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Posted on November 29, 2017

Fast charging station network starts to take shape

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IONITY, which was founded only a few weeks ago, is taking off quickly. The joint venture of BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen with Audi and Porsche has formed initial strategic partnerships for the realization of its "High-Power-Charging" (HPC) network for electric vehicles in Europe. By teaming up with Shell, OMV, Tank & Rast and Circle K, IONITY has secured the coverage of more than half of the approximately 400 sites planned between now and the year 2020. Other partnerships are planned.
 
By establishing the venture company IONITY, the BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche have paved the way for the development of the most high-powered fast charging network for electric vehicles in Europe. With the aim of building approximately 400 HPC stations by 2020, the young company is taking the industry by force.
 
IONITY has formed strategic partnerships with Shell, Tank & Rast, OMV and Circle K for the realization of its European fast charging network and is thus entering the exploration and realization phase in 18 European countries. By teaming up with the four partner companies, more than 50 percent of the 400 sites planned between now and the year 2020 have already been covered. The installation of HPC charging stations directly on the major thoroughfares will make electromobility significantly more convenient and the charging capacity of up to 350 kW is expected to reduce the waiting time for customers to a minimum.
 
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"The agreements with these prestigious partners constitute an important initial milestone in our relatively short company history. So in the future, we will be able to offer a large number of fast charging stations at attractive sites along major roads in Europe," says Marcus Groll, COO of IONITY.
 
By joining forces with Shell, IONITY will be able to install its fast charging infrastructure at sites throughout ten European countries: Belgium, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. This collaboration will reinforce the business strategy pursued by both companies to offer more and more drivers of electric vehicles a fast, reliable charging service at attractive sites. "Customers want to be able to travel long distances in electric vehicles - with the knowledge that there is a reliable, convenient means of charging their vehicles," says István Kapitány, Shell Executive Vice President of Retail.
 
The site partner in Germany is Autobahn Tank & Rast, which operates around 360 petrol stations and 400 service stations, including approximately 50 hotels, within the German motorway network. "Germany is an important transit country in the European transport system. Our collaboration with IONITY will promote unlimited, cross- border e-mobility along Europe's main roads. This means we will be facilitating the breakthrough of electromobility in Germany and beyond. By installing fast charging stations with a 350 kW charging capacity in the Tank & Rast service network, we are taking the next step and gearing our service to the future needs of our customers," says Jörg Hofmeister, Head of Electromobility at Tank & Rast.
 
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IONITY is working with the Austrian company OMV on the roll-out of a fast charging infrastructure in Austria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Manfred Leitner, Director of Downstream Operations at OMV: "In cooperation with the automobile industry, we are working on a fast-growing field of technology. We are intensifying our efforts to offer our customers an additional alternative mobility service, thereby moving one step closer to a sustainable energy future."
 
By teaming up with Circle K in Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden, IONITY will be able to forge ahead with the construction of its fast charging network in Northern Europe. "We are proud to be working with IONITY on the development of the most high-powered charging network in Europe. Our collaboration substantiates Circle K's aspiration to shape mobility solutions in our core markets," says Jacob Schram, Group President of Circle K Europe. The European headquarters of Circle K are situated in Norway. "As the world's third-largest EV market, Norway is a very exciting market for us. It is regarded as Europe's model nation in terms of electromobility. Here, our fast charging stations will enable us to make an important contribution to the further market development of electromobility," says Michael Hajesch, CEO of IONITY.
 
IONITY uses the European charging standard "Combined Charging System" (CCS) with a charging capacity of up to 350 kW and thereby will provide cross-brand compatibility with most present-day and future electric vehicles. The charging stations are equipped with the latest e- charging technology and will have six charging points on average. They will be easily accessible for the public situated at a distance of approximately 120 km from each other. Together with its partners, IONITY is already working on the realization of the first 20 sites in more than ten countries. Working together with the experienced site partners Shell, Tank & Rast, OMV and Circle K is an important success on the road to establishing a European network of fast charging stations by 2020. Thus, the way for electromobility to gain mass appeal even over long distances will be paved. Further partnerships aimed at completing the IONITY European fast charging network are already in the pipeline.
 
Source and top image: Ionity
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: IDTechEx Show! Europe 2018 External Link on 11 - 12 Apr 2018 at the Estrel Convention Center, Berlin, Germany hosted by IDTechEx.