GM and EVgo to build fast-chargers at Pilot Flying J gas stations

General Motors is teaming up with Pilot Flying J to build a national fast-charge network for EVs.

The partnership between GM and Pilot will help accelerate EV sales by filling in gaps along the charging infrastructure. Access to charging stations remains American drivers’ top concern over buying or leasing an EV, according to a July Consumer Reports survey.

Plans call for 2,000 charging stations – including 350-kilowatt DC fast chargers – at roughly 500 Pilot and Flying J travel centers at 50-mile intervals. Any EV brand can access the network, but GM said its customers will receive benefits such as discounts, exclusive reservations and access to real-time availability and route planning through the automaker’s apps.

EVgo will install, operate and maintain the network through its eXtend program, which supplies charging stations to customers such as gas stations and retailers.

Although dominant players such as EVgo and Electrify America have emerged, the automotive industry is still struggling to unify the patchwork of charging stations nationwide so that EV drivers don’t need to worry about running out of range or searching for a station that will service their brand.

GM’s total $750 billion investment in charging infrastructure includes a partnership with EVgo to add more than 3,250 fast chargers in American cities and suburbs by the end of 2025.

In June, GM said it will equip its battery-electric models with “Plug and Charge” capability, joining a growing list of automakers focused on streamlining the EV charging process by enabling drivers to easily plug in and automate payment at a range of different charging stations.

Tesla also plans to open its Supercharger network in North America to non-Tesla EVs.

President Joe Biden’s administration is helping push efforts along with a plan to allocate nearly $5 billion over the next five years to build thousands of EV charging stations. That money is part of the $7.5 billion Congress approved in November to fund 500,000 EV charging stations.

EV charging sucks because it hasn’t found the right business model

Electric vehicle charging has come a long way in recent years.

Until somewhat recently, road-tripping required lots of advance planning. Charging speeds were slow, necessitating stops that easily stretched past 30 minutes. Sessions were stymied by broken or vandalized equipment or inconsiderate fossil-fueled car owners blocking the charging points.

Thankfully, those days are largely over. Charging networks today are larger and more reliable, and many new EVs can add a decent amount of range in just 20 to 30 minutes. But that doesn’t mean the market is not ripe for disruption.

Volkswagen, Siemens invest $450M into Electrify America in EV charging push

Volkswagen Group subsidiary Electrify America said Tuesday it raised $450 million in a deal that includes its first external investor as it aims to accelerate its rollout of ultra-fast charging stations in the U.S. and Canada.

The deal, which values North America’s largest ultra-fast EV charging network at $2.45 billion, includes more than $100 million from German industrial company Siemens and additional capital from VW Group.

The money will help Electrify America toward its goal of more than doubling its footprint to 10,000 ultra-fast chargers across 1,800 charging stations in both countries by 2026. The company currently operates 3,500 ultra-fast chargers at 800 stations.

Siemens, now a minority shareholder with a seat on the board, will invest “a low triple-digit USD amount” as the charging company’s first outside investor, Electrify America said.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen said it plans to increase its capital investment in Electrify America beyond its original commitment of $2 billion through 2026. A VW spokesman described the amount as “an incremental investment” but declined to provide details.

The new investment comes at a precarious time for automakers trying to sell EVs. The lack of charging stations is one of the main bottlenecks to the mass adoption of electric vehicles.

The challenge is especially dire in the U.S., which “requires a six-fold increase in average annual public charging installations over the next four years” to meet federal benchmarks, according to the 2022 Bloomberg Intelligence Global Battery-Electric Vehicles Outlook released in June.

A big push is needed to scale up the industry quick enough so charging infrastructure is installed in time to support the expected electric vehicle fleet,” the report said.

The sector has picked up steam since President Joe Biden signed an infrastructure bill in November earmarking $7.5 billion for a national network of half a million EV chargers, which many established and startup EV charging companies have been scaling and consolidating operations.

Strategic deals in June includes Blink Charging’s $200 million purchase of SemaConnect and the acquisition of EV Connect by French energy company Schneider Electric for an undisclosed sum.

Can VinFast make EV battery subscriptions a thing?

At the New York International Auto Show on Wednesday, Vietnamese automaker VinFast revealed battery subscription prices for the two electric SUVs it aims to sell in the U.S. market by the end of the year.

The company, which recently invested $2 billion to build its first U.S. factory in North Carolina, also announced a partnership with Electrify America that will give its customers access to a fast-charging national network. VinFast has hinted at other similar partnerships to be revealed in the future.

