Driving an electric vehicle is fun, but recharging it easily is also important. This is why several major car manufacturers (BMW, Ford, Daimler AG and Volkswagen) have founded Ionity GmbH, a company specializing in the management of charging stations throughout Europe. In good news for electric mobility, it is Hyundai and Kia's turn to join the initiative.
Increased sales of electric cars
The Frankfurt Motor Show is taking place this week. It is, therefore, the perfect opportunity for manufacturers to showcase their projects and efforts in the field of electric mobility. The investment of Hyundai Motor (20 percent of Ionity), the largest South Korean automotive group with the Hyundai and Kia brands, will therefore not only delight electric vehicle owners but also stimulate sales of its electric models.
"Our participation in this joint venture reaffirms the Group's commitment to future electromobility," said Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President at Hyundai Motor Group.
#IONITY, the joint venture between BMW Group, Ford Motor Company, Daimler AG, and the Volkswagen Group with Porsche AG, today welcomes new shareholder Hyundai Motor Group on board – accelerating IONITY’s mission to make long distance EV travel across Europe a reality.#emobility pic.twitter.com/Q8VVKfFZJC— IONITY (@IONITY_EU) September 9, 2019
Competition for Tesla and the Superchargers
In addition to making road travel easier for electric vehicle owners, this partnership aims to increase the group's sales of electric vehicles and compete with Tesla in Europe. The American manufacturer has been very successful in Europe since the launch of the Model 3 and also has the largest network of charging stations (currently 1,604 stations), the latter being only compatible with the brand's vehicles.
At the moment, IONITY operates nearly 140 charging stations and about 50 are under construction. The company aims to reach 400 stations by 2020. A pretty small number compared to Tesla. Worse, if the power of IONITY chargers is excellent (max power of 350 kW), many users complain on social networks and forums about the difficulties sometimes to charge their vehicles correctly because of a complicated process (applications, regulations, problems with certain models) and stations sometimes broke down.
With its investment, Hyundai (and Kia) will (hopefully) be able to rectify these teething problems and improve the mobility industry and the use of electric vehicles, while strengthening its position in the European EV market.
Have you ever used an IONITY charging station?