Charging needs to be readily available and convenient to promote and grow the vehicle electrification industry. BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co., and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche announced at ITS World Congress 2017 the joint venture, Ionity, which will develop and implement a high-power charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles across Europe.

Launching approximately 400 HPC stations by 2020, the goal of the JV is to make long-distance journeys easier. Based in Munich, Germany, staffing goals of the JV was 50 by the start of 2018. The first pan-European HPC network will play an essential role in establishing a market for electric vehicles and facilitate long-distance travel.

Plans were for a total of 20 stations open to the public in 2017, located on major roads in Germany, Norway, and Austria at intervals of 120 km (75 mi), through partnerships with Tank & Rast, Circle K, and OMV. The network planned to expand to more than 100 stations through 2018 and to 400 stations by the end of 2020.

Each station is designed to enable multiple customers, driving different manufacturer cars, to charge their vehicles simultaneously. Each 350-kW charging point will use the European Combined Charging System standard for fast charging. The founding partners have equal shares in the JV and are inviting others to help expand the network.

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