BMW, Daimler, Ford and VW Group announce official European EV charger network

BMW

BMW, Ford, Daimler and the VW Group have revealed official plans to create an electric vehicle charging network across Europe. The service will be called Ionity and will be available to owners of all electric cars –  providing they use the Combined Charging System (CCS).

400 stations are planned by 2020. 20 have been completed so far and a target of 50 by the end of the year has been set. The network currently covers stretches of routes in Norway, Germany and Austria with stations located 120 km apart.

A network spokesman has said Ionity will eventually cover the UK, but no specific details were revealed. “Initial focus will be on the main routes between the metropolitan areas of the most populated European countries, but it is likely that all European countries will become part of the network.”

2018 will see a further 50 stations added to the network, with the aim of reaching the target of 400 by 2020. More are expected to be added after this.

The car makers involved in the collaboration: BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford and the Volkswagen Group (including Audi and Porsche) have announced that the scheme is open to other companies should they wish to participate. Even if they do not actively join the network, Ionity will still be compatible with their cars.

A spokesman for the joint venture said: “We support industry standardization with the use of the CCS standard, as it is the most commonly used charging standard that enables the majority of BEV drivers to use the charging network. The network will not be limited to vehicles from a single manufacturer but rather improve the experience for all BEV vehicles with the CCS standard.”

A charging capacity of 350kW is planned for the network, which is twice what Tesla can currently offer. The spokesman said that whilst the network wouldn’t be free to use, charges would fall in line with competitors.

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