Carmakers push ahead with plans for pan-European 350kW EV charging network
BMW Group, Daimler, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group have committed to plans to launch a network of 400 ultra-fast charging stations for electric vehicles along major European routes.
Building on last year’s announcement of the network, the carmakers have formed a joint venture, dubbed Ionity, that will ensure the scheme is completed by 2020, with production of around 20 stations having already started on major roads in Germany, Norway and Austria, at intervals of 120km (75 miles). More than 100 stations will be deployed next year.
Stations in the scheme will bring a charging capacity of up to 350 kW, delivering a significantly reduced charging time compared to existing systems. This will mean vehicles with large capacity, long-range batteries and a compatible on-board charger can regain most of their charge in less than half an hour while still enabling usage by models with lower charging speeds.
The project also takes care of multi-brand compatibility for current and future generations of electric vehicles by using the Combined Charging System (CCS) protocol.
Founding partners have an equal stake in the scheme, but other manufacturers and regional partners are being encouraged to support it.