We have discussed with Dr. Michael Hajesch, CEO of Ionity, about their mission to build a pan-European High-Power Charging network for electric vehicles. Find more about how Ionity was born and how they plan to bring the future of mobility closer to the present, in the interview below:
R.M. Please tell us more about Ionity? How did it all start?
M.H. BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche formed the IONITY Joint Venture to build a pan-European High-Power Charging (HPC) Network for electric vehicles to make long distance e-mobility a reality. IONITY started operations in November 2017.
R.M. How many fast charging stations are you operating right now in Europe?
M.H. 14 stations live, 24 being built, 100 to be finished by the end of the year and 400 by 2020 in 24 European countries.
R.M. What are your expansion plans – do you target any new locations? Is Romania on the list?
M.H. As above, our network is expanding every week. It too early to say when our first station goes on line in Romania. But you can be sure that we are exploring possible sites as I write this.
R.M Can you tell us something about the prices and billing models?
M.H. At this stage (and with regard to DC charging) we have gone into the market offering a flat fee of 8 Euros per charging session. Once it is possible to calibrate DC charging poles we will be looking into billing on a kW/h basis. However as of today we charge a session fee of 8 Euros.
R.M. What do you think are the main challenges for the future of the electric mobility industry and how can companies work together to overcome them?
M.H. As a supplier of High-Power Charging infrastructure, it goes without saying that we believe that infrastructure both on long-distance routes and elsewhere will be key to making e-mobility more accessible. Making that infrastructure user friendly and attractive in every sense will provide further incentives to the consumer to purchase the next generation of EVs.
Clearly the car manufacturers are beginning to deliver exactly that: electric vehicles which are truly capable of all manner of journeys, be it the school run, the shopping trip or the pan European family holiday.
By working together with other manufacturers, we can provide a network, which is non-proprietary (ie open to all) and easy to use in every European country utilising the CCS (Combined Charging System) standard.