Unprecedented collaboration: Manufacturers agree on joint venture
BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the largest brand-independent charging network in Europe.
Starting next year, their ‘initial target’ is to have 400 charging sites in Europe – by 2020, ‘customers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points’ across the continent.
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 charging experience is expected to evolve, becoming as convenient as refueling at conventional gas stations.
This would represent an important step toward facilitating mass-market EV adoption.
The projected ultra-fast, high-powered charging network (with power levels up to 350 kW) will be significantly faster than the most powerful charging systems available today.
While the founding partners will all claim equal skate in this joint venture, other manufacturers will be encouraged to participate in the network.
The design, construction, implementation and success of this venture in Europe will be followed closely by other manufactures and governments globally.
Lessons learned from this project will no doubt flow onto future projects in other continents.