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Ionity plans 400 electric car charging stations in Europe by the end of 2020

FILE PHOTO: A charging station for electric cars is depicted on the 89th Geneva motor show in Geneva, Switzerland, March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

STUTTGART, Germany (Reuters) – Ionity, the European electric vehicle charging joint venture of Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler and Ford, is on track to install 400 charging stations in Europe by the end of 2020 and has plans for more.

Ionity, which is not yet profitable, it is aiming to install 400 charging stations by the end of next year, each with approximately 6 individual charging spots. It has so far installed 63 stations, with a further 52 are under construction.

The group is specialized in the ultra-high-speed charging along the European highways to try to address the issue of range, which, together with the price, it is still seen as a reason for why the demand for electric vehicles subject so far.

“There is a lot of dynamism, the activity will be high,” Ionity Chief Executive Michael Hajesch told reporters late on Wednesday. “The expansion plans are currently being prepared,” he added.

This could include more and larger charging stations along the motorways but also on busy roads in and outside of the major urban areas where the demand for charging infrastructure is the highest, Hajesch said.

He said that competition in the electric vehicle charging infrastructure space, where the players range from multi-national oil companies and engineering conglomerates, utility companies and automobile manufacturers, would continue to rise in the coming years.

Earlier this year, Shell acquired the US-based Greenlots, after the acquisition of NewMotion in 2017, which has established that the oil group as one of the largest players in the field.

The International Energy Agency estimates that the number of electric cars on the road to increase to 125 million in 2030, boosting the demand for the chargers. There were almost 3 million private chargers at home and in the workplace, and about 430,000 public chargers in 2017, according to IEA estimates.

Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; writing by Christoph Steitz. Editing by Jane Merriman

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