Italy is set to witness a boost in electric vehicle adoption as Volkswagen and Enel X has joined forces to address a common anxiety of potential EV buyers. The two companies are going to form a joint venture (JV) that will set up 3000 ultra-rapid charge points in the European country.
The JV will is to be named Charging Point Operator (CPO) and it will deploy the charge points between 2021 and 2025. Each charger will be capable of delivering 350 kW. CPO will operate and maintain the charging network.
The plan is to make cross-country driving in an electric vehicle a possibility in Italy. Most of the about 700 charging stations or locations will be located at city centers, on main urban roads and other major roads. Drivers will be able to get enough charge to continue their journey within 20 minutes.
All the chargers will be open to electric vehicles from other brands. Enel X will make its mobility technologies and other expertise available for the project. Enel X and Volkswagen are equal partners in the JV.
Meanwhile, the joint venture is still awaiting approval from relevant Italian authorities. The country’s antitrust authority for example will have to give its approval. Volkswagen is targeting to own or partially own 18,000 High Power Charging (HPC) points in Europe, 10,000 in North America and 17,000 in China by 2025. This means a total of 45,000 charge points within a span of 5 years.
This is going to be happening in tandem with the company’s electrification goals. Volkswagen is in the process of transitioning to an electric vehicle maker. The charging network expansion is part of its play to make electric vehicle ownership convenient. According to a statement credited to the German automaker:
“Volkswagen Group also intends to offer customers a one-stop solution from charging hardware to Energy Management Services. Ultimately, the Group plans to build an entire charging and energy eco-system around the vehicle, ensuring convenient charging to customers and opening up further business opportunities. These technologies and services will become a core Volkswagen Group competency.”