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JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy invests in EV charging platform company Virta

Image: Virta/JXTG.

Image: Virta/JXTG.

Japan’s biggest petroleum company, JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, has become the latest fossil fuel firm to invest into electric vehicles (EVs).

It has made an undisclosed investment into EV charging platform company Virta, as well as signing a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation.

Virta has over 300 customers with over 50 EV charging brands across 28 countries that are currently operating their EV charging services using its platform.

The injection of capital will accelerate both companies’ growth in the e-mobility sector and strengthen their position in providing energy for mobility, JXTG said.

Additionally, it is considering EV-related activities designed to establish a new mobility services, leveraging its nationwide service-station network and the Eneos brand. Virta will now be seen as a technology partner for such expansion.

“Virta enables the value proposition of electric vehicle charging services in our wide service network. The cloud-based platform allows, for instance, difference payment systems and makes EV charging possible for commercial properties, such as petrol stations and as well in private locations,” Dr Keisuke Nakayama, manager of new business promotion group at JXTG, said.

The investment will also trigger the launch of Virta’s operation in Asian markets, with Japan as a spearhead, according to Virta’s CEO Jussi Palola. Virta currently operates in Europe, including the UK.

The investment marks the latest in a string of O&G majors targeting EV companies. Most notably, Shell acquired NewMotion in 2017 and BP acquiring Chargemaster in 2018.

It’s not only O&G companies, however, with Norwegian state-owned utility Statkraft making purchases of German chargepoint operator E-Wald and Norwegian charging company Grønn Kontakt.

Meanwhile in Japan, utility Ennet Corporation made a deal with charging software company Driivz to deliver its advanced energy management tools as part of a new smart electric vehicle (EV) charging service set to be launched by Ennet, EnneEV.


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