Car manufacturers to juice Europe with e-charging network
German carmakers BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Audi and US competitor Ford said yesterday they would cooperate on a Europe-wide network of electric charging stations.
The move is an “important step towards facilitating mass-market battery electric vehicle adoption”, the manufacturers said in a joint statement, and comes as German carmakers rev up their offers of electric cars for the coming years. “We intend to create a network that allows our customers on longdistance trips to use a coffee break for recharging,” Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler said.
The firms have signed a memorandum of understanding on the joint venture and plan to begin construction of some 400 high-speed charging stations across Europe in 2017. Completion of the network is slated for 2020. Hybrid and all-electric cars from any manufacturer using the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard will be able to use the stations, in a move aimed at boosting growth of electric car use on the continent. German carmakers have lagged behind some competitors when it comes to introducing electric models.
The technology remains little-used in Europe, hobbled by high prices, the short range of the vehicles and a lack of recharging infrastructure. But recent months have seen a fresh commitment from the industry, a pillar of Europe’s largest economy, to speed up the introduction of electric cars.
Audi and Porsche parent Volkswagen announced this month that it aims to sell one million electric vehicles per year by 2025. VW sees non-polluting technology as a chance to clean its tarnished reputation, after it admitted in September 2015 to installing software designed to cheat regulatory emissions tests on 11 million dieselpowered cars worldwide. — AFP