Hyundai and Kia announced Monday that they are investing in Ionity, Europe's 350-kilowatt charging network. They will join BMW Group, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen/Porsche in expanding charging station availability for vehicles with 800 volt on-board systems.
This partnership gives Hyundai the opportunity to develop vehicles with 800-volt systems that will be able to utilize the 350-kilowatt capacity of Ionity's network, which currently comprises 140 stations. Another 50 are currently under construction and the company plans to expand to an addition 200 sites by 2020.
It's Ionity's goal that its stations be no more than 120 km (75 miles) apart along major highways, guaranteeing that even small city cars will have sufficient range to travel between stations.
"Our participation in this joint venture reaffirms the Group’s commitment to future electromobility. I am confident that our work with Ionity will open a new era of high-power charging experiences, where charging will be seamless and easier than refueling for our customers," said Hyundai Product VP Thomas Schemera.
Ionity was formed in 2017 with the mission of developing a connected, high-output charging network for European EVs. The coalition was formed with 800-volt systems in mind, allowing for quicker charge times for vehicles like the Porsche Taycan and a forthcoming Hyundai EV.
Europe remains well ahead of the United States with respect to DC fast charging. Tesla's V3 Superchargers charge at up to 250 kw and have recently arrived in some markets. Most U.S. hardware caps at 150 kw.