Two Warren Buffett Companies Unite For EV Fast Charging Network

Two Warren Buffett Companies Unite For EV Fast Charging Network

General Motors (GM) plans to build an EV fast-charging network with Pilot Company and EVgo (EVGO), as the U.S. spends billions for charging infrastructure to support the swelling numbers of electric cars on the road. GM stock fell near lows and EVGO stock soared.




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Pilot, a leading operator of truck stops and travel centers, and GM will install 2,000 EV fast chargers at 500 Pilot and Flying J sites along U.S. highways. EVgo will install and operate the fast-charging stalls starting in 2023. The EV charging network will enable “coast-to-coast” long-distance, battery-powered travel, a joint release Thursday said.

Both GM and Pilot have a link to investing legend Warren Buffett. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) owns 39% of Pilot, with its stake set to reach 80% in 2023. Berkshire also holds 62 million GM shares in its widely followed stock portfolio.

Once complete, the EV charging network will have stalls at 50-mile intervals along U.S. highways.

The partnership is part of GM’s $750 million investment in EV charging infrastructure. The companies also hope to capitalize on U.S. investments in charging infrastructure.

EVgo and GM already partner in an effort to add 3,000 fast chargers in the U.S. by 2025.

In Q2, sales of fully electric vehicles jumped 66% to nearly 197,000 — a record 5.6% share. But overall new vehicle sales fell 20%, according to Cox Automotive.


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EV Charging Network Combines Public-Private Dollars

“GM and Pilot Company designed this program to combine private investments alongside intended government grant and utility programs to help reduce range anxiety and significantly close the gap in long-distance EV charger demand,” Shameek Konar, CEO of Pilot Company, said in a joint release by the three companies Thursday.

Range anxiety — the term given consumer concerns with the range limitations of EVs and the comparative scarcity of charging sites — is a big obstacle to the adoption of electric cars. On July 8, a White House memo said that Tesla (TSLA) will open up its Supercharger network to non-Tesla owners of electric vehicles.

By 2030, the U.S. boldly aims for half of new vehicles sold to be electric. GM, Ford (F) and Stellantis (STLA) share that goal.

Congress’ recent Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed into law in November, targets $7.5 billion in spending to build a national network of EV chargers. In late June, the Biden administration touted “catalyzing” $700 million in private sector investments to make a quarter-million EV chargers each year.

GM Stock, EVgo Stock

Shares of General Motors fell 0.4% to 31.58 on the stock market today. EVgo shot up 11.6% to 7.11 Thursday.

GM stock and EVgo stock remain below 50- and 200-day moving averages, with lackluster relative strength lines.

Tesla rose 0.5% Thursday. EVgo rival ChargePoint (IBD) slumped 5%.


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Federal Billions Fuel EV Charging Companies

With billions in federal financing at stake, several EV charging projects are getting off the ground:

  • Volkswagen (VWAGY) and Siemens (SIEGY) announced June 28 they will invest $450 million in Electrify America to support 10,000 fast chargers at 1,800 charging stations. The latter company was created as part of VW’s $2 billion atonement for the Dieselgate scandal.
  • Siemens will also invest $250 million to build 1 million EV chargers in the U.S. over the next four years.
  • In California, ChargePoint is partnering with SMTC to produce 10,000 fast chargers by 2026.
  • In mid-June, Blink Charging (BLNK) acquired SemaConnect, which owns 13,000 EV chargers. It described the purchase in part as a way to “to capitalize on the $7.5 billion Biden Administration EV infrastructure bill.”

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