Last month, we told readers about a deal between GM and Pilot/Flying J truck stops to install 2000 EVgo charging stations at 500 locations. Now, we’re learning a little more about the deal with news that Delta Electronics will be providing the charging equipment.
The GM/Flying J/EVgo Deal
Before I provide details about the deal with Delta, I want to recap what’s already happening for those just tuning in. If you’re already up to speed on this, feel free to scroll down.
Last month, General Motors announced that it’s working with Pilot, a large chain of truck stops (which includes the Flying J branded truck stops) to build a charging network with 2,000 charging stalls at up to 500 of its locations.
“GM and Pilot Company designed this program to combine private investments alongside intended government grant and utility programs to help reduce range anxiety and significantly close the gap in long-distance EV charger demand,” said Shameek Konar, Pilot Company Chief Executive Officer. “Our travel centers are well-equipped to accommodate EV charging with 24/7 amenities and convenient proximity to major roadways across the country. We look forward to collaborating with GM and the U.S. Department of Transportation to make convenient coast-to-coast EV travel a reality through our national network of travel centers.”
A third partner was also mentioned in the press releases: EVgo. The EVgo network, which already has 850 charging stations in 30 US states, will expand to 1,000 locations by the end of 2020. The charging stations will be branded GM/Ultium and Pilot or Flying J (the two truck-stop chains operated by Pilot).
The stations themselves will also be quite nice. Their maximum output will be 350 kW, which may be installed beneath canopies to make it simpler to avoid the rain and sunshine while charging. The stations will be arranged in a “pull through” style so that EVs with trailers can charge without having to unhitch as often as possible. They won’t accommodate big truck trucks or electric 18-wheelers, but they’ll be very pickup truck friendly.
“We are committed to an all-electric, zero-emissions future, and ensuring that the right charging infrastructure is in place is a key piece of the puzzle,” said Mary Barra, GM Chair and Chief Executive Officer, in last month’s press release. “With travel centers across North America, Pilot Company is an ideal collaborator to reach a broad audience of EV drivers.”
Looking at their preliminary map, we also discovered that these stations are intended to work in tandem with existing ones (usually Electrify America) and not against them in the majority of situations. This won’t open up any new corridors, but it will increase the number of stations along those corridors, and put them at great 24-hour locations.
That’s not exciting, but when you’re talking about infrastructure, you don’t want to have “hero” moments where someone saves the day from a total lack of service. Extra redundancy and capacity doesn’t make for exciting news items, but it does ensure cross-continental journeys that aren’t nearly as bad.
Delta’s Role In This Deal
EVgo has just announced that it has signed a new supply agreement with Delta Electronics, a worldwide supplier of power and energy management solutions as well as the leading provider of EV charging equipment. The deal entails Delta supplying EVgo with 1,000 fast chargers with up to 350kW capacity, which will aid companies in EVgo’s eXtend and fleet projects and expansions to its owned and operated charging network.
“EVgo is dedicated to making EV charging convenient and reliable for all, which makes it critical that our network is comprised of high-quality chargers backed by a track record of innovation, reliability and technology leadership,” said Cathy Zoi, CEO of EVgo. “EVgo and Delta share a reputation as industry first-movers and this collaboration will showcase our complementary strengths and expertise, while supporting EVgo’s momentum and deployment targets to expand access to world-class EV charging experiences across the U.S.”
Delta Electronics is a company that has been in business for more than 40 years and specializes in power and energy management solutions. Delta’s corporate goal, as stated in its 1971 inception, is to offer innovative, clean, and energy-efficient solutions for a better tomorrow. Delta has about 200 facilities around the world, including production, sales, and research centers. The firm’s Smart Green solutions embrace electric vehicle charging, industrial automation, and smart manufacturing, as well as building automation, telecom power over Ethernet (TPOE), data center infrastructure, renewable energy, energy storage and display. To support the growth of smart factories and sustainable cities, Delta will provide a wide range of intelligent green solutions including EV charging, industrial automation, and smart manufacturing. The main components of Delta’s EVgo units will be 350 kW EV chargers with a shared capacity function.
“For over 50 years, Delta has been leveraging its core competence in high-efficiency power electronics to provide energy-saving solutions capable of nurturing megatrends that support sustainability. Our e-mobility track record includes not only having shipped over one million EV chargers to our worldwide customers but also long-term cooperation with world-class EV manufacturers in North America, Europe and Asia. We are excited to partner with a leader like EVgo, especially as the United States aims for rapid growth in e-mobility,” said Kelvin Huang, President of Delta Electronics Americas Region.
One thing that today’s news doesn’t address is where the other 1,000 chargers are going to come from. The total deal calls for 2,000 stations at 500 locations, so either another provider or a second deal with Delta will be needed to power the Ultium-branded stations at the Pilot/Flying J truck stops. If someone else will supply the other 1,000, we’ll probably hear about it soon. If Delta’s got a shot at doing the second half of the deal, we’ll probably hear about that later.
Why This Is Great News
This is great news for a few reasons. First, it’s another example of how charging infrastructure providers are working together to meet the needs of the EV market. Second, it’s a vote of confidence in the future of EVs from one of the world’s leading suppliers of power and energy management solutions. Third, it shows that Delta is committed to providing clean and energy-efficient solutions that support the growth of sustainable cities. Finally, it demonstrates Delta’s leadership in the e-mobility space and its ability to provide world-class EV charging experiences.
Each little deal like this doesn’t add up to much on its own, but we can see that together, big things are happening for EV drivers.
Featured image provided by GM.
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