ChargePoint, one of the largest electric vehicle charging networks in the world, is only going to get bigger. They’ve been able to raise $43 million and will now expand further into the European markets. Notably, that’s $43 million on top of the $82 million they received from in a fundraiser this spring and their new acquisition of GE’s charging network.
Daimler led the pack of giving the charging network most of the initial $82 million back in March. It’s a growing trend of manufacturers chipping in to the EV infrastructure. While range in electric cars continues to improve, more charging stations need to be installed to give people peace of mind that they can drive their EV anywhere. ChargePoint has over 33,000 chargers in the United States alone.
That infrastructure is at a much lower level in Europe. A startup company is launching Chargie, a solution that works similar to Uber and AirBnB. People can charge their electric vehicles at places that have home-based charging stations. At the moment, the service is geared toward the United Kingdom exclusively.
ChargePoint likely saw the need for more charging stations in Europe, and they’re getting major support. Following Daimler’s big investment, Siemens added $43 million toward the expansion efforts. The latter company has already been an early investor back in 2010. Pasquale Romano, the company’s CEO, made a statement after the Siemens’ investment about the confidence they have in their business model.
“ChargePoint is committed to laying a foundation for the future of mobility and this latest investment by Siemens Energy Management will further catapult our vision of creating the most ubiquitous and easy-to-use charging network Europe has ever seen. Investment and partnerships with technology leaders like Siemens will enable our team to accelerate the expansion in Europe and encourage EV adoption in the region.”
Over 200 Express Plus stations will be launched in Europe. This is a more rapid charging system than Level 2, which has a speed of just 25 miles of range per hour. These are the most commonly found ChargePoint station in the US, but are generally reserved for work employees, customers, or apartment building residents. As a comparison, Express Plus stations can take under 15 minutes and 400 of them can be found along freeways and metro areas in the US.
ChargePoint has recently added close to 10,000 charging stations onto their network domestically. They’ve acquired all the stations under GE, and while the branding of “WattStation” and “DuraStation” will change, the process remains the same to ease the transition. Consumers going to these former GE stations can use ChargePoint’s access controls and old warranties will be honored.
Electric vehicles aren’t the most convenient mode of transportation yet, but ChargePoint is working hard to help aid that problem. Increasing the number of charging stations and pushing their new fast-charging technology are stepping stones to the eventual future where it will be just as easy to fuel these EVs as it is vehicles with an internal combustion engine.