GM partners with Pilot to install chargers at up to 500 travel centers nationwide

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. and Pilot Travel Centers LLC are collaborating to add 2,000 electric vehicle charging stalls at up to 500 Pilot and Flying J travel centers, the companies said Thursday.

The DC fast charging coast-to-coast network will be installed, operated and maintained by EVgo, a charging network company. The first chargers will be operational by early next year. Pilot, which has more than 750 locations in 44 states and five Canadian provinces, is the first retailer GM has partnered with to expand charging across the U.S. as it progresses on its all-electric transition.

General Motors Co. and Pilot Company are collaborating to build a coast-to-coast charging network. The first chargers will go live in early 2023.

"At GM, we believe in a world of zero emissions, in an all-electric future and our genuine belief that we can put everybody into an EV," said Travis Hester, vice president of EV growth operations at GM, in a call with media. "To enable the mass adoption of those EVs, it's necessary to build the perfect charging infrastructure."

GM, Pilot and EVgo did not disclose the financial terms of the collaboration.

The chargers will be co-branded “Pilot Flying J” and “Ultium Charge 360” and will be open to all EV brands, but GM customers will receive special benefits including exclusive reservations, discounts on charging and a more streamlined charging process. The stations will include high-power fast chargers offering up to 350 kilowatts.

GM and Pilot are targeting installation of chargers at 50-mile intervals across the U.S.

Pilot already has Tesla Inc. chargers at some of its locations. 

"We have had demand from our customers and we do see EV customers who have to travel across the country be challenged in finding adequate charging, especially DC fast charging locations," said Shameek Konar, Pilot Company chief executive officer, on a call with media. 

Konar added: "We're not experts at electric charging. We have a lot of critically and strategically located real estate, which can help solve the problem. So getting together with GM and EVgo creates a great solution for the average EV customer."

This collaboration is part of GM's $750 million investment in EV charging infrastructure through 2025. Other investments include: 

  • Enabling access to more than 100,000 charge points in the U.S. and Canada through its Ultium Charge 360 ecosystem
  • Collaborating with EVgo to build a network of 3,250 charging stalls in major metro areas by 2025
  • Installing up to 40,000 chargers in local dealer communities through GM’s Dealer Community Charging Program

Beyond the infrastructure investments, GM last year announced it signed seven agreements with major charging providers to make the electric vehicle charging experience more seamless.

The agreements are part of GM's Ultium Charge 360 approach that integrates charging networks, GM vehicle mobile apps and other products and services.

khall@detroitnews.com

Twitter:@bykaleahall