Monday 19 March 2018

Enel targets charging grid opportunities for e-car boom

Stock image
Stock image

Chiara Albanese

Enel, Europe's largest utility, is moving fast to benefit from the sudden surge in electric car consumption by offering charging services and developing technologies for station networks, its CEO has said.

"Technology is ready and getting better as we speak," said Francesco Starace at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "As an electric utility that has a presence worldwide, our task is to get infrastructure ready so that these cars can circulate."

Enel is focusing on installation of new charging stations and acquisitions in the technology industry to support its global charging infrastructure, as well as 'mid-size acquisitions' in the electricity networks industry, Starace said. "There are opportunities we are looking at right now," he said.

In June, the company bought software provider EnerNOC and in May it acquired Tynemouth, a standalone battery energy storage system project in Newcastle, UK. In December, Enel, and utilities Electricite de France, Enedis and Verbund started a joint project for the installation of ultra-fast charging stations in Europe which will be partly financed by the European Commission.

Enel also announced deals with Nissan Motor Co and Audi AG as part of a broader project to support sustainable mobility. The utility plans to develop a charging station network in Spain by the end of the first half of 2018 and aims to have the right technology in a couple of years, the CEO said.

"Electric cars are coming," Starace said. "It is a question of time, not if."

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