Global energy and services business Centrica made what it described as a "multi-million pound" investment in an Israeli start-up Monday. The business, Driivz, specializes in end-to-end software solutions for electric vehicle (EV) charging.
The investment in Driivz was co-led by Ombu Group and is part of a £9 million ($11.67 million) funding round, Centrica said in a statement.
Driivz, which has offices in both California and Tel Aviv, was set up in 2012. It has developed an EV charging operating system that is cloud based and used by more than 200,000 drivers worldwide.
Centrica's investment was made through Centrica Innovations, which was established in in 2017 with the goal of investing £100 million in new innovations and technologies.
"With 14 million EVs expected on U.K. 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," Jonathan Tudor, Centrica Innovations' director of technology and innovation strategy, said.
"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," Tudor added.
Centrica's investment in Driivz represents the latest example of a big business investing in the EV sector. In June, for example, BP entered into an agreement to buy EV charging business Chargemaster.
BP described Chargemaster as operating the largest EV charging network in the U.K. Founded in 2008, the company runs a public network of more than 6,500 EV charging points and designs, builds, sells and maintains EV charging units, BP said.
Of Centrica's investment in Driivz, the Israeli firm's CEO Doron Frenkel said that by working together the two businesses would be able to "expedite the adoption of EVs and … become a leading force in the distribution of energy."