Automotive

Automotive titans join forces to install 400 fast charging stations across Europe

Automotive titans join forces ...
Four big auto manufacturers have partnered to roll out a network of fast charging stations across Europe
Four big auto manufacturers have partnered to roll out a network of fast charging stations across Europe
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Four big auto manufacturers have partnered to roll out a network of fast charging stations across Europe
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Four big auto manufacturers have partnered to roll out a network of fast charging stations across Europe

Daimler, BMW, Ford and VW (which includes Audi and Porsche) are collaborating on the installation of fast charging stations across numerous countries in Europe, starting with 20 this year. By the year 2020, the IONITY project will comprise around 400 EV pitstops to make long range travel easier on the electric driver.

Last year, the US government committed to rolling out a network on fast charging stations across the nation to support a growing movement towards an electric vehicle transportation future. Now auto manufacturers in Europe are getting ready to do the same.

The Munich-based IONITY initiative will begin by having 20 High Power Charging stations up and running on major routes in Germany, Norway and Austria by the end of this year, thanks to partnerships with Tank & Rast, Circle K and OMV.

The stations will be installed at intervals of 120 km (74.5 mi) and will each have a charging capacity of up to 350 kW to potentially reduce the time taken to juice up EV batteries. They'll also accommodate drivers of different makes and models and cater for a number of vehicles to be fast charged simultaneously. Though no EVs can take such a high charge rate at the moment, this commitment to cater for such by the big auto players does bode well for the future.

Another 100 HPC charging stations will be added next year and the eventual total will hover somewhere around the 400 mark.

"The first pan-European HPC network plays an essential role in establishing a market for electric vehicles," said the venture's CEO Michael Hajesch. "IONITY will deliver our common goal of providing customers with fast charging and digital payment capability, to facilitate long-distance travel."

The four founding partners will have an equal share in the IONITY project, but other auto makers are invited to join in the charging party – will Tesla, which already has hundreds of surperchargers operational across Europe, be one of them?

Source: Daimler

4 comments
Daishi
I'm curious how they are reaching their 350kW figure. I don't think it's realistic. They use the SAE (J1772) Combo Charging System (CCS). When they had to update the J1772 for fast charging they just added 2 high voltage ~400 V DC pins to the bottom but the CCS level 2 is currently only capable up to about 90 kW. Tesla started with the gate with the intent of supporting fast charging instead of bolting it on later and the result is their have a much smaller 120 kW plug. This matters because SAE is already such a giant mess of backwards compatibility it's going to make it really hard to add additional pins for future charging throughputs. When they inevitably do release a standard that will support up to 600 V DC charging (and even that's still just 240 kW) it's going to be harder to bring into the SAE J1772 plug. Looking forward SAE just needs to release a brand new standard for Level 3 so we aren't stuck carrying all the legacy compatibility crap into the future but it's already too late for them to make the right decision on it. There is nothing I am aware of that gets the SAE plug anywhere close to 350 kW short of being able to plug in 2 at the same time. There is a graph here with a few inaccuracies but I don't see a similar one that's accurate http://i.imgur.com/JDuGus9.jpg The industry would be better off long term to ditch all the backward compatibility and start over either with something closer to Tesla's solution or just borrowing Tesla's solution (which is now an open standard). This is a problem with EV's with no solution on the horizon and it looks like the politics and egos around this will become a longer term challenge than solving for battery technology.
swaan
They will probably reach 350kW with a much higher voltage. Porsche Mission E is running on 800VDC nominal so that means double charging power but still not close to 350kW. Tesla has said that they plan on having an ever more powerful DCFC station but I believe that kind of power is reserved for their upcoming trucks. I assume that the next-gen supercharger will not require human intervention at all.
noteugene
I read the whole article just to find out how long it would take to chatge a car. Of course the most critical piece of information was ommited.
warren52nz
It seems to me that as electric vehicles become the norm, the power grids would need serious upgrading. At 350 KW, we'll need over 1 Megawatt just to charge 3 cars at the same time! Local power generation and charge station batteries to even out the peaks in demand seem to be the way to go in my view.