Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
- IONITY investing 700 million euros in its own high-power charging network
- Number of fast-charging points growing from 1,500 to around 7,000 across Europe
- Up to 350 kW of power for future-proof charging
- “Plug & Charge” functionality for Audi e-tron models makes charging even more convenient
A well-developed charging infrastructure forms the very backbone of electrified mobility. That is why IONITY is investing around 700 million euros to install more than 5,000 additional fast-charging points by 2025. As such, the joint venture – in which Volkswagen, with its Porsche and Audi brands, has a stake – is creating more than 1,000 locations for fast charging at up to 350 kW. A new flagship concept from IONITY and the new “Plug & Charge” functionality available on Audi e-tron models are also designed to enhance the convenience and the charging experience.
E-mobility’s success is highly dependent on the charging infrastructure, which is why IONITY, Europe’s largest open high-power charging (HPC) network located in 24 countries, is investing 700 million euros in its fast-charging network for electric vehicles. The joint venture in which Audi has a stake will increase the number of high-performance 350 kW charging points from more than 1,500 at present to around 7,000 by 2025. In addition, they are no longer being built only along freeways, but also near major cities and along busy main roads. As a result, the number of charging locations is also increasing significantly – from just under 400 at present to more than 1,000.
In addition, IONITY plans to expand many of the existing locations – depending on their utilization levels. New sites will be designed with six to twelve charging points right from the beginning. This significantly reduces charging and waiting times for users. In addition, the company plans to acquire more of its own land in order to build and operate service stations. Through covered charging stations or complete charging facilities including dining options and stores, IONITY wants to significantly enhance the customer experience.
Massive expansion by IONITY makes e-mobility even more attractive
“We are transitioning our product range to electric cars in all of our core segments. This is a major change, but I see it as an even greater opportunity,” said Markus Duesmann, chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. The success of e-mobility heavily depends on an extensive charging infrastructure, he added.
“More than ever before, it isn’t just the product that matters, but the entire ecosystem. With its focus on advancing and improving the charging network offering, IONITY’s massive expansion will play a key role in making electric vehicles more attractive.” Audi is planning a broad-based EV rollout with more than 20 all-electric models by 2025. Starting in 2026, the brand will only launch new, innovative all-electric models.
IONITY is the cornerstone of the e-tron Charging Service
Audi is a founding member of IONITY and has been a joint venture partner from the very beginning. IONITY’s network of fast-charging stations located throughout Europe is a cornerstone of the e-tron Charging Service, Audi’s own charging service. Using just one charging card, this service currently offers access to more than 280,000 charging points in 26 European countries. In this context, users benefit from preferential terms when using the IONITY network – charging costs only 31 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is roughly equivalent to the cost of charging at home in Germany.
Plug & Charge: Audi makes charging possible without an RFID card or app
Starting in December 2021, Audi will be offering a particularly premium form of charging exclusively on the IONITY network known as “Plug & Charge” (PnC). This refers to the ability to easily and securely charge an EV without an RFID (radio frequency identification) card or even an app. The authentication process takes place automatically at compatible charging stations via encrypted communication as soon as the charging cable is connected to the vehicle. Then the charging process also starts. And finally, billing is handled automatically on the basis of a contract on file. To use this system, drivers must have a PnC-capable Audi e-tron model (a new model with production date after calendar week 48/2021) and an active e-tron Charging Service contract. Users only need to activate the PnC feature in the myAudi app and in the MMI of their Audi e-tron.
IONITY network charges exclusively using green power
IONITY is a joint venture between the automobile manufacturers the BMW Group, the Ford Motor Company, the Hyundai Motor Group, Mercedes Benz AG, and the Volkswagen Group with its brands Audi and Porsche. For the first time, IONITY shareholders include a company from outside the automotive sector, the financial investor BlackRock*. BlackRock, headquartered in New York, operates globally and, through its Global Renewable Power platform, invests specifically in sustainable industries and companies with the highest possible growth potential. IONITY builds and operates an HPC network along European freeways with state-of-the-art technology and a charging capacity of up to 350 kW. This allows EV drivers to benefit from maximum charging speeds during their stopovers. As a sign of the company’s commitment to sustainability, customers charge their vehicles at all IONITY charging stations using completely renewable energy, making emission-free and carbon-neutral driving possible.