Stellantis says it is pulling together a network of public electric vehicle chargers that could include Tesla and nearly all of the other chargers in the U.S., Canada and Europe
DETROIT — Stellantis says it is pulling together a network of public electric vehicle chargers that could include Tesla and nearly all of the other chargers in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
But executives wouldn’t say for certain if the company will follow Ford and General Motors and sign up with Tesla’s Supercharger network or adopt Tesla’s connecting plug.
“We will be addressing that question soon,” said Ricardo Stamatti, senior vice president of the automaker’s charging and energy business unit.
Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, is signing up charging companies now and says its network will include current Jeep chargers at trail heads as well as chargers that are part of dealer networks. It’ll be marketed under the “Free2move Charge,” brand.
The networks on both continents are to start late this year and have better pricing than the standard charging company rates, Stamatti said. He wouldn’t say how many chargers Stellantis has lined up or identify which vendors, but said the network will expand.
There are just over 161,000 charging plugs in the U.S. and Canada now. Most are not the direct current fast chargers needed to quickly refill batteries. Stellantis eventually wants to sign up 100% of the companies in both countries, Stamatti said.
In Europe, the company plans to get more than 97% of just under 600,000 plugs in its network by the end of this year, and 99% next year.
The company will offer an app to gain access to the chargers and make payments, he said.
Stellantis has no fully electric vehicles on sale in North America, but it will roll out an electric commercial van this year, followed by a Ram electric pickup and other vehicles.
Stamatti pointed out that the company now has plug-in gas-electric hybrids on sale in the U.S. and Canada that also need to be charged. Plug-ins can go a relatively short distance on electric power before the gas-electric powertrain starts up.
If Stellantis joins Tesla and adopts its connector, that could force the rest of the auto industry to make the same move. At present, nearly all automakers other than Tesla use what is called a CCS connector developed with the Society of Automotive Engineers.
Tesla’s Superchargers are coveted by other automakers because the company has more direct current fast-charging plugs in the U.S. than any other network, and its stations are in prime locations along freeway travel corridors.
GM and Ford owners will get access to more than 12,000 Tesla Supercharger plugs. In the U.S., Tesla has 1,797 Supercharger stations and more than 19,000 plugs, according to the Department of Energy.
ChargePoint has the biggest charging network in the U.S. with more than 32,000 stations and 55,000 plugs, but most of them are Level 2 chargers that can take up to eight hours to get a battery up to a full charge.
GM and Ford say they’re not paying Tesla anything for access to the network, but owners will pay Tesla to charge just like any other charging system.