Motivated by the success of US rival Tesla, top car makers in Germany have agreed to jointly invest in thousands of ultra-fast charging sties across Europe. The fast charging sites will help the consumers accept electric cars and make it a more viable alternative to fossil fuel vehicles. Tesla has received hundreds of thousands of preorders for their mass production Model 3 and a factor contributing to that success is the amount of fast charging sites they had produced all over the United States and Canada. Although they are mostly concentrated on on both the East and West coasts of the continent and major metropolis hubs, they are situated in a strategic position where it is possible to go cross country using the ultra fast charging sites. Tesla electric car models come with personalized GPS that locate these ultra-fast charging locations and helps plan the driver's trip accordingly.
To counter Tesla's success, Volkswagen and its Audi and Porsche luxury brands, BMW, Daimler and Ford's European division are planning a joint venture to fund a network of ultra-fast charging sites across Europe. The six automakers said in a joint statement published on Tuesday that they plan to start setting these fast charging sites next year. The plan is to create 400 additional charging sites in a first step and by 2020, ensure there are thousands of charging points for their consumers. The network will be based on combined charging system technology, enhancing existing AC and DC charging standards and allows for ultra-fast power levels of up to 350 kilowatt hours. "The availability of high-power stations allows long-distance electric mobility for the first time and will convince more and more customers to opt for an electric vehicle," quoted from Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche. Analysts across the automotive industry predict the rise of electric cars in popularity and practicality over the next decade due to technological advances in battery power and reduction of price plus the Volkswagen emissions scandal which has ignited a huge backlash against not only diesel-engine vehicles but all fossil fuel emissions.
Tesla recently announced they will no longer offer free ultra-fast charging to newly purchased vehicles on or after January 1st, 2017 and the vehicle must be delivered before April 1st, 2017 which eliminates any possibility for unlimited free charging for the Model 3 patrons which will receive their vehicles in the latter half of 2017. Although they announced they will be charging use of their super charging stations after roughly the first 1000 miles for free, it did little to dissuade Tesla Model 3 preorder owners. The reason being the ultra fast charging sites are only meant for long-distance travel. Most people can conclude their daily affairs in a round trip all within one charge - only to return home and charge their vehicles again. The fact that people do not mind being charged for ultra fast charging sites is a huge bonus for these six automakers. They can provide revenue which can be used in upkeep and maintenance and expansion of the charging network. The six automakers said they will all be equal partners in the project and has asked other competitors to participate in the project, they also announced they will be cooperating with regional partners.