Centrica has boosted its electric vehicle (EV) business by investing in Israeli charging operating system provider, Driivz.
The British Gas-owner’s Centrica Innovations arm and industrial technology investment fund Ombu Group have co-led the investment, which forms part of a £9 million funding round by the company.
Established in 2012, Driivz has developed a cloud-based EV charging operating system, which is already used by more than 200,000 drivers across the globe, including in the UK.
The Driivz platform is being integrated into the Centrica Electric Vehicle Services (CEVS) EV charging service offer for businesses.
It enables charging network operators, car manufacturers and utilities to manage all aspects of EV deployment including charging, account management and driver billing.
The platform also supports efforts by businesses to manage their power needs so that output to chargers can be optimised in line with their sites’ other energy needs and costs.
It is targeted at organisations that want EV charging facilities for their employees and or depot-based fleets.
Drivers secure access via the platform to a self-service portal through which they can manage their account, set payment plans and navigate to charging points.
Jonathan Tudor, director of technology and innovation strategy for Centrica Innovations, said: “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.”
Centrica Innovations, which was established last year to identify and incubate new technologies, has previously invested in blockchain LO3 and Hello Alfred, a US digital concierge service aimed at busy urban apartment block dwellers.
CEVS has already installed more than 4,000 workplace chargers, including Transport for London’s £18 million EV charging scheme, which aims to install 300 fast charging points in the capital by 2020.