Suppliers drive forwards on EVs

EDF, E.ON and ScottishPower have, in the past month, announced significant commitments to electric vehicles (EVs). These suppliers join a growing list of energy players that have made moves in the rapidly evolving EV space.

On 10 October, EDF officially launched its Electric Mobility Plan to become the leading e-mobility energy company in its four biggest markets – the UK, France, Italy, and Belgium – by 2022. It has set targets to become:

  • the leading power supplier for EVs by 2022. This sees EDF aim to supply 600,000 vehicles, the equivalent of 30% of the market in its target countries
  • the biggest charging network operator, with plans to deploy 75,000 charging points and provide access to 250,000 interoperable terminals by 2022, and
  • Europe’s smart charging leader, aiming to operate 4,000 smart charging points by 2020.

EDF stated it will offer, over 2019, “fully integrated” propositions in each of the four target markets. These products will include low-carbon electricity, an off-street charging solution, charge and battery optimisation services.

To deliver this strategy, EDF also announced a series of partnerships that include:

  • partnering with Nissan to combine second-life EV batteries with EDF’s Powershift demand-side response platform. The companies said that millions of second-life EV batteries could be used as commercial battery storage to supply electricity to the grid and cut the UK’s carbon emissions
  • EDF Renewables North America and green technology company NUVVE developing flexible solutions for energy markets in Europe
  • partnering with Ubitricity to utilise its streetlight charging solution
  • partnering with Renault and extending its relationship with Toyota to develop mobility solutions and smart and hydrogen charging respectively, and
  • collaborating with Valeo to develop battery and charging technologies.

On 30 October, EDF then announced a further partnership with NUVVE to install 1,500 vehicle-to-grid (V2G) chargers in the UK for the company’s business customers.

E.ON also furthered its electric vehicle service offering in October, partnering with Finnish EV charging company Virta to develop smart charging infrastructure and services across Europe. Charging systems from the partnership have been launched in Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania to date, as well as in the UK.

ScottishPower recently unveiled what it claims to be the UK’s first 100% renewable end-to-end EV package. It announced, on 5 November, a link-up with car retailer Arnold Clark that will allow buyers to purchase or lease an EV of their choice, book a home charging point installation and sign up to a 100% renewable electricity tariff as part of the same package. The company said one in five adults will consider purchasing an EV in the next three years.

They join Centrica, which announced over the summer a “multi-million-pound” investment in Israeli EV charging software provider Driivz, as part of a £9mn funding round. The Driivz platform offers charging network operators, car manufacturers, and utilities a charging, account, and billing management platform. Centrica Innovations also plans to integrate the Driivz platform into a new, intelligent EV charging service for businesses who want to install charging facilities on their premises for their employees.

This leaves just npower and SSE, who are currently tied up with their merger, as the remaining Big Six suppliers yet to launch EV and charging offers.

Meanwhile, on 9 October, BP launched the Mobility Tech Innovation Collaborative accelerator programme, working with start-ups from the UK, US and Israel. The UK-based start-up involved in the programme are Spark, which uses AI to improve EV range, through journey planning, and Immense Simulations, which provides insight to transport stakeholders. In the US, Amazon Home Services – which launched in the UK this summer – partnered with Audi to offer home EV chargers with installation.

New entrant suppliers have also made their first moves. After successfully winning a tender for V2G government funding, OVO Energy announced further details on 17 October of its plans. The company aims to have 1,000 V2G chargers rolled out across UK homes by May 2019. With insight gained from the scheme, OVO Energy hopes to design a business model for its future application.

Finally, Tonik Energy parent company RETIG has acquired renewables contractor The Phoenix Works, it announced on 13 September. The two companies have set a goal of installing more than 10,000 EV charging points and rolling out a “mass market” solar and storage solution to domestic and commercial customers. The Leeds-based contractor launched in 2010 and employs a team of 20 installers.

These companies join a growing list of large energy companies, traditional oil majors, and technology companies that are developing dedicated EV and energy service offerings.

These developments and their implications are to be discussed at our co-hosted event with Gowling WLG on Tuesday 13 November entitled ‘EVs Meet the Electricity Market: Clear Road or Bumps Ahead?’. Please contact r.wetherall@cornwall-insight.com for details.

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