Ford is helping lead the charge
Ford has joined with BMW Group, Daimler AG, and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche in a joint venture called IONITY that will develop and implement a High-Power Charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles across Europe.
Launching approximately 400 HPC stations by 2020, IONITY will make long-distance journeys easier and marks an important step for electric vehicles. Based in Munich, Germany, the joint venture has a growing team, set to number 50 by the start of 2018.
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 2018, the network will expand to more than 100 stations, each one enabling 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 significantly reduce charging times compared to existing systems. The brand-agnostic approach and Europe-wide distribution is expected to help make electrified vehicles more appealing.
The founding partners have equal shares in the joint venture, while other automotive manufacturers are being invited to help expand the network.