EV Cars

Ionna EV charging network competes with Tesla, first US stations in 2024

Thanks to thousands of highway fast-charging stations rolling out this year from a network called Ionna, electric car journeys could soon become a little easier.

Ionna, as it is called, is one Electric vehicle charging network jointly supported by seven car manufacturers, including an undisclosed amount from BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis. On Friday, the network, which previously went by the slogan “We Charge North America,” announced its name and confirmed that it has received regulatory approval and is officially launching.

Led by Seth Cutler, formerly of EV Connect and GE, Ionna aims to deploy at least 30,000 high-capacity electric vehicle fast chargers strategically located throughout North America to facilitate long-distance travel. However, last summer’s announcement emphasized that there would be charging stations at both urban and highway locations.

GM and Pilot Company's electric vehicle charging network

GM and Pilot Company’s electric vehicle charging network

The network was announced last July with plans for 350 kW connections as a starting point for its experience. At the time, the charging network told Green Car Reports that it was aiming for faster charging times and to “have the best charging performance available on the market and state-of-the-art charging at all times.”

Amenities and an “elevated customer experience” will be a focus of the network, with attractive locations offering restrooms, dining and retail “nearby or within the same complex.”

The first locations are scheduled to open in the USA in 2024, with Canada to be added later. The network also says the stations are “intended” to be powered by renewable energy. Therefore, expect more details as this may play a role in automakers’ sustainability efforts.

Brand-independent electric vehicle charging supported by car manufacturers?

Both GM And Mercedes Benz have announced separate, significant charging network efforts of their own, and both companies confirmed at the time that these networks were unaffected and independent of this. Some stations in the Ionna network may be competing for federal NEVI funding alongside these other efforts – and competing alongside the Tesla Supercharger network, with that network soon to be opened more broadly to other brands of CCS-standard electric vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz EV charging station in Sandy Springs, Georgia

Mercedes-Benz EV charging station in Sandy Springs, Georgia

According to the network, Ionna will be accessible to “all electric vehicles with NACS or CCS connectors” and will “enable seamless integration with participating automakers’ in-vehicle and in-app experiences, including reservations, intelligent route planning and navigation, payment applications , transparent energy management and additional functions.”

So far, Ionna has not revealed how clearly the network itself will be branded and how “open” it will be with its own name on the charging stations.

The network seems to have a lot in common Europe’s ionicity, which was introduced in 2017 by BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, VW and Audi and eventually conquered Hyundai and Kia. In this market, the network and its reliability helped make Europe a stronger market for electric vehicles than the US

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD

For the US, there has been no such rival with multiple automaker stakeholders. Electrify America was founded with $2 billion from Volkswagen Group demanded by VW’s diesel emissions fraud comparison, and so far Siemens is his only other corporate investor. Last year, Walmart split itself – EA’s former preferred location for its locations – and announced its own ambitious goals Coast-to-coast electric vehicle charging network. In recent months, Electrify America has also focused on a more upscale experience instead – with this week’s urban fast charging location as template.

For Ionna, the bar for charger reliability is higher

Scare off failed loadsalmost half of buyers Consider public charging a dealbreaker for electric vehiclesand a Open the Tesla Supercharger network These issues are unlikely to be resolved on your own. Elevated experience or not, reliability could ultimately be the factor that determines Ionna’s success – and whether automakers are able to use it to boost electric vehicle adoption.

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