Hyundai Motor Group’s foray into the European electric vehicle market is expected to accelerate after European super-fast charging network Ionity, backed by South Korean auto mogul, raised $ 791 million during ‘a final round of funding to expand its electric vehicle charging network across Europe.
According to industry sources on Sunday, Ionity recently successfully raised 700 million euros ($ 791 million) in new funding from the world’s largest New York-based fund operator, BlackRock Inc.
Ionity, founded in 2017 and managed as a joint venture between automakers like Hyundai Motor, Kia, BMW and Ford, currently operates around 1,500 ultra-fast charging stations on highways in 24 European countries.
With this significant new funding, Ionity is expected to accelerate its plan to expand its ultra-fast charging network to 7,000, more than four times the current amount, on highways and other main roads in major European cities. The number of charging units at each station will also be added to an average of 12, more than double the current six.
Hyundai Motor and Kia currently hold a 20% stake in Ionity after approval by the European Commission last year. They first invested in the company in September 2019.
The addition of charging stations by Ionity is expected to help Hyundai Motor and Kia accelerate their penetration in Europe, which is the largest market for electric vehicles for Hyundai Motor and Kia. The two manufacturers sold 104,883 units combined from January to October in Europe, crossing for the first time the milestone of 100,000 units sold on the European market.
An expanded charging infrastructure could help Hyundai and Kia’s strategic electric vehicle lines better attract local customers. Ionity is now considering a project to transform its charging space on its own and provide a better charging experience for drivers by establishing stations and facilities in cafes, restaurants and shops.
Hyundai Motor and Kia have been active in securing the charging network with fast charging units and slow chargers also in Europe through their partnership with Digital Charging Solutions (DCS).
Their aggressive move in Europe could help the Korean auto giant make successful inroads into other electric vehicle markets, particularly the United States, where it has formed a strategic partnership with the super-fast charging network. local Electrify America (EA).
By Seo Jin-woo and Lee Ha-yeon
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