A ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ has been agreed between the BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group, including Audi and Porsche, to create the highest-powered charging network in Europe.
The goal is the ‘quick build-up of a sizable number of stations’ in order to enable long-range travel for battery electric vehicle drivers, an important step towards facilitating mass-market battery EV adoption.
The projected ultra-fast high-powered charging network, with power levels up to 350 kW, will be ‘significantly faster’ than the most powerful charging system deployed today, according to the collective. The build-up is planned to start in 2017, with an initial target of about 400 sites in Europe planned by 2020. Customers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points with the goal to enable long-distance travel through open-network charging stations along motorways and major thorough fares, which has not been feasible for most EV drivers to date. The charging experience is hoped to evolve in to one as convenient as refuelling at conventional petrol stations.
The network will be based on Combined Charging System (CCS) standard technology. The planned charging infrastructure expands the existing technical standard for AC - and DC charging of electric vehicles to the next level of capacity for DC fast charging with up to 350 kW.
All manufacturers involved intend to make ‘substantial investments’ to create the network, underscoring each company’s belief in the future of electric mobility. While the founding partners – BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group – will be equal partners in the Joint Venture, other automobile manufacturers will be encouraged to participate in the network to help establish convenient charging solutions for EV customers.