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Hyundai, Kia join Ionity electric car charging network in Europe

The Ionity network started in 2017, founded by other automakers.

I predict we only have about five more years of these silly quasifuturistic names before we run out of 'em.

Automakers have nothing to do with the gas station you choose to fill your tank up at, but that's becoming increasingly different when it comes to electric car chargers, especially in Europe.

Across the ocean, BMW, Daimler (which operates Mercedes-Benz), Ford, Volkswagen and Porsche started Ionity, which aims to span the continent with chargers directly paid for with investments from the companies. This isn't Shell or BP setting up the network -- it's the automaker selling consumers electric cars to ensure adequate infrastructure is around. Now, Hyundai and Kia have gotten in on the deal.

Hyundai Group, which owns Kia, announced Monday that it has invested in Ionity and will gain equal shares with the founding automakers. Hyundai and Kia already sell a few electric cars and plug-in hybrids, but the automakers said this investment will directly benefit the cars of tomorrow. Come 2021, Hyundai plans to introduce 800-volt charging technology, which Porsche will pioneer with the Taycan electric sedan.

The architecture will allow for incredibly quick charging and can take advantage of Ionity chargers' max charging rate of 350 kW. If Hyundai's architecture can produce Porsche-like figures, cars will be able to juice to 80% charged in about 22 minutes.

Today, there are 140 chargers that span the Ionity network in Europe and 50 more are under construction as you read this. Through 2020, the figure will expand to 400 chargers with a goal of one charging station for every 75 miles of European highway. Each automaker hopes that a well-thought infrastructure will help ease the transition into electric cars. If there's a charging station every 75 miles, it makes a road trip far easier to accomplish.

Aside from the 800-volt charging technology coming in a couple of years, Hyundai Group said it has 40 "eco-friendly" models in the pipeline set to launch by 2025.

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