IONITY Launches EV Charging Station, Partnership Rumors

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【Summary】IONITY has huge plans for its EV charging network. In the initial phase, the company intends to roll out 400 charging hubs with 350 kW capacity in various countries across Europe.

Michael Cheng    May 31, 2018 10:06 AM PT
IONITY Launches EV Charging Station, Partnership Rumors

In Europe, EV charging networks are rapidly popping up everywhere. Pioneering this aspect of development in the industry is IONITY. The company, which is supported by Daimler AG, BMW, Ford and Volkswagen, recently provided updates about its EV infrastructure program.

Read on to learn about the startup's quest to install powerful EV charging units and service EV customers across Europe.

New EV Infrastructure

IONITY has huge plans for its EV charging network. In the initial phase, the company intends to roll out 400 charging hubs with 350 kW capacity in various countries across Europe. It aims to accomplish this within the next two years. So far, the startup has installed 20 units, with the possibility of reaching up to 100 stations by the end of the year.

Thinking ahead, the company understands the needs of EV consumers. Although there aren't any EVs that can charge at the network's current rate, individuals can still use the stations to the car's capacity, which averages at 50 kW. Each hub includes six charging points.

"IONITY has announced that it is commencing operations at its Brohltal-Ost site today. The IONITY station is based on the A61 motorway in the German state of Rhineland Palatinate and will be operated in conjunction with the German service station group Tank & Rast GmbH," said the company in an announcement.

Most EV owners in the area are comparing the IONITY charging network to Tesla's EV charging program. The startup has a significant lead over its competitors, when it comes to supporting its electrified cars with charging hubs. At the moment, Tesla operates roughly 400 charging units in the region. The company is expected to setup around 800 charging hubs by the time IONITY installs its 400th EV charging station.

Its main advantage over Tesla's Supercharger hubs is its ability to charge at a higher rate. Tesla's stations are rated up to 145 kW, with the possibility of upgrades and expansion in the future (Supercharger V3 and Megachargers for Tesla's upcoming line of electric trucks).

Forming Automotive Partnerships

The IONITY network could be beneficial for EV manufacturers looking to ease costs and time spent installing EV charging hubs. This is a strategy that is currently circulating around the industry, as numerous automakers are rumored to be considering a partnership with IONITY.

"We always want the prime location right on the highway. If we do not occupy this position, there is a high risk that a competitor will occupy it. We are only 20 weeks old and still in the start-up phase," explained Michael Hajesch, CEO of IONITY.

According to Sueddeutsche Zeitung, a German news agency, such businesses in the sector include the following: Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover, Fiat-Chrysler, PSA/OPEL and Tesla.

A Tesla-IONITY partnership would benefit both parties, allowing Tesla to extend and supplement its Supercharger network in the region, while attracting more customers to IONITY's charging hubs. To date, both companies have not confirmed or denied the rumor.

IONITY is also looking to form collaborations with local energy companies, such as France-based Engie and Italy-based Enel.

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