BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche have formed joint venture Ionity to develop and implement a high-power charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles across Europe.
Launching approximately 400 HPC stations by 2020, Ionity aims to make long-distance journeys easier.
Based in Munich, Germany, the joint venture is led by chief executive officer Michael Hajesch and chief operating officer Marcus Groll, with a growing team set to number 50 by the start of 2018.
Hajesch said: “The first pan-European HPC network plays an essential role in establishing a market for electric vehicles.
"Ionity will deliver our common goal of providing customers with fast charging and digital payment capability, to facilitate long-distance travel."
A total of 20 stations will be opened to the public this year, located on major roads in Germany, Norway and Austria, at intervals of 120km, through partnerships with Tank & Rast, Circle K and OMV.
Through 2018, the network will expand to more than 100 stations, each one enabling multiple customers, driving different manufacturer cars, to charge their vehicles simultaneously.
With a capacity of up to 350kW per charging point, the network will use the European charging standard combined charging system to significantly reduce charging times compared to existing systems.
The brand-agnostic approach and Europe-wide distribution is expected to help make electrified vehicles more appealing.
The founding partners, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group, have equal shares in the joint venture, while other automotive manufacturers are invited to help expand the network.