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IONITY’s Andreas Atkins has worked in the energy and services sector for over 18 years, working specifically in the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry for the last 10 of those. 

As Country Manager for UK & Ireland, his role is to ensure growth and work with site partners, such as motorway service area and fuel station operators, as well as with regulators and government, to drive forward the future of mobility.

IONITY is a joint venture by BMW Group, Mercedes Benz AG, Hyundai, Ford Motor Company, and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche.

On this week’s Mobility Moments, we speak to Atkins, about IONITY’s expansion and investment plans, plus EV charging in the future. 

“My story is a classic example of how, with EVs, we see a further convergence of the energy and transport sectors,” he tells Auto Futures.

Describe what IONITY is doing in the UK and Ireland?

Given that most of the fossil fuel cars and vans will be replaced by electric vehicles by 2035, it is crucial that the appropriate charging infrastructure is in place to enable the future of mobility. Our focus is motorways, which is why we’ve launched 18 High-Power charging locations in the UK and Ireland, most of which are located conveniently on Motorway Services, so customers can relax, grab something to eat or drink while they are charging their vehicle.

Each location has between four and six charging points delivering each up to 350kW, providing much-needed infrastructure for the e-mobility revolution that is green, reliable and fast. This year, we are continuing the roll out and enabling even more people to transition to an EV.


What are your expansion plans for these markets?

At IONITY, our aim is to enable electric vehicle travel across Europe, and make e-mobility an obvious and accessible option for anyone. We do this by installing and operating a pan-European network of 350 kW charging stations along motorways and key travel routes.

Each location has between four and six charging points of up to 350kW, providing much-needed infrastructure for the e-mobility revolution that is green, reliable and fast. We are continuing the roll out and enabling even more people to transition to an EV with many more charging stations planned within the next few years.

Now we have almost reached the milestone of 400 locations across Europe.

We want to ensure that confidence increases in the infrastructure supporting EV driving, therefore we invest heavily in ensuring the best possible charging infrastructure is in place to support EV uptake across the UK and Europe.

How fast is IONITY’s network growing in mainland Europe?

2019 to 2020 saw a near 100% growth rate year on year in the number of charging sites across Europe, including the UK. From 2020 to date in 2021 maintains a very high growth rate of 50% year on year.

How does IONITY differentiate itself from rival charging networks?

As a joint venture of international car manufacturers, IONITY brings a wealth of expertise in engineering and technology, which is used to constantly improve charging technology in both vehicles and chargers to ensure maximum reliability. Also, access to the IONITY network at attractive rates is possible if you have a car manufactured by one of the shareholders’. 

IONITY’s high-power chargers are the most powerful ones on the market, with a charging capacity of up to 350kW — which is future proof for all cars. In addition, charging at IONITY is a straightforward and effortless experience as it combines a multi-language touchscreen interface, fast and secure on the spot payment options and 24/7 customer service hotline in seven European languages so that customer experience is consistent across Europe.

Lastly, we only work with energy partners that supply 100% renewable energy to the grid. That way IONITY can offer a way to make EV travel not only emission-free but truly carbon-neutral and with this providing a positive contribution to the overall goal of decarbonising mobility in general.

Charging Hyundai Kona 02

In the light of the UK fuel crisis, how could the logistics/delivery sector benefit from going electric?

Converting to EV’s opens up a wider range of charging (fuelling) options to drivers. It is not centred around delivery of a liquid fuel to a hub (petrol station) where drivers also have to travel to. There is much more flexibility on where, how, and when you can fuel, for example, consumers can charge at home, work and destinations, as well as public rapid charge hubs like IONITY.

This flexibility also extends into the energy ecosystem further demonstrating this convergence of transport and energy. The batteries in the cars can help balance the grid and flexibility.

Specifically, to the logistics and delivery sector, the ability to charge overnight at depots introduces a new dynamic.

What else can be done to eradicate range anxiety?

The focus, for now, is to relieve the biggest pain of consumers, which is range anxiety by building and operating our network. This is the MUST requirement to ensure the best customer experience as possible. We will be adding new products and services in the future to support customers and relieve their anxieties about EV travel.

Another key element to help eradicate range anxiety is more EV model options for consumers with improved and faster charging technologies..

What will EV charging be like by 2030?

A mix of charger technologies in a mix of locations to accommodate the full spectrum of charging needs. Both private and commercial vehicles. People will charge their car like their mobile phone, when you are at a venue or home you plug in and charge.

Then you have solutions such as IONITY that complement this by enabling longer distance inter-city travel in an easy, simple and fast way.

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