General Motors is partnering with Flo and its dealer network to add about 40,000 new AC electric vehicle charging points in the US and Canada. Funded from a $750 million pot of money earmarked for charging infrastructure projects, the Dealer Community Charging Program will place AC chargers in rural communities and urban areas where charging "deserts" are known to exist.
There are, of course, a lot more refueling options for electric vehicles compared with their combustion car counterparts - home charging, public AC charging, and DC fast charging. General Motors has addressed home charging and DC fast charging in both metropolitan areas and along travel corridors through its partnership with Pilot. This latest program, first announced in October of 2021, will offer a lot more individual AC charging points, but with a maximum power rate of 19.2 kW, they will be somewhat slower than DC charging options.
The individual locations will be chosen by dealers who have opted to take part in the program - so far that's almost 1,000, or a quarter of the company's retail outlets. General Motors is offering guidance to the dealerships to help choose the specific locations and other aspects of the install process. Each participating dealership can receive up to ten chargers through the program, but can also expand beyond that if they bear the costs.
The program is already underway. The first Flo chargers were installed by Wheelers Chevrolet GMC around Marshfield, Wisconsin at various locations, which included a pair of parks, a library, and a sports complex. The chargers themselves bear GM's Ultium 360 Charging branding, along with the name of the dealership responsible for the installation.
A Chevrolet dealership in Michigan has also installed at least one of its allocated chargers, and the automaker says many more will be installed over the next weeks and months. The initial wave are all Chevrolet dealers, but the GMC, Cadillac, and Buick brands will also begin taking part as soon as January of 2023.
Payment amounts may differ wildly. While a dealer or site owner may wish to offer free charging, some locations will require payment. The chargers installed by Wheelers Chevrolet, for instance, currently charge $4.50 an hour for usage. Wisconsin is a state that only allows utilities to sell electricity, so charges have to be time-based rather than per kilowatt-hour.
Though the chargers are capable of putting out 19.2 kW, most vehicles will be limited by their onboard AC chargers. The average electric vehicle now is usually limited to around 11 kW, but that will likely increase in the future.