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Car manufacturers to offer Europe-wide charging network

Ford, BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen Group plan to set up a network of high-powered charging stations across Europe that they claim will make long distance travel in electric vehicles easier.01 Dec 2016

The charging network will be based on Combined Charging System standard technology and have power levels up to 350 kilowatts, making it "significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today", the companies said.

The project will begin in 2017 with an initial target of 400 sites in Europe. By 2020 consumers should have access to "thousands" of charging points, the companies said.

"The goal is to enable long-distance travel through open-network charging stations along highways and major thoroughfares, which has not been feasible for most battery electric vehicle drivers to date. The experience is expected to evolve to be as convenient as refueling at conventional gas stations," they said.

Mark Fields, president of Ford said: "A reliable, ultra-fast charging infrastructure is important for mass consumer adoption and has the potential to transform the possibilities for electric driving. This charging network will make it easier and more practical for consumers across Europe to own electrified vehicles."

While the founding partners will be equal partners in the joint venture, other automobile manufacturers will be encouraged to participate to help establish convenient charging solutions for battery electric vehicle customers. The joint venture also intends to cooperate with regional partners, they said.