VW’s energy subsidiary Elli has acquired a stake in has·to·be, an Austrian provider of charging software solutions and long-standing partner of Ionity and Audi as well. Together, the two companies want to push ahead with the expansion of the charging infrastructure.
Through its subsidiary Elli or the Electric Life, the VW Group has acquired around a quarter of the shares in has-to-be. Volkswagen has not given details on the sum of the transaction. VW announced that the partnership would result in a simple, standardised and convenient charging system.
The has-to-be software already runs on many VW Group charging stations and is also used to connect the Volkswagen charging infrastructure. VW’s subsidiary Ionity also relies on the Austrian company’s software – the fast-charging joint venture made up of BMW, Daimler, Ford and the VW Group uses has-to-be programs on every one of its charging posts.
“Simple and convenient charging is essential for the rapid breakthrough of e-mobility,” says Thomas Ulbrich, Member of the Board of Management for e-mobility at Volkswagen. “We not only need more charging stations; they must also be networked and function in an intelligent way. Together with has·to·be, we want to open up and develop the rapidly growing business area of charging infrastructure.”
The has-to-be software will also be used at the 36,000 charging points that the group plans to set up in Europe by 2025. The has-to-be GmbH, based in Radstadt near Salzburg, with over 70 employees from ten nations, manages more than 16,000 charging points mainly in Europe, but also worldwide – from Norway to Australia and from Great Britain to Taiwan.
Company founder Martin Klässner has been dealing with this topic for over ten years, even building the first prototype for a charging station in his garage. He recognised the potential of the software for the charging infrastructure. He founded the company six years ago – with Audi as his first customer. According to his own figures, sales have at least doubled every year since then. “The partnership with the Volkswagen Group, which has committed itself to this technology like no other automotive group, is an essential lever for shaping the future of e-mobility,” says Klässner. “With Volkswagen on board, we will promote e-mobility in Europe and beyond.”