to a solution that lets them bypass the clunky payment method of commercial EV charging and hit the road again sooner: Plug and Charge. It allows owners of GM EVs to pull up to a DC fast charger, plug in and automatically be charged for the electricity.

General Motors Co.'s new Plug and Charge service allows electric-vehicle drivers to plug in their vehicle as a DC fast-charging station and automatically be charged to the owner's EVgo account.

The ability for a charger to recognize a vehicle and charge the owner like a credit card has been held as a way to alleviate the often cumbersome payment system of apps, RFID fobs and accounts — often for various networks.

The technology is launching with GM's charging network partner EVgo, though the plan to is expand the technology to others as well. Most EVgo fast chargers work with the service.

Drivers whose vehicles are DC compatible, from most Bolts to the newest GMC Hummer and Cadillac Lyriq, need active OnStar connected services, which start at $24.99 per month, and an EVgo account connected to the GM brand app for their vehicle, where they can activate the service for free. 

Customers can activate the Plug and Charge service in the GM brand app for their vehicle.

The EVs have a unique identification when drivers plug in the cable that makes the connection possible.

"You click in the charger, and you're done," said Hoss Hassani, EV ecosystem director. "It's a seamless experience."

GM says it's a leader to introduce a Plug and Charge feature to the company’s existing and future EVs that is designed to work on multiple public networks in North America. Tesla Inc. has offered a similar service through its supercharger network since 2012, and more vehicles like the Mustang Mach-E and Porsche Taycan are compatible with Plug and Charge features.

Unique identification technology on the vehicle allows the EVgo charging station to charge an account seamlessly.

The rollout is part of GM's commitment to invest nearly $750 million through 2025 in charging infrastructure through its Ultium Charge 360 ecosystem that now includes a network of 11 charging station operators. It's partnering with dealers to install 40,000 Level 2 chargers. With EVgo, it's also installing 2,750 fast chargers in 40 metropolitan areas by 2025

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble