Centrica plc has announced a multi-million-pound investment in Driivz, an Israeli start-up that offers end-to-end software solutions for electric vehicle (EV) charging. Ombu Group, a leading investor in advanced industrial technology companies, has co-led the investment, which forms part of a £9 million (US$12 million) funding round.
Established in 2012, Driivz has developed a cloud-based EV charging operating system that is already used by over 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 onsite power management that 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 with the potential to transform the way we live, work and move.
Centrica Innovations is also integrating the Driivz platform into a new intelligent 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 that want EV charging facilities for their employees and/or their depot-based fleets.
Jonathan Tudor, Director of Technology and Innovation Strategy for Centrica Innovations, said: “With 14 million EVs expected on UK 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.
“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 over 4,000 workplace chargers, including Transport for London’s £18 million 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 that gives total control over their EV charging needs, from managing their account and setting payment plans, to planning tools that help to identify, reserve and navigate to their next charging point.
Stephen Brooke, CEO of Ombu Group, added: “Ombu have been watching the EV space closely for a number of years and in Driivz we are backing an exceptional team with a world-class product. We look forward to partnering with Centrica in this exciting new phase of growth for the company.”
Doron Frenkel, Founder and CEO of Driivz, said: “Working together, Centrica and Driivz will be able to expedite the adoption of EVs and to become a leading force in the distribution of energy and addressing the challenges of EV charging. We look forward to taking advantage of opportunities in the new world and driving the new reality of EV.”