VinFast’s battery leasing model involves selling its vehicles — the VF 8, a 5-passenger midsize SUV, and the VF 9, a 7-passenger SUV — without the battery pack included in the price. Customers can instead lease the battery for a monthly fee that will be based on how many miles they drive. This model might help make its vehicles more accessible, the company contends.

It also has the potential to extend the lifecycle of the vehicle itself. Taiwanese company Gogoro, which has recently gone public via a special purpose acquisition merger, has popularized its electric motorcycle and moped battery swapping ecosystem in Taiwan in  large part due to the ease factor of swapping a battery rather than waiting for it to charge. However, batteries are often the first components of a vehicle to die, so being able to simply replace it, rather than the whole car, can keep vehicles on the roads longer.

However, it’s not clear whether adding this layer into the VinFast equation will make the whole process just that much more confusing for EV buyers, especially if they’re in a region where it’s difficult to trade in a battery, although VinFast is planning on opening up at least 60 stores across the U.S.

The scheme is made potentially more complicated because VinFast says that by the end of 2023, 50% of the battery will be for rent while the rest is for sale along with the purchase of the car. VinFast did not respond in time to requests for clarification.

The VF 8 will cost anywhere from $40,700 to $48,000 depending on trim and battery pack, the company said on Wednesday, updating previous numbers shared at CES in January. The VF 8 Eco version battery can go up to 292 miles on a full charge and the Plus version can go up to 277 miles.

The VF 9 have a price range of $55,500 to $61,000. The Eco version of its battery has a top range of 369 miles, and the Plus version can go up to 360 miles, VinFast said.

It’s not yet clear if the vehicle prices will be different should a customer choose to go the battery leasing route.

VinFast is offering a flexible plan of $35 per month for the VF 8 and $44 for the VF 9 for drivers who can stick to 310 miles of use each month. Going over the 310 miles will incur a charge of $0.11 and $0.15 per extra mile for the VF 8 and VF 9 respectively.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, the average person drives over 1,000 miles every month.

So for the average American driver, the fixed lease plan might be a better option. For  $110 per month and $160 per month for the VF 8 and VF 9, respectively, customers can have unlimited miles. VinFast is currently freezing the monthly cost of the fixed plan over the vehicle’s lifetime in order to encourage new orders, the company said.

“By separating the price of the battery from the acquisition value of the automobile, VinFast takes on all the risks related to the vehicle’s battery and ensures a reasonable price for its products, while providing customers with peace of mind about the battery’s quality during use,” the company said in a statement.

VinFast said it would provide a lifetime battery warranty that covers all maintenance and repair costs of the battery, and will replace the battery for free when charging capacity dips below 70%.

At the Auto Show, VinFast also activated its VinFirst NFT exchange on Open Sea. The automaker is using blockchain technology to record orders and confirm ownership as part of a global reservation program that began in January. When customers make a deposit for their reservation, they’ll receive an NFT on VinFast’s platform.

2022 Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo delivers power and performance in a wagon

All good things come to those who wait, and Porsche has reserved the most powerful version of its all-electric Taycan for last: the 2022 Porsche Taycan GTS and the wagon-style Taycan GTS Sport Turismo.

For those who want power, refined and sporty driving, and the ability to forgo gasoline for an all-electric powertrain, the Taycan GTS and Taycan GTS Sport Turismo both offer a solid blend of high-tech and powerful performance, which TechCrunch had a chance to test recently. GTS now comes in every model line Porsche offers, and the 2022 Porsche Taycan GTS and GTS Sport Turismo round out a total of 10 different Porsche Taycan offerings.

The upshot: The Sport Turismo GTS and its sedan sibling should be the benchmark for any luxury automaker trying to attract customers who want to make the transition from internal combustion to all-electric as smooth, seamless and reliable as possible. The drawback of course is that being a luxury vehicle puts the Taycan — and its many variants — out of reach for most people.

Before Porsche purists sharpen their knives about how the Taycan and its variants aren’t “true Porsches,” they might consider how the EV has resonated with consumers. The electric vehicle, first announced in 2019, has been a tremendous sales success for the company. Porsche sold 28,640 Taycan vehicles in the January-to-September period of 2021, outselling its flagship 911 sports car as well as the Panamera, 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman vehicles. (Porsche’s two most popular vehicles, the Cayenne and Macan, still outpaced the Taycan in sales.)

