GM is the latest to join the race to optimize electric vehicle charging

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On Wednesday, General Motors said it would join a growing list of automakers seeking to streamline the charging process for electric vehicles by equipping their models with Plug and Charge.

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Although Plug and Charge technology has been available since 2014, the industry has been slow to agree on standards for payment authentication, as well as the required hardware and software. This has allowed Tesla to stand out for the better part of a decade with its convenient charging network that allows drivers to drive up, plug in and charge.

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For drivers of other brands, the process was more confusing, requiring the driver to wrestle with a mixture of apps and accounts, RFID readers and non-functional credit card readers before they could start charging. Sometimes the hardware is incompatible, requiring wrenches and plug adapters to connect the cable to the machine.

It is not uncommon to find several chargers from different suppliers in the same parking lot. But growing competition among automakers means that smooth, functional charging experience became more of a priority.

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Plug and Charge simplifies the process by allowing drivers to pay at a charging station using their account for a different charging network. The driver simply drives up to the car and starts refueling, like the ease of refueling at a gas station.

GM said the feature works with all current and future GM electric vehicles built on the Ultium platform, as well as most electric and Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles. Thanks to Plug and Charge, the charging station recognizes the car while it is parked, eliminating the need to pre-register or create an additional account. Payments are processed and authenticated directly from the user’s smartphone.

To get started, GM drivers with an EVgo account, active OnStar Connected Services, and a GM branded app for their vehicle perform a one-time Plug and Charge activation within the app.

The company is partnering with EVgo to add more than 3,250 fast chargers to the US by 2025.

“We want to be a company that makes electric vehicle use seamless and convenient for everyone, and removes the mystery and fear factor of electric vehicle ownership,” said Hoss Hassani, GM Vice President of Electric Vehicle Ecosystem. “Plug and Charge complements the work already begun on Ultium Charge 360 ​​and will be part of a much larger effort this year to expand charging infrastructure, access and education.”

GM is the latest in a string of automakers to launch or are in the process of launching Plug and Charge functionality in their new electric vehicles, including Volkswagen, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi, Hyundai, Lucid and Polestar. While this is an important step, GM’s reach remains limited to the EVgo network. GM said it plans to expand the service to all compatible DC fast charging stations on the Ultium Charge 360 ​​network.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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