E.ON is partnering with Danish charging start-up Clever to build a network of fast-charging stations across the European road system, in a bid to facilitate a more attractive market for electric vehicles.

The partnership is to use a $12m fund provided by the EU to construct 180 stations stretching from Italy to Norway, Clever said Friday in a statement. The first stations in Germany and Denmark will open before the summer, with others following to create charging points at least every 180 kilometres (112 miles) and enable cross-continental road trips.

Car manufacturers are investing heavily in electric vehicles in response to increasing pollution standards that threaten traditional fossil powered autos.

Tighter carbon-dioxide limits are set to take effect in 2021 and the EU last week proposed a further 30 per cent reduction in auto emissions by 2030, increasing the pressure on the region’s automakers.

“We have to be ready for the mass adoption of electric vehicles,” Casper Kirketerp-Moller, chief executive officer of Clever told Bloomberg. “We need infrastructure and we need to reduce range anxiety. What we lack is a network connection cities and countries.”

The plan mirrors a similar effort by leading European carmakers. Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG have teamed up to offer a charging network of about 400 stations by the end of the decade. The rare investment by carmakers in infrastructure reflects the strains on the manufacturers to ease consumer concerns about usability of battery-powered vehicles.

Clever, which operates 1,500 stations in locations across Scandinavia and northern Germany, will set up the new highway stations to recharge car batteries in as little as 20 minutes. The facilities will accommodate two to six cars and mainly be located at rest stops on the highway.