Top Car Companies To Fund Car Charging Points
German automakers are in the move to build ultra-fast charging sites across Europe through a joint investment. This gears towards boosting mainstream acceptance of electric cars.
With rival U.S. rival Tesla receiving huge pre-orders for its Model 3 car, German carmakers Volkswagen, Daimler's Mercedes, BMW and Ford Motor Co's European division are accelerating their own electric car programs. The companies' joint venture plans to develop 400 charging stations.
Mass-market demand for electric cars is often limited due to scarce charging points. So to overcome "range anxiety" or the fear of running out of power before reaching a charging station, the companies are carefully planning on building the charging network starting next year. A memorandum of understanding for this joint venture was reached last week.
According to a statement released on Tuesday, the automakers said that their goal is to make charging electric vehicles as convenient as refueling at conventional gas stations.
The manufacturers want to set up 400 charging points next year for its initial steps. By 2020, the companies aim to ensure that thousands of charging sites will be accessible to the customers.
The charging network will be based on the so-called combined charging system technology which allows for ultra-fast power levels of up to 350 kilowatt hours.
"The availability of high-power stations allows long-distance electric mobility for the first time and will convince more and more customers to opt for an electric vehicle," stated Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche.
A week before the U.S. presidential election, the White House announced efforts to spur the development of electric vehicle infrastructure. However, the future of such projects under the coming administration of President-elect Donald Trump is yet to be determined.
In Germany, government regulators have also been pushing electric vehicle infrastructure projects. The government has agreed to help the auto industry with electric car subsidies.
Although the demand for electric cars today is stifled by high prices, executives across the industry predict a positive future for electric vehicles as advances in the technology make batteries cheaper and more powerful.
The six companies also opened the joint venture to other automakers in, adding that they will cooperate with regional partners.