Volkswagen, Enel to Jointly Build 3,000 Fast Charging Points in Italy

German automaker Volkswagen and Italian energy company Enel established a joint venture to build 3,000 high-speed charging points across Italy for electric vehicles (EVs). The companies invested €100 million each for the project. The charging stations will be accessible to drivers of all EV models at 500 locations by the end of 2023, with a capacity of up to 350 KW.

According to current plans, Volkswagen is set to install by the end of 2022, 4,300 of planned 18,000 fast charging points in Europe; 3,700 of 10,000 in the U.S. and 8,000 of 17,000 in China. With these installations, the company will have built 16,000 fast-charging points worldwide, around a third of its target of 45,000 by 2025.

Volkswagen operates partnerships in Europe with BP and Spain’s Iberdrola and is a shareholder in fast-charging venture Ionity with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Hyundai.

The German automotive giant intends to convince consumers to switch to EVs, by ensuring there are enough charging points for EVs.

As a whole, Europe needs at least 3.4 million charging points by 2030, from an estimated 375,000 available at the end of 2021.

Renewable electricity must also be distributed across the charging grid at convenient times, coming to a cumulative cost of around €240 billion.

“The main challenge is making the energy available when it is needed,” CEO of Volkswagen Group Components Schmall said. “Energy storage will play a key role.”

Volkswagen will also roll out bidirectional charging, where cars can send energy from their batteries back into the grid, across most of its cars by mid-next year, Schmall added.

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