Carmakers launch European open charging network

Carmakers launch European open charging network

Carmakers launch European open charging network

But beyond that, electric cars have limited range, and there aren't almost enough charging stations to support that limited range.

BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen Group with its Audi and Porsche brands have equal shares in the venture, Ionity, plans for which were first announced a year ago. The venture, named IONITY, draws on expertise from BMW, Daimler, Ford, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche, and aims to launch 400 HPC stations by 2020.

Some of the world's largest automakers have announced plans to jointly deploy a large electric vehicle charging network in Europe. The joint venture, known as Ionity, will install the stations at intervals of 120km to enable long-distance journeys.

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The project - named IONITY - is expected to add hundreds of high-power charging stations across Europe and the United Kingdom by 2020. The former seems more feasible in the short term, but Qualcomm's idea could present a world of possibilities for the electric auto market. That's aimed at the future because now available cars can not charge at that speed. Each charging station will have a capacity of 350 kilowatts, they'll use the European standard Combined Charging System, and they won't be tied to a specific brand.

It will set up the stations in partnership with operators of rest areas and gas stations in the three countries.

"The first pan-European HPC network plays an essential role in establishing a market for electric vehicles", Ionity's chief executive Michael Hajesch said, adding that the fast-charging stations would also offer digital-payment capability.

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Uptake of electric cars across Europe has been patchy so far. Norway, where the government has aggressively pushed for low-emissions vehicles, is an exception with 29 percent market share for electrically chargeable vehicles.

What's interesting about the whole electric vehicle space, in all honesty, is watching how different manufacturers are trying to tackle the battery issue.

The new company, headquartered in Munich, has commenced operations.

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