Automakers form joint venture to build fast charging sites for electric cars image

Having an electric vehicle in Europe will become a less concerning enterprise thanks to a newly formed joint venture of automakers BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, and Volkswagen Group.

The powerful companies will join forces in a bid to construct 400 charging sites with high-tech equipment along major highways – allowing customers to embark on cross-continental journeys and the first chargers will become operational in 2017. The chargers will deliver up to 350 kilowatts, so the battery electrics will go back to the road faster than ever before. The number is huge – take into account Tesla’s Supercharger network gets 120 kW, and the company says its system gets vehicles 170 miles (274 kilometers) of range in 30 minutes.

The thing is Tesla’s models use a proprietary system, with the joint venture going for the Combined Charging System rather than the competing CHAdeMO charger – so even popular EV models such as the Nissan Leaf will not be able to take advantage of the new enterprise. The carmakers are of course aiming for greater popularization of the electric vehicles in Europe, aiming to remove range anxiety. And they also need them to succeed since all major automakers are investing billions of dollars into next-generation vehicles with the latest battery technology.