While the Taycan doesn’t come close to the number of Tesla Model 3 and Y sales reported this year, it has, so far, outstripped Tesla’s Model S and X sales. Tesla reports show that the company has delivered 13,214 Model S and Xs through the end of the third quarter.

The sales numbers suggest that Porsche’s $1 billion investment in the development of the Taycan have paid off. My time in these two latest and last variants verify that those development dollars were well spent. The 2022 Porsche Taycan GTS and Taycan GTS Sport Turismo are a sports sedan and wagon to be reckoned with.

On the road with the Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo

Porsche unveiled the new Taycan GTS and Sport Turismo GTS at an event prior to the LA Auto show a few weeks ago, and we got seat time in both vehicles just after the unveiling in and around the Los Angeles area.

The Taycan GTS and GTS Sport Turismo sit below the line-topping 670-horsepower Turbo variant. Porsche says that Taycan GTS can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds thanks to its 590-horsepower and 626 pound-ft of torque coming from a pair of permanent magnet synchronous motors at the front and rear of the car. That means that both variants of the GTS are all-wheel drive, though during normal driving, the balance of power is pushed down through the rear wheels.

That rear motor comes from the Porsche Taycan Turbo, and Porsche says that this makes the GTS more agile and responsive on the road.

The motors are powered by a 93.4 kWh battery pack on 800-volt architecture, in both vehicles. That allows the vehicle to fast charge from 5% battery power up to 80% in just 22 minutes, which we got to try out at a DC fast charger in a local Walmart parking lot.

I drove a bright red Taycan GTS Sport Turismo from downtown Los Angeles to Willow Springs (a one-way trip of around 90 miles) and back across the winding Angeles Crest Highway and Lake Hughes Road and back to downtown.

The heavier wagon-style GTS Sport Turismo never belied that it had that big ol’ backside hanging out. Agile, responsive, and comfortable in the variety of modes that ranged from the electron-sipping Range setting to Normal, Sport, Sport + and Individual, the GTS Sport Turismo is a luxurious and mighty powerful electric wagon.

Porsche Taycan GTS roof

Image Credits: Porsche

Whether making a pass on a two-lane highway near Willow Springs or winding it over the sun-beaten concrete on the Crest, the GTS Sport Turismo lives up to its Porsche-touted moniker as the “sweet spot,” between the lower 4S and the top-of-the-line Turbo — and it’s specifically geared for those who want a sports car feel in an all-electric people hauler.

Porsche recalibrated the Porsche Active Suspension Management System, retuned the chassis, added an optional rear-steering system and adaptive anti-roll bars in the car we drove. In addition to this, the Taycan GTS and its wagon-y cousin get a new, optional, trick sunroof that goes from opaque to various stages of staggered panels, to clear, with the touch of a button. The roof is actually made of two panes of glass with liquid crystal nestled between, which creates a UV-blocking grey panel when fully activated or closed.

At the track with the Porsche Taycan GTS

porsche taycan gts electric vehicle willow springs

Image Credits: Abigail Bassett

More than likely, most Taycan GTS buyers won’t ever track their sedan, but, for that very small handful of people who do, there’s plenty to be impressed with. The Taycan GTS sedan still offers ample room for four passengers and all the bells and whistles of the Taycan GTS Sport Turismo, without the hatchback styling. Instead of hauling a wagon around the track at Big Willow, which honestly, sounds like a blast, I climbed into a Taycan GTS sedan for a 30-minute lead-follow stint.

The Taycan GTS comes with Porsche’s Track Precision app, which integrates with the new PCM 6.0 system in the car. Connect the app on your phone to the car and you can get detailed, real-time data on speeds, braking force, accelerator and brake input, and other information about just how you’re driving on the track. Mount your phone on your windshield and you’ll get the added bonus of a first-person POV video of the track that the app maps to everything from throttle input to steering angle and brake pressure.

Willow Springs is a notoriously gnarly track both because of its age and its sans-landmark, off-camber turns. On the track, the Taycan GTS remained firmly planted as I rocketed up to 120 mph on the front straight. Larger front brakes on the Taycan GTS (the same on the Sport Turismo) helped quickly haul the electric sedan down to more manageable speeds for the series of turns that run up the hill to a blind but sweeping left-hand turn and the vehicle felt connected and precise.

