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© daimler Electronics Production | November 29, 2016

Auto-heavyweight team up on European charging network

BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the highest-powered charging network in Europe.
The goal is the quick build-up of a sizeable number of stations in order to enable long-range travel for battery electric vehicle drivers, the companies announce in a joint press release.

A functional charging infrastructure will play an important role towards facilitating mass-market BEV adoption.

However, we’re not just talking about charging stations here, the companies are gunning to construct an ultra-fast high-powered charging network with power levels up to 350 kW – which would 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 this should result in EV drivers having access to thousands of high-powered charging points. The goal is to enable long-distance travel through open-network charging stations along highways and major thoroughfares, which has not been feasible for most BEV drivers to date. The charging experience is expected to evolve to be as convenient as refuelling at conventional gas stations.

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 350 kW. BEVs that are engineered to accept this full power of the charge stations can recharge brand-independently in a fraction of the time of today’s BEVs. The network is intended to serve all CCS equipped vehicles to facilitate the BEV adoption in Europe.

The automobile manufacturers intend to make substantial investments to create the network. 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. According to the press release, the Joint Venture is also open for cooperations with regional partners.

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