European carmakers team up for high-power charging network

BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen have announced the creation of a European joint venture for the development of a high-power charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles. The aim is to provide Europeans with some 400 HPC stations by 2020.

This new Munich-based joint venture headed by Michael Hajesch and Marcus Groll (who came from BMW and Porsche, respectively) has been named Ionity. Its aim is to gradually set up a pan-European HPC network of charging points, each with a capacity of up to 350 kW. The joint venture’s representatives say that the first 20 stations, located in Germany, Austria and Norway, are expected to be operational by the end of 2017.

Ionity plans to create this network to facilitate long journeys, as the autonomy of electric vehicles is increasing and they can now travel up to 500km with one charge.

To make this happen, Ionity is working with the existing infrastructure, both public and private, in each country. The joint venture has made it known it is open to other automakers who want to be part of electric car development in Europe.