Euro on a charge

The BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, and Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the highest-powered charging network in Europe.

The goal is the quick build-up of a sizable number of stations to enable long-range travel for battery electric vehicle (BEV) drivers – an important step towards facilitating mass-market BEV adoption.

The projected ultra-fast high-powered charging network, with up to 350kW capacity, will be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. The delivery of the fast-charging stations is scheduled to start next year.

An initial target of about 400 sites in Europe is planned, with customers having access to thousands of high-powered charging points by 2020. It will enable long-distance travel through open-network charging stations along highways and major thoroughfares, which has not been feasible for most BEV drivers to date. The charging experience is expected to evolve to be as convenient as refuelling at conventional gas stations.

The network will be based on Combined Charging System (CCS) standard technology, which uses a combined AC/D connector to deliver fast charging with up to 350kW.

BEVs that are engineered to accept this full power of the charge stations can recharge brand-independently in a fraction of the time of today’s BEVs. The network is intended to serve all CCS-equipped vehicles to facilitate the BEV adoption in Europe.