K Group and IONITY to bring high power electric car charging stations to Finland

K Group and IONITY will establish three high power charging (HPC) stations for electric cars in Finland. The charging stations, which are the most powerful on the market, will be located at K Group store sites on key motorways running from Helsinki towards Turku, Tampere and Lahti. The HPC stations will be part of IONITY’s Europe-wide network and will complement the K Charge network announced by K Group earlier in June.

The high power charging (HPC) stations offer a charging capacity of up to 350 kW, which means an electric car can travel some 300 kilometres on a single, full-power 15-minute charge. The fast chargers currently on the market offer a charging capacity of 50 kW. Each of the three HPC stations will provide charging points for four cars.

“K Group wants to bring the new age of mobility to everyone in Finland. Charging points situated at our store locations will blend seamlessly into the everyday lives of our customers. We are thrilled to launch this cooperation with IONITY, as it will enable us to provide fast and efficient electric car charging on Finland’s busiest motorways, where people tend to drive for long distances. It will also connect Finland to IONITY’s extensive high power charging network across Europe,” says Johan Friman, President of Kesko’s car trade division.

IONITY is a joint venture by Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler and Ford, and aims to build an extensive network of powerful and easy-to-use electric car charging stations along major routes across Europe. The network is to consist of some 400 HPC stations by the year 2020. The stations will use the European charging standard CCS, with cross-brand compatibility.

“Our partnership with K Group is absolutely in line with our strategy of working with strong partners with great locations. K Group understands our needs and our vision of making electromobility a realistic proposition for many more customers in the future. It is good to have this kind of partner,” says Dr. Marcus Groll, COO of IONITY.

Details of the HPC station locations and the project schedule will be announced later.

Public charging points the preferred option for electric car charging

The collaboration with IONITY is one of the ways in which K Group is blazing a trail for the new age of mobility. Earlier in June, K Group announced it will build a nationwide network of electric car charging points in Finland.

“The majority of K Group customers, i.e. 59%, expressed a wish in our customer survey* to have more public charging points in Finland.  When people are able to charge their electric cars conveniently during a shopping trip or a coffee break, they do not need to make additional stops,” says Heikki Ahdekivi, Vice President in charge of new business development and the charging network in Kesko’s car trade division.

A sufficiently extensive and powerful public charging network will make electric cars a viable option for an increasing number of people. At its best, a public network can meet all charging needs: with the rapid development in electric car charging technology, one weekly charge will be enough for many drivers.

*) Source: Online survey conducted in K Group’s Kylä customer community (17–24 April 2018, n=1171)

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