Electric vehicle (EV) charging network ChargePoint will expand into Europe after securing $82 million in funding.
The funding round announced Thursday is the largest in the Silicon Valley company's history, and forms part of a larger Europe-focused fundraising round, which is expected to close above $100 million. It's being led by Daimler but other investors include the likes of BMW i Ventures, Linse Capital and Braemar Energy Ventures.
The investment will enable ChargePoint – which claims to be the largest EV charging network in the world - to expand its EV charging network in a new market, connecting businesses and drivers across Europe. The firm's Europe operations will be headquartered in Germany and Daimler executive Axel Harries is set to join ChargePoint's board of directors.
ChargePoint currently connects more than 33,000 independently owned charging spots and over 7,000 sites across the U.S., Canada, Australia and, most recently, Mexico. The network enables consumers to charge under one uniform network, rather than requiring them to sign up to various different accounts.
The expansion across Europe will see the firm concentrate initially on markets in Germany, France, the Netherlands and the U.K., where use of electric cars is most prevalent, however it plans to "follow demand" as it grows across new markets, ChargePoint's chief executive Pasquale Romano told CNBC.
"Our intention is not to leave any territory underserved," said Romano in a phone interview, highlighting China as its next potential market for expansion.
He added that the expansion would correspond with longer-term political intentions to move towards alternative automotive energy sources.
France, Germany, the Netherlands, the U.K. and Norway are among more than 20 European countries currently providing attractive incentives for purchasing EVs.
"EV are not fixed-fuel vehicles. Electricity can change without you the consumer having to buy a different car. It's very important to get to fungible fuel for automobiles. Over time it's easier to clean up the original energy source than to make all consumers replace their cars."
ChargePoint supports residential, corporate, street-side and highway charging points.
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