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Highway of the future charges up

IONITY has chosen ABB as its main technology partner and supplier to drive e-mobility to the next level across Europe

The pilot electric charging station on the A2 motorway in Neuenkirch, Switzerland
The pilot electric charging station on the A2 motorway in Neuenkirch, Switzerland

IONITY, which plans to build a network of electric vehicle service stations across Europe, has opened its first station in Neuenkirch, Switzerland on the A2 motorway. By 2020, it plans to operate a network of approximately 400 fast-charging stations across 24 European countries.


IONITY is a joint venture of BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche. It has chosen ABB as its main technology partner and supplier and has installed six of the company’s high-speed chargers, the Terra HP at the pilot project near Lucerne.


The 350kW Terra HP chargers can recharge for 200km in just eight minutes. They are the first Terra HP chargers in Europe to have liquid-cooled cables and employ the CCS charging format, one of the main industry standards. Terra HPs can also support the CHAdeMO DC fast-charging standard.


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”.


The pilot site in Switzerland was planned, engineered and built by Alpiq, a leading Swiss energy company and the largest energy service provider with a focus on European markets.


The total market for electrically chargeable vehicles in the European Union (EU) and EFTA (European Free Trade Association) expanded by 38.7 per cent in 2017 alone, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, demonstrating the need for investment in high-performance infrastructure to mobilise the growing generation of e-drivers in long-distance travel.


“The next generation of electric vehicles available from the end of 2018 will positively influence the way in which charging infrastructure develops,” said IONITY chief operating officer, Marcus Groll.


He added: “When the number of charging sessions or the number of electric vehicles in the market achieves a certain volume, the market will not be able to avoid using 350kW chargers on the long distance routes. This is where IONITY is building its 400 stations. Our customers can be on their way far more quickly as they will spend less time queuing to charge. Depending on vehicle capacity, IONITY customers can charge up to 400 kilometres in 20 minutes.”


IONITY is among the ambitious charging networks taking shape in Europe and elsewhere. In the US, ABB has been selected to supply its Terra HP charging stations for deployment by Electrify America, which plans to place hundreds of charging stations within and around 17 metropolitan areas and along multiple nationwide highway corridors.


ABB has approximately 7,000 connected, DC fast charging stations installed worldwide. Its product portfolio includes charging technologies for electric cars, buses and trucks, as well as solutions for the electrification of ships, railways and cable cars. It recently gifted the city of Zurich, where it is headquartered, with 30 fast-charging stations to celebrate its 30thanniversary.


If you like this, you might be interested in reading the following:


The gift of electric charging

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Swiss technology group ABB has given the city of Zurich 30 fast-charging stations for e-mobility

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ABB’s view of a smarter future

The company used its 2018 Pre-Light + Building media event to show how building, e-mobility and other solutions will change how we live

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Electrify America chooses ABB to power EVs

Terra HP 350kW chargers from ABB are the first public sites of their kind to launch across the US

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