Five major car companies have reiterated plans to install 400 ultra-fast charging points at service stations across Europe, 20 of which are coming this year.
Ford, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Audi announced that the joint venture would offer electric car owners charging stations that are seven times faster than the typical "fast-charge" points already available. The collaboration, which on 3 November was titled IONITY, will have stations offering charge rates of 350kW. Tesla leads the way for charging speeds at the moment at 120kW. Typical electric car charges sit at around 50kW.
No electric cars are capable of charging at 350kW but the alliance is hopeful the technology will become available in the future. The plan is to build all 400 stations by 2020.
The companies officially revealed the plans in November 2016, but released new information on 3 November showing the first stations would be built in Germany, Norway and Austria. In an open statement, the companies said 20 would be open to the public by the end of 2017.
"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," the statement reads. They will be located at intervals of 75 miles. Tank and Rast, Circle K and OMV service stations have been announced as partners of the initiative.
The companies will all have equal shares in the venture and other car manufacturers are invited to expand the network. Porsche chairman Oliver Blume described the launch of IONITY as a breakthrough for fast charging infrastructure in Europe. "With the rapid charging network of IONITY, we are ensuring that our customers can use electric cars on long journeys without compromising on convenience," Blume said.
There is no word yet on when charging stations will be appearing in the UK. A Ford spokesperson told IBTimes UK in November 2016 that the initial focus "will be on the main axles between the metropolitan areas of the most populated European countries".