Until the next generation of batteries makes its way onto the market, providing longer range and quicker charging times, some big names in the automotive industry are looking to make the entire EV ownership as pleasant as possible.
For this, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group, with Audi and Porsche, have signed their names into a Memorandum of Understanding, and are now focusing on creating the highest-powered charging network in Europe with power levels up to 350 kW.
Set to begin next year, the build-up sees an initial target of roughly 400 sites. By the turn of the decade, their goal is to allow customers to access thousands of these stations along highways and major thoroughfares, with the goal of enabling long-distance travel and making the charging experience as convenient as refueling at a regular gas station.
Since this is a major announcement in the automotive industry, chiefs of all five car companies have commented on the topic, as follows.
BMW Group – Chairman of the Board of Management, Harald Kruger
“This high-power charging network provides motorists with another strong argument to move towards electric mobility. The BMW Group has initiated numerous public charging infrastructure projects over the last years. The joint project is another major milestone clearly demonstrating that competitors are combining forces to ramp-up e-mobility.“
Daimler AG – Chairman of the Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz cars, Dieter Zetsche
“The breakthrough of e-mobility requires two things: convincing vehicles and a comprehensive charging infrastructure. With our new brand EQ, we are launching our electric product offensive: by 2025, our portfolio will include more than ten fully electric passenger cars. Together with our partners, we are now installing the highest-powered charging infrastructure in Europe. 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.“
Ford Motor Company – President and CEO, Mark Fields
“A reliable, ultra-fast charging infrastructure is important for mass consumer adoption and has the potential to transform the possibilities for electric driving. Ford is committed to developing vehicles and technologies that make people’s lives better, and this charging network will make it easier and more practical for customers across Europe to own electrified vehicles.“
Audi AG – Chairman of the Board of Management, Rupert Stadler
“We intend to create a network that allows our customers on long-distance trips to use a coffee break for recharging. Reliable fast charging services are a key factor for drivers to choose an electric vehicle. With this cooperation we want to boost a broader market adoption of e-mobility and speed up the shift towards emission-free driving.“
Porsche AG – Chairman of the Executive Board, Oliver Blume
“There are two decisive aspects for us: ultra-fast charging and placing the charging stations at the right positions. Together, these two factors enable us to travel in an all-electrically powered car as in a conventional combustion engine vehicle. As automobile manufacturer, we actively shape our future, not only by developing all-electrically powered vehicles but by building up the necessary infrastructure as well.“
The founding partners will be equal in this joint venture, and will encourage other automakers to participate in the network. Additionally, the agreement is also open for cooperation with local partners.