Munich-based Ionity is building a European highway network of fast charging stations that will let drivers plug in and charge in minutes instead of hours.
Ionity, a joint venture amongst Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler and Ford, will be spread from Norway to southern Italy and Portugal to Poland, reports The Associated Press.
The aim of the JV is to win back some of the market share for electric luxury car sales lost to Tesla, which has its own, proprietary fast-charging network.
Despite a slower-than-expected start, Ionity CEO Michael Hajesch told The Associated Press in an interview he’s “confident” the company will reach its goal of 400 ultra-fast charging stations averaging six charging places each by 2020.
Hajesch said that the idea was to be able to drive long distances with battery electric vehicles, across Europe and to have the same experience at each station, meaning a very easy and comfortable customer journey.
“The sites we are looking for are really the A-sites,” he said, “directly at the autobahn. Not down the road, not driving five kilometers into the next industrial area and finding a charging station somewhere, without light, or any amenities around, but right at the autobahn.”
Ionity opened its first station April 17 at a rest stop off the A61 highway near the small town of Niederzissen, 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Bonn in western Germany.
The six high-speed chargers operating in “welcome mode,” will be free until May 31. After that, Ionity plans to charge for the power, which it seeks to obtain from renewable sources.
Image and content credits: GreenMotion/The Associated Press