Automotive - - Nov 30,2016
Four of world’s top automobile manufacturers - BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen Group, including Audi and Porsche, announced that they will build 400 electric charging sites all across Europe.
The plug-in points will provide ultra-fast charging for cars along major roads and to all major brands that manufactures electric cars, except Tesla, which uses different charge point systems.
The charging network will use a combined charging system standard technology. Drivers will be able to charge their vehicles using plugs charging at a speed of 350 kW, which is considerably faster than the current market leader.
The car companies said in a statement that their prime objective is to quickly build a large number of charging stations at reasonable distances, so as to enable long distance travel using electric vehicles. The project is expected to begin in 2017 and will be completed by 2020.
The project is expected to cost more than 1 billion euros as there is no direct funding or subsidies from any government or the EU. However, the companies said that they would welcome any other company who wants to join the project. At present, all 4 companies are equal partners in the joint venture.
There are currently 1,500 high-speed electric charging stations in Europe with a capacity of 150kW, located mainly in motorway service areas. Tesla has already shown with its supercharging network that fast charging is possible. It now takes about 40 minutes to charge a Model S up to 80% and the company is still working to bring down the charging time further- between five and 10 minutes.
Unlike the current network of free electric refueling stations, customers are expected to pay for recharging at the new sites, in an effort by the companies to recover the investment in the project.