FRANKFURT AM MAIN (AFP) – German carmakers BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Audi and US competitor Ford said on Tuesday they would cooperate on a Europe-wide network of electric charging stations.
“We intend to create a network that allows our customers on long-distance trips to use a coffee break for recharging,” Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler said in a statement.
The firms have signed a memorandum of understanding on the joint venture, planning to begin construction of some 400 high-speed charging stations across Europe in 2017.
Completion of the network is slated for 2020.
Hybrid and all-electric cars from any manufacturer using the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard will be able to use the stations, in a move aimed at boosting growth of electric car use on the continent.
German carmakers have lagged behind some competitors when it comes to introducing electric models.
The technology remains little-used in Europe, hobbled by high prices, the short range of the vehicles and a lack of recharging infrastructure.
But recent months have seen a fresh commitment from the industry, a pillar of Europe’s largest economy, to speed up the introduction of electric cars.