Five major auto manufacturers are joining forces to build 400 charge stations.
BMW, Mercedes, Ford, Audi and Porsche teamed up today in a joint venture to build a network of 400 fast charging stations for electric vehicles in Europe. Their goal is to create a “quick build-up of a sizable number of stations in order to enable long-range travel for battery electric vehicle drivers.”
The new stations will be built using Combined Charging System (CCS) standard technology, and feature level 2 AC connections, level 3 DC connections as well as new “ultra-fast high-powered chargers”. The venture is similar, but larger in scope, than the previously announced Ultra E project, which aims to put 25 stations along the Trans-European Transport Network (T-ENT). Like Ultra E, the new stations will be able to deliver up to 350kW, more than double that of the current industry leader, Tesla’s 145kW supercharger.
The 400 station plan is apparently only an initial target, and will begin construction in 2017. We can expect more stations to follow later. The automakers confirmed that every vehicle using the CCS standard will be able to use the charging stations. Tesla currently has 260 charging stations in Europe, but is aiming to double that before the Tesla Model 3 is released in 2018. Seems there will be some healthy competition between the two ventures.
The competition; Tesla’s supercharger
“This high-power charging network provides motorists with another strong argument to move towards electric mobility,” says Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “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.”
“A reliable, ultra-fast charging infrastructure is important for mass consumer adoption and has the potential to transform the possibilities for electric driving,” says Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company. “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.”