Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Daimler and Ford are all to participate in a joint venture to bring super-fast, high-power charging points to long distance travel routes in Europe. At the moment, this means over 400 charging sites with the ability to quickly provide power to Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) and Electric Vehicles (EVs).
The collaboration between the vast array of carmakers that are enabling this project to go ahead means that the network will be brand-independent, but will also ensure that all future EVs made by them will be compatible with the charging network.
The companies feel that by providing the charging sites, they will be providing a reassurance to potential customers of their EVs in that it will help to increase adoption rates of electrics vehicles. A common term that is thrown around with EVs is ‘range anxiety’. This is the fear that you will run out of battery power in your EV before you’re able to recharge. This new charging network should remove range anxiety for a large portion of Europe.
Expectations around ultra-fast charging points for EVs revolve around developments that would mirror recent quick-charging capabilities in smartphones. The goal is to be able to charge a vehicle to 80% in minutes rather than hours. This, according to the carmakers involved in the project, will make charging a vehicle as convenient as refuelling at a petrol station.
“We intend to create a network that allows our customers on long-distance trips to use a coffee break for recharging”, says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “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.”