Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors have made a strategic investment in Ionity of Germany, the largest EV fast charging infrastructure developer in Europe.
The two companies have signed an investment and strategic business cooperation contract with Ionity to secure a 20 percent stake in it. The contract was signed at Ionity’s main office in Munich, Germany on Sept. 6.
Ionity is an EV fast charging technology leader jointly established by four automakers –-BMW Group, Daimler AG, Volkswagen Group and Ford Motor -- in November 2017. The company is aiming to build fast charging infrastructure across Europe. To date, the company has cemented its position as the largest fast charging company in Europe by completing the construction of more than 140 electric car charging stations in the European highway network.
Ionity’s EV charging infrastructure features 350 kw fast chargers. In the case of an EV with an 800V high-voltage charging system, charging time can be drastically reduced since a 350 kw fast charger can empower an EV to run more than 100 km after 3 minutes’ charging only. For example, it takes 54 minutes to charge 80 percent of the Kona Electric’s 64-kwh battery with a 100-kw fast charger. Hyundai and Kia’s investment in Ionity was made in line with their plan to launch EV models loaded with 800V charging systems after 2021. The two carmakers plan to accelerate the development of high-performance EVs as dynamic as sports cars.
Meanwhile, Europe is the largest electric vehicle market for Hyundai and Kia. In the first half of this year, more than 23,000 units of their EV models were sold in Europe, up 200 percent from a year earlier. The European EV market is continuing to enjoy rapid growth as it is expected to grow to about 300,000 units this year from about 210,000 units last year.