Automotive titans join forces to install 400 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?
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Local power generation and charge station batteries to even out the peaks in demand seem to be the way to go in my view.