The switch to electric mobility for the masses can’t be done overnight – and an automotive giant like Volkswagen knows that all too well.
Europe’s biggest automaker, though, wants to do everything in its power to speed up the transition to electric mobility and that can’t be achieved only by building millions of EVs; the charging infrastructure must also keep up with the increasing number of cars.
To that end, the VW Group pledges to install a total of 36,000 charging points in Europe by 2025, 11,000 of which will be developed by the Volkswagen brand. They will be installed at VW plants and at about 3,000 Volkswagen dealerships in large towns and cities.
VW will achieve these goals via its charging infrastructure company Elli (Electric Life) and “We Charge” charging service. In doing so, the automaker is also getting involved in the lucrative business areas connected with charging. In total, the VW Group will invest about €250 million ($281 million) at its European locations, including Germany.
According to company estimates, 70 percent of all charging operations in the future will be carried out at home or work. Therefore, Elli will offer complete charging solutions for companies and consumers to meet these requirements from 2020 onwards, which will range from affordable Wallboxes including installation to appropriate eco-power.
At its plants throughout Germany, Volkswagen will install about 4,000 charging points for employees, and many of these will be accessible to the public as well. Under the IONITY umbrella, it will also install about 400 fast charging stations with up to 2,400 charging points along major routes and highways throughout Europe by 2020.
Fast charging stations will also be brought to urban areas. The first 28 of them not located on the Autobahn network will be inaugurated in Wolfsburg at the end of June.
VW estimates public charging stations will be used for about a quarter of all charging operations. Via “We Charge”, it will allow customers access to more than 100,000 charging points throughout Europe in the future. Finally, the German group plans partnerships with retail chains to allow customers to charge their cars while they are shopping. A deal with Tesco already exists in the UK.