GM Ultium Charge 360 promises streamlined app for multiple charging networks

General Motors on Wednesday announced a new charging plan for its upcoming electric cars. Called Ultium Charge 360, the plan involves deals with existing networks that will allow drivers to access nearly 60,000 charging points across the United States and Canada, GM said in a press release.

Instead of building an entire network from scratch, as Tesla did and Volkswagen was forced to do as part of its diesel-emissions settlement, GM will focus on third-party deals for public charging, using mobile apps to create a streamlined experience. The automaker said customers will be able to use an app to navigate to a charging station, plug in, and pay.

So far, GM said it has signed agreements with seven charging networks: Blink Charging, ChargePoint, EV Connect, EVgo, FLO, Greenlots, and SemaConnect. It’s also working with EVgo to install 2,700 DC fast-charging stations in U.S. cities and suburbs by 2025. The first of those stations—which can charge at up to 350 kw and average four plugs per site—are now operational in California, Florida, and Washington State, the automaker said, adding that it’s on track to have approximately 500 plugs operational by the end of 2021.

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GM Ultium Charge 360 network

GM Ultium Charge 360 network

GM will also help facilitate installation of home-charging equipment. The automaker is already covering some installation costs for Level 2 AC home-charging stations for 2022 Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV owners, but didn’t elaborate on plans for other upcoming electric cars.

Ultium Charge 360 takes its name from the Ultium battery system GM announced last year, which will be used in a variety of upcoming EVs. GM plans to launch 30 new electric models by 2025.

The first of those new models will be the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup truck, which is scheduled to start production later this year. It will be followed next year by the Cadillac Lyriq SUV, and then an SUV version of the Hummer EV, scheduled to arrive in spring 2023 as a 2024 model. GM has also confirmed plans for an electric Chevrolet Silverado pickup, and a Cadillac sedan called Celestiq.

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