Good news: General Motors is rolling out its custom-built Ultium fast chargers not only in public places, but also in customers’ homes. Not-so-great news: If you’re buying a Hummer EV for $112,595, you better budget for the extra cash because unlike the comparatively inexpensive Chevy Bolt, GM will charge you to install one at your place.
GM is almost certainly right that someone buying a $31,995 car is going to be much more sensitive about shelling out the cost of installing home charging than someone dropping six figures on a 9,000 pound truck. And the Ultium charging options are much 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 buy a charger and wallbox regardless of which one they choose; only installation is free for bolt owners.
For Hummer EV drivers, there are two 48-amp/11.5-kilowatt options—one a little more basic, one with a premium touchscreen and camera package—and if you really want to step up the charge, there’s an 80-amp/19, 2 kW premium charger. They all have WiFi because, I don’t know, maybe you forgot to put it in your apartment or something.
GM’s North American Director of EV Ecosystem Hoss Hassani said The drive unit that the new chargers would be available across North America for both domestic and commercial customers. However, it is important to know that GM does not give them out for free.
“With the Bolt customers, if we put away the wall box, we provide that NEMA 14-50 240 volt outlet for free as part of their purchase, we cover the cost,” explained Hassani. “We send the electrician, we take care of it. So it’s completely frictionless for the customer and the vehicle comes with a two-level charging port, which you can charge at 7.7 kilowatts. So most Bolt customers don’t need one more powerful wallbox.”
That’s good for Bolt customers, which there probably are relatively small crossover with Hummer EV buyers. But you know, if you got rich since you bought your Bolt, you might be in for a surprise.
“With Hummer, given that Hummer’s customers are going to be all kinds of different building styles and housing types and everything else, what we’re going to do there is we have a turnkey solution for them,” Hassani told me. “Customers will pay for it, but customers will have the option if they want to use our third party […] It is a very smooth process. We have a concierge line set up [for] answer — we’ll send the electrician and we’ll take care of it. The customer receives a quote or invoice at the end of it.”
How much, exactly, is hard to put your finger on because with homes that vary widely, it’s a bit of a “how long is a string” question. But Hassani told me that “in the programs that we’ve done for the last year or so with Bolt, we’ve seen the installation cost run anywhere from $400 up to $2,500 depending on the customer’s home situation.”
“With Hummer, if they’re going to go for the 48-amp unit, I imagine you’re going to see costs in the range again, five or six hundred dollars all the way up to a couple of thousand dollars, depending on what kind of upgrades the customer may need or what they already have at home,” he continued. “So it’s going to vary quite a bit from customer to customer. More so in a Hummer than in a Bolt.”
You’ll need to make sure you have the power capacity installed in your home — which can be an extra expense, especially with the 80-amp unit — but with that care, the chargers can be installed pretty much anywhere. All three options are outdoor rated so they can go in your garden as easily as in your garage. Again, good news, and a few hundred to get your own fast charger is a pretty low cost for the enormous convenience. That’s especially true because the battery-equipped Ultium models are by no means budget cars.
Cadillac Lyriq customers will also be offered the chargers but GM could not confirm to me the full price or installation schedule with it yet.
Do you have a fast charger? Tell me about it at email@example.com