Electric cars continue to gain traction in the world, but one of the main obstacles for this next generation of electric car growth is the absence of charging stations. With gas-powered cars, you have gas stations almost at every block in your city. With electric car charging stations, they’re more often hard to find, nearly non-existent in many cases.
While Tesla is working hard for themselves in the United States, Germany carmakers are taking it upon themselves with a new initiative. German carmakers have set the ambitious goal of introducing a Europe-wide network of charging stations by 2020. That’s right, German carmakers are making a bet to introduce a full-blown electric car charging network throughout Europe.
The initiative, called IONITY, is a joint venture between US carmaker Ford, BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen. These carmakers plan to roll out the High Powered Charging (HPC) stations from now until 2020 when they expect to have a full network in place.
Each charging station will have a capacity of 350 kilowatts, using the European standard Combine Charging System, and will not be tied to any specific brand. This goes against what Tesla has been doing where the company is building its own Tesla Supercharger stations, specifically for Tesla vehicles. According to the group’s CEO, Michael Hajesch, they will add digital payment capabilities, allowing you to pay at the pump, rather than in-person.
The group says that they plan to have 20 HPCs across Germany by the end of this year, spacing out around 120 kilometers (75 miles) apart. This is a good distance. To put it into perspective, right now, the range of the BMW i3 with Range Extender is 194 miles. By the end of next year, IONITY’s network charges plans to increase to 100, and by 2020, hope to have around 400 charges across the continent.
This definitely is a good concept and plan that IONITY is putting in place. Having a larger network of charging stations that will serve any type of electric car is good for consumers and good for business. Companies are aggressively investing in the electric car world and expanding on it.