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1 December 2016

VW, Ford, BMW, Daimler plan EU fast-charging EV grid

Newly announced plans for a joint venture between major car manufactures will see the roll out of a network of chargers across thousands of sites by 2020. The proposed chargers will each have 350 kW charging capacity, greatly reducing charging times compared to other chargers currently available today.

The venture will involve a plethora of manufacturers including BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group, with installations beginning in 2017.

The venture has initially identified 400 sites, and should cover long-distance travel routes across Europe, extending the EV proposition beyond its traditional city dwelling low millage customer base. As a sales tool, the network should allow the automakers to persuade consumers that when they need to make long-distance trips, they will be able to depend on and refuel along this network. Range-anxiety has been a common complaint among buyers considering PEVs.

The charging network will use the Combined Charging System (CCS), a fast charging method that uses an AC/DC connector, to deliver a 350kW charging rate. The standard is supported by the participating manufactures, as well as Tesla, Hyundai, GM, and Fiat-Chrysler.

The project is aiming for a 2020 deadline, by which point many of the auto-manufactures taking part will have re-organised their product lines to include more EVs.