To say that the Taycan GTS is quick is an understatement. I drove Big Willow for the first time in a Lamborghini Huracán STO back in September. I don’t proclaim to be a race car driver, but, for context, my Porsche app-recorded lap time in the Taycan GTS sedan was only four seconds off of my best time in the STO — and that vehicle is specifically made for the race track. Suffice it to say, the Taycan GTS hauls on a closed course.

Charging the Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo

porsche taycan gts sport turismo

Image Credits: Abigail Bassett

Once our track time was over, I climbed back into the GTS Sport Turismo for the slog back to downtown Los Angeles. When I set out from the hotel that foggy Saturday morning, I started out with a fully charged battery and a range of 235 miles.

By the time we got to Willow Springs, after some spirited highway and canyon driving, the vehicle had around 130 miles of range left. The route was around 90 miles in total (one way) and I spent most of the drive toggling the wheel on the Race-Tex wrapped steering wheel, between Range, Sport + and Individual settings. These settings adjust the suspension, power and steering feel, and even the synthetic “engine sound” you hear on the Taycan GTS. The Individual setting, where I could separately set the steering feel and the ride to my liking, was my favorite.

Los Angeles traffic is perpetual, which can pose a challenge for some electric vehicles and their range. I stopped at a Porsche-appointed stopover to charge the Taycan GTS at one of the public Electrify America chargers in Burbank with around 70 miles of range left.

On a Saturday night, the place was absolutely packed with shoppers and EV chargers alike. There was only one DC fast charger, and according to the Porsche rep manning the charger to help journalists plug in, it had been out of service almost all day. When I arrived a Ford Mustang Mach-E was charging at the spot, so I pulled into one of the others that were vacant. To no EV owner’s surprise, the charger wouldn’t initiate for my GTS Sport Turismo. I tried three other chargers in the row, before finally returning to the DC fast charger, which, miraculously, connected and quickly charged my Taycan GTS Sport Turismo from 25% to 80% in just 20 minutes.

While this was a problem specific to the Electrify America charger, not Porsche, it is indirectly a problem for any automaker counting on this network of DC fast chargers to help it compete with Tesla and its proprietary Supercharger network. The Electrify America chargers at that location continually failed to recognize the vehicle I was driving. When other journalists showed up to charge, they too, had a similar issue and we all got to play charger leapfrog with a handful of electric motorcycles and cars to find a charger that would work.

User experience

While the charging infrastructure still needs a lot of work, the good news is that Porsche has made locating those chargers in its navigation system far easier than other electric automakers (with the exception of Tesla).

There are three different ways to find available chargers in the system. You can use the capable voice recognition to ask for local chargers, which will then pop up on the navigation system for you choose. You can also use the touchscreen to set search parameters (including the brand of EV charger and speed of charge) to search for chargers nearby.

Finally, you can use the Porsche app or the navigation in the infotainment system to set a route and the system will automatically find chargers along the route based on how much charge you want to have left when you arrive at your destination. The vehicles I drove were European-spec so I wasn’t able to try this setup myself, but one of the sedans at the track had some limited U.S-features available and a Porsche spokesperson walked me through the process.

In addition to being able to access these features via the center screen, Porsche’s new infotainment screen stretches across to the passenger side of the car and allows passengers to search for chargers, change stereo inputs and stations, and navigate (amongst other things) while the vehicle is under way. Most automakers lock out access to these features in their vehicles both from the driver and passenger seats when they’re moving, a “feature,” that’s absolutely infuriating when actively trying to navigate or find locations while moving. It’s not so in the Taycan GTS and Taycan GTS Sport Turismo, since both the driver and passenger can still interact with numerous features on the infotainment system while the vehicle is rolling.

The 2022 Porsche Taycan GTS and Taycan GTS Sport Turismo will be delivered to customers willing to shell out for the $110,000+ price tag by Q2 of 2022. Pricing starts at $131,400 (plus $1,350 for delivery) for the sedan and $133,300 for the Sport Turismo. And in true Porsche style, nearly everything can be customized to your liking. Both offer plenty of performance and style for the proverbial buck in sleek, sleeper packaging that offers a solid balance of technology and refinement for the enthusiast and their passengers.

The 2022 Porsche Taycan GTS, in any form, is truly an electric vehicle to be reckoned with.

Electrify America to double number of EV chargers as wave of electric vehicles come to market

Electrify America, the entity set up by Volkswagen as part of its settlement with U.S. regulators over its diesel emissions cheating scandal, said it will double the number of its electric vehicle fast charging stations in the United States and Canada by the end of 2025.

