Ionity multi-brand European charging networkEnlarge Photo
Oil giant Shell has teamed up with some of the world’s biggest automakers to deploy a fast-charging network spanning Europe.
The network, called Ionity, is being rolled out by a newly formed joint venture consisting of the BMW Group, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen Group, and will offer up to 350-kilowatt charging capacity. This is enough to charge a battery to 80 percent capacity in as little as 15 minutes.
By 2020, Ionity will have around 400 charging stations across multiple European countries, supporting all electric cars that adhere to the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) protocol. Note, this is different to the charging standard using by Tesla.
Porsche Mission E concept electric carEnlarge Photo
Most of the stations will be located along highways, and with Shell onboard we’ll also see some chargers added to the company’s existing fuel stations. Shell has already added chargers to some of its fuel stations and the company has also acquired some charging networks, the largest being the NewMotion network in Europe.
The addition of Shell to Ionity is another major sign of the arrival of electric cars in the mainstream, plus the potential threat the technology represents to oil companies like Shell which have for decades dominated the fuel industry.
Shell’s most aggressive prediction for the growth of electric cars is 10 percent of the entire vehicle fleet by 2025, up from about 1 percent today.