WOLFSBURG, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Volkswagen is increasing its commitment to charging infrastructures and will work closely with has·to·be GmbH, a leading supplier of operating systems for electric mobility. To this end, the Group is acquiring a minority stake in the company through its subsidiary Elli. Together, has·to·be and Volkswagen will drive forward the expansion of the Europe-wide store network and participate in the rapidly growing market for charging solutions. The Group's own charging stations are also already partly operated with has·to·be software and are thus part of an integrated charging ecosystem.
“Simple and convenient charging is a must for the rapid breakthrough of e-mobility. Not only do we need more charging stations, but they must also be intelligently networked and function properly. Charging an e-car must become just as natural as charging a smartphone,” says Thomas Ulbrich, Member of the Volkswagen Board of Management responsible for e-mobility. “Together with has·to·be, we want to open up and further develop the fast-growing area of charging infrastructure. We are also using the has·to·be software ourselves. By 2025, we will have built up around 36,000 charging points in Europe across the Group. In the future, charging processes will be even faster and more convenient.”
With over 70 employees from ten countries, has·to·be GmbH manages more than 16,000 charging points, mainly in Europe, but also worldwide - from Norway to Australia and from the United Kingdom to Taiwan. The company’s venture began six years ago with Audi from Ingolstadt as the first customer. Since then, sales have at least doubled every year - mainly due to strong demand from Germany and Switzerland. In the meantime, the spectrum of customers ranges from the automotive industry to energy suppliers and industrial companies. IONITY, Europe's largest fast-charging network, is regarded as the foremost reference: a merger of the BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche. By the end of 2020, IONITY plans to build a total of 400 fast-charging parks on European motorways. has·to·be software will be used at all stations.
Company founder, Martin Klässner, built prototypes for charging stations in his garage eleven years ago. As a pioneer, Klässner recognized early on the potential of software development for charging infrastructures. Today, has·to·be’s founder is confident: “To shape the future of e-mobility, the partnership with the Volkswagen Group, which is more committed to this technology than any other automotive group, is an essential lever. With Volkswagen on board, we will promote e-mobility in Europe and beyond.”
Networking energy and mobility
Through its subsidiary Elli, the Volkswagen Group is acquiring around a quarter of the shares in has·to·be GmbH. Thorsten Nicklass, CEO of Elli, explains: “Elli has set itself the goal of digitally networking the areas of energy and mobility. We want to make charging simple and inexpensive and establish ourselves as a reliable partner for innovative and sustainable energy solutions for electric vehicles. With our participation in has·to·be, we are now creating the conditions for a seamless customer experience for charging and the integration of further digital services of the Volkswagen Group. This investment is a further logical step in our strategy to intelligently combine charging and energy.”
Volkswagen wants to help e-mobility achieve a worldwide breakthrough, and is pursuing the largest e-mobility offensive in the automotive industry. By 2028, the Group will have launched almost 70 new all-electric models. In the next five years alone, Volkswagen will be investing more than 30 billion euros in this venture. In addition to attractive models, the E-Offensive also includes intelligent charging solutions, energy and digital mobility services.
More about has·to·be GmbH: has-to-be.com
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