The commitment, if successful, means 1,800 fast charging stations — or 10,000 individual chargers — will be installed and operational by that time. The vast majority (some 1,700 stations) will be installed in the United States with the remainder in Canada. This will build off of EA’s plans to have about 800 charging stations and about 3,500 individual chargers in the U.S. by the end of 2021.  As of today, Electrify America has installed 635 charging stations in the United States.

The plan is part of parent company VW Group’s announcement Monday to increase public charging infrastructure in North America, Asia and Europe. The expansion aims to increase the number of 150 and 350 kilowatt chargers, or fast chargers. VW nor EA disclosed how much money would be spent to meet this new plan. However, an EA spokesperson did confirm that the company would be spending more than the $2 billion it previously committed to invest into clean energy infrastructure over a 10-year period that kicked off in 2017.

The decision to double its charging infrastructure in North America was prompted by the rapid growth expected of electric vehicles by virtually all the auto manufacturers, according to a statement by Electrify America president and CEO Giovanni Palazzo.

The EV market was once the primary domain of Tesla, the Nissan Leaf and GM’s Chevrolet Bolt EV. And while the majority of vehicles on the road today are gas and diesel-powered, an increasing number of other EV models have, or are about, to come to market, including the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Porsche Taycan and the Cross Turismo variant, Hyundai Kona Electric, Jaguar I-Pace, Rivian R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV and the VW ID. 4.

Electrify America’s initial plan was to invest more than $2 billion over a 10-year period into clean energy infrastructure and education. Of that funding, some $800 million was earmarked for California, the largest EV market in North America. This latest boost will be used to increase chargers in established EV regions in the U.S. such as California as well as push into new states, including Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming and Vermont.

The company is also adding chargers to a stretch of highway in the upper Midwest, following similar efforts to promote cross-country travel. The subsidiary Electrify Canada will expand its network to nine provinces, including Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Electrify Canada will also add more stations to British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, the four provinces where it already has a presence.

Polestar, ChargePoint introduce seamless charging in new partnership

A new alliance between Swedish electric performance automaker Polestar and EV infrastructure startup ChargePoint takes aim at the charging experience with the debut of an in-car app that will let customers seamlessly charge their Polestar 2 model vehicles.

Seamless charging—being able to pull up to a charging station, plug in and let the vehicle handle billing and payment—has been dominated by Tesla through its branded Supercharger network. Most other EV drivers have to pay for charging using an RFID card or smartphone, and the convenience level is on-par with a traditional gas station. The partnership eliminates the need for these extra items at ChargePoint’s more than 130,000 stations. The app will embed directly into Polestar 2’s in-car “infotainment system,” which runs on Google’s Android Automotive OS.

There have been some inroads into seamless charging elsewhere, most notably by Electrify America, the entity established by Volkswagen as part of its settlement with U.S. regulators over its diesel-emissions scandal. It introduced an in-car payment technology dubbed Plug&Charge last November that will allow 2021 models of the Porsche Taycan, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Lucid Air to seamlessly charge at its stations.

The partnership also takes aim at the buying experience, another area that Tesla’s cornered with its branded Wall Connector home charger. Polestar 2 drivers will now be able to order the $699 ChargePoint Home Flex home charger alongside the purchase of a Polestar 2 and arrange for home installation prior to vehicle delivery.

It’s a blueprint for future collaboration between the two companies, ChargePoint senior VP Bill Loewenthal said in a statement. The partnerships may be the start of many more alliances between automakers and EV infrastructure companies who see user experience as a key part of their value proposition.

ChargeLab raises seed capital to be the software provider powering EV charging infrastructure

As money floods into the electric vehicle market a number of small companies are trying to stake their claim as the go-to provider of charging infrastructure. These companies are developing proprietary ecosystems that work for their own equipment but don’t interoperate.

ChargeLab, which has raised $4.3 million in seed financing led by Construct Capital and Root Ventures, is looking to be the software provider providing the chargers built by everyone else.

“You’ll find everyone in every niche and corner,” says ChargeLab chief executive Zachary Lefevre. Lefevre likens Tesla to Apple with its closed ecosystem and compares Chargepoint and Blink, two other electric vehicle charging companies to Blackberry — the once dominant smartphone maker. “What we’re trying to do is be android,” Lefevre said.

That means being the software provider for manufacturers like ABB, Schneider Electric and Siemens. “These guys are hardware makers up and down the value stack,” Lefevre said.

