A long-standing problem with electric vehicles of any kind is the question of range. Finding yourself out of charge could really ruin your day.
Tesla is on its way to ending this anxiety for its customers, who can use the growing Supercharger network, and now Volkswagen and BMW have taken steps to hit back against Elon Musk’s brainchild. The U.S. divisions of the two German heavyweights have agreed to work together on a network of 100 direct current (DC) fast-charging stations.
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In order to realize their aims, the two automakers are partnering with a startup called ChargePoint, which provides a network for gaining access to charging stations. The planned 100 stations will be integrated with the 20,000 existing stations on ChargePoint’s North American network.
“Many of our customers voiced the concern about availability of public chargers,” said Robert Healey, BMW’s head of EV infrastructure. “We listened to them and we have committed to building out the infrastructure. To do that efficiently, we need partnerships betweens OEMs.”
The majority of funding will be provided by the two automakers, with a smaller investment from ChargePoint. The construction of all 100 stations is expected to be completed by the end of this year. East coast stations will be located between Boston and Washington D.C., with west coast locations between Portland and San Diego.
Volkswagen And BMW collaboration in the electric vehicle industry
The fast charging ports will be compatible with any electric vehicle which uses the SAE Combo connector, the standard among American and European car manufacturers. In contrast, charging stations in Tesla’s Supercharger network can only be used by Tesla owners.
Tesla did open up its patents to the Supercharger system last year, but there has not been any evidence of electric car makers adopting the technology in order to benefit from the Supercharger network. Past reports did claim that Nissan and BMW were interested in sharing the charging technology, but a BMW spokesman would only say that the company has “committed to the SAE standard.”
With the electric car market predicted to continue growing, consumers would benefit from greater collaboration between manufacturers.