The provider of the largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network in the US has set its sights on building Europe’s “most comprehensive” charging network, and has secured $82m of funding to help deliver on its ambitious goal.
ChargePoint announced yesterday that it has secured an initial $82m as part of a funding round led by auto giant Daimler and featuring existing investors BMW i Ventures, Linse Capital, Rho Capital Partners, and Braemar Energy Ventures. The company said the deal meant that it has raised more than $255m to date, and stressed that the $82m was “part of a larger multi-million dollar fundraise”.
Chargepoint operates more than 33,000 EV chargepoints across North America, providing domestic, business, and public charging infrastructure.
Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint, confirmed the latest funding round would be used to expand rapidly into the European market.
“The automobile industry is at an inflection point, with more vehicles coming onto the market offering highly advanced electric powertrains than any other time in the world’s history,” he said in a statement. “The significant investment by our lead investor Daimler and others not only underscores a collective commitment to e-mobility around the world, but lays the groundwork for Europe’s most comprehensive charging network.”
The deal also sees Daimler AG executive Axel Harries take a place on ChargePoint’s board. Harries heads up Daimler’s new Connected, Autonomous, Sharing & Services, and Electric Drive (CASE) division and is tasked with developing the auto giant’s new EV brand, EQ.
He said the new investment was in line with the company’s long term strategic goals. “While pursuing the systematic expansion of our CASE ecosystem based on our new product brand EQ, we also remain open and ready for partnerships and cooperation at the highest level,” he said. “ChargePoint is a company of experts in the field of electric mobility charging solutions with a great deal of know-how in both hardware and software. Together we will be able to significantly expand the product portfolio in the area of intelligent charging solutions and provide the customer with an all-embracing premium offer for electric mobility.”
ChargePoint said its move into Europe would help tackle a “fragmented market” characterised by “dozens of providers of EV charging hardware, software and driver networks… [that] all work differently and often require drivers to sign up for separate accounts”.
However, the US firm is likely to face intense competition. A host of companies already operate expanding charging networks across much of Europe and there are already a number of cross-industry initiatives underway to improve compatibility between different networks.
In related news, UK-based charge point provider POD Point announced this week that it has reached its fund-raising target for its latest public criwd-funding round pulling in over £1.5m through Crowdcube.
The company said the crowdfund, as part of a larger £9m round with Draper Esprit and Barclays Bank, will be “instrumental in helping us accelerate the rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the UK and Europe”.