One of the largest Nordic energy companies has signed a collaboration deal that will enable Franklin Energy to offer e-mobility solutions to electric vehicle drivers across the UK and operate its growing re-charging infrastructure for battery powered vehicles (BPVs).
As well as high purchase prices, fear of running out of power also deter customers from buying BPVs.
The agreement enables the introduction of the Fortum Charge & Drive cloud solution to operate Franklin’s existing BPV charging stations as well as new chargers to be installed in the future.
Franklin, based in Liverpool, currently offers BPV charging services in multiple locations in the UK and has secured an investment to build a significant charging infrastructure of its own as well as to operate charging stations for others.
Last year, it launched the LiFe charging network, and by the end of 2017 Franklin Energy aims to have a presence in every ‘major city in Scotland, Ireland and England’.
Finland-based Fortum is the third-largest power generator and the largest electricity retailer in the Nordic countries, generating most of its electricity from nuclear and hydro power. With some 8,000 employees, Fortum is also listed on the Helsinki NASDAQ stock market.
BPV charging points require advanced and reliable solutions, as well as customer-oriented solutions to support the increased use of electric vehicles. BPV drivers expect real-time information on the accessibility and location of chargers, as well as straightforward payment solutions. Reliability in both the hardware and software solutions combined with a responsive customer support is crucial to the end user experience.
The Fortum Charge & Drive cloud solution answers these demands and enables remote monitoring and upgrades, and provides easy payment for the use of chargers.
A Fortum spokesman said: “The UK is a fast-developing market and we believe that our cooperation will add value through our open standard, hardware agnostic system, which is also prepared to support interoperability in the market.”
Robert Byrne, founder and chief executive of Franklin Energy, added: “We selected Fortum as our operating platform for two reasons. Firstly, Fortum Charge & Drive is the leading operator in the Nordic markets, which has seen mass adoption of electric vehicles, and it is experienced in all aspects of the value chain – from customer support to building new city EV charging networks.
“And secondly, Fortum Charge & Drive is charge point manufacturer-agnostic and has more than 15 charging manufacturers already integrated into the back end, allowing Franklin to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape and bring new emerging technologies to market before competitors in a UK electric car charging market which is set to grow exponentially over the next five years.”