European car manufacturers build a charging network for electricity

The motorway network is seen as a key step in convincing car buyers that they can switch to electricity and continue long journeys on the highway without worrying about running out of energy during family vacations.

The CEO of Ionity, Michael Hajesch, gave the update of the progress when the company announced the price of electricity in its high-speed stations in 20 countries, which will soon be 24. Ionity, based in Munich, is a joint effort between BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen Group, which also includes Audi and Porsche.

Last year, cars that run on batteries accounted for only 2% of the market in Europe, but manufacturers must sell more to meet the strictest European Union limits on greenhouse gas emissions that will come into effect at from 2021. Car manufacturers that do not meet the limits face fines of thousands of euros per vehicle.

The network is also a response to the California-based electric car manufacturer Tesla, which has its own charging network. The Ionity network will be open to Tesla owners.

Hajesch said Ionity would charge 79 cents per kilowatt hour to customers who don’t have a contract with a mobility service provider for a different rate. That replaces the previous price of 8 euros ($ 8.80) per charging session.

The new price to charge quickly on the road and be on the way is higher than car owners usually pay to charge overnight at home, where the charge can cost around 30 cents per kilowatt hour, but it takes hours. Ionity’s 350 kilowatt stations mean that charging could be completed in just 10-15 minutes for cars that can take full advantage; Other models will load more slowly.

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