Major automakers such as BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build the quickest-powered charging network in Europe.

The joint venture aims for a quick build-up of at least 400 sites with power levels of up to 476 PS along major highways in Europe. With a significantly higher power output than the available system, this will reduce charging time as well as allow longer-range travel for battery electric vehicle (BEV) drivers.

The build-up is set to start next year and by 2020, thousands of high-powered charging points will be available for the customers' disposal. This kind of charging experience is expected to evolve to be as convenient as refueling at conventional gas stations.

The network will be based on a Combined Charging System (CCS) standard technology. The planned charging infrastructure expands the existing technical standard for AC- and DC charging of electric vehicles to the next level of capacity for DC fast charging. BEVs that are engineered to accept this full power of the charge stations can recharge regardless of brand, in a shorter time compared than the outgoing BEVs. The network is intended to serve all CCS equipped vehicles to facilitate the BEV adoption in Europe.

“The breakthrough of e-mobility requires two things: convincing vehicles and a comprehensive charging infrastructure. With our new brand EQ, we are launching our electric product offensive: by 2025, our portfolio will include more than ten fully electric passenger cars. Together with our partners, we are now installing the highest-powered charging infrastructure in Europe. The availability of high-power stations allows long-distance e-mobility for the first time and will convince more and more customers to opt for an electric vehicle,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The automakers said that they intend to make substantial investments in order to build the network. Founding partners such as BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group will be equal partners in the Joint Venture, while other automakers will be encouraged to partake in the network.

Meanwhile, the Joint Venture is also open for cooperation with other regional partners.