Electric Vehicle Pioneer ChargePoint Adds Siemens To Investors.
Big Drive To Conquer Europe Begins.
“Obviously we want to be market leader in Europe but we have to earn that”
ChargePoint Inc of Campbell, California, which claims to be the world’s largest electric vehicle charging network, has recruited Siemens as an investor in its drive to expand in Europe.
ChargePoint has more than 36,000 charging points at more than 7,000 sites in North America. It is currently mounting an initial assault on European markets and has just concluded a $43 million financing which included Siemens, bringing the current round to $125 million. BMW, and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler have contributed to funding.
In May, ChargePoint sold more than 200 rapid charge systems to Britain’s InstaVolt.
Pasquale Romano, chief executive of ChargePoint Inc, of Campbell, California, said the investment will enable it to accelerate expansion in Europe and encourage the use of electric vehicles (EVs).
Romano, in an interview, was bullish about EV prospects.
“All manufacturers have invested pretty heavily and people will be surprised at the quality offered in these cars. Towards the end of this year and through 2019, starting at the Frankfurt Car Show, we are going to see the results,” Romano said.
The Frankfurt Car Show takes place in mid-September.
Electric cars expected on the market before 2020 include the Porsche Mission E, Tesla Model 3 and Y, Audi e-tron, Jaguar i-Pace, Mercedes EQ, a Volvo, VW ID, Ford CUV, and an improved version of the Leaf.
Clean up the cities
Romano said electric cars will be able to attract buyers not only because of their all-round abilities but also the need to clean up city environments. The burgeoning diesel health scandal will also help in Europe.
“Electric vehicle sales are accelerating and getting close to mass adoption. There is a level of government mandates but we see in the U.S. that once behind the wheel, drivers quickly find this a better way to drive, they are more reliable and cost less to run,” Romano said.
Romano said ChargePoint’s market share in North America is about 70%, and it is expanding in the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands initially.
“Obviously we want to be market leader in Europe but we have to earn that. Other players will have similar aspirations.”
ChargePoint expects to be profitable soon.
“The U.S. operation is mature and we will be making money next year. Europe is just getting off the ground and hard to predict. But we don’t see the need to raise any more capital,” he said.