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Centrica, Britains largest energy provider, is investing in Israeli software solutions start-up Driivz, which will be the company's first major investment in the burgeoning sector of electric vehicle charging.
According to a press release, the investment has been made by Centrica Innovations, established to foster innovation and new technologies in the utility company.
The energy provider already charges approximately 13,000 vehicles in the UK, while Driivz, powers more than 200,000 cars in the US and Europe.
Announced this morning, Centrica has made a multi-million pound investment in the Israeli start-up that develops software for electric vehicle charging solutions.
Ombu Group, an investor in advanced industrial technology companies, co-led the investment, which forms part of a £9m ($12m) funding round.
Driivz utilises its cloud-based EV charging operating system offer charging network operators, car manufacturers and utilities an end-to-end solution to manage all aspects of EV deployment from charging, account management and driver billing, through to onsite power management that allows businesses to optimise output to chargers in line with site energy demand and costs.
Centrica is moving away from large centralised power generation - selling its last large power stations last year - and is instead increasing its services offerings.
The Driivz platform will be integrated into a new intelligent EV charging service offer for businesses by Centrica's Electric Vehicle Services (CEVS) division. The fully-managed solution has been developed to meet the needs of organisations that want EV charging facilities for their employees and/or their depot-based fleets.
Says Jonathan Tudor, director of technology and innovation strategy for Centrica Innovations: "With 14 million EVs expected on UK roads by 2030, there can be no doubt that e-mobility will have a significant impact on how we manage the delicate balance of supply and demand to the grid.
"This investment is a key opportunity for Centrica to support growing customer demand and work in partnership with Driivz to explore new offers for customers that connect home, work and on-the-road car charging, while also evaluating the role of EVs and potential vehicle-to-grid applications as part of the future energy landscape."
Doron Frenkel, founder and CEO of Driivz, said: "Working together, Centrica and Driivz will be able to expedite the adoption of EVs and to become a leading force in the distribution of energy and addressing the challenges of EV charging. We look forward to taking advantage of opportunities in the new world and driving the new reality of EV."