Its plan is to construct 400 high-power charging (HPC) stations by 2020
The electric car charging industry is growing really fast and with massive new networks. Ionity, the joint venture of BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen with Audi and Porsche, is one of them. The company has formed initial strategic partnerships for the realization of its “High-Power-Charging” (HPC) network for electric vehicles in Europe, securing the coverage of more than half of the approximately 400 sites planned to be built by 2020. The work on the first 20 stations –covering a distance of 120km (75 miles) between them- commenced in 2017, with the company targeting the installation of 100 charging sites in 2018, all in cooperation with existing gas stations. The new company, based in Munich, expects that the installations of HPC charging stations directly on the major thoroughfares will make electromobility significantly more convenient, especially for long-distance trips. The charging capacity of up to 350 kW will also reduce the waiting time for customers to a minimum, although there’s currently no electric car capable of charging at that rate (EV fitted with a CCS charging plug can still be charged at these stations up to their capacity – generally ~50 kW).
The first two HPC stations have recently opened in Germany, and another one was completed last month in Switzerland. By teaming up with Shell, OMV, Tank & Rast and Circle K, IONITY will also be able to install its fast charging infrastructure at sites throughout other European countries such as Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. “The agreements with these prestigious partners constitute an important initial milestone in our relatively short company history. So in the future, we will be able to offer a large number of fast charging stations at attractive sites along major roads in Europe,” says Marcus Groll, the company’s COO.
“Germany is an important transit country in the European transport system. Our collaboration with IONITY will promote unlimited, crossborder e-mobility along Europe’s main roads. This means we will be facilitating the breakthrough of electromobility in Germany and beyond. By installing fast charging stations with a 350 kW charging capacity in the Tank & Rast service network, we are taking the next step and gearing our service to the future needs of our customers,” says Jörg Hofmeister, Head of Electromobility at Tank & Rast. Manfred Leitner, Director of Downstream Operations at OMV said: “In cooperation with the automobile industry, we are working on a fast-growing field of technology. We are intensifying our efforts to offer our customers an additional alternative mobility service, thereby moving one step closer to a sustainable energy future.” Regarding Ionity’s collaboration with Circle K in Norway, Michael Hajesch, the company’s CEO said that “As the world’s third-largest EV market, Norway is a very exciting market for us. It is regarded as Europe’s model nation in terms of electromobility. Here, our fast charging stations will enable us to make an important contribution to the further market development of electromobility”.