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Vattenfall launches new EV charging unit

Business charging solutions offered by the Vattenfall InCharge unit.

Sweden’s Vattenfall is to launch a new dedicated charging infrastructure business, tasked with expanding services across Northwest Europe

Swedish utility Vattenfall has created a new subsidiary to expand its provision of EV charging. The company says it intends the new unit to become a leading operator in Northwest Europe within five years, with a turnover of 1 billion kronor (US$120 million).

Vattenfall currently operates 8,800 charging points across Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany. Its new dedicated business will “gradually extend” its offering to include home, business and public charging options, and will also look to new markets including the UK, France and Norway.

In Sweden, the company also operates the InCharge charging network, which was launched in November 2016, which builds infrastructure in partnership with cities, businesses, municipalities and local power companies.

“From now on we expect our charging network to double in size every year in order meet a sharp increase in electric vehicle growth. We aim for a turnover of SEK 1 billion within five years,” said the head of the utility’s e-mobility arm, Tomas Björnsson.

The new business currently employs around 60 people, but is “growing rapidly” according to the utility.

Alongside this, the company is currently moving to electrify its corporate fleet of some 3,500 vehicles. All will be replaced with EVs or PHEVs by 2022.

The company has also signed several deals in the EV space. Notably, last year it agreed a partnership with BMW to buy up to 1,000 new i3 battery packs for use in a stationary energy storage system.

It is also a major investor in Northvolt, the Swedish start-up looking to produce up to 32GWh worth of batteries per year from a factory in Skellefteå in northern Sweden. The manufacturer is currently working on an R&D and demonstration plant in Västerås, alongside partners ABB and truck maker Scania.

Commenting on the expansion of its charging network, Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall remarked: “We are continuously developing in order to meet requirements of the new energy landscape and the needs of our customers. Electric vehicles are increasingly popular, thus increasing the need for easy charging solutions. This is the key driver for us and our partners and with the new unit we are putting force behind our ambition to build one of Northwest Europe’s biggest charging networks.”

The move also comes as fellow Nordic utility, Finland-based Fortum, expands its own network of fast-charging points across the region.

As demand for EV power grows across Europe, competition for real estate and charging access will likely become even fiercer as electricity suppliers look to cash in on a new market. ElecTrans expects to see more partnerships and acquisitions over the next few years as bigger players enter the space.

 

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