By the end of 2022, Canada will have 4,000 more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations than it does today, a boost that comes courtesy of General Motors.
Constituting 10% of the chargers the Detroit-based auto giant plans to install across North America over the next 12 months, the new plug-ins will fulfill part of GM’s “pledge to spend US$750 million to beef up its electric vehicle infrastructure by 2025,” reports CBC News.
The charging stations will be installed at GM dealerships as well as public venues, and will be available for all EV users, regardless of the make of car they are driving.
By comparison, CBC says there are currently “roughly 11,000 gas stations dotted across Canada.”
GM’s boost to the charging scene in Canada occurs as it initiates the conversion of some of some of its Canadian car manufacturing plants to EVs, CBC adds.
The news of GM-built EV charging stations comes just after Hertz announced its plan to buy 100,000 Tesla Model 3 cars. The purchase agreement—worth approximately US$4 billion—marks the first time a rental car company has bet its bottom line on EVs, a decision which “could prove a bellwether” for an imminent paradigmatic turn away from the combustion engine, Canary Media writes.
While rentals hardly dominate America’s highways, making up about 1% of the country’s light-duty vehicle traffic, Hertz’ conversion of 20% of its fleet to EVs will be felt, providing both a boost to the market and a warning to other rental car agencies that they should be looking to where the puck is going.
“If other rental companies start to worry about losing customers to Hertz, and buy EVs of their own, they could give the young EV industry a welcome boost in its early years,” the news story states.
Having just emerged from bankruptcy protection in June, the legendary car rental company’s big bet on EVs will depend upon navigating, and redressing, a charging infrastructure network that is still far from a seamless web.
“Hertz will need to ensure there’s sufficient charging infrastructure in the markets where it offers electric rentals, so drivers don’t end up stranded on their first EV voyage,” Canary Media writes, adding that Tesla’s legendary reluctance to allow its cars to be plugged into anything but a Tesla charging system might well ebb in the face of Hertz’s 100,000 vehicle order.