BMW, Daimler, Ford, and VW Are Planning a High-Power EV Charging Network to Connect Europe

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
bmw daimler ford and vw are planning a high power ev charging network to connect

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]

Join the conversation
6 of 13 comments
  • Raph Raph on Nov 29, 2016

    "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.

    • Raph Raph on Nov 29, 2016

      err and there is some pretty cool history behind those old forts (damn editor just stayed blank).

  • Mcs Mcs on Nov 29, 2016

    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:

    • See 2 previous
    • Stuki Stuki on Dec 01, 2016

      @mcs 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...

  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys for that money, it had better be built by people listening to ABBA
  • Abrar Very easy and understanding explanation about brake paint
  • MaintenanceCosts We need cheaper batteries. This is a difficult proposition at $50k base/$60k as tested but would be pretty compelling at $40k base/$50k as tested.
  • Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?