Motor manufacturers join forces for electric charging network

Ford, BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen have formed a joint venture, named Ionity, to develop a high-power charging network for electric vehicles across Europe.

The plan is to launch some 400 HPC stations by 2020, to make long-distance journeys easier. With a capacity of up to 350 kW per charging point, the network will use the European charging standard Combined Charging System to significantly reduce charging times compared to existing systems.

The brand-agnostic approach and Europe-wide distribution is expected to help make electrified vehicles more appealing.

A total of 20 stations will be opened to the public this year, located on major roads in Germany, Norway and Austria, at intervals of 120 km, through partnerships with “Tank & Rast”, “Circle K” and “OMV”.

Through 2018, the network will expand to more than 100 stations, each one enabling multiple customers, driving different manufacturer’s vehicles, to charge their vehicles simultaneously.

The joint venture, which is based in Munich, is led by chief executive officer Michael Hajesch and chief operating officer Marcus Groll.

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