BMW i Ventures Makes Strategic Investment in EV Charging stations
Coulomb Technologies’s ChargePoint is the largest online global charging network, connecting electric vehicle drivers to charging stations in more than 14 countries. ChargePoint provides the most feature-rich solution for station owners and EV drivers alike, with innovations in software services from mobile applications to vehicle telematics.
“We are delighted to have one of the world’s premier automakers join our investor team,” said Pat Romano, president and CEO of Coulomb. “We look forward to working with BMW to expand our global footprint and help support the adoption of electric vehicles worldwide.”
“BMW i Ventures recognizes the importance of a global charging network for electric vehicle drivers,” said Dr. Ulrich Quay, Managing Director of BMW i Ventures.
Not wanting to be left behind by Mercedes-Benz, and fearing Tesla's new Series-3 competitor and Toyota/Subaru's Scion FR-S, BMW is accelerating its foray into the EV market after a dismal start. It recently announced the expansion of a partnership with Toyota, to provide Toyota with its world-class diesel engine technology in exchange for Toyota's hybrid technology.
The size of BMW's investment in Coulomb was not disclosed. It comes after Coulomb obtained a $15M grant in May 2011, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the Department of Energy, combined with $22 million from other public agencies including the California Energy Commission and private industry.
The BMW investment is good news for Coulomb, who in May 2012 unfairly lost a big contract with California to eVgo, as a result of a $120 million settlement between eVgo's parent NRG, and the California Public Utilities Commission.
A study by Solution Mountain commissioned by NRG concluded that 1,500 jobs would be created by eVgo to support its California expansion.
Let's hope that Coulomb will create as many if not more green jobs with BMW's investment. As of today, Coulomb had 12 open positions, including 4 recently added.