To boost the sales of electric cars in Europe, four of the world’s major automotive companies have come together to build what will be the highest-powered charging network in the continent. Despite the many advantages of electric vehicles, range anxiety is a very real thing that causes a large number of potential car buyers to shy away from EVs. To correct this problem, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler have joined hands to develop an electric vehicle superhighway that would drastically reduce charging times.
Currently-available EVs take around 30 minutes to get fully charged, and have an average range of somewhere about 100 miles. The new initiative aims at facilitating low-range travel, by erecting an extensive network of charging stations across Europe. While similar networks by Chargepoint and Tesla already exist in the United States, the yet-to-be-constructed superhighway will feature chargers that are a lot more powerful than the former.
For instance, DC Fast Chargers are capable of delivering up to 50 kW of power, meaning that it can charge the battery of an electric car to around 80-percent in just 20 minutes. By comparison, the new ones will boast nearly seven times more power, with each packing approximately 350 kW. This, according to the developers, would in turn lower the charging time to only about 10 minutes.
The first phase of the project, comprising the construction of as many as 400 charging stations across Europe, will be complete by 2017. The goal is to erect several thousand of these all over the continent by the year 2020.