BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen group, which includes Audi and Porsche, have announced Ionity as a joint venture (JV) that will develop and implement a high-power charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe.
Ionity will launch 400 HPC stations by 2020.
Based in Munich, Germany, the joint venture is led by Michael Hajesch as CEO and Marcus Groll as COO.
The team is set to grow to 50 by the start of 2018.
“The first pan-European HPC network plays an essential role in establishing a market for EVs,” says Hajesch.
“Ionity will deliver on our common goal of providing customers with fast charging and digital payment capability, to facilitate long-distance travel.”
A total of 20 charging 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 service stations and convenience stores.
Through 2018, the network will expand to more than 100 stations, each one enabling multiple customers, driving different vehicle brands, to charge their vehicles simultaneously.
With a capacity of up to 350 kW per charging point, the network will use the European charging standard to reduce charging times compared with existing systems.
The Combined Charging System should ensure multibrand compatibility with current and future generation EVs.
Ionity’s brand-agnostic approach and Europe-wide distribution is expected to help make EVs more appealing.
The founding partners all have equal shares in the JV, while other automotive manufacturers are invited to help expand the network.