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Alliance of seven US automakers for electric cars

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They will initially invest at least $1 billion in a consortium, aiming to build 30,000 charging stations on major highways

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The first chargers will start operating around mid-2024.

Common ground was found by seven major competing car manufacturers, who decided to join forces to increase sales of their electric cars.

Knowing that one of the major factors that make consumers hesitant to make such a purchase is easy access to chargers, the companies decided to nearly double the number of fast chargers in the US. In more detail, according to the NYT, the automakers – BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz Group and Stellantis – will initially invest at least $1 billion in a consortium, with the goal of building 30,000 charging stations in large highways and other locations in the United States and Canada.

The seven automakers plan to formalize the joint venture and announce its name by the end of the year, said Chris Martin, a Honda spokesman. The first chargers will start operating around mid-2024, he said, with 30,000 installed by the end of the decade.

Currently the United States and Canada have about 36,000 fast chargers, which that charge the car battery in 30 minutes or less. However, they are not enough, as in some sparsely populated areas, such chargers can be hundreds of miles apart.

At the same time, although sales of electric vehicles have grown rapidly in the United States, there are signs that demand is waning. As a result, Tesla, Ford Motor and other automakers have cut prices in recent months and are offering incentives. Characteristically, popular models that had long waiting lists last year are now available in days or weeks.

It should be noted that the chargers to be installed by the consortium will have plugs that can be used by most automakers, except Tesla.

The company has developed its own standard, which Ford, General Motors and other companies have said they plan to follow by 2025.

General Motors and Ford agreed to work with Tesla because they need the the company's charging technology. Their partnership could give Elon Musk control over critical infrastructure, a fact that the companies that entered into the joint venture realized.

Indeed, for their part, they say the joint venture is open to adding other partners. .

More than half of the fast chargers in the United States are compatible with cars from Tesla, which despite saying it will open up its networks to other car brands, currently has fewer than 100 chargers available. .

The decision to form the joint venture is an indication that the seven automakers do not intend to rely solely on Tesla, which dominates sales of electric vehicles.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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