IONNA Nationwide BEV Charging Network Gets Approved

February 21st, 2024 by


Initially announced in July 2023, several major automakers entered into a joint venture to build a high-powered EV charging network across North America. Called “IONNA”, this is possibly one of the largest joint ventures in the auto industry to date. Composed of seven of the world’s foremost automakers: BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and Stellantis, the goal is to build a new national charging network. The need to meet the growing number of battery-electric vehicle (BEV) models being produced with charging stations is imminent, and in 2024, IONNA received approval from regulatory authorities to start producing the most accessible and reliable high-powered charging networks.

With the goal of deploying at least 30,000 chargers, this will nearly double the amount of DC fast chargers currently available to consumers in the United States – a total of 32,000 are currently located throughout the nation. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a mere 60k battery-electric vehicle charger is not quite enough. We need closer to 182,000 DC fast chargers if the auto industry isn’t going to collapse under the weight of the estimated production by many automakers going electric by 2030, with about 30-42 million units sold.

The IONNA charging network will be powered by renewable energy to keep them always capable of recharging BEVs without causing harm to the environment. A promise backed by the world’s leading automakers, resources to build the chargers in this new network will also be sustainable. The joint venture planned to begin operations starting this summer (2024), so it seems that IONNA is right on track. Some of the first charging stations will open in the United States, followed by expansion into Canada at a later stage. First, we need to see high-powered chargers at various sites that can recharge BEVs quickly for long-distance journeys. It all comes down to developing and changing North American infrastructure in cities and highways to support fast-charging as practical as fast-charging smartphones.

IONNA’s charging network will also focus on the consumer experience. Meeting the North American Charging Standard for BEV connectors and Combined Charging System design for BEV connectors, the IONNA charging network will be accessible to everyone. Charging sites won’t just be barren locations with multiple charging stations like we see today. Initially, we’re thinking BEV charging stations, and eventually, rest sites where consumers can recharge their car and themselves with various amenities, such as restrooms, food service, and retail operations. There will even be canopies to make charging up more comfortable, instead of having the sun beating down on us while we wait to recharge.

This also means making charging stations more digital to create a seamless, vehicle-consumer integrated charging experience via in-vehicle and in-app experiences. IONNA will also build on many of the features popping up in modern BEVs, such as intelligent route planning and navigation for marking charging stations nearby, payment applications, transparent energy management, and more. It’s too bad construction might not happen until the summer, because automakers are producing BEVs in high volume now. The Kia Corp has already announced six BEV models in the span of twelve months – EV5, EV4, EV3, and the recent Kia EV8 in addition to the EV6 and EV9.

Want to keep up with Kia and news about the IONNA BEV charging network? Follow along with us on Miami Lakes Automall social media. Learn why the fuss about BEVs is slowly growing by checking out a new Kia EV6 or Kia EV9 at Miami Lakes Automall today.

Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media
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