ACCIONA Energía, a leading renewable energy operator, and Qwello, an operator of urban and regional charging networks for electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe, have signed an agreement to set up a joint venture to develop public charging points in Spanish cities.
The joint venture will develop, operate and maintain a network of urban charging points for EVs in urban public spaces.
The alliance has complementary strengths. Qwello brings in its user platform, charging technology and experience. As of today, it operates several hundred charging points in European cities like Stockholm, Frankfurt, Munich or Berlin, and it plans to deploy additional charging points in those cities and new ones. ACCIONA Energía has a consolidated position as primary supplier of 100% renewable electricity to corporate and institutional customers in Spain and leader in intercity charging points for electric vehicles.
Qwello will provide the hardware and software, both developed in-house, and ACCIONA Energía will be responsible for supplying 100% renewable electricity to the charging points, as well as for their operation and maintenance. The charging points, which will mainly be 11 kW chargers, aim to solve two fundamental issues for EV drivers: availability of public urban charging points and their ease of use.
Qwello has developed its own technology aimed at improving the user experience by implementing various functionalities, such as contactless payment by credit card or mobile phone and symbol-based communication to overcome language barriers. In addition, the charging point hardware takes up very little space and is easy to maintain, with simple replacement in the event of a breakdown.
Henrik Thiele, CEO of Qwello, highlighted: “The European electric vehicle industry is experiencing unprecedented growth, driven by rapidly falling battery costs, increased climate awareness and manufacturers expanding their offer of EVs. And yet the supply of charging infrastructures is not up to the task. I am pleased that we have found a key partner in renewable energy and with a leading position in Spain such as ACCIONA Energía, with which we can boost the development of the charging infrastructure sector. Together we want to create the leading provider of urban public charging infrastructure in Spain in terms of technology, ease of use and sustainability”.
Rafael Mateo, CEO of ACCIONA Energía, said: “We have been following the electric vehicle charging sector closely over the last few years and we understand that the industry requires major investments to meet the objectives set for the decarbonization of transport. Qwello’s standout technology, which has been tried and tested in European cities, overcomes the main barriers to the establishment of EVs. Together we are confident that we can offer a unique value proposition to the Spanish market”.
Spanish cities have very few charging points accessible to the general public, hindering the penetration of EVs in the country. Only 2% of charging points in Spanish cities are public, which amounts to around 60 public charging points for cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. By contrast, Berlin has 1,413 public charging points and Paris has 875, and some European cities have three or four charging points per city block.
With most of urban residents within major European cities depending on public charging infrastructure, Qwello and ACCIONA Energía aim to become enablers and contributors for the successful transition towards e-mobilty. The availability of reliable and easy to use public charging infrastructure is crucial for the broad uptake and true democratization of the future e-mobility market.
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