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Ionna establishes headquarters in Durham, NC, to revolutionize EV charging infrastructure

The newly established headquarters will bring 203 jobs to the Durham area as part of a $10.1 million investment.

Late last year, seven major automakers—BMW, Honda, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and Stellantis—announced a joint venture to build accessible public DC fast charging infrastructure across the U.S. and Canada. The resulting company, Ionna, has now revealed its headquarters will be in Durham, North Carolina, featuring a “Quarterback Lab” designed to address charging issues, enhance customer support, and ensure interoperability testing. This strategic move signifies Ionna’s commitment to improving the EV charging experience in North America.

The newly established headquarters will bring 203 jobs to the Durham area as part of a $10.1 million investment, chosen over a competing location in Texas. Ionna plans to roll out its first DC fast chargers by the end of 2024, aiming to deploy over 30,000 chargers in urban areas, highway corridors, and popular vacation routes.

Ionna’s leadership, led by CEO Seth Cutler, focuses on customer and driver needs, viewing charging as a crucial part of the EV ownership experience. With extensive experience from GE Energy, Electrify America, and EV Connect, Cutler emphasizes the importance of building a robust and reliable charging network. Chief Product Officer Ricardo Stamatti, with a background at Stellantis, and other experienced executives from BP and Mortenson complete the leadership team.

The company sees the electrification process in four stages: the introduction of early EVs like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, the development of initial charging networks by companies like Tesla and EVGo, the post-COVID phase with softening EV demand and charging reliability issues, and the current stage where a comprehensive network of chargers and amenities is necessary for widespread EV adoption.

Ionna aims to provide a charging experience akin to traditional gas stations, featuring retail offerings, food, restrooms, and covered charging areas. This customer-focused approach will set Ionna apart in the growing EV market.

While Ionna initially planned to leverage federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021, which allocated $7.5 billion for EV charging, the company has adapted its strategy due to the slow deployment of funds through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program. Despite the political challenges and slow rollout of NEVI funds, Ionna remains committed to deploying over 30,000 chargers, with or without federal assistance.

Ionna is also open to expanding its consortium, hinting at potential partnerships with additional automakers, local and state governments, utilities, or retail partners to enhance its offerings. The company is fully committed to supporting the future of EV adoption and building a comprehensive infrastructure that meets the needs of EV drivers.

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