The electric car charging network has been given a massive boost with the opening of the UK’s first 350kW charging station.
The new Ionity site – located in Maidstone, Kent – is the first of 40 to open in the UK, with more to follow in Milton Keynes, Gretna Green and other locations. The company – a joint venture between Daimler, Ford, BMW and the Volkswagen Group – is planning up to 2,400 chargers across Europe by 2020.
Although no electric cars are currently capable of benefiting from the 350kW charge rate, next-generation EVs will take advantage of charging times as low as eight minutes.
In the meantime, current makes and models compatible with CCS chargers will be able to use the Maidstone charging point, which is located at junction eight on the M20.
Ionity’s network has been designed with pan-European travel in mind, hence the location close to the Channel Tunnel and cross-Channel ferry ports. Its UK stations are powered by 100 percent renewable energy.
‘Passionate about making e-mobility a reality’
Michael Hajesch, CEO of 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 350kW makes possible, this represents an important step towards making the environmentally friendly long distance journey an everyday reality.”
In a separate development, IONITY recently announced the opening of its 100th high-power charging station. The site in Rygge, Norway, offers six charging points with the potential to expand to 18 if required.
The opening of the UK’s first 350kW charging station is likely to bring new customers to the electric car market, as well as future-proofing the network for new EVs, such as the Porsche Taycan.
A network of rapid chargers located every 20 miles on motorways and A-roads is seen as a ‘trigger point’ for a new breed of electric car owners.