IONITY, a joint venture of BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen Group, has a mission to build a charging network along major routes across Europe. Swiss electronics giant ABB has announced that it has been selected as IONITY’s main technology partner and supplier.
IONITY recently opened a pilot station in Switzerland, on the A2 motorway near Lucerne. The station features six of ABB’s Terra High Power chargers, each capable of power levels up to 350 kW. No current EVs are capable of charging at that rate – most charge at 50 kW. However, in yet another parallel with the early days of the internet, infrastructure providers are trying to future-proof their products, anticipating that the higher power (bandwidth) will be needed in the next few years.
ABB says the chargers at this Swiss IONITY station are the first with liquid-cooled cables to be installed in Europe.
Electrek reports that there are already a couple of IONITY stations online in Germany, and notes that the chargers at the new Swiss station look quite different from the German ones. It would appear that IONITY is dividing its hardware orders among different suppliers, as VW’s Electrify America is doing.
IONITY promises “a significant initial roll-out” of fast charging stations by the end of 2018, and plans to have approximately 400 stations across 24 European countries in service by 2020.
Michael Hajesch, Managing Director at IONITY, said he is “glad to have a strong and international technology partner with ABB to drive e-mobility to the next level across Europe.”
Frank Muehlon, Managing Director for EV Charging Infrastructure at ABB added, “This is a truly landmark European launch and one which we are honored to support, particularly with the first pilot site opening in ABB’s home country of Switzerland. We already have approximately 7,000 connected DC fast charging stations installed worldwide.”