Centrica PLC has announced a multi-million-pound investment in Driivz, an Israeli start-up that offers end-to-end software solutions for electric vehicle (EV) charging.
The investment was made by Centrica Innovations to identify, incubate and accelerate new technologies. It forms part of a £9 million funding round that has been co-led by Ombu Group, a leading investor in advanced industrial technology companies. Centrica Innovations is also integrating the Driivz platform into a new intelligent EV charging service offer for businesses from Centrica Electric Vehicle Services (CEVS). The fully-managed solution has been developed to meet the needs of organisations that want EV charging facilities for their employees and/or their depot-based fleets.
Driivz was established in 2012. The company has since developed a new cloud-based EV charging system that is already used by 200,000 drivers across the globe. The platform offers charging network operators, car manufacturers and utilities an end-to-end solution to manage all aspects of EV deployment from charging, account management and driver billing, through to onsite power management that allows businesses to optimise output to chargers in line with site energy demand and costs.
“With 14 million EVs expected on UK roads by 2030, there can be no doubt that e-mobility will have a significant impact on how we manage the delicate balance of supply and demand to the grid” said Jonathan Tudor, Director of Technology and Innovation Strategy for Centrica Innovations. “This investment is a key opportunity for Centrica to support growing customer demand and work in partnership with Driivz to explore new offers for customers that connect home, work and on-the-road car charging, while also evaluating the role of EVs and potential vehicle-to-grid applications as part of the future energy landscape.”
Stephen Brooke, CEO of Ombu Group added that Ombu has been watching the EV space closely for a number of years.
The CEVS offer builds on the company’s experience as an installer of over 4,000 workplace chargers, including Transport for London’s £18 million EV charging scheme, which aims to install 300 fast charging points in the capital by 2020. Drivers will benefit from access to a self-service portal that gives total control over their EV charging needs, from managing their account and setting payment plans, to planning tools that help to identify, reserve and navigate to their next charging point.