EnBW & Smatrics launch charging joint venture
EnBW and Smatrics found Smatrics mobility+ GmbH. The joint venture aims to operate the largest charging network in Austria and, above all, to expand high power charging. All Smatrics charging stations will be transferred to the new operating company.
The partners will focus on high power charging with up to 300 kW. “With the joint venture, the two partners are bundling their expertise as charging infrastructure operators and ensuring short charging times throughout the entire Germany/Austria transport area,” says the press release accompanying the launch of the joint venture, which has yet to be approved by the authorities.
Smatrics, which will continue to be an independent JV partner, will hold 49 per cent of the joint subsidiary and will contribute all locations, i.e. its entire CPO business. Besides, Smatrics as parent company will continue to act as a technical service provider. For its part, the German utility EnBW is pursuing the course it has taken in Germany and now wants to push ahead with the area-wide rapid charging infrastructure expansion with Smatrics mobility+ across all counties in Austria. Timo Sillober, EnBW’s head of sales, has been putting out feelers in the DACH region for some time. He also wants to take a closer look at Switzerland as a market but did not want to confirm any plans for similar advances as those now being made in Austria when asked by electrive. Subject to the approval of the responsible cartel authorities, Smartrics mobility+ is to start work there in the course of this year.
“We are consistently ensuring the expansion of the fast-charging infrastructure in Germany. In Smatrics we have found the right strategic partner to bundle our expertise in fast charging internationally,” said Amadeus Regerbis, former head of charging infrastructure and partnerships at EnBW, which will hold 51 per cent of the new charging infrastructure operator. Regerbis will in future lead Smatrics mobility+ as CEO – parallel to his job at EnBW. However, the latter will change in that Regerbis will take over the strategy and internationalisation department.
“Smatrics has not only built up an Austria-wide high-speed retail network in record time, but has also proven its competence as a roll-out, operations and IT service provider in numerous projects, and has thus also presented several projects throughout Europe,” explained Hauke Hinrichs, COO of the parent company Smatrics GmbH & Co. KG and in future also COO of Smatrics mobility+. “We are very pleased that we have been able to convince EnBW with these lighthouse projects and that we will be going down common paths in comprehensive cooperation in the future”.
EnBW has set up more than 340 fast-charging locations throughout Germany under the EnBW mobility+ label. More than 140 sites are currently being realised. By 2025, EnBW intends to operate more than 2,200 fast-charging locations – including those of the joint venture in Austria. This is probably also the reason for the German-Austrian marriage: no other company in Central Europe is currently investing so heavily in locations for high power charging stations. The latter will be the “backbone of modern electric mobility”, the representatives of both companies emphasised in unison during the joint online press conference. HPC infrastructure will also be rolled out in urban areas. It is coming as the car manufacturers also want to see it: The shop becomes the filling station.
Parallel to the joint subsidiary Smatrics mobility+ with EnBW, Smatrics remains true to its core business as an international eMobility service provider for infrastructure, service and IT. With its “full-service expertise and IT competence”, the company will support the roll-out, technical operation and IT of the joint subsidiary Smatrics mobility+. This, in turn, will take over the existing Smatrics store network, including the approximately 100 fast-charging locations. Smatrics has also built for EnBW in the past. So they know each other very well.
Along motorways and in the city centre, Smatrics mobility+ will not only take over the operation but also the planning and construction of new ultra-rapid charging stations. “New sites are usually designed to be quickly upgraded with additional charging stations and charging capacity to stay ahead of the ramp-up of e-cars in the future,” Smatrics states in the accompanying news. Timo Sillober also confirmed this point: “After the large-scale establishment of new locations, there will be a phase of consolidation. Further charge points will supplement existing charge parks. For this reason, grid connections and lines will be dimensioned more extensive right from the start.
The joint venture has no consequences for the end customers of either eMobility company. Both EnBW and Smatrics will continue to operate the EMP business independently of each other.
With reporting by Daniel Bönninghausen, Germany.