Honda has become the latest automotive giant to announce a move into Europe’s energy sector, partnering with two solutions providers to bring an energy management service to the table.
Honda used its press conference at the Geneva Motor Show to unveil the first details of its nascent energy management business, the automotive giant’s first move into the power sector.
It said it is to build a portfolio of energy management products and services to offer a comprehensive solution for EV customers and service operators throughout Europe, starting with agreements with two companies in particular; battery storage firm Moixa and EV charging solutions provider Ubitricity.
Tom Gardner, senior vice president at Honda Motor Europe, described the launch as a “significant move” for the company, stating its potential to “create additional value” for its core customer base and power system operators.
Moixa manages more than 50MWh of domestic energy storage capacity in the UK and Japan, and the company said its experience of controlling large fleets of batteries, through its proprietary ‘GridShare’ software, made it well placed to support Honda’s plans in the space.
GridShare is capable of learning EV usage patterns to ensure that vehicles are charged and ready when required, while simultaneously taking advantage of cheaper EV tariffs.
“Our technology will be able to manage millions of EV batteries, maximising savings for customers and using spare capacity to support a low-carbon electricity grid,” Simon Daniel, chief executive at Moixa, said.
Ubitricity meanwhile has brought to market mobile metering technology to be used in both on-street and off-street EV charging, allowing councils, real estate owners and fleet operators to benefit from significantly lower charging infrastructure costs.
Ubitricity’s technology has already been deployed in the UK, most notably throughout several London boroughs in lamp post charging points, and the firm said Honda Motors would be “another strong collaboration partner” as it looks to ramp up deployment.
Honda’s partnership with Ubitricity includes the motor firm’s participation in a €20 million (£17.2 million) series C funding round which also comprised investment from existing shareholders EDF and Siemens’ venture capital arm Next47.
That funding is to be used to further accelerate the firm’s rollout throughout Europe and to finance further product and technology development.
“We are now putting charging stations right outside people’s front door, where millions of Europeans park their vehicle today, and at a time when more electric vehicles than ever are being sold,” Knut Hechtfisher, co-founder at Ecotricity, said.
The next step for Honda’s energy management strategy is the launch of feasibility studies for its technology suit in both London and Offenbach, Germany, with further details to be announced later this year.