We had Plugsurfing presenting at one of our Cleantech Revolution Tour conferences many moons ago and wrote about the company several times back then, but if you’re new to the EV charging brand (which I think we all have to admit has one of the coolest names in the industry), the short synopsis is that Plugsurfing links a ton of EV charging networks and gives its customers the ability to charge across Europe with one card or app. It’s a must-have for anyone going on an EV road trip in Europe. XPeng is apparently well aware of that, as it has partnered with Plugsurfing to make sure its early buyers in Norway have seamless access to the network.
An XPeng buyer in Norway will get a co-branded charging key that they can use at any of the 300,000 charge ports Plugsurfing gives them access to. That makes getting to various corners of Europe much easier than many people assume.
“It’s great to see XPeng join the club of international car brands that chose us for their European charging solution. We’re thrilled to have them as part of our alliance and to offer their drivers a world-class charging solution,” says Plugsurfing Chief Sales Officer Michael Warner.
XPeng started offering electric vehicles to consumers in Norway in 2020, and in 2022, it has opened up stores in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden. However, for now, the Plugsurfing collaboration is just for its Norwegian customers. I imagine that will change in time and it will expand into the other markets where XPeng does business.
If you follow smart electric vehicle startups from China, then you know that NIO is the other major young brand that has gotten off the ground nicely within China and is now expanding into Europe. NIO has also partnered with Plugsurfing in Norway (as have Volvo, Polestar, Renault, and Jaguar Land Rover). So, no matter which brand pulls a Norwegian to take one of their models home, that new buyer can be assured that they will have access to the extensive network of EV chargers in Norway and far beyond that Plugsurfing grants access and easy payment to.
XPeng sales have been a bit slow in Norway recently, but I expect they will catch on more and gather pace in time in the land of EVs. Perhaps the Plugsurfing partnership will provide the bounce the company is looking for. Of course, with limited production capacity compared to demand, one can only guess how much the drop in sales is due to modest demand in Norway versus limited supply. And that’s not to say NIO is doing any better in Norway — it is not.
Norway is the most mature EV market in the world, with 83% of new vehicle sales being plugin vehicles last month and 70.7% being full electric vehicles. XPeng has offices in Norway, but its European headquarters are in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Plugsurfing, which was founded in Berlin in 2012 and bought by Fortum Oyj in 2018, has “processed more than 20 million charging sessions” to date. Expect it to pass 40 million long before another decade passes.
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