Volkswagen’s Elli now claims access to over half a million charge points
Volkswagen’s energy business, Elli, has brought its entire product range to the IAA Mobility in Munich and gives a glimpse into future services. Most notably, the charging network is scaling up.
But first, to the booth where Elli’s Flexpole fast charging station is taking centre stage. The column connects to an integrated battery, acting as a buffer so that the installation does not require special transformers or costly constructions; it connects to the low-voltage grid instead and still delivers up to 150 kWh to a charging car. Users may see the Flexpole installed at BP in Düsseldorf and a Shell pit stop in Göttingen. Shell and Volkswagen want to gradually roll out the Flexpoles in Germany and other European countries. There has been no mention of concrete expansion targets and markets.
Still, Volkswagen beholds a growing network, for which Elli increasingly relies on “premium charge point operators” forming the “Selected Partner Network”. Currently, Ionity Europe, the Audi charging hubs across the DACH region and Ewiva in Italy are part of said network.
“With the new Flexpole and the continued expansion of Elli’s charging network to more than 540,000 charge points, we are quickly and reliably driving forward e-mobiliy’s expansion,” said Elli CEO Giovanni Palazzo in Munich.
The strategy is not entirely new – Elli announced the Selected Partner Network in May 2023 and bundled it with higher charging tariffs across the board. Still, discounted fares for ultra-rapid charging of now €0.50/kWh (15 cents more than before) will not only apply at Ionity pillars but also to other partners – at other DC charging points outside the SPN, the usual DC conditions (between €0.73 and €0.89/kWh depending on the tariff) will be charged.
“In the future, Elli will focus more on the EV battery as a critical energy storage solution that gives us more independence from fossil fuels and the fluctuating availability of renewable energies,” added Palazzo. He called this the “Battery under management” strategy. “Our goal is to become a software-driven energy company and a leading provider of holistic energy solutions,” he continued.
Here, the company recently reached what it considered a milestone. Elli started trading on Europe’s largest power exchange, EPEX Spot, in July 2023. At the heart of its electricity trade is the so-called PowerCenter made of e-up! batteries and controlled by a trading platform by Elli.
Energy trading has been Palazzo’s focus from the start. The executive has been in charge of Volkswagen’s global energy business since 1 July 2023. He succeeded Elke Temme, who resigned from her position in February. Palazzo is the former President and CEO of the North American fast-charging network Electrify America and held the position since 2018. He wants Elli and Electrify America to cooperate more closely and roll out new business models internationally. Not even a week ago, Volkswagen launched Electrify France to bundle its ultra-fast charging network under a single label to cover Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Audi, SEAT, Cupra, and Škoda.
Volkswagen created the Charging and Energy business field at the turn of 2020/2021 to bundle its global activities in charging infrastructure and energy services. The Group published an interim report on its charging infrastructure expansion at the beginning of the year.