Ionity, an electric vehicle fast-charging charging network provider whose owners include Daimler AG and Volkswagen Group, has scored a €700 million ($783 million) investment from BlackRock Global and existing shareholders to expand its footprint across Europe.
The company, which was founded in 2017, installs ultra-high-speed EV charging stations. It was launched as a joint venture between a coalition of major automakers that includes Hyundai Motor Group, Ford and BMW. The investment will allow Ionity to increase the number of charging points to 7,000 by 2025 -- a more than four-fold increase from the 1,500 that are installed today.
The new charging stations will be situated on highways and other major roads as well as near major cities. Six to 12 charging points will be at each location, Ionity said in a statement. The firm is also planning on adding more charging points to existing sites with high demand.
Ionity's planned expansion includes owning and operating full service stations for drivers to "recharge" while charging their vehicles. These stations, a concept it's calling “Oasis,” are similar to roadside rest stops today.
BlackRock is the first non-automotive company to invest in Ionity, through its Global Renewable Power equity investment vehicle. The investment management company raised $4.8 billion for the fund in April, a sign that institutional investors are increasingly interested in decarbonization technologies.
Its investment also speaks to the growing surety amongst powerful investment players in the forthcoming electric revolution in transportation. Thus far, BlackRock has mostly invested in onshore and offshore wind, and solar-powered projects, so its interest in EV charging is notable.