UK’s most powerful electric car charging station opens

The UK’s fastest electric vehicle charging station has opened in Maidstone with the promise of replenishing batteries in just 20 minutes.

The 350kW chargers have been installed by Ionity, which is a joint venture between Daimler, Ford, BMW and the Volkswagen Group. It plans to open up to 2,400 fast chargers across Europe by 2020.

Ionity says the introduction of high-power charging stations is a vital step in encouraging more motorists to make the switch to electric. Until today, the fastest chargers available to UK motorists were rated at 150kW, while most are 50kW.

All electric vehicles can use the chargers, but there are currently no cars on sale that could take the full 350kW flow rate. The first EV to go on sale capable of charging at this speed is expected to be the Porsche Taycan in 2020, with the Audi e-tron the current fastest at 150kW.

Ionity is working with energy specialists Octopus Energy to ensure that 100 per cent of the electricity provided to its chargers comes from renewable sources.

Michael Hajesch, CEO of IONITY said: “We are delighted to be launching our network in the UK with our first station in Maidstone.

“As car manufacturers continue to launch electric vehicles with bigger batteries to provide a longer range, high-power charging is an essential part of the e-mobility transition process, thus making the e-journey a smooth and seamless experience.”

Andrew Edwards, group infrastructure director of Motor Fuel Group (MFG), which runs the forecourt that has installed the chargers, said: “The growth of the electric and hybrid vehicle market is an important part of the fuel mix going forward.

“MFG is determined to be at the forefront of this technology, satisfying this growing demand. The installation of these high-power chargers using renewable energy at Maidstone adds even greater momentum to the growing uptake of EV vehicles.”

Ionity was launched in 2017 as a joint venture between a number of major car manufacturers to create a network of fast chargers across Europe. The station in Maidstone is the first of 40 planned for the UK, with sites at Milton Keynes and Gretna Green currently under construction.