ChargeLab already has an agreement with ABB to be their default software provider as they go to market. The big industrial manufacturer is getting ready to launch their next charging product in North America.

As companies like REEF and Metropolis revamp garages and parking lots to service the next generation of vehicles, ChargeLab’s chief executive thinks that his software can power their EV charging services as they begin to roll that functionality out across the lots they own.

Lefevre got to know the electric vehicle charging market first as a reseller of everyone else’s equipment, he said. The company had raised a pre-seed round of $1.1 million from investors including and Notation Capital and has now added to that bank account with another capital infusion from Construct Capital, the new fund led by Dayna Grayson and Rachel Holt, and Root Ventures, Lefevre said.

Eventually the company wants to integrate with the back end of companies like Chargepoint and Electrify America to make the charging process as efficient for everyone, according to ChargeLab’s chief executive.

As more service providers get into the market, Lefevre sees the opportunity set for his business expanding exponentially. “Super open platforms are not going to be building an EV charging system any more than they would be building their own hardware,” he said.

Who will own the future of transportation?

Autonomous vehicles are often painted as a utopian-like technology that will transform parking lots into parks and eliminate traffic fatalities — a number that reached 1.35 million globally in 2018.

Even if, as many predict, autonomous vehicles are deployed en masse, the road to that future promises to be long, chaotic and complex. The emergence of ride-hailing, car-sharing and micromobility hints at some of the speed bumps between today’s modes of transportation and more futuristic means, like AVs and flying cars. Entire industries face disruption in this new mobility world, perhaps none so thoroughly as automotive.

Autonomous-vehicle ubiquity may be decades away, but automakers, startups and tech companies are already clambering to be king of the ‘future of transportation’ hill.

How does a company, city or country “own” this future of transportation? While there’s no clear winner today, companies as well as local and federal governments can take actions and make investments today to make sure they’re not left behind, according to Zoox CEO Aicha Evans and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who spoke about the future of cities on stage this month at Disrupt SF. 

Local = opportunity

Evolution in mobility is occurring at a global scale, but transportation is also very local, Evans said. Because every local transit system is tailored to the geography and the needs of its residents, these unique requirements create opportunities at a local level and encourages partnerships between different companies.

This is no longer just a Silicon Valley versus Detroit story; Europe, China, Singapore have all piled in as well. Instead of one mobility company that will rule them all, Evans and Granholm predict more partnerships between companies, governments and even economic and tech strongholds like Silicon Valley.

We’re already seeing examples of this in the world of autonomous vehicles. For instance, Ford invested $1 billion into AV startup Argo AI in 2017. Two years later, VW Group announced a partnership with Ford that covers a number of areas, including autonomy (via a new investment by VW in Argo AI) and collaboration on development of electric vehicles.

BMW and Daimler, which agreed in 2018 to merge their urban mobility services into a single holding company, announced in February plans to unify these services and sink $1.1 billion into the effort. The two companies are also part of a consortium that includes Audi, Intel, Continental and Bosch, that owns mapping and location data service company HERE.

There are numerous other examples of companies collaborating after concluding that going it alone wasn’t as feasible as they once thought.

Shell’s first electric vehicle fast charger lands in Singapore

Royal Dutch Shell, the energy giant known for its fossil fuel production and hundreds of Shell gas stations, is creeping into the electric vehicle-power business.

The company’s first DC fast charger launched Monday at a Shell gas station in Singapore. Greenlots, an EV charging startup acquired by Shell in January, installed the charger. This is the first of 10 DC fast chargers that Greenlots plans to bring to Shell service stations in Singapore over the next several months.

The decision to target Singapore is part of Greenlots’ broader strategy to provide EV charging solutions across all applications throughout Asia and North America, the company said. Both Shell and Greenlots have a presence in Singapore. Greenlots, which based in Los Angeles, was founded in Singapore; and Shell is one of Singapore’s largest foreign investors.

Singapore has been promoting the use of electric vehicles, particularly for car-sharing and ride-hailing platforms. The island city-state has been building up its EV infrastructure to meet anticipated demand as ride-hailing drivers and commercial fleets switch to electric vehicles.

Greenlots was backed by Energy Impact Partners, a cleantech investment firm, before it was acquired by Shell. The company, which combines its management software with the EV charging hardware, has landed some significant customers in recent years, notably Volkswagen. Greenlots is the sole software provider to Electrify America, the the entity set up by Volkswagen as part of its settlement with U.S. regulators over its diesel emissions cheating scandal.