BREANA NOBLE The Detroit News
Tommy Doran recalled going to a charging station last winter and having to remove his gloves to pay into an app to charge his Chevrolet Bolt EUV.
“It’s freezing in Michigan,” General Motors Co.’s head of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and experience told the Detroit News. “That’s not nice at all.”
Now GM customers have access to a solution that allows them to bypass the cumbersome payment method of commercial electric vehicle charging and get back on the road sooner: Plug and Charge. It allows GM electric vehicle owners to use a DC fast charger, plug in, and be automatically billed for electricity.
The ability for a charger to recognize a vehicle and charge the owner like a credit card was seen as a way to alleviate the often cumbersome payment system of apps, RFID key fobs and accounts – often for various networks .
The technology is launching with GM’s charging network partner, EVgo, although there are plans to expand the technology to others as well. Most EVgo fast chargers work with the service.
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Drivers with DC-enabled vehicles, from most Bolts to the newest GMC Hummer and Cadillac Lyriq, need active OnStar connected services, which start at $24.99 per month, and an EVgo account connected to the branded app for their vehicle, where they can activate the service for free.
Electric vehicles have a unique identification when drivers plug in the cable that makes the connection possible.
“You click on the charger and you’re done,” said Hoss Hassani, director of the EV ecosystem. “It’s a seamless experience.”
GM says it is a leader in introducing a Plug and Charge feature on the company’s existing and future electric vehicles, designed to work on multiple public grids in North America. Tesla Inc. has offered a similar service through its supercharger network since 2012, and more vehicles like the Mustang Mach-E and Porsche Taycan are compatible with Plug and Charge functionality.
The rollout is part of GM’s commitment to invest nearly $750 million through 2025 in charging infrastructure through its Ultium Charge 360 ecosystem which now includes a network of 11 charging station operators. It partners with dealerships to install 40,000 Level 2 chargers. Together with EVgo, it also installs 2,750 fast chargers in 40 metropolitan areas by 2025