In an interesting bit of news, it has been revealed that a board member at BMW will be joining E.ON’s supervisory board, perhaps representing a sign that the auto manufacturer may be beginning to take the plug-in electric vehicle sector a bit more seriously (if we also ignore the firm’s recent announcement it was stalling development there due to low profit margins).
To be more specific, the BMW board member in question, Klaus Froehlich, is responsible for the development division at BMW, which supports the idea that the appointment relates to future plug-in electric vehicle sector plans (or simply PR that’s meant to make it look that way).
To be clear, the appointment isn’t yet official, as it has simply been announced that Froehlich will be proposed by E.ON at its annual general meeting on May 9th.
Reuters provides more: “The cross-industry trend also includes executives swapping industries, such as Stefan von Dobschuetz, who last year joined German energy group Innogy to co-head its e-mobility unit after serving as general manager for BMW’s electric i brand.”
“Under a landmark deal to break up Innogy, unveiled last month, its e-mobility unit will be swallowed by E.ON, which already has a similar business and will get greater scale in the quest to built the infrastructure needed for electric cars. Some carmakers have also started to enter the utility business, taking a leaf out of Tesla’s strategy book of offering cars, charging infrastructure and batteries.”
Well, that’s an interesting bit of spin there. Just to be clear, so that no one gets misled here, there are no other auto manufacturers out there pursuing the wholesale creation of an electric vehicle fast-charging network on its own (as Tesla has). Nor are there auto manufacturers installing commercial and utility-scale energy storage projects.
What has happened to date that is worthy of note is that plans have been announced for a pan-Europe fast-charging network to be backed by a coalition of different manufacturers, but that won’t be completed anytime soon. Perhaps far more notable is that Netherlands-based Fastned has been aggressively expanding its fast-charger network in recent times.
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