VM’s partner for EV surge

Four major vehicle manufacturers have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the highest-powered charging network in Europe.

BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group with its Audi and Porsche brands have signed the agreement with the goal to quickly build a sizable number of stations in order to enable long-range travel for battery electric vehicle drivers. This will be an important step towards facilitating mass-market BEV adoption.

It is claimed the projected ultra-fast high-powered charging network with power levels up to 350kW will be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. The build-up is planned to start in 2017. An initial target of about 400 sites in Europe is planned. By 2020 the customers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points.

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 350kW.

‘This high-power charging network provides motorists with another strong argument to move towards electric mobility,’ said Harald Krüger, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. ‘The joint project is another major milestone clearly demonstrating that competitors are combining forces to ramp-up e-mobility.’

‘The breakthrough of e-mobility requires two things: convincing vehicles and a comprehensive charging infrastructure. Together with our partners, we are now installing the highest-powered charging infrastructure in Europe,’ said Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. ‘The availability of high-power stations allows long-distance e-mobility for the first time and will convince more and more customers to opt for an electric vehicle.’

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 BEV customers. The joint venture is also open for cooperations with regional partners.

The joint venture formation is subject to execution of definitive agreements and merger control approval in various jurisdictions.