BMW's speedy, stylish EV chargers will spread across Europe

They'll be crucial for the next wave of electric cars.

Who said EV chargers had to be plain and utilitarian? Not BMW. Its Designworks team has been tapped to create ultra-fast 350kW chargers for Ionity's Europe-wide network, and you might actually enjoy using them. They're designed to be "inviting" with a bright, simple look that revolves around a giant, easy-to-use touchscreen and a signature halo of light. We wouldn't quite call them fashionable, but they won't be off-putting boxes, either.

Of course, the real allure is having access to high-speed chargers in the first place. Ionity (which includes BMW, Daimler, Ford and VW) hopes to have 400 of these stations up and running in Europe by the end of 2020, creating a network that should top up next-generation EVs at a record pace. The 350kW output is more than twice that of Tesla's 145kW Superchargers and should dramatically reduce top-up times with compatible cars (Porsche's Mission E will add 250 miles of range in 20 minutes). BMW's design mainly promises to make this technology friendlier to drivers, many of whom are likely to be first-time EV owners.