Ford Motor Company (F - Free Report) announced that it is teaming up with BMW AG (BAMXF - Free Report) , Daimler AG (DDAIF - Free Report) and Volkswagen AG (VLKAY - Free Report) (including Audi and Porsche) to set up an electric charging network in Europe based on Combined Charging System standard technology. The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim of creating a joint venture to build a large number of high-powered charging stations. This will promote the use of electric vehicles for long distance travel.
Per this target, most of the charging stations will be situated along highways and major thoroughfares. The chargers will have power levels up to 350 kilowatt to enable fast charging.
Construction of the charging stations will commence in 2017 with an initial goal of 400 locations. Within 2020, the companies aim to build a network of thousands of charging points. While Ford, BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen will have equal share in the joint venture as founding partners, they are open to the participation of other automakers.
Vehicles of all brands that are equipped with Combined Charging System will be able to use the charging network. This move is aimed at facilitating the adoption of electric vehicles in Europe.
Notably, the charging network will help these automakers to complete with Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA - Free Report) in the electric vehicle segment. Tesla is a leader in the EV market due to its attractive, technologically advanced products as well as a strong Supercharger network in North America, Europe and Asia. The electric vehicle manufacturer presently has 744 Supercharger stations with 4,703 Superchargers globally. These Superchargers deliver up to 120 kW of power.
All five automakers have delivered a negative performance over the last year due to the general weakness in the Zacks-categorized Auto-Tires-Truck industry.
The industry posted a 5.8% fall in price over the last one-year period, compared to a 4.2% gain recorded by the S&P 500 market.
BMW currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), while Ford, Daimler and Volkswagen carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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