ABB partners Octopus Group to further develop e-mobility market

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 23 May 2019

ABB has collaborated with the UK-based clean energy firm Octopus Group. The partnership is aimed at offering a one-stop-shop solution for operators, who can now source the financing and renewable energy supply needed to launch an EV fleet from Octopus and the required electrical infrastructure solutions from ABB.

Through this collaboration, ABB and Octopus Group aim to explore and develop new e-mobility market offerings that will support fleet operators achieve a successful transition to zero emission transport. Operators will be able to source the required mobility investment from Octopus Group, through flexible financing models and renewable electricity supply, while ABB will provide its EV charging infrastructure and energy technologies to enable the transition to electric buses and commercial fleets, empowering new adoption levels.

Frank Muehlon, head of ABB’s global EV charging business commented: “Our collaboration with Octopus Group marks a very positive step for the wider transition of public and commercial fleets to electric on a global scale. We are proud to be working with Octopus and together we will break down the barriers to adoption and accelerate innovation in this critical field.”

Daniel Saunders, investment director at Octopus, added: “We continue to invest in ideas, people and enterprises that change the world. This collaboration with ABB embraces that spirit and our drive towards a low emission-low carbon future. By working with like-minded partners, we increase our ability to innovate and create new offerings to help realise the potential of electrified zero-emission transport and intelligent energy services that benefit society.”

In over 10 years, ABB is said to have developed a broad portfolio of charging solutions for heavy vehicles and commercial fleets ranging from 3 to 600kW, with 10,500 DC fast chargers sold across 73 countries. It is the title partner of the ABB FIA Formula E championship and official charging partner for the new Jaguar I-PACE e-trophy series.

Nico Rosberg, former F1 world champion and co-founder of Greentech festival (an initiative dedicated to the latest sustainable technologies) told Bloomberg in Berlin, “This is exactly what you need – this kind of racing series like ABB Formula E which promotes e-mobility  in such an awesome way and make it look so cool and this is important to help enhance the transition and  get people to embrace it out there.”

Rosberg further mentioned, “Clearly EV is the future. Its just a matter of time. As long as the prices come down and the battery technology improves further. Even more important is the transition to renewable energy because there is no point in taking up EVs if you charge it with coal-powered electricity.”

According to the report, Rosberg, who is now becoming known as a new tech entrepreneur, has also invested in Lyft, SpaceX and Lilium, the VTOL air taxi company which only this week made its very first maiden flight. He considers Elon Musk, whose electric vehicle and energy storage company Tesla has made serious inroads into clean energy transition, an inspiration.

Octopus Group’s energy investment business is the largest non-utility owner of distributed renewable energy generation assets in the UK, with further investments across Europe and Australia. Its energy supply business, Octopus Energy is also said to have grown rapidly to over 600,000 customers. Octopus claims to be taking strides to deploy zero-emission vehicles through innovative pay-as-you-drive, financing models for business users, including a fleet of up to 200 Jaguar I-Paces at Heathrow airport and financing the iconic new electric taxis from LEVC.

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