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Ionity Electric Car Charging Network launches in Europe with Backing from Major Automakers

Four major automakers have joined together to launch a company that will install a network of fast chargers for electric cars in Europe. Ionity is backed by the Ford Motor Company, Daimler AG, Volkswagen Group, and BMW.  Ultimately, the company plans to build up to 400 charging points across Europe. Ionity’s new infrastructure will be installed to support Europe’s growing fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Ionity Electric Car Charging Network launches in Europe

Ionity electric vehicle (EV) charging network
Ionity Electric Vehicle Charging Point

A number of car makers have announced their intention to offer fully electric or hybrid vehicles across their lines in the near future. Likewise, countries such as France, China, and the UK have also set targets for banning sales of fossil fuel cars by as early 2030. As a result, the formation of Ionity makes sense as the backbone and infrastructure for charging EV’s. Initially, Ionity is planning to build the foundation of its  network by 2020.

The Ionity headquarters are based in Munich, Germany and its charging points will be set along major routes in Europe. At present, there plans to install 20 high power EV chargers by the end of 2017. A further 100 are planned for 2018. These will be  dotted around Norway, Germany, and Austria. For now the charging points are set to be installed at 75 mile intervals. Eventually, Ionity’s goal is to have at least 400 charging stations across Europe. In contrast, Tesla’s network of Superchargers already numbers at around 7000 globally.

In addition to this, Tesla’s Supercharger Network uses its own connector. That means only its cars can use the chargers, despite its size. The company is also currently aggressively expanding its charging network in Europe. As such, Ionity enters the sector as a direct competitor. Consequently, this is something the automakers involved needed to do in order to keep up with Elon Musk’s company. The pioneering auto maker is widely seen as the market leader in electric vehicles at the moment.

Major Automakers take the Fight to Tesla

Ecotricity Electric Vehicle charging point
An Ecotricity Electric Vehicle charging point at a Motorway Services. EV charging points have proliferated as increasing numbers of hybrid and electric cars hit he road. Image credit: Steve Jones/FUTR Tech Magazine.

However, other manufacturer’s have been making bigger strides into the EV market of late. That includes BMW and Daimler both of which are partners in Ionity, as well as Ford and Volvo.

So clearly Ionity is starting on the back foot, but the company has the backing of some of Europe’s biggest car-makers behind it. Having a robust network of charging points is a crucial step in aiding the growth of electric vehicle adoption. With the infrastructure in place, new EV owners will be more willing to opt for the clean energy.

While Ionity is backed by BMW, Ford, VW and Mercedes Benz’s parent companies, the founders are hoping others will join the venture. In addition to the VW brand, Volkswagen also owns Audi and Porsche. Altogether, that will create a formidable competitor to Tesla’s growing network. Crucially, the number of EV charging points will increase and make it easier for owners to charge their cars. Improved availability will also provide further reassurance for those who invest in an electric car or hybrid.

In terms of the environmental benefits as well as making it easier for EV owners to find charging points, the Ionity project is a welcome development.  In addition, the company will help bring Europe up to speed in the electric vehicle sector and may become a worthy rival to Elon Musk’s Tesla.

Ultimately, only time will tell if Ionity becomes a mainstay on tomorrow’s roads. Electric vehicle owners will surely hope so.


Also published on Medium.

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