In a twist straight out of an Avengers movie, a Justice League-style auto alliance has formed to build a coast-to-coast EV charging network across the US.
General Motors, Stellantis, Hyundai, Kia, Honda, BMW and Mercedes-Benz announced today they are joining forces to form a new company that will deploy EV chargers nationwide. Together, these titans account for around half of all US auto sales.
The goal is to become North America’s leading fast charging provider, with plans to install 30,000 chargers along highways and in cities. This unprecedented supergroup wants to challenge the dominance of Tesla’s Supercharger network and qualify for a slice of $7.5 billion in federal EV subsidies.
Currently, Tesla holds over 60% of the US EV market and runs the country’s largest fast charging network with nearly 18,000 stations. Earlier this year, Tesla said it would open its exclusive charging network to other EVs starting in 2025.
While GM, Mercedes and others have signed on to use Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) technology, other alliance members – including Stellantis, Hyundai, Kia, Honda and BMW – have not. Instead they’ve opted for the competing Combined Charging System (CCS) backed by this new group.
The allies did not disclose how much each will invest, but said the network will remain open for others to join and use both NACS and CCS standards. The first stations are slated to come online in summer 2024, expanding later into Canada.
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement, “In the same spirit of competition in a free market, a robust charging network should provide open access to everyone and be built with a win-win approach.”
This surprise supergroup wants to give Tesla a run for its money in the charging space. With its combined might and government backing, the alliance could make serious headway toward its goal of becoming North America’s top EV charging provider.
But questions remain around standard compatibility, access for non-member automakers and how quickly this network can scale to rival Tesla’s decade-plus head start. One thing’s for sure – the EV charging wars just got a whole lot more interesting.