Clearly there’s a paradigm shift in the way the automotive industry is working – with the revolution of electric vehicles also comes a new way of fueling them, along with new players.
It’s interesting to note that for decades no one thought about cars being fueled with gasoline, CNG or diesel from stations wearing the automaker’s brand. With electric charging stations, the tradition is broken, because manufacturers seem ready to also fulfill the role of providing the needed electricity. Just take notice of VW’s decision to set up a completely new company “Electrify America” in the United States – used to invest in charging infrastructure. Now the same VW Group, this time around seemingly without coercion from authorities like in the Dieselgate-related case of America, has teamed up with Daimler, Ford and BMW to set up a new pan-European high-power charging network dubbed Ionity.
The high-power charging (HPC) network will first see around 20 fast-charging stations scheduled to be operational by the end of the year in Germany, Norway, and Austria – with the number expected to surge to about 400 until 2020. The intervals for location will be of 120 kilometers (75 miles), so range anxiety shouldn’t exist anymore where Ionity is functional. The carmakers are open to new partners and have already worked deals with autobahn services company Tank & Rast as well as with convenience store network Circle K, along with oil and gas company OMV. By the end of 2018, the more than 100 stations projected for use will be open for business on the European charging standard Combined Charging System (CCS) and delivering a spectacular maximum capacity of up to 350 kW per charging point.