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Automaker Collaborates to create pan-European Network for EV Charging

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Published on : Nov 06, 2017

The worldwide adoption of electric vehicle technology is constrained by several factors such as the absence of a robust network for fast and convenient charging of the batteries, marring the prospect of long-distance travels. Stakeholders in developed regions are entering into ventures to overcome these constraints.  A new collaboration by IONITY, formed by joint venture with BMW, Ford, Daimler, and Volkswagen, is planning to install as many as 400 high-power charging (HPC) stations across the region by 2020 end. Of note, 20 of these are planned in Norway, Austria, and Germany by 2017 end, to be placed at an interval of 70 miles. As many as 100 HPCs are being planned for next year.

Simultaneous Super-fast Charging of Many Cars Possible at Capacity of 350 kW

The initiatives mark initial steps in establishing a pan-European HPC network with the help of international convenience stores: OMV, Circle K, and Tank & Rast. The network being rolled by IONITY includes robustly fast charging and advanced digital payment options for cars. Of note, the setting of each HPC will cost around US$233,000. The European standard Combined Charging System used by the HPC stations will enable charging of several vehicles at a time, with the combined capacity of the chargers estimated close to 350 kW.

HPC Network Aimed to Take Over Tesla       

The setting of these HPC stations, characterized by super-fast charging, is likely to offer stiff competition to Supercharger Network set up by Tesla, whose new generation chargers could only provide a maximum of 145 kW. However, skeptics don’t attach the vast significance meted out to the huge charging time savings boasted by the HPC network by IONITY. Moreover, charging at 350 kW is another concern. Notably, some rivals believe this will not be feasible for a large number of vehicles to charge at this capacity.

Currently, the four auto players in the collaboration, including Audi and Porsche, have equal shares in the venture. However, the collaboration is open for expertise by other auto players to help build up the network.