Enel Group, Italy’s largest utility company, is establishing itself as a major force in the market for residential and commercial EV chargers through its Enel X Way subsidiary, which markets the chargers under the Juicebox brand name. In the United States and Canada, the company says it has already installed more than 170,000 Juicebox EV chargers, but it has set its sights higher — much higher, in fact.
In a press release dated April 13, it said it plans to add at least two million residential, commercial, and public EV chargers in North America by 2030. The target includes over 10,000 DC public charging stations as part of the federal government’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program in select areas of the country.
“Building out the charging infrastructure will be critical to enabling the EV transition in the North America, and Enel X Way is stepping up to help lead the charge with our plan to add at least two million EV chargers in North America across public, commercial and home charging segments by 2030,” says Chris Baker, the head of Enel X Way North America.
To achieve the goal, Enel X Way will build upon its success serving the home and commercial charging segments by expanding into the public charging market in North America. The company has also launched new installation, operations and maintenance (O&M), and financing services to accelerate the deployment and distribution of Enel X Way chargers.
Enel X Way is a global leader in smart EV charging solutions, with one of the largest public charging station footprints globally. Leveraging the company’s global expertise and experience in public charging and energy infrastructure, it has established partnerships with Charge Point operators and electric utilities such as Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company. Those partnerships will add fast EV charging locations across the service territories of both utility companies to increase accessibility, reduce range anxiety, and support the growing number of EV customers.
Leveraging Tax Credits & Incentives
The company helps entities take advantage of funding from the US Inflation Reduction Act and $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program as part of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Additionally, Enel X Way recently entered a cooperative contract with the Purchasing Cooperative of America (PCA), giving public entities the opportunity to purchase EV charging products, software, and services from the company without having to go to bid.
Enel X Way has broadened and scaled its services to better serve customers and provide EV drivers with a seamless charging experience through increased access and reliability of chargers. The new and expanded services include assistance with EV infrastructure installations. Enel X Way offers virtual site evaluations, energy load analysis, value engineered site design, utility coordination for make-ready incentives and infrastructure upgrades, and permitted installation. By so doing, it offers customers a one step opportunity that is designed to simplify the EV charging process.
In addition, Enel X Way’s network of EV equipment O&M service partners, including ChargerHelp!, offers customers and EV owners a new level of reliability by providing on-demand repairs and maintenance support from trained local work forces.
Here’s another important piece of the puzzle. Enel X way offers leasing and loan finance options. Customers can now borrow capital or lease EV charging equipment from Enel X Way without a large upfront investment. Or, if they prefer, they can select a charging as a service program where Enel X Way owns and operates the chargers in exchange for a monthly service fee.
Enel X Way currently does business in 16 countries and manages over 500,000 public and private charging ports worldwide and over 170,000 in North America. Some of those chargers it manages directly; others are managed through roaming agreements and joint ventures. As a global platform for e-Mobility, the company is focused on developing flexible charging technologies and solutions to improve the customer experience and enable the electrification of transport for consumers, businesses, cities, and public administrations.
Enel X Way’s Juicebox home charging station has been named the “best EV charger overall” by CNET, Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, and Road & Track.
DC Fast Chargers From Tritium
Details of this fast charging network are not yet known, but providing fast chargers in rural areas is a major goal of the NEVI program. According to Electrive, Enel X Way had already ordered more than 250 fast charging stations from Tritium for use in the US since last summer. Tritium in turn has announced it has completed a new EV charger factory in Tennessee.
The decision to go forward with that factory was heavily influenced by the prospect of significant tax advantages and incentives in various federal programs, including the Inflation Reduction Act. The company says its latest EV chargers are NEVI-compliant, which qualifies them for those tax credits and incentives when installed by companies like Enel X Way.
“Charging infrastructure expansion is critical to North America’s electric mobility transition, and Enel X Way is leading the way with its plan to deploy at least two million electric vehicle charging stations in North America by 2030,” Chris Baker said.
Smart Chargers For All
So-called smart chargers such as those sold by Enel X Way are the key to preventing the increase in electric vehicles from overwhelming the electrical grid. In addition to saving customers money by charging only during off-peak periods when utility rates are lowest, they can also act as demand response devices that apportion the available electricity to the devices that need it the most.
For instance, an electric car may be plugged into a residential charger at 6 pm when the owner arrives home, but the smart charger will know the battery doesn’t need to be fully charged until 8 am the next morning. In that case, it may start charging at 1 am and stop charging at 7 am. The driver arrives in the morning and finds the car charged and ready to go.
In addition, smart chargers can be bi-directional, which means they are able to feed some electricity back into the grid if it is needed during a demand peak. And that means the local utility doesn’t need to build a new generating station to meet demand. It can all be done digitally using an internet connection. That is the promise of the EV revolution, and Enel X Way intends to be a major part of it.
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