Leading car brands team up to deliver EV supercharging network

Leading car brands team up to deliver EV supercharging network
Some of the world’s largest car manufacturers are joining forces to install 400 ultra-fast car charging stations across Europe over the next two years.

The collaboration, named Ionity, involves BMW Group, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen Group. It is aimed at making electrified vehicles more appealing and longer journeys more practicable.

Despite advances in electric vehicles and ranges getting longer, “range anxiety” still holds many people back from choosing an electric vehicle.

The collaboration’s CEO, Michael Hajesch, says: “Ionity will deliver our common goal of providing customers with fast charging and digital payment capability, to facilitate long-distance travel.”

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The joint venture hopes to have 20 of the high-powered charging (HPC) stations in place by the end of the year, with 380 to follow by 2020.

The first batch will launch in Germany, Norway and Austria, and the company hopes there will be another 100 stations available by the end of 2018.

The 350kW capacity of the stations has a brand agnostic approach, using a Combined Charging System standard that allows simultaneous charging of multiple cars from different manufacturers – not just those involved in Ionity.

Each of the automakers has a quarter stake in the Munich-based firm, and Ionity is keen for other manufacturers to come on board and expand the HPC network.

“The first pan-European HPC network plays an essential role in establishing a market for electric vehicles,” said Mr Hajesch.

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The firm has refused to disclose financial particulars, including contractual terms between the four auto groups.

However, the setup cost of each station “will be comparable to existing networks”, a spokesperson for the collective told the Press Association.

There are currently 14,064 public charging points across 4,917 UK locations, according to Zap Map, an electric car charging station finder.

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.