Published on March 23rd, 2019 | by Steve Hanley0
Ionity Plans 400 Ultra-Fast Charging Locations By The End Of 2020
March 23rd, 2019 by Steve Hanley
Ionity, the ultra-high-speed European charging network formed by Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, and Ford, announced this week that it will have 400 ultra-fast charging locations in service by the end of 2020. Most of those locations will have 6 chargers available. It has finished installing 63 locations so far and has 52 more under construction.
“There’s a lot of momentum, activity will be high,” Michael Hajesch, CEO of told Reuters last week. “The expansion plans are currently being prepared.” Not all those locations will be on highways. Some will be sited on busy roads leading in and out of major cities where demand for charging infrastructure is highest, he said.
The automakers are stepping up because no one else in Europe seemed ready to build the charging infrastructure that will be needed to make electric cars a reality on the Continent. Car makers will need electric cars to avoid significant fines from regulators if they fail to meet the latest exhaust emission standards.
“Charging infrastructure is a bottleneck,” Andreas Tschiesner, head of the European automotive practice at McKinsey & Co., tells Bloomberg. Carmakers are “ready to get the ball rolling because nothing is happening on its own.” He said competition in the electric vehicle charging infrastructure space, where players range from oil majors and engineering conglomerates to utilities and carmakers, would increase further in coming years. Following its acquisition of NewMotion in 2017, Shell acquired US-based Greenlots earlier this year and is now a major player in the EV charging industry.
Carmakers worldwide are planning to invest $255 billion in the next 5 years to bring more than 200 battery electric cars to market, according to consulting firm AlixPartners. General Motors Co. expects to sell 1 million electric cars annually by 2026, Bloomberg says. [Excuse us while we snicker up our sleeve about that one.] Volkswagen says it will have 50 electric car models by 2025, BMW will have a dozen, and Renault eight. To persuade customers to buy them, “carmakers need to create a positive charging experience,” says Colin McKerracher, an analyst at BloombergNEF.
The Ionity network will help solve a common problem for many EV drivers — compatibility. Globally, Bloomberg says, there are more than a dozen plug types with at least eight charging speeds and a welter of payment platforms. The Ionity chargers will be compatible with most electric cars on the road, even those that capable of higher charging speeds that will be offered by automakers in the near future. The cars capable of handling the highest power levels will be able to get an extra 200 kilometers of range in just 8 minutes.
For years, car companies have been standing around with their hands in the pockets waiting for someone else to build the charging infrastructure the EV revolution will require. Now the car companies are doing the heavy lifting themselves — at least in Europe.