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Centrica, Shell Lead Investments In EV Charging Companies You Never Heard Of

Shell and Centrica have made major investments in EV charging startups Ample and Driivz. As the number of electric cars increase, the demand for chargers will increase as well.

Shell Invests In Ample

Ample, an EV charging company you have probably never heard of, just snared a $31 million Series A investment from Shell Ventures, the investment arm of Royal Dutch Shell. Others which participated in the first round of funding include Moore Strategic Ventures, Repsol Energy Ventures, Hemi Ventures, and TriRec.

Ample EV Charging

What’s so special about Ample? According to Venture Beat, it claims to have invented an “economical, rapidly deployable, and widely accessible platform that delivers a full charge to any electric car in minutes.” Ample says it uses autonomous robotics and smart battery technology to accomplish this rather remarkable feat, but is light on details. If Ample can fully recharge a Nissan LEAF, Chevy Bolt, or Tesla in minutes, that would be quite a feat. Is it true? Shell Ventures seems to think so.

The company was founded in 2014 by serial entrepreneurs Khaled Hassounah and John de Souza. “Building a scalable solution for charging electric vehicles requires a new approach to infrastructure and partners who are committed to developing electrification as the new energy downstream,” said Hassounah, who is the acting CEO for the company.

“EVs in the light and medium duty sectors are steadily gaining market share,” says Steve McGrath, investment director for Shell Ventures.. “Combining Ample’s technology with Shell’s existing retail network for refueling and our growing position in power could help us achieve our aspirations to grow a large new business in EV energy solutions.”

Centrica Invests In Driivz

Driivz EV Charging

On the other side of the Atlantic, Centrica, a global energy and services company, has made what it calls a “multi-million pound” investment in Driivz, an Isreali startup that specializes in software solutions for electric cars, according to CNBC. Founded in 2012, Driivz has offices in California and Tel Aviv. It says it has developed a cloud-based EV charging system that is currently being used by more than 200,000 drivers worldwide.

“With 14 million EVs expected on U.K. 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,” says Jonathan Tudor, Centrica Innovations’ director of technology and innovation strategy. “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.”

Doron Frenkel, CEO of Driivz says by working together, the two companies will be able to “expedite the adoption of EVs and … become a leading force in the distribution of energy.”

The push to invest in EV charging infrastructure by major corporations indicates people in the world of commerce believe the EV revolution is real. Managing the charging infrastructure will offer significant opportunities to profit from that growth as more and more electric cars take to the road worldwide.

 
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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

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