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Volkswagen invests in e-mobility group Hubject

VW joins a number of other manufacturers in this venture, including BMW, Daimler, Bosch and Siemens.

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen understands that improving access to electric-vehicle infrastructure is vital in this next generation of the auto industry. That's why it's throwing its weight behind Hubject, a group that aims to ease Europe into electrification.

Hubject's whole goal is to standardize certain parts of the electrification experience, namely mapping and payment. Hubject has a platform called eRoaming, which it will use to bring chargers together, even if they're across country borders or built by different companies. Making it easier to find and pay for charging will help smooth the transition to EVs, ideally.

Hubject started back in 2012 with six prominent founders -- BMW and Daimler from auto manufacturing, Bosch and Siemens from the tech sector and EnBW and Innogy from the energy industry. Hubject doesn't own any of its own chargers, but it helps those chargers work with one another, and the group claims that hundreds of companies around the world use its eRoaming platform.

This isn't Volkswagen's first time teaming up with BMW and Daimler for EV infrastructure. The three automakers, along with Ford, combined forces to invest in hundreds of fast chargers across Europe. The goal is to build 400 chargers initially, at charging speeds up to 350 kW, nearly three times the power of Tesla's Supercharger.

Volkswagen will also need the EV chargers for its own pursuits. It plans to launch some 30 electric vehicles over the next decade across VW Group's multiple brands. It's also launched a whole new ride-sharing brand, Moia, which will likely move to electric vehicles as they become available. With all these batteries in need of a charge, it's better to get ahead of the demand and start ramping up the infrastructure now.