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First UK IONITY High Power Charging Station

The first UK IONITY High Power Charging Station has opened in Maidstone; IONITY is to open 40 UK sites, each with up to six 350 kW Chargers, and 400 stations are due to be installed in Europe by 2020, housing up to 2,400 chargers.

This means that drivers in the UK can now charge their electric cars in less than 20 minutes with renewable energy, thanks to IONITY’s 350kW charge network. IONITY is a joint venture between Daimler, Ford, BMW and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche, that aims to increase the feasibility of EVs by establishing convenient High-Power Charging (HPC) sites across the continent. The first UK station equipped with four High Power chargers, each capable of charging up to 350kW and located in Maidstone (M20 Junction 8), will soon be joined by locations in Milton Keynes and Gretna Green. IONITY’s Europe-wide charging network will see up to 2,400 chargers installed by 2020.

The network has been designed to enable pan-European travel, with a focus on ultra-fast charging times and convenient motorway locations. High Power Charging is widely regarded as essential to the increased adoption of electric vehicles, making long distance journeys far more viable than the much slower 50kW alternatives. With the latest generation of electric vehicles providing much improved performance, efficiency and comfort, the new network will ease range anxiety for existing and potential EV owners. IONITY’s 350kW UK charging network is future-proofed, delivering infrastructure capable of charging times as low as 8 minutes depending on the capacity of the vehicle’s battery, thus making e-mobility a convenient, reliable and everyday experience.

For all of its UK stations, IONITY is partnering with energy technology specialists, Octopus Energy to ensure the entire network is powered by renewable sources. Octopus Energy’s ‘Electric Juice’ will provide every charge point with 100% renewable energy, greatly reducing the environmental impact of a journey and providing peace of mind for environmentally conscious drivers. The Maidstone site is launched in partnership with Motor Fuel Group, the largest independent forecourt operator in the UK.

Michael Hajesch, CEO, IONITY said, “We are delighted to be launching our network in the UK with our first station in Maidstone. As car manufacturers continue to launch electric vehicles with bigger batteries to provide a longer range, High Power charging is an essential part of the e-mobility transition process thus making the e-journey a smooth and seamless experience. We are passionate about making e-mobility a reality, with drivers already taking advantage of our convenient stations across Europe. We selected Octopus Energy to provide 100% renewable energy for our network of 40 High Power Charging stations in the UK. Coupled with the new charging times that 350 kW makes possible, this represents an important step towards making the environmentally friendly long-distance journey an everyday reality.”

Founded in 2017, IONITY is a joint venture between BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche. Its brief is to create a network of powerful, reliable and accessible charging stations throughout Europe. It is universally accepted that a comprehensive charging infrastructure is essential for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. IONITY believes that e-mobility should be accessible for everyone and, by developing a pan-European fast-charging network, is investing in a simpler, cleaner and freer world.

The fast-chargers’ operating capacity of 350kW (the equivalent of turning on 3,500 100W lightbulbs at the same time) ensures that IONITY’s fast-chargers are future-proofed for the next generation of electric vehicles. The team is made up of 10 different nationalities and consists of senior executives from vehicle manufacturers, power generation engineers, start-up specialists, digital economy experts and everything in-between.

IONITY’s charging technology is able to directly convert AC power to DC via industrially-robust electronics before transmitting it straight into a vehicle’s battery at full velocity. Each charge point offers the potential of up to 350 kW. Smart logic inside the charger means all EVs equipped with CCS will automatically charge at the fastest rate their batteries can safely handle. A vehicle capable of the full 350 kW charging power can be charged in approximately 10- 15 minutes, significantly faster than it takes at more common 50 kW charging stations. All vehicles using the Combined Charging System (CCS), the most widely adopted EV charging standard in Europe, are compatible with the network.

Octopus Energy launched to the public in April 2016. It supplies 100% renewable energy to over 700,000 UK homes and businesses. It is the only Which? Recommended energy supplier. Founded by e-commerce entrepreneurs, Octopus Energy has a different starting point to other suppliers, aiming to redefine what is possible for consumers and the system by using technology and data to deliver the best products and experience. In 2018, Octopus Energy launched Octopus Electric Vehicles to bring together great offers on a handpicked range of the best electric cars available, a smart charger that saves customers money when they charge their vehicle, and 100% renewable electricity for their electric car and home. Octopus Energy also has a number of specialist EV tariffs, including Octopus Go and Electric Juice.