General Motors said Wednesday it now has about 1,000 of its 4,450 dealers in North America enrolled in the Dealer Community Charging Program, an initiative aimed at doubling the number of Level 2 electric vehicle chargers across North America by 2026.
GM also said it has selected EV-charging manufacturer FLO, based in Quebec City, Canada, to make the chargers. FLO’s first U.S. manufacturing facility in Auburn Hills will be the main production location for the program’s charging stations. FLO said this past summer that it plans to complete the new factory by next fall. The facility will cost $3 million and create 133 jobs.
GM has already installed some community charging stations. Wheelers Chevrolet GMC was the first dealer to participate and recently installed its first charging stations at two parks, a library and a sports complex in Marshfield, Wisconsin.
Young Chevrolet Cadillac in Owosso, Michigan, was next, installing charging stations at Memorial Healthcare Wellness Center in Owosso. Dealers in Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio and Washington state are expected to install their first chargers in the months ahead.
Initially the program opened only to Chevrolet dealers, but GM will expand it to Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers starting in January. GM’s Dealer Community Charging Program intends to eventually add up to 40,000 Level 2 chargers in local communities — including underserved rural and urban areas where charging is often limited or nonexistent — across the U.S. and Canada.
“Nearly 90% of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a GM dealership," Hoss Hassani, vice president of GM EV Ecosystem, said in a statement. "Our dealers are deeply involved and trusted in their communities and are well positioned to determine locations that expand access to EV charging, including at small businesses, entertainment venues, schools and other popular destinations.”
Here's how it works: Dealers who participate can receive up to 10 charging stations, which GM pays for, but dealers are responsible for the pedestals, cable management, dealer branding, networking, maintenance and warranty on the stations, said Natalee Runyan, GM spokeswoman. The site where the charging station is installed is responsible for permitting, installation and energy costs, she said.
"Dealers are responsible for researching and identifying potential sites in their communities," Runyan said in an email to the Free Press. "GM provided guidelines to help identify ideal sites. We advised dealers to focus on community gathering spaces that are well-lit and accessible and typically have at least two hours of dwell time to allow for sufficient charging."
Some examples she gave included colleges and universities, hospitals, wellness centers, sports complexes, event venues, shopping centers, libraries and parks. The charging stations will be available to all EV drivers, not just GM EV owners.GM said its dealers will enable it to hit its target of selling all zero-emissions vehicles by 2035 and dealers will be "the catalyst for EV adoption in communities that would otherwise have limited EV infrastructure" by not only servicing EVs, but helping bring more chargers to the public.
In addition, GM launched the Ultium Charge 360 network last year to help EV drivers find access to some 60,000 charging stations across the U.S. and Canada. GM is investing $750 million in the charging infrastructure through Ultium Charge 360 to make EV adoption more appealing to consumers.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: How many GM dealers have signed up to build public EV chargers so far