Ionity’s fast-charging network expanded with new site near Leeds

By Darren Cassey, PA Motoring Reporter

Ionity’s latest fast charging location for electric vehicles has opened on the M1 near Leeds.

Drivers visiting the new Leeds Skelton Lake Services on junction 45 will now have access to the Ionity 350kW chargers, which the firm claims could charge electric vehicles to full capacity within 20 minutes.

However, the chargers have been designed to be future proof, because no EVs on the market can currently charge at the speeds it is capable of delivering. The Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron are the current fastest, at 225kW and 150kW respectively.

The Leeds Skelton Lake site is the first in the UK to receive the latest generation Ionity chargers. They feature lighting to provide customers with information about the charging status of the battery, while further lighting makes them easier to use at night. The design and position of the charge cable is also said to make it easier to attach to the car than existing units.

Marcus Groll, chief operating officer at Ionity, said: “Our continued expansion of the Ionity network in the UK signals our strategic commitment to enable long distance EV travel and to break down perceived barriers to EV usage in the UK.

“Drivers travelling to or via Leeds can rapidly recharge their vehicles with 100 per cent renewable energy. Our network will bring 40 High Power Charging stations to the UK, providing much-needed infrastructure for the e-Mobility revolution.

“The reality is that 50kW chargers no longer offer customers fast enough charging on motorways and key travel routes and will therefore not facilitate the transition to e-Mobility.”

Ionity is a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz, Ford, BMW Group, and the Volkswagen Group. It plans to establish 400 fast charging stations across Europe, with 40 in the UK, to make long distance and pan-European EV travel more viable.