Which Car Manufacturers are Deploying Charging Stations?

Electric vehicle infrastructure is growing but not at the pace everyone would like. Most of the funding for expanding the infrastructure comes from the government. Lately, however, car manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to fund the expansion.

Volkswagen and the European Joint Venture

Car manufacturers are working together to make sure Europe doesn’t fall behind in terms of EV infrastructure. Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW and Ford entered a joint venture last year to develop 400 charging stations across Europe. They aim to have all 400 built by 2020.

The auto manufacturers involved hope to ease their customers ‘range anxiety’ with the new stations. It’s also likely these manufacturers don’t want Tesla’s Supercharger network to steal the show in Europe. Financial figures for the investment haven’t been released yet, but it’s not likely to be cheap.

Volkswagen has also pledged to invest $2 billion in charging infrastructure over the next 10 years in the U.S. This investment is, essentially, a punishment for Volkswagen cheating U.S. emissions tests but still fantastic news for the EV industry.

Tesla’s Superchargers

Even more impressive than the joint venture mentioned above is Tesla’s supercharging network. At the moment, there are over 5,295 Superchargers at 823 locations worldwide. Tesla aims to almost double the number of Superchargers in operation by the end of 2017.

Tesla doesn’t just have more charging stations than any other manufacturer, they have faster ones. Well, faster than the majority of the chargers available to the public.

Things just seem to get better and better for Tesla customers. Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, has eluded that the next-generation Superchargers will be much, much faster.

Tesla Supercharger: Photo credit – Darren Berg (flicker)

Although the Supercharger network is, strictly speaking, electric vehicle infrastructure, it’s not for all EVs. The infrastructure is only available to Tesla customers. You can see all the charging stations currently operating here.

Tesla’s Supercharger network is already hugely impressive, but their next-generation chargers look poised to set the industry standard even higher.

Uber

Uber is the only company on this list that isn’t actually an electric vehicle manufacturer. But it’s investing in the infrastructure none the less. Uber plans to set up an unknown amount of own brand chargers in London to support their relationship with Nissan.

Uber trialed 50 Leaf’s last year and found the London charging infrastructure to be insufficient. This year, Uber and Nissan will be deploying a further 100 EVs. So, Uber has taken it into their own hands to ensure the infrastructure is up to scratch.

Thanks to Uber, there should be enough charging stations in London to handle the influx of Nissan Leafs that are coming.

Do you think we’ll start to see more manufacturers team up to ensure Tesla doesn’t run away with the EV market?

By Robert Bacon

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