IONITY, a joint venture of BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group, will develop and implement a High-Power Charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles across Europe.
The plan is to launch 400 HPC stations by 2020. Based in Munich, Germany, the joint venture is led by Chief Executive Officer Michael Hajesch and Chief Operating Officer Marcus Groll. They expect to grow to 50 employees by the start of 2018.
“The first pan-European HPC network plays an essential role in establishing a market for electric vehicles. IONITY will deliver our common goal of providing customers with fast charging and digital payment capability, to facilitate long-distance travel,” said Hajesch.
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”.
According to Reuters, the new fast chargers will cost about €200,000 ($233,000) each.
IONITY expects the network to grow to approximately 100 through 2018. Each station will enable multiple customers, driving different manufacturer cars, to charge their vehicles simultaneously.
With a capacity of up to 350 kW per charging point, the network will use the European charging standard Combined Charging System to provide rapid charging. The brand-agnostic approach and Europe-wide distribution may help make electrified vehicles more appealing.
IONITY is currently negotiating with existing infrastructure initiatives, including those supported by the participating companies as well as political institutions. The investment underlines the commitment that the participating manufacturers are making in electric vehicles and relies on international co-operation across the industry.
The founding partners, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group, have equal shares in the joint venture, while other automotive manufacturers are invited to help expand the network.