Car man­u­fac­tur­ers to juice Europe with e-charg­ing net­work

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

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

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