By on November 29, 2016

CCS Charging pic

Due to a wildly cooperative joint venture between German carmakers and the Ford Motor Company, owning an electric vehicle in Europe will soon become far more practical.

Daimler AG, BMW, Ford, and Volkswagen Group intend to establish a continent-wide network of ultra-fast 350 kW capacity charging sites that will begin juicing up vehicles as early as next year.

The strategy has already identified 400 future charging locations, mainly along European highways, with an end goal of several thousand charge points by 2020 — the same year that Volkswagen plans to unveil its long-range EV and hopes to have already sold over one million electric cars.

By helping enable more long-distance travel for European EV drivers, the charging network will also help consumers feel more comfortable when these companies begin skewing their production lines more heavily toward electric vehicles. Current charging times using rapid modern charging points average over thirty minutes, but the future Euro network wants to eventually make recharging as convenient as refueling at conventional gas stations.

That certainly takes away some of the EV sting.

“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,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a statement.

The charging network will be based upon a Combined Charging System (CCS), a quick-charging method that uses a tandem AC/DC combination coupler delivering a maximum 350 kW delivery charging rate. For comparison, Tesla only recently upgraded its own Supercharger network to 145 kW.

BMW, Daimler, Ford and VW Group will be equal partners in the joint endeavor and are encouraging other automakers, along with regional partners, to participate.

[Image: BMW, Daimler, Ford Motor Co., and VW Group]

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13 Comments on “BMW, Daimler, Ford, and VW are Planning a High-Power EV Charging Network to Connect Europe...”

  • avatar

    Well in order for this to be really great it needs to be in the
    good ole us of a.

  • avatar

    I smell a bit of “ganging up” on Tesla. Not that it’s a bad thing – for consumers.

  • avatar

    This will probably help ensure that gas prices remain low for the foreseeable.

  • avatar

    “actually purchased a barony from a (very small, not quite legitimate) country.”

    Hah! A Baron of Sealand!

    I’ve been very tempted just for the hell-of-it and some pretty cool history behind those old forts.

  • avatar

    Currently, there are no passenger electric cars capable of charging at 350 kW – or the even more powerful and faster 400 kW. We won’t be seeing any until at least 2018. I’d rather seem them skip the 350 kW and just go straight to 400 kW.

    Here are some links that explain all of this a bit better:

    Here’s a 400 kW announcement:

    • 0 avatar

      Battery weight, cost and material scarcity, will force continuous charging along high speed, high draw highways on them anyway, before e-cars will be genuinely ubiquitous. Either that, or some out of left field fuel cell disruption. Or possibly, sanity making enough of a comeback, to bring plug-in hybrids to the fore again.

      For any extended travel along fast roads, fixed charge points are the worst of all worlds: Requires constant, glitch free connectivity of vast, vulnerable grids. Yet still requires dragging around huge dead weight and cost in the form of battery capacity, only required for those occasional long highway stints.

      Plug-in hybrids solve the issue in a very elegant and light touch manner, by allowing electric operation, and off peak charging, for the massive amount of local miles driven in dense areas. Where ICEs are inefficient and clumsy, and where combustion emissions can get concentrated enough to pose a problem. While offloading to an ICE along highways, where ICEs operate the most efficiently, and any residual combustion emissions have more space to dilute.

      Cost/space/weight/energy/emissions effective long lasting H2 generation and fuel cells obviously solves everything nicely, like SciFi is wont to.

      And continuous infrastructure charging solves it in the context of stable societies, which can guarantee reasonable uptime across the entire infrastructure.

      While charging stations will never be more than a bit half assed, and prone to all manners of external choke points. Regardless of what nominal KW, and cool sounding “supercharger” monikers, are applied to them.

      • 0 avatar

        Stuki:While charging stations will never be more than a bit half assed,

        Where are you charging you car? I pull into the bay, enable it with my RFID card, select CHAdeMO or CCS, then plug it in. I press start on the charger and it runs diagnostics on the connection and the car. If everything is okay, it charges the car. Usually, it takes 10 to 30 minutes for me while I run in for food or bathroom.

        Hydrogen is pretty much dead. The costs of the stations ensured they’d be scarce and the 30 minute recovery time doesn’t help. solves everything nicely? Yeah, right.

        Plug-in hybrids? Talk about hauling around a huge dead weight you only need for long distance highway travel. It’s also a dead weight that demands maintenance.

        Charging requires constant, glitch free connectivity of vast, vulnerable grids? Ever try pumping gas when the power is out? How about when the credit card data connection is down. Fixed charging points are bad? I might have missed it, but are ICE cars now fueling from mobile tankers while under way? Maybe that’s what I’m seeing when gas tankers are about 6 feet off the back of car bumpers at 65 mph?

        Battery energy density is improving. From the current Model S to the Model 3 (and I’m assuming the S at some point) there is a 30% improvement. Now we have improvements in charging speed as well. You can go and buy a 300+ mile EV today and there are more on their way. It’s not going to happen overnight, but EVs are really nice to drive on a daily basis and I still the vast majority of EV drivers are buying them for that reason. They are really great to drive and that’s why you’ll see more on the road over the next decade.

        • 0 avatar

          Battery density has improved quickly in cars. Starting from a fairly low level. In portable electronics, where applications are more mature, things aren’t looking quite so starry. They’re improving across the board, but the remaining fruit hangs higher and higher.

          For higher storage applications, fuel cells, while currently nowhere as far as usefulness compared to batteries, have the advantage that capacity can be added by adding simple, cheap tank volume. Not so simple and cheap right now, but once/if leakage can be addressed, increased range doesn’t require a near linear increase in the complex, reacting stack. Just a bigger tank.

          Petrol (and H2), once delivered, is stored distributed. No single points of failure. Pumping petrol can be done with a hand pump, if you really need to. Or, by power from an outlet in your plug in hybrid…. You’d need one heck of a pumping arm, to put out 400KW…. Meaning, a charging station network needs to be hot always. Everywhere. Or you’ll have bricks queuing up very quickly. Many/most of them close to entirely dead, since that is the only time people will bother stopping by for even a 15 minute fill.

          Which means, a charging station infrastructure is as power and reliability demanding as a network of hot highways. Possibly worse, since cars on a hot highway will quickly be topped up, giving them, say 30 minutes of travel from their smaller “local” batteries, before things get critical.

          IOW, the average car on a hot highway, will carry a much higher percentage of it’s total battery capacity with it as charge, than will the average car in a “wait 15 minutes” charger world. Giving more of a cushion for infrastructure “issues” to be resolved. Dragging around huge, expensive, largely depleted, due to cumbersome charging procedures, batteries, is kind of a waste….

          As long as e-car uptake is low, charging station infrastructures look good. They’re simple, cheap, conceptually similar to well known gas stations and cell phone chargers. And, worst case, take a petrol cab if things are down. Or a petrol ambulance if you really need to get someone to the hospital during a power outage. But it’s a solution that doesn’t scale well to the point where it is the ubiquitous one and only. Not compared to either hot highways, petrol/electric plug in hybrids, nor H2 (assuming huge advances at every level).

          And that’s not even beginning to think of replacing the HiLux fleet of the Taliban, or Rovers in Africa. Which are, the kind of places where population, hence car uptake, growth looks to be the biggest going forward…

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