Centrica is making what it describes as a “multi-million pound” investment in Israeli EV end-to-end charging software solutions company.
Ombu Group, an investor in industrial technology companies, has co-led the initiative, which forms part of a GBP9m (US$12m) funding round.
Established in 2012, Driivz has developed a cloud-based EV charging operating system already used by more than 200,000 drivers across the globe.
The Driivz platform offers charging network operators, car manufacturers and utilities an end-to-end solution to manage all aspects of EV deployment from charging, account management and driver billing, through to on-site power management which allows businesses to optimise output to chargers in line with site energy demand and costs.
The investment has been made by Centrica Innovations, established in 2017 to identify, incubate and accelerate new technologies.
Centrica Innovations is also integrating the Driivz platform into a new EV charging service offer for businesses from Centrica Electric Vehicle Services (CEVS). The fully-managed solution has been developed to meet the needs of organisations which want EV charging facilities for their employees and/or their depot-based fleets.
“With 14m EVs expected on UK roads by 2030, there can be no doubt e-mobility will have a significant impact on how we manage the delicate balance of supply and demand to the grid,” said Centrica Innovations director of Technology and Innovation Strategy, Jonathan Tudor.
“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.”
The CEVS offer builds on the company’s experience as an installer of more than 4,000 workplace chargers, including Transport for London’s GBP18m EV charging scheme, which aims to install 300 fast charging points in the capital by 2020.
Drivers will benefit from access to a self-service portal which gives total control for their EV charging needs, from managing their account and setting payment plans, to planning tools which help to identify, reserve and navigate to their next charging point.