Travelers who are making long road trips don’t think much about the availability of petrol stations because they are everywhere. If you are planning to make a long tour on an electric car, careful planning is required today. Ionity, a joint venture of German automakers, aims to change that. The new company is going to build a network of charging stations along major route across Europe.
Ionity is good news for everyone in Europe who is planning to invest in an electric car in order to make road trips with it. The key missions of Ionity are the use of a universal charging mechanism and a wide network of stations across Europe.
Since Ionity is a joint venture of BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group (including Audi and Porsche), it is only natural to create a charging system that all these brands can use (Combined Charging System, CCS). The system will be High-Power Charging (HPC) for fast top up of energy to the car batteries.
The network of charging stations will start from Germany, and expand to other European countries. By the end of 2017, 20 charging stations will be in operation across Germany, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) apart from one another. By the end of 2018, 100 charging stations should provide energy for ecars, and by 2020 a total of 400 stations is planned to provide energy around the continent.
Ionity is a welcomed initiative, but where are the French automakers? Germany and France are the two powerhouses of car manufacturing in Europe. Ionity’s members are all German manufacturers. The joint venture invites other manufacturers to join the initiative in order to expand the network. If other manufacturers (especially, French) don’t have any say in this initiative, they may consider other options. And it would not be a good thing for one uniform charging network.
Let’s hope there won’t be too many charging networks – Tesla already has its proprietary network – so that we can stop by at any charging station and quickly and reliably revitalize our car batteries.