BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group have teamed up to boost EV use across Europe with the introduction of 400 new fast-charge points along major road routes.
The manufacturers – including Audi and Porsche – have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the highest-powered charging network in Europe as part of scheme set to get underway in 2017.
Power levels up to 350 kW will be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today and should “enable long-distance travel through open-network charging stations”, according to a statement issued by the venture.
A spokesman for the scheme confirmed that the UK "is intended" to be included in the plans, regardless of the outcome of negotiations over its membership of the EU.
Harald Krüger, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said: “This high-power charging network provides motorists with another strong argument to move towards electric mobility.
“The joint project is another major milestone clearly demonstrating that competitors are combining forces to ramp-up e-mobility.”
Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: “Together with our partners, we are now installing the highest-powered charging infrastructure in Europe.
“The availability of high-power stations allows long-distance e-mobility for the first time and will convince more and more customers to opt for an electric vehicle.”
Mark Fields, president and chief executive of Ford Motor Company, said that a reliable, ultra-fast charging infrastructure was important for mass consumer adoption of EVs, adding that it has the potential to transform the possibilities for electric driving.
He added: “Ford is committed to developing vehicles and technologies that make people’s lives better, and this charging network will make it easier and more practical for customers across Europe to own electrified vehicles.”
Rupert Stadler, chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, said: “Reliable fast charging services are a key factor for drivers to choose an electric vehicle.
“With this cooperation we want to boost a broader market adoption of e-mobility and speed up the shift towards emission-free driving.”
Oliver Blume, chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, added: “There are two decisive aspects for us: ultra-fast charging and placing the charging stations at the right positions.
“Together, these two factors enable us to travel in an all-electrically powered car as in a conventional combustion engine vehicle.
“As automobile manufacturer, we actively shape our future, not only by developing all-electrically powered vehicles but by building up the necessary infrastructure as well.”