An agreement between Ford Motor Company, BMW Group, Daimler AG and Volkswagen Group has been made in a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’.
The aim is to quickly build a large number of sizable charging stations incorporating the latest charging technology. This will help customers gain confidence for long range travel in a fully electric vehicle across major routes in Europe and facilitate popularity and market adoption on a grander scale.
This new charging system will use the CCS standard (Combined Charging System). This system utilises both AC and DC current and when the battery technology catches up it’ll be capable of charging electric vehicles at 350kW. As a comparison the Superchargers currently available for Tesla owners only carry DC current and have a maximum power of 120kW.
The industry is calling for a standard charging system for all cars and this recent revelation is hoping to push the CCS charging connection as the winner as all four manufacturing giants invest in the infrastructure. BMW’s i3 and i8 already use the technology as do VW group with ford and Mercedes planning to add it to their future EV line up.
The start of the project will begin in 2017 with an initial target of around 400 new charging sites that have been chosen for the joint venture, by 2020 it is hoped there will be thousands of new charging sites across Europe. This ties in nicely with many of the manufacturer’s plans to release a host of new electric models in 2020.
The BMW i3 uses the new CCS charging system
The four groups will be equal partners in the new plans and will still be encouraging other big names to join them and share the cost and participate in the new network. It is currently not known if the network will extend to the UK, we will have to wait for more details when the work starts in 2017.