Group's joint plan a boost for electric vehicles
The push towards a major increase in the use of electric cars is taking a significant step forward, with the announcement of a deal by several carmakers to collaborate on establishing charging stations along major European highways.
The group includes BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen.
They say they plan to set up charging stations for electric vehicles along major highways in Europe.
The development is seen as an important step in helping far more widespread usage and ownership of electric vehicles.
The companies signed an initial agreement to create the charging network in what is being described as an "unprecedented collaboration."
They want to get a big number of charging stations up and running as quickly as possible, so people won't be concerned about running out of power.
They say the network will have 'ultra-fast' high-powered charging ability.
Levels will range up to 350 kW and will, they say, be 'significantly faster' than the most powerful charging systems deployed today.
They intend starting next year with 400 sites planned.
But they say that, by 2020, EV customers should be able to use thousands of charging points.
The group add: "The charging experience is expected to evolve to be as convenient as refuelling at conventional gas stations."
The network will be based on Combined Charging System (CCS) standard technology.