On the 15th of January, French Charge Point Operator (CPO), Electra, announced it had raised EUR304 million (USD331 million) in equity. The investment round was led by the Dutch pension fund PGGM, through its PGGM Infrastructure Fund and made up from a mixture of new and existing investors. The funding will help the company reach its ambition of 15,000 fast-charging points in Europe by 2030.
Renewed trust from existing partners
This recent funding round means Electra has raised nearly EUR600 million (USD650 million) over the last three years to deploy a European-wide charging network. This funding round included historical investors, Eurazeo, RIVE Private Investment, the SNCF group as well as new investors, Bpifrance and PGGM.
The announcement comes just one month after the Eiffel Investment Group made a EUR27 million commitment to support the construction of more than 100, 150kW charging stations, equating to 600 charging points in France.
Electra: a pure player fast-charging point operator
Electra currently operates in eight countries across Europe including France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and recently Spain. However, most of its business is focused on France, with just under 200 charging stations or circa 1,000 charge points. Its stations are mainly located at public and supermarket car parks, restaurants, and motorway rest areas. They already record a recharge volume nearing 100,000 sessions per month.
The environment facing CPOs is a challenging one. Establishing charging stations is a capital-intensive process and this funding will prove vital for Electra to expand its operations.
Utilisation rates of public chargers remain low as most people prefer to charge at home and EV penetration is still in the early stages. This means most CPOs are operating at a loss, consequently having capital to fall back on is an advantage. However, as EV penetration increases so will the utilisation of public charge points eventually allowing viable CPO business operators.
Our analysis shows Electra currently controls just under 1% of the global public charging market (all speeds included) in France. The company is addressing competition, aiming to increase its usage by offering cheaper charging prices than its competitors. In France, it charges EUR0.52/kWh for DC charging, just under the national average tariff of EUR0.53/kWh*. In Belgium, the company charges almost EUR0.1/kWh less than the national average DC price*.
*Average national DC prices were last updated in December 2023.
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