Good news: General Motors is rolling out its in-house-built Ultium fast chargers, not just in public places but also into the homes of customers. Not so great news: If you buy a $112,595 Hummer EV, then you better budget in extra cash because unlike with the comparatively cheap Chevy Bolt, GM is gonna charge you to install one at your place.
GM is almost certainly right that someone buying a $31,995 car is gonna be a lot more sensitive to shelling out the cost of installing home charging than someone throwing six-digits at a 9,000-pound truck. And the Ultium charging options are way more premium than the more basic packages you can get when you buy a Bolt. Keep in mind that GM EV buyers still have to purchase a charger and wallbox no matter which one they pick; only the installation is free for Bolt owners.
For Hummer EV drivers, there are two 48-amp/11.5-kilowatt options—one slightly more basic, one with a premium package featuring a touchscreen and camera—and if you wanna really up the charge, there’s an 80-amp/19.2kW premium charger. They all have WiFi because, I don’t know, maybe you forgot to put that into your condo or something.
GM’s North American Director of EV Ecosystem Hoss Hassani told The Drive that the new chargers would be available across North America for both domestic and commercial customers. It’s important to know, though, that GM isn’t handing them out for free.
“With the Bolt customers, putting aside the wallbox, we’re providing that NEMA 14-50 240-volt outlet complimentary as part of their purchase, we’re covering the cost,” explained Hassani. “We’re sending the electrician, we’re taking care of it. So it’s completely frictionless for the customer and the vehicle comes with a dual-level charge port, which you can charge at 7.7 kilowatts. So most Bolt customers don’t need a higher-powered wallbox.”
That’s great for Bolt customers, of which there’s probably relatively little crossover with Hummer EV buyers. But y’know, if you did get rich since you bought your Bolt, you might be in for a surprise.
“With the Hummer, given that Hummer customers are going to be all sorts of different build forms and housing types and all the rest, what we’re going to be doing there is we’ve got a turnkey solution for them,” Hassani told me. “Customers are going to be paying for it, but customers will be given the option if they want to use our third party […] It’s a very seamless process. We’ve got a concierge line set up [for] answers—we send the electrician, and we take care of it. The customer gets a quote or bill at the end of it.”
How much, exactly, is hard to pin down because with homes differing a lot, it is a bit of a “how long is a piece of string” question. But Hassani told me that “in the programs that we’ve done for last year or so with the Bolt, we’ve seen install cost run anywhere from $400 up to $2,500 depending on the customer’s home situation.”
“With the Hummer, if they’re going to be going for the 48-amp unit, I imagine you’re going to see costs in the range of again, five or six hundred dollars all the way up to a couple thousand dollars, depending on what kind of upgrades the customer may need or what they already have at their home,” he continued. “So it’ll vary quite significantly from customer to customer. More so in a Hummer than it would in a Bolt.”
You’ll need to make sure you’ve got the power capacity installed in your home—which could be an additional cost, especially with the 80-amp unit—but with that taken care of, the chargers can be installed pretty much anywhere. All three options are outdoor-rated so they can go in your yard just as easily as in your garage. Again, good news, and a few hundred to get your own fast charger is a pretty darned low cost for the massive convenience. That’s especially true since the Ultium battery-equipped models are absolutely not budget cars.
Cadillac Lyriq customers will also be offered the chargers but GM couldn’t confirm to me the full pricing or installation plan with that yet.
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