Enel moves into EV charging space with eMotorWerks acquisition
- Enel announced last week through its subsidiary EnerNOC, it would acquire California-based eMotorWerks, which operates a network of electric vehicle charging ports and supplies charging stations known as JuiceBox.
- Through the JuiceNet platform, the charging facilities can be remotely controlled and aggregated for grid balancing purposes, the companies said in their announcement. The ports can use either unidirectional and bidirectional electricity flows, the latter which would be capable of providing services back to the grid.
- The acquisition of eMotorWerks marks Enel’s entrance into the U.S. electric mobility market, which the company believes could become the grid's largest flexible resource.
Enel sees great value in electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure, most directly as a large flexible resource that could be used both for grid balancing and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Electric vehicles have the potential to be one of the most disruptive technologies the modern electricity grid has faced in the last one hundred years,” Francesco Venturini, head of Enel's Global e-Solutions division, said in a statement.
Venturini said utilities and grid operators are rethinking traditional business models, in part due to the rise of electric vehicles. The company wants to invest in new infrastructure and roll out new solutions to provide flexibility and resiliency to the grid.
"Our mission is to be on the cutting edge of this paradigm shift," Venturini said. "This acquisition enriches our e-mobility offering and integrates a highly sophisticated smart EV charging solution within our portfolio of grid flexibility services."
Val Miftakhov, eMotorWerks founder and CEO, said transportation electrification is one of the largest emissions reductions opportunities in the world right now, and "electric vehicles are quickly becoming the largest flexible resource on the grid. ... EVs can provide the bulk of the grid balancing capacity to enable the 100% renewable grid around the world."
Additionally, Miftakhov said that as EV adoption grows, utilities must either add more infrastructure to meet energy demands or adopt smart-charging solutions. The eMotorWerk network helps minimize emissions "and remotely optimizes charging load, which can reduce peak demands and increase the likelihood that EVs charge on cheaper and cleaner renewable energy."
Enel is moving rapidly to expand EnerNOC's capabilities. In August, Enel Green Power North America completed its acquisition of EnerNOC for approximately $250 million. The deal put EnerNOC's more than 8,000 customers, 14,000 managed sites and 6 GW of demand response capacity on Enel Group's balance sheet.
A previous verison of this post incorrectly said EnerNOC announced the acquisition of eMoterWerk, and the headline has been clarifed to refer to Enel, the parent company of EnerNOC.
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