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GM Will Use OnStar Data To Plan Its Future EV Charging Network

GM and Bechtel plan to build thousands of electric car charging stations across the US

General Motors has teamed up with Bechtel Enterprises to build thousands of electric vehicle charging stations across the US.

General Motors, America’s largest automaker, and Bechtel, the country’s largest construction company, are teaming up to build thousands of electric vehicle fast-charging stations across the United States. The two companies have agreed to create a new company that will build the charger network.

The companies have signed a memorandum of agreement to form a new corporate entity that will manage this new business. GM will be responsible for providing data and logistics support to determine where chargers should be placed, and Bechtel will manage the engineering, building and permitting of the stations. Neither GM nor Bechtel plans to contribute money to this new venture, rather they are seeking outside investment. Executives could not name the companies invited to participate.

But rather than adding to the electric highway, GM may be targeting cities and other densely populated areas that don’t offer electric vehicle owners a place to recharge. Many customers live in high-rises and sprawling apartment complexes that don’t always offer a place to recharge, and buyers may not always have the option of installing one themselves in their garage, which has been the strategy of most EV owners to date. But GM will have an edge on the planning phase of this operation in the form of anonymized data gathered from OnStar customers that have opted into the subsidiary’s data sharing program.

The enterprise will rely, in part, on data from General Motors cars, both electric and gasoline, to learn when and where people tend to drive and to park. The company will look at data from millions of vehicles through GM’s OnStar system.

All new GM vehicles are standard equipped with OnStar hardware that can track the vehicle’s locations, and some owners subscribe to the telematics service for emergency response support and navigation. This deep well of information will help the manufacturer understand the travel habits and patterns of its customer base to figure out where it would make the most sense to build its charging stations.



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