This week, at the 24-TOTAL-Autohof Lutterberg rest stop, along the A7 highway in Germany (between Kassel and Göttingen), a large DC fast charging station was opened with 20 stalls. One might say it's not a big deal, as we already saw larger stations many times, but let's take a closer look.

First of all, the site consists of chargers from two networks - Tesla Supercharging network and IONITY network. The presence of different operators at a single location is not accidental, because this is a strategic location. We have seen similar examples elsewhere as well.

This new installation displays one major thing - the different approach. As we can see, there are 16 Superchargers (V2 with up to 150 kW output - shared between each two stalls) and just four 350 kW IONITY chargers (with an option of two more).

It's quite interesting that Tesla installs more chargers per site. In Germany, the company already installed close to 80 stations - the biggest has 22 stalls, while 24 are equipped with at least 10 stalls, according to the

IONITY is quickly approaching a similar number of stations, but it seems that it limits itself to 4 chargers per site, at least in the majority of cases.

Fast charging station in Germany (source: 24-Autohof)
Fast charging station in Germany (source: 24-Autohof)

Another difference is the charging output. IONITY is going all the way up to 350 kW and 800 V, while Tesla stays at about half the voltage and 150 kW. Moreover, every two stalls share power from a charger. so far does not show any V3 Superchargers in Germany, which are rated at 250 kW and are able to provide full 250 kW to each stall, regardless of power usage at an adjacent stall.

Availability is another difference - Tesla Superchargers are only for Tesla cars, while IONITY is a more open network, for all vehicles, compatible with the CCS Combo 2 standard.

In terms of pricing, there's no surprise here. Tesla seems to not charge much per kWh (some models are offered with free Supercharging), while IONITY set quite a significant price of €0.79 per kWh for customers without contracts - those with contracts with Connected Mobility Service Providers, can replenish energy way cheaper:

As far as we know, Tesla did not join the IONITY bandwagon as a Connected Mobility Service Provider, which means that both networks (or maybe rather Tesla as an EV manufacturer and the group of manufacturers behind IONITY*) are basically fortified behind their moats.

* - IONITY is a joint venture founded for the European market in 2017 by BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Porsche AG. In 2019 the endeavour was joined by the Hyundai Motor Group.

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