General Motors is not the first to claim that it will make EVs easier to live with - how will it do so?
General Motors is putting all its energy behind the electrified future. With Mary Barra at the wheel, the American conglomerate is poised for greatness. The CEO wants to dominate the EV segment and has previously said she wants GM "to lead in EVs. Full stop." From the affordable Chevrolet Bolt to the luxurious Cadillac Lyriq, there seems to be a General Motors EV for everyone.
The range is only set to grow in the coming years, with the eagerly awaited Silverado EV and Celestiq arriving in the near future. But offering a lineup of impressive EVs is only half the battle won. As Ford CEO Jim Farley recently admitted, the lack of decent charging infrastructure (or even support) will leave a sour taste in a customer's mouth. With hopes to make the lives of EV drivers that bit easier, GM has just launched the Plug and Charge service.
The idea is simple. Instead of fumbling around with a mobile app, GM electric vehicle owners will simply waft up to the charging point (on the Ultium 360 network), plug in, and top up their batteries. Setting up shouldn't prove a hassle, either. General Motors notes owners with an EVgo account, the GM brand app, and active OnStar connected services just need to perform a once-off activation of Plug and Charge.
While it's nowhere near as convenient as Tesla's Supercharger network (which will soon be open to all EVs), GM says it hopes to roll the function out across all EVgo DC fast-charging stations and hopes to add all compatible DC fast-charging stations within the Ultium network. Plug and Charge is currently compatible with the Bolt, Lyriq, and GMC Hummer EV. Naturally, future electric vehicles will also be able to utilize the feature.
GM's Hoss Hassani explained the reason behind the new function: "We want to be the company that makes the EV experience seamless and convenient for everyone. Our collaboration with EVgo on Plug and Charge complements the work already in place with ultium Charge 360 and is a part of our larger effort this year to expand charging infrastructure, access, and education."
Plug and Charge also forms part of the company's investment of nearly $750 million into the Ultium Charge 360 ecosystem. GM describes the service as a "holistic charging approach" to simplify the charging experience for owners. It's a good start, but General Motors isn't the only automaker looking to revolutionize the EV charging sphere.
To attract owners to the fray, various car makers have been implementing unique charging incentives. Kia, for example, is offering an "on-demand concierge" service that brings the charging to you. It's rather convenient but, sadly, is only available for two months. Volvo's wireless charging experiment is also very intriguing, as is Volkswagen's.