Independent, impartial advice for car buyers and car owners

Find an Expert Rating: 

Car makers join forces to charge EVs

New fast chargers for 400 European locations.

Our Expert Partners

Motorway 600x300

Sell your car with Motorway
Find out more

Cazoo 600x300

Find your next car with Cazoo
Find out more

ALA Insurance logo 2022 600x300

Warranty and GAP from ALA Insurance
Find out more

Motors 600x300

Find your next car with Motors.co.uk
Find out more

MotorEasy logo 300x150

Warranty, servicing and tyres from MotorEasy
Find out more

Mycardirect subscriptions – 600x300

Carsubscriptions from Mycardirect
Find out more


Four major car manufacturers have taken a big step towards creating a standardized method of charging electric vehicles.

BMW Group, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche, are planning a network of high-powered DC charging outlets on major long-distance travel routes throughout Europe.

Eventually the network will number around 400 locations, offering power levels of up to 350kW, which will significantly reduce charging times compared to those offered by current charge outlets.

Only cars fitted with the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) connector will be able to use the stations. CCS is described as compatible with most current and next-generation EVs, and with such a large swathe of the automotive market backing it the system will present a strong case for being adopted as an EV standard.

BMW and Volkswagen EVs already use CCS for charging, but typical of rival systems is ChaMeDo, used by Nissan, Peugeot and others.

According to those behind the plan the goal is to enable long-distance travel through open-network charging stations along highways and major routes, which has not been feasible for most battery electric vehicle drivers to date.

The charging experience is expected to evolve to be “as convenient as refueling at conventional gas stations.”

Such a network is considered essential to encourage the wider take-up of EVs among consumers. “This high-power charging network provides motorists with another strong argument to move towards electric mobility,” says BMW chairman Harald Krüger, while his counterpart at Audi, Rupert Stadler, adds; “We intend to create a network that allows our customers on long-distance trips to use a coffee break for recharging.”

The joint programme comes as the manufacturers plan great expansion in the number of electric vehicles they offer – Daimler alone intends to have 10 fully electric cars in its range by 2025.

The latest from The Car Expert

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.