Volkswagen announced the establishment of a subsidiary for energy offers and charging solutions. The Elli Group GmbH will be headquartered in Berlin and will develop energy and charging products and services for the Wolfsburg Group brands.
Volkswagen sees the establishment of Elli – short for Electric life – as a further step in its e-mobility offensive. Elli currently has around 100 employees.
The company is focusing on the B2B sector with fleet operators and commercial customers, as well as the B2C sector with electric car drivers and household customers. According to the initiators, Elli will bundle Group-wide activities and develop solutions to be available for all Group brands. Volkswagen cites keywords such as renewable energy, intelligent grids, decentralised electricity generation and integration into the energy market as being the driver behind the new subsidiary.
“As one of the largest automobile manufacturers, Volkswagen will accelerate the urgently needed traffic and energy shift towards emission-neutral e-mobility,” says Thomas Ulbrich, member of the board responsible for e-mobility for the Volkswagen brand. Elli contributes to this with new energy offers from renewable sources and smart charging solutions.
The new subsidiary will be headed by Thorsten Nicklaß, who previously headed the Digital Energy Solutions joint venture. In his words, Elli will, as a first step, offer green, 100% CO2-free electricity (Volkswagen Naturstrom) from renewable sources – not only to customers of the Group brands but also to employees, private households and institutions. The electricity comes from hydroelectricity, among other sources, and has been certified by the German regulatory agency TÜV. However, the company’s own electrical generation, from sources such as wind power from Salzgitter, is also included.
“Elli stands for Electric Life because we make a lifestyle possible that integrates the electric car into everyday life – comparable to the use of a smartphone that is taken for granted today,” explains the designated head of Elli, Nicklaß. Over the course of the year, a portfolio of intelligent electricity tariffs, Wallboxes and charging points as well as an IT-based energy management system will be gradually built up. The goal is a seamless and sustainable ecosystem with high data networking.
As far as the timetable is concerned, Volkswagen is letting us know that by the time the I.D. vehicle series is launched on the market in 2020, “tailor-made solutions will gradually be provided – from hardware (such as wallbox variants with 11 or 22 kW) to billing and additional digital services to complete consulting packages”.
The offers will be available throughout Europe. During the announcement of a fully electric car sharing service with ID. vehicles, VW named the offer “We Charge”. As their first step, Elli will offer its own charging card from the 4th quarter of this year. Later, the card will become a “certificate” with which Plug&Charge is supported. Details of the first tariff models – for example for the domestic charge – will follow shortly.
In the fleet business, Elli will also act as a partner to the group brands, for example supporting their customers in converting their fleets to electric mobility. Also, companies who do not own a corporate car fleet can request comprehensive advice on energy and charging infrastructure, especially with regard to installation, operation and service. Elli is currently engaged in talks about cooperations to set up charging points in customer car parks at large chain stores.
In the course of Elli’s presentation, the Wolfsburg-based company is also announcing the intention to press ahead with the expansion of charging points in the group’s own employee car parks – from the current 1,000 to more than 5,000 by 2020. In addition, the current 4,000 dealers and service partners in the EU are also to be equipped with several charging facilities by 2020.
Update 30 January 2019: The first green electricity tariff from Elli has been launched in Germany. “Volkswagen Naturstrom” is 100% from renewable sources and aimed at private households and small businesses with and without electric vehicles.