Volkswagen and BMW's car-charging venture plots Europe network expansion

Ionity and its shareholders are in discussions to work out a growth plan for the future, including a rapid expansion of high-speed charging infrastructure.
By : Bloomberg
| Updated on: 02 Mar 2021, 05:40 PM
EV charging network IONITY
EV charging network IONITY
EV charging network IONITY
EV charging network IONITY

A venture formed by Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and other automakers are in talks to substantially expand its European electric-car charging network to keep pace with rising sales of battery-powered vehicles.

The manufacturers are considering additional funding for their Ionity GmbH consortium, which has been building out fast-charging points along European highways since 2017, emulating Tesla Inc.’s Supercharger network. After EV sales tripled in the region last year, the companies fear long lines at charging points could put off potential buyers.

Similar Cars

Find More Cars
Tata Tigor Ev (HT Auto photo)
Tata Tigor Ev
Electric | Automatic
₹11.99 - 13.14 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Tata Altroz Ev (HT Auto photo)
UPCOMING
Tata Altroz Ev
 
₹12 - 15 Lakhs* *Expected Price
Tata Nexon Ev (HT Auto photo)
Tata Nexon Ev
Electric | Automatic
₹13.99 - 16.85 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Tata Nexon Ev Max (HT Auto photo)
Tata Nexon Ev Max
Electric | Automatic
₹17.74 - 19.24 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Mg Zs Ev (HT Auto photo)
Mg Zs Ev
Electric | Automatic
₹21 - 24.68 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Mg Zs Ev 2022 (HT Auto photo)
Mg Zs Ev 2022
Electric | Automatic
₹21.99 - 25.88 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price

Ionity and its shareholders are in discussions to work out a growth plan for the future, including a rapid expansion of high-speed charging infrastructure. “Additional investment opportunities are in consideration," Chief Executive Officer Michael Hajesch said in an interview.

FOLLOW US:Stay Updated with latest content - Subscribe us on
FOLLOW US:Stay Updated with latest content - Subscribe us on

(Also read | Hyundai joins IONITY, Europe’s EV charging network, for its electric vehicles)

Any extra funding would support Ionity beginning to target urban areas as well as less-frequented freeways where it’s currently absent. Each of the venture’s shareholders -- which also include Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Group -- already have each invested roughly 200 million euros into the company.

Charging Gap

Europe overtook China as the world’s biggest region for electric-car sales last year, when generous incentives combined with the threat of painful emissions fines to bolster shipments. As sales grow -- VW alone is planning to double electric deliveries this year -- manufacturers also are lobbying the European Union and governments to support 1 million public charging points by 2024, up from 224,500 last year.

“Carmakers and governments are engaged in a kind of shadow fight about who’ll take the hit on charging infrastructure spending," said Marcus Kleinfeld, a partner at consultancy AlixPartners.

Photo of an electric vehicle charging.
Photo of an electric vehicle charging.
Photo of an electric vehicle charging.
Photo of an electric vehicle charging.

BMW CEO Oliver Zipse last week urged governments and municipalities to increase efforts installing charging points to keep EV sales going and meet climate targets.

Other automakers are mulling taking matters into their own hands. VW’s Audi luxury-car brand is looking into building its own charging network in urban areas, CEO Markus Duesmann told Handelsblatt newspaper last month, citing the threat of a slowdown in EV sales without adequate infrastructure.

Other Options

An expansion through Ionity is just one of the options being weighed. Munich-based Qwello, a station operator in two German cities, is in talks with a major automaker for a partnership to roll out public chargers, co-founder Henrik Thiele said in an interview.

(Also read | Volkswagen to expand EV charging network in Germany, add 750 stations)

“We’ll see a huge scarcity of charging points, and a lot of noise about this in the coming months," Thiele said, adding that the number of EVs per charging station in Germany has doubled since 2017. Aside from talks with carmakers, the company will build out networks in one major German city and another in Scandinavia this year.

Since its founding, Ionity has built about 400 charging stations along highways, stretching from Portugal to Finland. Hyundai Motor Co. has also joined the consortium.

First Published Date: 02 Mar 2021, 05:40 PM IST
Recommended For You
View All
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
By clicking VIEW OFFERS you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city