Electric car JV plans 400 fast-charging stations across Europe by 2020

London: The four big carmakers that joined forces to create a Europe-wide electric vehicle charging network announced the joint-venture will establish 400 fast-charging stations across the continent by 2020. The JV, called IONITY, will be based in Munich and led by chief executive Michael Hajesch and chief operating officer Marcus Groll.

The group was created a year ago by BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen Group, in a rare instance of carmakers coming together rather than competing as they grapple with new challenges in the car industry. Mr Hajesch, who since 2012 has been a “senior expert” in e-mobility for BMW, said the network would play “an essential role” in establishing the infrastructure necessary for EVs to thrive.

The group will create 20 fast-charging stations this year on major roads in Germany, Norway and Austria, at intervals of 120km. By next year they will have 100 stations up and running, each with multiple charging points. They are “fast-charging” because they offer a capacity of 350 kilowatts.

Anything above 150kW is generally considered high power charging, according to EVgo. By comparison, the ‘second generation’ Tesla Superchargers have a capacity of up to 145 kW, though Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has talked of creating a third generation of 350 kW or more. IONITY said the higher capacities would “significantly reduce charging times compared to existing systems.”

The Porsche Mission E, due out in 2019, has long promised it could reach 80 per cent battery capacity within 15m, based on using 800-volt DC fast-charging points with capacity for 350kW.

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