Electric vehicle charging network IONNA has a new home – and some new leaders.

IONNA – a joint venture founded by a coalition among automakers BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Kia and Stellantis – has selected Durham, N.C., as its global headquarters, which the company said in a news release allows it to accelerate its 2024 launch plans.

CEO Seth Cutler said Durham, part of North Carolina’s Research Triangle region, provides IONNA with “the ideal backdrop” for its operations.

“The area’s established history of research and innovation, and its vibrant growing community, make it the perfect place for IONNA to join, thrive and pioneer,” Cutler said in a news release. “I’m excited to grow a cross-industry team that will deliver the IONNA vision from our new home base.”

IONNA was created to develop and deploy a nationwide network of EV charging stations with “cutting-edge technology, retail integration, amenities and unparalleled customer service,” the company said. Its goal is to deploy more than 30,000 fast chargers in North America by 2030.

“IONNA’s decision to make Durham County its home validates our global reputation for the electric vehicle industry,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. “This cutting-edge company and its founding automotive manufacturers will benefit from the innovative ecosystem, highly skilled workforce and central location of North Carolina to take its pioneering technology to market.”

The new headquarters will serve as a think tank, laboratory, mission control and deployment pad, the company said. It will also house a customer experience lab that will serve as the “quarterback and central node” to seven new satellite labs to be created at each of the founding OEMs’ facilities.

IONNA began operations in February and expects to open its first U.S. charging stations this year.

Three top executives added

IONNA has also appointed three new members to its leadership team, adding Derek Rush as chief financial officer, Ricardo Stamatti as chief product officer and Shankar Muthukumar as chief operating officer.

Rush previously served as CFO of bp Pulse, an EV charging and fleet management venture of BP, and will oversee IONNA’s financial operations and strategies. IONNA said his extensive experience in financial leadership in the energy sector positions him to steer IONNA toward sustainable growth.

“Joining IONNA is a unique opportunity to contribute to a new company while also helping the industry move forward,” Rush said. “I’m thrilled to be part of this key inflection point in the future of sustainable mobility solutions.”

Stamatti joins IONNA from Stellantis Energy, which he served as global senior vice president. The company said his role is to drive the vision, strategy and execution of product development and commercial efforts to create “high-fidelity products that meet customers’ most pressing needs and the company’s ambitious business goals.” Stamatti said his goal is to develop “groundbreaking products that will rewrite the current industry script and delight customers across the nation.”

Muthukumar comes on board following his tenure as general manager of Mortenson’s e-mobility division. He’ll manage all operational aspects of IONNA’s network, tasked with making its systems reliable, efficient and scalable. He said he aims to be part of the company’s mission “to achieve record growth, up-time and quality KPIs, and also proudly deliver a one-to-one say-do ratio. The IONNA machine will strive to be a lossless algorithm in translating what we say into how we operate and deliver.”