BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagengroup, which includes Audi and Porsche, have announced Ionity as a joint venture (JV) that will develop and implement a high-powercharging (HPC) network for electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe.
Ionity will launch 400 HPC stations by 2020.
The team is set to grow to 50 by the start of 2018.
“The first pan-European HPC network plays an essential role in establishing a market for EVs,” says Hajesch.
“Ionity will deliver on our common goal of providing customers with fast charging and digital payment capability, to facilitate long-distance travel.”
A total of 20 charging stations will be opened to the public this year, located on major roads in Germany, Norway and Austria, at intervals of 120 km, through partnerships with service stations and convenience stores.
Through 2018, the network will expand to more than 100 stations, each one enabling multiple customers, driving different vehicle brands, to charge their vehicles simultaneously.
With a capacity of up to 350 kW per charging point, the network will use the European charging standard to reduce charging times compared with existing systems.
The Combined Charging System should ensure multibrand compatibility with current and future generation EVs.
Ionity’s brand-agnostic approach and Europe-wide distribution is expected to help make EVs more appealing.
BMW i3, South Africa’s most successful electric car, will now be available in Avis’ Point 2 Point fleet in Johannesburg.
This is the first time BMW i3 will be available in the car rental sector in South Africa. Point 2 Point is an Avis service that provides customers a professional destination chauffeur service in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
Avis recently purchased three BMW i3 cars for their Point 2 Point fleet and four BMW i8’s for their Luxury Fleet as part of their ongoing initiative to lower emissions and introduce alternative energy vehicles into its rental fleet.
Since its successful market launch in South Africa in March 2015, a total of 142 BMW i3s and 181 BMW i8s have been delivered to customers, making BMW i3 the most successful electric vehicle in the local market.
Internationally, the BMW Group has delivered more than 100,000 purely electric-powered cars and plug-in hybrids to customers worldwide. The BMW i3 alone has sold more than 60 000 units, making it the most successful electric vehicle in the premium compact segment.
“The local and global success of the BMW i models offers clear evidence of the growing interest in sustainable personal mobility. Achieving even greater market penetration of all-electric and plug-in hybrid drive systems depends not only on attractive cars but also committed rental companies like Avis,” says Mr Tim Abbott, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BMW Group South Africa and Sub-Sahara.
As part of the expansion of its 360° ELECTRIC portfolio for BMW i Home and Public Charging Services, BMW South Africa launched its first solar carport earlier this year, the first in the BMW Group.
“With the roll out of the BMW i solar carport, the BMW Group is demonstrating its commitment of shaping the future of individual mobility – not only with ground-breaking products and services, but also with the global as well as local involvement in the expansion of home and publicly accessible charging infrastructure for electrically powered vehicles. With innovative services like the solar carport, BMW is the first vehicle manufacturer to offer such a broad-based EV smart charging product to reduce costs for customers,” says Abbott.
BMW dealer Supertech Durban has been awarded a four-star Existing Building Performance Green Star Rating through the Green Building Council of South Africa.
This makes it the first local automotive dealership to have achieved the rating, which is valid for three years.
As part of the criteria for awarding the EPB rating, the GBCSA takes into consideration the indoor environment quality, electricity usage and savings, transport, water usage and recycling, materials, land use and ecology, emissions and innovation.
In June this year, the GBCSA awarded BMW South Africa a five-star rating for its environmentally friendly head office in Midrand, Gauteng.
“At the BMW Group, our approach to sustainability is holistic and focuses on implementing sustainability throughout the value chain and ensuring that it is firmly entrenched within our company structures,” said Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW Group SA.
“We are excited about Supertech Durban receiving this certification. It perfectly contributes to our group-wide environmental protection strategy of creating sustainable design of buildings and processes,” he said.
The 18 month-long application process was started in January 2014 and included many site visits from GBCSA, testing of processes, completion of documentation, and reviewing of utility bills, among other criteria.
Being one of the first BMW i dealerships in South Africa, it was a pre-requisite that Supertech Durban hold a GBCSA certification.
“We are very proud to be the first automotive dealership in South Africa to have been awarded this rating. It strengthens our principles and commitment of being a responsible business. We have a strategic partnership with ‘Don’t Waste Services’ in KwaZulu-Natal, who we work closely with to assist us in all our recycling requirements, from litter, oils, cloths to plastics and paper,” said Shabir Tayob, Managing Director of Supertech Durban.
Nissan and BMW will collaborate to advance electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) adoption in South Africa.
Nissan South Africa and BMW Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly plan and build a national grid of EV and PHEV vehicle charging stations for use by both Nissan and BMW vehicles.
“Our introduction of the 100% electric Nissan LEAF in 2013 was part of Nissan’s global drive to advance sustainable mobility and to grow the market for zero-emission vehicles. With this in mind we believe our partnership with BMW SA is a sound investment to create a future-
proof automobile industry,” said Mike Whitfield, MD of Nissan South Africa.
Mr Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW South Africa says industry wide cooperation is the key to the future success of electric vehicles. “A key imperative of our strategy is to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is rolled out to help increase consumer confidence in the viability of electric vehicles. We therefore believe that in order for the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles as well as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to be successful in this market, we need to work together. Our partnership with Nissan is the first step towards that.”
The agreement will see BMW SA and NSA roll out direct current fast-charging stations that are equipped with both the Combined Charging System 2 used by BMW’s electric and plug-in hybrid models and the Charge de Move system plug standards used by Nissan’s 100% electric LEAF.
The national grid of charging stations will also make use of smaller alternating current type vehicle chargers in certain regions, both manufacturers said. As part of the newly signed agreement, these chargers will be equipped with ‘Type 2′ sockets that allow the connection of all EVs and PHEVs.
Planning and building a national electric vehicle charging infrastructure will be managed by a joint task team comprising executives from both manufacturers.
BMW SA introduced its EV and PHEV models, the BMW i3 and the BMW i8 in March this year, while the LEAF was introduced in South Africa in 2013.
Last month, Joburg suburb Parkhurst said it aims to install electric car charging points as part of a Go-Green renewable energy initiative.
The suburb is planning to install four charging stations initially and is working with the City of Joburg on a way forward.
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