Automotive giant Volkswagen and Enel X, the advanced energy services arm of energy company Enel Group, announced today the formation of Charging Point Operator (CPO), a new joint venture aimed at developing and operating an electric vehicle high power charging network across Italy.

CPO expects to own and operate a network of more than 3,000 high power charging (HPC) points of up to 350 kW each, with investment and deployment anticipated between 2021 and 2025. Targeted for city centers, main roads and main extra-urban roads, the charging network will be open to all drivers of any electric vehicle from all manufacturers.

According to Volkswagen and Enel X, the new network aims to provide a fast and comfortable charging experience while traveling, reduce range anxiety among EV drivers, and enhance the uptake of electric vehicles among urban drivers that do not have private parking facilities. The high power charging points are designed to charge mid-sized vehicles in 20 minutes.

Francesco Venturini, Enel X CEO, said:

“We share with Volkswagen a joint vision on global electrification of transport, so a partnership with them came naturally for us: the energy transition requires teamwork. The EU auto industry and the energy sector have the required expertise and means to make the energy transition happen as quickly as possible, with the electrification of transportation as one of its main avenues. Towards this aim, we are joining forces with Volkswagen and the overall auto sector in the design and implementation of electric mobility solutions that are accessible and convenient for all drivers, as well as being safe and sustainable.”

For Volkswagen the new agreement forms part of its ambition to expand charging networks across Europe and around the world. In a separate statement today, the company stated that it will implement an overall of 18,000 HPC points in Europe, 17,000 in China and 10,000 in U.S. and Canada.

Thomas Schmall, member of the Volkswagen AG Board of Management responsible for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, said:

“Volkswagen’s aim is to boost charging infrastructure around the world. The joint venture with Enel X will install more than 3,000 high power chargers at about 700 locations. This is a big step for e-mobility in Italy and in Europe. By 2025, Volkswagen initiatives will provide 18,000 High Power Charging Points on the continent – this makes up one third of the necessary High Power Charging infrastructure in Europe. Drivers of any Volkswagen BEV as well as any kind of electric vehicle from other manufacturers can benefit from these initiatives.”