After a rather unsavory experience with charger availability when he took the all-electric ID.3 out on a summer road trip, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess criticized electric vehicle (EV) charging company Ionity, which is partly owned by the automaker — reports Business Insider.
Diess was thoroughly disappointed, citing everything from “too few charging points” to ones being available being poorly maintained, plus charger installations not providing an impressive or even pleasant user experience.
Ionity, a joint venture between Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, and Ford, presents itself as a direct competitor to Tesla’s network of Superchargers. However, Deiss’ brush with the company’s charging network says it is anything but.
The VW CEO was unable to find a working EV charging station along the entirety of Brenner Pass, which is a busy thoroughfare that passes through the Alps and connects Italy and Austria. There were only four stations situated along the 22-mile pass, one of which had an extremely long wait time due to heavy traffic.
Tesla, on the other hand, already has 6,000 Supercharger stations across Europe at 600 different locations.
An Ionity charging installation in Trento, in northern Italy, did not have a bathroom or basic amenities, and also had a number of charging points that were out of order or otherwise broken, detailed Diess.
In contrast, Tesla makes it a point to build Supercharger stations with a wide variety of amenities close by, and maintenance and upkeep is diligently looked after.
While the ID.3 is a car embroiled in a perpetual battle with Tesla’s Model 3 for best-selling EV in Europe, can an electric car truly entice potential buyers and cultivate market share if it isn’t backed up by a strong, comprehensive charging network?
This is far from the first time someone’s experience in a non-Tesla EV has revealed a massive gap between Tesla’s charging solution and the competition, and proved that the Supercharger network takes the cake.
Diess might not have to wait too long for the “premium experience” Ionity’s charging stations failed to provide — Tesla plans on opening its Supercharger network up to other EVs later this year. Non-Tesla vehicles are expected to pay a bit more than your average Tesla, though.
Nehal has a passion for everything tech — from electric vehicles to the latest smartphones, and everything in between. Click here to get 1,000 Tesla Supercharger miles free with your next Tesla purchase.